Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Whatever Your Position on the Israeli-Palestinian Issue, This Jewish Kid's Got Guts

Notice that a line of police have to keep Muslims from beating this Jewish high school student to death.

150 comments:

kate said...

O WOW! good for him!!!!
I was shocked today when i got out of work and saw muslims rallying at my states capitol. I have lived here all my life and this is the first time i had seen such a rally by muslims.
I almost felt like driving home getting my "support Israel" shirt on and rally against them. Ugh! all this makes me sick. it's funny tho how the muslims dont show up to rally when a train is blown up in Spain, England,or the Christian massacre that happen every day! but when nine deadly ppl r killed on a ship, the whole muslim community acts like the world has come to an end. pathetic!
P.S. I stand by Israel no matter what! ya u heard me, NO MATTER WHAT!!!!!

The Berean Search said...

Brave young man!

I stand with Israel.

I think someone needs to to inform the portion of the protesters who are Muslim that their Quran says Israel belongs to the Jews.

Al-Maida 5:20-21 (Y. Ali) Remember Moses said to his people: "O my people! Call in remembrance the favour of Allah unto you, when He produced prophets among you, made you kings, and gave you what He had not given to any other among the peoples. "O my people! Enter the holy land which Allah hath assigned unto you, and turn not back ignominiously, for then will ye be overthrown, to your own ruin."

Professor Khaleel Mohammad says Israel belongs to the Jews, according to the Quran.

"He says medieval scholars, "without any exception known to me," interpreted the Quran to recognize Israel as belonging to the Jews"

The Berean Search said...

P.S. David - Check the title of the post. Small misspelling by omitting a letter in the word Israeli (Iraeli)

kate said...

SO this are the moderate muslims of America? *sigh*

Nabeel Qureshi said...

Respect. Respect for the kid who stood up for his nation, respect for the Muslim at the end who said "I don't know" on camera.

...yes, I know the kid at the end couldn't remember the holocaust, but I still respect him for being honest enough to say "I don't know" without hesitation and without throwing a fit.

Theodoris said...

Probably not a smart thing to do. His only purpose was to infuriate the demonstrators who were demonstrating against the death of 10 people in international waters. You don't need to be a muslim to see this as complete stupidity.

With respect to the incident (and I know that the purpose of the post isn't to debate the validity of the attack on the ship, but here's my 2 cents!) I think many countries that aren't even muslim are condeming this attack so we shouldn't take sides based on our religion. I am a Christian and I would say that our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ would strongly disagree with the way the Israeli Commandos attacked the ship.

Odo said...

EVERY SINGLE TIME one of these Muslim demonstrations or protests goes on there HAS TO BE an equal amount of Americans on the other side with signs that read "SHARIA IS HIPOCRASY" – TRULY, that is the only way we are going to wake up (or survive).

BTW did anyone hear what that kid at the end said? "the only reason Israel is doing this is because they started...um...got kicked out from the...um...German whatever or whatever happened to them. So they are trying to take out the anger to someone else"

Notice (what today would be termed) the Freudian slip: "STARTED"...Jews started WWII?

Notice the "German WHATEVER" – it wasn't the Nazi's and the Holocaust, it was the German's and the whatever!

I will never cease to be amazed at what the Quran does to people without them even knowing it.

x said...

Quran 10:93 - "And We verily did allot unto the Children of Israel a fixed abode."
WOW Then why do Muslims create problem for Jewish children ???

minoria said...

I also stand for Israel,brave kid.I think Jewish kids are the ONLY ones who care 2 cents anymore about something other that fun.

HAMAS
I have recently discovered this.I had said before that in 2006 Hamas won the elections in Palestine.

THEIR CHARTER
It is lunacy.It says:

1.The Jews started the FRENCH REVOLUCION
2.The COMMUNIST REVOLUTION
3.WW I
4.WW II
5.The ROTARY CLUB
6.The LION's CLUB
7.The FREEMASONS
8.That ALL Muslim land that was once Muslim is Muslim forever(that would include getting back PORTUGAL and SPAIN and EASTERN EUROPE(once the Muslims controled 33% of all Europe at one time,plus Spain and Portugal would make about 50% of Europe claimed by Hamas.)

PLUS
They cite a hadith that says:"The DAY OF JUDGEMENT will NOT come till the Muslim fights the Jew and a TREE or STONE will say:"There is a JEW behind me,kill him."

Sheer craziness.I will have to write an article about this for avraidire.eu

So Christians,NOW you know what Hamas'"philosophy" is.You can argue with the Muslims about it.

The Berean Search said...

From the comments section of the video on youtube:

MagrebSansFrontiere
10 hours ago
Leurs chars seront leurs tombes et notre terre leur cimetière, je leur souhaite la souffrance et les flammes de l'enfer, ils ont volés nos terres et aujourd'hui ils prennent vos vies mais le Coran nous préscrit, que c'est oeil pour oeil et dent pour dent, aujourd'hui je leur souhaite, de connaître la plus grande des so...uffrances, de mourir les yeux ouvert dans la douleur et le silence! Allah u akbar!!

democast 10 hours ago
@MagrebSansFrontiere Why don't you send this to France24, AFP, Reuters, UPI, AP, BBC World, & CNNi to let them know your true agenda?
English translation: "Their tanks are their graves and our land their cemetery, I wish them the pain and the flames of hell, they have stolen our lands and now they take your lives, but the Quran commands us, it's eye for eye and a tooth for a tooth, I now wish them to know the largest suffrances, die with eyes open in pain and silence! Allah u Akbar!"

It's always interesting to hear from members of the 'Religion of Peace'. It's always struck me as odd that Muslims take the phrase "eye for eye and tooth for tooth" as a phrase of revenge and blood-feud. In the Mosaic Law it was a teaching about equity, fair punishment and justice not blood-feuds and revenge. It's too bad Islam has perverted and misinterpreted even the letter of the Mosaic Law, and it's even more sad they haven't accepted the teachings of the true Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ who brought us the fullness of the Law.

Matt. 5:38“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you. 43“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

(minoria and/or other French-speakers please feel free to offer feedback on the translation - it's not mine, I can't speak or read French)

ned said...

Bravo to the kid who came out to honour his country. That's a lesson all and Americans should learn too, at least stand up and speak the heart. Muslims sounded as expected aggressive and as asked by their ideology. Israel or no Israel the pitch of aggression was same as we heard in Sweden where they attacked Lars Vilks. It sounded as if just venue was changed from Sweden to US.
Muslims are amazing where ever they are the trouble trail follows them. They want to do things their way: look at Sweden, Denmark, UK, US and many more, muslims have shown they cannot live peacefully where ever they are. They consider human rights as weakness and exploit it fully.
It reassures me that without Jesus Christ as Saviour no one will experience Peace.

mkvine said...

Wow, did you guys notice how that kid almost got run over by that car??? Respect, that kid is brave!

traeh said...

Did he say he was 16? Impressive kid.

I saw footage of Israeli soldiers sliding down some kind of ropes onto the flotilla vessel where the fight took place. They didn't all slide down at once. One soldier descended first, and before his feet were on the deck the mob on the ship were already attacking him. Very quickly they had him down on the deck and you could see them beating him with some kind of poles. The Israeli soldiers say they expected no resistance and were surprised by this. They got no resistance on any of the other vessels in the flotilla. In any event, a few seconds later one sees in the footage another soldier sliding down a rope and he too gets immediately attacked by the mob. A second later a third soldier slides down a rope into the melee.

The footage appears to show that the "humanitarian aid workers" started viciously attacking and beating the soldiers before the soldiers did anything, even before their feet hit the deck.

Egypt and Israel maintain a blockade of Gaza, ever since Hamas took over Gaza in a bloody coup in 2007. Israel, especially in this age of Iranian nukes, has every right to inspect vessels before they land in Hamas-ruled Gaza. The Hamas charter explicitly seeks the destruction of Israel, tiny Israel.

Odo said...

Isreal attacked the ship

Israel is hit with thousands of rockets; they decide to put up a blockade so nobody sends reinforcing weapons to the people who are firing rockets at hospitals, pizza parlors, neighborhoods, etc.

Israel has a right to self defense.

Israel warns this vessel not to go in; they allow humanitarian aid to go in but want to investigate the vessel for weapons. IDF descend onto the ship and are brutally attacked by a vicious lynch mob, who at the same time take away two weapons from the soldiers and fire upon them. Israel protects itself and Israel gets worldwide condemnation?

Maybe this is due to the pro-Palestinian sentiment which is not only rampant in Europe, but America.

Check it out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYjkLUcbJWo&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFGuwUGaI9o

Now, I DO condemn the death of 9 people. But I sure don't condemn those soldiers for being attacked while they were doing their job – a sweep they perform every time any merchant vessel passes their waters.

SECTION V: NEUTRAL MERCHANT VESSELS AND CIVIL AIRCRAFT. Neutral merchant vessels 67. Merchant vessels flying the flag of neutral States may not be attacked unless they: (a) are believed on reasonable grounds to be carrying contraband or breaching a blockade, and after prior warning they intentionally and clearly refuse to stop, or intentionally and clearly resist visit, search or capture.

These guys (definitely not civil or neutral) were not resisting search or capture; they were literally beating the soldiers with iron rods trying to make mincemeat out of them. I also read a minute ago that they were in solidarity with Hamas, and actually trained by Hamas "naval police" on how to "respond" to the IDF. If this is true then Hamas trained these guys for the SOLE purpose of being killed (Hamas knew there would be lives lost – Im sure they didn't mention it to the 'humanitarians', and Im guessing they made sure no weapons were on board), making Israel the bad guy, another part of the sympathetic media conditioning strategy, soften us up for the real day so we scatter around like chickens with heads cut off. War is deceit, and what better deceit than to confuse your enemy?

So who attacked who? Who are we to so quickly condemn? Who should be condemned?

Rafik Responde ao Isla said...

Hi guys, forgive me for my irony, but to be a Muslim you got to be ignorant, an "Enlightened Muslim" is a contradiction of terms.

Fernando said...

"I do not know that stuff"...

Yepp... thats typical... to support muslim causes. one must be totally ignorant off the true... yes: totally ignorant off the true... islam spreads its typical lies, misinformations and hatte bases on those lies and misinformations... whate kinde off religion is one thate cannot stand for the truth... as the turkish islamic fundamentalist prime-muslim saide: «what others do not say we'll crie out loude»... yes... when others do not dare to lie, muslims are eagger to do so: lie, lie, lie...

islam is a fraude, creted by a fraudfull person, based on a book thate is a fraude, supported by some hadiths thate are really a fraude, constructed uppon a mythological analisies off history thate is a fraude...

fraude and lies: here are the 2 key words of islam...

Ron Murphy said...

Just look on Youtube for Jewish settlers. They're as loony as the Muslims, and the fundamentalist Christians that back the Jews. Let's face it, whether it's Jews v Muslims, or even Christian v Christian (Northern Ireland), religious nut-jobs are the cause of most trouble in this world.

Nakdimon said...

Oh man, talk about CHUTZPAH! LOL.

I like the guy that is being interviewed at the end. The reporter asks "what about the Jewish presence in the Biblical days?" Guy answers "Oh I dont know about that". LOL. Thats exactly the point. You guys have no clue!

minoria said...

Hello Berean:
The translation is fine except that "Leurs chars seront leurs tombes"means "their tanks WILL BE their tombs",not"their tanks ARE their tombs".

Anthony Rogers said...

Ron,

It looks like you came here to srtir up trouble. Are you a religious nut-job?

Fernando said...

Ron Murphy... thats a tupical non-muslim name and thate makes em wonder...

you saide: «the fundamentalist Christians that back the Jews»... I do not consider myself fundamentalist bie any means or formes, and I do back the jews because they are being menaced since the start off islam just because thay saide whate was tooooo evident: muhammad was no prophet whatesoever... more: I do not support jews in an non-intelegent fashion as people do when supporting muslims: I do use my reason and am willing to debate them withe anyone anywhere... are you?

you also saide: «Let's face it, whether it's Jews v Muslims»... and why not muslims v Jews? this is the historical truth because islam, from its satart, affirmed itself against anyone anywhere: not withe reasons, butt withe violence, lies and fraude...

you also saide: «or even Christian v Christian (Northern Ireland)»... so: are you implyieng thate the conflict in Northern Ireland has anything withe religion? Withe a name like the one you use (a fake one, no doubt) you ought know thate the problem there is a political one: does Northern Ireland keep, un-naturaly, as a part of the UK, or as a natural part off the Eire?

so Ron Murphy... and do you know who killed more people in the XX century? Mao, Stalin and Htler... 3 persons thate weren't, by any means, religious...

whanne try more fake arguments?

just habe a go... please: habe a go... thanks...

Mad irish said...

Ron

Sorry but the Northern Ireland thing was not religious - it was political - sorry to others for this off topic post however i am northern irish so should know

BTW
i have read this website for about two years now - some people on here are just mind blowing with their knowledge on the bible and koran, i have learned so much and am so grateful, thank you very much

The Fat Man said...

SECTION V: NEUTRAL MERCHANT VESSELS AND CIVIL AIRCRAFT. Neutral merchant vessels 67. Merchant vessels flying the flag of neutral States may not be attacked unless they: (a) are believed on reasonable grounds to be carrying contraband or breaching a blockade, and after prior warning they intentionally and clearly refuse to stop, or intentionally and clearly resist visit, search or capture.


Odo thanks for posting that. I love listing to the talking heads saying how Israel violated International law. But they never say what law they violated.

I saw on CNN this morning that a former US Ambassador to Martinique was on one of the boats.

They asked him about the attack and the "Activists" using weapons. When they asked him this they were showing the video of the "ACTIVISTS" beating the crap out of the soldiers with metal pipes and bats etc...

The Ambassador response "They had deck chairs... A plastic deck chair is not a weapon"

When asked about the pipes and bats etc.. The Ambasador changed his resposne to "Listen what they were doing was defending their ship against pirates"

So we have a former US Ambassador that does not know what a weapons is, and does not know the definition of a pirate.

I also read a opp ed piece in the New York times stating that what the "Activists" did was no diferent then the Civil Rights activists who sat down at the lunch counters and marched in the street.

Only problem with this is those that sat at the lunch counter did not pick up bats and pipes to attack the waitresses, other patrons and the police when they were refused service.

Only problem is that when the police turned fire hoses, battons and dogs on the marchers they did not take out bats, clubs and pipes to beat the police, firemen, and dogs.

The Fat Man said...

I forgot to add "I CONDEMN THE KILLING OF ALL INNOCENT LIFE"

Now with that said, Israel as far as I can tell, did nothing wrong either legally, morally or ethically.

Odo said...

The Fat Man said, Only problem is that when the police turned fire hoses, battons and dogs on the marchers they did not take out bats, clubs and pipes to beat the police, firemen, and dogs.

Ya, and they did not take a pistol from one of the police officers and shoot them with it either.


This one is Muhammad related :)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3L7OV414Kk

Fernando said...

Hi Mad irish!!! Glad to see you arounde here... keep posting your comentes and may God bless you and your familie!

Ron Murphy said...

Hi Anthony Rogers,

I'm not a religious nut-job, but thank you for your charitable interest.

I don't want to stir up trouble, but I would like to know how the religious can't see their double standards.

Fernando,

"I do not consider myself...." There are so many faiths (a big clue to them being human inventions), and there are plenty of Christian fundamentalists that support Israel no matter how that country behaves. For the record, I think Islam is currently the worst of the religions, though Roman Catholicism had its day.

So there's a political element to the troubles in Norther Ireland; that doesn't mean that the division wasn't religious. Islam is a political religious movement, and Israel is a political state that happens to be intended as the home of the Jews. Religion IS politics.

"so: are you implyieng thate the conflict in Northern Ireland has anything withe religion?" - I wouldn't want to imply that. I'd want to say it clearly in no uncertain terms.

"Withe a name like the one you use (a fake one, no doubt)" - Another charitable Christian remark, and tytpcally assuming that someone that doesn't quite hold your views is somehow fake. If your not for us you're against us?

"does Northern Ireland keep, un-naturaly, as a part of the UK, or as a natural part off the Eire?" - Is Israel a natural state? Or was it too created by the British? How about letting Norther Ireland become part of Eire, and Israel part of...??? Oh yes, that was under a British mandate then, and before that the Otterman Empire... How far back do we have to go in returning lands to their former owners?

"so Ron Murphy... and do you know who killed more people in the XX century? Mao, Stalin and Htler... 3 persons thate weren't, by any means, religious..." - Just more idealogs, following dumb ideaologies, killing people in the name of their ideology.

And, yes that's my real name. My great grandfather was fro Eire, but I'm English. I'm an atheist, but I disliek all ideologies, whether they are religious or not.

"whanne try more fake arguments?" - I hadn't made any arguments. I'd just pointed out that there seems to be unconditional support for Israel here, and that you migh want to look at Israel's crimes too - you know, take a balanced view, is that so hard?

Would you like to respond to my point about the Jewish settlers? I guess you didn't bother to look for the videos. Here are some for you to think about. I'd be interested in your responses.

This cowardly bunch of maniacs stir up hatred their children so they act like this...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQs-8iaTD14

How about this... the Israely soldiers make token moves to stop the attacks...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gpvjfO097E

Christian observers attacked...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nsIf9DpZ0k

American Jews who know what's going on are opposed by Israel...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7ececQ3k_A

Self proclaimed Facist Jewish rationalism...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkCBK4-5tRI&NR=1

Some balanced views...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzkcXrunrqY&feature=related

And finally, just to be fair to all sides...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-EqXEH8w3A&feature=related

Apollos26 said...

I'm a christian and I DON'T stand for israel! - Why should I? I can't understand this israel hype. Christians are persecuted and mocked in israel etc.

WE can pray for this country to open their eyes and see the evidence for their rejected Messiah, but I don't stand for a political system and a nation - even if all my brothers in the spirit: Moses, Abraham, David etc. were jews.

For God there is no greek nor jew, nor puerto rican, nor iraqui, hindi, japanese, etc.

hugh watt said...

Ron said:

"There are so many faiths (a big clue to them being human inventions), and there are plenty of Christian fundamentalists that support Israel no matter how that country behaves."

Only Judaism and Christianity i believe are from God.
I support Israel, but not its bad behavior and i doubt any Christian does what you suggested.

"so: are you implyieng thate the conflict in Northern Ireland has anything withe religion?" - I wouldn't want to imply that. I'd want to say it clearly in no uncertain terms."

Er.. it's sectarian, not religious!

"does Northern Ireland keep, un-naturaly, as a part of the UK, or as a natural part off the Eire?" - Is Israel a natural state? Or was it too created by the British? How about letting Norther Ireland become part of Eire, and Israel part of...??? Oh yes, that was under a British mandate then, and before that the Otterman Empire... How far back do we have to go in returning lands to their former owners?"

Read what the Bible says about this Ron. That land was given to the Jews by God! What do you know about the "Balfour Treaty"?
"I'm an atheist, but I disliek all ideologies, whether they are religious or not."

Why not include atheism in this too?

"I'd just pointed out that there seems to be unconditional support for Israel here, and that you migh want to look at Israel's crimes too - you know, take a balanced view, is that so hard?"

We ask Q's of Islam/ Muslim double standards mostly, but "Israel's crimes" will be mentioned on lots of Islamic sites i'm sure.
You've not said anything about Muslim atrocities Ron, but you mention "Israel's crimes." How come? It's just an observation.
To make it clear; all crimes should be denounced, no matter who commits them!

Why do are you an atheist? Do you not find life meaningless?

Tricia said...

SUPPORT ISRAEL. They were doing their job, inspecting the "humanitarian" ship... hmm.. why did they beat to a pulp the inspectors?? Who were only carrying paint ball guns and did not fight back?

ChristianJR4 said...

MAD RESPECT for the kid!! He stood up there virtually alone in front of a very hostile crowd. When he spoke he gave a very intelligent,and mild mannered response. What a juxtaposition between that and the reactionary automatons surrounding him.

Ron Murphy said...

Hugh,

"Why do are you an atheist? Do you not find life meaningless?" - The simple answer is we humans make life meaningful. We don't need to invent Gods to do that for us. But since you kindly asked, I explain in more detail:
here for what Atheism means,
and here for why I think some people believe,
and here for how we can know stuff,
and here for how we have limited access to certainty.
Feel free to browse around and comment.

Ron Murphy said...

Hi hugh watt,

"Only Judaism and Christianity i believe are from God"
You need to make that 'i' both upper case, and bold: I; to emphasise that it is your belief - which essentially means your opinion. And of course some Christians hate the Jews for killing Jesus, and some Jews hate Christians (see videos), and Jews hate Muslims, and Muslims hate Jews, and Christians hate Muslims and Muslims hate Christians, and all of them hate atheists.... that's a whole lot of hate emanating from followers of a loving God.

"Er.. it's sectarian, not religious!" - Yes, sectarian. One definition of sectarian: Adhering or confined to the dogmatic limits of a sect or denomination; partisan. Yes, sectarian, on religious grounds that have developed into religious-political grounds. Come on! How many protestant members of the IRA? How many catholic members of the UDA?

"Read what the Bible says about this Ron. That land was given to the Jews by God!" - You mean the Bible written by men from a few thousand years ago? Jewish men? Not remotely biased then is it, this Bible. It's a book written in a superstitious age.

You mane the Balfour Declaration of 1917? A statement of policy by the British government? I didn't know Palestine was Britain's to give away.

"Why not include atheism in this too?" - [Sigh!] same old nonsense. Atheism isn't an ideology. It's just a declaration of non-belief in God. Most atheists I know of don't believe in Santa or the tooth fairy; and I guess neither do you. You don't believe in Zeus or any other ancient Gods. You are an atheist with respect to all these, except your own God. Atheists just have one less God to believe in that you do. And, atheism is a rational position taken based on evidence - if there were evidence of a God atheists would accept it - atheism isn't a dogmatic ideology.

"We ask Q's of Islam/ Muslim double standards mostly, but "Israel's crimes" will be mentioned on lots of Islamic sites I'm sure." - My emphasis. Yes, I'm sure you're sure; just as you're sure about God and lots of other stuff. But if you guys are here, and the Muslims are on there site, where's the dialogue? By highlighting the crimes of one side you're just entrenching the differences - there's no hope for peace because there are groups on each side that just mull around confirming their bitterness to one another.

"You've not said anything about Muslim atrocities Ron, but you mention "Israel's crimes." How come? It's just an observation." - Because, since you're sure you already know about them I didn't need to be so explicit here. Anyway, did you at all read my previous comment: For the record, I think Islam is currently the worst of the religions. Did we not all witness 9/11 new York, 7/7 London, Madrid, Rushdie, the killing of journalists for the cartoon incident, the protests in London where Muslims had banners proclaiming death to those who say Islam is violent. Wake up.

"To make it clear; all crimes should be denounced, no matter who commits them!" - I agree. While I appreciate the anti-Islam stance of this site, I don't see why that automatically leads to the apparent support for Israel I see here.

hugh watt said...

Ron said:

"Well, the total lack of evidence for the existence of God, and the more than adequate evidence for natural explanations for what is often attributed to God, leaves little room for supposing there is a God."

Do you know what an absolute statement is Ron? Your statement is biased from the outset.

"Similarly, we have no evidence for many other gods of old, or of the efficacy of astrology, homeopathy, etc."

Funny that; the pagans made the same presumptuous error.

1 kings 20:23 "During that time, the officials of the king of Aram gave him advice. They said, "The gods of Israel are gods of the hills. That's why they were too strong for us. But suppose we fight them on the flatlands. Then we'll certainly be stronger than they are."

28"The prophet went to Ahab and said, "The Syrians think the LORD is a god of the hills and not of the valleys. So he has promised to help you defeat their powerful army. Then you will know that the LORD is in control."

Ron, supposing i started telling you about someone you knew and described the person in a way that was totally unlike him. Would you not say, 'that's not the Blog's i know.' What if i then insisted it was, you'd probably be offended. Well, i know Whom i believe in, you do not know Him! If i said Blog's does not exist when you know he does what would you say?

"Note that this is an entirely inductive experience, from the particular to the general. Induction lies on top of no firm and absolute foundation, it is true. An inductive argument indicates some degree of support for the conclusion but does not ensure its truth. So, just to make it clear, none of this is offered as a proof! Of anything."

And;

"Evidence is the route to discovery and the support and maintenance of ideas and theories and facts. No evidence? Then it might as well not exist. Not, you note, that it doesn't exist! Science is not saying anything in particular does not exist. It only says to what extent there is evidence to support an idea. If we can't see it, taste it, feel it, etc., then we might as well act as if it doesn't exist, even if it does, for how can we tell the difference. We can happily go about our daily lives as if the speed of light does not have a limit, because in our daily lives we never reach that limit.

We can also ignore God as an entity because whether he exists of not makes no apparent difference. This means that despite the fact that theists can't prove God exists and atheists can't disprove it, it's irrelevant, because there is no evidence, and that's sufficient."


And;

"Discovering the sub-atomic particles didn't introduce some magic into the universe - it was simply that we discovered something we didn't know was there before, but is still considered part of the physical universe.

This is what will happen with any 'paranormal' effect or 'energy' that might exist. If it exists, then when it is found, that is when there is evidence of it, then it too will become a part of our physical description of the universe."


From what i gather, 'seeing is believing,' right? What i sse here is the old argument; prove 100% there's a God and,..Something can exist without our knowing it, yes. God can exist too without you knowing it. Discovering sub-atomic particles does not make them exist as you say. My Q to you is; what would it take for you to believe God exists? I see someone leaning heavily upon the inductive.

Ron Murphy said...

Hi Hugh,

"Do you know what an absolute statement is Ron? Your statement is biased from the outset." - In what way? Enlighten me. Isn't the presumption of God, the presupposition that there is a God, without question, without evidence, isn't that biased? I'm not particularly biased - show me your God, give me evidence.

"Funny that; the pagans made the same presumptuous error." - It's not a presumption, it's a conclusion, based on lack of positive evidence, and an abundance of evidence for natural explanations. Give me evidence. Explain the error.

"Ron, supposing i started telling you about someone you knew and described the person in a way that was totally unlike him. Would you not say, 'that's not the Blog's i know.' What if i then insisted it was, you'd probably be offended. Well, i know Whom i believe in, you do not know Him! If i said Blog's does not exist when you know he does what would you say?"

First, I wouldn't be offended. taking offense seems to be a refuge of the faithful - the most easily offended being Muslims.

Second, I'd introduce you to this person, this friend, and let you make his acquaintance yourself. If you still had a different opinion about him I'd maybe discuss that with you. I'd maybe give him the opportunity to chip in. You see all that could happen if it's a real person, a real entity. But this God you 'know' is never seen, is never evident, is only in your head.

"From what i gather, 'seeing is believing,' right?" - Not necessarily. There are plenty of optical illusions, inaccurate evidence in crime investigations, unreliable witness accounts. We are fallible humans, with fallible sense and minds. Science is used to rigorously account for this and overcome this, to the extent it can. A religious concept, of God, is just that, a concept in the mind with no real existence - at least zero evidence.

"What i sse here is the old argument; prove 100% there's a God" - Where do I ask for 100% proof there's a God? Just some reliable repeatable evidence would do.

"Something can exist without our knowing it" - That's a possibility. But then if we don't know it, how exactly do we know what it is that exists?

"God can exist too without you knowing it." - If you read my blog I accept this possibility. But there's no positive evidence, and believers are content to make up all sorts of stuff, their theologies, based on zero actual evidence, but rely instead on an ancient book written in times of great superstition.

