Scientists replicate key evolutionary step in life on earth

Jan 16, 2012
Green cells are undergoing cell death, a cellular division-of-labor--fostering new life. Credit: Will Ratcliff and Mike Travisano

(PhysOrg.com) -- More than 500 million years ago, single-celled organisms on Earth's surface began forming multi-cellular clusters that ultimately became plants and animals.

Just how that happened is a question that has eluded .

Now scientists have replicated that key step in the laboratory using common Brewer's yeast, a single-celled organism.

The yeast "evolved" into multi-cellular clusters that work together cooperatively, reproduce and adapt to their environment--in essence, they became precursors to life on Earth as it is today.

The results are published in this week's issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

"The finding that the division-of-labor evolves so quickly and repeatedly in these 'snowflake' clusters is a big surprise," says George Gilchrist, acting deputy division director of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Division of Environmental Biology, which funded the research.

"The first step toward multi-cellular complexity seems to be less of an evolutionary hurdle than theory would suggest," says Gilchrist. "This will stimulate a lot of important research questions."

It all started two years ago with a casual comment over coffee that bridging the famous multi-cellularity gap would be "just about the coolest thing we could do," recalled Will Ratcliff and Michael Travisano, scientists at the University of Minnesota (UMN) and authors of the PNAS paper.

Other authors of the paper are Ford Denison and Mark Borrello of UMN.

Then came the big surprise: it wasn't that difficult.

Using yeast cells, culture media and a centrifuge, it only took the biologists one experiment conducted over about 60 days.

Multi-cellular 'snowflake' yeast images with a blue cell-wall stain and red dead-cell stain. Credit: Will Ratcliff and Mike Travisano

"I don't think anyone had ever tried it before," says Ratcliff. "There aren't many scientists doing experimental evolution, and they're trying to answer questions about evolution, not recreate it."

The results have earned praise from evolutionary biologists around the world.

"To understand why the world is full of , including humans, we need to know how one-celled organisms made the switch to living as a group, as multi-celled organisms," says Sam Scheiner, program director in NSF's Division of Environmental Biology.

"This study is the first to experimentally observe that transition," says Scheiner, "providing a look at an event that took place hundreds of millions of years ago."

In essence, here's how the experiments worked:

The scientists chose Brewer's yeast, or Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a species of yeast used since ancient times to make bread and beer because it is abundant in nature and grows easily.

They added it to nutrient-rich culture media and allowed the cells to grow for a day in test tubes.

Then they used a centrifuge to stratify the contents by weight.

As the mixture settled, cell clusters landed on the bottom of the tubes faster because they are heavier. The biologists removed the clusters, transferred them to fresh media, and agitated them again.

First steps in the transition to multi-cellularity: 'snowflake' yeast with dead cells stained red. Credit: Will Ratcliff and Mike Travisano

Sixty cycles later, the clusters--now hundreds of cells--looked like spherical snowflakes.

Analysis showed that the clusters were not just groups of random cells that adhered to each other, but related cells that remained attached following cell division.

That was significant because it meant that they were genetically similar, which promotes cooperation. When the clusters reached a critical size, some cells died off in a process known as apoptosis to allow offspring to separate.

The offspring reproduced only after they attained the size of their parents.

Multi-cellular yeast individuals containing central dead cells, which promote reproduction. Credit: Will Ratcliff and Mike Travisano

"A cluster alone isn't multi-cellular," Ratcliff says. "But when cells in a cluster cooperate, make sacrifices for the common good, and adapt to change, that's an evolutionary transition to multi-cellularity."

In order for multi-cellular organisms to form, most cells need to sacrifice their ability to reproduce, an altruistic action that favors the whole but not the individual, Ratcliff says.

For example, all cells in the human body are essentially a support system that allows sperm and eggs to pass DNA along to the next generation.

Thus multi-cellularity is by its nature very cooperative.

"Some of the best competitors in nature are those that engage in cooperation, and our experiment bears that out," says Travisano.

Evolutionary biologists have estimated that multi-cellularity evolved independently in about 25 groups.

Travisano and Ratcliff wonder why it didn't evolve more often since it's not that difficult to recreate in a lab.

Considering that trillions of one-celled organisms lived on Earth for millions of years, it seems like it should have, Ratcliff says.

That may be a question the biologists will answer in the future using the fossil record for thousands of generations of multi-cellular clusters, which are stored in a freezer in Travisano's lab.

Since the frozen samples contain multiple cell lines that independently became multi-cellular, the researchers can compare them to learn whether similar or different mechanisms and genes were responsible in each case, Travisano says.

The next steps will be to look at the role of multi-cellularity in cancer, aging and other critical areas of biology.

"Multi-cellular yeast is a valuable resource for investigating a wide variety of medically and biologically important topics," Travisano says.

"Cancer was recently described as a fossil from the origin of multi-cellularity, which can be directly investigated with the system.

"Similarly the origins of aging, development and the evolution of complex morphologies are open to direct experimental investigation that would otherwise be difficult or impossible."

Explore further: Mycologist promotes agarikon as a possibility to counter growing antibiotic resistance

More information: Ratcliff, W. C., Denison, R. F., Borrello, M. & Travisano, M. Experimental evolution of multicellularity, Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1115323109 (2012).

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Graeme
4.2 / 5 (23) Jan 16, 2012
There is a good chance that yeast is descended from a multicellular fungus and so has genes that allow cooperation that are just not normally used. This would mean far fewer changes were needed to evolve this cooperation again.

Anyway we need more of this kind of research recapitulating past evolution.
julianpenrod
Jan 16, 2012
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
verkle
1.1 / 5 (56) Jan 16, 2012
All these evolutionary links still prove elusive simply by the fact that they will be impossible to find. Tens of thousands of evolutionary scientists madly scrambling for some kind of "proof" that evolution really took place over the last 100 hundred years, but so far have come up completely empty handed. Pity such an endeavor. And a waste of our precious tax dollars.

john_calchera
4.6 / 5 (36) Jan 16, 2012
If the creationists on here aren't going to do more research into evolution, they shouldn't post on here. I am glad they are reading articles like this but they obviously don't believe them since they weren't on FOX news.
nevermark
4.8 / 5 (37) Jan 16, 2012
@julianpenrod,

Nobody is suggesting there are centrifuges in nature "under normal circumstances in a vacuum".

All the centrifuge supplied was a convenient way to select for multicell clusters of yeast cells. Presumably many other means of selecting for the same thing will have the same result, a conjecture that will no doubt be tested in follow up research.

And intelligence isn't needed to explain the results. If you pick up a ball you are exercising intelligent control, but once you let go of it the gravity that takes over and any bouncing has nothing to do with your intelligence.

Likewise, it took intelligence to set up this experiment, but once the experimenter started running an automatic system (centrifuge, take samples from bottom of tube, repeat), intelligent judgement is no longer in effect. Whatever DNA selection, mutation and phenotype changes happen are done independently by the yeast and are not planned or designed, they are just observed.
Henrik
1.1 / 5 (44) Jan 16, 2012
most cells need to sacrifice their ability to reproduce, an altruistic action that favors the whole but not the individual, Ratcliff says.


This is not scientific, but emotional language. Ascribing moral behaviour to a single cell is just ludicrous. This is a statement one would expect from the mother earth religion, but not rational and educated people.

Travisano and Ratcliff wonder why it didn't evolve more often since it's not that difficult to recreate in a lab.


Because it never happened in the first place. The experiment was done by human intelligence in an expensive lab. A child can see the difference, but these tax payer paid scientists fail to make that distinction.
Telekinetic
3.4 / 5 (20) Jan 16, 2012
Oh, how I love PhysOrg. The answer to your question, Reverend Penrod, is MAN. Looky here-
"The answer is stunning: We are so similar to yeast, in some of our genes, that human DNA can be substituted for the equivalent yeast gene- and it works just as well."
Deathclock
3.7 / 5 (37) Jan 16, 2012
What are these fucking creationists doing here? Is trolling allowed here?
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.9 / 5 (40) Jan 16, 2012
What are these fucking creationists doing here? Is trolling allowed here?
Relax. God provides them so that we may fiddle with them. They need to be exposed and this is a very good place to do it. Besides it's great fun and good practice.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.2 / 5 (32) Jan 16, 2012
In point of fact, the "evolutionary biologists" proved nothing.
This reminds me of a bible passage:

10 The disciples came to him and asked, "Why do you speak to the people in parables?"

11 He replied, "Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables:

"Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand."

-Religionists are like pharasees. If their god exists (he doesn't) then he doesn't write books. He wrote this world for us to understand. But the promises of wish-granting and immortality have hardened their heads against the many lessons their nonexistant god has graciously provided.

Religionists prefer parables to plain, simple Reality. They lack the patience and resolve and courage necessary to appreciate it.
Callippo
1.3 / 5 (15) Jan 16, 2012
IMO it's well known behavior of yeast, it has hardwired this behavior in its genome and it's not demonstration of evolution, but sleeping genes. The cells of yeast are known to have a social behavior and some special types of bear are fermented with multicellular yeast intentionally.

http://www.nature...89a.html
Henrik
1.2 / 5 (32) Jan 16, 2012
We are so similar to yeast, in some of our genes


Yes, for instance, we are all made of atoms. Wow, that must be proof for a common ancestor.

human DNA can be substituted for the equivalent yeast gene- and it works just as well


A logically sound explanation would be that genetic functions are like building blocks that act similarly. That would make sense only in a scenario where an intelligent designer is at work. A random-driven process is more likely to produce more randomized functions.
Henrik
1.5 / 5 (21) Jan 16, 2012
Did your mom never teach you that foul language is a bad thing?
Lino235
1.5 / 5 (8) Jan 16, 2012
Recently it was discovered that so-called viRNA could effect changes in a species that were heritable. It is entirely possible that under "nutrient rich" conditions, some similar epigenetic effect takes place. So I'm not sure just how much this tells us about what happened 500 million years ago. Let's not jump to conclusions.
Deathclock
3.9 / 5 (36) Jan 16, 2012
Did your mom never teach you that foul language is a bad thing?


Bad is subjective. I'd rather every child on earth use those certain words which are considered impolite by some arbitrary standard than a single child be indoctrinated into the nonsense and anti-intellectual and illogical thought processes that go hand in hand with your religious beliefs.
Telekinetic
4.1 / 5 (27) Jan 16, 2012
We are so similar to yeast, in some of our genes


Yes, for instance, we are all made of atoms. Wow, that must be proof for a common ancestor.

human DNA can be substituted for the equivalent yeast gene- and it works just as well


A logically sound explanation would be that genetic functions are like building blocks that act similarly. That would make sense only in a scenario where an intelligent designer is at work. A random-driven process is more likely to produce more randomized functions.

Not really. Our genes and the yeast genes are nearly identical, making a strong case that our ancestors were single- celled organisms that evolved into larger organisms over many millions of years, and if the earth is four or five billion years old, that's enough time for the thing to get it right- called Man. I don't feel diminished in any way by calling a yeast cell Uncle.
Deathclock
4 / 5 (31) Jan 16, 2012
Did your mom never teach you that foul language is a bad thing?


Bad is subjective. I'd rather every child on earth use those certain words which are considered impolite by some arbitrary standard than a single child be indoctrinated into the nonsense and anti-intellectual and illogical thought processes that go hand in hand with your religious beliefs.


