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Is Atheism doomed to extinction?
Posted: 02 November 2012 08:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 61 ]
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In other words, the universe has to be fine tuned and created for us because you want it to be.  That’s called wishful thinking.

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Posted: 02 November 2012 08:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 62 ]
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Dead Monky - 02 November 2012 08:21 AM

In other words, the universe has to be fine tuned and created for us because you want it to be.  That’s called wishful thinking.

Dude - I don’t want it to be fine tuned - it kinda destroys faith with proof - and proof just isn’t as fulfilling.  I’m just quoting the experts - their results, their numbers say that.  Take it up with them.  Trillions upon trillions of odds to one is not wishful thinking…sorry, I kinda wish the odds were not stacked so high.  What can you do though…other than come up with trillions upon trillions of other untestable, unprovable universes to account for the fine tuning of one.  Why so much energy spent ignoring the far more plausable option?

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Posted: 02 November 2012 09:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 63 ]
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Dead Monky - 02 November 2012 08:21 AM

In other words, the universe has to be fine tuned and created for us because you want it to be.  That’s called wishful thinking.

You didn’t check out the links I sent you did you…
Here’s an easy one - and you can see the well respected physist’s response (“yes there are simply 10 to the power of 122 other universes to account for the fine tuning in ours” yes this can never be tested or proven) This why I’m saying atheism is in trouble.
See:
What We Still Don’t Know: “Are We Real?” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oyH2D4-tzfM  makes the point specifically about 17min into

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Posted: 02 November 2012 09:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 64 ]
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You (and the “well respected” physicists you like to vaguely quote) are falling prey to anthropocentrism.  There’s no reason to assume that life of some form couldn’t still exist even in a radically different universe.  You’re assuming that because the universe is the way it is and because we’re the way we are and we’re here in the universe, the universe must be fine-tuned for us to exist.  That’s like assuming the oceans were fine-tuned for the fish that live in them.  It’s absurd.

Also, Victor Stenger and Fred Adams have both run computer simulations in which they altered the various “universal constants” over quite wide parameters.  What did they find?  That many of these “constants” may not be so, well, constant.  Over some surprisingly wide variations, long-lived stars could still exist.  Could humans exist in these simulated universes?  Unknown.  Also, unimportant.

Finally, I don’t buy into the idea of the multiverse.  I’m perfectly willing to accept that the universe is vast, uncarring, chaotic, and arbitrary and that yes, it is trying to kill us.

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Posted: 02 November 2012 09:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 65 ]
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I can’t help but smile at those who haven’t the slightest idea about probability concepts who come up with the silly argument that the extremely low probability of a universe that fits us must indicate intelligent design of it.  It’s the other way around.  If a universe forms that happens to be incompatible with intelligent life, there’s no one there to even be aware of it.  If it happens to form to allow intelligent life, and it does occur, then people jump to the conclusion that they are special and the universe was formed just for them.  Really silly.

Occam

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Posted: 02 November 2012 10:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 66 ]
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Sobpatrick,

I think that I “get” where you’re coming from in the siren song of religion’s easy answers, and the comfort and happy feelings that you may have from deciding to have an ultimate answer.  But, IMO, none of this is worth being intellectually dishonest.  And I think that you sense that as well, thus you seek solace from that, by attempts to show the shortcomings of proposed answers that parts of science have provided.

No doubt, answers based on science often do have shortcomings, but scientific investigation goes on.  Religious answers are based on faith (deciding to believe without the need for evidence).  So you simply decide to believe that a god is in charge of the unfolding of the universe.  Take care not to question where that god came from, lest you then need to come up with another comforting but mindless answer that you must simply decide to beleive. IMO, religious answers are a dead end, despite the comfort they bring you.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 02 November 2012 10:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 67 ]
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You didn’t check out the links I sent you did you…

Sobpatrick, you’re not listening to what we’re trying to explain to you.

So far, you’ve been either demonsterably wrong about everything in sight or have failed to grasp that all those things which you take as proving the existance of god(s) does exactly the opposite.

What part of this escapes you?

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Posted: 02 November 2012 10:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 68 ]
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Equal Opportunity Curmudgeon - 02 November 2012 10:20 AM

You didn’t check out the links I sent you did you…

Sobpatrick, you’re not listening to what we’re trying to explain to you.

So far, you’ve been either demonsterably wrong about everything in sight or have failed to grasp that all those things which you take as proving the existance of god(s) does exactly the opposite.

What part of this escapes you?

I seem to be beating a dead horse here - I present the evidence from the best specialists in their fields - showing extreme fine tuning (see links above). I am not saying any of them believe in God (maybe none of them do).  But their responses are ridiculously unacceptable.  For the last time, even the most generous cosmological constants require extreme specifics - inflation being among the most generous at one in a quintillion.  This is the equivalent of sellecting one specific speck of sand on earth - at every moment in time.  Accepting this escapes me and any thinking person.

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Posted: 02 November 2012 10:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 69 ]
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TimB - 02 November 2012 10:15 AM

Sobpatrick,

I think that I “get” where you’re coming from in the siren song of religion’s easy answers, and the comfort and happy feelings that you may have from deciding to have an ultimate answer.  But, IMO, none of this is worth being intellectually dishonest.  And I think that you sense that as well, thus you seek solace from that, by attempts to show the shortcomings of proposed answers that parts of science have provided.