"what would it take for you to believe God exists?" - How would I know in particular? I don't know what Gods are made of, what they do, how they show themselves. Trouble is, neither do you. We don't know if there's a God, or multiple Gods. we have no access to the 'supernatural'. Why? because we are natural beings, with natural senses (all our senses operate in limited range - of the electromagnetic spectrum, the audio spectrum, touch, ...) We do not have any super-duper senses with which we can be sure we are experiencing anything supernatural, and all the experiences that are claimed to be supernatural turn out to be explicable by natural means.

"I see someone leaning heavily upon the inductive." - My explanation is that's all we can do. Of course we do. What do you think you are doing when you infer stuff from the Bible. There's one book, which was written long ago, and you infer so much from it. The only problems is that that's a particularly bad example of the use of induction. If you accept the Bible, which consists of claims by one religious sect, why don't you accept that Angel Gabriel actually dictated the Quran to Mohammed? Or, why don't you accept the word of Joseph Smith and his story about the tablets of Gold that were revealed to him?

Odo said...

“there's no hope for peace because there are groups on each side that just mull around confirming their bitterness to one another.”

Really Ron? Is that it? Or might it have something to do with the hate filled ideology Muhammad left behind literally commanding the expulsion and extermination of all Jews from the Arabian Peninsula?

And you talk about peace? You know what you can do Ron, you can start by getting a few Muslims to admit their beloved prophet 'did some bad stuff' to the Jews, until you do that, don't even think of peace. Oh and good luck in getting Muslims to admit this!!!

Odo said...

A great Jewish writer and holocaust survivor once wrote:

The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference.

The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference.

The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference.

And the opposite of life is not death, it's INDIFFERENCE.

John Lollard said...

Hey Ron,

I hope I'm not interrupting your "duel" with hugh. I just wanted to point out an inconsistency; you ask for evidence, but you just denied being able to even recognize the evidence if there were any. Could you concede that there might be plenty of such evidence and you either don't accept it or else have no been presenting with it?

For instance, when I say that the natural order is evidence of God and who he is, no doubt your reply will be to deny that that qualifies as evidence for God (and you've probably already heard it a million times from Christians more intelligent than I). But by your own admission then, might the natural order actually be evidence for God and you merely have not recognized it as such?

I'd like to dialogue with you further, but I hate watching people get jumped on and I'd hate even more to be one of those doing the jumping. Hope I wasn't intruding (even though I totally was), and I hope you have a god day.

Love in Christ,
JL

hugh watt said...

Pt 1. Hi Ron:

I read some of your blog. I like your style of writing, but the uncertainties stand out.
If one says the evidence leans more towards there being no God, i ask, on what basis? I see in your reasoning this; 'based upon my lack of knowledge i've come to the conclusion there's no God!'

When i look around at the world and the incredible detail within the various species, i ask, 'was it from order, or disorder?' The chances that all the right conditions are in place for life to exist on earth are too way out to believe it happened per-chance. So the likelihood to me is, Creator!

What "evidence" do you have that it came from nothing? I cannot show you my God, you have to want to see for yourself. I can give Bible refs' to some of what i'll say, but i'll spare them unless you ask, (saving characters).

What is your starting point for life/ universe? I often hear, 'i don't know' with atheists. All of creation tells me there's a God! To say it all just happened takes more faith than i have!
What evidence would satisfy you? This is how i know if a person is sincere in their search.

Sorry, i just noticed your post before with;

"Only Judaism and Christianity i believe are from God"
You need to make that 'i' both upper case, and bold: I; to emphasise that it is your belief - which essentially means your opinion. And of course some Christians hate the Jews for killing Jesus, and some Jews hate Christians (see videos), and Jews hate Muslims, and Muslims hate Jews, and Christians hate Muslims and Muslims hate Christians, and all of them hate atheists.... that's a whole lot of hate emanating from followers of a loving God."


Here again i see the old, 'if God is so loving and theists are killing each other, what does that say about God!' How people treat each other does not make God real or not. I could say, 'look how atheist Mao/ Pot behaved, communism can't be real!' The mistake is often made that we all worship the same God, but in different ways, no!

Protestants/ Catholic fighting. Nothing to do with Jesus' teachings. It is however an excuse for a punch up. Violence at Celtic v Rangers soccer game; nothing to do with soccer, but soccer gets the blame.

"Read what the Bible says about this Ron. That land was given to the Jews by God!" - You mean the Bible written by men from a few thousand years ago? Jewish men? Not remotely biased then is it, this Bible. It's a book written in a superstitious age."

"You mane the Balfour Declaration of 1917? A statement of policy by the British government? I didn't know Palestine was Britain's to give away."

What research have you done on this?

"Why not include atheism in this too?" - [Sigh!] same old nonsense. Atheism isn't an ideology. It's just a declaration of non-belief in God."

Your belief is non-belief. Look;

"Atheists generally accept we can't prove or disprove the existence of God - basically, given our contingency of knowledge we can't really 'prove' anything without relying on premises that themselves aren't proven.

The hypothesis that there is a God - some agent that we are not aware of, that might have created the universe, that might interact with us in some as yet unknown way, is a reasonable hypothesis. There's just no evidence to support the hypothesis."


To you! Hence my point about 'Blog.'

To be continued...

hugh watt said...

Pt 2 of 3 Ron said:

"Well, the total lack of evidence for the existence of God, and the more than adequate evidence for natural explanations for what is often attributed to God, leaves little room for supposing there is a God."

Absolute biased statement highlighted.

"..if there were evidence of a God atheists would accept it - atheism isn't a dogmatic ideology."

Re-read your above statement. Sounds dogmatic to me.

"We ask Q's of Islam/ Muslim double standards mostly, but "Israel's crimes" will be mentioned on lots of Islamic sites I'm sure." - My emphasis. Yes, I'm sure you're sure; just as you're sure about God and lots of other stuff. But if you guys are here, and the Muslims are on there site, where's the dialogue? By highlighting the crimes of one side you're just entrenching the differences - there's no hope for peace because there are groups on each side that just mull around confirming their bitterness to one another."

You read the Quran? Studied Islam? Read more of the 'Headers' on this site, then ask, what are these guys highlighting? Is dialogue welcome? Yes. Is lying by Muslims? No. Does Islam condone lying to further its cause? Read, and see. It's not "bitterness to one another," we study Islam and know its tactics. Do you?

"To make it clear; all crimes should be denounced, no matter who commits them!" - I agree. While I appreciate the anti-Islam stance of this site, I don't see why that automatically leads to the apparent support for Israel I see here."

"Anti-Islam!" Anti-theist, Ron!? Who are those who "automatically support Israel?"

"Second, I'd introduce you to this person, this friend, and let you make his acquaintance yourself. If you still had a different opinion about him I'd maybe discuss that with you. I'd maybe give him the opportunity to chip in. You see all that could happen if it's a real person, a real entity. But this God you 'know' is never seen, is never evident, is only in your head."

Read John's gospel; my Friend is there. If you reject Him, do so on intelligent grounds, not what people say about Him.

Seeing is believing, to some degree.

Ron, i read your blog today. I ask you to do one thing. Read Ezekiel chapters 37,38,+39. Seeing can help in believing. You'll have these choices;

a) It (37) was written after May 14,1948.
b) It could mean anything.
c) An intelligent mind communicated to Ezekiel what was to come. Who!

"God can exist too without you knowing it." - If you read my blog I accept this possibility. But there's no positive evidence, and believers are content to make up all sorts of stuff, their theologies, based on zero actual evidence, but rely instead on an ancient book written in times of great superstition."

Again, absolute statement!

To be continued...

hugh watt said...

Pt 3 of 3.

"I don't know what Gods are made of, what they do, how they show themselves. Trouble is, neither do you. We don't know if there's a God, or multiple Gods. we have no access to the 'supernatural'. Why? because we are natural beings, with natural senses (all our senses operate in limited range."

Used "we", "our," as if you know me! General statements.

"I see someone leaning heavily upon the inductive." - My explanation is that's all we can do. Of course we do. What do you think you are doing when you infer stuff from the Bible. There's one book, which was written long ago, and you infer so much from it. The only problems is that that's a particularly bad example of the use of induction. If you accept the Bible, which consists of claims by one religious sect, why don't you accept that Angel Gabriel actually dictated the Quran to Mohammed? Or, why don't you accept the word of Joseph Smith and his story about the tablets of Gold that were
revealed to him?


When i became a Christian i stud(y)ied these beliefs. That's why i reject them.

hugh watt said...

JL.

Don't worry about chipping in. That's what blogs are about. It makes it more interesting.

Did i read you are a mathematician? If so, i may have some work for you, if Ron comes back on this:-)

Anthony Rogers said...

Ron said:

Hi Anthony Rogers,

I'm not a religious nut-job, but thank you for your charitable interest.


No problem, I always return a favor.

I don't want to stir up trouble, but I would like to know how the religious can't see their double standards.

And I'd like to know how the irreligious can "see" any standard.

John Lollard said...

hugh,

That is correct. Or I guess to an extent. I recently graduated in mathematics and physics, and I am about to start a PhD program in physics. (It probably sounds more impressive than it actually is.)

I love projects. Please say it involves symbolic logic and math proofs! Pretty please! :P

Love in Christ,
JL

Ron Murphy said...

Odo,

How many times must I spell it out? I'm not defending Islam. But do you really think the Jewish settlers are any different? Really, look at the videos, listen to the arrogant hatred in their voices. These are not people you can reason with. They are no different to fundamentalist Muslims.

Ron Murphy said...

John,

"Could you concede that there might be plenty of such evidence and you either don't accept it or else have no been presenting with it?" - Yes, of course. My point isn't that there is absolutely no evidence to be found - how could I know that? My point is that what has been presented as evidence is usually evidence of the most poor and trivial nature; and can usually be explained by natural causes; or simply remains unexplained - and in the last case calling on the God of the gaps isn't good enough.

"But by your own admission then, might the natural order actually be evidence for God and you merely have not recognized it as such?" - It might be. But the problem is that the same data can be explained by any number of hypotheses:

The movement of the sun in the sky is:
1) A ball of fire moving across the sky
2) Earth rotating underneath a stationary sun

Both these fit the basic observation. The effect of gravity and relativity means we think we are stationary, on stationary earth - because we have no other basic evidence to counter that observation. So for millenia option (1) was the favourite. Only later closer examination using instruments such as the telescope lead to more precise measurements, and the idea of (2) - the initial idea of (2) still being misunderstood in some senses (e.g. it was thought orbits were circular). But, it doesn't end there. we could speculate much more:

The movement of the sun in the sky is:
1) A ball of fire moving across the sky
2) Earth rotating underneath a stationary sun
3) The motion of God himself, so bright that we can't look at him directly (e.g. old Sun God notions)
... any number of hypotheses.

The problem with religions and God hypotheses is that they go beyond speculation about the unknown to claims of certain knowledge about the unknown. Simply look at the details of all the other religions, and how silly they seem - then apply that sceptical analysis to your own. It's easy to hypothesize that there's a God, and then make suff up about God that explains stuff: example. The difference with normal life, and science is just a more rigorous use of our natural abilities, is that it goes to some effort to check whether a particular hypothesis fits the data consistently and usefully - by making observations, devising experiments. It doesn't rely on accepting the hypothesis as a given, and then speculating onward and upward from there.

John to hugh, "Please say it involves symbolic logic and math proofs!" - See here.

By all means visit my blog and comment on anything you disagree with there.
(the invitation is open to anyone - since I've taken this post off topic, by all means comment on mine)

Thanks for your input.

Ron Murphy said...

Hi Anthony Rogers,

"And I'd like to know how the irreligious can "see" any standard." - I'm not quite sure what you mean by 'see' in this context. Do you mean you don't know how the irreligious come to have moral standards? I'm guessing that's what you mean, but please correct me if I'm mistaken.

It appears we get our basic moral standards from evolution, and have developed our morals from there. we can go into more detail if you wish.

Ron Murphy said...

hugh,

"Absolute biased statement highlighted." - Fair point. Let me rephrase it: "Well, the apparent total lack of evidence for the existence of God..." - So, if you have evidence, by all means provide it.

"Seeing is believing, to some degree." - Yes, to some degree. But at times it's easy to misinterpret your data, and the same data can be interpreted in many ways - see example above.

"You'll have these choices" - And many more, but I favour this one:
d) It's a self-fulfilled prophecy. Following WWII there was the desire to have a Jewish homeland, no doubt fuelled by Ezekiel 37. The actions of '48 were in response to Ezekiel 37, so of course, after the fact it looks like a prophecy come true.

and this one:
e) The person described by the Book of Ezekiel may have suffered from epilepsy. Specifically, it is claimed that Ezekiel himself may have suffered from temporal lobe epilepsy, which has several characteristic symptoms that are apparent from his writing.[5] These symptoms include hypergraphia, hyperreligiosity, fainting spells, mutism and often collectively ascribed to a condition known as Geschwind syndrome.

And no doubt the conviction of Jews and Christians in the truth of the Bible will lead to more 'prophecies' coming true. Unless of course Muslims make some of their prophecies come true. Muslims aren't slow to tell us which bits of the Quran have turned out to be true, making the Quran the inerrant word of God. Equally bollocks of course.

"Used "we", "our," as if you know me! General statements." - Of course they're general statements. They're based on the current knowledge that we are material human beings that are similar in our abilities to sense and to reason. Can you point to any evidence that shows any religious person having some magical capacity to 'see' the supernatural? All the auditory 'voices' and visual 'visions' match known normal mental phenomena so closely there's no reason to suppose they are anything else.

"When i became a Christian i stud(y)ied these beliefs. That's why i reject them." - Okay, I'd love to go into those details with you. Can we do that?

Ron Murphy said...

hugh,

"the uncertainties stand out." - Yes, they do. They are uncertainties we're all subject to. We are fallible human beings with unreliable faculties.

"based upon my lack of knowledge I've come to the conclusion there's no God!" - Close. Based on no theist EVER presenting any reliable evidence, I live my life AS IF there's no God. Whether there is one or not it appears to make no difference. It's true that evidence for God would change many things, not least the minds of atheists. Think of Britain around 1066, busy with the Norman Invasion. European people knew nothing about Native Americans - and the existence of NA's made no difference because there was no contact. Later, as Europeans 'discovered' America there was suddenly interaction. The same basically applies to God. Let me know when you've discovered him, as opposed to just speculating about him.

"So the likelihood to me is, Creator!" - God of the gaps, ID, whatever you call it. Based on a misunderstanding about what basic elements of matter can do when they get into really complex conjunction. Too much to go into here from scratch, but please, ask on my blog and I'll respond with more detail. But really, the only reason we 'think' the world is designed is because the only non-natural complexity we see is created by us, and we assume that ALL complexity requires designers.

"What "evidence" do you have that it came from nothing?" - Very little. There are many ideas; some of them very speculative hypotheses, just like the God hypothesis. I'm not discounting the God hypothesis - I'm just saying you don't have ANY evidence to tell me about what this supposed creator is like.

"I cannot show you my God, you have to want to see for yourself." - This is known as confirmation bias. You can't really discover stuff if you set out thinking you know the answer. personal testimony, personal experience, personal introspection, isn't good enough - see this for starters.

"Bible refs" - Tell me only that you have a book, written by many, going back more than a 1000 years to superstitious times. The Bible, the Quran, and any holy book is just a book.

"What is your starting point for life" - See this and this.

"Your belief is non-belief." - This is using two different meanings for 'belief'. In the faith sense, 'belief' and 'faith' are ways of describing what you believe in pretty certain terms, if not with absolute certainty - many 'believers', though not all, are absolutely certain there is a God. My 'belief' is only a contingent conclusion based on current evidence, or lack of it. same applies to my 'belief' in science - it's a contingent trust in the results of science: I generally, though not always, trust science, but I don't actually 'believe in' science the way most theists 'believe' in God.

John Lollard said...

"Simply look at the details of all the other religions, and how silly they seem - then apply that sceptical analysis to your own."

I try very hard to do so. I would hope that I am being consistent, though I recognize that I do have a certain bias. By God's Grace, I would hope if Christianity were false that I would have the strength to reject it :P

I think you understandably misunderstood me when I said that I would appeal to the natural order. I did not say that I would appeal to some phenomenon that science can't explain and insist that God does it. I think that method is ridiculous. My method would not be "these things are explainable by God", but rather "God is explainable by these things". I think nature points to a redemptive God who suffers and dies and yet rises to give us life, and not by demanding this God as its cause but by describing such a being to our own human needs.

I'll comment on your blog later, but you seem to think hugh and I are going to "prove" God to you. That's not what I had in mind. What I hoping he was going to ask me to do was logically demonstrate the incoherence of atheism (actually related to your blog post). The classical scholastic approach is very much out of vogue, and presuppositionalism is in (and fun).

If you want evidence of God, I think there is tons of it. The Resurrection of Jesus is pretty good evidence, I think. Of course, you're going to ask for evidence of that. I can demonstrate to within good historical certainty that Jesus claimed to be God, was seen performing miracles, claimed He would rise from the dead, was crucified as an insurrectionist, died, His tomb was found empty by Jews, Romans, and His followers shortly thereafter, and the same followers who claimed to have seen Him risen from the dead went to their deaths insisting that their account was true. While there are certainly many plausible explanations, I think the only one that is probable is the Resurrection.

And I already know the atheist response. The typical atheist rejects all of the evidence as fabricated or spurious. The scholarly atheist (who has to accept the evidence as reliable) believes the Apostles were somehow incorrect about seeing Jesus risen from the dead, or else told it as am embellishment to support a faith of morality and love, were all suffering from the same delusion at once, or that this was all later interpolation.

Which is how it will work with any of the evidence that I give you. You will reject the evidence itself, reject my evidence for the evidence, and reject that the evidence implies the existence of God.

The evidence that I WANT to give you is exactly what hugh hinted at and which you asked for. I would LOVE to introduce you to Jesus. He is amazing, and I'm sure He'd love to meet you. Sadly, you don't live in my area, but I'm sure that there are people in your area who DO know Him. Maybe they'd introduce you?

That was a long post. I appreciate your eye stamina in reading it all. I'm sure we'll stay in correspondence, and I may start bothering you on your own blog :P

Love in Christ,
JL

Anthony Rogers said...

Ron,

I'm not quite sure what you mean by 'see' in this context. Do you mean you don't know how the irreligious come to have moral standards? I'm guessing that's what you mean, but please correct me if I'm mistaken.

No, that isn't what I meant, but since you do not appear to be familiar with the problem I was raising, and since I think your answer is shot through with problems, I'm happy to swap out my question for the one you tried to address.

It appears we get our basic moral standards from evolution, and have developed our morals from there. we can go into more detail if you wish.

If we get our basic moral standards from evolution, then all you are saying when you condemn this or that is that you have evolved to say "bad" to x and "good" to y.

That means that your condemnation of what people did in the past only amounts to saying, "I presently condemn what so and so did in the past because it runs contrary to the standards I have evolved to hold to today, which itself runs contrary to what they evolved to hold to back then, which itself runs contrary to what people in the more distant past evolved to hold before them". Furthermore, since people and their morality are still changing, you are in principle granting that your own standards, the ones you use to judge people in the past (and present), will be outdated in the future, in which case you will be in precisely the same boat as the people in our past whom you condemn today. And just like you say "So what" to their standards; so people in the future will say "So what" to yours.

If we are evolving and our morality is evolving right along with us, how do you know that what we have evolved to believe regarding moral standards is better than the standards people held in the past? How do you know that our morality is evolving in an upward direction? How do you know it is getting better? In fact, how do you know that the morality you have evolved to hold is better than that held by the guy next door who evolved just as you did and who holds different standards than you do? (There are different denominations of atheists, after all; and each of them claim to have the best standards for offer on the evolutionary market today.)

Since we have evolved to hold the standards that we do, why do you get the right to tell all the rest of us that your evolved standards are the ones that the rest of us should be living up to? Who died and made you king?

And speaking of the issue of authority, what makes any evolved standard authoritative at all? Evolution and authoritative are not equivalent terms after all. Just because we have evolved to hold certain standards, what obligation rests upon any of us to live by those standards? People violate there own standards every day. On your principles, all they have done is pushed the envelope. Maybe they are just trying to speed up the process of evolution and bring about a better, suped up, more improved standard. In fact, that is just what the people of the past should have done according to your evolutionary approach. Since you presently judge their standards to be sub-par, what they should have done in the past was act contrary to the standards evolution bequeathed to them and pushed for a new morality, the morality you presently hold. And that means that what all of us should be doing today is pushing the envelope as well, i.e. we should say "Thank you, but no thank you" to your current standards. We should reject your view in the name of the next standards to come down the evolutionary pike. It is always better to be on the cutting edge, wouldn't you say?

Ron Murphy said...

... ctd

"Since we have evolved to hold the standards that we do, why do you get the right to tell all the rest of us that your evolved standards are the ones that the rest of us should be living up to? Who died and made you king?" - Quite right. I don't have any right in this respect, as neither do you, nor the guys who wrote your Bible. It's our collective opinions that through the political and legal system make our laws. Clearly we all have our own opinions.

"And speaking of the issue of authority, what makes any evolved standard authoritative at all? " - That's to misunderstand the evolution of morality. Evolution gives us our innate emotions about what we feel is right or wrong. Our actual moral codes are thought about consciously and arrived at by that means - such as choosing to use a particular book as a guide to one's moral code. So, basically there is no moral authority as such - least of all an ancient book or a sky fairy.

"Evolution and authoritative are not equivalent terms after all." - I agree. Never said they were.

"People violate there own standards every day." - They violate their own, yes. And they violate those of their favourite book too. We're human beings with strong subconscious emotions and biochemistry that our conscious minds can't control as well as we'd like sometimes.

"On your principles, all they have done is pushed the envelope." - What envelope? We do tend to change morality over time, so I would say we're always pushing the envelope of whatever the status quo is.

"Maybe they are just trying to speed up the process of evolution and bring about a better, suped up, more improved standard." - Not trying to speed up evolution - your view of evolved morality seems to be strongly Lamarckian, (the idea that an organism can pass on characteristics that it acquired during its lifetime to its offspring), which is thought not to be the case, but remains contentious - but see here. Culturally we do pass on ideas to our offspring - but not genetically; and that's why most kids adopt the beliefs of their parents.

"In fact, that is just what the people of the past should have done according to your evolutionary approach." - No. They had neither the understanding or the technical know-how. We're still not close ourselves to that ability, though we are closer than were people of the past.

"Since you presently judge their standards to be sub-par, what they should have done..." - Only be modern standards. Why would they change if they thought they were right? And, without a time machine I can't influence their opinions either. Is all we can do is observe what we know of the past and use that as we think appropriate.

"act contrary to the standards evolution bequeathed" - Man has been doing that for millenia anyway. The whole point of morality is to decide what we culturally think is for the best, and promote behaviour that matches that, and use laws and punishments for those who behave with what we now might call more 'natural' evolutionary behaviour in some circumstances.

"And that means that what all of us should be doing today is pushing the envelope as well" - Many are rejecting moral standards that were once more prevalent: racism is no longer acceptable, homosexuality is, homophobia isn't, sex outside marriage is, blasphemy is, abortion is... Not by everyone of course - we all have our opinions: there are plenty of racist, homophobic, sexually retentive bigots out there - many with a Bible in their hands. Present company excepted I'm sure.

Ron Murphy said...

.. ctd

I don't think evolution works fast enough to change as you suggest: 'evolve now' and 'evolve then'. By the time we got to 'people' - homo sapiens living in groups - I think we had pretty much the same 'innate' feelings as we have now. How we process them culturally changed over time and place, from individual to individual, as it does now. "Furthermore, since people and their morality are still changing" - Yes, as individuals we change the details over our lives, as we learn, as we pick up ideas about what we consider right and wrong. Just look at the way homosexuality has become more acceptable as a more liberal morality has grown in the West (parts of Middle East and USA haven't quite got there).

"you are in principle granting that your own standards, the ones you use to judge people in the past (and present), will be outdated in the future" - Quite possibly. I've no idea how morality will be dealt with in the future. The changing views on what is understood to be free-will, the understanding of how brains work, will probably have some influence on that.

"And just like you say "So what" to their standards" - What does it matter what I think about standards of the past, for them: they're dead. I can have an opinion on how the Inquisition behaved, or Stalin, or Hitler, but only to give some input about what we think about morality now. By the way, I wouldn't want to dictate what people of the future think about morality, since that will be their right and responsibility - read Tom Paine, because it's opinions like his that formed America and made it a secular government, even if many religious people of today deny that.

"If we are evolving and our morality is evolving right along with us" - Human evolution continues, at a snails pace. It might well be outstripped in the near future by genetic manipulation (not to be confused with eugenics - don't panic) and other methods of enhancement that cause artificial selection to dominate natural selection.

"How do you know it is getting better?" - There's no standard of better or worse, just different. Most people of a hundred years ago would be horrified by our 'morality', which has changed culturally since then in the West, but probably not at all evolutionarily. Much of the Middle East still employs Middle Age morality. The mixing of peoples around the world, all the mixed marriages (by location of origin, I don't mean simply 'race') makes any study of evolution or moral emotions a genetic study, which is still in its early days.

"In fact, how do you know that the morality you have evolved to hold is better than that held by the guy next door who evolved just as you did and who holds different standards than you do?" - It's true we will have different genetic makeup, as we all do. It's too difficult to tell on an individual level which genes determine our morality - but keep your eye on the scientific news for that.

"There are different denominations of atheists, after all; and each of them claim to have the best standards for offer on the evolutionary market today." - Yes, each atheist has his own opinion, as does each theist - even those that claim to live by a book. There are far more denominations of Christians with a whole range of ideas about what's morally acceptable and what's not. The Bible may provide a guide to how you form your opinion, as might an individual pastor or priest, but in the end it's still your own.

Ron Murphy said...

Hi Anthony,

"No, that isn't what I meant, but since you do not appear to be familiar with the problem I was raising" - I might be. Can you spell it out for me please.

I'll respond to your points next, but first, a clearer idea about morality from evolution. Evolution does not give us explicit moral codes, shrink wrapped for each person. Evolution gives us innate emotions - the most relevant in this respect being empathy. That causes strong emotional feelings that prevents us mostly from harming others, or causes us concern whenever we encounter actions by others that cause harm. This is subconscious, in parts of the brain that we have in common with many animals, particularly mammals. We don't control these feelings - they just happen. What man has done over the millenia is to take those feelings and in our cultures develop moral codes consciously. Some have been written into holy 'how to be good' guides, of which the Bible is one, and some people are content to derive their morality from that (though really they derive it from whoever is interpreting that for them - e.g. all the different Christianities). Cultures may 'evolve' their moral codes - but this doesn't mean they biologically evolve them - I'm referring to the more general use of the term 'evolve' which just means to change over time, without any biological connotations. On the whole biological evolution is far too slow to have such a great an effect on our morality - and even if there has been some biological change it is pretty much swamped by cultural effects.

Consider how arbitrary our innate moral feelings are. Hypothetical example. When a male lion finds a mate that already has cubs he kills the cubs; which brings the female on heat and makes her ready to conceive the new male's cubs. If this characteristic had been part of man's evolutionary past then in second marriages the men would be inclined, biologically, maybe as part of their sex drive, to kill the wife's previous children. There might be some societies that would have dropped this practice. Historically such a society may have used anti-divorce principles as part of its mechanism to protect against this type of infanticide. But what if second marriage infanticide was still in force in some cultures?

