more God debate

The dis­cus­sion of my post (con­cern­ing the extence of God) on Hot Aber­crom­bie Chick­’s site is quite the heat­ed debate (in which I have par­tic­i­pat­ed), and at the request of one the peo­ple with whom I was debat­ing, I’ll post some of it here so that he can respond in a less “noisy” envinronment.

So, here’s some of the debate so far (I hope I pulled out what is relevant):

**Me**: Claim­ing that God is need­ed to explain the exis­tence of the uni­verse is depen­dent upon the sup­po­si­tion that God a nec­es­sary enti­ty (some­thing that does­n’t need an expla­na­tion for WHY it exists), and, fur­ther­more, that he is the ONLY nec­es­sary enti­ty. But BOTH of those claims are only sup­po­si­tions. That is, one could ask, if God explains the uni­verse, WHAT explains God? If the UNIVERSE needs an expla­na­tion for why it exists, why does­n’t God? And why can’t we sup­pose that the uni­verse itself, is a NECESSARY thing…one that does­n’t itself need an expla­na­tion for WHY it exists (it just does).

In oth­er words, you can’t just ASSERT that the uni­verse (or the Big Bang, per­haps) needs some­thing to explain why it came to be, but God DOESN’T need such an expla­na­tion, with­out a fur­ther defense of this assertion.

—–

**Ozy**: Your point is per­fect­ly valid except for one thing: It is sci­ence (physics) that has to explain the rea­son for the uni­verse being in exis­tence, that is the very nature of sci­ence and being sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly. When you do go around pos­tu­lat­ing the uni­verse, then the inverse of your argu­ment holds just as strong: why not pos­tu­late a God. As a mat­ter of fact, you can start pos­tu­lat­ing any­thing that is not dis­prov­able, but that is the whole occams razor thing, you can pos­tu­late it, but if there is no need for it, it won’t be true. When you can­not explain the uni­verse with sci­ence, then the best expla­na­tion for its exis­tence is true, which is prob­a­bly a cre­ator, and not that it just exists, because it can’t just exists by the very rules sci­ence (physics) states.

Sci­ence dis­proves the uni­verse being able to exists, but the uni­verse does exist, so sci­ence is a wrong the­o­ry, any the­o­ry that does not dis­prove itself is more like­ly to be true.

And to counter Tina’s argu­ment about this free will thing:
There is one sim­ple expla­na­tion why God can have a free wil and stil always choose to do only good: a vast­ly high­er lev­el of intelligence.

—-

**Me**: Per­haps you stat­ed this in an ear­li­er com­ment, but what “rules” of sci­ence entail that it can­not explain the uni­verse? The assump­tion that *I* have always under­stood these kinds of argu­ments depend­ing on is the fol­low­ing: that all (non-nec­es­sary) enti­ties and events are CAUSED by some­thing. (And if we are to assume that God is the only nec­es­sary being, then he is need­ed to explain to explain what caused the uni­verse). This isn’t real­ly a SCIENTIFIC prin­ci­ple, but just a gen­er­al assumption…which only works at show­ing that God exists IF you assume that he is the only pos­si­ble nec­es­sary entity.

Regard­ing your com­ment about God and free will. Either the ABILITY to choose evil is nec­es­sary for free will or it isn’t. And God either has that abil­i­ty or he doeesn’t. I’m not sure how lev­el of intel­li­gence is rel­e­vant to decid­ing either of these issues.

So, Ozy: respond away!

13 thoughts on “more God debate”

  1. This prob­a­bly isn’t what Ozy meant, but if you take sci­ence to be an empir­i­cal busi­ness it depends on obser­va­tion, and since you can’t observe any­thing pri­or to the exis­tence of the uni­verse, sci­ence is to that extent barred from explain­ing why the uni­verse exists. Although if we did come up with a good expla­na­tion, I expect we should tend to call it sci­ence, any­way, rather than philosophy.
    If we get a bit onto­log­i­cal about it, it isn’t a mat­ter of assum­ing God is a nec­es­sary enti­ty, more a mat­ter of defin­ing God as the nec­es­sary enti­ty. Of course, if you take that path, it does­n’t nec­es­sar­i­ly lead to a God who is much like Jeho­vah. More like­ly you end up with some­thing pan­the­is­tic, as Spin­oza did if I remem­ber right­ly, or a kind of logico/mathematico/geometrical God.
    You still get left with a lot of explain­ing to do, of course.

