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Suggestions that god exists

  1. Jun 27, 2010 #1
    Someone gave me the argument...

    In other words, a complex system allowing for intelligent life is unlikely a mere coincidence. Thus, suggesting a "creator".

    Myself being scientifically immature, the only counter point I could think of is: we don't know all the possible combination of different physical laws that allow for intelligent life, so how can we know the probability of a universe that can harbor intelligent life?

    From researching online another point seems to be that we don't know how these laws are generated, so how can we determine it's unlikely? I also read some stuff about anthropic principle, but I don't really know what that is.

    Ultimately my questioning comes down to, "what is junk about the junk science that follows a universal designer".

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2010
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 27, 2010 #2
    Just don't get into crap like this, as no matter what you do you cannot win.
     
  4. Jun 27, 2010 #3

    HallsofIvy

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    What reason do you have for asserting this?

     
  5. Jun 27, 2010 #4
    There is nothing suggesting a concious or non-random influence in the creation of the universe.
     
  6. Jun 27, 2010 #5

    Evo

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    There is no need for a "creator" in nature.

    Make them crazy and ask them who created the creator.
     
  7. Jun 27, 2010 #6
    The central false premise in the argument is the chance/design dichotomy. There are other viable options, such as a combination of natural regularity and chance. Biologists agree that intelligent, complex and integrated biological life cannot form by pure chance. No one is disputing this. No one ever claimed that it did. What biologists do think is that natural regularity in addition to chance can explain it. Do not let anyone tell you that mechanisms such as natural selection is "random". To accept that natural regularity together with chance generates biological complexity is not a faith-based claim, it is supported by empirical evidence.

    A well-rounded overview of the scientific problems with intelligent design creationism is the book "Why Intelligent Design Fails: A Scientific Critique of the New Creationism" edited by Matt Young and Taner Edis (Rutgers University Press, 2006). Pay special attention to the chapters 7 ("Self-organization and the origin of complexity", by Shanks and Karsai), 10 (Chance, Necessity - and Intelligent Design?, by Taner Edis) and finally chapter 12 ("Is the Universe Fine-Tuned for Us?" by Victor Stenger). There are many other articles in this book worth reading as well.

    The American particle physicist Victor Stenger is currently in the process of writing a book that is tentatively called "The Fallacy of Fine-tuning: How the Universe is Not Designed for Humanity". When it is published, it may be worth checking out, even though Stenger has discussed the notion of apparent fine-tuning in earlier publications.
     
  8. Jun 27, 2010 #7
    "It's random" is a bit of a banana peel in discussions like this, as you were poking on above. There are a number of set laws in nature, according to which a number of things can emerge. One of these things is intelligent life. The "chance" thing is that intelligent life doesn't neccesarily have to emerge, but the emergence of it is by no means entirely random - The principles of evolution would imply a trend towards it in certain parts of the biosphere, I'm quite certain.
     
  9. Jun 27, 2010 #8

    Ivan Seeking

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    While we normally don't allow religious discussions relating to the truth of existence, or not, of a God, I am curious about one point being made.

    From a scientific point of view, how do we know that there is no need for a creator? Given that we as yet are unable to provide a complete description of physics, how can the need for a creator be logically excluded?

    I find absolute statements as such to be completely unsupportable.

    Said another way, we don't know what we don't know.
     
  10. Jun 27, 2010 #9
    Hence why Margaret Atwood said (I'm paraphrasing) that the only supportable scientific position on this is agnosticism.
     
  11. Jun 27, 2010 #10

    Ivan Seeking

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    I would add that the very moment in time that mystifies science - the first moment - is precisely the moment that would presumably require a creator.
     
  12. Jun 27, 2010 #11
    Obviously, I am referring to the facts that our current observations of the behaviour of the universe do not require a creator to explain the emergence of certain phenomena, or certain trends; they are within reason of what could be expected.

    Planets form just fine on their own (Well okay galaxies are kind of a big deal right now), creatures don't need intelligent design to evolve, and so on.

    Given our current understand of the universe, there is no need for an outside factor that somehow intervenes against entropy, if you would. There is at the moment no reason to assume that there is an invisible hand guiding evolution, for instance; natural selection, punctuated equilibrium, genetic drift et al account for that. I could make up a fifth fundamental force, and there could very well be one, but I don't have any reason to.

    Of course you could argue for the deistic god (quite popular among the great minds, I believe) who set up the physical laws and such of the universe but has not intervened after the universe came into existance, and is impossible to observate or contact, but I don't think that is what the thread was about.

    I'm fine with the existance of the deistic god, but since he doesn't care if I believe in him or not I'm rather apathic on the issue, and he doesn't really answer anything anyway.
     
  13. Jun 27, 2010 #12
    for me believing in god is like believing that paradoxes have a logic solution beyond our language abilities, as it may be languages fault that questions are more than answers.

    anyway, I don't think exploring the universe will provide any suggestion for the existence of god, if one found that the universe suits us too much, this would be a paradox between god's love and caring and evolutionary adaptation to what just exists.

    if the prophets were real prophets not just liars, then it is god who knows that our brain systematic logic is not enough to find him, there must be a well defined way to follow other than science that is man-logic made.

    perhaps if we do care about our destiny we should give all religions a good try, but who cares :D
     
  14. Jun 27, 2010 #13
    OMG! I asked this when I was 3 and my family was telling me about God. They just answered no one and God always existed.
     
  15. Jun 27, 2010 #14
    Great post! Thank you for this!
     
  16. Jun 27, 2010 #15

    alt

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    .. leading to the circular nature of the question.

