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Atheists & Agnostics: Why Don't You Believe The Bible?


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#181 drwho

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 07:05 PM

I am curious what you mean, specifically, how does "modern society" percieve morality and ethics? I would say that there are multiple ways that people determine what is moral and what is ethical when they reject God's standard.


Indeed, there are many nuances at play here. I was mearly suggesting that in different societies, something of a "culture" develops regarding morals or ethics, and on several issues, most people in a given society can more or less agree on what they consider moral and ethical.

To expand on this, I understand that people perceive morality and ethics differently. On some issues, opinions may differ slightly if at all. On other issues, there may be a more disparate range of outlooks. Most of us choose to live in a society with other people, which means that we're pretty much forced to interact with one another to some extent. So what tends to happen is we try to find some way to settle on a set of standards that we can all live by (we derive rules and regulations. We create laws and punishments for breaking them).
Over time, through trial and error, discussion and debate, opinions change and with it comes changes in how and what laws are enforced. This in turn, influences peoples' opinions on morals and ethics, which in turn, goes back in to modifying societal laws, etc. etc. (That's not to say that all our opinions of morality and ethics are derived from society, however)

In my view, modern Western society tends to look unfavourably towards lots of things that it didn't at one time or another. Where slavery was once accepted, it is now accepted as being unethical. While forcing prisoners and slaves to battle to the death for the entertainment of the public was once a form of entertainment in Rome, it is now unfathomable. For this reason, I think you can make some distinction (as vague as it might be) between the overal moral perceptions of different societies.

#182 drwho

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 08:22 PM

Drwho,

I will let you and JS dialogue on this. I want to stay on point—the point being that the existence of a theistic God is the foundation of Christian theology. I contend that if the God of traditional Christian theism does not exist, then logically my evangelical theology crumbles. But I can prove He exists because of the impossibility of any alternative atheism can offer.

As we progress, I will show that if the Christian God does not exist, then you nor I nor anything can exist.


Drwho, with respect also, atheists have much difficulty explaining how our universe came into existence. Theorizing the existence of another universe or a “multi-verse” does not solve the atheist’s conundrum. Each time another universe is added, the conundrum presented by the First and Second Laws is still there. But thank you for your forthright, honest answer. If I’m reading you correctly, you are an atheist/materialist, i.e., in your worldview only matter and energy exist.

No scientific theory exists that explains the origin of space, time, or matter. Because each is intimately related to or defined in terms of the other, a satisfactory explanation for the origin of one must also explain the origin of the others. To date, all naturalistic explanations have failed. As an example, for matter to exist, you must first have energy. But you can’t have energy without matter.

You posited: “Although, I don't think that anyone can begin to speculate on the existence of things beyond what is quantifiable or mathematically derivable.” Here you speculated. Is your speculation and conclusion here “quantifiable or mathematically derivable”?



Again, let’s let the truthfulness of God’s word go for now. Unless you believe He exists, I would not logically expect you accept His word.



How refreshing! I seldom get this answer from atheists. But, Drwho, I must ask you to do some self-examination. Are you ruling out the possibility of a supernatural Being existing before you start your quest for the truth? When it comes to the origin of the universe, atheists have no materialistic explanation. So instead of assuming an agent-causation (such as God), they automatically insert a gap. And they immediately argue, “What! So Goddidit?” The theistic answer of an Agent causing the universe is immediately dismissed out of hand. Atheists refuse to admit that the gap has been plugged by the theist with an adequate explanation because of their belief that since only matter exists, there has to be a materialistic explanation.
If we carefully consider this reasoning, it turns out to be circular: There has to be a gap because they have no materialistic explanation. There has to be a materialistic explanation because naturalism is true. But since it’s naturalism itself which is at issue in the discussion, when atheists assume there is a gap—because they have no materialistic explanation—they are assuming that which needs to be proved.

Recently, one of our military drones crashed in Iran. The Iranians promised to “reverse engineer” it and build an exact duplicate. I pray that before they start, they imitate atheists and rule out the possibility of an aeronautical engineer having designed it.

So, before we start our quest, are you dismissing, a priori, the possibility of the existence of God?


The First Law states that the total energy in the universe, or in any isolated part of it, remains constant. It further states that although energy (or its mass equivalent) can change form, it is not now being created (brought into existence out of nothing) or destroyed (taken out of existence). Countless experiments have verified this. A corollary of the First Law is that natural processes can’t create (bring into existence from nothing) new energy. Consequently, energy must have been created (brought into existence from nothing) in the past by some Agency or Power or Being outside and independent of the natural universe. Furthermore, this Agency, Power, or Being had to have always existed prior to the universe.



Drwho, I have a Christian theist’s worldview. I will define a worldview: a set of presuppositions we use to interpret the reality we encounter. Everyone has a worldview, but not all worldviews are logical. The Foundation for my worldview is God and His word (special revelation). As we proceed, we will see whose worldview correctly explains and justifies what we encounter in reality—yours or mine.

Yes, not surprisingly, I refer to Genesis: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). I’m presenting to you a scientific argument using the First and Second Laws—two of the most tested and proven laws of science we have yet discovered. Using these laws, I am showing you that what we encounter in reality comports with what God says in Genesis: “And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done” (Gen. 2:2). No new matter or energy is coming into existence. Does this not comport with what God says in His word?

“Correct me if I'm wrong, but It kind of looks like you're attempting to derive an explanation by excluding other explanations rather than by using supporting evidence to arrive at your conclusion that god is NOT the explanation.”