  2. alright, this is my con­tin­u­a­tion of the dis­cus­sion, though it was also my clos­ing argu­ment. But it was too long to post it over at Amanda’s.

    what “rules” of sci­ence entail that it can­not explain the universe?
    –Tina

    Physics builds a mod­el by which the uni­verse runs. Physics states that any action needs a reac­tion, or that ener­gy can­not dis­ap­pear or appear. That is all good, except for the start of the uni­verse, it could­n’t have hap­pend, the ener­gy that was need­ed isn’t there. I can pos­tu­late that ener­gy, but if I do, what pre­vents me from pos­tu­lat­ing it when I see a strange Quark? The rules of physics are there because they seem to reflect the real uni­verse. These rules make it impos­si­ble for the uni­verse to start existing.

    Most (as a pos­si­ble alter­na­tive to a God) pos­tu­late a anti-uni­verse, anti mat­ter, so that the sum of ener­gy and anti-ener­gy would be zero. Then some pos­tu­late an infin­i­ty of uni­vers­es, that we hap­pen to exist means luck, but if we weren’t lucky we could­n’t think about it, so no harm done, we could exist, and because so many uni­vers­es have (are) hap­pen­ing, ours is a bunch of luck, but also inevitable. The first part tries (but fails) to solve the ener­gy prob­lem, the sec­ond part solves the ‘why does the uni­verse look like it was designed’.

    Mind you that alter­na­tive uni­vers­es might have dif­fer­ent rules and make­up. For instance light speed might not be the lim­it in some, or the C atom might not be the most sta­ble one. Or … most things being a lit­tle off would mean the uni­verse would be a pret­ty lethal place.

    I’m not sure how lev­el of intel­li­gence is rel­e­vant to decid­ing either of these issues.
    –Tina

    We have a free will, and choose some­times to do bad. a God might still have free will, and yet nev­er choose to do bad. Not that He can­not do it, just that He does­n’t want to do it, ever. We can­not make such a state­ment, but a being with infin­i­ty of intel­li­gence can know itself and choose not to do evil ever. Such a choice does not make Him not free, but does make Him nev­er to do evil. 

    Besides, why would a God need to do evil, He can know about every­thing and always choose the best solution.

    Free will means you can choose what­ev­er you want, with­in your realm of influ­ence. Just because you can choose to take a nail and ham­mer it into your upper leg bone, does­n’t mean you are going to do that, ever. We are intel­li­gent enough to not ever do that.

    But steal­ing is a whole dif­fer­ent mat­ter. Just to keep it sim­ple: we steal for mon­ey. Con­trol­ling mon­ey (cre­at­ing it) is beyond our realm of influ­ence, but we would like to have mon­ey. Some of us choose a path to get to the mon­ey that isn’t fiar (evil). God nev­er has to steal to get mon­ey, so He won’t. Just like we won’t ever dri­ve a nail in our upper leg bone. That is, until there is a per­fect­ly jus­ti­fi­able rea­son to ham­mer that nail, then we would, but then it would­n’t be evil any­more (we would then call it mod­ern surgery).

    .

    Oké, I have oth­er things to do, just like all of you here. I made my case, and explained and expand­ed. The prob­lem with these dis­cus­sions is that there is no real prov­able answer, so it is endless.

    What­ev­er you choose to believe is your choice. I tried to explain that believ­ing in a God is not a strange decision.

    Also on these com­ments I read about being pro­grammed. Every­body is pro­grammed, we all look through dif­fer­ent glass­es. And yes some chris­tians are pret­ty blind­ly try­ing to con­vince peo­ple, but the inverse is just as true, strong athe­ists will ‘preach’ too. Under­stand­able, but too bad. So both sides need to try and look through the glass­es of the oth­er side.

    I rather enjoyed this dis­cus­sion here, and am glad at least some of us are real­ly giv­ing it thought.