On that note, the word "fucking" (which is the word I used which you are objecting to) refers to the act of sexual intercourse. The vilification of this act is a religious artifact. There is nothing wrong with sex, there is no reason to be squeamish about it and there is no reason to consider words that refer to it as impolite. The human body is not something to be censored while violence runs rampant in our television programs and movies. It's a misguided moral imperative and hypocrisy to the highest degree.
Baseline
4.8 / 5 (18) Jan 16, 2012
A logically sound explanation would be that genetic functions are like building blocks that act similarly. That would make sense only in a scenario where an intelligent designer is at work. A random-driven process is more likely to produce more randomized functions.


Intelligent designer you say? The same intelligence that has brought us the likes of GWB, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachman, Rick Perry and so many others who claim to be on a mission from God?

Just exactly what is that mission? You know what don't bother I don't require an explanation. I have had 46 years to make up my mind about the fairy tale you are spreading as the truth. You have exactly zero chance of convincing me of anything at this point so please stop wasting our time.
Telekinetic
4 / 5 (23) Jan 16, 2012
Bad is subjective


For instance the rape of small children. Would you support the rapist who claims that in his mind, raping a 4 year old is morally acceptable? I think it is far more rational to assume that rape is always an objective moral evil, regardless of the majority opinion, culture or biology. But such an opinion only makes sense in a universe where God exists.

Oh, Henrik, it's as if you're inviting punishment. How much has the Catholic Church paid in compensation to the victims of the child-molesting Parish priests? Many millions. A very bad choice to make your point.
Henrik
1.3 / 5 (25) Jan 16, 2012
Our genes and the yeast genes are nearly identical


In some genes perhaps. To conclude from that we share a common ancestor through millions of years of evolution is a non sequitur however.

Intelligent design of similar building blocks is also consistent with that observation. It is the more likely hypothesis because it does not require a billion year process that is supposed to create coded information from chance mutations, something never observed.

A Honda civic and accord share the same parts because they are from the same maker, not becasue they share a common ancestor called the Honda ciccord.
Henrik
1.2 / 5 (33) Jan 16, 2012
You know what don't bother I don't require an explanation


That is exactly the problem with atheists, wilfull ignorance. This worldview rests on thin air, but still they claim the rational ground, which is quite irrational. First try to explain why there is such a thing as rationality at all, and where it is generated in the big bang and /or blind evolution.
Henrik
1.3 / 5 (26) Jan 16, 2012
A very bad choice to make your point.


No, a very good one indeed. What premisse of my argument have you refuted by giving an example of bad moral behavior? None.

In fact your comment fully supports my claim that objective morals are proof for the existence of God. Something can only be called evil if such moral standards exist. If atheism is true however, you have no ground for calling pedophile priests morally bad. Only if God exists, can we have objective moral values.
Deathclock
3 / 5 (18) Jan 16, 2012
For instance the rape of small children. Would you support the rapist who claims that in his mind, raping a 4 year old is morally acceptable? I think it is far more rational to assume that rape is always an objective moral evil, regardless of the majority opinion, culture or biology. But such an opinion only makes sense in a universe where God exists.


Would you rape a stranger to save your child's life? Suppose your son or daughter had a 9mm to their head and the person holding it told you to rape this person that you had never met before or they would splatter your child's brains all over the wall...

Of course you would do it. My point is, while the application of force against the will of another never "good", sometimes it is preferable to the alternative. Incarcerating the mentally ill when they commit a crime is an example, it is not a "good" thing to take away someones freedom against their will, but it is often necessary for the good of society.
Henrik
1.1 / 5 (19) Jan 16, 2012
The same intelligence that has brought us the likes of GWB, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachman


That is not for me to judge. I however know that people like Newton, Pascal and Plato were intelligent, and they all believed in theism.
Deathclock
3.5 / 5 (21) Jan 16, 2012
In general, the application of force counter to the will of an individual can be considered universally immoral, and yet we do it all the time and if we didn't the results would be even worse.

That is not for me to judge. I however know that people like Newton, Pascal and Plato were intelligent, and they all believed in theism.


Name dropping, the lowest form of argument. Those you mentioned were a product of their times, in those days you either worshiped god or you were sent to the gallows. Who knows how many people back then didn't actually believe, but pretended to out of fear of persecution. Even in modern society many Atheists in a America are afraid to "come out" due to fear of persecution by the fundamentalist zealots that plague this country, such as yourself.
Aliensarethere
5 / 5 (6) Jan 16, 2012
"For example, all cells in the human body are essentially a support system that allows sperm and eggs to pass DNA along to the next generation."

A bit depressing way of describing a human :-)
Deathclock
3.4 / 5 (22) Jan 16, 2012
Your awesome intelligent designer gave me a bunch of teeth that don't fit in my mouth, requiring them to be surgically removed else they cause me intense pain my entire life. Well done "god", great intelligent design.

Your god must be a fucking retard if he considers the human body an intelligent design, considering it is flawed from birth in many ways.

But guess what? While detrimental vestigial structures may be a nail in the coffin of intelligent design evolution gives a perfect explanation for them that is testable and has been confirmed through genetic research.
Henrik
1 / 5 (17) Jan 16, 2012
Of course you would do it


No, I would not. It is quite shocking that you are unwilling to acknowledge child rape as something morally evil. Unfortunately these distorted views are what atheism and Darwinism ultimately lead to. Dawkins once said that if evolution had taken a slightly different path, the rape of women could have been completely socially acceptable. And that coming from a professor who is supposed to guide our society.

I think the rational approach is to accept the theist position that some things are just a moral abomination, regardles of biology or majority opinion.
Deathclock
3.2 / 5 (18) Jan 16, 2012
No, I would not. It is quite shocking that you are unwilling to acknowledge child rape as something morally evil. Unfortunately these distorted views are what atheism and Darwinism ultimately lead to.


You would allow your child to be shot in the head rather than engage in the natural act of sexual intercourse and you deign to lecture me about morality?

Get the fuck out of here, you are disgusting to me. You and your ilk vilify sex and the human body and prefer violence and it is disgraceful.

You've shown your true colors.
Henrik
1 / 5 (14) Jan 16, 2012
days you either worshiped god or you were sent to the gallows


Have you ever read a book or taken a degree in something? The complete ignorance of your replies would lead me to believe otherwise. In the time of Plato, many schools of thought existed, and Plato actually went against the prevailing polytheism. Newton wrote more on Bible commentary than on physics, so to say this is out of religious opression is pure folly. In the time of Blaise Pascal, the reformation had already passed and religious tolerance was taken to the US by the pilgrims.
Deathclock
3.6 / 5 (20) Jan 16, 2012
In the time of Blaise Pascal, the reformation had already passed and religious tolerance was taken to the US by the pilgrims.


Was this before or after the pilgrims burned witches at the stake?
Henrik
1.2 / 5 (19) Jan 16, 2012
You would allow your child to be shot in the head rather than engage in the natural act of sexual intercourse and you deign to lecture me about morality?


Your mental perversion is what is most telling.
Deathclock
3.3 / 5 (17) Jan 16, 2012
You would allow your child to be shot in the head rather than engage in the natural act of sexual intercourse and you deign to lecture me about morality?


Your mental perversion is what is most telling.


It doesn't matter what you say anymore, you just told me that you would allow your young child to be shot in the head rather than having sexual intercourse with a stranger... This is shocking though not surprising since the misinformed moral principles of fundamentalist christians in terms of favoring violence over sex (as evident by the television, movie, and video game ratings in this country) is well documented.
Henrik
1 / 5 (16) Jan 16, 2012
Was this before or after the pilgrims burned witches at the stake?


When exactly did you loose your sanity?
Deathclock
3.4 / 5 (18) Jan 16, 2012
Given two movies, one where a store clerk is shot in the face and another where a couple in love are shown having sexual intercourse, if you were told you must rate one of them "PG-13" and the other one "R" I know for a fact that the majority of you fundamentalist idiots would rate the one with sex "R"... I know this because this is the current policy of all media rating boards in this country, both for television, cinema, and video games.
CHollman82
2.8 / 5 (32) Jan 16, 2012
Was this before or after the pilgrims burned witches at the stake?


When exactly did you loose your sanity?


When exactly did you lose this argument?

I'll tell you when, when you said you would rather your kid get shot in the face then rape a stranger. Sex is just sex, but the death of a child is a travesty. It is terrible that you think the one is worse than the other and is not worth preventing it.
Henrik
1 / 5 (16) Jan 16, 2012
This is shocking


Since you keep insisting, let me tell you that your made up story constitutes the logical fallacy of a false dilemma.

My point was that without God, objective moral values cannot exist. Since sane human beings would agree that (for instance) child rape is an objective moral evil, this is proof that God exists. To deny that child rape is only a subjective evil would imply that in some case it could be acceptable, which is a shockingly irrational position.
Telekinetic
3.7 / 5 (19) Jan 16, 2012
A very bad choice to make your point.


No, a very good one indeed. What premisse of my argument have you refuted by giving an example of bad moral behavior? None.

In fact your comment fully supports my claim that objective morals are proof for the existence of God. Something can only be called evil if such moral standards exist. If atheism is true however, you have no ground for calling pedophile priests morally bad. Only if God exists, can we have objective moral values.

What a twisted argument you've just made. You think atheists can't have morality because they don't fear punishment from above? This is sickening if you represent religious opinion. It seems to me that the Protestant versus Catholic war in Ireland was a black day for religious morality.
Deathclock
3.7 / 5 (21) Jan 16, 2012
My point was that without God, objective moral values cannot exist. Since sane human beings would agree that (for instance) child rape is an objective mora evil, this is proof that God exists.


This is just horseshit.

As I already told you, human beings have certain qualities that they all share. One of those qualities is the desire to be free, to not be coerced or forced into doing something they do not want to do. The fact that this exists as a truth universal to our species in no way implies, let alone "proves" (you lunatic) that god exists.

How misinformed and illogical are you?
Henrik
1 / 5 (14) Jan 16, 2012
It is terrible that you think the one is worse than the other and is not worth preventing it.


Those are your words, but I did not say that at all. One can come up with all kinds of extreme and fantastical scenario's, but they do nothing to undermine any of my premisses about the moral argument. The fact that we can call anything a moral evil, only makes sense in a theistic universe. None of you have refuted this argument.
Deathclock
3.4 / 5 (18) Jan 16, 2012
It is terrible that you think the one is worse than the other and is not worth preventing it.


Those are your words, but I did not say that at all. The fact that we can call anything a moral evil, only makes sense in a theistic universe. None of you have refuted this argument.


I have, twice now, you are ignoring me... par for the course for you zealots, you have to ignore a hell of a lot to keep up with your ridiculous beliefs.

Oh, and you did say that you would rather let someone shoot your child in the face rather than rape a stranger... I proposed the scenario and said "of course you would rape the stranger" and you said "no I would not"... implying that you would let your child get shot in the face.

Are you confused? This is all in black and white and recorded on a server somewhere and is accessible to anyone here so it makes no sense to lie about it.
Henrik
1.1 / 5 (15) Jan 16, 2012
desire to be free


So why would it be a bad thing to deny somebody else their freedom in an atheistic universe? By what moral law is it evil to do that? Perhaps by denying other people their freedom I can greatly enhance my survival chances. In a Darwinian scenario, it is perfectly ok to kill or oppress people. Only in a world where God exists, can people be held accountable on a moral basis.
Deathclock
3.4 / 5 (18) Jan 16, 2012
desire to be free


So why would it be a bad thing to deny somebody else their freedom in an atheistic universe? By what moral law is it evil to do that? Perhaps by denying other people their freedom I can greatly enhance my survival chances. In a Darwinian scenario, it is perfectly ok to kill or oppress people. Only in a world where God exists, can people be held accountable on a moral basis.


