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When Rebutting Arguments For the Existence of God

  1. Mar 7, 2005 #1
    I know that the following could sound very ridiculous. But when it comes to the language needed to prove the three invalid, I can't think of any straight way to put it. Can anybody help?

    1) The human body is vastly more complex than a jumbo jet. But we say that 'natural events' [Evolution] led to humans. Well, could natural events lead to a jumbo jet? Could a natural even like a whirlwind sweep through a scrap yard and somehow assemble all the parts for a jumbo ready for take-off? If not, then natural events can neither account for the jumbo jets nor humans.

    2) The Anthropic Argument: From a scientific point of view, any slight changes in any one of the several aspects of the Universe would have made it impossible for us to exist, or even have evolved. If the Earth were even a little closer to the Sun; if the atmosphere were a little thinner; if the Sun were hotter of cooler; if the structure of water were littler different, etc - we would not exist. All these and millions of other conditions need to be met for us to survive or evolve. What is the probability of that happening? Does that prove that we aren't here by pure chance? Has "someone been monkeying with the laws of physics?"

    3) What about God having created the Universe with built-in organizing principles through which all forms of life and non-life developed. So Science is valid but God created science?
     
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  3. Mar 7, 2005 #2

    loseyourname

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    The first two are common arguments that have well known refutations. Michael Martin, in Atheism: A Philosophical Justification, provides detailed refutations of just about every argument for the existence of God that has ever been made. The third hypothesis, however, doesn't actually present an argument. It proposes a possibility and asks the question of whether or not this is possible. Well, sure, it's possible, but what reason is there to think that that is actually the case? No reason has been given.
     
  4. Mar 12, 2005 #3

    Pengwuino

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    I think its impossible to argue for or against a God. It really comes down to the impossible question of "If God doesnt exist, where did everything we know come from". The most common response is "evolution" or chemical changes or what not, but people forget to argue that everything that evolved had to have been created at some point. Every atom had an origin and such and its unfortunately, impossible to argue where it came from because all anti-God responses cant explain for before such events like the big bang and all pro-God responses can explain it but have no proof because God is defined as an all-powerful being capable of the infinite and impossible and not defined by any laws or rules; those of which are hte basis of the anti-God responses.

    Its rather silly to argue what you cant understand.
     
  5. Mar 12, 2005 #4
    Actually I disagree. If God magically existing without creation is a logical explanation of the universe to you than the universe magically existing without God should be equally logical.
     
  6. Mar 12, 2005 #5
    If there was a God, then he's doing his damned best to make sure no one finds out about it.
     
  7. Mar 12, 2005 #6

    selfAdjoint

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    Good one! Couldn't agree more!
     
  8. Mar 12, 2005 #7

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    At another website discussion page I challenged a believer to ask his deity to do a specific thing. The believer refused to do so, claiming that God does His will and (at least implicit in the guy's answer) ignores pleas from believers asking Him to do their will. So from that answer, it would seem the guy believes human wills are trivial and worthless in the sight of God. But when I asked the fellow why God didn't intervene in the 9-11 hijackings to save the passengers, he said it is because God respects human will so much that God won't intervene, since the will of either the non-Muslim passengers or the will of the hijackers would have been violated by God imposing Himself on the situation.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2005
  9. Mar 12, 2005 #8
    i would also recommend the blind watchmaker but there are many others also.
    Not true. More than 150 years ago, Bishop George Berkeley, who denyed the existence of the physical world, gave a very good reason for his God making it seem to him (a lesser, but also "immortal spirit") that the universe he perceive appeared to be rigidly controlled my what we now days would call "the physical laws."According to Berkeley, if violation of physical laws often occurred, than miracles would lose their power to inspire belief etc. Hence, because God wanted people to have faith etc, He made their perception of a physical world very regular, so that when He did "work a miracle" (only in their perceptions still, not in true violation of physical world laws, which for Berkeley did not existent.) these rare miracles would win the faithful to Him. Likewise,God did not make the perception chaotic as if there were no regularity to one's perception, how could one behave responsibily, chose to avoid sin etc.

    My own position on the reality of the physical world were infer fro our perceptual experiences is also an act of faith - I believe the physical world does exist and doubt that Berkley's God does, but I can not prove Berkeley wrong or that the physical world is real. Certainlly it has less claim to being real than my experiences which are my only basis for inferring that the physical world may exist.