Drwho, I am going to allow you to retract your argument that nothing can produce something. And I will imitate Jesus and answer your question with a question: Why are you excluding God in lieu of nothing producing something?



I want to clear up first your conundrum of the first and second laws.

The universe could not have created itself from nothing (First Law). Will you admit to this simple truth?

The universe could not have always been here (Second Law). Will you agree to this simple truth?

If the universe could not have created itself from nothing and it could not have always been here, then, by necessity, it had to have been created (brought into existence) by a Being or Power that is prior to and outside of the universe. If you disagree with this logical argument, please present an alternative explanation of how the universe came to be?

TeeJay


I guess before I proceed, I should clarify my position regarding the existence of the universe and whether or not god is a possible explanation.
My position is that I don't know why the universe exists, whether or not it always existed, or how it came to exist if it didn't always exist. I think that this means that there are an endless number of potential explanations, possibly many of which I can't fathom or conceive of. One of these must be the correct explanation. It's as though we are playing a lottery. You ask me what the winning numbers are. I say "I don't know, there are many possibilities." You insist that the winning numbers are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. I would say that you could be right, but I don't know. I would add that since there are many more alternative possibilities, that unless you have evidence to support your guess, then it is more likely to be something other than what you guess.

Likewise,I think one of these potential explanations regarding the unvierse is god; one out of an endless number of potential explanations. So in a similar fashion, unless you have evidence to support your position, I think that it is more likely to be one of the other billion or so potential explanations.

What I'm saying is that I don't think it is appropriate to pick one of these explanations arbitrarily. I that if you don't know the answer to something, you shouldn't just pick some default explanation. If you notice, throughout history, deities have commonly been used as a default explanation for things that there was once no alternative explanation for. Volcano eruptios, lightning, plague, the rising and setting of the sun -- when there was no scientific explanation for these things, people always said, "well it must be god, then." History has shown that this isn't good practice, because there has always been a natural explanation that is not god.

So that's why I don't employ the "god of the gaps" whenever there is some unanswered question. That's why I don't employ anything of the gaps... because without evidence, no explanation is any more credible than any other. Thus I reserve my opinions on the matter until evidence for some explanation is made available.

Consequently, energy must have been created (brought into existence from nothing)

1. But why couldn't this energy have always existed? (Were you saying that the second law prevents this? As I mentioned in my earlier post, also below, I don't understand what the second law has to do with this)
2. Also, why is it impossible for the universe exist in a zero-energy state, where positive energy is balanced out by some negative energy? This would be consistent with the first law and not require an external agent, right?
3. Why can't there be an external agency that doesen't conform to the laws of the observable universe but is not a sentient deity?

I want to clear up first your conundrum of the first and second laws.

My question concerning quantum fluctuations was actually concerning the first law. Don't quantum fluctuations appear to violate the first law as you understand it?

The universe could not have always been here (Second Law). Will you agree to this simple truth?

The second law just states that overall entropy of a closed system usually increases, right? How does this lead you to reason that "the universe could not have always been here"?? Can you please lead me through your thought process on this? I don't understand how you're getting from point A to point B.

Thanks.

#183 Teejay

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 08:35 AM

I guess before I proceed, I should clarify my position regarding the existence of the universe and whether or not god is a possible explanation.
My position is that I don't know why the universe exists, whether or not it always existed, or how it came to exist if it didn't always exist. I think that this means that there are an endless number of potential explanations, possibly many of which I can't fathom or conceive of. One of these must be the correct explanation. It's as though we are playing a lottery. You ask me what the winning numbers are. I say "I don't know, there are many possibilities." You insist that the winning numbers are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. I would say that you could be right, but I don't know. I would add that since there are many more alternative possibilities, that unless you have evidence to support your guess, then it is more likely to be something other than what you guess.


Drwho,

Why the universe exists? It exists because God brought it into existence for you and me (Genesis). As I wrote previously, it’s whose worldview best comports with and justifies what we encounter in reality. In reality, you, I, and the universe exist. If there was not a Creator God who always existed, then nothing could exist now. You owe your existence to your parents. Your parents owe their existence to their parents and so. It matters not how far back we go, each person is a contingent being—contingent meaning owing existence to another being. Eventually, for anyone or anything to exist, we must encounter a Being Who is not contingent. This non-contingent Being had to have always existed, for even God can’t bring Himself into existence if He does not first exist. This non-contingent Being could not ever cease to exist, for if He did cease, then He could not bring Himself back into existence.

There are not an “endless number of explanations,” and I am presenting you with evidence and arguments that make it easy for you to choose. The Second Law states that energy or matter can’t be created; what’s here is here. No new matters or energy is coming into existence. And you can’t have energy without matter nor matter without energy. Both had to come into existence simultaneously. My simple definition of the First Law is that a rock can’t create itself from nothing. The Second Law states, simply put, a fire can’t burn forever. This universe is on fire, and the useable energy is ever decreasing.

Drwho, think of this universe as your car and gas as energy. It’s brand new and you get in it and the tank is full. You drive off from the dealer and all is working perfectly. But as you drive, you notice that the gas in the tank decreases. You logically assume that someone must have filled the tank, for the gas is finite and could not have always been there. Also you notice over time that the Second Law has another inevitable result—entropy. The car becomes less ordered and starts to return to the dust of the earth (Gen. 3:18). Now to stave off this entropy, you have to expend more energy—wax, paint, maintenance, mechanical work on your part. But eventually, the car will return to the dust of the earth, for we are living in a cursed world because of the Fall (Genesis). Unless you refill the tank, it will stop running. You can discern a few things from this scenario: The car could not have always been here (Second Law), and you know for sure that it could not have created itself from nothing (First Law). Right? Notice here that there are not an “endless number of explanations.”