Morality is based on empathy. Empathy is one's ability to consider themselves in the circumstances of another. If every human has a desire to be free of coercion then every human can rightly assume that others would also prefer to be free of coercion. Moral action is an expression of your sense of empathy combined with the expectation of reciprocal altruism. This is reality, so you will instinctively fight against it in favor of your fairy tale version.
Henrik
1 / 5 (13) Jan 16, 2012
You think atheists can't have morality because they don't fear punishment from above?


You have either failed to correctly understand or read the moral argument I made. I have never said atheists can not have morality. They just don't have any explanation for their moral behaviour. In fact, they act against their belief system by living as if objective moral codes exist. Which is all the better for the world of course.
Deathclock
3 / 5 (16) Jan 16, 2012
I have never said atheists can not have morality. They just don't have any explanation for their moral behaviour.


Wrong. They recognize that they are merely "someone else" to everyone else, so their moral actions towards "someone else" is equivalent to "someone else's" moral actions toward them. In other words, they expect reciprocation, and rightfully so.

In fact, they act against their belief system by living as if objective moral codes exist. Which is all the better for the world of course.


Now you're being ignorant, ever heard of Ayn Rand?
Henrik
1 / 5 (12) Jan 16, 2012
Morality is based on empathy


Why should anyone empathize? Based on what law or code should I have empathy with my detractors? In fact, people who do not value others advance more in society. These so called sociopaths seem to have an evolutionary advantage. So in an atheistic world, there is no reason whatsoever to have empathy with others.
Deathclock
3.4 / 5 (18) Jan 16, 2012
Morality is based on empathy


Why should anyone empathize? Based on what law or code should I have empathy with my detractors?


It's not a choice... it's a property of our consciousness.

In fact, people who do not value others advance more in society. These so called sociopaths seem to have an evolutionary advantage. So in an atheistic world, there is no reason whatsoever to have empathy with others.


You're wrong, reciprocal altruism is the BASIS of a functioning society. Within that system it may be true that individuals can take advantage of others but that only works if the vast majority are altruistic. If everyone decided to take advantage of everyone else and not care about anyone else it would be to the extreme detriment of everyone. This is basic game theory.

You are seriously confused if you think empathy is a choice. Moral actions may be a choice, but empathy is no more a choice than fear.
Henrik
1.1 / 5 (13) Jan 16, 2012
In other words, they expect reciprocation, and rightfully so


Based on what? If someone decides to murder a child because he feels to do so out of his subjective morality, an atheist has no ground to condemn this act as morally evil and requiring punishment.
Deathclock
3.3 / 5 (16) Jan 16, 2012
In other words, they expect reciprocation, and rightfully so


Based on what? If someone decides to murder a child because he feels to do so out of his subjective morality, an atheist has no ground to condemn this act as morally evil and requiring punishment.


Of course he does, what are you smoking?

Is this a serious question or are you being intentionally ridiculous? If it is a serious question I'll answer it if not please don't waste my time with this inanity.
Henrik
1 / 5 (12) Jan 16, 2012
It's not a choice... it's a property of our consciousness


A murderer or rapist also acts from his consciousness. Based on what are you elevating one act of consciousness over the other? General happiness? That is subjective. Minimal suffering? Perhaps the rapist is suffering the most because he cannot rape. So all these artificial grounds for morality ultimately fail beause they offer no objective standard for good and evil. Only God can offer that, not fallible humans.
Deathclock
3 / 5 (14) Jan 16, 2012
It's not a choice... it's a property of our consciousness


A murderer or rapist also acts from his consciousness.


A murderer or rapist may be acting contrary to their sense of empathy, I never said that was impossible. It also may be the case that they have a mental disorder that distorts or suppresses that sense of empathy, that is also possible. I don't see the issue here.

Based on what are you elevating one act of consciousness over the other? General happiness? That is subjective. Minimal suffering? Perhaps the rapist is suffering the most because he cannot rape. So all these artificial grounds for morality ultimately fail beause they offer no objective standard for good and evil. Only God can offer that, not fallible humans.


Based on overwhelming consensus of the population. That is all there is and that is what we go by. If the majority of the population thought it was a greater injustice to not let the rapist rape then that would be favored.
Deathclock
2.9 / 5 (15) Jan 16, 2012
This is becoming a good discussion and I would like to continue it with you but I am out of time tonight, and I am travelling tomorrow, so I will probably be back tomorrow afternoon (EST) if you wish to continue.
Henrik
1 / 5 (11) Jan 16, 2012
If everyone decided to take advantage of everyone else and not care about anyone else it would be to the extreme detriment of everyone


That is not an explanation why rape is considered morally evil and worthy of punishment. People do not go to jail for lack of empathy, but because they commited a crime.

Social theory does not explain why there is a moral outcry over henious crimes. Even if society at large is not affected at all by some single act of child molestation, it would still be morally evil. The only way that can be is if there are real objective moral values and duties.
Henrik
1 / 5 (11) Jan 16, 2012
Based on overwhelming consensus of the population


The general consensus in nazi Germany was that persecuting and killing Jews was acceptable, even by law. Does that consensus make the holocaust morally acceptable? No.

Even if Hitler had convinced the whole earth that Jews are evil and worthy of annihilation, the death camps would have still been a moral abomination. That is because moral absolutes exist, and they are a proof that not human thinking is the foundation of good and evil, but a righteouss and holy God.
rrpostal
5 / 5 (12) Jan 16, 2012
Not exactly a new subject here. But to the theist who thinks morality can only come from an authority... Is it good because god says so or does god say so because it is good? What you have done, in my opinion, is explain that you have absolutely no opinion on moral issues. You simply believe what god says. You have rendered yourself moot. Except that we now need to be afraid of how you interpret your holy books.
bewertow
4 / 5 (6) Jan 16, 2012
Henrik's IQ is lower than room temperature. He can't grasp simple arguments.

caitlincatwest
5 / 5 (11) Jan 16, 2012
If Henrik believes that the God of the Bible is an acceptable moral authority, then I suppose he also believes that forced marriage of a rape victim to her rapist is completely moral, as well as beating and stoning your children for disorderly conduct. Because, after all, God says it is.
Telekinetic
3.4 / 5 (15) Jan 16, 2012
And where was your Almighty God when the Holocaust happened, and the Pope at the time kept quiet despite knowing about the mass murder? And now the present Nazi Pope with all the spin about his membership in the Hitler youth being mandatory. Religious lies. And now I get a creepy feeling from you, with your righteousness, that actually you need religion to defend against something very dark and ugly in yourself.
trekgeek1
5 / 5 (9) Jan 16, 2012
Bad is subjective


For instance the rape of small children. Would you support the rapist who claims that in his mind, raping a 4 year old is morally acceptable? I think it is far more rational to assume that rape is always an objective moral evil, regardless of the majority opinion, culture or biology. But such an opinion only makes sense in a universe where God exists.


Watch some material from Sam Harris on YouTube. He talks about morality based on human well being. Essentially, we can know what makes a human healthy physically, so why not mentally? We can say that raping a child is not conducive to that child's happiness. Is it objective? I don't know. Is it moral to allow the rape a child to save 100 children from rape? I don't know. I don't think so, but it seems to be the lesser of two evils. Objective is a very strong degree of certainty. Morality is difficult because it is not clear cut. Just think about my point before rating my post.
Henrik
1 / 5 (15) Jan 16, 2012
Is it good because god says so or does god say so because it is good


The answer to the well known Eutyrphro dilemma is that God is Himself good, that is why His laws are also good. One of the aspects of God is goodness.
Henrik
1 / 5 (11) Jan 16, 2012
morality based on human well being


Harris position is flawed because happiness is a subjective criterium, and can not be a basis for moral judgement which implies a clear distinction between good and evil. In addition, a person can never confidently predict what level of well being his actions might result in. Some deeds are intended to do good, but end up creating a lot of grief. It is far more logical to base morality on objective criteria.
Henrik
1 / 5 (13) Jan 16, 2012
as well as beating and stoning your children for disorderly conduct


No, I believe in the moral laws of Jesus Christ, like love your neigbour and do good to those that hate you. Jesus rebuked those that tried to stone the woman caught in adultery, and asked them if they were without sin.

Having said that, this intention does not mean I always achieve those lofty goals, because all humans are sinners, and in need of redemption. To admit that one is a sinner is one of the greatest acts of achieving personal freedom, because it opens the possibility of forgiveness as well as guilt and fear free living.
caitlincatwest
4.9 / 5 (10) Jan 16, 2012

No, I believe in the moral laws of Jesus Christ, like love your neigbour and do good to those that hate you. Jesus rebuked those that tried to stone the woman caught in adultery, and asked them if they were without sin.


Jesus of the Bible said that he came to uphold the law, not do away with it. That not until heaven and Earth passed away would a jot or tittle of the law be done away with. But even if Jesus had replaced the old law, then that implies that there was a faulty system put in place by God that required replacing. Thus, at one time or another, the God of the Bible considered such actions moral, even necessary, as he made them commandments. And that he realized he'd made a mistake with the old law, changed his mind, or was incapable of changing in for a substantial amount of time. Which means he was wrong, easily swayed, or not all-powerful. If any of these are the case, he is not divine, not perfect, and not an authority worthy of making an eternal law.
Henrik
1 / 5 (13) Jan 16, 2012
And where was your Almighty God when the Holocaust happened,


There is no logical contradiction between the existence of a loving, omnipotent God and the existence of evil. A good God may have sufficient reasons for allowing evil to exist at least for a time, and human fee will in itself is an explantion for why there is evil at all.

In addition, God has set a limit on evil because He will one day renew the earth and reign over it. His love is manifested in the death of Jesus on the cross which is sufficient atonement for all human sin.
Henrik
1 / 5 (13) Jan 16, 2012
Thus, at one time or another, the God of the Bible considered such actions moral


Yes, and perhaps He had sufficient reaons for it at the time. God is not just everyone's friend. He is also holy and sins are abhorrent to Him. Only people who deliberately sin and violate Gods laws should fear Him. It is completely acceptable fo a divine Judge to hold His own creation accountable. That is exactly what a human judge does when he upholds the law.
Telekinetic
3.1 / 5 (15) Jan 16, 2012
as well as beating and stoning your children for disorderly conduct


No, I believe in the moral laws of Jesus Christ, like love your neigbour and do good to those that hate you. Jesus rebuked those that tried to stone the woman caught in adultery, and asked them if they were without sin.

Having said that, this intention does not mean I always achieve those lofty goals, because all humans are sinners, and in need of redemption. To admit that one is a sinner is one of the greatest acts of achieving personal freedom, because it opens the possibility of forgiveness as well as guilt and fear free living.

Oh, you're a sinner alright, Henrik, falling for all of that forgiveness tripe. And I hope you don't love thy neighbour too much either, for your sake, not God's. Were you scolded as a child for having natural impulses? Very often, traumatic experiences manifest themselves as religious fervor. I think you'd benefit from a secular therapist.
zeenix
5 / 5 (9) Jan 16, 2012
Question for Henrik:

"My point was that without God, objective moral values cannot exist."

Assuming this to be true, how do you explain the extremely peaceful nature of Scandinavian countries (known to be home to a big number of atheists and religion is certainly not taken serious by most people) compared to US (where most people are religious and religion plays a big role in most areas of the country)? While you are at it, some light on the fact that the last horrific crime against humanity in those countries was committed by a fundamentalist Christian in Norway, who killed 80 young students, would be nice. Thanks in advance for insights you will provide on this.
Henrik
1.1 / 5 (14) Jan 16, 2012
Which means he was wrong, easily swayed, or not all-powerful.