It's not too far fetched to see it having a role in religious practice - or maybe just a symbolic role, as symbolic as the Eucharist is, or the symbolic wearing of a cross (which is a brutal form of punishment, but which has a different meaning now). Part of the marriage ceremony may have developed to include not only the current vows, but ones were the male vows not to kill any step-children. Just think of some step-father/step-children emotional problems that occur sometimes now - and we have't have evolved infanticide.

Just as stoning adulterers is a religious deterrent for adultery in some cultures, so might infanticide be a deterrent for woman taking second partners, or committing adultery. This is how arbitrary moral opinions are, religious and secular - they are dictated by evolutionary and cultural history. But we don't have to live by them if we now disapprove of them.

hugh watt said...

Pt 2 of 2."My 'belief' is only a contingent conclusion based on current evidence, or lack of it."

Agnostic atheist? 'B' keeps on with; 'unless we were there, we really can't be sure what happened. There's zero evidence it was not that way originally.'

"Absolute biased statement highlighted." - Fair point. Let me rephrase it: "Well, the apparent total lack of evidence for the existence of God..." - So, if you have evidence, by all means provide it."

'A' says; 'everything had to be in working order for it to function. How could it run in that condition?'
'B' replies; 'let me rephrase: We weren't there, so unless i have total proof i'll stick by my beliefs.'

"Seeing is believing, to some degree." - Yes, to some degree. But at times it's easy to misinterpret your data, and the same data can be interpreted in many ways."

And so 'B' hangs on in there, insisting the data can be interpreted to say, it could have come out the factory like that and sold to the oddest bidder!

"Equally bollocks of course."

Language

"Used "we", "our," as if you know me! General statements." - Of course they're general statements."

"Can you point to any evidence that shows any religious person having some magical capacity to 'see' the supernatural? All the auditory 'voices' and visual 'visions' match known normal mental phenomena so closely there's no reason to suppose they are anything else."

You missed my point. You cannot speak for my life's experiences nor anyone else's for that matter, only yours. This answers your second point. I do not use the supernatural to prove the existence of God.

"When i became a Christian i stud(y)ied these beliefs. That's why i reject them." - Okay, I'd love to go into those details with you. Can we do that?

I shall choose a previous thread with relevance to our dialogue and let you know so we can continue there.

JL said:

"I think you understandably misunderstood me when I said that I would appeal to the natural order. I did not say that I would appeal to some phenomenon that science can't explain and insist that God does it. I think that method is ridiculous. My method would not be "these things are explainable by God", but rather "God is explainable by these things".

Ditto!

"I'll comment on your blog later, but you seem to think hugh and I are going to "prove" God to you. That's not what I had in mind."

Ditto!

The evolution path is where atheism leads to. Which is why i asked JL if he's into math, (physics bonus). I'll come back to that.
Anthony Rogers said what i was coming to eventually. Since he covered it so well, i'll just ditto that also.

hugh watt said...

Pt:1. Ron said:

"Well, the total lack of evidence for the existence of God and the more than adequate evidence for natural explanations for what is often attributed to God, leaves little room for supposing there is a God."

"Could you concede that there might be plenty of such evidence and you either don't accept it or else have no been presenting with it?" - "Yes, of course. My point isn't that there is absolutely no evidence to be found - how could I know that?"

Contradiction!

"But by your own admission then, might the natural order actually be evidence for God and you merely have not recognized it as such?" -It might be. But the problem is that the same data can be explained by any number of hypotheses:

You mean; rather than believing God did it you'll look for a natural, 5 senses answer?

Simply look at the details of all the other religions, and how silly they seem - then apply that sceptical analysis to your own.

Again, general statement! Why take what other religions teach and lump all together? Have you studied them? You're ASSUMING the details of others affect Christianity!

"based upon my lack of knowledge I've come to the conclusion there's no God!" - Close. Based on no theist EVER presenting any reliable evidence, I live my life AS IF there's no God. Whether there is one or not it appears to make no difference.

Again i ask, just what "evidence" are you looking for?

Ron; 2 guys walking along. They see a Bentley with the left side dented, headlamp smashed a tyre flat. 'A' says; 'man, what a wreck!' 'B' says; 'what do you mean? it looks ok to me.'
Would it be fair to assume the car had been in an accident, or that it was just that way?

"The same basically applies to God. Let me know when you've discovered him, as opposed to just speculating about him.

Then 'B' starts to speculate the car was formed that way. He uses "logical," "rational thinking" to draw that conclusion, but 'A' is having none of it. What do you say?

"Based on a misunderstanding about what basic elements of matter can do when they get into really complex conjunction.

..the only reason we 'think' the world is designed is because the only non-natural complexity we see is created by us, and we assume that ALL complexity requires designers.


So, 'A' says; 'this car would never run had it been like that originally. To which 'B' replies; 'who's to say!? Who decides what's natural and what's designed?'

"I'm not discounting the God hypothesis - I'm just saying you don't have ANY evidence to tell me about what this supposed creator is like." But;

.."the total lack of evidence for the existence of God."

"You can't really discover stuff if you set out thinking you know the answer. personal testimony, personal experience, personal introspection, isn't good enough."

'A' says; 'no car is built like that, it wouldn't sell!' 'B' comes with, 'how can you be so sure, that's an hypothesis.' 'A' says; you serious!?' ' You really believe it was made that way!?' 'B' replies; 'it may have formed like that. Who knows how old it is. Given enough time with the right conditions you never know what might happen.'

hugh watt said...

Ron:

If you go to these threads;

THURSDAY, MAY 27, 2010
Ground Zero Imam, Founder of ASMA and Chairman of Cordoba Initiative: "I Do Not Believe in Religious Dialogue"

Check the links from this paragraph. You'll have an idea of why i reject Islam.

Now, Muhammad is the very man who said husbands can beat their wives, who said women are deficient in their minds, who has been recorded as striking his wife in her chest and causing her pain, who was the greatest polygamist in Islam, who said women lack common sense, who said Hell will be mostly inhabited by women, who endorsed raping of female captives, and who is single-handedly the greatest cause for underage marriages around the world. If Abdul Rauf thinks Muhammad is "the first feminist," no wonder he considers himself the anti-terrorist!

Comment on thread;

"Nazia Quazi Released from Saudi Arabia"

Let me know if you leave a post there.

Anthony Rogers said...

Ron,

It usually takes a couple of rounds to get atheists to admit what you have, and even then they usually mumble when they do so. So I would like to thank you for getting us here a lot quicker, and for speaking loudly and clearly. The only thing I would suggest in this regard for the future is that you say this when you first start making your comments, well before you turn around and start pretending like you are exposing people for violating standards of morality. You see, if you would say at the start that:

"Evolution gives us innate emotions..."

"Consider how arbitrary our innate moral feelings are."

"This is how arbitrary moral opinions are, religious and secular - they are dictated by evolutionary and cultural history. But we don't have to live by them if we now disapprove of them."

"There's no standard of better or worse, just different."

"Quite right. I don't have any right in this respect, as neither do you, nor the guys who wrote your Bible."

"So, basically there is no moral authority as such - least of all an ancient book or a sky fairy."


Then everyone would know that when you say things like the following:

"For the record, I think Islam is currently the worst of the religions, though Roman Catholicism had its day."

"...there are plenty of racist, homophobic, sexually retentive bigots out there - many with a Bible in their hands. Present company excepted I'm sure."

Then you are either: 1) trying to pull a fast one on us, pretending that any of this comports with your underlying and unbelieving presuppositions; or 2) are unaware of the profound inconsistency in your actual practice and the beliefs that you espouse.

BTW, you have also made reference in your comments to logic and induction. Would you hold the same view regarding these that you do regarding morality? In other words, do you believe that the laws of logic, which you use to argue for your views, are just arbitrary, non binding standards, or do you believe that they are universally binding criteria that ought to be followed if we want to arrive at the truth and make claims to be justified in holding such to be true? Ditto for induction. Do you believe that induction is an arbitrary belief, in which case all of the pronouncements of scientists rest upon belief in what can, in such a case, only be considered the equivalent of some superstitious individuals belief in a sky fairy?

I hope I can expect you to be just as candid in answering these latter questions as you were in your discussion of atheistic morality. Thanks a bunch.

Mac said...

Hey Dave, I can tell you that news reporter that asked the question about the Bible at the end was the creme de la creme of this whole video. The other boy's face, who was talking about Nazi Germany, was stunned like he just gathered some reason for a second.

Ron Murphy said...

Hi Anthony,

My point about evolution is that we, as a culture, or as multiple cultures, or as individuals, have taken our instinctive drives, emotions, empathy, etc., and formed moral codes. They are arbitrary in the sense that evolution could have left us with a completely different set of instincts, which might have lead to us developing different sets of moral codes. They are also arbitrary at the cultural and individual level, in that the details of our moral codes depend to a great extent on what our parents tought us to believe - which religion, and sect in many cases (lots of variety in Christianity and Islam).

That leaves us each in our own culture. Mine leads me to feel that there are things I find objectionable about Islam. Upon reflection I can pinpoint what some of those things are.

So I don't see any inconsistency between the first statements you highlighted, about how we got to where we are, and the second set, which are expressions of my culturally influenced opinions on what's moral now.

"trying to pull a fast one on us" - Wouldn't dream of it.

"inconsistency in your actual practice and the beliefs that you espouse" - I practice what I think are my moral codes, but my understanding of what they consist of, how we got them is just that.

Yes, I think we are stuck trying to justify logic generally and our reasoning powers, especially if we want to know things with absolute certainty (which is my objection to religious claims of certainty). But, given that all we've got is our fallible senses and reasoning capacities we make the most of them. The scientific methods has been developed over time to overcome fallibilities as and when they have been recognised. Falsification was emphasised by Karl Popper in response to problems with verificationism, for example. Homonids have been around for, say, 2.5M years. Science only really took off about 500 years ago. Look at the advances in understanding the natural world in the last 50 years. Give it another 1000. Ask again how science is doing.

"do you believe that they are universally binding criteria that ought to be followed if we want to arrive at the truth and make claims to be justified in holding such to be true?" - Not for all time. Good work in progress though.

"Do you believe that induction is an arbitrary belief" - It's arbitrary in the sense that only humans use it formally. I think the principle is the basis of learning though, especially conditioning in other animals.

"in which case all of the pronouncements of scientists rest upon belief in what can, in such a case, only be considered the equivalent of some superstitious individuals belief in a sky fairy?" - I think it's a little more stable than that. You use induction every day in every action you repeat.

Think of how hard it is to ride a bike first time. You have to work consciously. After a time it becomes second nature - your nervous system has adapted so you can just jump on a bike and off you go - your nervous system assumes, by inductive learning, through conditioning, that what you did on your bike yesterday you can do today. If someone sneakily changed the mechanism overnight so that as you jump on and peddled it went backwards instead of forwards, you be shocked - you innate inductive expectation would have been disappointed.

The argument often made against induction is that in taking the general from the particular isn't proof positive: just because the sun has risen every day so far doesn't mean it will tomorrow. But induction doesn't need to provide absolute proof. In fact we need less science if it did work that way - science often looks for trends where the same outcome isn't always guaranteed, but is statistically good enough to be relied on.

Ron Murphy said...

Hi hugh

"Contradiction!" - Don't think so:

First statement is talking about evidence that is evident and presented - there is none. The second statement is about any evidence there might be out there waiting to be discovered and presented. I can say that I've seen none of the former, and I can't tell if there's any of the latter - in particular, if there was some of the latter and it was brought to my (our) attention it would then falsify my first statement, and would then be useful evidence for God.

"You mean; rather than believing God did it you'll look for a natural, 5 senses answer?" - Yes, why not? The senses reveal so much to us - i.e. everything we know. The only problem is they can be a bit unreliable at times, so we try to improve the odds of finding reliable knowledge by employing the scientific method.

"You're ASSUMING the details of others affect Christianity!" - I'm saying their modes of claiming knowledge are all similar, yet many of their claims are contradictory. This is suggestive that they are all suspect. On trying to establish evidence for any of the claims we find none.

"Again i ask, just what "evidence" are you looking for?" - I'll let you know when I see it. What have you got?

Bentley - Using inductive reasoning based on the evidence that most Bentleys I see are in good condition I'd think something was wrong with that one. It might have been in a smash, or maybe some envious thugs beat it up; or maybe the owner's jealous wife did it, or maybe (and I'd say this is remote) a skilled artist/mechanic 'pimped' it to look that way ... lots of other possibilities. Why do you ask? What point are you trying to make?

"Given enough time with the right conditions you never know what might happen." - Ahhh. Irreducible Complexity. That old card. Nope. I wouldn't say it just formed that way, and I wouldn't say we did, or any of our complex constituent parts.

Analogies have to be carefully constructed to match what they are portraiting. I don't think this does it. I don't think the car just appeared any more than I think humans just appeared. How do you equate the elements of your analogy?


"You cannot speak for my life's experiences nor anyone else's for that matter, only yours." - True, because I don't know you. But you are human I presume? Not AI? Not alien? Not a magical being? Then, based on all science has learned about human physiology you have a material brain just like me and every other human. Do you think you have some special access to the unknowable, to the supernatural?

I'm not defending Islam, and I do agree with much (maybe most) of the assessment of Islam on here.

John Lollard said...

Hey Ron,

I'm sure Anthony and hugh are both preparing answers to you. While they do so, can I just say as Anthony did earlier that I greatly respect your willingness to again be honest about the logical foundations of your belief system.

I wouldn't say that I talk to atheists a lot, but when I do, I really have to strive in might and main to get them to admit that all of their means of knowing are faulty and fallible, usually with them thinking that I am personally insulting their intelligence and becoming offended.

So thank you for being clear-headed, honest, and consistent on the issue of the rational grounds of atheism. I don't have anything to say that someone else cant say better, but thought I would say that.

Love in Christ,
JL

hugh watt said...

Pt:1 of 2. Ron said:

"Well, the total lack of evidence for the existence of God and the more than adequate evidence for natural explanations for what is often attributed to God, leaves little room for supposing there is a God."

If one says the evidence leans more towards there being no God, i ask, on what basis? Qualify; a) "the total lack of evidence for the existence of God."

"We are fallible human beings with unreliable faculties."

Your absolute statement left no room to suggest a "fallible human being!" You say there's no evidence; i am satisfied there is.

"based upon my lack of knowledge I've come to the conclusion there's no God!" - Close. Based on no theist EVER presenting any reliable evidence, I live my life AS IF there's no God."

Why does a theist have to prove God to you? Let's use your logic. Unless you prove child abuse is wrong pedophiles should live as if its ok! If that child grows up having been abused, it may think it normal and pass it on: Reasoning; 'unless i see proof to the contrary, i'll continue in that way because i determine what's right or wrong; 'does no good to anyone. Or does it? What if a pedo' says 'it's good for me.' Would you say it's wrong? Would you say it's right?

"What "evidence" do you have that it came from nothing?' - "Very little." NONE!

"There are many ideas; some of them very speculative hypotheses, just like the God hypothesis. I'm not discounting the God hypothesis.

Atheism/evolution is speculative, and you have discounted "the God hypothesis."

Superstition:
1.a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing, circumstance, occurrence, proceeding, or the like.
2. a system or collection of such beliefs.
3. a custom or act based on such a belief.
4. irrational fear of what is unknown or mysterious, esp. in connection with religion.
5. any blindly accepted belief or notion.

"You mean; rather than believing God did it you'll look for a natural, 5 senses answer?" - Yes, why not? The senses reveal so much to us - i.e. everything we know. The only problem is they can be a bit unreliable at times, so we try to improve the odds of finding reliable knowledge by employing the scientific method."

Explain; "The senses reveal so much to us - i.e. everything we know."
Were Mao/Stalin/Pot right or wrong? What scientific method did they use for their actions? You never commented on them when i asked.

"Again i ask, just what "evidence" are you looking for?" - I'll let you know when I see it. What have you got?"

Do you know?

hugh watt said...

Pt:2."Bentley - Using inductive reasoning based on the evidence that most Bentleys I see are in good condition I'd think something was wrong with that one. It might have been in a smash, or maybe some envious thugs beat it up; or maybe the owner's jealous wife did it, or maybe (and I'd say this is remote) a skilled artist/mechanic 'pimped' it to look that way ... lots of other possibilities. Why do you ask? What point are you trying to make?"
If i saw a wrecked Bentley i would not conclude no one made it. Atheists use the universe/world falling apart line to say there's no God. Its been in a smash, beat up some; thugs beating up rain forests. The Owners bad creatures are the ones responsible for much of it.

"Given enough time with the right conditions you never know what might happen." - Ahhh. Irreducible Complexity. That old card. Nope. I wouldn't say it just formed that way, and I wouldn't say we did, or any of our complex constituent parts."

Exactly! But to say it's on its way to becoming like a 'proper Bentley,' i'd say you're mad! All the parts had to be in the right place for it to run; and it would never have left the plant like that. I'd also conclude the car had a maker and not believe for a moment it came from an explosion!

"You cannot speak for my life's experiences nor anyone else's for that matter, only yours." - True, because I don't know you. But you are human I presume? Not AI? Not alien? Not a magical being?"

How do you know? Are you using the LAW OF PROBABILITY! Can i with regards to creation?

"Homonids have been around for, say, 2.5M years."

Where'd you get that figure from?

Anthony Rogers said...

Ron,

You didn't need to repeat all that stuff about morality being arbitrary, non-obligatory, subjective, etc. I grant that that is precisely what you must hold as an evolutionist. Your starting point, an impersonal, a-moral, naturalistic process determines your conclusion. Water can't rise higher than it's source. The problem I was bringing out is, that you, like all atheists, can't live consistently in terms of your own approach to the world, as evidence by the fact that you turn around, quite unwittingly, and act as if your moral pronouncements are more than just the equivalent of somebody saying they don't like onions. When arguing for your position and in terms of your position, you want to say that man and his morality are made of snips and snails and puppy dog tails, but when you want to turn around and argue against our position, you assume that your moral pronouncements are made of sugar and spice and all that's nice.

You can try and recover from this by saying that your judgments of the latter sort were only expressions of your opinion, given your place in the evolutionary stream and the various conditioning factors you have been subject to, but then you divest your argument of all authority and any force that you originally intended it to have. All you can say is, "I have evolved a certain way and have been conditioned by my upbringing and society to object to this or that, but of course what I say has no authority for others, people who, with equal right, can claim that the standards they hold and have worked out are also a product of the same evolutionary process and equally real (even if different) conditioning factors."

As for logic, your answer seems to conflate logic with reason and sensation. Logic and reason or logic and man's mind or reasoning powers are no more synonymous than innate opinions about morality derived from evolution and standards of morality that people are obligated to live up to. Logic, like true moral standards, is criteriological; it refers to those standards by which we determine if someone is reasoning in the way that they ought. For example, you reason in such a way that you conclude God does not exist; I reason in such a way that I conclude God does exist. Do you think my reasoning about God is sound? Of course you don't, know more than I think your reasoning in this regard is sound. So my question to you, which I will await an answer, is if you believe there are laws of logic by which we may distinguish valid from invalid reasoning...

As for induction, you have granted that "...the principle is the basis of learning..." and you have also granted that we use induction "every day in every action". Given this, my question to you is whether induction, which you have also granted we use in a formal way unlike the animals, has any rational foundation. To rescue induction from the skeptical questions of men like Hume and Russel by saying it doesn't give us certainty but only probability of course is to misunderstand their objections. Surely they knew the difference between induction and deductive logic. So my question to you remains, do you believe that induction, the belief that nature is basically uniform such that we are able to learn from experience, and use it "every day and in every action", not only habitually but formally, can be rationally justified. If you think it can be justified by an appeal to experience, then of course you will be begging the question, for the appeal to experience already assumes the uniformity of nature (and the validity of induction). If you think it can be justified by a chain of reasoning, then with Hume I desire you to produce that reasoning.

In the end, as it appears to me, there are far too many sky fairies in your worldview. But if you would like to introduce me to all these things that you believe in, I would be happy to meet them. Just bring me the evidence.

hugh watt said...

Pt:2. "Bentley - Using inductive reasoning based on the evidence that most Bentleys I see are in good condition I'd think something was wrong with that one. It might have been in a smash, or maybe some envious thugs beat it up; or maybe the owner's jealous wife did it, or maybe (and I'd say this is remote) a skilled artist/mechanic 'pimped' it to look that way ... lots of other possibilities. Why do you ask? What point are you trying to make?"
If i saw a wrecked Bentley i would not conclude no one made it. Atheists use the universe/world falling apart line to say there's no God. Its been in a smash, beat up some; thugs beating up rain forests. The Owners bad creatures are the ones responsible for much of it.

"Given enough time with the right conditions you never know what might happen." - Ahhh. Irreducible Complexity. That old card. Nope. I wouldn't say it just formed that way, and I wouldn't say we did, or any of our complex constituent parts."

Exactly! But to say it's on its way to becoming like a 'proper Bentley,' i'd say you're mad! All the parts had to be in the right place for it to run; and it would never have left the plant like that.

"You cannot speak for my life's experiences nor anyone else's for that matter, only yours." - True, because I don't know you. But you are human I presume? Not AI? Not alien? Not a magical being?"

How do you know? Are you using the LAW OF PROBABILITY! Can i with regards to creation?

"Homonids have been around for, say, 2.5M years."

Where'd you get that figure from?

hugh watt said...

(Not sure if there's a technical itch. Repeat post).

Pt:1. Ron said:

"Well, the total lack of evidence for the existence of God and the more than adequate evidence for natural explanations for what is often attributed to God, leaves little room for supposing there is a God."

If one says the evidence leans more towards there being no God, i ask, on what basis? Qualify; a) "the total lack of evidence for the existence of God."

"We are fallible human beings with unreliable faculties."

Your absolute statement left no room to suggest a "fallible human being!" You say there's no evidence; i am satisfied there is.

"based upon my lack of knowledge I've come to the conclusion there's no God!" - Close. Based on no theist EVER presenting any reliable evidence, I live my life AS IF there's no God."

Why does a theist have to prove God to you? Let's use your logic. Unless you prove child abuse is wrong pedophiles should live as if its ok! If that child grows up having been abused, it may think it normal and pass it on: Reasoning; 'unless i see proof to the contrary, i'll continue in that way because i determine what's right or wrong; 'does no good to anyone. Or does it? What if a pedo' says 'it's good for me.' Would you say it's wrong? Would you say it's right?

"What "evidence" do you have that it came from nothing?' - "Very little." NONE!

"There are many ideas; some of them very speculative hypotheses, just like the God hypothesis. I'm not discounting the God hypothesis.

Atheism/evolution is speculative, and you have discounted "the God hypothesis."

Superstition:
1.a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing, circumstance, occurrence, proceeding, or the like.
2. a system or collection of such beliefs.
3. a custom or act based on such a belief.
4. irrational fear of what is unknown or mysterious, esp. in connection with religion.
5. any blindly accepted belief or notion.

"You mean; rather than believing God did it you'll look for a natural, 5 senses answer?" - Yes, why not? The senses reveal so much to us - i.e. everything we know. The only problem is they can be a bit unreliable at times, so we try to improve the odds of finding reliable knowledge by employing the scientific method."

Explain; "The senses reveal so much to us - i.e. everything we know."
Were Mao/Stalin/Pot right or wrong? What scientific method did they use for their actions? You never commented on them when i asked.

"Again i ask, just what "evidence" are you looking for?" - I'll let you know when I see it. What have you got?"
Do you know?

Ron Murphy said...

Hi Anthony,

I don't see the problem. Here's the process:
a) There is no evidence of overriding moral authority.
b) Our empathy and other feelings appear to be evolved.
c) We individually consciously create moral codes based on our subconscious (evolved) feelings, rationalised to whatever our circumstances might be.
d) We culturally, in different groups: family, friends, work colleagues, with strangers, church, ... behave in slightly different ways, and maybe sometimes in completely different ways (e.g. a criminal might have one moral code, much like ours for his family, one for his criminal group, one for enemies, ...)
e)We subscribe to local and national laws and customs, which have evolved over time, as we individually see fit, and may not be consistent: we might run red lights when we think we won't be caught or if we think our journey warrants it; we might falsify our tax returns.

Of course it's a little more complex than that. Individually we grow and acquire our morality, even while some of the other phases are still in progress: I've lived through the dropping of capital punishment in the UK, so as my personal moral codes where being formed, so the national legal and cultural ones were in flux, influenced by the personal opinions of leading figures of the day.

It's all so arbitrary it's not even clear what the disticntions are between traditions, laws and personal moral codes. Sometimes they align, but often they don't. There's no law I know of about being bad mannered, but some people would think that immoral to some extent. It's a little easier when we look at some of the ten commandments - they're the juicy ones that were of concern at the time I presume.

Basically, yes, I'm inconsistent. So are most people, especially on minor issues. We're even inconsistent over time. And we are even inconsistent with respect to the morals we claim to subscribe to and the ones we do actually hold ourselves to. And inconsistent with the morals we subscribe to personally and those we expect others to conform to. The moral codes you currently claim to live by may well be based on the Bible, and that's fine and consistent with my view: it just means the Bible is a book where ancient humans have written down some of their moral codes, which they arrived at using something like the process above.

All this seems quite consistent with morals being constructed out of emotions that have evolved, along with cultural traditions that have 'evolved'.

Ron Murphy said...

Anthony ctd...
"All you can say is", "I have evolved a certain way and have been conditioned by my upbringing and society to object to this or that, but of course what I say has no authority for others, people who, with equal right, can claim that the standards they hold and have worked out are also a product of the same evolutionary process and equally real (even if different) conditioning factors." - I do say that. But then we get into what we think of as an 'equal right'. An equal right seems to be something that nations can proclaim in the UN and then ignore when it suits them: Israel and US, UK, France, etc., who have all come under criticism for human rights violations. And of course some Islamic countries don't particularly pretend to subscribe to human rights, and some Islamic leaders proclaim they don't. So, equal rights are up for debate too - as indeed they are when the UN and European Union construct their rules by committee. All this is so pragmatically obviously the case.

And of course the various churches aren't squeaky clean. Some religious people see the variation in moral activity as being shades of good and evil, and the following or otherwise of absolute God given moral codes, the problem is that most religious people different on what those God given codes are anyway - they interpret, in their terms, or decide subjectively in mine.

So, morality is up for grabs. Not only in principle, based on evolutionary variation, personal subjectivity, and the arbitrary history of one's culture, but also pragmatically, such as the way various US states have different moral attitudes to state capital punishment.

Ron Murphy said...

Hugh ctd...

What evidence do I want? Well, the point raised about faith healing would be a good area - where legs of different lengths are suddenly made equal, or where the cronically ill are suddenly cured. I'd like to see that under scientifically controlled conditions. The second coming? He'd have to be pretty convincing - there are plenty of loonies locked up for either claiming to be Jesus, or claiming to be doing God work by killing prostitutes, etc. The rapture? This was someone else's idea, "I would expect that the god in question (a) would know what evidence would convince me of its existence and (b) would be required by its own nature to provide the evidence I need in a manner that I would find convincing." Another idea, "Arthur C. Clarke wrote, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, and I think the corrolary is that any entity practicing sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a god. So, if you see something inexplainable, is it a god or is it a highly advanced race?"

But the real reason I'm not sure is that the religious don't really know what God IS, and that would help in order to go about testing for him. There's a tendency to keep this trend going: Atheist, "If God then...", Theist, "No, God's not like that.", A,"Well, if ... then...", T, "No, God's not liake that either",....., eventually, A, "So what is God?", T, "God is love, God is this, God is that,...., ... God is unknowable,..." God usually terns out to be unkowable, dispite the fact that the faithfull have very clear views about what he is and what he wants from us.