    Just a last quick note about how you can be a chris­t­ian in this day and age. First, per­son­al­ly, I don’t believe in reli­gion. I believe in God and Jesus and the Holy Spir­it and the bible. The bible states that we must love our ene­mies and that we must love our neigh­bors. I can­not explain why some chris­tians are moti­vat­ed to begin cru­sades. Maybe those of today are a bit less vio­lent then those in the mid­dle ages, but still they are pret­ty unlov­ing. By its fruit one rec­og­nizes the tree (Jesus said that), so when you see a cru­sade under the chris­t­ian flag, it does­n’t mean they are christians.

    of course, when there are still some ques­tions I wil try to explain more

    -Ozy

  3. ******************************************************************************
    Physics builds a mod­el by which the uni­verse runs. Physics states that any action needs a reac­tion, or that ener­gy can­not dis­ap­pear or appear. 
    ******************************************************************************

    Except that ener­gy *can* just appear/dissapear. Specif­i­cal­ly, par­ti­cles of what is essen­tial­ly matter/antimatter appear in the uni­verse all the time. Nor­mal­ly they just negate each oth­er, but if these par­ti­cles appear near the event hori­zon of a black hole, they are pulled apart *before* they can be anni­hi­lat­ed. This caus­es the black hole to suck in one part of the pair, and, due to con­ser­va­tion of ener­gy, a lit­tle ener­gy is lost from the black hole to bal­ance the equa­tion. The process is called evap­o­ra­tion. This is how black holes dissapear.

    We need to be care­ful about talk­ing about “physics” as there are a LOT of dif­fer­ent types, some that are log­i­cal, oth­ers are not. Many of our ideas on the more advanced lev­els of physics (which are the fields that most close­ly exam­ine things like what we’re talk­ing about here) are pure­ly the­o­ret­i­cal in nature, as we won’t have the tech­nol­o­gy to test them for a long time. Exam­ples would include hyper-math, which is an exam­i­na­tion of 4th dimen­sion math­e­mat­ics, and Ein­stein-Rosen bridges (worm­holes) as there’s no way for us to look inside the event hori­zon of a black hole. Physi­cists freely admit that they have no idea of what REALLY hap­pens with­in the EH, but they have some pret­ty good mod­els of what they THINK is happening.

    ******************************************************************************
    That is all good, except for the start of the uni­verse, it could­n’t have hap­pend, the ener­gy that was need­ed isn’t there. I can pos­tu­late that ener­gy, but if I do, what pre­vents me from pos­tu­lat­ing it when I see a strange Quark? The rules of physics are there because they seem to reflect the real uni­verse. These rules make it impos­si­ble for the uni­verse to start existing.
    ******************************************************************************

    One the­o­ry for the Big Bang is a com­bi­na­tion of black hole evap­o­ra­tion and worm­hole the­o­ry. When a black hole final­ly evap­o­rates, it releas­es a *MASSIVE* amount of ener­gy (at least, accord­ing to the sci­en­tists), quite a bit more than a super­no­va. Ein­stein and Rosen already the­o­rized the exis­tence of worm­holes due to the extreme grav­i­ta­tion­al warp­ing at the sin­gu­lar­i­ty. Giv­en this warp­ing, cou­pled with an explo­sion orders of mag­ni­tudes larg­er than a super­no­va, and it’s quite pos­si­ble that we could rip a hole in space-time and lit­er­al­ly cre­ate a new uni­verse, assum­ing the black hole was large enough to start with. This would also explain where all the hydro­gen comes from, that being the most abun­dant ele­ment in the universe.

    ******************************************************************************
    I’m not sure how lev­el of intel­li­gence is rel­e­vant to decid­ing either of these issues.
    –Tina
    ******************************************************************************

    Agreed. Read­ing over Ozy’s com­ments, you say noth­ing about intel­li­gence as such. Ani­mals have free will and they’re con­sid­ered less intel­li­gent than we are (although I have my doubts about that in some cas­es 😛 ). Free will has no rela­tion to intel­li­gence, per­haps oth­er than you need a mea­sur­able intel­li­gence in order to have free will. Any less­er being is stuck with react­ing on instinct vs intelligence.

    ******************************************************************************
    Ok, I have oth­er things to do, just like all of you here. I made my case, and explained and expand­ed. The prob­lem with these dis­cus­sions is that there is no real prov­able answer, so it is endless.
    ******************************************************************************

    I dis­agree here. I will sup­port that it’s not *cur­rent­ly* prov­able, but then, nei­ther was that the Earth was not the cen­ter of the uni­verse. By explor­ing and exam­in­ing these ideas ad nase­um, we even­tu­al­ly came to a point that we *could* prove it. If we decide not to go over these things end­less we may well nev­er know the answers because 1) in time no onen will care enough to ask them, 2) we may miss the answer when it becomes avail­able because we’re not look­ing for it 3) we may miss some­thing alto­geth­er new that devel­ops from ask­ing ques­tions like this and explor­ing these possiblities.