This is a false trilemma. There is another alternative, which is that God made a plan beforehand to create a world of free beings, who could sin. But in His infinite wisdom He also forsaw the need for a redeemer and an eternal solution for sin. That shows Gods grandeur, love and power in one.
caitlincatwest
5 / 5 (8) Jan 16, 2012
Also, Henrik, you have yet to demonstrate why your God is the ultimate moral authority over all others. "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." Don't bother with more philosophical, dogmatical, or biblical arguments. If your God is capable of manipulating the physical universe, then the results of his will should at the very least be demonstrable, tangible, and subject to scientific scrutiny and testing. Thus I implore you: Demonstrate that your God exists using actual evidence, that his will is the authority that governs the entirety of the universe, and all other possible explanations for natural occurrences, whether supernatural or otherwise, could not possibly have occurred without his influence.
caitlincatwest
5 / 5 (8) Jan 16, 2012
This is a false trilemma. There is another alternative, which is that God made a plan beforehand to create a world of free beings, who could sin. But in His infinite wisdom He also forsaw the need for a redeemer and an eternal solution for sin. That shows Gods grandeur, love and power in one.


Or he could just have not created sin. Simple. Because if God is the origination of all things, that includes evil, and an all-powerful being should have control over it. I am already convinced that he is not worthy of worship for the simple reason that the rules can change according to his will. If they were perfect to begin with, and truly GOOD, then there would be no reason for change. Also, being free does not include infinite punishment for finite actions.

Also, in what possible scenario could there be that would make rape of an innocent and then subsequently forcing said victim to marry her rapist in any way a moral action? Please fill me in, as I would really like to know.
Henrik
1 / 5 (11) Jan 16, 2012
how do you explain the extremely peaceful nature of Scandinavian countries


These events only prove one thing: that people are sinners. In the case of countries like Norway, I would say the pleasant socio-economical situation and the introvert temperament of the people plays a role. To call Breivik a Christian is I think too much honour for him. From what I read in the news in his writings he calls himself a cultural Christian, but he did not have or profess a personal faith in Jesus Christ and neither was he born again. Those are essential elements of the gospel however.
Henrik
1 / 5 (12) Jan 16, 2012
Or he could just have not created sin


The premisse here is wrong. God did not create sin. The Bible equates sin with darkness, and disobedience. Darkness is the absence of light, and disobedience a lack of obedience to the laws. God created the light and the law, but not the disobedience.
Henrik
1 / 5 (16) Jan 16, 2012
Demonstrate that your God exists


There are excellent and valid arguments for the existence of God. Theism is more rational than atheism. To name but a few, the cosmological argument, the teleological argument, the moral argument which we discussed, the ontological argument and for instance the resurrection of Jesus Christ as the best explanation for the emergence of the early church and the experiences, beliefs and lives of the apostles.

But by far the best argument for Gods existence is if He becomes a personal reality to an individual by revealing Himself to that person by faith. God can change lives like nothing else.

(Contrary, a belief in atheism rests on no sound argument at all, and a belief in atheism leads to all kinds of logical contradictions).
FrankHerbert
2.4 / 5 (49) Jan 16, 2012
MODERATORS:
Guidelines for posting comments on PhysOrg.com articles:

Keep science: Include references to the published scientific literature to support your statements. Pseudoscience comments (including non-mainstream theories) will be deleted (see pseudoscience).

Avoid political and religious discussions: Because of the complexity and ambiguity of this subject matter, political and religious discussions are not allowed.

Comments that will be deleted include:
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Please delete Henrik's posts and suspend his account.

Thank you.
Telekinetic
3.4 / 5 (15) Jan 16, 2012
How do we know you're not Satan in the guise of a religious zealot?
pokerdice1
3.8 / 5 (5) Jan 16, 2012
I give this whole series of comments 1/5 stars with the exception of Deathclocks noting of hypocrisy in PTBs censoring sex, but not violence.
Henrik
1.3 / 5 (13) Jan 16, 2012
So then why send me PM with religious content, Frank?
FrankHerbert
2 / 5 (47) Jan 16, 2012
So then why send me PM with religious content, Frank?


Guidelines for posting comments on PhysOrg.com articles:

Use PM (personal messages): If you want to address someone personally, use PM instead of adding new comments.


MODERATORS: Please enforce your guidelines. Thank you.
neovenator
5 / 5 (2) Jan 16, 2012
excuse me, but your link to the original article at PNAS is non-functional. Moreover, when I searched for the title of the article, nothing came out! Are you sure your citation is correct??
dan42day
3.7 / 5 (13) Jan 16, 2012
What are these fucking creationists doing here?


Well apparently you've answered your own question, they are having sex.
Clint_Ballard
5 / 5 (8) Jan 17, 2012
hahaha i can picture all the religidiots here sticking their fingers in their ears and going, "LA LA LA LA LA" as they read this story.
caitlincatwest
5 / 5 (9) Jan 17, 2012
"Excellent" and "valid" are hardly the proper adjectives for these arguments. None of them provide any actual evidence, only mere speculation, and are not what I requested of you to demonstrate. If you cannot, or will not, provide demonstrable evidence for your God, simply say so. Despite what you may think, these arguments are merely copouts that I've seen many Christians use before instead of providing tangible evidence for their worldview.

Also, FYI, personal testimony is NOT evidence. I could claim to have a purple dinosaur in my bathroom. I know, because I have a "personal relationship" with him. You should believe me simply because I say so!

On the contrary, belief in any religious dogma is illogical. Christianity included. Atheism is the default position for mankind, as no one is religious without indoctrination. Human nature demands (for the most part) good reasons in order to form a belief. You have provided no good reasons. Just flawed arguments that dance around the issue
Gpnum
5 / 5 (8) Jan 17, 2012
A very bad choice to make your point.


No, a very good one indeed. What premisse of my argument have you refuted by giving an example of bad moral behavior? None.

In fact your comment fully supports my claim that objective morals are proof for the existence of God. Something can only be called evil if such moral standards exist. If atheism is true however, you have no ground for calling pedophile priests morally bad. Only if God exists, can we have objective moral values.


Not at all.
We live in social groups.
If all of us acted only in our personal interest, (using group resources/advantage and not contributing), the group would have no benefit, and cease to exist.
For the social group to keep working, it need rules to negociate individual and common interest.
One such rule is to forbid someone to abuse someone else without penalties.
You don't need a god to think life in community is better if abuse is forbidden.
kevinrtrs
1 / 5 (20) Jan 17, 2012
@Deathclock,
Bad is subjective. I'd rather every child on earth use those certain words which are considered impolite by some arbitrary standard than a single child be indoctrinated into the nonsense and anti-intellectual and illogical thought processes that go hand in hand with your religious beliefs

Just looking at everything you have posted it is quite clear just how mixed up your thoughts get. First you say it's OK to have no rules with regards to speech - and that then implies it's OK to do as one pleases. Then you want to talk about "the good of society". Please make up your mind. If everyone does as s/he pleases then there can only be anarchy and even more death, pain and suffering then we already have. Besides which, where do you get the idea of "good" from? By which atheistic definition is there any "good"? Who is the ultimate arbiter of what "good" is? Is that the person/people with the most force? Without God,the ultimate center of truth, there is no rational thought
marlena
1 / 5 (2) Jan 17, 2012
NO. ESLN.
Guy_Underbridge
4.6 / 5 (10) Jan 17, 2012
I have yet to see any scientific proof that life, as we know it, came about through any other process other than evolution. (even though this, in itself, is not 'proof')

...talk about "the good of society". If everyone does as s/he pleases then there can only be anarchy and even more death... Who is the ultimate arbiter of what "good" is?
Good is survival. Bad is extinction. You may not like it, but 'that's life'.
Sinister1811
1.8 / 5 (13) Jan 17, 2012
Scientists should replicate this experiment on other worlds. For example; Mars or Titan and produce life from scratch there.
antialias_physorg
4.7 / 5 (12) Jan 17, 2012
There is a good chance that yeast is descended from a multicellular fungus

By what reasoning do you see a 'good chance' for this?


That is exactly the problem with atheists, wilfull ignorance.

At least we don't simply make up some explanation - we go out, form a hypothesis and then test it (as the scientists in the article did).

Now you go out and find me that intelligent creator you keep blabbing about. Then we'll talk.
Thrasymachus
4.5 / 5 (8) Jan 17, 2012
To paraphrase a long-dead philosopher, the only thing that can be added to a situation and not sometimes make that situation worse is a good will. A good will is one that is right in its beliefs about the effects of its actions, actually does the action it intends, and has as its ultimate goal the maximization of the potential of its possible future actions, in terms of the opportunity to perform those actions, their success and their effects. In other words, its ultimate goal is to maximize the scope and power of willing.

So there ya go. A universal moral principle that doesn't invoke some invisible sky fairy. People without empathy can still choose to be moral, and many often do. Empathy drives morality. But Reason steers.
Birger
5 / 5 (8) Jan 17, 2012
The experiment in the article is not relevant for a discussion of religions (with the exception of the small minority of theists who deny the existence of evolution -in Europe at least the vast majority of christians see no controversy about evolution).

-If multi-cellular life is easy to produce through evolution, it seems that the increase of oxygen in the atmosphere ca. 600 million years ago was the crucial event that paved the way for complex life. In an unrelated article, the evolution of two symbiotic organisms (both unicellular, one inside the other) implies the step to eukaryotes was likewise not that difficult. No god or "black monolith" required.

Henrik
1 / 5 (13) Jan 17, 2012
People without empathy can still choose to be moral, and many often do


Then again, people may choose otherwise freely based on their own subjective morals. Morality of course is not a personal choice, but an obligation. Empathy is a subjective experience. Lack of empathy is not a crime, murder and rape are crimes. This is because these actions violate objective moral codes. These codes can only exist if God exists. Atheism however can offer no foundation for moral obligations.
Henrik
1 / 5 (14) Jan 17, 2012
make up some explanation - we go out, form a hypothesis and then test


Darwinian evolution of ape like creatures into man cannot be tested, because it is an event in the distant past inaccessible for present day experiments. Only indirect observations remain such as for every historical event. Darwinian evolution therefore can only be made plausible, but never proven fact such as gravity or water freezing into ice.
Henrik
1 / 5 (12) Jan 17, 2012
Good is survival. Bad is extinction


So if the nazi's had succeeded in eradicating the Jewish people, they could be considered "good" in Darwinian terms? That would make the holocaust "evolution in action".

This kind of pseudo-rationality shows the corruption that evolutionary thinking leads to. Then again, famous evolutionists like Darwin, Haeckel and Keith were racists.
antialias_physorg
4.6 / 5 (10) Jan 17, 2012
So if the nazi's had succeeded in eradicating the Jewish people, they could be considered "good" in Darwinian terms?

Don't confuse 'good' in a moral sense with 'good' in a Darwinian sense.

In evolution there are no prizes for the moral high ground if it means you go extinct in the process. Evolution just weeds out those who are successful against those that are not - and what makes a successful species is not at all a clear cut case.
Is humanity a successful species because it is in existence now? Or were dinosaurs, though extinct, more successful because they were around 20 million years whereas man has had a scant 100000 year run?

