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Prove the Existence of God(s)


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In reply to an earlier post on May 15, 2012 9:16:49 AM PDT
Re Mark, 5-15 8:00 AM: Please use the "Reply to this post" feature (when appropriate) so that we can know what you are referring to. Or, cite the post specifically. (I usually do both.)

In reply to an earlier post on May 15, 2012 9:20:01 AM PDT
PJA

Ahaar, ahahaar,Jim lad -- Bugger!! wrong book, that was 'The Meerschaum of Venice'.

TC

In reply to an earlier post on May 15, 2012 10:55:59 AM PDT
mark says:
Robert,

You know I usually do, but this time I was sorta buttin' in uninvited. I didn't want to put anyone on the defensive, being new here and all.

In reply to an earlier post on May 15, 2012 4:23:29 PM PDT
Many thanks Robert,

Thou scrupulous pursuit of disambiguity precedes thou prolifically significant achievements-eth.

About the bible; I was jus' pullin' yer leg!

Bwahahahahahahahahahaaaaa..ksnerrggkkghhh...errrh

071V8

In reply to an earlier post on May 21, 2012 3:10:27 PM PDT
Chameleon_X says:
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In reply to an earlier post on May 21, 2012 3:18:45 PM PDT
Chameleon_X says:
Just to get away from the distracting ad hominem speculation, I can assure you that I am not any of these individuals ("Loki/Kyle/Lawjick/Compuhorse"), and I have never heard of or even read anything they have written. That said, if there is any similarity in the arguments and they are as easy to dismiss as you imply, then please do show me what you said to shoot the arguments down. There is no need to be so coy. I am waiting -- just copy and paste is all you should have to do.

In reply to an earlier post on May 21, 2012 3:19:37 PM PDT
Doctor says:
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In reply to an earlier post on May 21, 2012 3:22:05 PM PDT
Chameleon_X says:
If I were arguing for belief or disbelief in any specific god, such as "the Christian god", then your "proof" might be relevant. As such, it is not.

In reply to an earlier post on May 21, 2012 3:22:52 PM PDT
Doctor says:
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In reply to an earlier post on May 21, 2012 3:25:44 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on May 22, 2012 8:57:44 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on May 21, 2012 3:27:08 PM PDT
D. Thomas says:
Doctor wrote, regarding the logical necessity of a First Cause:

"There is no such necessity."

You're right!

Have you had an epiphany of some sort? Been reading cosmology?

In reply to an earlier post on May 21, 2012 3:35:46 PM PDT
Chameleon_X says:
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In reply to an earlier post on May 21, 2012 3:41:51 PM PDT
Doctor says:
Gwaithmir says: The Second Law of Thermodynamics applies to closed systems.

And Open systems as well.

Gwaithmir says:This doesn't fall within the purview of evolutionary science.

We have Evolution of the universe (BB ), of stars and galaxies, solar systems, planets, and life.

If you can't show evidence for abiogenesis, you are not even in the race.

In reply to an earlier post on May 21, 2012 3:46:35 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on May 22, 2012 8:59:31 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on May 21, 2012 3:48:40 PM PDT
D. Thomas says:
Uh oh. I spoke too soon.

In reply to an earlier post on May 21, 2012 3:57:46 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 21, 2012 4:01:15 PM PDT
Chameleon: I will now address this post and our exchange on "playing the heat death card". As for this post, it seems the only way you can address my argument is to redefine it as a deistic straw man argument. You do so, hypocritically, by redefining a word that I already defined explicitly. Only I get to define the words that I am using in my argument, not you.

Rachel: Then we have nothing further to discuss. You don't get to pick and choose your definitions. My citation certainly was not hypocritical, unless you are redefining it as well.

C: Moreover, my definition is letter for letter from definition #1 on Dictionary.com, so it is a valid definition. I chuckle every time I see you and Irish trying to evade the whole point of the discussion with such tactics.

R: I'm evading nothing. You are using cheap rhetorical tactics for an imaginary advantage. Redefining "supernatural" to fit a "God of the gaps" argument is ridiculous.

C: It is not for me to prove what specific supernatural variable is connected with the origin of the universe, or if even there as an "origin" -- the whole point is that nobody can, which is why there is perfect uncertainty!

R: No, there is no "perfect uncertainty." From your superficial perspective, it appears as if there is an "either/or" scenario, but you still have to look at the evidence. There is none for anything supernatural, skewing the choice away from that which is unsupported to that which is supported with evidence. And yes, you do tend to avoid the burden of proof whenever possible.

C: The burden is on YOU and anyone else out there just to EXPLAIN -- forget about PROOF -- how ANY explanation for a universe beginning ex nihilo could be anything but supernatural. You have already conceded this point quite clearly, that any ex nihilo beginning would have to be supernatural, so are you now retracting?