Likewise,I think one of these potential explanations regarding the universe is god; one out of an endless number of potential explanations. So in a similar fashion, unless you have evidence to support your position, I think that it is more likely to be one of the other billion or so potential explanations.


I do not accept your proposition that God is “one out of an endless number of potential explanations.” And I am not asking you for a billion; I want just “one” reasonable explanation. And I can give you tons of evidence for His existence which I will present to you if and when you accept the “evidence” you now claim I am not presenting. I will repeat:

First Law: The universe could not have created itself from nothing.
Second Law: The universe could not have always been here.
If it could not have created itself and it could not have always been here, then, by necessity and logic, it had to have been brought into existence by a Force that existed outside and prior to the universe coming into existence. Do you have (not a billion or endless) one explanation other than mine?

Drwho, at this point in our dialogue, I am not asking you to accept your Creator God or the Christian Jesus. I am simply asking you to admit that the universe could not have created itself and it could not have always been here. Will you at least admit to these two simple truths?

What I'm saying is that I don't think it is appropriate to pick one of these explanations arbitrarily. I that if you don't know the answer to something, you shouldn't just pick some default explanation. If you notice, throughout history, deities have commonly been used as a default explanation for things that there was once no alternative explanation for. Volcano eruptios, lightning, plague, the rising and setting of the sun -- when there was no scientific explanation for these things, people always said, "well it must be god, then." History has shown that this isn't good practice, because there has always been a natural explanation that is not god.


French philosopher Descartes is remembered for his proposition, “I think, therefore I am.” Sadly, we have evolved where we posit, “I doubt, therefore I am intelligent.” There are even bumper-stickers with, “Be skeptical of everything.” I’m always tempted to chase these people and confront them with: “Why aren’t you skeptical of being skeptical of everything?” I know I would get a deer-in-the-headlights look. The God of Abraham does not expect us to accept Him with blind faith. But Joseph Smith, Mohammed, et.al. do. Jesus warned, “If I bear witness of Myself, don’t believe Me” (John 5:31). As I said, and I will prove, what we encounter in reality comports with and is justified by God and His word.

I must point out that so far in our dialogue, you have been “arbitrarily” dismissing any explanation for the existence of God. If our belief is arbitrary, this means that we have no reason to believe it. As to the rest of your argument, it may surprise you to learn that modern science, as we know it today, was birthed in Christianized Europe. And a Google check will reveal that all of the fathers of the sciences were Christian—from Pasteur to Newton. But I want to stay on point. We can discuss this further when we settle the dilemma you’re presently in. This is not a “default” dilemma; it’s an either/or: A. The universe created itself from nothing (refuted by First Law) OR B. It has always been here (refuted by Second Law) OR C. It was brought into existence by a Force that is anterior and prior to it coming into existence. So, you either accept C or “contort” and reject C.

So that's why I don't employ the "god of the gaps" whenever there is some unanswered question. That's why I don't employ anything of the gaps... because without evidence, no explanation is any more credible than any other. Thus I reserve my opinions on the matter until evidence for some explanation is made available.


I am presenting you with truthful evidence and argument—to which you have yet to respond. I submit you are “suppressing the truth in unrighteousness.” See Romans 1:18-22.


1. But why couldn't this energy have always existed? (Were you saying that the second law prevents this? As I mentioned in my earlier post, also below, I don't understand what the second law has to do with this)


Now you’re “contorting” to avoid obvious truth. To avoid even the possibility of God, you posit an illogical impossibility—that energy can be eternal. I must ask you: have you ever seen energy exist with the absence of matter? Why don’t you understand what the Second Law has to do with it? Will a fire burn forever?

2. Also, why is it impossible for the universe to exist in a zero-energy state, where positive energy is balanced out by some negative energy? This would be consistent with the first law and not require an external agent, right?


Answer: Because energy can’t be created or destroyed. To get energy, matter must be consumed. When matter is consumed (burn coal for example to create steam) some of the heat is always lost never to be useable again. So, eventually, all the useable energy in the universe will be used up and we will have total entropy (complete disorder). This argument shows that at one time, Someone had to have originally filled the tank and ordered the universe. Thus, the universe could not have always been here. The scenario you describe will not happen in that there will be no positive (useable) energy. Google Times Arrow.

3. Why can't there be an external agency that doesn't conform to the laws of the observable universe but is not a sentient deity?


Because you are a sentient being. You can’t get sentience from non-scentience. The effect can’t be greater than the cause. And sentience (self-awareness) is non-physical. The physical can’t give you that which is not physical. Why are you endeavoring to believe the implausible rather than consider the plausible? At some point, you must be skeptical of your skepticism.


My question concerning quantum fluctuations was actually concerning the first law. Don't quantum fluctuations appear to violate the first law as you understand it?



They “appear to” but they don’t. Quantum fluctuations creating matter is the latest theory from atheist theoretical scientist Lawrence Krauss to explain why God is not necessary. Working mostly in theoretical (as opposed to experimental) physics, he has published research on a great variety of topics within that field. His primary contribution is to cosmology, as he was one of the first physicists to suggest that most of the mass and energy of the universe resides in empty space, an idea now widely known as dark energy. There have been many of these theories: The Steady State Theory (or Continuous Creation Theory) has been abandoned by its former advocates. The Big Bang Theory is also being abandoned because too many problems have been encountered. So, now we have the Quantum Fluctuation Theory. But with my HS education, I would ask Dr. Krauss WHY there is energy, mass, and space in the first place? There is the amusing story of the scientist who says to God, “I’ve figured out how to make a man in my lab.” God says, “Show Me.” The scientist proceeds to show God: “Well first you get some dirt…” God stops him with, “Get your own dirt.”