    If a creator is required, then the creator must have one too. Who created the creator ?
     
  17. Jun 27, 2010 #16
    I'm going to be honest and say I skimmed this entire thread beyond the first two posts.

    There is NO way to proof G-d exists in such a forum. This thread is going to end up the same way these threads always do, with no resolution and just some parsing over definitions as many philosophical debates tend to do when argued by people who don't have a complete grasp of the philosophical subject (no offense to anyone here)

    The problem is the concept of G-d (as it tends to be argued by philosophers) is too vague. It's almost impossible to disprove an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient being who can do all and be all at will. There can be legitimate debates between religious practitioners about the nature of gd and whether or not he exists, but philosophers concept is too abstract and vague without any firm grounding. The G-d of the philosophers is different from the G-d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (paraphrasing Blaise Pascal here)

    And I don't see why the question of who created the creator should bother anyone. If scientists don't feel a need to have a creator for the Universe, why should religious people feel a need to have a creator for the creator?
     
  18. Jun 27, 2010 #17

    DaveC426913

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    [Devil's Advocate]
    That is the answer; they weren't copping out. The fact that it's difficult to grasp does not invalidate it as an answer.
    [/Devil's Advocate]


    Foregone conclusion.

    Since the rest of the argument follows from this, the rest of the argument falls apart if this claim is not granted.

    Which it isn't.
     
  19. Jun 27, 2010 #18
    This is my point of view as well.

    Science has never demonstrated that it can explain itself, despite the fact that this is the goal of many theoretical physicists. Science still continues to describe nature in terms of simpler and simpler ideas, but it has never been able to explain it. Believing that this goal is achievable does require faith and there is no proof that it can be achieved.

    There is another issue with atheism that seems to get swept under the rug. That is, it is even more illogical than religion. A religious person has faith, and can not rely on proof of his beliefs. However, he can logically believe that a creator gives the ability to know without proof. In other words, a religious person makes the logical statement that he can know that God exists because God gives this ability. An atheist also has faith that God does not exist, yet there is no outside power or force to give him this conviction. In my view this makes atheistic-faith and religious-faith non-symmetric, and reveals that the atheist is more illogical than the religious person.

    In my view, a scientist that does not see a need to believe in a God, must adopt a more restrained view of agnosticism or some type of "tempered" atheism that does not make an absolute statement that God CAN NOT exist.

    This is of course all my own personal opinion, so I mean no offense to anyone, whether religious or atheist.
     
  20. Jun 27, 2010 #19

    DaveC426913

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    With that logic, how does one avoid the same pitfall about unicorns, ghosts and flying spaghetti monsters?

    One observes and tries to explain what one sees. Evidence for the existence unicorns is just not convincing. I choose to bet money that they don't. That is not "illogical".
     
  21. Jun 27, 2010 #20
    I'm just stating opinion, as I said. I make no claims to be able to be totally logical on this topic, nor to be able to avoid pitfalls. It's a difficult question that has baffled me my whole life. I just don't know, and I know that I just don't know. I do know that I can't just believe in a God without proof and without an inwardly driven faith. I also can't make an absolute statement that God does not exist. So, that's my opinion - simple as that.
     
  22. Jun 27, 2010 #21

    DaveC426913

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    Yes, I didn't mean to sound like I was demanding that you defend your belief.
     
  23. Jun 27, 2010 #22
    No problem, I didn't take it that way at all. It was a valid point you made.

    One thing I always want to be careful about on this topic is to not have a confusion on definitions. What I define to be an "atheist" may not be what someone else defines to be an "atheist". I don't even like to call myself agnostic because although this comes closest to my own viewpoint, I still feel it does not capture my true feelings. There is a spiritual side of me that wants to believe in something beyond this existence, and I almost do believe in it. There is also a scientific side of me that wants us to discover a theory of everything that can explain our complete universe, consciousness and existence. I'm completely schizophrenic in this regard.

    It's funny that as I'm writing this, my wife is sleeping after watching "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory". Now that the movie is over, the television has Pastor Joel Osteen assuring me that God loves me and will always be there for me. Man, I envy him his convictions. He must sleep much better than I.
     
  24. Jun 27, 2010 #23
    I think it's fairly obvious that this is a question that can not be currently answered.
     
  25. Jun 28, 2010 #24
    Well, I can answer this: It's because the concept of God is supposed to solve the question of creation, not move it a step back.


    I'm just generally apathethic on God. I'm almost entirely convinced that if a God exists, he's not JHVH, however, and I find it dubious that a God of that sense would answer to prayer or prefer humans over anyone else.
     
  26. Jun 28, 2010 #25
    I find the notion that there is a supreme being capable of creating a universe and life on it more absurd that the idea that it came to be by chance.

    The answer seems like a total cop out as it just introduces even more complexity to the universe. Not only do we have to understand how some creator managed to create the universe, we have to understand how the hell they came to be?

    The other notion is that the creator having always existed and was always around is easier to believe than the universe was always around and has always existed makes no sense to me either.

    I mean surely believing that the universe goes through an infinite serious of expansions and contractions (repeating big bang over and over) requires no more of a stretch of the imagination than that a creator has always existed?

    If you can believe that a creator has always existed, or that having a creator so complex they can create a universe from nothing, surely you can believe that random chance allowed life to come to be on one planet out of an astronomically large number of planets?

    I personally see the idea that a creator exists as even more complicated and harder to comprehend than the idea that the universe just came to be. It doesn't add simplicity to the problem or question, it just makes it even more complicated and answers nothing.
     
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