    ******************************************************************************I can­not explain why some chris­tians are moti­vat­ed to begin crusades.
    ******************************************************************************

    This is the eas­i­est of all to explain: Pol­i­tics, fear and pow­er. Pol­i­tics in that they have some­thing we want (be it a resource or some­thing else). Fear because our soci­ety tells us that if we can’t con­trol it, we must fear it. So we try to con­trol that which scares us. Pow­er because once you con­trol some­thing, you have pow­er over it and you can use it for your own rea­sons. The cru­sades had noth­ing to do with Chris­tian­i­ty as such, all the doc­u­men­ta­tion and rea­son­ing notwith­stand­ing. They were an attempt to sub­ju­gate and con­trol a group of peo­ple for polit­i­cal and mon­e­tary rea­sons. Chris­tian­i­ty was mere­ly the excuse and jus­ti­fi­ca­tion. This is true for any cru­sade. It has noth­ing to do with “edu­cat­ing the une­d­u­cat­ed” and every­thing to do with try­ing to gain con­trol over a group you do not cur­rent­ly con­trol and who may be a threat to you.

  4. Ozy: I don’t know all that much about physics (Geoff has alot more intel­li­gi­ble things to say about that mat­ter), but, what­ev­er the case, to say that event \x\ has no cur­rent expla­na­tion (and here we are talk­ing about the Big Bang, I sup­pose) does NOT entail that an intel­li­gent being, there­fore, must be the cause of \x\. Peo­ple, for thou­sands of years (at least), have used God (or gods) to explain phe­nom­e­na they don’t yet understand…but it sim­ply does NOT fol­low from “There is no expla­na­tion for \x\” to “An intel­li­gent, tran­cen­dent being must be the expla­na­tion”. How does that fol­low? Even if some­how we would have to sup­pose that some­thing OUTSIDE of the uni­verse were need­ed to cause the uni­verse, that still does­n’t entail the exis­tence of a being like God. You men­tion evi­dence of design, but that real­ly is a whole oth­er argu­ment alto­geth­er, and needs to be addressed sep­a­rate­ly. Actu­al­ly, I teach \all\ of these argu­ments in my Intro­duc­tion to Phi­los­o­phy class, and I have them all recon­struct­ed here, if you want to take a gan­der at the for­mal versions.

    And regard­ing the free will thing…I think you are tak­ing that whole dis­cus­sion a bit out of con­text. The rea­son I had ini­tial­ly raised the ques­tion of God hav­ing free will was a response to an objec­tion that God need­ed to allow evil because he need­ed to give us free will, and we have to be ABLE to do evil some­times (and hence we do), in order to be free. But, I was say­ing, that if we need a robust abil­i­ty to do evil (which entails that we some­times \do\), then God lacks free will, since he nev­er does wrong. I would sug­gest look­ing at my orig­i­nal post on the argu­ment from evil, and my respons­es (in MY blog), to under­stand what I was say­ing there.

    And final­ly, while I agree that some Chris­tians and athe­sists (par­tic­u­lar­ly some of the peo­ple respond­ing to Aman­da’s blog) seem to dis­re­spect (and refuse to take seri­ous­ly) argu­ments against their view, that does­n’t mean that \all\ Chris­tians and athe­ists do. I am actu­al­ly not com­mit­ted to either view, and have done my best to take into con­sid­er­a­tion all of the argu­ments giv­en (at least the ones that seem reasonable)…and am cer­tain­ly open to hav­ing my mind changed on the mat­ter (part of the virtue of intel­lec­tu­al honesty…which I take very seriously). 

    And, while I think that very few beliefs can ever be 100% cer­tain, I think that it is cer­tain­ly ratio­nal to believe what you deem to be rea­son­able and ade­quate­ly jus­ti­fied at the time. And, I think that both the­ists \and\ athe­ists can hold their par­tic­u­lar views rationally.

    Okay. I’m done.

  5. Specif­i­cal­ly, par­ti­cles of what is essen­tial­ly matter/antimatter appear in the uni­verse all the time.
    –Geoff

    Cre­at­ing anti­mat­ter takes a lot of ener­gy and a lot of ener­gy is cre­at­ed by col­lid­ing anti­mat­ter with nor­mal mat­ter. I don’t think mat­ter/an­ti-mat­ter pairs just appear in the uni­verse. But my knowl­edge is pret­ty basic when it comes down to quan­tum mechan­ics and string the­o­ry and such. And I am guess­ing that you are not a quan­tum mechan­ics expert either, so this is the same type of argu­ment we will (for now, as you stat­ed cor­rect­ly) keep hav­ing, its end­less because there is sim­ply no con­clu­sive proof.