On the website Rationally Speaking (http://rationallyspeaking.blogspot.com/2012/04/lawrence-krauss-another-physicist-with.html) there is an article by Massimo Pigliucci He refers to an interview of Dr. Lawrence Krauss with a reporter (Andersen) from the Atlantic. An interesting excerpt from this article:

Finally, on the issue of whether Albert the ‘moronic’ philosopher has a point in criticizing Krauss’ book, Andersen points out: “it sounds like you’re arguing that ‘nothing’ is really a quantum vacuum, and that a quantum vacuum is unstable in such a way as to make the production of matter and space inevitable. But a quantum vacuum has properties. For one, it is subject to the equations of quantum field theory. Why should we think of it as nothing?” Maybe it was just me, but at this point in my mind’s eye I saw Krauss engaging in a more and more frantic exercise of hand-waving, retracting and qualifying: ‘I don’t think I argued that physics has definitively shown how something could come from nothing [so why the book’s title?]; physics has shown how plausible physical mechanisms might [MIGHT?] cause this to happen. ... I don’t really give a damn about what ‘nothing’ means to philosophers; I care about the ‘nothing’ of reality. And if the ‘nothing’ of reality is full of stuff [a nothing full of stuff? Fascinating], then I’ll go with that.’

“But, insists Andersen, ‘when I read the title of your book, I read it as “questions about origins are over.”’ To which Krauss responds: ‘Well, if that hook gets you into the book that’s great. But in all seriousness, I never make that claim. ... If I’d just titled the book “A Marvelous Universe,” not as many people would have been attracted to it.’

“In all seriousness, Prof. Krauss, you ought (moral) to take your own advice and be honest with your readers. Claim what you wish to claim, not what you think is going to sell more copies of your book, essentially playing a bait and switch with your readers, and then bitterly complain when “moronic” philosophers dare to point that out.”

The second law just states that overall entropy of a closed system usually increases, right? How does this lead you to reason that "the universe could not have always been here"?? Can you please lead me through your thought process on this? I don't understand how you're getting from point A to point B.


Recall the scenario I gave with you and your new car. If after you drove 200 miles, would you assume that the gas in your tank was always there (eternal)? If the universe was always here, the second law would dictate that the whole of the universe would have died the Heat Death. All useable energy would have been expended and the temperature throughout the universe would be the same.

TeeJay


#184 Teejay

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 09:09 AM

[quote] name='drwho' timestamp='1347415540' post='85681']
Indeed, there are many nuances at play here. I was mearly suggesting that in different societies, something of a "culture" develops regarding morals or ethics, and on several issues, most people in a given society can more or less agree on what they consider moral and ethical.

To expand on this, I understand that people perceive morality and ethics differently. On some issues, opinions may differ slightly if at all. On other issues, there may be a more disparate range of outlooks. Most of us choose to live in a society with other people, which means that we're pretty much forced to interact with one another to some extent. So what tends to happen is we try to find some way to settle on a set of standards that we can all live by (we derive rules and regulations. We create laws and punishments for breaking them).
Over time, through trial and error, discussion and debate, opinions change and with it comes changes in how and what laws are enforced. This in turn, influences peoples' opinions on morals and ethics, which in turn, goes back in to modifying societal laws, etc. etc. (That's not to say that all our opinions of morality and ethics are derived from society, however)

In my view, modern Western society tends to look unfavourably towards lots of things that it didn't at one time or another. Where slavery was once accepted, it is now accepted as being unethical. While forcing prisoners and slaves to battle to the death for the entertainment of the public was once a form of entertainment in Rome, it is now unfathomable. For this reason, I think you can make some distinction (as vague as it might be) between the overal moral perceptions of different societies.
[/quote]

Drwho, I don't want to get in the middle of your dialogue wiht JS, but until you and I progress to this morality delimma, I want to give you something to think about. At this point, you need not respond.

Moral inconsistency is an absolute determinant for wrong. (As an example, we all like to do business with a man who always keeps his word.) Truth is non-contradictory; it can't include any falsehoods. Thus, something can't be true and false at the same time and in the same way. For example, it can't be true that I'm posting this to you and also true that I am not posting this to you at the same time in the same way. This is called the Law of Non-contridiction and it can't be violated.

Morality is likewise non-contradictory, in that some particular action or behavior can't be both moral and immoral at the same time in the same way. Embracing opposing sides of a moral issue at the same time means to be immoral. (Who wants to do business with a man who is honest on Monday but dishonest on Tuesday?)

Thus, as truth can't include falsehoods, so too, morality can't include immorality. Any view that permits truth or morality to be founded on arbitrariness fails. And this is the cardinal difficulty atheism encounters when trying to justify morality of any sort. Lacking a Moral Prescriber in authority above man, atheistic morality is forced into a subjective positon or, "What's right for you is not right for me." The ultimate result of the atheist worldview is that, even truth and logic becomes subjective (or relative): "What's true for you is not true for me." or "What's logical for you is not logical for me." But I submit that the atheist can't really live in this make-believe relativistic worldview.