Not sure why you posted the Superstition definition. It does seem to fit religion.

Ron Murphy said...

Hugh ctd...
"Reasoning; 'unless i see proof to the contrary, i'll continue in that way because i determine what's right or wrong; '" - generally, this is a good rule. We use it all the time. But when evidence arises of anomolies, and that evidence is convincing, then study it and adopt our response appropriately. But, caution is required. By not being critical enough and sceptical enough there was plenty of poor science that led to the 'revovered memory' debacle, where false memories were effectively induced into children through poor psychological methods. So I think we should always look for evidence and be critical of whatever evidence is offered. Just because some believers feel sure their beliefs are true doesn't mean the rest of us have to buy it.

"NONE" - Okay, if you want. I accept we disagree on what counts as evidence. The only evidence I would have offered are experimental results that show particals emerging form apparent vacuum - virtual particles. But it doesn't matter, because that isn't certain it tells us how the universe was created, whether theres some ultimate infinate state, or for that matter if there's a God or not. I don't have a positive view in favour of any current theories in cosmology or physics, I just find the God hypothesis less credible, but not impossible. But note I see a distinction between on the one hand the possible existence of some creator agent, which is the basic God hypohtesis, and on the other hand the personal God of all those religions that have one. While the former is one speculative possibility, the latter is heaping speculation on specualtion to ridiculous degrees. So, I ceryainly haven't discounted the God hypothesis - I just have no data to tell me anything about it.

"Atheism/evolution is speculative" - Atheism is to some extent, but in terms of what we normally count as appropriate evidence the lack of appropriate evidence of God just means my speculation is based on that view of evidence. Evolution isn't speculative in any sense in which we normally use that term. There are several branches of science that support it, where all the individual pieces of evidence fit consistently.

"Were Mao/Stalin/Pot right or wrong? What scientific method did they use for their actions?" - First, communism took off based on Marxis theory, which is basically pseudo-science bollocks. From then on all those regimes had little to do with the scientific method. They were crap because science and reason were totally ignored in favour of dogma, to the point were 'fact' became irrelevant - whatever the Party says goes. Pretty much like religion.

Ron Murphy said...

Hi Hugh,

"How do you know? Are you using the LAW OF PROBABILITY! " - No, induction. I've had many expereinces of seing Bentleys, being in the UK. Their owners tend to look after them. That's why I offered a sample of possible causes I would consider, if the situation arose.

You're free to use induction to demostrate the existence of God, or to give weith to your evidence. How many Gods have you expereinced to be sure the expereinces of God you claim (assuming you have them) to have is actually of a God, and not a delusion.

Sorry, should have said genus Homo, such as Homo Habilis.

"Your absolute statement left no room to suggest a "fallible human being!"" - Fair point. I'll try to put less emphasis on it. I don't think there's any evidence that would satisfy a well constructed scientific test; and any claims introspective 'expererience' of something non-material matches known introspective experiences that are shown to be faulty, under conditions where the subjects are under some medical or other third party observation, and such experiences can be induced artificially at will - so this together I find weighty evidence, though not conclusive proof, that the 'God experience' is likely to be a delusion.

"Let's use your logic. Unless you prove child abuse is wrong pedophiles should live as if its ok!" - Yes, there is no proof. There are moral codes that most of us live by. One, based on empathy, is that we don't harm others. Children, being naive, vulnerable, and not sexually or emotionaly mature, are at the mercy of any adult who wishes to take advantage of them. Personally, and culturally, we traet this as a moral wrong. Clearly some pedophiles are of a different opinion; though some may be of the same opinion, but unable to help themselves.

"If that child grows up having been abused, it may think it normal and pass it on" - Yes. Now a well known cause of adaptive behaviour.

"Why does a theist have to prove God to you?" - I don't expect or ask for proof. Evidence that would pass sufficiently rigorous tests would do. But I ask for a number of reasons. One is curiosity - it would change everything for everyone if convincing evidence were found. It would certainly have implications for science. The other is that religions as a whole tend to be in the business of other people's business, to the extent that it is sometimes objectionable. No problem with people basing their personal morals on a book - Harry Potter stories for all it matters - until it comes to our collective social morals, when we all have a say and nobody's good book carries any weight. Political and social privilige is a problem too. There are differences between the UK and US. Not too long ago we here had the UK's religious big cheese, the Arch. Bish. of Cantebury, suggesting we should accommodate Sharia law - no thank you. And in the US there's the popluar but dumb notion that because the majority of the population are Christian it should be a Christian nation, or that this was what the founding fathers wanted. Basically too many preachers telling everyone how to live their lives.

Ron Murphy said...

Anthony ctd...

"(1)Logic, like (2)true moral standards, is criteriological; it refers to those standards by which we determine if someone is reasoning in the way that they ought." - (2) No: no evidence. (1) Yes, but most times, on issues of morality, or existence of God, and many other human issues, we don't have the data with which to make precise logical decisions. That's why proofs of the existence or non-existence of God don't cut it. That's also why we do the best we can, and generally rely on inductive logic. And whatever form of logic we use it's coloured not only by the lack of data, but also our flawed reasoning capabilities - hence a bunch of typical fallacies that we often fall foul of.

"Do you think my reasoning about God is sound?" - No, same as mine. Valid v Invalid deductive reasoning? Yes, there are standard rules. But a sound deductive argument requires both valid argument and true premises. You could put forward a valid deductive argument for God very easily - that's not the problem. The problem is establishing the truth of the premises. Neither of us can do that when it comes to metaphysical questions for which we don't have data. Again, we are usually left with inductive reasoning from whatever data we do have. And given that the same data can often account for more than one hypothesis we're left scratching around as we are now: you think your personal experience of God is just that and I think it isn't; I ask for more verifiable and falsifiable evidence, you say there isn't any.

I agree with all the problems you point out regarding induction. But, that's all we have. You too. Even in your experience of God, so your experience of God gives you no more certainty than I have about anything I experience. If induction is flawed for my world view it's flawed for yours. You are subject to the same problems of life, learning, experience and slave to inductive learning that I am. Your 'experience' of God is teetering on top the very same stack of inductive cards as my view. The problem is, using that only tools we have, inductive experience itself, there are plenty of natural experiences that show the kind of personal certainty you have is unreliable.

And we're back where we started, assessing evidence.

Anthony Rogers said...

(Part I)

Ron,

It looks like my argument(s) have shot clean over your head, so hopefully this, which will probably be my last communication on the subject (for now), will give you a boost.

First, I have not argued that God is merely the conclusion of a valid deductive or inductive argument. My own view is that God is the precondition of logic and induction (and everything else that we use to make our experience intelligible). Without Him they collapse as arbitrary, as you have granted in the case of induction. In other words, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, not merely the conclusion.

As for your attempt to make logic an exception, as if it somehow leaps away from and transcends evolution and social conditioning in order to say that we are able to distinguish good reasoning from bad reasoning, how could you expect anyone but the atheistic faithful to fall for that? You see, in order to avoid the theistic implications of normative moral standards, which presuppose the existence of God, you deny that there are any normative and universally binding standards of morality. But when you turn around and pretend that there are standards of reasoning, you land yourself in the very problem you wanted to extricate yourself from by the above expedient. Of course this is necessary, otherwise you reduce all your arguments about morality to your own arbitrary say-so. But you are now on the horns of a dilemma: how do you as an atheist account for the existence of laws of logic, given that they cannot be identified with or reduced to the workings of the human mind, but, in the nature of the case, as laws of thought or standards of reasoning, transcend particular minds and can be used to critically evaluate and distinguish between good and bad reasoning? How, in terms of your worldview, do you account for the existence of transcendent standards such as the laws of logic? I thought you were a naturalist and an empiricist? Are these transcendent standards material in nature? Can they be seen? Do they grow naturally on trees? Can we go to the store and pick up a twelve pack of the laws of logic? Can you bring me some laws of logic in a test tube or can we place them in a petrie dish and perform experiments on them?

You see, when you speak of laws of logic or standards of reasoning, and when I then try and think like an atheist to make sense out of them in terms of your presuppositions, it all just sounds like you are talking about a celestial teapot, a flying spaghetti monster, or those invisible faires you keep pretending are analogous to the living God. And to this I want to say, until you show me the laws of logic, and until I can put my finger into the nail marks and into their side, I won't believe that you are doing anything more than begging me to believe in the supersitious ravings of a guy who is stuck holding primitive, medieval, or even pre-historic beliefs that rise no higher than those held by Neanderthal Man.

It’s the twenty-first century, Ron, and you really should give up belief in fairy tales about non-natural, non-empirical realities like logic.

Your remarks about how we get the information for our premises is really neither here nor there as touching this point. For the sake of my argument, it doesn't matter whether the premises of any deductive argument are true or false or how they are arrived at. I am simply pointing out that logic, which tests for formal validity (not the truth or falsity of individual premises), makes no objective sense given your commitment to naturalism.

Anthony Rogers said...

(Part II)

Second, I am hardly in the same boat as you are regarding induction. I have not said anything so patently absurd as that induction, the basis of all learning, as you said earlier, is arbitrary; neither have I turned around and engaged in special pleading and said, "Sure, induction, just like belief in God, is arbitrary, but we can believe in the former because it is the best we, i.e. those of us who assume a naturalistic approach to the world, have." I don't believe that induction is arbitrary, and I don't believe it is arbitrary because I don't begin with your naturalistic assumptions about reality and knowledge. Just because you are a goose doesn't mean I am a gander, such that sauce for you is sauce for me. I don’t begin with the assumption that we can only know what we can empirically observe, such that the impossibility of observing the validity of induction leaves me with my feet “planted” in mid-air, with nothing to stand on.

Years ago the great mathematical genius, Archimedes, said, “Give me somewhere to stand and I will move the world,” by which he meant that if he only had something to stand on, an Archimedean point, if I can speak anachronistically, he could move things otherwise impossible for an individual. The problem for you, as an atheist, is that you have nothing to stand on, epistemologically speaking. You have nothing to stand on when you appeal to things like logic, induction, or morality.

Although I made it a point before to distinguish between logic and reason, I wouldn’t want you to think that I believe that latter is any more intelligible in your worldview than the former. In fact, while I am at it, I don’t think you can account for any assumption necessary for knowledge about the above or other subjects. I don’t think your worldview can account for human dignity, personal identity through change, human freedom, concepts, categories, similarity relations, sets, propositions, numbers, mathematics, human language, grammar, and on and on. In the end, I believe your worldview, your anti-theistic approach to the world of men and things, reduces you to skepticism, and the only way you can carry on without running off and burying yourself in a game of backgammon in order to escape (like David Hume) or going insane (like Nietszche), is by secretly relying upon God, and pretending that there are things like laws of logic, induction, and moral standards even though your own worldview makes it impossible to justify or account for them.

Anthony Rogers said...

Ron,

I should have added that it has been a pleasure talking to you. After I finish some other projects, perhaps you will give me the opportunity of picking up where things are left off after your final reply.

Also, please pardon my transposition of "s" and "z" in the name of one of your atheistic patriarchs.

John Lollard said...

Anthony, I really hate to cheerlead, but I think you just said that better than I've ever heard anyone say it. I am very glad I did not jump the gun on it, because I could never have said it that well. Much appreciated.

Ron Murphy said...

"Can we go to the store and pick up a twelve pack of the laws of logic?" - You have them already in your head. You picked them up from school - or at least school tuned up whatever innate capacities to reason we are evolved to possess and develop naturally. Even my cat can figure out good moves as opposed to bad moves - if he cries for food he gets it, if he craps on the floor he doesn't. He seems to handle induction quite well, and he hasn't eaten of the fruit of the tree of knowledge.

"Can you bring me some laws of logic in a test tube or can we place them in a petrie dish and perform experiments on them?" - You can do the experiments in your own head, but if you insist on help, use your computer.

"You see, when you speak of laws of logic or standards of reasoning, and when I then try and think like an atheist" - You're clearly not succeeding. One trick is to let go of the notion that everything needs a creator, a designer, an agent, a reason, a purpose. Things just happen, and are pretty arbitrary.

"or those invisible fairies you keep pretending are analogous to the living God" - This is what you don't get. fairies and stuff aren't offered as analogues of God, their purposefully ridiculous to emphasise that point. The analogy is the reasoning used in each case - what you're supposed to consider is that the reasoning employed about them is the same as the reasoning you employ about God, and if it works for God then it works for them, if you're right about God then I must be right about them; and since they are ridiculous and we would both agree they are, then you should be able to see that your argument about God isn't up to scratch.

The 21st century is full of stuff that relies on those laws of logic, and since the artifacts that rely on them are material, and we are material, and all material science works because of laws of logic and other laws, they are inevitably demonstrated to be useful, whatever their source. But to rely on ancient myth about what has no apparent material presence really is no better than relying on fairies.

"Give me somewhere to stand and I will move the world,... You have nothing to stand on when you appeal to things like logic, induction, or morality." - He didn't know Newton. every time I jump I move the world. Physics experiments demonstrate the appearance of particles from within a vacuum. It's pretty weird stuff. To some it seems as weird as God. But it has experiment to demonstrate it.

"You have nothing to stand on when you appeal to things like logic, induction, or morality." - Outside our universe nobody currently knows what's behind it all. But within this universe the increasing entropy is what it stands on.

"I don’t think your worldview can account for ... without ..., is by secretly relying upon God, and pretending that there are things like laws of logic, induction, and moral standards even though your own worldview makes it impossible to justify or account for them." - You're entitled to your opinion. Maybe I am deluding myself, just as I think you are. We both end up in this same position. And since both positions appear to work in the natural world God seems to be the redundant party.

Ron Murphy said...

"you deny that there are any normative and universally binding standards of morality" - I don't deny it, absolutely, because I don't have access to what would give me absolute assurance. My position is that it appears they arise naturally out of our evolutionary and cultural development and the application of our minds to the problems we classify as morality, and the variety of standards is indicative of the arbitrariness of them. If there are normative standards we can't tell, so we use our own.

"But when you turn around and pretend that there are standards of reasoning" - I don't pretend that. Our methods and standards of reasoning are up for development too - e.g. late introduction of falsificationism, and subsequent criticisms of it. It's all still in flux. Evolutionarily we're still a young species, and our development of reasoning is younger still. There's a lot we can work on. We will probably develop much better reasoning skills as we go. Of course the religious mind sees humans now as the pinnacle of creation, and the notion that we will develop further doesn't really fit.

"you reduce all your arguments about morality to your own arbitrary say-so" - To mine, and yours, and collectively to all of our say-so's - yes. How more explicit can I be about this?

"how do you as an atheist account for the existence of laws of logic" - We invented them. Obviously. The history of philosophy makes this self evident.

"given that they cannot be identified with or reduced to the workings of the human mind" - How do you know they can't? There are plenty of theorists working on the computational capabilities of the brain. Experiment has some way to catch up.

"but, in the nature of the case, as laws of thought or standards of reasoning, transcend particular minds" - Do they? There's nothing to show this is the case. It's just another claim.

"and can be used to critically evaluate and distinguish between good and bad reasoning" - They can only in so far as we think they can. They seem pretty good so far. The whole of computer science, and hence all digital electronics, without this modern world would grind to a halt, relies on them - so they seem okay to me.

"How, in terms of your worldview, do you account for the existence of transcendent standards such as the laws of logic?" - I don't know for sure they are transcendent, partly because I'm not sure what you're proposing they transcend. many aspects of nature appear to be digital, so maybe that has something to do with it. But for now my answer is mostly I don't know. And since God of the gaps doesn't do it for me there's not much point in suggesting he's the answer - other than him being a hypothesis at the outset.

"I thought you were a naturalist and an empiricist? Are these transcendent standards material in nature?" - If they are part of material nature, such as our brains being essentially digital, then I guess they could be based on nature. I'm not sure what you mean by transcend though.

"Can they be seen? Do they grow naturally on trees?" - Can a computer program? Some people mistakenly think computer programs are somehow magical in that they can be copied indefinitely, as if they appear to offer something for nothing. But they that's just the transfer of energy to change computer logic states. Same for the brain and our logic - it's all information, and our brains use quite a lot of energy processing it. So, yes it's material in that sense. But we struggle with these concepts of emergence, trying to figure out how the whole appears to be more than the sum of its parts. But whenever something complex is formed there's still energy transfer. There's something material going on.

Ron Murphy said...

Hi Anthony,

"My own view is that God is the precondition" - You think it is, using your reasoning. Your ability to even form concepts is a recondition of any view you have of God, or at very least you don't know which comes first, and so your claim is without substance. Try this theist who tries the same ploy - get past the comments specifically about abstention.

This is also a move that any theist can make. It's one some Muslims do make, and once made it simply nullifies all objections to the Quran, it allows them to claim it's inerrant (making all the David Wood arguments here irrelevant, however rational they sound).

It's also one any atheist could use, but instead of relying on God they could claim this capacity is a foundation of the universe. Which of course is one hypothesis. I just don't know how true that is. No data.

But you and they would be mistaken to put your reliance on it. If it's such an easy move to make by any position, that in itself makes it uninformative, by not telling us which of the proponents is right. They are all just claims. And making a claim that you have this presupposition does not make the presupposition itself true. With Him they collapse as arbitrary just as much as they do without him.

The fear of the Lord is nothing more than the fear of the concept of the Lord, I'll agree; but to be fear of an actual Lord requires that Lord, and you haven't provided evidence of that.

But despite their arbitrariness, they do appear to work within the limits I described - deduction relying on inaccessible premises, which make it unsound, even if valid; and induction with the usual limits it has. So, I'm not sure how you think I'm making logic an exception, or that it transcends evolution and social conditioning - I'm not. It is an outcome of evolution and social conditioning (i.e. development of techniques that serve a purpose).

"to avoid the theistic implications of normative moral standards, which presuppose the existence of God" - They don't presuppose that. Non-theistic normative moral standards are just as hypothetically possible.

Ron Murphy said...

Thanks Anthony,

It's been fun. Catch you again some time. And don't worry about Nietzsche, I'm not a fan.

Anthony Rogers said...

Ron,

I do hope to return to this with you, so I hope you will keep your eye on this thread. (I assume you know about the feature when posting comments that, when checked, allows you to receive notices in your e-mail that a new comment has been made. Either that or I will pop into your own blog sometime.) At present I am finishing up some articles for the Answering Islam website.

However, since you have suggested that my approach leaves me in a Mexican stand-off with Muslims, and since this is a blog answering Muslims, allow me to direct you to the following links as examples of the sorts of things I would say by way of response to your claim above: Here and here and here.

In the end, on my view, the mother of all philosophical problems, the problem to which all others trace back in one way or another, is the problem of the one and the many, something I believe only Trinitarian theism has the goods on.

P.S. I have a published reply to atheist Richard Dawkins. I would love to send it to you if you would be interested in reading it. It is titled: "What's Up Dawk".

usafspecops said...

I can tell that young man has got courage and wisdom beyond his years just by being able to stand up in front of a group of muslims, not saying a word but merely holding his countries flag. I watched the uncensored IDF video today of the raid on the ship, and watched in horror as brave IDF soldiers were attacked unprovoked. I support Isreal whole heartedly, and they did what the needed to do. Let the true infidels, the muslims, and their terrositic lies and habits go back to the caves from whence they came, and suffer in their own misery. These people are not different than Hitler. they are so wound up in an ideology that they even their sacred book, q'uran or however you spell it, tells them to lie straight faced to those who arent muslim. Go home, keep raping and killing your women and children and continue to kill eachother and leave the rest of the world out of it. One day it will be over if they did, cuz they would kill eachother off.

hugh watt said...

Ron:

Been busy all day, i've not had time to digest your post. Will get back to you; but clarify these statements for me.

"Homonids have been around for, say, 2.5M years."

Where'd you get that figure from?

"Evolutionarily we're still a young species, and our development of reasoning is younger still. There's a lot we can work on. We will probably develop much better reasoning skills as we go."

This also. Speak soon.

Ron Murphy said...

Hi Hugh,

I'm busy too. Also want to follow up Van Til stuff.

Did respond to 2.5M: "Sorry, should have said genus Homo, such as Homo Habilis." - My point was we are very recent to many of the uses to which we've put this brain that appeared sometime back then.

My point about reasoning is that the point we are at now, in terms or our understanding of how we reason, the methods and so on, were developed over millenia - e.g. still relatively recently that Popper pointed out the requirement for falsifiability. So, there's no reason to suppose better developments won't come along. Add to that one or both of the following:

a) Humans will continue to evolve, which might (though not necessarily) lead to even more capable brains that see things more clearly than we do now - think of someone from several million years in the future who compare to us, is like us compared to a dog.

b) Humans will figure out enough of how the brain works to be able to enhance it artificially to outstrip evolutionary changes (and that's no even considering totally artificial intelligence).

My bet is on (b), since we've used science to beat many evolutionary consequences: smallpox, safer child birth, .... Not that we can be complacent, for again we are still in the infancy of science - only 500 years from the birth of serious science as we know it. Mutating bacteria were a bit of a surprise because we were splashing antibiotics all over the place without relising that evolution could work so fast at that scale.

hugh watt said...

Pt:1."How do you know? Are you using the LAW OF PROBABILITY! " - No, induction. I've had many expereinces of seing Bentleys, being in the UK. Their owners tend to look after them. That's why I offered a sample of possible causes I would consider, if the situation arose.

"You're free to use induction to demostrate the existence of God, or to give weith to your evidence. How many Gods have you expereinced to be sure the expereinces of God you claim (assuming you have them) to have is actually of a God, and not a delusion."

These 2 comments really sum-up the atheist argument to me.

1) Do not apply the same line of reason to theism as you would to other situations.

2) Base your assumptions upon personal experience, using this as your main line of reasoning. Postulate!

Whilst this may seem like a fair way of justifying atheism/agnosticism, it has many weaknesses.

Do you believe a car could evolve from a single component?

Do you believe the Bentley could improve itself into a 'looked after' state, even given x amount of years?

The law of probability is a fair rule to use i say, not induction!

Say a C.O.P asks: 'Who put this car here?'
'A' says; 'don't know, someone round here i guess.'
'B' says: 'No, it just appeared out of nowhere!'
C.O.P looks at 'B' in an annoyed way, then checks the data available and comes up with owners name. C.O.P and 'A' will be satisfied with the evidence believing the law of probability will suffice; but not 'B'!
How many experiences have you had of things just appearing from nowhere? Would you accept if your wallet was no longer in your pocket that it could have just vanished? Say someone were standing next to you would you not suspect it may have been lifted? Would you not instinctively apply the said law? After considering other samples of causes would you then say it may have just disappeared? What scientific tests would you refer to to find it? Your credit cards/cash are in it and your in a panic, what do you do?

Now the guy is caught with it. Do you call the C.O.P? Why? What if thief says his morals allows him to steal, will you say it's wrong?

"There are moral codes that most of us live by. One, based on empathy, is that we don't harm others."

Why should your feelings matter? Did Mao/Stalin/Pot consult their feelings before killing millions? Why should thief not reason, 'i've not hurt anyone.' He sees stealing as a way to make a living. What's wrong with that? What rigorous tests would you apply to show thief it's wrong? He begins to play the imaginary violin then sings: 'How can something so wrong feel so right.'

hugh watt said...

Pt:3 of 3."Were Mao/Stalin/Pot right or wrong? What scientific method did they use for their actions?" - First, communism took off based on Marxis theory, which is basically pseudo-science bollocks. From then on all those regimes had little to do with the scientific method. They were crap because science and reason were totally ignored in favour of dogma, to the point were 'fact' became irrelevant - whatever the Party says goes. Pretty much like religion."

But not atheism/agnosticism? Their scientific mindset led them down that ultimate path. See, man, with the most power becomes god.

"What evidence do I want? Well, the point raised about faith healing would be a good area."

Negative weak response instead of positive; then you go on to predictably poo poo what others believe. Gives no weight to your belief.

"I would expect that the god in question (a) would know what evidence would convince me of its existence and (b) would be required by its own nature to provide the evidence I need in a manner that I would find convincing."

God owes us no explanation of anything! A child or pagan can know there's a Creator; only the pagan worships something else in God's place.

"But the real reason I'm not sure is that the religious don't really know what God IS, and that would help in order to go about testing for him."

Generalisation. What kind of test are you looking to apply? 5 senses can only help so much.

"Not sure why you posted the Superstition definition. It does seem to fit religion."

It sums up atheism/agnosticism.

hugh watt said...

Pt:2 of 3."No problem with people basing their personal morals on a book - Harry Potter stories for all it matters - until it comes to our collective social morals, when we all have a say and nobody's good book carries any weight. Political and social privilige is a problem too."

Does H. Potter demand any moral convictions from man? What i see here is anarchy. No moral absolutes.

"Basically too many preachers telling everyone how to live their lives."

One Stalin/Mao/Pot do ok?

"Reasoning; 'unless i see proof to the contrary, i'll continue in that way because i determine what's right or wrong; '" - generally, this is a good rule. We use it all the time. But when evidence arises of anomolies, and that evidence is convincing, then study it and adopt our response appropriately. But, caution is required. By not being critical enough and sceptical enough there was plenty of poor science that led to the 'revovered memory' debacle, where false memories were effectively induced into children through poor psychological methods. So I think we should always look for evidence and be critical of whatever evidence is offered. Just because some believers feel sure their beliefs are true doesn't mean the rest of us have to buy it."

Muhammad came to mind when you said this. Only, your choices were dhimmitude or death! Who's right is right; and who's wrong is wrong?

"NONE" - Okay, if you want. I accept we disagree on what counts as evidence. The only evidence I would have offered are experimental results that show particals emerging form apparent vacuum - virtual particles."

How could this apply to the Bentley scenario?

"But it doesn't matter, because that isn't certain it tells us how the universe was created, whether theres some ultimate infinate state, or for that matter if there's a God or not. I don't have a positive view in favour of any current theories in cosmology or physics, I just find the God hypothesis less credible, but not impossible. "

Atheist/agnostic. There's ultimately no answer for anything.

"So, I ceryainly haven't discounted the God hypothesis - I just have no data to tell me anything about it. "

You have, i've shown you. I start with what we have then try to explain it. Atheists start with; 'let's not go with the God line, there has to be some other explanation. If we've not found it yet, we hope to.'

"Atheism/evolution is speculative" - Atheism is to some extent, but in terms of what we normally count as appropriate evidence the lack of appropriate evidence of God just means my speculation is based on that view of evidence. Evolution isn't speculative in any sense in which we normally use that term. There are several branches of science that support it, where all the individual pieces of evidence fit consistently."

Found the 'missing link?'

Ron Murphy said...

Hi Hugh,

Of course I'm applying the same understanding to all matters. My starting points here and here say what the limitations are, how we do rely on our senses and reason but have to apply them carefully, and that's why use science and the assessment of evidence. You've not given any evidence of any worth. I've seen a presupposition, which is only an unsupported claim so stating the presupposition doesn't make it true; and I've seen claims about faith healing, which would need to be carried out under controlled conditions to count as evidence; and I've hear personal testament of personal inner experience, which could just as easily be delusion.

I agree that we all rely on personal experience, or our senses and reason - and that's all we've got. It's the application of the scientific method that helps to overcome the fallibilities and make the results more reliable. There's no absolute assurance this is right, but it's the best we can do. I agree that atheism has these weaknesses, because it is a view based on fallible human faculties. But any view about God is based on those same fallible faculties, and simply having a fallible human, like Van Til, dream up a presupposition doesn't make that view any truer. We're all in the same boat.

"Do you believe a car could evolve from a single component?" - Why would I? What's this got to do with anything?