Evolution has nothing to do with morals. If you get right down to it: there is no value system in the universe. The universe doesn't care whether anything is 'alive' or not. 'Life' is just an arbitrary definition made up by living things, anyhow. Recursive and therefore utterly meaningless outside its own context.
ccr5Delta32
2 / 5 (3) Jan 17, 2012
^
That was a dumb comment .One who doesn't know there's a difference between selective breeding or euthanasia and evolution by natural selection and yet will profusely comment on a biological post on physorg.
What the nazi's did was more akin to artificial selection or ID than Darwinian evolution
Kardashev-1
5 / 5 (2) Jan 17, 2012
Lol yet again folks the creationists/religious fanatics are coming out of the wood work to troll on another science article that may contradict with their (seemingly unrelated) faith, tainted with more non-related political/religious debate (noise). Hehe never gets old.
antialias_physorg
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 17, 2012
Missed a zero there. That should be 200 million years for dinosaurs...not 20.
Guy_Underbridge
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 17, 2012
(AA, you beat me to it)
Henrik
1 / 5 (12) Jan 17, 2012
'Life' is just an arbitrary definition made up by living things, anyhow. Recursive and therefore utterly meaningless outside its own context.


Thank you for that confession. I hope you understand that this view of life's purpose is utterly self-defeating. If human definitions are just self made constructs then your worldview is included. You have no way of finding out if your atheism is true, because it cannot be validated against an objective standard of truth. So if absolute truth does not exist (which your views imply), then atheism itself must also be meaningless and false.
antialias_physorg
4.6 / 5 (11) Jan 17, 2012
You have no way of finding out if your atheism is true

Truth is not a property of atheism. That would be like claiming that something non-existent exists.

Theism is a non-issue until there is some indication that it exists (i.e. until some evidence is forthcoming).

It's like frodlumgsudism. If I claim that frodlumgsudism is real then I have to furnish proof that it is. It is not up to you to show that frodlumgsudism doesn't exist because before I brought up the subject of frodlumgsudism you weren't even aware that it is an issue at all.
Therefore you had no need for having an opinion on it (or need to show the truth of its absence).
It was a non-issue to you until I brought it up. And until I give you a good reason for frodlumgsudism it remains a non issue to you.

Similarly atheism is the ABSENCE of belief. It needs show nothing until you show that theism is an issue at all. Before you manage that theism remains irrelevant.
Henrik
1 / 5 (12) Jan 17, 2012
Truth is not a property of atheism


Thank you for confirming my point. There are many valid arguments for the existence of God. There is no valid argument for the hypothesis that God does not exist.

I recommend that things like personal faith or a lack of it are kept out of the discussion. Using words like belief have no part in a rational discussion about the existence of God.
Henrik
1 / 5 (12) Jan 17, 2012
difference between selective breeding or euthanasia


Again atheists are self-contradicting. Just a while ago your folks posted that life is just chemistry. Nazi's, Jews and the holocaust are all part of this universe and this life. So by your own definition they are subject to evolution.

Now you hopefully see that atheism is in trouble every time it wants to make a logical assertion. Logic is immaterial, and only exists because God exists. In an atheistic universe rational thought is impossible, because thought is just meaningless brain chemistry.
Guy_Underbridge
4.3 / 5 (8) Jan 17, 2012
There is no valid argument for the hypothesis that God does not exist
Any particular god, or just gods in general?
antialias_physorg
4.6 / 5 (11) Jan 17, 2012
There is no valid argument for the hypothesis that God does not exist.

There does not need to be unless and until you have ONE good argument for a god (of any kind). Since no such argument has ever been found we're not really holding our breaths on that one.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. The claim that there is a god is a VERY extraordinary one.
mhenriday
5 / 5 (2) Jan 17, 2012
Important work, well worth the funding it received. Let us hope that even in these latter times, it will prove possible to fund experiments which will further develop these findings !...

Henri
Henrik
1 / 5 (9) Jan 17, 2012
Any particular god, or just gods in general?


Let us take one step at the time. At least, that is the more rational approach. First one can establish that theism is more plausible than the opposite. The next step would indeed be to try and find out what form of theism is most plausible.
Henrik
1 / 5 (15) Jan 17, 2012
There does not need to be unless and until you have ONE good argument for a god (of any kind).


Atheism is the belief that reality consists solely of material things such as space, time and energy. To make atheism a plausible world view, the atheist must do two things:

1. Convincinly refute every valid argument for the existence of God
2. Make atheism plausible by providing their own sound arguments

That is the rational path to take. Any other strategy such as a form of name calling, sophistry, use of logical fallacies or hand waving is not part of this. So atheists still have a chance to make their doctrine plausible once they start using logical arguments. Then everyone can see for himself where the evidence leads to.
caitlincatwest
5 / 5 (11) Jan 17, 2012
There does not need to be unless and until you have ONE good argument for a god (of any kind).


Atheism is the belief that reality consists solely of material things such as space, time and energy. To make atheism a plausible world view, the atheist must do two things:

1. Convincinly refute every valid argument for the existence of God
2. Make atheism plausible by providing their own sound arguments

That is the rational path to take. Any other strategy such as a form of name calling, sophistry, use of logical fallacies or hand waving is not part of this. So atheists still have a chance to make their doctrine plausible once they start using logical arguments. Then everyone can see for himself where the evidence leads to.


NO, atheism is the belief that God does not exist. You need to get your definitions straight. What you are describing is naturalism, which is completely independent from atheism. And once again, the burden of proof is on YOU, not atheists.
Guy_Underbridge
5 / 5 (9) Jan 17, 2012
Any particular god, or just gods in general?


Let us take one step at the time. At least, that is the more rational approach. First one can establish that theism is more plausible than the opposite. The next step would indeed be to try and find out what form of theism is most plausible.

errrr.... no. First one can demonstrate that god(s) exist (or ever existed), and that he/she/it/they were, in fact, responsible for all the stuff you claim they've done (like creating life, the universe,etc). Until that happens, I'll stick with the evolution thing.
The next step is just religion, and I wouldn't be interest either way.
Henrik
1 / 5 (12) Jan 17, 2012
NO, atheism is the belief that God does not exist


The one implies the other. Naturalism implies atheism, because naturalism denies the existence of any supernatural entities such as God or spirits. If you do not believe that, then you are not an atheist but an agnostic.

To say that atheism does not require proof, is a logical fallacy. A belief is only rational if it rests on sound arguments. You may disagree with me, but then you should stop laying claim on rational thought.

Some atheists say that they have not seen any evidence for the existence of God. Then my reply is that absence of proof is not proof of absence. To conclude that God does not exist for lack of personal belief is at best philosophically lazy thinking. But its a free world.
Henrik
1 / 5 (9) Jan 17, 2012
and I wouldn't be interest either way.


I guess as an atheist you are not willing to take up this challenge? If you are not willing to defend your beliefs through rational and logical arguments, then what is the supposed veracity of your worldview based on?
antialias_physorg
4.7 / 5 (12) Jan 17, 2012
NO, atheism is the belief that God does not exist

No.
For the very simple reason: If theism didn't exist atheists would not exist. If atheism was an ACTIVE disbelief in gods (i.e. a conscious choice against gods) it would be a state whether theism had ever been declared or not.

Atheism is not a stance. It's the absence of a stance.

Atheism is the belief that reality consists solely of material things such as space, time and energy.

No. Atheism is simply the absence of acknowledging the issue of gods. Period.

First one can establish that theism is more plausible than the opposite

Oh. This one I've GOT to hear. Explain. Please. Do.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.1 / 5 (22) Jan 17, 2012
In order to understand the purpose of religions it is important to gauge what they do as opposed to what they SAY they do.

All religions claim morality comes directly from their god and that it would not exist without their god. All religions claim that their god is the epitome ogf goodness. And yet all religions teach the rejection of other gods. 'No other gods before me' is invariably their first and most important commandment.

Their books go on to condone breaking all their moral laws in defense of their god against unbelievers. Every religion does this. The ones who didnt didn't survive because their adherents were exterminated.

Religions claim to be the source of morality simply so they can break their moral laws against their enemies, with the full approval of their god.

All the successful religions also enforce the edict to 'fill up the world' at the expense of their enemies. These 2 conditions ensure a world FULL of unremittant violence and immorality of the worst sort.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.9 / 5 (19) Jan 17, 2012
So by creating inevitable conditions of overpopulation and the resulting conflict we can see that despite religions all claiming to be the source of peace and goodness, they are actually the CREATORS of the worst sorts of evil. They INSIST on outgrowing and overrunning each other. This is how the ones which were best at this, have SURVIVED.

The People who concocted your pleasant little fairy tales henrik cared nothing about what happened to you once you were dead. They cared a great deal about what you thought and did while you and all your cohorts were still alive. Onward xian soldier.

Jesus came to bring not peace but a sword you know? He intended you to be slaughtering your family members and presenting yourself for martyrdom because humanity desperately needed Managing, and this was absolutely the Only Way to do it.
Henrik
1 / 5 (9) Jan 17, 2012
absence of acknowledging the issue of gods


That is quite vague and open to many interpretations. One should be able to provide a clear statement of one's worldview. To avoid any definition problem, it is good to turn to a reputable source like a dictionary.

Webster: atheism
a : a disbelief in the existence of deity
b : the doctrine that there is no deity

The first might be called positive atheism, the second negative atheism or anti-theism. Especially anti-theism should be based on sound arguments, because it is a strong assertion.

Maybe that is why Dawkins bus campaign slogan read: there is probably no God...Atheism here is presented by Dawkins as a belief in certain probabilities. When something is considered probable, one should be able to explain why.
Scientist_Steve
5 / 5 (9) Jan 17, 2012
"I recommend that things like personal faith or a lack of it are kept out of the discussion. Using words like belief have no part in a rational discussion about the existence of God." -Henrik

I am curious what your idea of a rational discussion is then?
Do you have some scientific evidence for the existence of God that doesn't rest of Faith or Belief? I must've missed it? Did he like His fingerprints somewhere?
Gizz47
5 / 5 (9) Jan 17, 2012
"Using words like belief have no part in a rational discussion about the existence of God." -Henrik

That is one of the funniest things I've ever read. That's made my day, it really has.

As for the article: really interesting. Needs a lot more testing, which I look forward to reading about in the hopefully not-too-distant future. :)
antialias_physorg
4.2 / 5 (10) Jan 17, 2012
That is quite vague and open to many interpretations.

Cop out much?

Again I ask you point blank:
1) Were you an anti-frodlumgsudist BEFORE I brought up frodlumgsudism?

If you were: How were you aware of the issue of frodlumgsudism BEFORE I brought it up? (quite impossible because I made it up)
If you were not: Then you have just acknowledged that to be anti anything that thing first has to be made an issue of by someone.

So how can there be anti-frodlumgsudists if no frodlumgsudists exist? It's pretty clear who has to supply proof first. Because if we follow your weird mode of thought then YOU would have to prove to me why you are anti-frodlumgsudist before I even tell you what the reasons for frodlumgsudism is.

Now replace frodlumgsudism with 'god'/'theism'. Very simple logic.

2) Why is theism more plausible than atheism?
caitlincatwest
5 / 5 (6) Jan 17, 2012
@Henrik
Implications are not definitions. Your logic about atheism and naturalism being interchangeable is faulty and just plain wrong. If atheism depended on naturalism, there would not be atheists who believed in ghosts. Atheism is a LACK OF BELIEF IN GODS, not everything supernatural. Why is this difficult for you to understand? You do not hold this mindset, so who are you to define it in the first place?