Just something to consider, TeeJay

#185 drwho

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 05:16 PM

Now you’re “contorting” to avoid obvious truth. To avoid even the possibility of God, you posit an illogical impossibility—that energy can be eternal. I must ask you: have you ever seen energy exist with the absence of matter? Why don’t you understand what the Second Law has to do with it? Will a fire burn forever?



What was I contorting, exactly? I just asked you to expand on a previous point you had made that I didn't understand.
I'm getting the impression that you think that energy is a physical "object." I note that you seem to refer to it as a physical thing that needs to be made in order to exist. Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you're saying, but I'd like to point out here that energy isn't an object. It is the potential or ability of a system to act on another system.




Answer: Because energy can’t be created or destroyed. To get energy, matter must be consumed. When matter is consumed (burn coal for example to create steam) some of the heat is always lost never to be useable again. So, eventually, all the useable energy in the universe will be used up and we will have total entropy (complete disorder). This argument shows that at one time, Someone had to have originally filled the tank and ordered the universe. Thus, the universe could not have always been here. The scenario you describe will not happen in that there will be no positive (useable) energy. Google Times Arrow.


I don't think this answers my question. I asked you about a "zero-energy universe," but you gave an answer about entropy, which I don't feel really addresses the issue.


Because you are a sentient being. You can’t get sentience from non-scentience. The effect can’t be greater than the cause. And sentience (self-awareness) is non-physical. The physical can’t give you that which is not physical.


How do you know any of this? What evidence or observations are you basing these statements on?

They “appear to” but they don’t. Quantum fluctuations creating matter is the latest theory from atheist theoretical scientist Lawrence Krauss to explain why God is not necessary. Working mostly in theoretical (as opposed to experimental) physics, he has published research on a great variety of topics within that field. His primary contribution is to cosmology, as he was one of the first physicists to suggest that most of the mass and energy of the universe resides in empty space, an idea now widely known as dark energy. There have been many of these theories: The Steady State Theory (or Continuous Creation Theory) has been abandoned by its former advocates. The Big Bang Theory is also being abandoned because too many problems have been encountered. So, now we have the Quantum Fluctuation Theory.

But with my HS education, I would ask Dr. Krauss WHY there is energy, mass, and space in the first place? There is the amusing story of the scientist who says to God, “I’ve figured out how to make a man in my lab.” God says, “Show Me.” The scientist proceeds to show God: “Well first you get some dirt…” God stops him with, “Get your own dirt.”

On the website Rationally Speaking (http://rationallyspeaking.blogspot.com/2012/04/lawrence-krauss-another-physicist-with.html) there is an article by Massimo Pigliucci He refers to an interview of Dr. Lawrence Krauss with a reporter (Andersen) from the Atlantic. An interesting excerpt from this article:

Finally, on the issue of whether Albert the ‘moronic’ philosopher has a point in criticizing Krauss’ book, Andersen points out: “it sounds like you’re arguing that ‘nothing’ is really a quantum vacuum, and that a quantum vacuum is unstable in such a way as to make the production of matter and space inevitable. But a quantum vacuum has properties. For one, it is subject to the equations of quantum field theory. Why should we think of it as nothing?” Maybe it was just me, but at this point in my mind’s eye I saw Krauss engaging in a more and more frantic exercise of hand-waving, retracting and qualifying: ‘I don’t think I argued that physics has definitively shown how something could come from nothing [so why the book’s title?]; physics has shown how plausible physical mechanisms might [MIGHT?] cause this to happen. ... I don’t really give a damn about what ‘nothing’ means to philosophers; I care about the ‘nothing’ of reality. And if the ‘nothing’ of reality is full of stuff [a nothing full of stuff? Fascinating], then I’ll go with that.’

“But, insists Andersen, ‘when I read the title of your book, I read it as “questions about origins are over.”’ To which Krauss responds: ‘Well, if that hook gets you into the book that’s great. But in all seriousness, I never make that claim. ... If I’d just titled the book “A Marvelous Universe,” not as many people would have been attracted to it.’

“In all seriousness, Prof. Krauss, you ought (moral) to take your own advice and be honest with your readers. Claim what you wish to claim, not what you think is going to sell more copies of your book, essentially playing a bait and switch with your readers, and then bitterly complain when “moronic” philosophers dare to point that out.”



Teejay, I'm not really sure what point you're trying to make here about the issue of quantum fluctuations. To me it appears that you're focusing on trying to discredit (in your eyes) one renegade physicist who is proposing and idea that is dismissed by everyone else. (In reality, I don't think it's just Lawrence Krauss, as the concept has been around since before he was born. It's just an established concept in physics. Lawrence Krauss just discusses what is already in the literature).
Do you have anything to say about the issue of quantum fluctuations or why you think they don't occur? Based on your answer actually, I'm not even positive of your position on them. Do you think that the math behind it is incorrect or do you think that they occur, but did not contribute to inflation?


Recall the scenario I gave with you and your new car. If after you drove 200 miles, would you assume that the gas in your tank was always there (eternal)?


No. Cars are made, and gasoline is derived from petrolium, which is obtained from beneath the surface of the Earth. For such reasons, the gas in my tank couldn't have always been there. I don't see why this is an analogy for how the universe formed, though. While we know where the parts in the car and gas tank came from, we have no such knowledge of anything before the expansion of the observable universe.

If the universe was always here, the second law would dictate that the whole of the universe would have died the Heat Death. All useable energy would have been expended and the temperature throughout the universe would be the same.