"Do you believe the Bentley could improve itself into a 'looked after' state, even given x amount of years?" - Why would I?

I'm not sure of your point here. It sounds like a really poor interpretation of what evolution is.

"The law of probability is a fair rule to use i say, not induction!" - Then you don't know much about probability. Probability can only help us if we have some data. If I have a bag with 50 white and 50 black balls, you can give me the probability of picking a black ball with one go. If you repeat this trial many times, you'll tend to pick out black and white close to 50/50. But any metaphysical query about the origins of the universe has virtually no data associated with it - certainly not enough to know if there's a creator or not, if there is, how many varieties of creator there might be, or if there isn't a creator, how many varieties of non-creator origins there might be. The analogy is, I tell you there's a bag, it's countless light years away, so you won't get to see it in your lifetime, so you can't actually carry out any trials, there might be one black ball (i.e. God) or countless many, and there might be one white ball (i.e. natural cause), or many - now tell me the probability of there being your one God in there. This is how useless probability is if you have no data.

Ron Murphy said...

...ctd



Your Superstition definition isn't like atheism at all, and is precisely what theism is:
1) "in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing" - This is how theists see God: he is ominous, he's significant, and he's particular (only one).
3) "a custom or act based on such a belief." - Christianity, Islam, ... all customs based on the belief in God.
4) "irrational fear of what is unknown or mysterious, esp. in connection with religion" - How does this not spell it out for you?
5) "any blindly accepted belief or notion." - You don't see this of course. Because you blindly accept your belief.

This is where you may be getting confused:
2) "a system or collection of such beliefs" - In this form it describes religion, because it mentions beliefs, and means 'beliefs' in the sense described in the other parts. You may be confused, because Humanism is a system of 'beliefs', but here the word 'beliefs' is used in a less dogmatic sense. Really, Humanism is a system of 'understandings' that we have arrived at so far.

But atheism isn't any of the above. Atheism is simply the lack of belief in a deity. Now we that call ourselves atheists don't believe in any deity. You on the other hand are an atheist with respect to Zeus, Odin, Ra, Sekhmet and thousands of other gods. You're even an atheist with respect to God, when he is interpreted as the Muslims interpret him. We are just atheists about your God too.

Ron Murphy said...

...ctd

"Found the 'missing link?" - Yes, many of them.

"See, man, with the most power becomes god." - What on earth does this mean?

"Negative weak response instead of positive" - You asked, I told you. What's negative about saying the faith healing test would do the job?

"Gives no weight to your belief." - I thought we'd already established there's no weight to my belief, or any belief. That's why I don't have a belief. I have a working model that fits the results of what we experience. I don't know how to get any more certain. Making a claim that there is a God isn't a route to certainty, it's just a faith claim.

"God owes us no explanation of anything!" - First, I didn't say he did. I just said that it would be helpful and sensible if he did. Second, how do you know God owes us nothing? You don't know the first thing about God. Remember all those preachers that tell us God is the great unknown, beyond human comprehension. Yet theists claim to know an awful lot when it suits them.

"A child or pagan can know there's a Creator" - Yes, they are naive and gullible. That's why I don't think children should be indoctrinated into religions. The different religions and various non-religious systems, including Humanism, should be taught to them in school, so that they can make their won mind up what they want to believe in or not when they are older.

"5 senses can only help so much" - Exactly my point. They can only help so much. They are fallible. But that's all that every one of us humans has. What do we have other than the human senses?

Ron Murphy said...

...ctd

You miss the point with Harry Potter. It's meant to be a ridiculous example just so you don't make the mistake of thinking that it is a real proposal. The point of the analogy is to say that relying on a book could be applied to any book. Simply having a book that one group proclaims to be the truth doesn't actually make it so, whether you're a Christian claiming the Bible, a Muslim claiming the Quran, or a Harry-Potterian claiming the Harry Potter novels.

Stalin/Mao/Pot were preachers too, in their own way, telling other people how to live. Note the difference here: Stalin/Mao/Pot and many theist preachers tell people how they should behave; whereas non-dogmatic atheists are saying it's up to us, as individuals and as communities - how democratic is that, no telling, no coercion, not committing to hell or death those that disagree, just plain old getting along. To avoid misunderstanding the atheism I'm talking about with the dogmatic autocrats like Stalin (who just happened to be an atheists, but would have made a good Inquisitor), why don't you think of me as a Humanist instead. I've not used this particular label simply because I've been making points about belief in God. But it looks like you're going to continue to miss the point and count all atheists as Stalinists.

"How could this apply to the Bentley scenario?" - What? Do you mean evidence about what happens to the Bentley? Well, look at any breakers yard. You'll see plenty of evidence of what happens to cars that are left unattended.

"I start with what we have then try to explain it." - Then not very well, because is all you've given is a presupposition, and personal testament.

"let's not go with the God line, there has to be some other explanation." - Nope. It's more like, what can we sense. Let's start with that and see if we can get some consistent results. Then some theist says, "What about God", so the atheist says, sure, bring us your evidence. The theists say, we have this presupposition, and we have personal experience, and we have faith healing. And the atheists say, okay, presuppositions alone don't tell us much, because anyone can make one too easily. The presupp is okay, but you need evidence to back up the claims that follow from it. The personal testament won't do, because we have all this evidence of delusions that look so similar. And as for the faith healing, that sounds good, let's put it under controlled conditions.

"If we've not found it yet, we hope to." - That's pretty much how many people think about most things they would like to be true. I hope I find that I've won the lottery this weekend; but I'll only know when I see the convincing evidence. If I get a phone call saying I have, it could be a friend playing a hoax, so I'll check the numbers on TV. If they are right I'll contact the lottery organisers to double check there were no problems - did my numbers really register when I made the play. Being a human who is a susceptible as anyone to concerns like "I can't believe my luck", I guess I'll still have some lingering uncertainty, until the money is in the bank. This is all human nature.

Ron Murphy said...

...ctd


"Why should your feelings matter?" - They just do, to us as individuals, because that's how we evolved to be.

"Did Mao/Stalin/Pot consult their feelings before killing millions?" - On the natural (e.g. Normal Distribution) scale of human feelings their's were probably low. So what? This fits the natural explanation.

I agree that some thieves do think as you explain they do. Many politicians too. Many Muslims think they have the right to impose Islam. Many Jewish settlers think they have the right to take whatever land they choose. This all falls within the natural variation of human sensibilities. But, as individuals, as local communities, as whole nations and cultures, as world wide organisations of nations, lots of us agree to a different set of standards based on other aspects of our naturally evolved feelings - we want what we consider to be a better world; we want peace and love. But yes, that's just what we want. There's no evidence of any absolute requirement that this is the case.

hugh watt said...

Pt:2."How could this apply to the Bentley scenario?" - What? Do you mean evidence about what happens to the Bentley? Well, look at any breakers yard. You'll see plenty of evidence of what happens to cars that are left unattended.

"I start with what we have then try to explain it." - Then not very well, because is all you've given is a presupposition, and personal testament."


You do what i see atheists often do; answer what's not being asked. I give a logical scenario with a car, not 'personal testament,' and ask 2 simple Q's which you've not answered. They were simple Q's, but will you answer?

"Nope. It's more like, what can we sense. Let's start with that and see if we can get some consistent results."

Sounds superstitious to me. I say; 'let's use science to figure what we have here.' The car, Ron! 'What can we sense'!!!? Faith healing, personal testimony, miracles. None of these need be used to answer my Q's. You brought these up.

"Found the 'missing link?" - Yes, many of them."
Your teasing, aren't you?

"A child or pagan can know there's a Creator" - Yes, they are naive and gullible. That's why I don't think children should be indoctrinated into religions. The different religions and various non-religious systems, including Humanism, should be taught to them in school, so that they can make their won mind up what they want to believe in or not when they are older."

I got this funny image in my mind of you being the R.E teacher. I wonder what you'd teach your children, (if any).

"5 senses can only help so much" - Exactly my point. They can only help so much. They are fallible. But that's all that every one of us humans has. What do we have other than the human senses?"

Feelings can betrayed you. What would your senses tell you about the car?

4) "irrational fear of what is unknown or mysterious, esp. in connection with religion" - How does this not spell it out for you?
5) "any blindly accepted belief or notion." - You don't see this of course. Because you blindly accept your belief."


4) Never applied to you?
5) You know why i'm a theist then?

"Humanism is a system of 'understandings' that we have arrived at so far."

'Misunderstandings!' The car scenario for e.g.

hugh watt said...

Pt:1. Ron:

"You've not given any evidence of any worth. I've seen a presupposition, which is only an unsupported claim so stating the presupposition doesn't make it true; and I've seen claims about faith healing, which would need to be carried out under controlled conditions to count as evidence; and I've hear personal testament of personal inner experience, which could just as easily be delusion."

"Do you believe a car could evolve from a single component?" - Why would I? What's this got to do with anything?

"Do you believe the Bentley could improve itself into a 'looked after' state, even given x amount of years?" - Why would I?

I'm not sure of your point here. It sounds like a really poor interpretation of what evolution is."


Atheism/evolution doesn't teach a single 'something' began life then evolved into what we now have? I can use the same method of reasoning with the car! It's a fair comparison.
How would you prove someone put the car there without seeing them?

"Then you don't know much about probability. Probability can only help us if we have some data.
If I have a bag with 50 white and 50 black balls,"


I used the car scenario. You changed the experiment and did not answer the Q! The car is the data, which is why i asked about it.
There's the car; what science do you use to answer the above Q's?
Would a C.O.P try to find out every bit of info' before he's satisfied with;

a) It came from somewhere, so;
b) Someone most likely put it there.

The analogy about the bag light years away, is missing the point and asking the wrong Q.
So, which does the C.O.P use? Probability seems fair to me, but not you! Why not?

"Why should your feelings matter?" - They just do, to us as individuals, because that's how we evolved to be."

C.O.P would not use that rule to find his answers.
'How can something so wrong feel so right?'

"Did Mao/Stalin/Pot consult their feelings before killing millions?" - On the natural (e.g. Normal Distribution) scale of human feelings their's were probably low. So what? This fits the natural explanation."

You say, "probably low.' Did you decide this? How about Darwin's, 'fittest of the fittest' rule?
Islam has Sharia, which may not be to our liking. Who says it's right or wrong? Homo/Bisex'/Pedo'/Rape. Who decides? Do Shariaites natural feelings need to evolved like yours?

"But it looks like you're going to continue to miss the point and count all atheists as Stalinists."


Exaggeration. Atheists do preach. They preach dogmatically to have prayer banned in schools, at graduations, etc. In the work place God/Jesus' name is abused by atheists. No 'peace and love' there. How far can atheism lead to? Man with too much power who believes he can do what he feels is right, becomes a tyrant.

Ron Murphy said...

"Feelings can betrayed you." - Yes again. they are fallible - as are your feelings about God - you've no evidence worth anything to back up those feelings. Science helps us to figure out to what extent our feelings and ideas fit with the data we experience, and goes to great lengths to verify and falsify.

"Never applied to you?" - yes, of course, I'm human. That's the point I'm making. We have to take steps to overcome these irrational fears and look for sensible answers and stop relying on superstition.

"You know why I'm a theist then?" - I could guess, or estimate, but unless I knew your whole background how could I tell? But good clues are your rejection of science as a way of finding out the most reliable knowledge - the very science that you do rely on to post these messages, to be treated when you are sick, to transport you, to provide all the energy you use in your daily life, to grow the foot you eat. All this is based on evidentiary science - but you are blind to that when it comes to evidence for your particular God, but not when it comes to all the other superstitions about Gods, astrology, spiritualism, etc. (I'm guessing here - many Christians don't believe in astrology for example, but I know some do).

"'Misunderstandings!' The car scenario for e.g." - Sorry Hugh, the misunderstandings are yours: you don't understand evolution, you don't understand what it takes to be able to make probabilistic statements.

Ron Murphy said...

Hi Hugh,

Evolution doesn't teach what it isn't about. It's not about the process that caused the first replicators to form. It's about the process that occurs once they have. There are a number of speculative ideas about which particular chemicals might have been the first replicators, but nothing is known for certain. It certainly didn't start with a car or anything so complex. Could it be your using the God of the gaps argument?

In what way is your analogy of he car supposed to work? I don't recognise anything about evolution that fits your analogy.

But you want an answer:
Would a C.O.P try to find out every bit of info' before he's satisfied with;
a) It came from somewhere, so;
b) Someone most likely put it there.

I'd say (b). But what has this got to do with anything?

Your car example could have probability applied because of our many experiences of what happens to cars. I've already agreed to this about the car and I've given answers to your earlier questions about the car. They just have no relevance to the issue of the origins of the universe. Whereas my bag example is based on the idea that we have no data about how the universe came about, so probability doesn't work.

"You say, "probably low.' Did you decide this?" - An estimation from observation: most people are not tyrants, so whatever it is about not being a tyrant (e.g. being nice, having compassion, empathy) they are probably low on that compared to most people. In this sense my use or 'probable' is an indication of my lack of specific knowledge about Stalin, not an indication of a calculated probability.

"How about Darwin's, 'fittest of the fittest' rule?" - Boy you are so far off understanding evolution. It isn't 'fittest of the fittest rule'.

"Islam has Sharia, which may not be to our liking. Who says it's right or wrong? Homo/Bisex'/Pedo'/Rape. Who decides?" - By the time we get to early humans there's probably very little difference in different racial characters in genetic terms. Must of the differences will be cultural. And, for some characteristics there will be greater differences between individuals within one race/culture than between different races/cultures. The most dominant influence on people that become Muslims is the culture in which they where raised; and even this isn't fixed because people across cultures do change religions.

But to answer you basic question, it's all up for grabs. Who decides? We all do, individually, and as cultural groups, and as nations with laws.

"Do Shariaites natural feelings need to evolved like yours?" - Again, not the first clue about evolution.

"Atheists do preach. They preach dogmatically to have prayer banned in schools, at graduations, etc." - That's not preaching, that's just asking that public organisations comply with the secular requirements of the constitution. They're are not asking that 'atheist prayers' be said, or anything like that, they just want schools to stop promoting Christianity, or any particular religion. It's just normal political interaction - where atheists are saying that the religious should not have all the unfair privileges they do.

hugh watt said...

Pt:1."Evolution doesn't teach what it isn't about. It's not about the process that caused the first replicators to form. It's about the process that occurs once they have."

Agreed! What non-life started the process? Where did it come from?

"In what way is your analogy of he car supposed to work? I don't recognise anything about evolution that fits your analogy."

The car could not appear from nothing, similarly nor could life. Atheism teaches no Maker put us here. So why not say likewise to the car? same logic!
Evolution says once life began with a single (?), it evolved into what we now are. Why not say likewise to the car? same logic. 'It started from chaos, and is improving itself.' Why not say the same for the car, given long enough? How can you not see the comparisons?

"But you want an answer:
Would a C.O.P try to find out every bit of info' before he's satisfied with;
a) It came from somewhere, so;
b) Someone most likely put it there.

I'd say (b). But what has this got to do with anything?"


That answers my Q! You'd find it silly to say otherwise, just as i would with atheist belief on our origins.

"Whereas my bag example is based on the idea that we have no data about how the universe came about, so probability doesn't work."

I would ask where it came from? Who put the balls in it? How did the colors come about? 50 w-50 b, how come? How did the balls form perfectly? If you say, that's not the point, i'd say it misses it. We are a discussing theism/atheism, right?

"How about Darwin's, 'fittest of the fittest' rule?" - Boy you are so far off understanding evolution. It isn't 'fittest of the fittest rule'."

People take what Darwin said above and apply it to human survival. This is a natural process of evo' thinking, even if taken out of context. Which is one reason i use Stalin etc.

"But to answer you basic question, it's all up for grabs. Who decides? We all do, individually, and as cultural groups, and as nations with laws."

Give an example where this is currently being applied.

"Do Shariaites natural feelings need to evolved like yours?" - Again, not the first clue about evolution."

"By the time we get to early humans there's probably very little difference in different racial characters in genetic terms. Must of the differences will be cultural."
Was it their 'evo' thinking' that changed or their physical features, what? Shariaites need 'evolved' thinking, physical?

"That's not preaching, that's just asking that public organisations comply with the secular requirements of the constitution."

"Preach"- 'Speak in support of (an idea, principle, etc)'" Collins dictionary.
Secularists preach secularism.

"Feelings can betrayed you." - Yes again. they are fallible - as are your feelings about God - you've no evidence worth anything to back up those feelings."

"Sounds superstitious to me. I say; 'let's use science to figure what we have here.' The car, Ron! 'What can we sense'!!!? Faith healing, personal testimony, miracles. None of these need be used to answer my Q's. You brought these up."
I've never used feelings as a rule of thumb. You have.

"5 senses can only help so much" - Exactly my point. They can only help so much. They are fallible. But that's all that every one of us humans has. What do we have other than the human senses?"

hugh watt said...

Pt:2 of 2.

"Found the 'missing link?" - Yes, many of them."

"You know why I'm a theist then?" - I could guess, or estimate, but unless I knew your whole background how could I tell? But good clues are your rejection of science as a way of finding out the most reliable knowledge."

Science i'd use to find out about the car. I do not reject it. Atheists/agnostics/humanism misapplies it.

You do not know what study i've done on religions, so how can you say i'm "blind" about my God; "but not when it comes to all the other superstitions about Gods, astrology, spiritualism, etc."?

You either ignore my direct Q's (the car), or move the goal posts to support your presuppositions.

Ron Murphy said...

...ctd


"Give example..." - Plenty. All atheists decide how they should behave. So do all believers. That's why there are so many people with slightly different opinions. Not all believers interpret the Bible the same way. Right now the US Anglican church has an openly gay female Bishop, and the Arch Bishop of Canterbury is saying they shouldn't - this is a difference of opinion about homosexuality. The RC church doesn't like condom use, but many religions don't object to it. Some parts of the US have capital punishment, many don't. These are all issues where even within cultures that have a Christian history there's lots of opinion. How can you not see this?

"Was it their 'evo' thinking' that changed or their physical features, what? Shariaites need 'evolved' thinking, physical?" - I'm not sure what you think the differences are? There are slight physical differences between races because of the dispersed nature of earlier humans and the different evolutionary environments. There may be some minor differences in the brains - but I don't know how significant that would be. I don't know as it would be relevant because the latest neuroscience science shows two things: all human brains are very similar; human brains have what is terms plasticity, which means they are extremely adaptable. So, if you took a child of a Middle Eastern Muslim couple and raised him in a Christian US home, and similarly raised a US Christian child in a Muslim home, then the two children would take on the mental attitudes and beliefs of their new parents. So, the brains can adopt to culture very well as the individuals grow, but clearly there's no evolution involved, since evolution is about change over a long time because of changes in offspring and environment.

Give me an example of how science is misapplied with regard to human evolution. It's all evidence based.

Your belief isn't. It doesn't matter how much theology you study, if it's all based on a presupposition (there's a God) for which there's no evidence, and an ancient book written by humans, then all theology is doing is making up stories to affirm what you presuppose in the first place.

Ron Murphy said...

Hi Hugh,

Car = C, H = Human

C: Didn't come into being in a magic poof! It was deigned and built by a team of designers and engineers.

H: Didn't just appear either. Grew from the merging of sperm and egg.

C: Bentley is the result of many designers at the hands of many designers over thousands of years, starting with the invention of the wheel and evolving through carts, carriages, etc.

H: Result of no-designer evolutionary process over billions of years from first replicators through all sorts of intermediary life until humans eventually evolved.

Are you suggesting that the car suddenly came into being, like the pretend Adam and Eve? Was a Bentley made from the hub cap of a Rolls Royce like Eve was supposed to have been made from the rib of Adam? Or perhaps you are suggesting that humans are the result of a design and engineering process by many Gods, some designers, some engineers? what is it about your analogy that's supposed to be comparable to human evolution?

As for my analogy, nobody made the bags or the balls. You completely miss the point of the analogy. You're supposed to compare the two processes of deriving probabilities: in the 50/50 bag you have access to you have the data, so you can derive probabilities. In the other case you can't because I didn't give you enough data. What you're supposed to get from this is that in the case of the origins of the universe we similarly have no data, so we, in trying to figure out the origins of the universe left in the same position as the person with the inaccessible infinite bag - neither can tell anything about the probabilities of the case.

"The car could not appear from nothing, similarly nor could life." - Nobody is suggesting life appeared from nothing. It is suggested that life began with the first replicators that might have formed in many different ways - though at the moment it's uncertain because there's insufficient data. But simply because that isn't known right now isn't a good enough reason to invoke the God of the gaps.

"People take what Darwin said above and apply it to human survival." - That's not quite what Darwin meant - you misunderstand the use of the word 'fitness'. It means 'fit' as in 'appropriate'. The fittest are the ones that are most suited to their environment to be able to reproduce. Sometimes it involves physical competition for resources - such as when male lions compete for the females. It might also mean how well male birds display to win a female. These last two are closest to your meaning and represent examples of sexual selection, which is just one aspect of natural selection. The fittest might also refer to how well different animals respond to changes in the environment - e.g. the coming of the ice ages.

hugh watt said...

"C: Didn't come into being in a magic poof! It was deigned and built by a team of designers and engineers."

Neither did life/universe; atheism says it did! Theists say God is the Designer. If you say life started from non-life, why not say the car formed itself? Same logic!

"H: Didn't just appear either. Grew from the merging of sperm and egg."

Evidence. The car didn't just appear and grow from a single component. Same logic!

"Bentley is the result of many designers at the hands of many designers over thousands of years, starting with the invention of the wheel and evolving through carts, carriages, etc."

So it had to have a designer then? It wouldn't make sense to say it evolved on its own? That would be daft, right?

"H: Result of no-designer evolutionary process over billions of years from first replicators through all sorts of intermediary life until humans eventually evolved."

Proof!

"Are you suggesting that the car suddenly came into being, like the pretend Adam and Eve? Was a Bentley made from the hub cap of a Rolls Royce like Eve was supposed to have been made from the rib of Adam?"

Adam, life. Eve, life. Life + life = life! Where did the first life come from if no life existed at one point?

"The car could not appear from nothing, similarly nor could life." - Nobody is suggesting life appeared from nothing. It is suggested that life began with the first replicators that might have formed in many different ways - though at the moment it's uncertain because there's insufficient data. But simply because that isn't known right now isn't a good enough reason to invoke the God of the gaps."

Atheists say life began with non-life! If you say otherwise then you're admitting life had to have existed to create life. Can 'replicators' think, reason, feel, taste, smell?

Neo-Darwinists believe the 'fittest of the fittest' will rule the world; i.e Hitler's Nazi's.

"Give example..." - Plenty. All atheists decide how they should behave. So do all believers. That's why there are so many people with slightly different opinions. Not all believers interpret the Bible the same way."

Theists believe in a Creator of some sort. You're confusing this with how we interpret things. "So do all believers." Another general statement. All atheists do not decide "how they should behave." You are taught atheism, whether you admit it or not. This then effects your raison d' etre.

.."if you took a child of a Middle Eastern Muslim couple and raised him in a Christian US home, and similarly raised a US Christian child in a Muslim home, then the two children would take on the mental attitudes and beliefs of their new parents. So, the brains can adopt to culture very well as the individuals grow, but clearly there's no evolution involved, since evolution is about change over a long time because of changes in offspring and environment."

Sharia. Why would 'modern' Muslims want to go back to laws that fit right into 7th century Arabian culture, even those who were born in the west? Are they evolving back to that mindset? They had to be taught Sharia to believe it's the right way; same as atheists/humanists/agnostics.

"Give me an example of how science is misapplied with regard to human evolution. It's all evidence based."

Found the missing link? Presupps'/theories; where's the evidence to support atheism/evo'?

Ron Murphy said...

"Adam, life. Eve, life. Life + life = life! Where did the first life come from if no life existed at one point?" - Read the reference I gave above.

"Atheists say life began with non-life! If you say otherwise then you're admitting life had to have existed to create life. Can 'replicators' think, reason, feel, taste, smell?" - Can bacteria or viruses? Life forms in cells, like bacteria, have basic senses based on the interaction of the external cell membrane with chemicals - they don't have a nervous system like many animals. Once life exists it can continue to create more life, with variation, acting in an environment that implements natural selection. Read the reference for details on current ideas for how life began. There's a lot to find out - but God of the gaps isn't a good answer.

"Neo-Darwinists believe the 'fittest of the fittest' will rule the world; i.e Hitler's Nazi's." - No they don't. You obviously don't know what Neo-Darwinism is. Try this. It's funny you should mention the Natzis, because they misunderstood evolution too.

"Theists believe in a Creator of some sort. You're confusing this with how we interpret things" - No I'm not. How you all interpret things differently is evidence that people base what they think on their own opinions.

"Another general statement." - It's a general statement from observation.

"All atheists do not decide "how they should behave." You are taught atheism, whether you admit it or not." - Yes, I was taught atheism, as you were taught theism. I was taught theism too, and later decided it was a dumb idea. You on the other hand decided to stick with it. Some theists are former atheists - they become convinced by theism - they decide that theism is convincing and follow that. This isn't rocket science - every one is persuaded, taught or learns about things which they use to form their opinions. Some just aren't too good at it.

"This then effects your raison d' etre." - I agree, for all of us. We all form our opinions and go with that. Science based atheists are prepared to be convinced there is a God, given sufficient evidence. Theists prefer blind faith.

"Sharia. Why would 'modern' Muslims want to go back to laws that fit right into 7th century Arabian culture" - I don't know, maybe they're as dumb as people who want to believe a book based on 0th century Jewish culture.

"Are they evolving back to that mindset?" - Do you have any clue what evolution is about?

"They had to be taught Sharia to believe it's the right way; same as atheists/humanists/agnostics. " - Same as Christians.

"Found the missing link?" - try here: A popular term used to designate transitional forms is 'missing links'. The term tends to be used in the popular media, but is avoided in the scientific press as it relates to the links in the great chain of being, a pre-evolutionary concept now abandoned. In reality, the discovery of more and more transitional fossils continues to add to knowledge of evolutionary transitions, making many of the 'missing links' missing no more (see List of transitional fossils)

The term is used by those who haven't got a clue.

Ron Murphy said...

Hi Hugh,

"atheism says it did!" - First, no it doesn't. Atheism says nothing about life. Atheism is simply down to not believing in a God. Second, evolution is about how the life process continues once started, and says nothing about how life began.

The details of how life started from inanimate matter still isn't know, by anyone, least of all the religious, because they don't try to find out. They are content to rely on ancient myth.

If you really want to find out how much is know, try this.

"Theists say God is the Designer." - Just saying it doesn't make it so. What evidence do you have? It's clear from the Genesis story that though the ancients had an idea that life must have begun, they clearly had no idea how life works in order to get close to a reasonable guess. Even in Darwin's day there was far less understanding because they didn't know about genetics, and hadn't put together evolution and the results of mendel on heredity.

"If you say life started from non-life, why not say the car formed itself? Same logic!" - If you want to show life didn't start from nothing because a car didn't appear from nothing, then I agree - life didn't start from nothing, it started from components of inanimate matter, just like the car. But unlike the car, which was designed and constructed by men, from inanimate matter, life wasn't designed by anyone, it started from some as yet not understood process about 3.7Ga.

...Grew from the merging of sperm and egg. "Evidence. The car didn't just appear and grow from a single component. Same logic!" - Are you seriously telling me you believe that just like a car, each fully grown human is built piece by piece and does form from the merging of human sperm and egg to form a zygote from which a human develops?

"So it had to have a designer then? It wouldn't make sense to say it evolved on its own? That would be daft, right?" - For a car, yes, for life, no.