"To say that atheism does not require proof, is a logical fallacy." Um, no. Atheism makes no claims, so we have nothing to prove. Would you send someone to jail on the charge of rape simply because there's no evidence that he isn't a rapist? Doubtful. Atheists make no positive claims, thus we require evidence in order to establish a belief in positive claims.

You're right. "Absence of proof is not proof of absence." So why don't we all believe in unicorns and monsters and purple flying hamsters? There's no evidence that says they don't exist. What have you to lose?
Henrik
1 / 5 (10) Jan 17, 2012
Atheism makes no claims


Well, it does. Otherwise, how would you call this statement:

- There's probably no God -
(2009 atheist Bus campaign by Dawkins foundation)

Tourette's syndrom? So my first question would be: why do you think that is credible? If the answer is only: I have not seen any evidence for God, then an atheist has very little to offer in terms of rational arguments. The bus slogan should then have read: I, R. Dawkins, lack any evidence for making any convincing statement regarding the existence of God.
Henrik
1 / 5 (9) Jan 17, 2012
there would not be atheists who believed in ghosts


Well, for one I think they should be careful around other atheists. Their lifetime membership of the atheist society might be revoked for believing in superstition. An atheist who believes in anything supernatural, breaks the atheist dogma and could be called a heretic.

Remember when the late and famous atheist Anthony Flew announced that he started to have reservations about the truth of atheism, it were his former atheist friends who treated him with the utmost contempt. But that just shows you their paper thin morals.
Gizz47
5 / 5 (4) Jan 17, 2012
Why are you guys biting? He's using bus adverts as an argument! Seriously people, there has to be something better you folks could be doing with your time! :P
Henrik
1 / 5 (9) Jan 17, 2012
2) Why is theism more plausible than atheism?


Because unlike atheism, theism is supported by credible and valid arguments. These arguments come from the area of cosmology, physics, psychology, geology, biology, philosophy and history to name but a few.

Whereas in the history of mankind, no atheist has ever come up with a valid argument against the existence of God.
Henrik
1 / 5 (9) Jan 17, 2012
Were you an anti-frodlumgsudist BEFORE I brought up frodlumgsudism


Sometimes you wonder why some theists are afraid of atheists. Looking at their level of rationality, you wonder where they got the idea they are the sane ones. It looks like 300 years of enlightenment just went straight passed and has skipped over this entrire generation.
caitlincatwest
5 / 5 (5) Jan 17, 2012
@Henrik

A positive claim would be "There is no God" or "God does not exist." The inclusion of probabilities means that the speaker makes no definitive claim, can be swayed based on changing evidence, and thus, it is neither positive nor negative. Saying over and over again that it is does not make it so.

So you concede my point. You are sadly mistaken if you believe all atheists deny the existence of anything supernatural. Also, you have no merit in saying how you think other naturalist atheists should behave toward non-naturalist atheists. The fact that you believe atheists have a dogma that we follow is simply mind-numbing and exemplary of your naivete. It is clear you don't know what you're talking about, and you really need to educate yourself about opposing worldviews if you expect to be taken seriously.

Continuing to insist that there is physical evidence for your God does not make it so. Produce it.
FrankHerbert
1.7 / 5 (43) Jan 17, 2012
MODERATORS:
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Keep science: Include references to the published scientific literature to support your statements. Pseudoscience comments (including non-mainstream theories) will be deleted (see pseudoscience).

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Please delete Henrik's posts and suspend his account.

Thank you.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.5 / 5 (18) Jan 17, 2012
Frank
These are important issues which need discussing. Henrik is not some dimwit flooder and he doesnt need to be harassed. His views need to be addressed.
Fractlfenx
5 / 5 (6) Jan 17, 2012
Henrick you should read "The God Delusion" by Dawkins. The bottom line is that religion promotes ignorance in the face of scientific proof. Who or what created creation? To the theist there is no reason to investigate this or even question it. Also the argument that religion provides us with a moral "compass" is ludicrous and naive in the extreme. I would explain but I learned long ago that arguing with a fundamentalist is beyond pointless.
Thrasymachus
4 / 5 (4) Jan 17, 2012
I gave you a principle for determining the difference between right and wrong, i.e. morality, that doesn't rely on the idea or existence of a god. Your repetition that the existence of a deity is necessary to ground morality doesn't make it so. And there are at least a couple of others that are good enough for people to go with. Those principles didn't come from a god, they came from a bunch of smart dudes a couple centuries back who paid attention to how people thought and acted. And the most important ones, Kant, Mill and, (as much as I hate to say it) Rand were all atheists.

You mentioned in a response to antialias that you wanted an objective standard to judge truth and morality. Tough. There isn't one, or at least not one humans have access to. The best we can do is inter-subjectivity. There is no objective Truth. There is only social truth.
Michael_Benton
4.3 / 5 (6) Jan 17, 2012
Even if scientists are able to one day create life from universal elements the crazies aren't going to believe it. Creationism is not a theory and shouldn't be mentioned in the same breath as an actual theory. Creationism and "Intelligent" Design are merely religious conjecture, and have as much scientific merit as bloodletting.
Henrik
1 / 5 (5) Jan 17, 2012
religion promotes ignorance


You have missed the point of my contention in it's entirety. I am not defending this or that religion. The history of religion has little or no consequence for the existence of God. There is no logical connection between the various manifestations of religious zeal and the existence of a deity.

I am fully aware of Dawkins arguments from his books. He does not provide any arguments for atheism, nor does he refute any existing theistic arguments convincingly. His main point over and over again is a form of social criticism of religion based on a certain style of representing religious beliefs.
Henrik
1 / 5 (5) Jan 17, 2012
There is no objective Truth


Is this statement an objective truth? If so, then it is false. If not so, then it is false as well. I have told you before that atheism is self-refuting in its foundation.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.1 / 5 (18) Jan 17, 2012
...smart dudes...Kant, Mill and, (as much as I hate to say it) Rand were all atheists.
And who, unfortunately, had no idea about how the brain works or where social dynamics originates, and so they were just guessing (and propagandizing) and so got it wrong.

The origins of morality can be found in the dynamics of the tribe; those being altruism toward fellow members along with concerted animosity toward outsiders. Those tribes which exhibited these traits would prevail in competition with other tribes and so were selected for.

Here you go thrash - read something relevant.
http://rechten.el...RID2.pdf

The tribal nature of humans is wholly biological and thus so is morality. Religions were able to institutionalize this dynamic and apply it artificially over ever larger and disparate groups.
Tausch
1 / 5 (3) Jan 17, 2012
Germans understand Henrik
Unsere Sohn Adolf
U.S.A.
aroc91
4 / 5 (4) Jan 17, 2012
2) Why is theism more plausible than atheism?


Because unlike atheism, theism is supported by credible and valid arguments. These arguments come from the area of cosmology, physics, psychology, geology, biology, philosophy and history to name but a few.


HAHAHAHAHAHA. Blatant lies.

Were you an anti-frodlumgsudist BEFORE I brought up frodlumgsudism


Sometimes you wonder why some theists are afraid of atheists. Looking at their level of rationality, you wonder where they got the idea they are the sane ones. It looks like 300 years of enlightenment just went straight passed and has skipped over this entrire generation.


Stop deflecting and answer the question. Regarding your whole "you can't have subjective morality" thing, animals don't like it when they get hurt and resent whatever hurts them. Animals don't even have the mental capacity to think about gods, so game, set, and match.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.8 / 5 (16) Jan 17, 2012
"There can be no doubt that a tribe including many members who, from possessing in a high degree the spirit of patriotism, fidelity, obedience, courage, and sympathy, were always ready to give aid to each other and to sacrifice themselves for the common good, would be victorious over most other tribes; and this would be natural selection" (Darwin, 1871, i, p. 166).

Internal altruism coupled with external animosity - how better can we describe the structure of religion? The OT described this succinctly. Its lessons were of conquest. The NT describes the mechanics of revolution, of conquest from within. For what is a revolution without martyrs?

The jesus character is the greatest martyr of all time. By his example millions presented themselves for killing. Because of this the NT is implicated in far more violence than the OT.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.6 / 5 (17) Jan 17, 2012
And by the way kant was most definitely not an atheist.

"I have therefore found it necessary to deny knowledge in order to make room for faith" (Immanuel Kant).
http://plato.stan...eligion/

-See if you would research before you post you would save yourself some embarrassment.
Jorsher
5 / 5 (7) Jan 17, 2012
Wow. I really hope Henrik is just an extremely bored troll. This whole argument is stupid, since nobody is going to change their opinion, but I find it entertaining.

I tried the theist thing. As I grew older, it all seemed way too illogical. I tried to fight my brain and convince myself I was a believer, but it's difficult to argue with logic. I definitely felt more free than ever, even when I was baptized.

However, I'm a moral person. My morals surely differ from yours, as I don't see a problem with premarital sex and don't think rape victims should marry their rapist or that slavery is OK, but I try to do what is right. I'm sure you've heard this, but:

"Morality is doing what is right regardless of what you are told - religion is doing what you are told regardless of what is right."

Call me strange, but I don't need a reward or threat to do the right thing. I do the right thing so I don't feel like an asshole, and hoping others would do the same.

You're surely just trolling...
Thrasymachus
3 / 5 (2) Jan 17, 2012
Kant was as much of an athiest as he could get away with for where he lived and worked. He was ordered by the King to stop publishing essays on religion because they were heavily critical of theological dogma. As head of his academic department, one of his duties was to escort his department to Mass on Sundays, which he did, holding the door open for them to enter, then leaving to return home. And his magnum opus, the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant establishes that not only can the nature and existence of a god not be known, but it cannot even be thought about without involving contradictions. At most, we can hope that a god exists, and it is this kind of hope that Kant identifies as faith. And more recent accounts of Kant's life have made it unclear whether he even hoped that the Christian god exists. He did establish that we should hope that moral perfection is possible, but that's a long way off from hoping for the existence of YHWH.
caitlincatwest
5 / 5 (6) Jan 17, 2012
@Henrik

Oh please. Do you really want to begin yet another cascade of logical fallacies? Do you even read what you've typed before you submit it?

Is this statement an objective truth? If so, then it is false.


So by your logic, something can be both objectively true and false simultaneously? I'd be interested to see how you would explain away that one.

"If not so, then it is false as well."


I think it's a given that something objectively false is, in fact, false. :P

I would like to think that I know where you're going with this, and that I can accurately interpret inane fundamentalist drabble. However, the more pressing matter is that you are still trying to avoid meeting your burden of proof. I suggest that you are start procuring that physical and cosmological evidence for God, like many of us have asked you to do multiple times, before your trollish behind is exposed.

Atheists don't have to refute you. You've done at least that much already, many times over.
Deathclock
2.9 / 5 (15) Jan 17, 2012
Based on overwhelming consensus of the population

The general consensus in nazi Germany was that persecuting and killing Jews was acceptable, even by law. Does that consensus make the holocaust morally acceptable? No.


Check your facts, this is a blatant lie. The majority of the people didn't know what was happening because Hitler organized his underlings so that each only had knowledge of the small part that they played. The general population had no idea what was going on. It is patently false that the majority of Germans thought it was okay to murder innocents.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.8 / 5 (17) Jan 17, 2012
Kant was as much of an athiest as he could get away with for where he lived and worked.
You have some evidence of these demonic proclivities? No.
He was ordered by the King to stop publishing essays on religion because they were heavily critical of theological dogma.
-Which do not make him atheistic by any stretch of 'logic'. So was luther heavily critical - so what?