Only if you ignore the inflation of the universe from a low entropy state 13.7 billion years ago and if you dismiss things like the big bang theory, or M-theory, loop quantum gravity, fluctuation theorem, or the big bounce and only start with the assumption that everything needs to be set up from a starting point. But I don't see any good reason to pretty much ignore large chunks of physics, and I can't justify starting with that assuption.

#186 Teejay

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 08:47 PM

Drwho,

I spent much time and energy answering your posts; yet you refuse to answer mine. I really don't have time to dialogue with you further. Some examples of your irrationality: You posit that energy is not physical. If you believe that, I can't help you.

In response to your quantum fluctuation, I presented you with one of the most primier theoretical scientists in the world on this subject, and I showed him admitting that matter can't come from nothing. By the way, Lawrence Krauss is Canadian, with several degrees; yet you label him a "renegrade physicist."


You asked how your are contorting: "Only if you ignore the inflation of the universe from a low entropy state 13.7 billion years ago and if you dismiss things like the big bang theory, or M-theory, loop quantum gravity, fluctuation theorem, or the big bounce and only start with the assumption that everything needs to be set up from a starting point. But I don't see any good reason to pretty much ignore large chunks of physics, and I can't justify starting with that assuption."

I have presented scientific evidence that is observable and testable in the here and now--first and second laws. To date, no scientist has observed a violation of these two laws. To refute this irrefragable evidence, you contort and offer untested and unproven theories in unobservable space and time. As Jack said, "You can't handle the truth."

I will ask again: A. The universe could not have created itself (first law). B. It could not have always been here (second law). Will you agree with these simple truths?

If not, then I have no more time for you.


TeeJay

#187 drwho

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 03:02 PM

Drwho,

I spent much time and energy answering your posts; yet you refuse to answer mine. I really don't have time to dialogue with you further. Some examples of your irrationality: You posit that energy is not physical. If you believe that, I can't help you.

In response to your quantum fluctuation, I presented you with one of the most primier theoretical scientists in the world on this subject, and I showed him admitting that matter can't come from nothing. By the way, Lawrence Krauss is Canadian, with several degrees; yet you label him a "renegrade physicist."


You asked how your are contorting: "Only if you ignore the inflation of the universe from a low entropy state 13.7 billion years ago and if you dismiss things like the big bang theory, or M-theory, loop quantum gravity, fluctuation theorem, or the big bounce and only start with the assumption that everything needs to be set up from a starting point. But I don't see any good reason to pretty much ignore large chunks of physics, and I can't justify starting with that assuption."

I have presented scientific evidence that is observable and testable in the here and now--first and second laws. To date, no scientist has observed a violation of these two laws. To refute this irrefragable evidence, you contort and offer untested and unproven theories in unobservable space and time. As Jack said, "You can't handle the truth."

I will ask again: A. The universe could not have created itself (first law). B. It could not have always been here (second law). Will you agree with these simple truths?

If not, then I have no more time for you.


TeeJay


I appreciate the time you've invested here. But I think we can both agree that this conversation is not helping either of us see eye to eye.

First, to clarify one issue, I didn't say that I think Lawrence Krauss is a "renegade physicist." I said that this was my impression of what you thought of him. Evidently, I misunderstood you, so I apologize if that is the case.

To answer your question: I have raised several concerns with your assertion that those two statements are corrolaries of the first two laws of thermodynamics. I was hoping you could address these, but as I mentioned in my previous reply, I don't believe you've done so, but rather, brushed them aside and reiterated your initial position.
Consequetnly based on what you've presented as your reasoning in response to the concerns I've raised, I still believe that these conclusions have been derived erroneously.

If you feel can can more directly address my concerns, I will read what you have to say.
If not, thanks again for your time,
Cheers

#188 jonas5877

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 05:22 AM

As Christians, we believe that the bible is the word of God. We have no doubts of this, we believe it 100%.

My questions to the atheists and agnostics would be:

Why don't you believe the bible?

By "believe the bible", I assume you mean believe that it accurately represents what God wants of us. Several problems I have are contradictions, absurdities, obviously incorrect statements, and anachronistic references.

Have you read it?

Yes, quite a few times.

Do you know its history? (i.e. written over a 1500 year time span)

I know some of its history. The 1500-year time span is contradicted by evidence of anachronistic location references in the early books. There are old manuscripts that don't have some of the passages that are in the current Bible and even some old manuscripts that have passages inserted into the script which are now in our version.

What was the purpose of the men who wrote the bible?

I don't know, exactly. For some it was probably to record their view of history. For others, it was written to secure or shore up their political power by making it look like God was on their side.
What do you think was their purpose?

Do you acknowledge or deny the fact that there are 100s of 1000s of prophecies in the bible, many which have come to true with great accuracy?
I suppose I could go on and on with questions, but I guess this will do for a start. Look forward to seeing your responses. Posted Image


Since no one I have asked has ever produced significant evidence of a fullfilled prophecy, I will go with "deny".
Strong evidence of a fullfilled prophecy or a miracle would go far toward changing my opinion of the

#189 MarkForbes

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 09:36 AM

Atheists & Agnostics: Why Don't You Believe The Bible?

That should first read Atheists & Agnostics: Why Don't You Believe that there is a God.
After that question is resolved one can take it one step further.

#190 jonas5877

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 06:20 AM

That should first read Atheists & Agnostics: Why Don't You Believe that there is a God.
After that question is resolved one can take it one step further.

Since the Bible is considered by most Christians to be significant evidence that there is a Christian God, evaluation of its veracity would be of paramount importance to those considering a belief in that God.