    Per­haps one day we can proof it all. Then we don’t need a God any­more. But there is one prob­lem. We haven’t found proof today, why? Because there is no proof, or because we haven’t found it yet? And yes, today the dis­cus­sion is end­less, that does­n’t mean we should­n’t search for new answers.

    As for cru­sades. You make my point. It is not that I don’t under­stand why peo­ple begin cru­sades (in what­ev­er form). It is just that I don’t under­stand how you can jus­ti­fy it by using chris­tian­i­ty as an excuse. Or let me rephrase: chris­t­ian teach­ing does not allow crusades.

    And last­ly, on the whole free will thing:
    Tina stat­ed that: God does no evil. If God has free will, than he could have giv­en us the same type of free will He has, so that we would nev­er do evil. Or God can­not do evil because he has no free will. (At least this is what I tried to argue against.)

    I mere­ly stat­ed that a pos­si­ble solu­tion to this lit­tle prob­lem is that God has so much more intel­li­gence then us, that He can hon­est­ly say he nev­er does evil, with­out Him hav­ing to give up on free wil.

    But I nev­er said that God can’t do evil (that was Tina’s idea), per­haps He can. The bible is not real­ly absolute here, as it states God is holy, but what is holy. It states God is good, but what is good. It is all rel­a­tive. What is evil for that mat­ter. This was all part of the orig­i­nal dis­cus­sion. My view is that God is hard­ly respon­si­ble for our well being, so an evil world is hard­ly dis­proof of God.

  6. … does NOT entail that an intel­li­gent being, there­fore, must be the cause of x. 
    –Tina

    True; but if cur­rent physics actu­al­ly *proves* the uni­verse can’t exist because it can’t ‘start’, that is dif­fer­ent from physics not able to explain.

    But is is the same as my pre­vi­ous post. If you haven’t found some­thing, does that mean it isn’t there, or does that mere­ly entail you did­n’t look every­where. What if you can proof that you can nev­er proof you have searched every­where, then you can nev­er dis­proof that it isn’t there. And this goes for God and for a physics expla­na­tion, which might just leave it at a cir­cle until either of them has been found (proven).

    I was already done … can’t seem to stop though …

  7. **************************************************
    And I am guess­ing that you are not a quan­tum mechan­ics expert either
    **************************************************

    Not at this time, but this par­tic­u­lar thing (stel­lar astron­o­my — evo­lu­tion of suns, galax­ies and what­not) is a course I’m cur­rent­ly tak­ing. Black holes in par­tic­u­lar are dis­cussed, and their even­tu­al evap­o­ra­tion is specif­i­cal­ly due to pairs of par­ti­cles pop­ping into exis­tence and them being split before they can negate each oth­er. I don’t have my book in front of me atm, so I can’t say for sure that they’re mat­ter/an­ti-mat­ter, but I do know they’re a pair that gets seper­at­ed before negation.

    **************************************************
    As for cru­sades. You make my point. It is not that I don’t under­stand why peo­ple begin cru­sades (in what­ev­er form). It is just that I don’t under­stand how you can jus­ti­fy it by using chris­tian­i­ty as an excuse. Or let me rephrase: chris­t­ian teach­ing does not allow crusades.
    **************************************************

    Reli­gion can be twist­ed pret­ty much any­way you choose to inter­pret it. God says in one part “love thy neigh­bour” and in anoth­er part “an eye for an eye”. He says he for­gives peo­ple what­ev­er their sins, but “ven­gence is mine”. I know there are a LOT of con­tro­ver­sial argu­ments around this, and the only thing I’ve come up with to explain it is that the Bible, while being divine­ly inspired, was writ­ten by men and thus sub­ject to what­ev­er per­son­al and polit­i­cal bias­es the authors of the time had. Addi­tion­al­ly, stuff like the New Tes­ta­ment may have lit­tle or no resem­b­lence to the orig­i­nal writ­ings because of the role the medieval Roman Catholic Church played in Chris­t­ian devel­op­ment. They may have well re-writ­ten the entire New Tes­ta­ment to sup­port their polit­i­cal beliefs. There’s no way in hell (par­don the pun) the Vat­i­can would ever admit to tam­per­ing with the Bible.