You car analogy doesn't work any better that William Paley's watchmaker analogy. Read this and see the objections to it. The reason many theists don't get this is that other theists are still pushing the argument from design, when it just doesn't hold water.

hugh watt said...

Pt:2.

So,we have Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) asking the rhetorical question, "should I not also have the right to eliminate millions of an inferior race that multiplies like vermin?"
Adolf Hitler, quoted in Joachim Fest's, Hitler, 1974, p. 679-680.

Was Hitler wrong? Did he misinterpret and misrepresent the theory he claimed to cherish so much? Apparently not. Renowned British evolutionary anthropologist and anatomist Sir Arthur Keith (1866-1955), who was knighted in 1921, came to Hitler's defense,

"Hitler is an uncompromising evolutionist, and we must seek for an evolutionary explanation if we are to understand his actions"
Sir Arthur Keith, Evolution and Ethics, 1947, p. 14

Keith reassured us, "The German Führer, as I have consistently maintained, is an evolutionist; he has consciously sought to make the practice of Germany conform to the theory of evolution."
Ibid., p. 230.

Joseph Stalin (1879-1953), another ardent evolutionist, surpassed even Hitler in zeal, murdering at least ten times as many "inferiors" (estimates range from 60,000,000 to 100,000,000 people). Was Stalin wrong? What about Pol Pot? Well, not if you subscribe to the evolutionary worldview. In fact, to the philosophically consistent, uncompromised evolutionist, Hitler and Stalin ought to be considered role models.

"Yes, I was taught atheism,..I was taught theism too, and later decided it was a dumb idea.This isn't rocket science - every one is persuaded, taught or learns about things which they use to form their opinions. Some just aren't too good at it."

"This then effects your raison d' etre." - I agree, for all of us. We all form our opinions and go with that. Science based atheists are prepared to be convinced there is a God, given sufficient evidence. Theists prefer blind faith.

"Found the missing link?" - try here: A popular term used to designate transitional forms is 'missing links'. The term tends to be used in the popular media, but is avoided in the scientific press as it relates to the links in the great chain of being, a pre-evolutionary concept now abandoned."


Why was it abandoned?

hugh watt said...

Pt:1.

"Atheism is simply down to not believing in a God."

By extension; no Creator means no life before life!

"evolution is about how the life process continues once started, and says nothing about how life began."

"Result of no-designer evolutionary process over billions of years from first replicators through all sorts of intermediary life until humans eventually evolved."

"The details of how life started from inanimate matter still isn't know, by anyone,"

"Replicators"!?

"Theists say God is the Designer." - Just saying it doesn't make it so. What evidence do you have?"

Remember that car analogy?

"If you want to show life didn't start from nothing because a car didn't appear from nothing, then I agree - life didn't start from nothing, it started from components of inanimate matter,"

I'm not asking you to explain the actual process. Remember the analogy?

"Are you seriously telling me you believe that just like a car, each fully grown human is built piece by piece and does form from the merging of human sperm and egg to form a zygote from which a human develops?"

What!

"So it had to have a designer then? It wouldn't make sense to say it evolved on its own? That would be daft, right?" - For a car, yes, for life, no."

Because?

"Once life exists it can continue to create more life, with variation, acting in an environment that implements natural selection."

Theists agree there's a Beginner/beginner. Evos' are not in agreement on,...well, read;

"What was the ultimate origin of man?. . Unfortunately, any answers which can at present be given to these questions are based on indirect evidence and thus are largely conjectural."
W.E. Le Gros Clark, The Fossil Evidence for Human Evolution (1964), p. 174."

"The early theories of human evolution are really very odd, if one stops to look at them. David Pilbeam has described the early theories as 'fossil-free.' That is, here were theories about human evolution that one would think would require some fossil evidence, but in fact there were either so few fossils that they exerted no influence on the theory, or there were no fossils at all. So between man's supposed closest relatives and the early human fossils, there was only the imagination of nineteenth century scientists. People wanted to believe in evolution, human evolution, and this affected the results of their work."
Sherwood Washburn, "Fifty Years of Studies on Human Evolution," The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, May 1982, p. 41."

"Those working in this field have so little evidence upon which to base their conclusions that it is necessary for them frequently to change their conclusions." Richard Leakey, quoted in Spectator, The University of Iowa, April 1973, p. 4."

"Neo-Darwinists believe the 'fittest of the fittest' will rule the world; i.e Hitler's Nazi's." - No they don't. You obviously don't know what Neo-Darwinism is. Try this. It's funny you should mention the Natzis, because they misunderstood evolution too."

"Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows."
Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, 1924, p. 286.

"And as humans are merely a species of animal, we have no intrinsic value and are therefore by no means exempt from "the war of nature."
Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, 1859, p. 400

hugh watt said...

Pt: 3 of 3.

"In reality, the discovery of more and more transitional fossils continues to add to knowledge of evolutionary transitions, making many of the 'missing links' missing no more (see List of transitional fossils)."

You were taught man evolved from apes! Let's see how people fe(a)ll for that con. Let's see if it's "science based."

"The remarkable fact is that all the physical evidence we have for human evolution can still be placed, with room to spare, inside a single coffin! . . Modern apes, for instance, seem to have sprung out of nowhere. They have no yesterday, no fossil record. And the true origin of modern humans—of upright, naked, toolmaking, big brained beings—is, if we are to be honest with ourselves, an equally mysterious matter."
Lyall Watson, "The Water People," Scientist Digest, May 1982, p. 44.

"Not a single fossil primate of the Eocene epoch from either continent (these 'early' prosimians are found only in North America and Europe) appears to be an acceptable ancestor for the great intraorder of the catarrhines [monkeys, apes, and men], embracing all of the living higher Old Works primates, man inducted."
E.L Simons, Scientific American, 211(1):50 (1964).

"Human paleontology shares a peculiar trait with such disparate subjects as theology and extraterrestrial biology: it contains more practitioners than objects for study."
David Pilbeam, "Size and Scaling in Human Evolution," in science, 186:892 (1974).

"I know that, at least in paleoanthropology, data are still so sparse that theory heavily influences interpretations."
David Pikieam, "Rearranging Our Family Tree," Human Nature, June 1978, p. 45.

[Regarding the various hominid bones and theories] "Each authority has his own theory for which he will fight like a mother for her child."
R. Andrews, Meet Your Ancestors (1956), p. 27

"In fact, there are more paleoathropologists than there are specimens to study!"
Henry M. Morris, Scientific Creationism (1974), p. 191.

Ron Murphy said...

Hi Hugh,

"Replicators"!? - Yes.

The car analogy isn't telling us anything.

"Because?" - Because they are completely different processes.

The fact that there are gaps in the fossil record does not threaten the theory of evolution. You seem to be highlighting human evolution, but evolutionary theory is about more than just humans. There's ample evidence to support the theory and none to refute it. And it's a theory for which evidence comes from a number of sciences, and gathers support all the time.

The fact that there are disputes in the field about which fossil represents which part of the evolutionary tree is a matter of detail. Ideas are bound to change as more evidence is collected and more scientists bring new ideas to the table. This is how science works. So none of your quotes refute it, they just highlight disputes in certain areas.

I didn't say Hitler (or Stalin) didn't claim the support of evolution - they did. What I said was that they didn't understand it, and in fact read into it just what they wanted to meet their political agenda. Not unlike how the many types of Christians read into the Bible precisely what they want to get out of it.

Arthur Keith offers no support at all, since he too was a racist, as were many of the establishment at the time, as are many people now. British Knighthoods are no indication of scientific credibility - you're too easily fooled by authority, another trait of the religious. If you look at the past of British life you'll find plenty of fools, bigots and racists in all sorts of positions of authority: Royalty, aristocracy, the church.

"Keith reassured us..." - Really, if you are that easily persuaded you're in big trouble. Keith was also implicated in the Piltdown man hoax. He's not someone you want on your team.

"Joseph Stalin (1879-1953), another ardent evolutionist..." - Doesn't matter how ardent he is. Osama bin Laden believes in God, just as you do. Does that make him and you agree on how to understand God and implement His will?

"Why was it abandoned?" - Because the whole concept is meaningless in terms of evolution. It was coined by people who don't understand evolution.

"You were taught man evolved from apes! Let's see how people fe(a)ll for that con. Let's see if it's 'science based.'" - Genetic evidence?

None of your quotes dispute evolutionary theory. They merely point out how imprecise the fossil record is in determining specific ancestry. So are outdated - there is, for example, evidence of primates in the Eocene.

"I know that, at least in paleoanthropology, data are still so sparse that theory heavily influences interpretations." - Yes, of course they're open to interpretation, of course it's an inexact branch of science. What would you expect? But this doesn't refute the basic ideas.

You're clutching at straws trying to knock down ideas that are supported by several branches of science by quote mining for a few examples where you have either a scientist who accepts evolution but disputes some part of it, or Creationists and other anti-evolutionists who merely disavow it without offering any counter evidenced.

hugh watt said...

Pt:1 of 2. Ron.

"Replicators"!? - "Yes."

Explain.

"The car analogy isn't telling us anything."

Read your previous comments on it.

"Because?" - "Because they are completely different
processes."


Explain.

"The fact that there are gaps in the fossil record does not threaten the theory of evolution. You seem to be highlighting human evolution, but evolutionary theory is about more than just humans. There's ample evidence to support the theory and none to refute it. And it's a theory for which evidence comes from a number of sciences, and gathers support all the time."

Theory

a) a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural, incontrast to well-established propositions that are regarded asreporting matters of actual fact.

b) contemplation or speculation.
c) guess or conjecture.

"I didn't say Hitler (or Stalin) didn't claim the support of evolution - they did."

You're still to answer; were they right or wrong?

"Keith reassured us..." - Really, if you are that easily persuaded you're in big trouble. Keith was also implicated in the Piltdown man hoax. He's not someone you want on your team."

"Keith reassured us, "The German Führer, as I have consistently maintained, is an evolutionist; he has consciously sought to make the practice of Germany conform to the theory of evolution."
Ibid., p. 230.


Notice, this is a quote! What did he mean by it?

"Piltdown man hoax."

Aths'/evos' bought it. Did you? Or did you dismiss it as a hoax from the outset?

"Joseph Stalin (1879-1953), another ardent evolutionist, surpassed even Hitler in zeal, murdering at least ten times as many "inferiors" (estimates range from 60,000,000 to 100,000,000 people). Was Stalin wrong? What about Pol Pot? Well, not if you subscribe to the evolutionary worldview. In fact, to the philosophically consistent, uncompromised evolutionist, Hitler and Stalin ought to be considered role models."

"Joseph Stalin (1879-1953), another ardent evolutionist..." - Doesn't matter how ardent he is. Osama bin Laden believes in God, just as you do. Does that make him and you agree on how to understand God and implement His will?"

Still, not answered; "Was Stalin
/Pot wrong?"

hugh watt said...

Pt:2

"None of your quotes dispute evolutionary theory. They merely point out how imprecise' (conjecturize) 'the fossil record is in determining specific ancestry. So are outdated - there is, for example, evidence of primates in the Eocene."

Genetic evidence? Which Eocene primate did you evolve from?

"I know that, at least in paleoanthropology, data are still so sparse that theory heavily influences interpretations." - Yes, of course they're open to interpretation, of course it's an inexact branch of science. What would you expect? But this doesn't refute the basic ideas."
"What was the ultimate origin of man?. . Unfortunately, any answers which can at present be given to these questions are based on indirect evidence and thus are largely conjectural."
W.E. Le Gros Clark, The Fossil Evidence for Human Evolution (1964), p. 174."


"The remarkable fact is that all the physical evidence we have for human evolution can still be placed, with room to spare, inside a single coffin! . . Modern apes, for instance, seem to have sprung out of nowhere. They have no yesterday, no fossil record. And the true origin of modern humans—of upright, naked, toolmaking, big brained beings—is, if we are to be honest with ourselves, an equally mysterious matter."
Lyall Watson, "The Water People," Scientist Digest, May 1982, p. 44."


"You're clutching at straws trying to knock down ideas that are supported by several branches of science by quote mining for a few examples where you have either a scientist who accepts evolution but disputes some part of it,.."

Look at the what they are disputing; evos'/aths' most critical belief. They're clutching at straws!

"Atheism is simply down to not believing in a God."

By extension; no Creator means no life before life!

"Once life exists it can continue to create more life, with variation, acting in an environment that implements natural selection."

What kind of environment would non-life need to become life?

"The early theories of human evolution are really very odd, if one stops to look at them. David Pilbeam has described the early theories as 'fossil-free.' That is, here were theories about human evolution that one would think would require some fossil evidence, but in fact there were either so few fossils that they exerted no influence on the theory, or there were no fossils at all. So between man's supposed closest relatives and the early human fossils, there was only the imagination of nineteenth century scientists. People wanted to believe in evolution, human evolution, and this affected the results of their work." THINKING!
Sherwood Washburn, "Fifty Years of Studies on Human Evolution," The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, May 1982, p. 41."

Ron Murphy said...

Hitler was right about those aspects of evolution he understood correctly and wrong about the ones he didn't. How much simpler can I make this? Hitler's misconceptions about evolution were used as the basis for eugenics, which is a pseudo-science at best, and a politically driven excuse for extermination at worse. If you're asking me was he wrong about the parts of evolution he got right, then no he wasn't wrong about them; if you're asking me was he wrong about the bits he got wrong, then yes he was wrong about them; if you're asking me if he was wrong to implement his atrocious political schemes, then yes, in my opinion he was - but that is quite separate from the issue of evolution.

Your linking of Hitler with evolution as a means of discrediting evolution is as dumb as discrediting the admiration of a smart uniform because all the Nazi atrocities were instigated by men in smart uniforms.

"Notice, this is a quote! What did he mean by it? " - How the heck do I know? Perhaps he was a Nazi at heart, maybe anti-semitic. You think the opinion of some idiot who admires Hitler is going to bring down the whole of evolutionary theory by association?

"Aths'/evos' bought it. Did you? Or did you dismiss it as a hoax from the outset?" - It was a well presented forgery at a time when the study of evolution was still young. All the forensic techniques that are available now weren't then. It was shown to be a forgery in 1953, but even as early as the year it was found there were disputes about its authenticity.

Science is difficult enough as it is (it's not just a question of 'close your eyes and wish it true' like religion) and involves a lot of time and effort to verify results; and sometimes it has to take other results to seriously challenge earlier ones, so it's no surprise that at that time such a hoax was possible. Note that this was before some of the later ideas of the scientific method, such as falsificationism, were fully understood.

But no, I didn't buy it, because it was already shown to be fake before I got to understand anything about evolution. But, maybe I too would have been taken in at the time.

Still, not answered; "Was Stalin/Pot wrong?" - Will the Hitler answer do, or do I have to explain each in turn?

Ron Murphy said...

Hi Hugh,

The basic replicator today is RNA. Several other replicators have been suggested as more likely to have been the precursors. Other theories, such as the metabolism theory suggest smaller molecules came first. At some point the process eventually led to replication and other processes that were themselves precursors of more complex life. The boundary between what is life and what isn't is not clearly defined. For example, there is different opinions on whether viruses are alive or not. So saying when 'life began' is a somewhat arbitrary academic issue of classification. Research continues to find prospective precursors of life, the early replicators.

You really need to tell me what your car analogy represents if you want to go any further with it. It seems you're saying that because a car doesn't appear from nothing then neither does life. If this is what you are saying then first, it's a bad analogy: just because a car was designed by men from parts doesn't mean life was designed; and the fact that a car didn't come from nothing says nothing about the atheist position because there's no claim that life came from nothing. The atheist claim is that life started from natural processes and basic matter, though the details are unknown.

The differences in the processes is that for the car 'man' manipulates resources to build a car. For life there was no 'man' or anybody else around to do it. And, given what is known about evolution and fossils of the very early life forms it appears that life started from natural means, though the details are not known. I know at this point you'd like to inject your God into the picture and say he did it, but there's first no evidence that there is a God, and even if there is a God there's no evidence he's contributed to anything. So, the most plausible explanation is still the natural one.

Theory
I like how you chose the definitions that suit your case - there's nothing like confirmation bias, selective reading and quote mining. You should work for Fox News.

You seem to have confused the various meanings of the word 'theory'. In colloquial use it can mean those definitions you gave. But in science it means much more than that: Prof. Stephen Hawking, "A theory is a good theory if it satisfies two requirements: It must accurately describe a large class of observations on the basis of a model that contains only a few arbitrary elements, and it must make definite predictions about the results of future observations."

Evolution is a good theory because it has been used to predict results that have later been verified by various sciences.

Ron Murphy said...

Hi Hugh,

Of course there's a lot of conjecture. What do you expect?

Are there still gaps within the fossil record? Yes, of course. Can you find the bones of your last 100 ancestors on your mother's side? I guess not. Even if every female ancestor of yours gave birth at age 15 that would mean you have to find every body going back 1500 years. If on average they gave birth at age 20, that would go back 2000 years. You are not going to find your female ancestors' bones, let alone fossilized ones. You really do have a strange notion of what this is all about. You seem to think that because there are some unknowns in a branch of science that then rules it out.

But this is the really big joke: "The remarkable fact is that all the physical evidence we have for human evolution can still be placed, with room to spare, inside a single coffin!" and the joke isn't about evolution, it's about religion.

The amount of physical evidence supporting religious 'truth' is actually zero. Not one piece of evidence. This might seem like a bold claim, and I agree that it is. All you have to do to refute my claim is give me some evidence.

The Bible won't do. That only offers evidence that people of ancient times could write. It says nothing of the truth of what they wrote about. There are no miracles to date that cut it - not even the modern claims about faith healing, or not until it's subjected to controlled scientific observation. Is there anything else?

Until then, the best explanations we have for human origins (from earlier life forms) are still with the theory of evolution, and the best explanation for the origins of life itself are still those of abiogenesis and related theories. But, yes, there is still lots of conjecture about aspects of these fields that are not fully understood. But so far there's nothing better on offer.

You seem to have dug up a few quotes that, superficially, appear to cause problems for evolution. The reason it's only superficially and apparently, and not actually, problematic is that they are taken out of context. If you want more of the same look on any Creationist site, or maybe an ID site. Perhaps that's where you got them from, I don't know. But there's no need to rely on these flaky quote mines to figure out how much conjecture there is within science, since everyone within science knows that already. It's only the odd perspective of the religious who think it's a problem.

Have a read of this. It should give you a feel for how much conjecture there is.

hugh watt said...

Pt:2. "if you're asking me if he was wrong to implement his atrocious political schemes, then yes, in my opinion he was - but that is quite separate from the issue of evolution."

"In my opinion!" In his opinion it was ok. Who decides what is morally/ethically right or wrong? How did you come to that opinion?

"Your linking of Hitler with evolution as a means of discrediting evolution is as dumb as discrediting the admiration of a smart uniform because all the Nazi atrocities were instigated by men in smart uniforms."

If you read the Mein Kampf quote you'd have seen Hitler made the link. I'm saying evo' naturally leads to "survival of the fittest." Keith saw this.

"Keith reassured us, "The German Führer, as I have consistently maintained, is an evolutionist; he has consciously sought to make the practice of Germany conform to the theory of evolution."
Ibid., p. 230.


"Aths'/evos' bought it. Did you? Or did you dismiss it as a hoax from the outset?" - It was a well presented forgery at a time when the study of evolution was still young. All the forensic techniques that are available now weren't then."

They lied! They had no proof! They called it fact when there was none. More recent quotes show they are still guessing; have you not read them? The principle of falsification is not even an issue to those who blindly accept a "theory" as though it were fact!

"The known fossil remains of man's ancestors would fit on a billiard table. That makes a poor platform from which to peer into the mists of the last few million years."—'Nicholas Wade, "How Old Is Man?" The New York rimes, October 4, 1982, p. A 18.

What Eocene primate did you evolve from Ron?

hugh watt said...

Pt:1 of 2. Ron.

"The atheist claim is that life started from natural processes and basic matter, though the details are unknown."

So, there had to be something to begin with? "though the details are unknown!" The car started from "basic matter" also; it could not have formed into a car without a designer. Aths'/Evos' by your logic say it could, "from natural process." Can't you see i'm using your logic?

"just because a car was designed by men from parts doesn't mean life was designed;"

The details are unknown as to how the pyramids (Egypt) were built so i can't prove how it was done, or by whom. The evidence however, suggests that they must have had a designer(s), and are not there by means of "natural process!" What kind of environment would non-life need to become life?

"and the fact that a car didn't come from nothing says nothing about the atheist position because there's no claim that life came from nothing."


If you think it mad to believe life could not have started from nothing, so do i. Where did that "basic matter" come from? This is where we need to get to. By your reasoning inanimate objects can become animate; 'since complex life forms can 'evolve' from "basic matter," given time.' I can equally say a glove puppet can become a life form by "natural process;" yes or no?

"I know at this point you'd like to inject your God into the picture and say he did it, but there's first no evidence that there is a God,"

Youtube this. "Is Richard Dawkins Really Atheist? He knows there's a problem.

Theory
"I like how you chose the definitions that suit your case - there's nothing like confirmation bias, selective reading and quote mining. You should work for Fox News."


It's from an online dictionary. I chose what was relevant.

"Stephen Hawking, "A theory is a good theory if it satisfies two requirements: It must accurately describe a large class of observations on the basis of a model that contains only a few arbitrary elements, and it must make definite predictions about the results of future observations."

So we must accept his definition above others? How does evo', "make definite predictions about the results of future observations."?

Ron Murphy said...

Do you have the link for the particular Dawkins video you want me to look at?

"I chose what was relevant." - Precisely. You skipped the bit that defined a scientific theory, which is quite different from the colloquial definitions you provided.

So we must accept his definition above others?" - for scientific theories, yes. That's what they are.

"How does evo' make definite predictions about the results of future observations?" - It makes plenty. Darwin himself predicted aspects of evolution that were discovered long after his death. Try this.

"In his opinion it [Hitler's actions?] was ok." - Then we have a difference of opinion.

"Who decides what is morally/ethically right or wrong?" - We all do, individually and collectively. This is so obvious, and should be so even to the religious, since there are probably more and greater differences of opinion within the various religions than outside them.

"How did you come to that opinion?" - Evolution and culture. read all the stuff above we've already been trough.

"If you read the Mein Kampf quote you'd have seen Hitler made the link." - Hitler got the details wrong. what more can I say.

"I'm saying evo' naturally leads to 'survival of the fittest.'" - That depends how you define 'fittest'. See our earlier conversations.

"Keith saw this." - Oh boy, you are a fan of Keith. Just because you've found some nut case that has a weird view of evolution and loves the Führer doesn't mean we have to believe his view. Come on Hugh, think for yourself. Do you really think the Führer got all this right?

"They lied! They had no proof!" - Yes. So do all the email scammers that tell me they represent my bank. Does this mean my high street bank is a hoax? Come on Hugh, you can do better than this.

"The principle of falsification..." - You don't understand the principle of falsification.

"What Eocene primate did you evolve from Ron?" - I've no idea. But it's the same one you did. Who was you're hundredth female ancestor - when we figure that out we'll be just a fraction of the way to answering your question. You seem to be under the illusion that facts from the past are either (a) as easy to get at as facts from today, or (b) if their not then God must have done it.

Ron Murphy said...

"By your reasoning inanimate objects can become animate; 'since complex life forms can 'evolve' from "basic matter," given time.'" - Yes, that's the general idea.

"I can equally say a glove puppet can become a life form by "natural process;" yes or no?" - No. Because the environmental conditions of a glove puppet are very different from early earth.

But let's go with your idea for now. Suppose we leave the puppet somewhere and mark out this bit of land and leave it alone for a couple of million years. With enough rain mud and any other appropriate ingredients it might do well, because if say it contains some wood then there's already DNA in there - it's off to a good start. But there are too problems for it.

First, the earth's atmosphere now has far more oxygen in it. Oxygen is very reactive and would tend to stop the process by combining with and breaking down the more complex chemicals that might be forming. All cellular life has a cell body to protect it from the atmosphere. That's why cells work; and that's why some more delicate cells, such is many of ours, are held together in a protective skin, of hardier cells, some of which are dead. Despite us using oxygen it's a very corrosive chemical.

Second, any new life is likely to be consumed by bacteria long before it got going on it's own new evolutionary history.

So, not quite such a dumb idea about the glove puppet; you just need to understand more about life processes, chemical processes.

Ron Murphy said...

Hi Hugh,

Every high school student knows that chemical processes occur naturally, without human intervention. The basic chemicals of life are just chemicals, and what is unknown at the moment is what order and in what form they reacted to form basic life.

"Can't you see I'm using your logic?" - I can see you're trying, but failing. Is every human constructed on a factory production line from basic parts by a team of engineers? By your logic, yes - the car is so every human must be. But of course by everyone else's logic, no. The production process for the car and the human is different. And so is the origin.

Here's the chain of events simplified.
1) In the many chemical processes on early earth some of the products caused a chain reaction that produced more of the same stuff. It reached a staged of self-replication - think of it like a nuclear chain reaction: as long as there was sufficient material around it could keep using more to create more.
2) This process eventually cause the production of stuff that we would classify as early life - but the boundary between life and non-life isn't as obvious as it appears to us now. I'm guessing this is the bit that's confusing you. Life, even human life, is just a very complex combination of organs, each of which is just a complex combination of cells, each of which is just a complex combination of replicating chemical systems. We are made of basic matter.
3) Some particular examples of this 'life', the humans, have brains that are such complex a combination of cells and chemicals that they act as computational systems that act on the environment of the whole organism.
4) Some particular examples of these human brains designed stuff, and over generations one of the outcomes of that process was the car.

So the design of the car is a by-product of the operation of one of the organs of the organism that evolved from the early processes on earth. Other than that the design of the car and the coming about of basic life have nothing in common.

"The details are unknown as to how the pyramids (Egypt) were built so i can't prove how it was done, or by whom." - Or did God just click his fingers and Wham! the pyramids appeared? We'll never know will we. Come on Hugh, this is all nonsense. Look at the Giant's Causeway, it looks like it was designed because it has a regular structure to it's rocks. There are plenty of artifacts from the Egyptian era to know that they were designed by humans, and none from the Giant's Causeway. Further, from geology it's known what natural processes can form rocks like the Giant's Causeway - even though no one was there to see it being formed. There are some things that can be deduced or inferred from the evidence.

The evidence is that life started about 3.8Ga, and since there were no humans there to design it, and since it was relatively simple life, then it started by natural processes. There's no evidence that there's a God, and no evidence that any God or alien started life on earth - but both are interesting speculations. If you get any evidence of either God or aliens starting life, then let me know.

"If you think it mad to believe life could not have started from nothing, so do i. Where did that "basic matter" come from? This is where we need to get to." - Well done. At last you're getting the idea. We need to investigate and find out, not just say, "Doh! I don't know. It must have been God." - That's such a lazy cop-out.

hugh watt said...

Pt:2-3

Other findings later emerged to show that the level of oxygen in that period was far higher than that claimed by evolutionists. And research showed that the level of ultraviolet rays reaching the Earth's surface was 10,000 times higher than evolutionists' estimates. That intense level would inevitably have given rise to oxygen by breaking down atmospheric water vapor and carbon dioxide.

This completely discredited the Miller experiment, which was carried out without considering oxygen. Had oxygen been used in the experiment, then the methane would have transformed into carbon dioxide and water, and the ammonia into nitrogen and water. On the other hand, in an atmosphere with no oxygen-since no ozone layer had yet formed-the amino acids would have been directly exposed to ultraviolet rays and been immediately broken down. At the end of the day, the presence or absence of oxygen in the primordial atmosphere would still make for an environment deadly for amino acids.