R: No, I am saying that there is no evidence for any ex nihilo creation.

C: You keep trying to shift the burden of proof to me with statements like "I would like you to show a representative sampling of cosmologists who assert their opinion that the origin of the universe is supernatural by definition, as you claim."

R: No, that is not a shift of the burden of proof. You have made the assertions, now back them up. You are dissembling.

C: I am not even arguing that the universe must have a beginning/"origin".

R: I disagree. That is ALL you have been asserting.

C: I am only arguing that, if it does, then there is no explanation for it except one that is supernatural, by my stated definition, which you have conceded. The burden of proof cannot logically be on someone who is arguing for perfect uncertainty.

R: This is dishonest, since you have failed to demonstrate that there "IS" a perfect uncertainty. Given your idiosyncratic language, it appears more and more to me that you are actually and incredibly positing a "God of the gaps" argument. I hate to break it to you, but that was current only in the 19th century.

C: The burden of proof must be on someone who is arguing for something other than perfect uncertainty.

R: Another unsupported assertion.

C: On that note, why don't you show me a representative sampling of cosmologists who assert their opinion that the origin of the universe could possibly NOT be supernatural, by my definition, when they make any argument for a true origin (i.e., ex nihilo beginning") of the universe.

R: 2 points: first, you are committing the argument from ignorance fallacy again; secondly, no cosmologist is arguing for an ex nihilo creation. Therefore, that is a straw man argument. Not only do you want to redefine "supernatural", you want to redefine "the beginning of the universe" to mean ONLY an ex nihilo creation.

C: Now, let's move on to the heat death argument, which addresses the only other alternative to the universe having an ex nihilo beginning: that the universe has no ex nihilo beginning, and therefore has an infinite past. You challenge my argument by stating "Be sure to address how heat death, which is a function of time, can exist without time." When did I ever say heat death is not a function of time? Of course it is, and I already agree that it cannot exist without time, so what is the point? The ex nihilo argument and the heat death argument are two completely separate arguments based on the two mutually exclusive premises just mentioned regarding whether the universe has a beginning or not. You appear to be conflating the two with this irrelevant challenge.

R: No. Before the expansion of mass/energy, there was no time, therefore there was no heat death.

C: The only real argument against inevitable heat death is based on some sort of supernatural violation of the second law of thermodynamics.

R: Wrong.

C: You brought up fantasy cyclical models based on the "big crunch" hypothesis of the early 1990s, but you failed to mention the work done since then to make such fantasies empirically absurd. The work was so convincing that the 2006 Shaw Prize in Astronomy and the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics were both awarded for the work in 1998 that showed EMPIRICALLY that the universe is not only expanding, but expanding at an accelerated rate (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmic_acceleration). So not only is the "big crunch" hypothesis totally unsupported by any evidence, it actually contradicts proven empirical evidence, which concludes that it is just a bunch of BS. And given the second law of thermodynamics, how could the empirical evidence show otherwise without conflicting this law?

R: The cyclic models are not fantasy and were not shown to be "empirically absurd." I refer you to the Baum-Frampton model of 2007, as one example.

C: So, because heat death is inevitable by natural law (or at least the continual asymptotic approach towards it to the point that life eventually becomes utterly impossible), the only way this natural law could be avoided is by some sort of supernatural intervention. Whether this would or could be described as "theistic" or "atheistic" in cause is perfectly uncertain, since we cannot invalidate anything supernatural, as you and Irish so vigorously point out -- and I agree! Unless you can point to some possible natural explanation for why we are not already in a state of heat death if the universe has always existed (i.e. has an infinite past), then the only possible mutually exclusive explanation is a supernatural one.

R: You have already acknowledged that heat death is a function of time. Therefore it is silly to assert heat death as an inevitability when there was no time. Anything preceding the BB could be said to have an infinite past, since time is actually undefined at that point.

C: So, as you can see, you are in quite a supernatural bind.

R: Only by arguing a "God of the gaps" fallacy can you reach that conclusion

C: If there was an ex nihilo beginning to the universe, then the explanation must be supernatural.

R: Where is your evidence for an ex nihilo creation?

C: If the universe has always existed, then a supernatural explanation is also required to explain why we are not in a state of heat death yet, as empirical evidence and the laws of physics dictate. What I am NOT arguing is that supernatural = theistic or God. I am merely arguing, as I have from the beginning, that a supernatural variable "x" is a logical necessity and that there is perfect uncertainty in terms of what this supernatural variable "x" is.

R: Your "variable 'x'" is still idiocy. Using the term "supernatural" automatically adds the undefined variable "God" into the mix, no matter how you try to escape it through rhetoric.