So we admit that, due to pragmatism or whatever, kants dogmae, by his own admission ('in order to make room for faith') was tainted, and that it is impossible to discern which might be so tainted and which might not? Of course it isnt.

And as he had no knowledge of the evolutionary source of human motivation, as we do today, he was ONLY GUESSING.

And he was most assuredly selling a particular Weltanschauung to the educated elite, in other words, propagandizing, as the church was itself doing to the other classes as well.

Besides youre off-topic as usual. Philocrap is dead per science and hawking.
Henrik
1 / 5 (8) Jan 17, 2012
The general population had no idea what was going on


"Wir haben es nicht gewusst"? Historians have debunked that lie a long time ago. Check your facts. Germans either knew or could have known. Most chose to suppress that knowledge.
Henrik
1 / 5 (7) Jan 17, 2012
So by your logic, something can be both objectively true and false simultaneously?


Let me repeat step by step as to not confuse you. You say: "there are no objective truths". Lets assume that statement is true. If no objective truths exist, then also the statement "there is no objective truth" is not objectively true (because no such truths exist). That means it could be false. If the statement "there is no objective truth" can be false, this means there is actually an objective truth, contradicting the statement.

Contrary, if the statement is false, then objective truths do exist which contradicts the statement "there is no objective truth", making it false.

So either way, your statement leads to a self-contradiction. Its the same as if an atheist would say: all atheists are liars. Is he right or wrong? The denial of objective truth leads to a logical impossibility, which is at the core of atheism.
caitlincatwest
5 / 5 (2) Jan 17, 2012
@Henrik

I'm sorry, but I think you're confusing yourself. I never said there was no objective truth. I stated earlier that there was no objective morality, but that has nothing to do with objective truth. Big difference. However, if something is objectively true (these truths do exist in nature as constants) then it is true regardless of whether or not the statement objectifying the subject is true. Regardless of whether or not the observer can witness the truth in its absolute objectivity, as subjective experience is independent of objective absolution. You've caught yourself in a never-ending cascade of seemingly falsifiable statements regarding objective truth, because the contradiction to the statement (that there are indeed objective truths) could also be false if no objective truth exists.

Like I said, it's not my statement. Go back and check again who you are supposed to be addressing.

And once again, you're attempting to skirt around my request. Pay up, or GTFO.
kochevnik
1 / 5 (6) Jan 17, 2012
@Henrik Dawkins once said that if evolution had taken a slightly different path, the rape of women could have been completely socially acceptable.
Hahahaha the fundie thinks monkeys should give consent!
Henrik
1 / 5 (9) Jan 17, 2012
Pay up, or GTFO


You seem to have a problem controlling your impulses. Perhaps a lack of social skills. Could that be the reason why your life is such an unfruitful disappointment so far? I recommend some good Christian therapy.
kochevnik
2.5 / 5 (8) Jan 17, 2012
...as much as I hate to say it) Rand were all atheists.
Rand wasn't smart by Russian standards. She was banal and dull. Not a person worthy of respect. But given the barren wasteland that was conservative American culture, she spread like wildfire overseas. Some of the dullest elements in the West actually took the crazy bitch seriously.
caitlincatwest
5 / 5 (4) Jan 17, 2012
@Henrik

The only impulse I have is my overwhelming desire to witness demonstrable evidence for the existence of God from a self-pronounced expert on the subject, without being subjected to unintelligent and unecessary ad hominem attacks.
kochevnik
2.1 / 5 (7) Jan 17, 2012
The denial of objective truth leads to a logical impossibility, which is at the core of atheism.
You obviously never understood Godel's incompleteness theorem. Fail.
kochevnik
2.3 / 5 (9) Jan 17, 2012
My point was that without God, objective moral values cannot exist.
I actually agree with you on this point. Morality is as fallacious as god, because moral authority originated from this fiction. Thinkers must detach themselves from morality and subconscious mythical ties to some imaginary superbeing, and instead apply reason to forge a consistent ETHICAL framework. Only then can one hope to behave in a clear, direct and consistent manner without being hobbled by subconscious mythos. Myths unfortunately still play a large role in human behavior, for their dubious assumptions go unexamined and promulgate chaos and irrationality.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.8 / 5 (16) Jan 17, 2012
Thinkers must detach themselves from morality and subconscious mythical ties to some imaginary superbeing, and instead apply reason to forge a consistent ETHICAL framework.
Laws as agreed to by a democratic majority in the context of a well-written constitution, is what determines 'morality'. It is not perfect but it works much better than anything any religion ever produced.

We need no ethics based on superstition, and we dont need to believe they come from some aetherial plane of existence.
Tausch
4.3 / 5 (6) Jan 17, 2012
All attempts to address Henrik failed.
Why?
Henrik's rationality starts with God.
If you want to reach the Henriks you must go where your rationality stops. Good luck.
LeonardoGogh
5 / 5 (1) Jan 17, 2012
Henrik,
You're just an average jerk. You have spent an entire day arguing about what? Nobody knows what happens after we die except you. You must be god's gift to all of us - as you have infered in many of your posts.

Guess what? You haven't changed anyone's minds about anything here. That's because you're a fake.

Instead of spending all day arguing, you could have been helping someone who needs help. Instead, you choose to waste your time master baaating your own ego.

Job well done. The guy who went to India to learn buddhism then came back to Jerusalem to engage in tantra judism would be not be proud.
LeonardoGogh
5 / 5 (3) Jan 17, 2012
All attempts to address Henrik failed.
Why?
Henrik's rationality starts with God.
If you want to reach the Henriks you must go where your rationality stops. Good luck.


Lets recap.
Creationist Evanglists convert: 0 people.
Time spent trying: 20 hours.

Look who's talking about failure.
People get tired of arguing with idiots, however in typical religious wingnut fashion, that is interpreted as winning.

That's right you spent 20 hours of your life that you can never get back not convincing anyone. Meanwhile, atheists are working in the hospitals and hospices. Typical.
aroc91
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 17, 2012
Again, Henrik, stop deflecting-

Stop deflecting and answer the question. Regarding your whole "you can't have subjective morality" thing, animals don't like it when they get hurt and resent whatever hurts them. Animals don't even have the mental capacity to think about gods, so game, set, and match.


antialias_physorg
4.4 / 5 (7) Jan 18, 2012
Because unlike atheism, theism is supported by credible and valid arguments. These arguments come from the area of cosmology, physics, psychology, geology, biology, philosophy and history to name but a few.

Whereas in the history of mankind, no atheist has ever come up with a valid argument against the existence of God.

Again you cop out. I asked you to name a sepcific one. ONE. Just one that is proof (or even an indication) that there is a god as opposed to no god.
Give one indication that positing something as unbelievably complex as an omnipotent, superintelligent, omniscient being makes explaining what we observe simpler or more reasonable than very simple natural processes.

But all I see is you floundering about. You know what? I'm pretty sure you don't even know - in your own heart - what you're talking about. All you're doing right now is defending some (as you now come to see) false belief because you have already wasted the majority of your life on it.
SreePanjala
5 / 5 (2) Jan 18, 2012
Hmm,I smell lot of creationism. The pathetic part is lot of theists don't know where their scripture came from. Its funny tha t Jesus, Allah and all others who were on this Creation of the Universe project might be having a single wife. And who believes in intelligence design, I would say he ( Allah/Jesus/other good fellas ) must be a bad designer because appendix in your body is of no use at all. For the creationists it makes sense.
antialias_physorg
4.3 / 5 (6) Jan 18, 2012
appendix in your body is of no use at all

The appendix is not a good example. It does have a use. There is an interesting theory that it serves as a reservoir for our gut bacteria. This helps them repopulate the intestinal tract after a bout of diarrhea.

There are other vestigial structures (tail bone, plica luminaris, arrector pili) which seem to be remnants from our ancestorsand which have no use for us today. in nimals there are many such vestigial structures (vestigial hip bones and hind legs in some snakes. Vestigial leg structures in whales, ... )
Tausch
2 / 5 (4) Jan 18, 2012
lol
God is not a good example. God does have a use. There is an interesting theory that God exists(!) and serves(!) as a reservoir for our gut feelings (faith). This helps the faithless regain the tract of faith that is purged daily by disbelievers.

There are other vestigial gods, (Greek, Swedish, Germanic, etc.) which seem to be remnants from our irrational(!)ancestors and which have no use for us today.

All in fun, AP.

If humans reach the longevity of the dinosaur era - 200 million years - and God does not become superseded and obsolete - we deserve and have earned a dinosaur's outcome:
extinction.
_osh_ayless
5 / 5 (2) Jan 18, 2012
hahaha thank you guys for repeatedly bringing up the altruism fact and how he has repeatedly and blatantly avoided it, as soon as it was brought up he began taking fragments of qoutes instead the entire post. Been waiting for him to reply to it since like the third page.
SreePanjala
5 / 5 (2) Jan 18, 2012
Hmm, So appendix in your body is for something. I asked other questions too by the way about Allah, Jesus etc. Then why believing in something that you don't see at all or have some kind of evidence. Cuz you were taught to do it when you were a kid. You din't know nothing and our minds were pretty much clear when we were kids. After all, we can still survive with out God ( if there is any ). There is no point to support that argument. If he is there, the world should have ended as the preacher predicted the apocalypse last year.
EverythingsJustATheory
5 / 5 (4) Jan 18, 2012
An intelligent designer would not have put the pleasure zone so close to the waste disposal unit. We are also remarkably inefficient in our digestive systems, coverting only a fraction of food ingested into energy.

As George Carlin said, "If this is the best he can do, I'm not impressed. Results like these are not what I would expect from a supreme being; more like an office temp with a bad attitude."
Deathclock
2.2 / 5 (13) Jan 18, 2012
I still think wisdom teeth are the best example... how sadistic must god be to design us with 4 teeth that don't properly fit in our mouth, requiring them to be surgically removed or causing us life-long pain? I don't understand how creationists can get past this, I notice Henrik didn't respond to it...
Henrik
1 / 5 (7) Jan 18, 2012
If this is the best he can do


The validity of every argument depends on the plausibility of it's premises. Your argument against design is very weak, because it relies on the premise that mankind is the best possible design God could come up with. For this assertion to be true, you would have to know God's mind and plan with the human race. So the burden of proof is on you to show that mankind's current condition is a result of God's full intention and/or best efforts. For instance, it is completely possible that the human condition is not a reflection of God's final plan.

In that case you have nothing but a logical fallacy. For instance, most religions and certainly Christianity do not assume at all that the human kind is the final product. So there you go.
Henrik
1 / 5 (8) Jan 18, 2012
Atheists will always loose a debate on the existence of God because their foundational thinking is flawed. If you try to use the human mind to deny the very source it depends on, then you will end up in a paradox. If you assume that the human mind is the alfa and omega, you have chosen a self-refuting world view. Human thinking can never prove that human thinking alone is true, for that assertion is also the product of human thinking. Truth can only be established based on an external and objective standard that is always true, independent of the human mind.
Deathclock
2.2 / 5 (13) Jan 18, 2012
First time I'm hearing that God intentionally designed humans to be flawed... tell me, what is the motivation to intentionally design something to be flawed... not in terms of god, but what motivation might cause you or someone like you to intentionally design something with a known flaw?
Deathclock
2.2 / 5 (13) Jan 18, 2012
If you assume that the human mind is the alfa and omega, you have chosen a self-refuting world view. Human thinking can never prove that human thinking alone is true, for that assertion is also the product of human thinking. Truth can only be established based on an external and objective standard that is always true, independent of the human mind.