    For my answer to where do my experiences come from? (or what causes them if your prefer) see attachment to post one of general Philosophy thread "what price for free will?" - Free will as a posibility that can be consistent with physics is but one of the minor things that falls out of my strange view. The "Out of Africa" event is another, Why phantom limbs seem as real as the not amputated ones, another, halucinations in conflict with retinal images, still another, and dozens of other things that are essentailly impossible to explain with the standard cognitive scientist's view of how perception works. That is, one simple modification of the standard view of how humans perceive, has "great explanatory power." It is a four page read in part because it gives three independent proofs that the standard view is wrong as well as develop the idea with illustrations of these and other applications - I think well worth the read, if you are open to a "paradigm shifting" idea, but I am of course biased.
     
  10. Mar 13, 2005 #9

    loseyourname

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    Great book, but it's only useful for debunking the teleological argument, or argument from design, of William Paley.

    There is really no basis for Berkeley to say any of this. I'm aware of why he developed his position of idealism in the first place, and he actually has a decent argumentative ground for that, but this reconciliation with his faith is ad hoc as are most reconciliations of metaphysical hypotheses with faith. If physical laws were violated only in instances of miracles, nothing would appear any different to anybody. From the point of view of human psychology, the effect would be exactly the same whether there really was a physical world or if it was all illusory.

    My main point of contention, however, is that the author of the thread only posted this:

    3) What about God having created the Universe with built-in organizing principles through which all forms of life and non-life developed. So Science is valid but God created science?

    This is the deist hypothesis, that there is a physical world that is completely determined by natural laws, but that the natural laws were put in place by a creator. There is no reason, in those two sentences, given to believe that natural laws must have been drafted by a supernatural legislator. Such a belief is anthropomorphic nonsense.


    Phantom limbs and hallucinations are not impossible to explain with our current science. What gives you that impression?
     
  11. Mar 13, 2005 #10

    Considering that most of the people in the world believe in god in some form or another, I'm not sure who you're referring to when you say "no one". The problem is that you can't know God the same way you have been raised to know everything else. Some people can deal with that and some cannot.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2005
  12. Mar 13, 2005 #11

    This blatantly false. There are many, millions, who have found God. Maybe "no one" is looking in the wrong place.
     
  13. Mar 14, 2005 #12
    Wow. I don't know where to begin; or whether I should acknowledge that at all.
     
  14. Mar 14, 2005 #13
    One way to begin is to admit that you made an unsupported, possibly, probably, false blanket statement of which you have no knowledge or experience and then start over speaking for yourself, your opinions and beliefs. You might also try looking inside yourself. You may be surprised with what you may find there.
     
  15. Mar 14, 2005 #14
    On the contrary, my statement is backed up by the lack of any physical evidence concerning the existence of a god or gods. "No one finds out about it" is a metaphor for this lack of proof. If we assume that a god or gods exist, we may interpret this lack of evidence as its or their doing. The statement, of course, was satirical and sarcastic. I should not even have to explain this, as it is very simple to understand for most people.
     
  16. Mar 14, 2005 #15

    selfAdjoint

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    Royce thinks that because Royce has "found God" in some internal way or other, that's evidence for God. It's not; it's evidence of the way the mind behaves. I too once "found God"; it took me years to find out it was just a figment of my imagination.
     
  17. Mar 14, 2005 #16

    saltydog

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    Yea, I know what you mean, "found it in their hearts". But that's not what it sounds like. Really, no one has found God and no one will because it's just not there.
     
  18. Mar 14, 2005 #17
    Should'nt a workable definition of god be agreed upon first? Does the absence of evidence signal an evidence of absence, or only constrain the . . . type of god we can reasonably consider to exist?
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2005
  19. Mar 14, 2005 #18
    From Webster's:

    1 capitalized : the supreme or ultimate reality: as a : the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshiped as creator and ruler of the universe b Christian Science : the incorporeal divine Principle ruling over all as eternal Spirit : infinite Mind
     
  20. Mar 14, 2005 #19
    From Webster's:

    1 capitalized : the supreme or ultimate reality.

    Thats the only one I would truly agree with. The others seem more like wishful thinking.

    Wow, that was fast.
     
  21. Mar 14, 2005 #20
    A wirlwind can't be compared to evolution, simply because in a storm, there is no factor of selection. To follow the analogy, there is nothing to destroy those pieces that come together and don't form a jumbo jet. You're comparing an inanimate object to something that interacts with it's environment (a lifeform).

    As for this argument, little do creationists realize that it's in fact an argument against the existance of a god or external force.

    Out of the many known planets, how many can support life as we see on earth? Just one. If every single planet known had intelligent life, complex bacterial and animal life and/or vegetation in some form or another, then your argument would have some validity.

    Is life on earth a result of chance? Well that depends on what your definition of chance is. Simple organisms have evolved into complex organisms simply because it was the logical progression on things.
     
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