If the decision to follow Jesus is the most important decision that a person can make, shouldn't it be more deeply investigated than the television, or car you are about to buy? Shouldn't there be more evidence than a semi-enigmatic book and the fact that your parents, your preacher and the man shouting on the street corner believe in Him?

#191 usafjay1976

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 01:17 PM

jonas5877,

By "believe the bible", I assume you mean believe that it accurately represents what God wants of us. Several problems I have are contradictions, absurdities, obviously incorrect statements, and anachronistic references.


Give me some examples of these contradictions, absurdities, obviously incorrect statements, and anachronistic references and we can discuss them.

I don't know, exactly. For some it was probably to record their view of history. For others, it was written to secure or shore up their political power by making it look like God was on their side.
What do you think was their purpose?


For someone that has read it several times, you seem to have missed the New Testament which is primarily about Christ and his birth, death, and ressurection. That's the meat and potatos of it. Below is an article that sums up some information on why the bible was written. Scroll down to the part that says 'why the bible was written'


http://www.truthmaga.../GOT036071.html



Look forward to your responses. Cheers.

Jason

#192 MarkForbes

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 08:18 AM

Since the Bible is considered by most Christians to be significant evidence that there is a Christian God, evaluation of its veracity would be of paramount importance to those considering a belief in that God.

That maybe so, but there is other evidence independent from the bible one ought to consider first.

If the decision to follow Jesus is the most important decision that a person can make, shouldn't it be more deeply investigated than the television, or car you are about to buy? Shouldn't there be more evidence than a semi-enigmatic book and the fact that your parents, your preacher and the man shouting on the street corner believe in Him?

There should! And one really should consider all the evidence first. Some of the evidence is however actually personal, not verifiable for a person different from the person confronted with it. Revealed knowledge is something more related to introspection and intuition.

So I'd say one starts with epistemology and combines this with the philosophical proofs of God. They btw. exceed the metaphysical realm and yes, they are concise, just a bit more complex then proving the Eiffel tower exists.

#193 jonas5877

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 09:16 AM

That maybe so, but there is other evidence independent from the bible one ought to consider first.

What evidence is that?

There should! And one really should consider all the evidence first. Some of the evidence is however actually personal, not verifiable for a person different from the person confronted with it. Revealed knowledge is something more related to introspection and intuition.

So I'd say one starts with epistemology and combines this with the philosophical proofs of God. They btw. exceed the metaphysical realm and yes, they are concise, just a bit more complex then proving the Eiffel tower exists.

Non-verifiable evidence in not evidence for the person who is not experiencing it. If I were to accept your revealed knowledge despite the fact that you cannot even show it to me, then I should accept another's revealed knowledge from fairies or invisible dragons as evidence that those things exist also. The problem of having to believe in all sorts of non-evidenced things. Elvis would be both physically dead and physically alive.
There is an up side, however. Hallucinations would no longer be an ailment, just another form of revealed knowledge.

Could you provide a significant philosophical proof of God that we could discuss? It might be better to start that as a separate thread.

#194 MarkForbes

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 10:01 AM

....Could you provide a significant philosophical proof of God that we could discuss? It might be better to start that as a separate thread.

I think I'd do that in a separate thread. Let me look first, if there is already such a thread. There are usually four or five types of proofs given. Most stemming from scholasticism, Thomas Aquinas and other thinkers.

#195 agnophilo123

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 02:16 PM

"Why don't you believe the bible?"

The same reason I don't believe the koran or the book of mormon, it makes fantastic claims that cannot be substantiated.

"Have you read it?"

Not cover to cover than more than many christians.

"Do you know its history? (i.e. written over a 1500 year time span)"

Pretty well.

"What was the purpose of the men who wrote the bible?"

There was no singular purpose, I'm sure the different authors had many motives and the appear to have had widely differing views on many subejcts.

"Do you acknowledge or deny the fact that there are 100s of 1000s of prophecies in the bible, many which have come to true with great accuracy?"

I acknowledge that there are prophecies that have been claimed (often decades after the fact) to have come true and many more that are very vague and can be interpreted to have come true many different ways, ie the mark of the beast which people say is everything from the name of the cesar on roman armor to real ID to money to I'm sure a hundred other things. There are also many prophecies that didn't come true or were made to come true by believers specifically because of the prophecy, ie x city will be destroyed so some christian dictator goes and destroys it to fulfill prophecy - that to me is not good evidence.

"I suppose I could go on and on with questions, but I guess this will do for a start. Look forward to seeing your responses."

Likewise.

#196 agnophilo123

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 02:19 PM

They don't read the Bible. If anyone read the Bible they would become a Christian by the end of it. They are also ignorant of history because if they knew history they would see the veracity of the word of God. Every where Archeology makes a new find the Bible is vindicated. Scientifically and Historically the Bible is true much to their displeasure so that's why they'd rather live in lala land.

Actually in the US most atheists are former christians and atheists (according to a leading christian organization) rank highest in the country in terms of average level of biblical and religious knowledge:

http://pewresearch.o...s-score-highest

I've heard many atheists (unknown and famous) promote reading of the bible because of the view that it will lead to more atheism.

#197 gilbo12345

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 08:48 PM

The same reason I don't believe the koran or the book of mormon, it makes fantastic claims that cannot be substantiated.



That is why I don't believe Darwin book... :P

#198 Salsa

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 04:45 AM

Actually in the US most atheists are former christians


There is no such thing as a "former Christian" (not according to the Bible which is that only document capable of defining what a Christian is, or isn't)

According to the Bible, being a Christian has nothing to do with calling yourself a Christian, having a Christian bumper sticker on your car, attending a church, doing good deeds, or any of the other things we might associate with being a "Christian".