  8. Ozy: I under­stood what you were say­ing. But my point was that physics being unable to explain some­thing (and this fol­lows from what you were say­ing — accord­ing to physics — you claim — the uni­verse could­n’t have start­ed. But of course the uni­verse is here…so while physics can’t explain the uni­verse \some­thing\ does) does not entail that an \intel­li­gent tran­scen­dent being\ is the only pos­si­ble explanation.

  9. e.g., Why sup­pose that \what­ev­er\ cre­at­ed the uni­verse had to be intel­li­gent? Why sup­pose that it was only \one\ thing? Why sup­pose that it was \good\, or \omnipo­tent\ or any of those oth­er attrib­ut­es thought to be nec­es­sary to God? You can’t sim­ply go from “the uni­verse can’t be explained by physics” to “God exists”. Not with­out fill­ing in a bunch of steps in between. And like I said, if you are appeal­ing to evi­dence of design, that’s a \whole\ oth­er argu­ment, and needs to be dealt with separately.

  10. Tina:
    I have read the pieces of your course and I now under­stand your state­ment about God being a _necessary_ enti­ty. (Your very first parts of this post. Please real­ize that I am not a native eng­lish speak­er.) I now real­ize I nev­er real­ly answered that part. (And as I wrote this, you asked me to answer it, so here it is.)

    Of course there is no real answer here. It is unde­cid­able. If my state­ments about physics hold, (about nev­er being able to mod­el the begin­ning of the uni­verse, because it would be against its rules) even then you can choose between two nec­es­sary enti­ties, the uni­verse or a cre­ator. A moti­va­tion for choos­ing a cre­ator above the uni­verse could be because the uni­verse adheres to physics laws which pre­vents it from being a nec­es­sary enti­ty, but the argu­ment stops there, and I feel it is not even valid.

    But choos­ing a cre­ator above the uni­verse has the advan­tages of deliv­er­ing a real rea­son for the uni­verse. Though it fails in deliv­er­ing a real rea­son for a cre­ator. But it is nice when the uni­verse has a rea­son. A rea­son gives it moral. With­out the uni­verse hav­ing a rea­son, moral is an acci­dent. Why adhere it? (Euh, please don’t answer that, it is a whole dis­cus­sion in itself, per­haps if you post it at some lat­er point on your blog I might engage.) A rea­son gives pur­pose. I don’t want to believe in coincidence.

    But most­ly, we have been giv­en the bible to prove the chris­t­ian God. I know it is not real­ly evi­dence, but the lack of real evi­dence does give it some value. 

    By which I give a score of 3 to God, and 0 to the uni­verse, in the shootout for pos­si­ble can­di­date for the nec­es­sary entity.

    Also, I would like a response to the whole free will thing that I post­ed, after you post­ed, but before I read it …

    Geoff:
    I like course like that. But the essen­tial ques­tion is, does preser­va­tion of ener­gy have a fin­er rule (much like rel­a­tiv­i­ty)? I guess you will have much inter­est in the satel­lite NASA shot into orbit yes­ter­day, mea­sur­ing frame drag …

    And your last point about the bible is true. But do know that chris­tians believe in Jesus teach­ings and the old tes­ta­ment was all about the Israeli. The old tes­ta­ment says an eye for an eye, the new one says you should for­give 7 times 70. The dif­fer­ence is that Jesus dies for our sins in the new tes­ta­ment, so we must do (some­what) the same, by not apply­ing an eye for an eye.

  11. **************************************************
    But most­ly, we have been giv­en the bible to prove the chris­t­ian God. I know it is not real­ly evi­dence, but the lack of real evi­dence does give it some value. 
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    I dis­agree here. I think bas­ing the exis­tence of God on the Bible is a *very* bad move. There are too many incon­sis­tan­cies and con­tra­dic­tions for it to be con­sid­ered any­thing more than a his­tor­i­cal doc­u­ment. The very fact that peo­ple are try­ing to *prove* that God exists indi­cates there must be some sort of scientific/logical process for this, and say­ing “Well, we have the bible and what’s in it” is nowhere near being log­i­cal or scientific.