At the end of the Miller experiment, a large quantity of organic acids also formed whose characteristics were damaging to the structures and functions of living things. In the event that amino acids are not isolated but are left together in the same environment as these chemical substances, they will inevitably react with them and form new compounds.

In addition, at the end of the experiment, a high level of right-handed amino acids also emerged. The presence of these amino acids totally undermined the premise of evolution by means of its own logic. Right-handed amino acids are not used in living structures. Finally, the environment in which amino acids emerged in the experiment was not suited to life; but on the contrary, was a mixture that would have broken down and oxidized useful molecules.

All this points to the concrete fact that Miller's experiment -a conscious, controlled laboratory study aimed at synthesizing amino acids-does not prove that life could have emerged by chance under primordial world conditions. The types and levels of the gasses he used were determined at the ideal levels for amino acids to be able to form. The level of energy supplied was carefully regulated, neither too much nor too little, to ensure that the desired reactions would take place.

The experimental apparatus isolated so as not to harbor any element that might be harmful, or prevent the emergence of amino acids. No element, mineral or compound present in the primeval world that might have altered the course of the reactions was included in the experimental apparatus. Oxygen that would hinder the formation of amino acids is just one of these elements. Therefore, in the absence of the cold trap mechanism, even under those ideal laboratory conditions, amino acids could not have survived without being broken down.

With the Miller experiment, evolutionists actually invalidated evolution by their own efforts. Because the experiment demonstrated that amino acids could be obtained only in specially arranged laboratory conditions and with conscious intervention. In other words, the force giving rise to life is creation, not random coincidences.

The reason why evolutionists refuse to accept this stems from their preconceptions. Harold Urey, who organized the experiment together with his student Stanley Miller, made this admission:

All of us who study the origin of life find that the more we look into it, the more we feel it is too complex to have evolved anywhere. We all believe as an article of faith that life evolved from dead matter on this planet. It is just that its complexity is so great, it is hard for us to imagine that it did. W. R. Bird, The Origin of Species Revisited, Nashville: Thomas Nelson Co., 1991, p. 325.

hugh watt said...

Pt:1-3 Ron.

"Have a read of this. It should give you a feel for how much conjecture there is."

When you gave the link to Stanley Miller as evidence for evo' i shook my head. There's much i could say on this; but basically, without realising it, you've proven the creationist point!
In his experiment, Miller used a combination of gasses that he assumed had existed in the Earth's primordial atmosphere (but which were later determined not to have existed in it), such as ammonia, methane, hydrogen and water vapor. Since under normal conditions, these gasses would not enter into reactions with one another, he added energy from the outside. The energy-which he thought might have stemmed from lightning in the primitive atmosphere-he provided by means of an artificial electrical charge.

Miller heated this mixture of gasses at 100°C for a week, while also providing an electrical current. At the end of the week, Miller measured the chemicals in the mixture at the bottom of the jar and observed that he had synthesized three of the 20 amino acids constituting the building blocks of proteins.

The result of the experiment caused great joy among evolutionists and was announced as a great success. Indeed, some publications went so far as to produce headlines reading "Miller Creates Life." Yet all that he had actually synthesized was a few inanimate molecules.

With the courage they took from this experiment, evolutionists immediately produced new scenarios. There was immediate speculation about the stages that must have taken place after the amino acids' formation. According to the scenario, these came together in the appropriate order as the result of chance, and gave rise to proteins. Some of these proteins, the work of still more random coincidences, installed themselves inside structures resembling cell membranes-which also came into being in some way, and thus gave rise to the cell. Cells gradually lined up alongside one another and gave rise to living organisms.

The Miller experiment-the basis for this scenario, not one single stage of which is backed up by any evidence at all was nothing more than a deception, whose invalidity in all regards was subsequently proven.

The artificial atmosphere created by Miller in his experiment bore no resemblance to that of the primordial Earth. For that reason, the experiment was regarded as invalid by the scientific world.
Do you know about the cold trap mechanism Miller used, and why it disproved evo'?
The primordial atmosphere that Miller attempted to replicate in his experiment was not realistic. In 1982, scientists agreed that instead of methane and ammonia in the primitive atmosphere, there must have been nitrogen and carbon dioxide. Indeed, after a long silence, Miller himself admitted that the primitive atmosphere model he'd used was not realistic. I've had this on file for years now.

The American scientists J.P. Ferris and C.T. Chen repeated Miller's experiment, using a mixture of carbon dioxide, hydrogen, nitrogen and water vapor, but failed to obtain even a single amino acid molecule.

Another important point invalidates the Miller experiment: At the time when the amino acids were suggested to have formed, there was so much oxygen in the atmosphere that it would have destroyed any amino acids present. This important fact that Miller ignored was determined by means of uranium and oxidized iron deposits in rocks estimated to be around 3 billion years old.

hugh watt said...

Pt:3.

This experiment is the sole proof that supposedly verifies the molecular evolution suggested as the first stage of the evolutionary process. Although half a century has gone by since, and great technological advances have been made, no new progress has been made on the subject. The Miller experiment is still taught in schoolbooks as an explanation of the first emergence of life. Evolutionists, aware that such endeavors will refute their claims rather than supporting them, carefully avoid embarking on any other such experiments.

Dawkins, to disprove creationism with this experiment on YouTube. "Dr Richard Dawkins proves the existence of God"

What he and his audience failed to see was quite obvious to the thinking person. Watch the video.

If i said; 'The fire service are wrong to say gasoline and matches can't mix.' Then i performed a similar experiment to Dawkins' which goes: Helmet on head. Gas in glass with match in hand. Warn those who want to leave. Then i throw the match in the glass and say; 'Nothing happened! I knew it wouldn't, really.' Any thinking person should see the match needs to be ALIVE!!!

"Can't you see I'm using your logic?" - I can see you're trying, but failing."

Well, if the video's don't bring it home to you, what can i say!

"Every high school student knows that chemical processes occur naturally, without human intervention."

So they should know the tombs inside the pyramids could not have formed naturally!

"Here's the chain of events simplified."

Then uses conjecture! Miller-Urey-Dawkins did this too.

"There are some things that can be deduced or inferred from the evidence."

Like what i've say about the car/pyramids!

"What Eocene primate did you evolve from Ron?" - "'I've no idea.'"

You seem to know about "basic matter" and "natural process." What's happened; you suddenly can't dig up some ath'/evo' who knows? What about Dawkins? It's funny how your wisdom fails at the most crucial point, hey! You've "no idea," but what you 'know' is, you evolved from an ape!

Youtube this. "Is Richard Dawkins Really Atheist?" He knows there's a problem.
Tell me what you think of the videos.

Principle of Falsification:
Being unrestricted, scientific theories cannot be verified by any possible accumulation of observational evidence. The formation of hypothesis is a creative process of the imagination and is not a passive reaction to observed regularities. A scientific test consists in a persevering search for negative, falsifying instances. If a hypothesis survives continuing and serious attempts to falsify it, then it has ``proved its mettle'' and can be provisionally accepted, but it can never be established conclusively. Later corroboration generates a series of hypothesis into a scientific theory.

Thus, the core element of a scientific hypothesis is that it must be capability of being proven false. For example, the hypothesis that ``atoms move because they are pushed by small, invisible, immaterial demons'' is pseudo-science since the existence of the demons cannot be proven false (i.e. cannot be tested at all).

Excerpt from the Encyclopedia Britannica.

Ron Murphy said...

Hi Hugh,

If it's a long quote it's easier to just post the link:

http://us1.harunyahya.com/Detail/T/EDCRFV/productId/16660/UREY-MILLER_EXPERIMENT,_THE

hugh watt said...

Yes, but to save you from having to read entire articles i select portions. However, in future, i may just do that.

Thanx.

Ron Murphy said...

Principle of Falsification.

Is this your link?
http://abyss.uoregon.edu/~js/glossary/principle_of_falsification.html
There seems to be a lot on there reproduced without permission.

"The formation of hypothesis is a creative process of the imagination and is not a passive reaction to observed regularities." - Yes. But it can be an active reaction to observed regularities; and it can be a guess; and it can be a conjecture based on existing evidence.

"atoms move because they are pushed by small, invisible, immaterial demons" - yes. You've got it at last. The claim that your invisible immaterial demon, God, is responsible is just a dumb claim and can't be falsified.

I'm not sure how you thought this was helping your case though.

Ron Murphy said...

Did you mean this Dawkins video? I'm not sure why you think I should see. Would you like to explain?

"Any thinking person should see the match needs to be ALIVE!!!" - What on earth are you talking about? Do you mean lit, struck?

"Well, if the video's don't bring it home to you, what can i say!" - You could try to explain what you mean in a straight forward manner, because all your allusions and metaphors aren't telling me anything. It's no use just dumping a video on me and hoping I'll read your mind. State your case, if you have one.

"So they should know the tombs inside the pyramids could not have formed naturally!" - Well, there are some amazing natural subterranean rock formations around the world, but given the bodies found in the tombs and all the artifacts, I'd say you are right on this one.

Do you know what conjecture is in science?

"Is Richard Dawkins Really Atheist?" - Do you mean this? - I need to explain to you again several points I've made several times:
1) Science is based on evidence. It does not prove God does not exists.
2) Dawkins uses the 'atheist' label for similar reasons to this.
3) In the video Dawkins was making the point he's made many times, that there is no inherent disprovable reason why life on earth couldn't have been started by some God or alien life. There is zero evidence of God and alien life causing life on earth to begin. His point in this video is that even if we found that alien life started life on earth, we would then want to ask how did that alien life start. And even if life started with God, we'd want to know were God came from - which is an issue that theists seem to skip over. If you want to claim that life must start with some intelligent entity, then the same must apply to that entity.

So, if you really want to use your car metaphor:
1) Cars didn't come from nothing. They were created by man.
2) Man didn't come from nothing. He was created by God.
3) God didn't come from nothing. He was created by??????
4.... and so on.

Well, of course you theists don't like that. You have a separate rule for God. But you don't buy the separate for life and cars? This is where your twisted logic leads you.

But it all boils down to evidence. There is no evidence for God at all. There is evidence for evolution from the basic life forms all the way up to man. Yes there are gaps in the fossil record, but if you really think that's a problem you're in big trouble in every day life. The fact that you can't locate the graves of your last 100 female ancestors doesn't make you think they didn't exist does it? Isn't the basic principle human childbirth, and the evidence of childbirth you have all around you enough to convince you that the principle held true, even for your last 100 female ancestors? If you want children are you going to sit around waiting for God to just pop one up for you, or are you going to go through the natural process of conceiving?

Come on Hugh, you have to get real here. There are things we can infer to be the case based on what evidence we have. The fact that we have no detailed evidence of some of the details means there's controversy over the detail - there are many reasonable ideas. And they are all based around the fact that all the components of life were present on the early earth, and that there were conditions then that are quite different from now, and some of the process details are coming to light - science is learning more all the time, even if not at the pace you would like.

But nothing has ever been found that suggests that some super duper being had anything to do with it.

Ron Murphy said...

Hi Hugh,

"This experiment is the sole proof that supposedly verifies the molecular evolution suggested as the first stage of the evolutionary process." - It's not even that. It's not proof. When do you guys get the difference between proof and evidence?

The Miller experiment showed that in principle some of the basic processes work. The results of the amino acids aren't crucial anyway, since amino acids are already made - and can be found in material from space, so one possibility is that they arrived during the heavy bombardment period.

And you think an experiment that lasted such a short time is going to get instant results comparable to what may have been up to a billion years (earth formation to first signs of life)?

"Although half a century has gone by since, and great technological advances have been made, no new progress has been made on the subject." - So what? Two thousand years of Christianity have taught us absolute zero. Science doesn't expect to get all the answers right away - science takes some effort, unlike sitting around contemplating the incomprehensible.

"The Miller experiment is still taught in schoolbooks as an explanation of the first emergence of life." - I doubt it, or they are poor teachers. If it is discussed at all it will be (or should be) in the correct context, as one small step in the investigation of our origins. A small but interesting result - as opposed to fairy tale fantasy.

"Evolutionists, aware that such endeavours will refute their claims rather than supporting them, carefully avoid embarking on any other such experiments." - In what way does it refute the conjectures about our origins? It simply doesn't add that much - and that isn't refutation.

But, see this. The issues are still being considered. One possibility is that the conditions that resemble the Miller experiment could have formed some of the chemicals which were then washed into oceans, which were quite different to the oceans now, and that what we recognise as life may have formed there.

The point is that there are so many plausible starting points that there are lots to be investigated, and it will take time. But nowhere is there any sign of God.

"but basically, without realising it, you've proven the creationist point!" - Wow! I must have missed that. How precisely? Is all your copy from your source indicates is that the Miller experiment doesn't tell the whole story. It certainly doesn't say anything about the creationist argument.

"When you gave the link to Stanley Miller as evidence for evo' i shook my head." - I didn't give you a link to the Miller experiment did I? Which link?

"W. R. Bird, The Origin of Species Revisited" - Hugh, you've got to stop picking this crap up of creationist and ID sites. Try this review: "Bird is a layer, not a scientist. ... It is not a scientific assessment...it is loaded like the proverbial pair of dice. Indeed when Mr Bird rolls for evolutionary theory who would expect anything but snake eyes to come up?"

hugh watt said...

Ron:

"The Miller experiment showed that in principle some of the basic processes work."

What he proved was without intelligent intervention it had no chance of working!

Your views on amino acids; again guessing!

"Evolutionists, aware that such endeavours will refute their claims rather than supporting them, carefully avoid embarking on any other such experiments." - In what way does it refute the conjectures about our origins? It simply doesn't add that much - and that isn't refutation."

Perhaps if you watch the Dawkins link (Bombardier beetle), you may see what i'm getting at. It was a loaded dice experiment.

"The point is that there are so many plausible starting points that there are lots to be investigated, and it will take time. But nowhere is there any sign of God."

Watch the interview with Dawkins. I heard him not rule out the possibility of a designer(s).

"but basically, without realising it, you've proven the creationist point!" - Wow! I must have missed that. How precisely? Is all your copy from your source indicates is that the Miller experiment doesn't tell the whole story. It certainly doesn't say anything about the creationist argument."

No intelligent intervention=no life!

"Did you mean this Dawkins video? I'm not sure why you think I should see. Would you like to explain?"

Watch the video, it's not difficult.

"Any thinking person should see the match needs to be ALIVE!!!" - What on earth are you talking about? Do you mean lit, struck?"

Yes! Lit,struck. The B.beetle has to be alive, so Dawkins' experiment was flawed from that aspect. "Dawkins, to disprove creationism with this experiment on YouTube. "Dr Richard Dawkins proves the existence of God" Loaded dice experiment! When he said he "knew nothing would happen;" how did he know? He 'rigged' the experiment. Do you think it was legit? If the video's don't bring it home to you, what can i say! He made a point which he could not have intended, which was: Without intelligent intervention nothing can happen. Kinda like a couple wanting to start a family. Evos' by your logic say; 'Give it time, it could happen!'

"So, if you really want to use your car metaphor:

1) Cars didn't come from nothing. They were created by man.
2) Man didn't come from nothing. He was created by God.
3) God didn't come from nothing. He was created by??????
4.... and so on."


1. Everything that exists must have a cause.

2. The universe must have a cause (from 1).

3. Nothing can be the cause of itself.

4. The universe cannot be the cause of itself (from 3).

5. Something outside the universe must have caused the universe (from 2 & 4).

6. God is the only thing that is outside of the universe.

7. God caused the universe (from 5 & 6).

8. God exists.

"But it all boils down to evidence. There is no evidence for God at all. There is evidence for evolution from the basic life forms all the way up to man. Yes there are gaps in the fossil record, but if you really think that's a problem you're in big trouble in every day life."

Which Eocene primate as Dawkins said man evolved from, Ron? What fossil evidence is there?

" There is zero evidence of God and alien life causing life on earth to begin.

Back to those absolute statements, hey! What kind of evidence you looking for?

Superstition:
1.a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing, circumstance, occurrence, proceeding, or the like.
2. a system or collection of such beliefs.
3. a custom or act based on such a belief.
4. irrational fear of what is unknown or mysterious, esp. in connection with religion.
5. any blindly accepted belief or notion.

Ron Murphy said...

Hi Hugh,

"What he proved was without intelligent intervention it had no chance of working!" - Nonsense. This simply doesn't follow. What a perverse idea of logic you have.

"Your views on amino acids; again guessing!" - If I came up with those views you might be right. But they're the views of experts in the field; they are conjectures based on the evidence so far. But even if they were completely false, that wouldn't make God the best candidate.

"Watch the interview with Dawkins. I heard him not rule out the possibility of a designer(s)" - Listen again. You miss the point. Dawkins was saying that if life on earth was designed by some aliens, then we would simply have to explain them. It's a possibility, even if less likely than life starting naturally on earth. He was not saying there was some supernatural designer - because there isn't evidence of one. But he doesn't rule it out absolutely, and never has.

"No intelligent intervention=no life!" - So say the religious. But where do they get the data from, the evidence, that demonstrates that life can't start naturally?

"Watch the video, it's not difficult." - Well it must be. Can't you make this easier and just say what you mean?

The match had to be struck? Like volcanoes? Like lots of chemical reactions that are spontaneous? The beetle happens to be a system that has evolved. yes, it's alive, so what?

"When he said he "knew nothing would happen;" how did he know? He 'rigged' the experiment." - He rigged the experiment to do just what some dumb Creationist claimed was the case - that if those two chemicals come into contact they react violently. Clearly they don't, so nullifying that particular Creationist claim.

"Without intelligent intervention nothing can happen." - How do you know this? There is no know physical law preventing chemical reactions.

"Everything that exists must have a cause." - If we accept causality, then yes. But it doesn't have to be an intelligent designer cause.

"The universe must have a cause" - Again, if we assume causality, yes. But that doesn't say what the cause has to be.

"Nothing can be the cause of itself." - Why not? Where's your particle physics or cosmological theory of evidence that demonstrates this?

"The universe cannot be the cause of itself" - maybe, maybe not. We don't know.

"Something outside the universe must have caused the universe" - Possibly, not 'must'.

"God is the only thing that is outside of the universe." - Really? When were you last there to find that out?

"God caused the universe" - No evidence.

"God exists." - No evidence.

"Which Eocene primate as Dawkins said man evolved from, Ron? What fossil evidence is there?" - it's not known. There's evidence to infer that this should have happened, but not actual evidence that it did. Just as we infer you had 100th female ancestor, but we don't have evidence you did.

"Back to those absolute statements, hey! What kind of evidence you looking for?" - This isn't how it works. If you are making a claim (e.g. as you claim God exists) then you come up with the evidence.

You're going round in circles. the superstition definition is a great fit for religion. Thought we'd covered that earlier.

hugh watt said...

1-2 Ron.

"Which Eocene primate as Dawkins said man evolved from, Ron? What fossil evidence is there?" - it's not known. There's evidence to infer that this should have happened, but not actual evidence that it did. Just as we infer you had 100th female ancestor, but we don't have evidence you did."

No evidence! None to prove our ancestors were ape-like! To "infer" is to conjecture! If you can deny God based upon this standard, why not evo'/ath'? No, you want to have it your way. 'No evidence to prove God, then He can't exist.' Yet, no evidence to prove man evolved from apes, but you believe it. What bias. Apply the same standard to yourself. As you said;

"Nonsense. This simply doesn't follow. What a perverse idea of logic you have."

You call yourself "atheist" which rules out God entirely, but there's zero evidence to prove ape ancestry. Aths'/evos' lied with their so called proof in the past because they knew they'd nothing to go on. Can't you see the extremes they have to go to. You would have bought it too because you want to believe it. My car analogy works if taken in the right context. I've noted how often you take what i say out of context, but that just proves that's the only way you can hold on to your theory. No right thinking person would say the car could form itself without intelligent intervention." You however, seem not able to make the link.

Dawkins should have said there's no chance of a designer(s). He's an atheist isn't he? Instead i see a man who's struggling with what evidence he is finding. Now he wants to backtrack some. It's one or the other Ron. If there's no God then there's no 'designer of the gap' either.

"No intelligent intervention=no life!" - So say the religious."

Again, wrong! This is not about 'religion.' I can use any theist's work to argue my case.

"But where do they get the data from, the evidence, that demonstrates that life can't start naturally?"
Fossil proof for ape ancestry? Demonstrate it! I can play that game too. Where's the data?

"The match had to be struck? Like volcanoes? Like lots of chemical reactions that are spontaneous? The beetle happens to be a system that has evolved. yes, it's alive, so what?"

The chemicals Dawkins mixed had no life. He made an illusion, distorted the facts, used pseudo-logic, mixed with his personality and the audience fell for it. The beetle can think and respond because it has life. Dawkins could just as easily have used a dead beetle and got the same result as he did. Where's your proof the beetle evolved?

"He rigged the experiment to do just what some dumb Creationist claimed was the case."

hugh watt said...

2. It looks dumb when you call a person a "dumb Creationist" with an upper case "C" Ron!

"Without intelligent intervention nothing can happen." - How do you know this? There is no know physical law preventing chemical reactions."

So the car engine could start without intelligent intervention? How many reports have you heard on the news lately to show this?

"Nothing can be the cause of itself." - Why not? Where's your particle physics or cosmological theory of evidence that demonstrates this?"

Then the car is the cause of itself, yes? "Why not?"

"The universe cannot be the cause of itself" - maybe, maybe not. We don't know."
"Something outside the universe must have caused the universe" - Possibly, not 'must'.


You wearing your agnostic hat now?

"Back to those absolute statements, hey! What kind of evidence you looking for?" - This isn't how it works. If you are making a claim (e.g. as you claim God exists) then you come up with the evidence."

This needs to be consistent with your Eocene primate claim. Evidence! You've none. So what you try is the desperate; 'where's the evidence for God?' line. Prove to me God does not exist Ron! Zero fossils is evidence 'ape-man' is false. Your turn!

Delusion: “a persistent false belief held in the face of strong contradictory evidence." Captures atheism/evolution perfectly.

Ron Murphy said...

"You wearing your agnostic hat now?" - In matters of metaphysical speculation about areas for which we have no data, I'm always agnostic, but the absence of data with respect to God is so obvious I'm happy to use the label 'atheist', as I describe here. But, just so you understand the position I will spell it out to you sometimes, when I think you're not getting it. So, I'll say it again: strictly speaking I'm agnostic about God, but the lack of evidence for God and the evidence that supports other explanations is sufficient for us not to need to claim there is a God, so the 'atheist' label is generally close enough. But, if you want to call me agnostic, go ahead.

"This needs to be consistent with your Eocene primate claim. Evidence!" - Either read the links I give you, or go to the museums and find out for yourself. I'm not your research assistant.

"So what you try is the desperate" - there are two issues.
1) God exists and created everything.
2) Everything came about by natural means.

There's evidence for (2) - not complete, not perfect, not absolutely certain, but good enough by all modern standards.
There's no evidence for (1).
On that basis, I choose (2). the difference seems clear and the choice seems simple.

"Prove to me God does not exist Ron!" - I can't, any more than you can proveGod exists.

"Zero fossils is evidence 'ape-man' is false." - As many theists like to point out, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, so your statement is wrong. This is also why atheist do not rule out God - the fact that there is no evidence yet doesn't rule out fining any in the future. But. you're right, there is no fossil yet found that can be said to be an ancestor of apes and man.

But that's not a problem. The amount of evidence that does exist strongly supports the case that there was one. Think of it this way:

1) All living humans exist. They are their own evidence that they exist.
2) We can account for the parents of most living humans, where those parents were buried. But where they were cremated, or for some other reason their bodies aren't available, they are lost to science. So, for those humans alive today where we cannot dig up their parents, should we conclude that they had no parents? Can we say "Zero bones is evidence some parents is false" Is it not more sensible to infer, from out knowledge about biology, that they had parents?

"Delusion: 'a persistent false belief held in the face of strong contradictory evidence.' Captures atheism/evolution perfectly." - Not really. There's plenty of evidence to support it (you seem to confuse 'support' and 'prove'.

But, someone who claims they are Napoleon, when we all know they are not, is delusional. Someone who claims they communicate with fairies, when we know they don't, is delusional. Someone of claims there is a God when there's no evidence may be a little less delusional than the others, but not much.

Ron Murphy said...

There are two typical Creationist/ID claims about the B.beetle. The first is that the two chemicals react violently together - but they don't and Dawkins was demonstrating that the chemicals don't react as C/ID claim. The second is that the beetle would be killed by it's own contents if this evolved in some intermediate stage where the chemicals came together. This is wrong too, because evolved increasing concentrations of hydrogen peroxide with the appropriate catalyst would allow a gradual evolution. Read this for details.

"and the audience fell for it" - This video is from a UK series called the The Royal Institution Christmas Lectures for Children, which is aimed at school children. He wanted to make the point that the C/ID claims are false. Here's a more complete version of the clip. As I say, it's for children, and many children get this. It's not difficult.

It is generally accepted that a 'Creationist', upper case 'C' is a young earth Creationist who believes the world is less that 10,000 years old and that Genesis is pretty much spot on. While 'creationist' usually refers to other creationists, some of which might accept evolution as an ongoing process, but who think God got the ball rolling by creating the universe and creating the conditions for life.

"So the car engine could start without intelligent intervention?" - Yes. Corroded wiring could lead to a short in the ignition system. - i.e. nature could hot-wire the car accidentally. But normally, no. But human life didn't have a starter motor, a wring system, etc. And, cars are designed so that they won't start accidentally, we hope. But left long enough a car could corrode away by natural means - have you never seen a junk yard?

"Then the car is the cause of itself, yes?" - No, because the car is designed with several features in mind, and self-assembly isn't one of them. But this doesn't have to apply to all chemical processes.

Ron Murphy said...

"Dawkins should have said there's no chance of a designer(s). He's an atheist isn't he?" - Again you misunderstand why we call ourselves atheists. Read the link I gave above.

"Now he wants to backtrack some." - No. He was stating what he as always stated. There is no problem, in principle, with there being an intelligent designer for life on earth. There's simply no evidence.

"It's one or the other Ron. If there's no God then there's no 'designer of the gap' either." - I agree, IF there's no God. We don't know for sure there isn't, but there's no evidence for one.

"Again, wrong! This is not about 'religion.' I can use any theist's work to argue my case." - I thought theists were religious. Isn't that the definition of a theist? A believer in God. I know some religious aren't theists; some are deists; some are pantheists. There's a massive variation in religious belief. So, you are right, it might not be about all religions. So if you like let's assume I meant theism. But the definition you gave is correct for religion - it does after all contain the word, 'religion'.

"Fossil proof for ape ancestry? Demonstrate it! I can play that game too. Where's the data?" - Go to several museums that have the appropriate fossils. Here's a good one: The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, something your nation should be proud of - I guess some are even, if you're not. Here's a quick intro from the Smithsonian's Human origins site. Learn some anthropology and archeology - doesn't have to be too detailed. After a while you'll see so many similarities that it looks obvious. But, you may still remain unconvinced, which is okay, it's good to be sceptical. So, if you really want to challenge the evidence from which our ancestry is inferred you'll have to look into it a bit deeper. Simply using quote mining from Creationist sites won't be enough to convince the scientific community.

Now how would you go about doing that for God? Which museum could I go to? What fossils relating to God do you know of? Do you have any DNA evidence relating to God? Do you have any evidence relating to God?

Ron Murphy said...