Being a Christian is knowing Christ:

"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles? Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you.'

Saying that you are a "former Christian" is like saying you were a former believer in your dad.

No-one who "knows" their dad says that he used to believe he existed, but not any more.
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#199 jonas5877

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 03:13 PM

1. There is no such thing as a "former Christian" (not according to the Bible which is that only document capable of defining what a Christian is, or isn't)
2. According to the Bible, being a Christian has nothing to do with calling yourself a Christian, having a Christian bumper sticker on your car, attending a church, doing good deeds, or any of the other things we might associate with being a "Christian". Being a Christian is knowing Christ:
3. "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles? Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you.'
4. Saying that you are a "former Christian" is like saying you were a former believer in your dad. No-one who "knows" their dad says that he used to believe he existed, but not any more.

1. Please provide Bible verses to support your contention that there can be no former Christians.

2. What does knowing Christ mean, exactly.
3. Obviously from Christ's words, there are people who will think they have done the things to be saved and follow Him but they have not done the right things. If the possibility exists that someone can think they are saved but they are not saved, how do you know your interpretation of the scriptures is correct and you are not one of those who will be told "I never knew you"?
4. I could look at my dad. I could hug my dad. Other people interacted with my dad and could tell he was my dad because of that interaction. Others could see my dad and recognize him by his physical attributes.
No one else could see my version of Christ. I could say Christ talked to me but no one else could tell if it was actually happening. When I thought I was a Christian, I thought God, Christ and the Holy Spirit spoke to me on occasion. Sometimes what I thought They said would agree with others in the congregation and sometimes it would be in conflict with them.

Children sometimes have invisible friends that they talk to or see. No one else can tell if those children are talking to a real being or to their own imagination. Those children appear to believe that their invisible friend is real. When they grow up they stop talking to those invisible friends. Would you say that their saying they no longer believe in that invisible person is the same as saying they no longer believe in their dads?
Why is your position on their change in belief different than your position on my change in belief?

#200 Salsa

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 06:19 PM

1. Please provide Bible verses to support your contention that there can be no former Christians.


"They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us." 1 John 2:19

2. What does knowing Christ mean, exactly.


What does knowing anyone mean? It means you have had a personal relationship with them as opposed to merely hearing about them.

3. Obviously from Christ's words, there are people who will think they have done the things to be saved and follow Him but they have not done the right things. If the possibility exists that someone can think they are saved but they are not saved, how do you know your interpretation of the scriptures is correct and you are not one of those who will be told "I never knew you"?


There are many, many clues that scripture gives to indicate whether one is a genuine Christian.

Firstly, they will believe scripture. Not all "Christians" believe scripture. They find a value in going to church, enjoy the fellowship, sing the hymns and do all the rituals that they think are a part of Christainity. But do they believe what is written, or what other people tell them. Jesus said:

"If you believed Moses, you would believe me"

But many, many Christians do NOT believe Moses. As you can plainly see here, they exchange what Moses wrote in Genesis for things that they find more believable.

Secondly, if someone claims to know Christ then the fruits he will produce will be in accordance to those listed in scripture:

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control."

Thirdly, by believing that Jesus is the Son of God. (1 John 5:1).

Not everyone "within Christianity" believes this. In fact their are quite a few priests (at least here in Sweden) that openly confess that they do not beleive this.

If you think that these things are "my interpretation" then what other possible interpretation is there?

4. I could look at my dad. I could hug my dad. Other people interacted with my dad and could tell he was my dad because of that interaction. Others could see my dad and recognize him by his physical attributes.
No one else could see my version of Christ. I could say Christ talked to me but no one else could tell if it was actually happening. When I thought I was a Christian, I thought God, Christ and the Holy Spirit spoke to me on occasion. Sometimes what I thought They said would agree with others in the congregation and sometimes it would be in conflict with them.

Children sometimes have invisible friends that they talk to or see. No one else can tell if those children are talking to a real being or to their own imagination. Those children appear to believe that their invisible friend is real. When they grow up they stop talking to those invisible friends. Would you say that their saying they no longer believe in that invisible person is the same as saying they no longer believe in their dads?
Why is your position on their change in belief different than your position on my change in belief?


I have no way to judge what your personal experiences were, but something that can be boiled down to an "imaginary friend" or some kind of fuzzy gut feeling is obviously not genuine Christian faith. No one would offer their own lives on the basis of a gut feeling. It has to be more. And before you start talking about muslims with explosives taped around thier bellies then I assure you, that doesn't negate what I am saying, because neither do they do what they do simply because they have vivid imaginations.

No, they do it because there is a spiritual force that drives them, just as genuine Christians are driven by a spiritual force.

I try to aviod going into details about my experiences on a public forum, but I can tell you this. As someone who had an extreme aversion towards Christianity, and yet converted in just a few days without human testimony because the evidence of God was so powerful, and the confirmation so undenialble, I absolutely did not convert because I simply imagined something.

You say you want a miracle to convince you, despite the fact that the Bible warns against making such demands, and truly I say to you in all sincerity, you should be careful about what you ask for, because you just might get it, and although you might think that is a good thing, you should think again.

Everything comes at a price. "To him who has been given much, much will be demanded". The apostles were shown an abundance of miracles, but they were all persecuted severely. Is that what you want, or are you just trying to put God to the test? Would you be willing to pay the price?




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