From wikipedia:

The term God-of-the-gaps argument can refer to a position that assumes an act of God as the explanation for an unknown phenomenon, which is a variant of an argument from ignorance. Such an argument is sometimes reduced to the following form:

There is a gap in understanding of some aspect of the natural world.
Therefore the cause must be supernatural.

One example of such an argument, which uses God as an explanation of one of the current gaps in biological science, is as follows: "Because current science can't figure out exactly how life started, it must be God who caused life to start." Critics of intelligent design creationism, for example, have accused proponents of using this basic type of argument.

God-of-the-gaps arguments have been asserted by theologians to have the effect of relegating God to the leftovers of science: as scientific knowledge increases, the dominion of God decreases.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_of_the_gaps

Essentially, the "God of the gaps" argument breaks down into either an argument from ignorance or incredulity, as I have mentioned and you have ignored.

In reply to an earlier post on May 21, 2012 3:59:10 PM PDT
Chameleon: Just to get away from the distracting ad hominem speculation...

Rachel: I see your time away didn't improve your understanding of logical fallacies.

In reply to an earlier post on May 21, 2012 4:06:37 PM PDT
Doctor says:
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In reply to an earlier post on May 21, 2012 5:38:40 PM PDT
Irish Lace says:
"Moreover, my definition [supernatural] is letter for letter from definition #1 on Dictionary.com, so it is a valid definition."

True. What you have not presented is any evidence that such a thing exists.

"It is not for me to prove what specific supernatural variable is connected with the origin of the universe, or if even there as an "origin" -- the whole point is that nobody can, which is why there is perfect uncertainty! "

This is based solely on an argument from incredulity. You do not know the origin of the universe (or if there was one) so you have invented/suggested/offered/postulated a supernatural origin may exist and suggested that it is somehow equally probable with the existence of a natural origin simply because the natural origin is unknown.

There was no evidence for anything "supernatural" so the situation hasn't improved in your absence.

"The burden is on YOU and anyone else out there just to EXPLAIN -- forget about PROOF -- how ANY explanation for a universe beginning ex nihilo could be anything but supernatural. "

As I have not offered an ex nihilo explanation for the universe, I don't feel any such burden. You, on the other hand, have suggested a supernatural origin (ex nihilo or not) without establishing the existence of anything supernatural.

In reply to an earlier post on May 21, 2012 5:41:40 PM PDT
Irish Lace says:
Uh huh.

In reply to an earlier post on May 21, 2012 5:46:01 PM PDT
Irish Lace says:
"Irish, if you would have read my proof properly, you would have noted that I dropped the strict "logical necessity of faith" argument (based on the philosophical logic of existentialism) entirely from it, since the only argument you could make against it was an obsessive plea based on personal testimony. Don't you recall? I made your personal testimony completely irrelevant a long time ago, and yet you continue to try to resurrect it as some sort of straw man argument against my core arguments."

So noted. You modified your Argument from Incredulity. It's now a shorter Argument from Incredulity but as you had some extra words you didn't know what to do with, you set up your own straw man flavored with a very nice little ad hominem.

In reply to an earlier post on May 21, 2012 10:20:21 PM PDT
Chameleon_X says:
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In reply to an earlier post on May 21, 2012 10:33:26 PM PDT
Chameleon_X says:
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In reply to an earlier post on May 21, 2012 11:24:55 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 22, 2012 2:10:36 PM PDT
Chameleon: Then show me the evidence of any possible natural explanation for either the beginning of the universe ex nihilo or how we could possibly not be in a state of heat death now if the universe has an infinite past. WHERE IS YOUR EVIDENCE OF ANY NATURAL EXPLANATION THAT YOU CLAIM EXISTS?

Rachel: Where is your own evidence for an ex nihilo creation?

C: I guess it is all that you have left since you have effectively denounced the ex nihilo beginning as scientific heresy.

R: "Heresy" is such a strong word and such a misrepresentation of my position. I say there is no evidence for any ex nihilo creation. Feel free to correct me with evidence.

C: Your rebuttals make no sense whatsoever. I never argued for heat death before the expansion of mass/energy, and I never argued that ex nihilo creation must be correct. I argued that heat death was a function of time (roughly just a 100 trillion years of it for the time it would take the last star to burn out from today), and I merely argued that an ex nihilo beginning of the universe was one of two mutually exclusive possibilities: 1) a universe with a true beginning and 2) a universe without a true beginning. I am not the one claiming that one of these two possibilities should effectively be discarded -- you are. So the burden of proof lies with you, not with me.

R: Actually, you claim that there is only one choice, that of an ex nihilo creation, since that will only satisfy your ever-moving goalposts of a "true beginning." You discount an eternal universe based on your heat death nonsense. So, yes, you have indeed rejected one possibility, therefore, since you are making a positive truth assertion, the burden of proof is yours.