Hi Hugh,

Here's a list of evidence for a missing whole number between 1 and 9 inclusive:
1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

What's the missing number? Form the evidence I infer it's 4.

Here's the evidence for God:
?
I infer (but don't prove) there isn't one.

That's the difference.

"No evidence to prove God, then He can't exist." - I have never said he can't exist. I have only said there is no evidence that he does exist. I have never said that a particular common ancestor of ours definitely exists, I have always said that the evidence suggests it - we infer it from what evidence we have.

"Yet, no evidence to prove man evolved from apes" - There is plenty of evidence from which to infer that one did exist.

"Apply the same standard to yourself" - If only you would do that - there is no evidence for God.

"You call yourself "atheist" which rules out God entirely" - You still misunderstand why we are called atheists. Try here.

"but there's zero evidence to prove ape ancestry." - Not to prove it beyond all doubt, I agree. But plenty to infer it.

"Aths'/evos' lied with their so called proof in the past because they knew they'd nothing to go on." - How can we lie with a proof when we never claim a proof? It's you who keeps saying that we claim to prove, when we don't. You intentionally misrepresent, even after being told many times.

"You would have bought it too because you want to believe it." - Not so. I would believe in God if there was evidence.

"My car analogy works if taken in the right context." - But you don't use it in the right context. I don't think you understand how to use analogies. There has to be a relation between the objects being compared, or the processes acting on the objects. Yours doesn't do it:

1) You compare a car to life and say neither could come from nothing. This I agree with.
2) You think atheists are claiming life came from nothing. We don't. Your analogy fails right here. We say life came through natural processes, whereas the car came from man made processes.

Now just because you want to claim atheists say life came from nothing doesn't make that so. We don't say that. You are using the analogy out of context because you are including in your analogy a claim that atheists don't make.

"No right thinking person would say the car could form itself without intelligent intervention." - First, this isn't part of your analogy - you've changed it, I think because you now realise where you were going wrong. Your original analogy said that a car can't come from nothing, not that it can't form itself without intelligent intervention. But, I agree with both those.

"You however, seem not able to make the link." - because this wasn't your original analogy. You have now changed the analogy. So let's restate your analogy:

1) A car cannot form itself without intelligent intervention. I agree with this bit in practice.
2) Life cannot form without intelligent intervention. I disagree with this bit.

Now you're analogy is actually a sensible one. But now we disagree on it's value. I don't see how you can infer part (2) from part (1). They are two different processes. So, your analogy is better, but still wrong. But at least it's better than before.

Ron Murphy said...

So Hugh, as a matter of interest...

Are you a creationist, or a Creationist? Many Christians accept evolution, and even abiogensis (the start of human life being natural) - they just think that God created the initial conditions for the universe to begin and evolution to occur. What precisely are your beliefs in this respect?

hugh watt said...

1-2 Ron:

YouTube. "World's Most Famous Atheist Accepts Existence of God because of Science."

"Atheist: A person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings."

You're making up your own definitions Ron.

"Agnostic: 1) A person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as god, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience." i.e "5 senses."

2) "A person who denies or doubts the possibility of ultimate knowledge in some area of study."

From what you've said can't you see by dictionary definition you're an agnostic?

"but there's zero evidence to prove ape ancestry." - Not to prove it beyond all doubt, I agree. But plenty to infer it."

Like "Piltdown man?"

"Aths'/evos' lied with their so called proof in the past because they knew they'd nothing to go on." - How can we lie with a proof when we never claim a proof? It's you who keeps saying that we claim to prove, when we don't. You intentionally misrepresent, even after being told many times."

Piltdown man!

"You would have bought it too because you want to believe it." - Not so. I would believe in God if there was evidence."

Ape-man ancestry evidence? You said you believe it!

"My car analogy works if taken in the right context." - But you don't use it in the right context. I don't think you understand how to use analogies. There has to be a relation between the objects being compared, or the processes acting on the objects. Yours doesn't do it:"

So i should use analogies that suit your purpose?

"Analogy: Logic, a form of reasoning in which one thing is inferred to be similar to another thing in a certain respect, on the basis of the known similarity between the things in other respects."

Compare what i said about the car from the outset with "basic matter" and evolving into a workable form. You telling me it's totally lost on you?

"1) You compare a car to life and say neither could come from nothing. This I agree with."

Where did the "basic matter" come from, nothing?

2) "You think atheists are claiming life came from nothing. We don't. Your analogy fails right here. We say life came through natural processes, whereas the car came from man made processes."

You're making my point for me! Life+Life=? No life+No life=? "Atheist" answer,- "Life!!!"

hugh watt said...

3.

"the fact that there is no evidence yet doesn't rule out fining any in the future. But. you're right, there is no fossil yet found that can be said to be an ancestor of apes and man.
But that's not a problem. The amount of evidence that does exist strongly supports the case that there was one."


So its kinda like hedging your bets? There is no evidence to prove WMD in Iraq, but that's not a problem. The amount of evidence that does exist strongly supports that there is some!

"1) All living humans exist. They are their own evidence that they exist."

No human exists by making themselves! No evidence we came from primates, which deals with point 2.

"Are you a creationist, or a Creationist?"

I believe the Biblical account on creation.
You never answered how you came to the opinion Stalin/Hitler/Mao were wrong.

Anthony Flew flew out the atheist window!

hugh watt said...

2-3

"You however, seem not able to make the link." - because this wasn't your original analogy. You have now changed the analogy."

It's my analogy, my baby, i own it and can style it like i do my hair. Don't tell me what to do with my hair Ron. If i choose to follow on the analogy then logically LIFE would come into it at some point.

"I thought theists were religious. Isn't that the definition of a theist? A believer in God."

No Ron,no. When Jesus said; "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no one comes to the Father but by Me." John 14:6: He put Himself, a Person on one side, and all religions on the other, then said choose! I am religious in the sense of binding myself to what He says, not rules+regs' which men make up and claim their from God. If you want to know what Jesus thinks about religion read Matthew 23 and Mark 7. I've met people who follow no organized religion yet are theists.

"There is only about 1.2 percent genetic difference between modern humans and chimpanzees throughout much of their genetic code."

Smithsonian propaganda. Well, for
your info,' there's only about 2% difference between humans and a water melon, so i wouldn't go eating one of those; cannibalism is illegal.

"How do we know humans evolved?"

It then goes on to say, "modern humans evolved from earlier humans."
The rest of the sentence (read it), proves nothing!

"Human origins."

No point me re-posting those quotes regarding ape-man fallacy i guess. You believe it, ok.

"After a while you'll see so many similarities that it looks obvious."

There's only about a 2% difference between man and a jelly fish! It looks obvious to me you want to live life the way that suits you just fine. Atheism suits you.

If i use quotes, it's from people who've investigated and found those claims evos' make to be fake, i.e, Piltdown man.

"Now how would you go about doing that for God? Which museum could I go to? What fossils relating to God do you know of? Do you have any DNA evidence relating to God? Do you have any evidence relating to God?"

When we started this i gave you a Bible quote which basically stated; pagans think God is like every other FALSE god. You've proven what you are by your statement! Prove or show evidence we came from apes. It's a lie, and when you admitted you'd have fallen for the Piltdown man fake, that shows you're gullible.

"So the car engine could start without intelligent intervention?" - Yes. Corroded wiring could lead to a short in the ignition system. - i.e. nature could hot-wire the car accidentally."

You've evidence for this? Note: Corroded wiring means, something is going wrong!!!

"But left long enough a car could corrode away by natural means - have you never seen a junk yard?"

Not; 'left long enough a car could improve by natural process! Go to a junk yard, you'll see.

"Then the car is the cause of itself, yes?" - No, because the car is designed with several features in mind, and self-assembly isn't one of them. But this doesn't have to apply to all chemical processes."

Name one living creature that can not do what it was intended for.

"Prove to me God does not exist Ron!" - I can't, any more than you can proveGod exists."

Give me some evidence God does not exist, Ron!

Ron Murphy said...

"Corroded wiring means, something is going wrong!" - Wrong again Hugh. Corroded wiring means natural processes of the laws of thermodynamics is taking place - natural decay.

"Not; 'left long enough a car could improve by natural process! Go to a junk yard, you'll see." - That's crazy talk Hugh. If that were the case we wouldn't have to fix cars - just take them to the junk yard and wait for them to fix.

"Name one living creature that can not do what it was intended for." - I can't Hugh, because they weren't intended for anything in particular. That's what this is all about. Theists mistakenly think we humans are the panicle of creation, but we're just a by-product of a process (evolution) that occurs naturally. We are here because we survived the evolutionary process to this point. It's quite possible we might drive the planet into a state in which we don't survive and we die off. Then other life forms, maybe insects, will evolve further, maybe some small mammal, maybe a fish - but eventually, depending on the conditions on earth, it's quite possible another intelligence will evolve to something like our level, maybe beyond. Theists are so fixed in their narrow view that they think that the short time humans have been around is significant - it's not, on the evolutionary scale.

"Give me some evidence God does not exist, Ron!" - See, I told you, you don't understand logic and evidence. It doesn't work like that. Show me that fairies don't exist Hugh.

"So its kinda like hedging your bets?" - A little like that. But it's on the favourite in a race with only one runner - evolution.

"You never answered how you came to the opinion Stalin/Hitler/Mao were wrong." - Hitler was wrong about some aspects of evolution - he made the mistakes that led him to believe that there were significant differences between the races. I don't know to what extent Stalin and Mao understood evolution, so I can't say to what extent they were wrong about it.

Hitler was also a Catholic by the way - a theist.

Ron Murphy said...

"Don't tell me what to do with my hair Ron." - wouldn't dream of it Hugh. I'm not telling you what to do, I'm offering a suggestion, that if you want to explain your point of view the current analogy isn't doing it.

"When Jesus said" - You know what, since I'm choosing to call myself an atheist, I guess I'm okay with you calling yourself what you want. Okay, so Jesus didn't want to start a religion? Then why did Christians go ahead and do that? And not just one but many.

"Smithsonian propaganda." - Wow, Hugh! One of the finest institutions and your not happy with it? So, you reckon you know more than their scientists?

"Well, for your info,' there's only about 2% difference between humans and a water melon, so i wouldn't go eating one of those; cannibalism is illegal." - Not quite. A human isn't a water melon. And you don't understand enough about genetics and how genes work. If you did you wouldn't have made that statement.

"If i use quotes, it's from people who've investigated and found those claims evos' make to be fake, i.e, Piltdown man." - I wouldn't know that. You don't often give links to your sources. But I'm guessing you got them from creationist/ID sites - but by all means show me the links and I'll take a look.

"When we started this i gave you a Bible quote" - it's just a book written by ancients who knew no better - they had no science. Now theists have no excuse to believe in myths.

"Prove or show evidence we came from apes." - I've explained; I've given you links that explain what we do know; I've never claimed to prove anything; I've said the evidence infers evolution of humans from a common ancestor with apes (not from apes); I've explained that we (neither you or I or anyone) is in the position to prove God or disprove God; and I've asked for evidence for God and you've given none but have the nerve to complain about the evidence available for evolution; you've shown you don't understand the significant difference between proof and evidence and why proof can't be used on this topic; you apply analogies that don't explain what you think they do; you think analogies prove stuff (analogies don't prove stuff, they just help explain one thing in terms of another).

"It's a lie" - No lies Hugh. Just evidence that theists don't like.

"and when you admitted you'd have fallen for the Piltdown man fake, that shows you're gullible." - We're all gullible Hugh. That's why science has learned the hard way that we have to apply the scientific method rigorously to avoid being caught out again; but it's still tricky. Yet theist fall hook line and sinker for an ancient myth.

Ron Murphy said...

Hi Hugh,

Ooops! You've dropped another clanger Hugh. You've been mining Creationist/ID sites again. Flew's not a particularly reliable source. He changed his mind, admitted he hadn't kept up with the debate, was influenced in both directions a little too easily, and in the end there was concern about his mental health.

"You're making up your own definitions Ron.." - Only as a convenient label - since I debate on several sites like this, and when I express my views I'm called an atheist anyway. But, if you want to call me an agnostic, that's fine.

"From what you've said can't you see by dictionary definition you're an agnostic?" - Yes. I've said that. By strict definition I am agnostic. But I'm happy to be classified as atheist, since that's what most theists call me anyway, and since my agnosticism is so feint that I'm close to actual atheism.

No, not Piltdown man. Evolutionists were definitely suckered by that one.

"Piltdown man!" - wasn't claimed as proof, it was claimed as evidence. It just happened to be a hoax, one that wouldn't get passed today's specialists and their tests. See - it's you who claims we are holding up proofs again, when we're not. You don't know the difference between a proof and evidence.

"Ape-man ancestry evidence? You said you believe it!" - Don't believe it the way you believe in God. I am of the opinion that there's enough evidence to suggest that this was the case, just as there's enough evidence to suggest you have a 100th female ancestor.

"So i should use analogies that suit your purpose?" - Ones that work would be fine.

"Where did the "basic matter" come from, nothing?" - The basic matter from which all the matter we know about started: universe, stars, planets, life on earth, metals in the earth which humans dug up and made cars with? You mean all that matter? Nobody knows where it came from. Maybe from nothing, maybe not. Maybe from God, but then where did God come from? Note that all these are unknowns - but hey, that doesn't stop theists pretending they know all sorts of stuff.

I'm not making your point for you, you're mistaken. My point:
1) Universe appears. How? We don't know, but however it all started, the big bang was the result.
2) Stars form from expanding matter from big bang - starting from Hydrogen stars. They form Helium. Other elements formed eventually, most elements from exploding stars.
3) Planets form from dust around our sun.
4) Earth cools, oceans form.
5) Some chemical process for complex compounds.
6) Some processes for the very simple basic life - maybe about one billion years after earth formed.
7) Evolution gets going.
8) Evolution reaches humans.
9) Humans make cars.
Lot of simplification here, but that's the general idea. But note that 5/6 are not the same processes as 9 - and that's why your analogy doesn't work.

hugh watt said...

1.Ron

"And, yes that's my real name. My great grandfather was fro Eire, but I'm English. I'm an atheist, but I disliek all ideologies, whether they are religious or not."

"You're making up your own definitions Ron.." - Only as a convenient label - since I debate on several sites like this, and when I express my views I'm called an atheist anyway. But, if you want to call me an agnostic, that's fine."

I don't mean to be offensive, but do you know what the Latin word for 'agnostic' is? 'Ignoramus!' It describes a person who knows nothing! You can't even decide what you are. "Nobody knows where it came from. Maybe from nothing, maybe not."

Flew debated as an atheist; now you want to Q his mind because he recanted. I've seen this before. If you don't like what your opponent is saying and can't refute it, go for his personality.

"You don't know the difference between a proof and evidence."

So evidence can not be used as proof? The Piltdown hoaxers said: 'This evidence is not proof, just evidence,' yes?

"Ape-man ancestry evidence? You said you believe it!" - Don't believe it the way you believe in God."

What's that supposed to mean?

I gave a dictionary def' for 'analogy,' didn't you read it?

"When Jesus said" - You know what, since I'm choosing to call myself an atheist, I guess I'm okay with you calling yourself what you want. Okay, so Jesus didn't want to start a religion? Then why did Christians go ahead and do that? And not just one but many."

If people do things in your name you may not be able to stop them. If it's serious, it may have to go to court. Many people do things 'in God's Name.' It's easier to blame God i guess. You'll need to elaborate on your second Q.

"Smithsonian propaganda." - Wow, Hugh! One of the finest institutions and your not happy with it? So, you reckon you know more than their scientists?"

I'm not happy with any lie.

hugh watt said...

2-2

I thought you'd have known the people i quoted, regards debunking ape-man theory etc.

"Those working in this field have so little evidence upon which to base their conclusions that it is necessary for them frequently to change their conclusions." —*Richard Leakey, quoted in Spectator, The University of Iowa, April 1973, p. 4."

You don't know this man? Do you know A.N.Wilson, Chris Hitchens, Stephen Hawking?

"It's a lie" - No lies Hugh. Just evidence that theists don't like."

No, i don't like the faked evidence used as proof, i.e. Piltdown hoax. It was a lie!

Corroded wiring. Still missing the point, as with my analogy. "Not; 'left long enough a car could improve by natural process! Go to a junk yard, you'll see." - That's crazy talk Hugh. If that were the case we wouldn't have to fix cars - just take them to the junk yard and wait for them to fix."

Now compare this with your big bang 'theory.' I see order coming from chaos, but; from chaos came order! Try exploding a fire cracker; do you see the chemicals forming into order over any length of time?

"Theists mistakenly think we humans are the panicle of creation, but we're just a by-product of a process (evolution) that occurs naturally."

You made a few points in this section worth commenting on, but i want to keep this brief. If you believe you're just an higher animal and all life should be treated equally, would you campaign for the killing of any animal/insect to be equally punishable to a human life?

"Show me that fairies don't exist Hugh." What does the evidence say?


"So its kinda like hedging your bets?" - A little like that. But it's on the favourite in a race with only one runner - evolution."

You're an agnostic remember. Your statement doesn't reflect that.

"You never answered how you came to the opinion Stalin/Hitler/Mao were wrong." - Hitler was wrong about some aspects of evolution - he made the mistakes that led him to believe that there were significant differences between the races. I don't know to what extent Stalin and Mao understood evolution, so I can't say to what extent they were wrong about it."

That's not what i asked. "In my opinion" Hitler was wrong. How did you come to that opinion?

"Hitler was also a Catholic by the way - a theist."

He, Stalin/Mao/Pot did what they did by using ath/evo' principles to carry out their programmes!

"These laws may have originally been decreed by God, but it appears that he has since left the universe to evolve according to them and does not now intervene in it" A Brief History Of Time.
S. Hawking (p. 122).

This is what happens when people try to view God through their 'personal experience eyes.' It's the old; 'if there is a God He must be really cruel. Look at the world around us.'

Ron Murphy said...

Hi Hugh,

You're just nit-picking Hugh. You call me aheist, agnostic, ignoramous, whatever you like. But let

me make it clear:
1) Logically we can't prove/disprove God
2) There's no evidence of God
So, there might be a god, there might not be - in that respect I'm agnostic.
But because the only evidence we have is that there is only material matter, so I don't think

there's a God. Many theists classify such views as atheistic. That's fine too.

It's not as clear cut as you're simplistic statements make out. Here are some beliefs:

a) There definitely is a God
b) I think there's a God, but I'm not certain
c) I've no idea, one way or the other
d) I don't think there's a god, but I'm not certain
e) I'm ceertain there's no God

Here's how we might classify them:
Theist: a & b
Agnostic: c, c & d
Atheist: d & e

I'm (d). So call me atheist or agnostic as you please.

Ron Murphy said...

"Show me that fairies don't exist Hugh." What does the evidence say?

You asked me to show evidence that God does not exist, which is nonsense. Same for fairies. My point

is that if you think that evidence should be able to show God does not exist then evidence should

also show that fairies don't exist. If it's unreasonable to ask for anti-fairy evidence than it's

unreasonable to ask for anti-God evidence. The alternative is okay though - there is no positive

evidence for God or fairies, and so it makes sense not to believe in either.


"So its kinda like hedging your bets?" - A little like that. But it's on the favourite in a race

with only one runner - evolution."

"You're an agnostic remember. Your statement doesn't reflect that." - Yes it does. You can't prove

that the race favourite will win, but most people will bet on the favourite.


That's not what i asked. "In my opinion" Hitler was wrong. How did you come to that opinion?

By virtue of the fact that how he interpreted the implications of evolution was wrong.

Just asking "was Hitler wrong?" isn't clear. Wrong about what? I can't give my opinion about whether

Hitler was wrong if I don't kyou bout.


"He, Stalin/Mao/Pot did what they did by using ath/evo' principles to carry out their programmes!" -

Hitler misunderstood evolution. Do you have evidence that Mao/Pot had views on evolution?

Ron Murphy said...

"I'm not happy with any lie." - The Smithsonian lies?

I know of several of the people you quoted. They are known to misrepresent, be selective in their

interpretation of evidence, continue to make statements that have been refuted. You seem to be going

to ID/creationist web sites and just reporting what you find there.

"I don't like faked evidence used as proof." - Neither do I. What makes you think that the Piltdown

man is still presented as evidence?

"I see order coming from chaos, but; from chaos came order! Try exploding a fire cracker; do you see

the chemicals forming into order over any length of time?" - You don't understand the scale and the

physics and the chemistry. The firecracker isn't going to form stars, for example. The physics and

the chemistry is completely different. And as for chaos/order - you don't understand those in this

context. Try reading up on the laws of thermodynamics.

"would you campaign for the killing of any animal/insect to be equally punishable to a human life?"

- No. Being and evolved animal that has an evolved bias towards my own species I naturally think

not. Again you miss the point of evolution. It's a description of how we came about. It's up to us

what we do with it. Clearly in this respect animal welfare has changed dramitically over the last

50-100 years. More evidence that our moral views are flexible and not based on any absolute God

given morality.

Ron Murphy said...

"So evidence can not be used as proof?" - It can, but only in a limited sense of the word 'proof'.

For this debate we need to be clearer and distinguish between 'proof' and 'evidence'.

a) There is proof God exists
b) There is proof God does not exist
c) There is evidence God exists, but no proof
d) There is evidence God does not exist, but no proof
e) There is no evidence that God exists
f) There is evidence for naturalism
g) There is no evidence for naturalism
h) There is proof of naturalism

(a) is false
(b) is false
(c) is false
(d) is false
(e) is true
(f) is true
(g) is false
(h) is false

So, the only ones we can rely on are (e) and (f). These persuade me that my view is correct.

Yes, Piltdown Man was a lie, a hoax, whatever. This hoax/lie contributed to the development of more

scepticism and rigour that makes science far more thorough than it was; and certainly more thorough

than theism, since this doesn't require rigour or scepticism, just blind belief.

When I say, "Don't believe it the way you believe in God.", I mean that whereas you 'believe' based

on faith, and find it almost (maybe completely) impossible to change your mind, I 'believe' based on

evidence, so that more evidence might change my mind. Do you have any evidence? So far you've not

presented any.

hugh watt said...

1. Ron:

"You're just nit-picking Hugh. You call me aheist, agnostic, ignoramous, whatever you like. But let me make it clear:"

You made it clear;

"And, yes that's my real name. My great grandfather was fro Eire, but I'm English. I'm an atheist, but I disliek all ideologies, whether they are religious or not."

"but I disliek all ideologies, whether they are religious or not."

Ideology: 1)The body of doctrine, myth, belief, etc, that guides an individual, social movement, institution, class or large group.
2) Such a body of doctrine, myth, etc, with ref' to some political or social plan, as that of facism, along with the devices for putting it into operation.
3) Philosophy.
a. the study of the nature and origin of ideas.
b. a system that derives ideas exclusively from sensation.
4) Theorizing of a visionary or impractical nature.

1) The body of ideas reflecting the social needs and aspirations, of an individual, group, class or culture.
2) A set of doctrines or beliefs that form the basis of a political, economic or other system.

Word origin & history.

1796 "science of ideas," originally "philosophy of the mind which derives knowledge from the senses" (as opposed to metaphysics).

"Ideology...is usually taken to mean a prescriptive doctrine that is not supported by rational argument." [D.D. Raphael. "Problems of Political Philosophy." 1970]

Cultural dictionary.

A system of beliefs or theories, usually political, held by an individual or a group. Capitalism, Communism, and socialism, are usually called ideologies.

Medical dictionary.

1) A systematic body of concepts especially about human life or culture.
2) A manner or the content of thinking characteristic of an individual, group or culture.

Covers your beliefs Ron!

You called yourself "agnostic."

"So, there might be a god, there might not be - in that respect I'm agnostic."

"It's not as clear cut as you're simplistic statements make out. Here are some beliefs:

a) There definitely is a God
b) I think there's a God, but I'm not certain
c) I've no idea, one way or the other
d) I don't think there's a god, but I'm not certain
e) I'm ceertain there's no God

Here's how we might classify them:
Theist: a & b
Agnostic: c, c & d
Atheist: d & e

I'm (d). So call me atheist or agnostic as you please."


But (d)= Atheist which you said you're not! Shouldn't you be (c)?

"Nobody knows where it came from. Maybe from nothing, maybe not."

hugh watt said...

2-2

"So evidence can not be used as proof?" - It can, but only in a limited sense of the word 'proof'."
Another Ron def'!

For this debate we need to be clearer and distinguish between 'proof' and 'evidence'.

a) There is proof ape-man exists
b) There is proof ape-man does not exist
c) There is evidence ape-man exists, but no proof
d) There is evidence ape-man does not exist, but no proof
e) There is no evidence that ape-man exists
f) There is evidence for ape-man
g) There is no evidence for ape-man
h) There is proof of ape-man

(e)+(g) for me! You?

"I know of several of the people you quoted. They are known to misrepresent, be selective in their interpretation of evidence, continue to make statements that have been refuted."
So, if they happen to disagree with your views they are "misrepresenting/selective?"

"I don't like faked evidence used as proof." - Neither do I. What makes you think that the Piltdown man is still presented as evidence?"

Never said it was.

"Try reading up on the laws of thermodynamics."

That's my point; thanks!

"No. Being and evolved animal that has an evolved bias towards my own species I naturally think not. Again you miss the point of evolution."

"Survival of the fittest!" Hitler...i'll come to that.

"You're an agnostic remember. Your statement doesn't reflect that." - Yes it does. You can't prove that the race favourite will win, but most people will bet on the favourite."

There's no evidence for ape-man, but it makes sense to bet on it anyway! The Piltdown 'proof' was rigged remember.

"Just asking "was Hitler wrong?" isn't clear. Wrong about what? I can't give my opinion about whether Hitler was wrong if I don't kyou bout."

A few times i've asked, was Hitler, etc, right or wrong to kill like they did? Seems you're
struggling with a simple Q.

"Hitler misunderstood evolution. Do you have evidence that Mao/Pot had views on evolution?"

Read, "Ideology." Now think; "survival of the fittest."

"These laws may have originally been decreed by God, but it appears that he has since left the universe to evolve according to them and does not now intervene in it" A Brief History Of Time. S. Hawking (p. 122)."

Hawking doesn't like to be called "atheist," but "agnostic." But what a statement he made here! Do you agree with him?

Ron Murphy said...

Hi Hugh,


In my opinion Hitler was wrong to kill the way he did. But that's an opinion based on my inherited feelings and my cultural background. 'Thou shalt not kill' is a general rule invented by humans and has no significance outside a human scope.

I'm not sure you are interpreting the term 'survival of the fittest' in an evolutionary sense. It means the survival of those most fit for the environment they find themselves in. It does not mean survival of the strongest and most powerful - though in specific instances that could be the case. For example, if group X, through greater strength, drove group Y out of the best feeding region, then it might be that the strongest, X, survive. But if the environment changes, or stronger predators arrive, then X might die out, and if Y's environment improves, then Y become the fittest. So, depending on circumstances of environment either X or Y may be the fittest to survive, even though X is strongest.

Read this for Hawking's views on religion. He is open to the possibility that some entity may have started the ball rolling. In that sense he is agnostic, but may lean towards atheism. So what?

Hawking's statement you quote simply makes the same point I've made. It's possible some entity started the ball rolling, but there's no evidence one way or the other, so it's pure speculation. Whichever the case may be, there is no evidence that there has been any supernatural intervention that has had anything to do with the beginning of life or the course of evolution. These processes are all possible under the natural laws of physics, chemistry, thermodynamics.

"[thermodynamics] That's my point; thanks!" - What's your point? The beginning of life and the course of evolution are compatible with these. Do you think they are not? Is this the point of your car analogy?