More inane christian ignorance and cognitive dissonance
Both physical and biological complexity (including both the universe and human beings themselves) are simply the product of chance (random processes) and necessity (the working of physical laws) over time.
So, theists believe that, in addition to chance and necessity, the universe was also the result of intelligent design.
Here's another question that plumbers and carpenters can't answer:
"why do people get diseases"?
I have never heard a satisfactory answer to that!
That is, until a theologian explained to me that disease was a result of man's fall.
We need to allow for a supernatural creator who meddles in human affairs though!
Once we do this, we have an answer that plumbers and carpenters can't provide.
But once we allow for a god, theologians can answer it though!
You see, disease is explained by a creator god who is so magnificent and magnanimous that he decided to give us terrible diseases when we did something wrong that he knew we would do in the first place.
We should add this question to the list!
wierd christian doctor wrote:The post generated 2,400 page views and 52 comments in a week and ten people attempted to take up the challenge by answering the questions.
Three of these (John Saucier, Kees Engels and Bagguley) posted responses on my own blog whilst seven others (Rosa Rubicondior, Richard Carrier, DoubtingThomas, Dude ex machina, Lady Atheist, Sarah Elizabeth and Dead-Logic) posted on their own blogs.
Of these Richard Carrier and Rosa Rubicondior were the most comprehensive and the former also included extensive cross-references to other material by both himself and other authors. Some opted to answer all twenty questions and others were more selective but all seemed to think they had done a good job. I am grateful to them for their time and effort.
wacky medical doctor wrote:...in my experience ...in over forty years of discussion... I am yet to hear any good ones. [atheist responses]
Something of a problem from the off. Various theisms are also mutually exclusive, and in simply setting up a dichotomy between theism & atheism, you make a basic error. It’s not that both can’t be correct, it’s that there is such fundamental disagreement between the various theistic positions too.First, atheism and theism are mutually exclusive world views which both deserve careful consideration ...
Atheists simply lack any belief in god(s). You can’t assume anything much beyond that. Atheists are not a homogenous whole, all thinking alike. It’s quite possible for atheists to have never considered many of the questions that lead to the positions you assert they hold.Atheists are materialists, believing that …
No they don’t. Not all theists believe this stuff. It might be true of the Abrahamic religions, but not all theists. This speaks to the false dichotomy you established earlier. The logical inconsistencies in the idea of omnipotence need not concern us here, but I’ll address this if asked.By contrast theists (including Christians, Muslims and Jews) believe that the universe was created by an all-powerful, all knowing, rational, omnipresent, benevolent, and personal God who is both transcendent (separate from it) and immanent (intimately involved with it) ...
Simply not true. You claim to speak for all who believe in god(s), yet I know several people (Pagans of various stripes) who take a very scientifically congruent view on possible cosmic origins, and see gods as an expression of the cosmos, not as progenitors of it. You maybe need to get out more… So, theists believe that, in addition to chance and necessity, the universe was also the result of intelligent design.
Did it occur to you that the ‘agnostics’ might be theists or atheists, and in fact, must be one of the other? A/theism speaks to matters of belief/lack thereof, whereas a/gnosticism is to do with issues of knowing. ‘Don’t know’ & ‘Not sure’ are to do with knowledge, not belief. Someone who is asked “Does God exist?” and says “I don’t know” isn’t answering a question of belief, but one concerned with the truth of the matter behind the question. Ask them “Do you believe in god(s)?”, and “Don’t know” becomes a stupid answer – you don’t know whether you believe or not? Really?Third, I challenge atheists (and agnostics) reading this blog not to adopt the view, as a matter of faith, that the atheistic world view is some sort of neutral default position and that the burden of proof lies solely with theists to prove their case.
The trouble is, theism isn’t a monolithic thing, but is multivarious & diverse. So we’ll need to narrow things down a bit. Shall we stop with the theism/atheism bit, and instead agree to discuss one form of theism? Let’s take Christianity as that form. I’m happy to comment on Islam, Hinduism, Asatru, Wicca, Voodoo and others, but given the diversity of views inherent in so many different belief systems, hopefully I can be forgiven for focussing on just one. And here’s the thing, Christians will most probably claim that Asatru isn’t plausible, & the Muslims will be pretty much antipathetic towards Wicca. So none of your ‘proofs’ will prove theism, because theism isn’t one thing to be proven, and theism doesn’t, indeed can’t explain phenomena better than atheism, partly because atheism makes no claim to explain, but also because the various theistic traditions make competing claims themselves. So let’s stick to just one. Christianity it is.Start instead with the admission that theism is a plausible, internally consistent world view ...
I don’t know. I don’t even know whether it did have a cause. Maybe it’s always been around, albeit in a different form to that we know of. Maybe it caused itself. I think physics has managed to explain all the way back to a few microseconds after the massive expansion of spacetime we call ‘The Big Bang’. We really don’t know beyond that, though there is a good amount of scientifically informed speculation. Contrary to your claim about virtually all scientists, amongst cosmologists & astrophysicists, virtually all will say “I don’t know”, and a few might follow up with, “but I’ve got some ideas that may be worth kicking around.”1. What caused the universe to exist?