No doubt, answers based on science often do have shortcomings, but scientific investigation goes on.  Religious answers are based on faith (deciding to believe without the need for evidence).  So you simply decide to believe that a god is in charge of the unfolding of the universe.  Take care not to question where that god came from, lest you then need to come up with another comforting but mindless answer that you must simply decide to beleive. IMO, religious answers are a dead end, despite the comfort they bring you.

What you said makes sense, but I don’t think sciences shortcomings bring comfort to me - I think if there is a creator - it values the currency of faith over what we would consider proof.  I do think the easiest answer is - a creator - but not for religious reasons - as I mentioned, it is in keeping with science for a higher evolved being to manipulate our reality as easily as we manipulate lower life forms. My main point is that the answers science is currently giving us to the big questions are untestable and should be rejected.  My opinion is go back to the drawing board or my original point will come to fruition.  People have had 5000 years to pick apart religion (which is fine) why the big fuss over picking apart science isn’t that what sceptisim is all about?

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Posted: 02 November 2012 11:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 70 ]
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Occam. - 02 November 2012 09:47 AM

I can’t help but smile at those who haven’t the slightest idea about probability concepts who come up with the silly argument that the extremely low probability of a universe that fits us must indicate intelligent design of it.  It’s the other way around.  If a universe forms that happens to be incompatible with intelligent life, there’s no one there to even be aware of it.  If it happens to form to allow intelligent life, and it does occur, then people jump to the conclusion that they are special and the universe was formed just for them.  Really silly.

Occam

You’re correct in saying I don’t have the slightest idea about probability concepts - but I’m just quoting from those who do have an idea, those who are the experts on the subject - most probably atheists.  So far no one has argued about the numbers - either 10 to the power of 122 other universes with dark energy or ten to the power of 500 other untestable universes for string theory.  My point is that these conclusions are untestable and frankly ridiculious.  They should not be accepted by anyone who considers themselves a sceptic, and if the atheist community accepts them, they are going to face the same ridicule as those with crazy religious beliefs

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Posted: 02 November 2012 11:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 71 ]
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sobpatrick - 02 November 2012 10:54 AM
TimB - 02 November 2012 10:15 AM

Sobpatrick,

I think that I “get” where you’re coming from in the siren song of religion’s easy answers, and the comfort and happy feelings that you may have from deciding to have an ultimate answer.  But, IMO, none of this is worth being intellectually dishonest.  And I think that you sense that as well, thus you seek solace from that, by attempts to show the shortcomings of proposed answers that parts of science have provided.

No doubt, answers based on science often do have shortcomings, but scientific investigation goes on.  Religious answers are based on faith (deciding to believe without the need for evidence).  So you simply decide to believe that a god is in charge of the unfolding of the universe.  Take care not to question where that god came from, lest you then need to come up with another comforting but mindless answer that you must simply decide to beleive. IMO, religious answers are a dead end, despite the comfort they bring you.

What you said makes sense, but I don’t think sciences shortcomings bring comfort to me - I think if there is a creator - it values the currency of faith over what we would consider proof.  I do think the easiest answer is - a creator - but not for religious reasons - as I mentioned, it is in keeping with science for a higher evolved being to manipulate our reality as easily as we manipulate lower life forms. My main point is that the answers science is currently giving us to the big questions are untestable and should be rejected.  My opinion is go back to the drawing board or my original point will come to fruition.  People have had 5000 years to pick apart religion (which is fine) why the big fuss over picking apart science isn’t that what sceptisim is all about?

Picking apart scientific answers is a part of the scientific process.  So, by all means, go for it, if you have the expertise to do so.  And if one doesn’t have the technical expertise to evaluate given hypotheses, and corresponding evidence supporting them, then I agree that skepticism should be a default position.  I think that in this case, one’s skepticism, however, should be attenuated to some degree by the amount of agreement by persons who are deemed to have the expertise and have presented their evidence. 

I still don’t think that a default answer that a-higher-being-evolved-to-manipulate-our-reality is a satisfying or end all explanation.  Even if we take on faith (as there is no evidence) that there is an entity that evolved to be the god, there are still, potentially, unending questions.  e.g., How does that evolved being go about manipulating our reality? 

Now, of course, any questions can easily be answered by faith.  You just have to attribute to the god, any answer that you want to decide to believe.  Just give up on science altogether.  Assert that science has had its heyday and has now reached its limits.  Nothing more to see here, show’s over, move along, accept what is believers, no need for any further progress here.  Why couldn’t we have done this sooner and not had to bother with the age of enlightenment, and all of the subsequent technological revolutions? Many have tried to tell us along the way that we have reached the apex of what we can know.  Why didn’t we listen?