    I *do* believe there is a God, but I do *not* believe that we can use the Bible as a source of proof for that exis­tence. I base my faith on what I have per­son­al­ly expe­ri­enced with regards to God. I can­not prove that my expe­ri­ences were indeed divine, but that’s ok. I do not *need* to prove it to any­one else, nor does my proof need to con­vince any­one else. If I can­not con­vince some­one through my actions and just talk­ing about it, no amount of argu­ing, at this point, will con­vince them if they do not want to be convinced.

    I do like to dis­cuss it though, because it helps me refine *my* ideas of God and the uni­verse and how it all plays together.

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    By which I give a score of 3 to God, and 0 to the uni­verse, in the shootout for pos­si­ble can­di­date for the nec­es­sary entity.
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    I real­ly don’t think it’s a “this or that” senario. I do believe that God made the uni­verse, but I believe God made it to com­ply with cer­tain rules (our nat­ur­al laws). The prob­lem is that we do not have the tech­nol­o­gy OR the expe­ri­ence to under­stand it all. I think that if we sur­vive long enough, we’ll even­tu­al­ly find a black hole that’ll evap­o­rate (it’s nev­er hap­pened yet in the 15 bil­lion years the uni­verse has been around) com­plete­ly and we’ll see what hap­pens when it does. It may answer all our questions.

    Hav­ing said that though, I could be *com­plete­ly* wrong and there may be anoth­er expla­na­tion alto­geth­er. I think the biggest prob­lem fac­ing peo­ple is that there is just so much we can­not even con­ceive. For exam­ple, just try to real­ly imag­ine some­thing that has is tru­ly infi­nite. I think try­ing to under­stand the uni­verse with our cur­rent under­stand­ing may be the same thing. Not being able to con­ceive some­thing does­n’t mean it can’t/doesn’t happen 🙂

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    Geoff:
    I like course like that. But the essen­tial ques­tion is, does preser­va­tion of ener­gy have a fin­er rule (much like rel­a­tiv­i­ty)? I guess you will have much inter­est in the satel­lite NASA shot into orbit yes­ter­day, mea­sur­ing frame drag …
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    I can’t *wait* for them to start get­ting results back from that satel­lite 🙂 I’m hop­ing it’ll open up whole new areas of sci­ence. It is scary though … For exam­ple, if they find that they can actu­al­ly gen­er­ate grav­i­ty, you *KNOW* some idiot in the Govt is going to 1) want to see just how big they can make it and 2) can it be used as a weapon. Such things are very dan­ger­ous to play with …

    As for the con­ser­va­tion of ener­gy… with a black hole you have a stark­ly defined line: Every thing in the “real” uni­verse (that is, every­thing out­side the event hori­zon) and every­thing with­in the event hori­zon. Physi­cists the­o­rize that things are *very* abnor­mal with­in the event hori­zon and that the clos­er to the sin­gu­lar­i­ty you get (the phys­i­cal core at the cen­ter of the black hole), the more abnor­mal the physics get. Things inside there reg­u­lar­ly to not con­form to the same laws of physics that exist out­side the event hori­zon. When the par­ti­cles are ripped apart, the black hole has to give up some ener­gy in order to main­tain the bal­ance in the “nor­mal” universe.

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    And your last point about the bible is true. But do know that chris­tians believe in Jesus teach­ings and the old tes­ta­ment was all about the Israeli. The old tes­ta­ment says an eye for an eye, the new one says you should for­give 7 times 70. The dif­fer­ence is that Jesus dies for our sins in the new tes­ta­ment, so we must do (some­what) the same, by not apply­ing an eye for an eye.
    **************************************************

    And yet, the Chris­t­ian author­i­ties (min­is­ter, priests, what­not) all refer *heav­i­ly* to both, depend­ing on what they’re try­ing to con­vince you of. There’s no con­sis­tan­cy to their teach­ings, at least none that I’ve seen. The prob­lem with reli­gion isn’t reli­gion, but that peo­ple keep try­ing to make it fit THEIR ideas of what is right.

  12. I have a few ram­bling com­ments about this reli­gious debate on my blog, if you care to amble on over. I’ve tried to puz­zle out a bet­ter way to start this dis­cus­sion. It’s dif­fi­cult when the reli­gious world­view is exclud­ed by the sec­u­lar world­view, and vice-ver­sa. Reli­gious debate is one of the few areas where nobody seems to be able to start from the the same point of view. We all “know” the answer we want to arrive at, and only seek to defend it.

  13. What a nice site, been surf­ing on it for the whole night and day and i neva got bored for a sin­gle minute. Keep up your good work and all of the best in every­thing you do! 🙂

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