You offer no good reason to assume the universe had a beginning, and therefore need of a cause, let alone one to challenge the idea that the universe was indeed self-caused. Assertion doesn’t cut it.Given that all known things which began to exist have a cause it seems reasonable to assume that the universe itself had a cause. But unless we are to believe that the universe somehow pulled itself up by its own bootstraps, this cause must have been extrinsic to the universe (space-time continuum) itself.
Extrinsic to the universe – well, if we took a multiverse theory, there are lots of extrinsic things, but if we take the universe to be all that there is, then by definition, nothing is extrinsic. But for sake of argument, let’s say that there is … unfathomable power & intelligence do not logically follow. Moreover, there is no compulsion on anything outside this universe to be personal, nor to have made a decision to bring the universe into being. It could be the result of impersonal, unintelligent compusive action. No need for minds or anything else.Anything extrinsic to the universe must be both immaterial, beyond space and time and must have unfathomable power and intelligence. Moreover, it must be personal, as it made the decision to bring the universe into existence, and decisions only come from minds.
Well, whether or not it is unreasonable, there certainly is no compelling reason to do so. It is certainly no less reasonable than belief in all manner of unevidenced things. It doesn’t make it true though, and it does suggest an unwillingness to be humbly say, “I don’t know”.It is therefore not unreasonable to believe in the existence of a timeless, spaceless, immaterial, powerful, intelligent, personal Creator of the universe.
Ihavenofingerprints wrote:Another thing here is the blatant disregard for the burden of proof. Atheism has nothing to do with this.
Third, I challenge atheists (and agnostics) reading this blog not to adopt the view, as a matter of faith, that the atheistic world view is some sort of neutral default position and that the burden of proof lies solely with theists to prove their case. Let’s not have any of the usual allegations of ‘meaningless questions’, ‘God of the gaps’, ‘appeals to authority’ or the mockery, ridicule and ‘face-palming’ that often accompanies any attempt by theists to advance their case.
Galactor wrote:See how he did that? Just shift the onus of burden and you have to start proving why he's wrong as opposed to not right.
The usual allegations are of course, reasonable objections to his arguments. Carrier has slaughtered his questions and their form. He just doesn't seem to realise it.
Alternative theories, such as Stephen Hawking’s multiverse theory, are not provable and with a complexity that runs wildly contrary to Occam’s razor’s demand for succinctness and simplicity.
chairman bill wrote:Assuming this doctor has an intelligent insight into what he's doing, then he would be a deceitful, mendacious, lying little shit. I suspect he lacks that sort of insight, and it just not that bright. His arguments are nothing new, and of a kind with the sort of bollocks people like ispoketoanangel might spew up over the forum.
lying quote-miner for Jeebus wrote:
How then did the sophisticated genetic code arise? Again we have only three possibilities: chance, necessity or design. The genetic code, like language, gives the appearance of being the product of an intelligent mind.
Richard Dawkins has tried to explain how proteins might be assembled using the genetic code by using the analogy of a multitude of monkeys banging away on computer keyboards and eventually ending up writing a Shakespearean sonnet.
The former atheist Antony Flew recounts hearing Israeli scientist Gerald Schroeder referring to an experiment conducted by the British National Council of Arts in which a computer was placed in a cage with six monkeys. After a month of hammering they produced 50 typed pages – but not a single English word. This is because the probability of getting even a one letter word (I or A with a space on either side) is one in 27,000.
The chance of getting a Shakespearean sonnet (‘Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day’ has 488 letters) is one in 10 to the 690th. Similarly the chance of randomly assembling nucleotides coding for amino acid sequences forming functional proteins is vanishingly small.
Galactor wrote:I am afraid that I can only confirm that he is deceitful and mendacious and a liar - my only hope for his is that he know not what he do.
byofrcs wrote:I'm going to extract the 20 questions and then answer them from my POV (secular humanist+methodical naturalist). As a guess everyone here should be able to do this to a reasonable competence. I'll post them later.
Twenty questions atheists struggle to answer is a bit silly because I suspect that 99% of the population would have problems with these questions e.g. the linguistics, the abiogenesis problem and fine tuning argument are very different disciplines.
1.What caused the universe to exist?
2.What explains the fine tuning of the universe?
3.Why is the universe rational?
4.How did DNA and amino acids arise?
5.Where did the genetic code come from?
6.How do irreducibly complex enzyme chains evolve?
7.How do we account for the origin of 116 distinct language families?
8.Why did cities suddenly appear all over the world between 3,000 and 1,000BC?
9.How is independent thought possible in a world ruled by chance and necessity?
10.How do we account for self-awareness?
11.How is free will possible in a material universe?
12.How do we account for conscience?
13.On what basis can we make moral judgements?
14.Why does suffering matter?
15.Why do human beings matter?
16.Why care about justice?
17.How do we account for the almost universal belief in the supernatural?
18.How do we know the supernatural does not exist?
19.How can we know if there is conscious existence after death?
20.What accounts for the empty tomb, resurrection appearances and growth of the church?
Better having no answers than having invented and absurd ones.
Fuckwad wrote:19.How can we know if there is conscious existence after death?
I just can't understand how people think that postulating an answer when you don't yet have a sound answer is at all worthy of respect.
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