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  1. #61
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    Given that the fortress of your "reasoning" presupposes that elucidation would be fruitless since I would "choose" not to listen (false, by the way: I accept any argument that is well-supported), I will only challenge you to list a single question that science will never at any point be in a position to answer.

    I'm also still rather curious to know what these "assumptions that only atheists make" are. (As evidenced by the fact that you deleted said line from your initial post, you know as well as I do that the statement was tenuous to put it generously.)
    Lol, as I've been reading your posts lately I wonder if we are reading the same forum. I haven't modified any post in this thread and I rarely do so in any thread except to correct spelling/grammar mistakes and such.

    The type of assumption that only an atheist would make is something like, "science can potentially answer any question". Science is merely a way of drawing conclusions. It gives itself certain limitations, so that it can more efficiently answer the types of questions that it is designed to answer. Science has a structure. That structure defines what falls within the bounds of science and what does not. If you study the structure of science on your own you will find what does and does not fall within the bounds of science. The question of the existence of a deity does not fall within the bounds of science regardless of whether that answer is affirmative or negative.
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  2. #62
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightning View Post
    Why have them?

    I don't get it... seems like a waste of time.

    It's unanswerable. Neither side wins, yet people are still interested?

    An issue of defending their believes (or there lack of)? Or something else?
    Here's my take: people work out their beliefs by testing them out on others. Practice. Besides a lot of people think it's fun.

    Bottom line for me, as I've stated elsewhere, is that there are certain immutable natural laws. You can call it God or Science, Whichever you prefer.

    Break enough of 'em often enough and you'll create your own hell; get into accord with them often enough and youll make the best of a life which you have been given somehow, by Something, and then we'll all pass on to what nobody can know for sure.

    But it's more interesting to argue about it, yeah?
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

  3. #63
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Basically what I think too.

    I know for some people even this level of debate feels destructive, but I enjoy conversations where ideas can be impersonally challenged and we are all just putting things on the table for examination.

    As soon as it starts to get personal, exasperating, or disdainful to other viewpoints (and I think we can sense that when it starts to happen), well, I would rather be gone.
    I was just thinking that people who try to destroy the ideas and ideals of Believers are really no different than the Believers who do the same in the name of their beliefs. They're all missing the point!
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

  4. #64
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    The type of assumption that only an atheist would make is something like, "science can potentially answer any question".

    Science is merely a way of drawing conclusions. It gives itself certain limitations, so that it can more efficiently answer the types of questions that it is designed to answer. Science has a structure. That structure defines what falls within the bounds of science and what does not. If you study the structure of science on your own you will find what does and does not fall within the bounds of science. The question of the existence of a deity does not fall within the bounds of science regardless of whether that answer is affirmative or negative.
    No. Science is applied ration. Whether ration, in the figurative hands of mankind, can indeed answer any question remains to be seen, but the simple fact is that ration is the only tool for gathering accurate and objective information. So you put the cart before the horse: a man who realizes that only ration and the evidence it produces will lead to answers will of course turn to science, as science is the application of ration. As there is no evidence in favor of a deity at present, and in fact quite a lot against, he will be what is known as an "atheist".

    And while scientists are not concerned with the specific question of whether a deity exists, they are certainly concerned with the question of how the universe came about. Further, if, indeed, there were a deity that actively involved himself in the goings-on of the universe it would have powerful ramifications that would need to be taken into account.
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  5. #65
    Senior Member LostInNerSpace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anja View Post
    I was just thinking that people who try to destroy the ideas and ideals of Believers are really no different than the Believers who do the same in the name of their beliefs. They're all missing the point!
    I personally don't want to destroy anyone's belief in anything. This is a free country. Go ahead and believe you were impregnated with aliens for all I care--I was. I'm just stating my opinion.

  6. #66
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    No. Science is applied ration. Whether ration, in the figurative hands of mankind, can indeed answer any question remains to be seen, but the simple fact is that ration is the only tool for gathering accurate and objective information. So you put the cart before the horse: a man who realizes that only ration and the evidence it produces will lead to answers will of course turn to science, as science is the application of ration. As there is no evidence in favor of a deity at present, and in fact quite a lot against, he will be what is known as an "atheist".

    And while scientists are not concerned with the specific question of whether a deity exists, they are certainly concerned with the question of how the universe came about. Further, if, indeed, there were a deity that actively involved himself in the goings-on of the universe it would have powerful ramifications that would need to be taken into account.
    Well we are at the point where we are using different definitions for the same word. I would never equate reason with science, because if you look at what scientists do reason is secondary while data and evidence are primary. If you look at fields like philosophy or mathematics reason is the sole method of drawing conclusions. This is why it is misleading to equate science with reason. I occasionally hear people do so, but it sounds more like propoganda than an appropriate definition.
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  7. #67
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    Ironically these are also 34 unconvincing arguments for atheism. What is most accurate is FWM's comment that different groups are operating under different assumptions. The explanation of why these arguments are unconvincing use assumptions that only atheists make.
    Inasmuch as Christians have often heaped weak or unthoughtout answers, even I have to admit that those 34 answers are mostly good. The weak spot is that they jump to the assumption that the soul is nothing but chemical reactions. But I do not see how chemicals alone can produce a self-conscious entity, which is the normal definition of a soul. Yes, it can be affected by changes in the body chemistry. The way I see it, the soul is made dependent in the physical realm on physical chemistry. We need these bodies to sustain our consciousness in the physical world. That doesn't mean that without the bodies, we don't exist anywhere. And just because we can't see or know "where" this other realm of existence is doesn't mean it can't be real. String theory came close to this by suggesting that between and beneath the size of strings, the notion of space and time break down into some sort of "primeval realm" that is totally different from existence as we know it. But this seems to have been moved away from now in favor of a superspace in which colliding 3D universes produce big bangs.

    And arguments such as whether cell division produces one or two souls also don't really say much. If there are two separate self-conscious entities produced by a split of an egg, it was two souls. If two come together to form one person, and it has only one self-consciousness, it is one soul. No one knows exactly when the self-conscious entity begins, but I would think it would be sometime after initial cell division. (Though Christians will insist on fertilization in their arguments against abortion).
    Last edited by Eric B; 12-18-2008 at 04:49 PM.
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  8. #68
    Senior Member LostInNerSpace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric B View Post
    But I do not see how chemicals alone can produce a self-conscious entity, which is the normal definition of a soul.
    There is a point at which we are unable to explain with current science our existance. That unknown is a form of god, I suppose. We know a whole lot more now than we did a few thousand years ago. How many people would choose to go back in time and worship say a light bulb?

  9. #69
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    Well we are at the point where we are using different definitions for the same word. I would never equate reason with science, because if you look at what scientists do reason is secondary while data and evidence are primary.
    Then by what faculty do you propose scientists determine what data to collect, by what method to collect it, and, subsequently, how to interpret it, if not ration?

    (It should also be pointed out that data only becomes evidence when a thinking human being has applied the faculty of ration, making your assertion that evidence is separate from and superior to ration nonsensical.)
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  10. #70
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LostInNerSpace View Post
    I personally don't want to destroy anyone's belief in anything. This is a free country. Go ahead and believe you were impregnated with aliens for all I care--I was. I'm just stating my opinion.
    Amen. That's the interesting part about debating.

    As you noticed, I was reflecting on Jennifer's observation about when it gets mean-spirited and personally uncomfortable.
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

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