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 02 November 2012 12:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 72 ]
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TimB - 02 November 2012 11:43 AM
sobpatrick - 02 November 2012 10:54 AM
TimB - 02 November 2012 10:15 AM

Sobpatrick,

I think that I “get” where you’re coming from in the siren song of religion’s easy answers, and the comfort and happy feelings that you may have from deciding to have an ultimate answer.  But, IMO, none of this is worth being intellectually dishonest.  And I think that you sense that as well, thus you seek solace from that, by attempts to show the shortcomings of proposed answers that parts of science have provided.

No doubt, answers based on science often do have shortcomings, but scientific investigation goes on.  Religious answers are based on faith (deciding to believe without the need for evidence).  So you simply decide to believe that a god is in charge of the unfolding of the universe.  Take care not to question where that god came from, lest you then need to come up with another comforting but mindless answer that you must simply decide to beleive. IMO, religious answers are a dead end, despite the comfort they bring you.

What you said makes sense, but I don’t think sciences shortcomings bring comfort to me - I think if there is a creator - it values the currency of faith over what we would consider proof.  I do think the easiest answer is - a creator - but not for religious reasons - as I mentioned, it is in keeping with science for a higher evolved being to manipulate our reality as easily as we manipulate lower life forms. My main point is that the answers science is currently giving us to the big questions are untestable and should be rejected.  My opinion is go back to the drawing board or my original point will come to fruition.  People have had 5000 years to pick apart religion (which is fine) why the big fuss over picking apart science isn’t that what sceptisim is all about?

Picking apart scientific answers is a part of the scientific process.  So, by all means, go for it, if you have the expertise to do so.  And if one doesn’t have the technical expertise to evaluate given hypotheses, and corresponding evidence supporting them, then I agree that skepticism should be a default position.  I think that in this case, one’s skepticism, however, should be attenuated to some degree by the amount of agreement by persons who are deemed to have the expertise and have presented their evidence. 

I still don’t think that a default answer that a-higher-being-evolved-to-manipulate-our-reality is a satisfying or end all explanation.  Even if we take on faith (as there is no evidence) that there is an entity that evolved to be the god, there are still, potentially, unending questions.  e.g., How does that evolved being go about manipulating our reality? 

Now, of course, any questions can easily be answered by faith.  You just have to attribute to the god, any answer that you want to decide to believe.  Just give up on science altogether.  Assert that science has had its heyday and has now reached its limits.  Nothing more to see here, show’s over, move along, accept what is believers, no need for any further progress here.  Why couldn’t we have done this sooner and not had to bother with the age of enlightenment, and all of the subsequent technological revolutions? Many have tried to tell us along the way that we have reached the apex of what we can know.  Why didn’t we listen?

I know they’ve always said there are unpassable barriers and yet somehow we manage to pass them - does now seem any different?  I’d have to say yes - and again, it’s due to sciences own laws - eg. the speed of light.  If science is accurate, then we can’t see past what we can currently see.  Does this doom advancments in science?  No, but faith will be playing a larger role in future hypothesis.  And as a result science will be held up to more dissention and concensus will be difficult.  This isn’t necessarily bad - it will just change the way we look at science and maybe take some of the arrogance out of some atheists

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Posted: 02 November 2012 03:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 73 ]
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Sobpatrick said

I seem to be beating a dead horse here - I present the evidence from the best specialists in their fields -

You did nothing of the kind.

You seem to be missing the fact that what you take as extreme fine tuning (It really isn’t fine tuning at all) is positive disproof of the existance of the omnipotant god your religion claims.

Read the following carefully and try to grasp this: An omnipotant god does NOT need fine tuning. omnipotance…by definition….can do anything it wants. If it HAS to fine tune anything in order for life to exist, then it is NOT omnipotant.

Do you get it now?

There may be all kinds of higher beings out there, and there may not be. There is NO evidence to support this claim and all those things which you claim are evidence are nothing of the kind.

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Posted: 02 November 2012 04:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 74 ]
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Patrick,

The universe is not fine tuned to us, we are fine tuned to the universe. The universe fine-tuned itself during the inflation epoch. After that everything happened exactly as it should. From an infinity of possible equations, what are the odds of arriving at 1 + 1 = 2 ?  Bingo, on the first try.

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Posted: 02 November 2012 04:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 75 ]
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sobpatrick - 02 November 2012 12:30 PM

I know they’ve always said there are unpassable barriers and yet somehow we manage to pass them - does now seem any different?  I’d have to say yes - and again, it’s due to sciences own laws - eg. the speed of light.  If science is accurate, then we can’t see past what we can currently see.  Does this doom advancments in science?  No, but faith will be playing a larger role in future hypothesis.  And as a result science will be held up to more dissention and concensus will be difficult.  This isn’t necessarily bad - it will just change the way we look at science and maybe take some of the arrogance out of some atheists

So all you have is a God of the Gaps argument: an argument which has been thoroughly discredited with each advance in scientific knowledge. Yes, science has always been contentious and probably always will be contentious, but saying faith will play a larger role in the future ignores the diminishing role faith has played over the centuries as scientific knowledge had advanced. Your arrogance comment is ridiculous. Faith is arrogant, contending we can know things without evidence, whereas science demands evidence and testing.

I stand by my original comment in this thread. You do not understand science therefore you invoke a supernatural entity. That is not skepticism, it is ideology.

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