C: Any "beginning" that is not ex nihilo implies that the universe has always existed and therefore has an infinite past. It is you who are trying to define "beginning of the universe" to mean something other than its beginning (e.g., just the beginning of the big bang process). Please explain to me how the universe can begin without beginning instead of beating around the bush with nonsensical comments like "Anything preceding the BB could be said to have an infinite past." Given an infinite amount of time, heat death is inevitable, so if the universe has an infinite past, then we should already be in a state of heat death.

R: The cyclic models., the chaotic inflationary model and the multiverse theory have no problems with heat death.

C: I am not arguing about any "gap" in nature, nor for any "God" within it. A "gap" in nature implies an unknown explanation between a cause and an effect IN NATURE, such as biological evolution -- a good example that was provided per Wikipedia, but a very poor analogy in this case. An ex nihilo beginning of the universe is not in any "gap" of cause and effect, since nature did not yet exist! Similarly, I am not arguing around any "gap" if the universe is assumed to have an infinite past. The gap is only with you in not being able to hypothesize -- let alone explain -- how we could not be in a state of heat death right now if the universe has an infinite past. Ironically, it is you who is forced into a "God of the gaps" argument (where your "god of the gap" is some fantasy cyclic model theory) by insisting that the universe must have always existed without offering any explanation for it that does not contradict nature itself. Finally, as I have stated ad nauseum, I am only arguing for the logical necessity of something supernatural without any specification, according to my definition of "supernatural" per the dictionary definition quoted. I am not arguing for the logical necessity of God or any other specific cause that would be supernatural, which is a prerequisite for anyone accused of advocating a "God of the gaps" fallacy.

R: You either failed to read the God of the gaps section I supplied or didn't understand it. The gap referred to is any gap in our scientific knowledge. So yes, you are arguing a reworded God of the gaps fallacy, with redefined words. Your dissembling regarding the supernatural entity supposedly responsible for the creation of the universe is duly noted. Your self-contradiction is also noted, as here:

"I am merely arguing, as I have from the beginning, that a supernatural variable "x" is a logical necessity"

compared to:

"I am not arguing for the logical necessity of God or any other specific cause that would be supernatural, which is a prerequisite for anyone accused of advocating a "God of the gaps" fallacy."

Failing to identify the supernatural creator is a common dishonest tactic of the intelligent design advocate. As the Wedge Document published by the Discovery Institute clearly shows, the "intelligent designer" is the Judeo-Christian God. With that in mind, your evasion regarding the identity of the designer is not a successful evasion from your burden of proof, which consists of the following:

1. Show evidence for the supernatural designer/creator/deity
2. Show evidence that this supernatural designer/creator/deity has the abilities to actually create the universe ex nihilo
3. Show evidence for an ex nihilo creation
4. Show evidence that the supernatural designer/creator/deity had the motivation to create the universe ex nihilo
5. Show evidence that this supernatural designer/creator/deity actually created the universe ex nihilo

In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2012 12:01:50 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 22, 2012 1:36:39 AM PDT
B. Josephson says:
RRR, I am not sure about the whole idea of ex-nihilo creation for a number of reasons.

First I am not sure that the Bible supports that view at all. I know Christian theologians say that creation was ex-nihilo, but I don't see biblical support for that. Perhaps Chameleon knows where it comes from:

So here is an excerpt from Wikipedia:

Ancient Near Eastern mythologies, classical creation myths in Greek mythology envision the creation of the world as resulting from the actions of a god or gods upon already-existing primeval matter, known as chaos.

The classical tradition of creation from chaos first came under question in Hellenistic philosophy (on a priori grounds), which developed the idea that a primum movens must have created the world out of nothing.

An early conflation of these tenets of Greek philosophy with the narratives in the Hebrew Bible came from Philo of Alexandria (d. AD 50), writing in the context of Hellenistic Judaism. Philo equated the Hebrew creator-deity Yahweh with Plato's primum movens (First Cause)[1][2] in an attempt[citation needed] to prove that the Jews had held monotheistic views even before the Greeks.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ex_nihilo

Second, I am not sure whether we can say that the before the big bang there was nothing or not. I must admit when I hear physicisists talk about the big bang and events before the universe I get a bit confused.

I have heard some Christians claim that before he big bang there was nothing, though I am not sure that statement is true.

I have also heard some physicists talk as if the laws of the universe did not exist until the big bang-- and our particular universe began, and that other universes have entirely different laws., though that may be a simplificaton of these ideas.

That is why I have hung back from your conversation on the subject.

Best Wishes,
Shaamba Kaambwaat
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