1: I don't think anyone thinks that the human mind is the "alpha and omega"... whatever that means.

2: There is no reason to assume that absolute objective knowledge can be gained by humans, and there is no reason to assume that that limitation means that there is a god... that is fallacious logic.

Most of your arguments are based on various mischaracterizations of what atheists/agnostics think. You have to know your enemy to successfully combat them, and you apparently don't know the first thing about people that don't believe in god.
Henrik
1 / 5 (7) Jan 18, 2012
God intentionally designed humans to be flawed


That is not what I am saying. Read carefully. My point is that for your argument against design to be valid, it's premise has to be made plausible. You have to provide proof that the current human condition reflects God's final plan and full intention with the human race. If you can't, then the argument is at best just a straw man.
Henrik
1 / 5 (6) Jan 18, 2012
complex as an omnipotent, superintelligent, omniscient being


Why would God be complex? The definition of God is a bodyless, immaterial Mind, which is a remarkable simple concept. God has no interacting parts or functions like a machine. My contention is that God is actually simple.

You are just confusing the thoughts and actions of God (which can be very complex indeed) and the essence or nature of God (which is quite simple). So the burden of proof that God is complex is completely on you.
Deathclock
2.6 / 5 (15) Jan 18, 2012
God intentionally designed humans to be flawed


That is not what I am saying. Read carefully. My point is that for your argument against design to be valid, it's premise has to be made plausible. You have to provide proof that the current human condition reflects God's final plan and full intention with the human race. If you can't, then the argument is at best just a straw man.


You're argument is that god's design of humans is not the "final plan"... this implies that god intentionally designed humans with flaws that he may or may not fix at some later time...

I asked you to give me a reason or motivation that you, as a human, might intentionally design flaws into something that you produce. Are you refusing to answer?

Furthermore, the burden of proof is CLEARLY on you since you are the one proposing the existence of a being of unimaginable complexity for which there is zero credible evidence.
Deathclock
2.4 / 5 (14) Jan 18, 2012
complex as an omnipotent, superintelligent, omniscient being


Why would God be complex? The definition of God is a bodyless, immaterial Mind, which is a remarkable simple concept. God has no interacting parts or functions like a machine. My contention is that God is actually simple.

You are just confusing the thoughts and actions of God (which can be very complex indeed) and the essence or nature of God (which is quite simple). So the burden of proof that God is complex is completely on you.


What kind of horseshit is this? I don't think you understand what complexity means... any "thing" that can create the universe must be complex. Anything that can create complexity must be complex itself.

Complexity, FYI, is given by entropy. If you don't understand that wait a few more hours and look up entropy on wiki...
Henrik
1 / 5 (6) Jan 18, 2012
Are you refusing to answer?


No, I have answered you by pointing out that, unless you are willing to provide proof for the premise of your argument, it presents a logical fallacy. If you have a problem understanding that, then perhaps you must pick up a book on logic first.
Henrik
1 / 5 (6) Jan 18, 2012
Anything that can create complexity must be complex itself.


Proof?

(Remember we are trying to have a rational debate)
Henrik
1 / 5 (6) Jan 18, 2012
You're argument is that god's design of humans is not the "final plan"... this implies that god intentionally designed


First of all I did not make that argument. You made the assertion against design. I am not under any obligation to help you formulate your own arguments.

But secondly, this statement is a non sequitur. If the human condition does not reflect Gods full and final intention with mankind, it does not follow logically that God intentionally designed a flawed being. I hope you can see that.
Deathclock
2.6 / 5 (15) Jan 18, 2012
Are you refusing to answer?


No, I have answered you by pointing out that, unless you are willing to provide proof for the premise of your argument, it presents a logical fallacy. If you have a problem understanding that, then perhaps you must pick up a book on logic first.


It's axiomatic you lunatic.

If you don't think humans are designed ideally currently, which we clearly are not, then you either think god made a mistake or god intentionally designed us with a flaw. These are the only two options.

So which is it, did god make a mistake or did god intentionally design humans with not one but many flaws?
Deathclock
2.6 / 5 (15) Jan 18, 2012
this statement is a non sequitur. If the human condition does not reflect Gods full and final intention with mankind, it does not follow logically that God intentionally designed a flawed being. I hope you can see that.


Now you're trolling, or you are more insane than I thought.

There are only two options if you agree that human beings are flawed, which we clearly are.

1 - God made mistakes in our design.
2 - God intentionally designed us with the flaws that we possess (wisdom teeth being the example I am running with).

There are no other options, so which is it?
Henrik
1 / 5 (8) Jan 18, 2012
There are no other options


No, you are presenting a false dilemma. There are at least two additional options:

1. God is not finished with creation yet.

This option includes all scenario's in which God has chosen to use some form of natural evolution to move towards a future and more ideal design.

2. God has created mankind perfectly, or at least very good, but through some other factor corruption entered the otherwise good design.

In both cases, God may have sufficient reasons to allow this corruption to last until He implements His final and perfect plan.
Henrik
1 / 5 (9) Jan 18, 2012
It's axiomatic you lunatic


No it is not. And anger is a sign of weakness. Try to stay polite and rational if you can. Be blessed.
Deathclock
2.9 / 5 (17) Jan 18, 2012
1. God is not finished with creation yet.


Yet here I live, and in this time I had to have 4 teeth surgically extracted from my skull. Ergo, god intentionally designed ME with a flaw, or god made a mistake in designing ME.

This option includes all scenario's in which God has chosen to use some form of natural evolution to move towards a future and more ideal design.


Oh so now you believe in evolution? How quickly you abandon your own nonsense when pressed...

God has created mankind perfectly, or at least very good, but through some other factor corruption entered the otherwise good design.


In this case god made a mistake, part of the design is to anticipate things like this. I can design a car that looks awesome that falls apart when it hits a pothole... you're saying that's a good design just because potholes weren't anticipated?
Deathclock
2.6 / 5 (15) Jan 18, 2012
It's axiomatic you lunatic


No it is not. And anger is a sign of weakness. Try to stay polite and rational if you can. Be blessed.


You're right I am angry, the shit you peddle is both an insult to the extremely intelligent people who devote their entire lives to the pursuit of knowledge and the advancement of the human race and also a dangerous message intended to spread a plague of ignorance to the unknowing and impressionable. So yes, it makes me angry when someone tries to convince others of their utter nonsense to the detriment of our society.

...and anger is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of humanity.
Sinister1811
3 / 5 (16) Jan 18, 2012
I don't know about anyone else, but I didn't read the title as:
Scientists replicate key CREATION step in life on earth
Henrik
1 / 5 (9) Jan 18, 2012
Yet here I live


Does it bother you that you are not the finished product and work on you is still ongoing?

Ergo, god intentionally designed


Non sequitur.

Oh so now you believe in evolution


Try to distinguish between arguments and beliefs.

In this case god made a mistake


The car manufacturer is not responsible for the damage when the driver knows the instructions but decides to run his vehicle into a brick wall.
Henrik
1 / 5 (9) Jan 18, 2012
You're right I am angry ....


Now you have become the drama queen of Physorg. My contention is rather that you are angry because your initial air of superiority has been checked, and that makes you mad. Let the reader decide which is more likely.
Deathclock
3 / 5 (16) Jan 18, 2012
Does it bother you that you are not the finished product and work on you is still ongoing?


It bothers your argument, that's why you are deflecting.

I am a human, and I am alive, and I am flawed. Either your god designed me with flaws intentionally or your god made a mistake.

Which is it?

Try to distinguish between arguments and beliefs.


Do you make a habit of making arguments that you don't even believe yourself?

The car manufacturer is not responsible for the damage when the driver knows the instructions but decides to run his vehicle into a brick wall.


That wasn't the analogy.

God didn't just design the car, he designed the roads, and everything else. You think god designed everything, so if god designed everything and humans still have too many teeth to fit in their mouth he either intentionally designed us with that flaw or he made a mistake in his design of us or of our environment if it was caused by the environment.
caitlincatwest
5 / 5 (9) Jan 18, 2012
Now you have become the drama queen of Physorg. My contention is rather that you are angry because your initial air of superiority has been checked, and that makes you mad. Let the reader decide which is more likely.


I, the reader, deduce that the writer of the above quote be far too intellectually inferior to carry on an intelligent conversation with people who actually know what the heck they're talking about.

I, the reader, also suggest that said commenter educate himself before he makes a fool of himself any further.

http://talkorigin...indexcc/

Have fun.

P.S. Where's that evidence? We're going on nearly 24 hours with no response.
Deathclock
2.7 / 5 (14) Jan 18, 2012
I'll save you some time... you are going to assert that it is our fault that we have too many teeth... somehow something we did using our god-given free will caused this to happen, right? I know this will be where we end up because it is the last place you can fall back to, because I have had this argument many times.

First, I'd like to state that the idea that humans are somehow responsible for our own biological flaws is lunacy...

Second, we can move this discussion right along to free will if you would like, and I will tell you that free will is impossible given an omniscient god, so you tell me, does free will not exist or is god not omniscient?
Deathclock
3 / 5 (16) Jan 18, 2012
So to recap, either god designed us intentionally flawed, god made a mistake in our design, or somehow humans caused our own biological flaws through free will and in that case god cannot be omniscient.

Either way, the bible is wrong. I don't know if you are particularly arguing in favor of the judeo-christian god or some other god of your own delusions, but any way you slice it god cannot be a perfect being, but a flawed being, so why call him god instead of "alien"
TheGhostofOtto1923
4 / 5 (25) Jan 18, 2012
For instance, it is completely possible that the human condition is not a reflection of God's final plan.
Wha... are you saying that humans are still evolving??? You must be wrong because the bible says we are created in gods image.
Why would God be complex? The definition of God is a bodyless, immaterial Mind, which is a remarkable simple concept.
Yeah but as he must monitor everything in the universe and know both its entire past and its entire future, he would have to be at least as complex as this implies. He could NOT be simpler than the sum total of all that which we can detect. Right?
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.1 / 5 (22) Jan 18, 2012
You know, if henrik is not referring to evolution he must be talking about the original sin, before which humans WERE perfect but because we gave in to temptation, we began to decrepitate.

But this is not how it LOOKS. We examine humanity and the fossil record and we can see a clear progression of changes which resulted in our current configuration.

We see these vestigial items within us and within other animals and we can clearly discern in most cases what functions they used to serve and why they are no longer needed.

There is no indication that these were ADDED to either humans or whales or snakes et al, and whether we or they ever existed in a more perfect state at any time in the past.

Henriks god left this evidence for us to examine. It tells us a very clear and consistant story. If his god fabricated this evidence in order to mislead us then he is indeed a very deceptive god. Perhaps he and satan had so much fun with Job they thought they would replay the joke?
TheGhostofOtto1923
4 / 5 (21) Jan 18, 2012
And the argument that we cannot understand gods intentions does NOT play. Your god left this evidence henrik. Like I say the more we learn from it the clearer and more consistant the story becomes. If this story originates in the mind of your god it was conceived to deceive.

We examine the archeological and geologic records and we can see that the bible stories are fabrications as well. No flood, no exodus, no solomonic/davidic kingdoms, no genocidal joshuan rampage... nothing.

And so what are we to conclude about the story of our fall from grace and our resultant bad backs, wisdom teeth, and PMS? Your god has a proven record of flummery. What have you to say in his defense?

If he lied about the Red Sea/sea of reeds and jericho, then how can we possibly swallow that nonsense about immortality and preferential wish-granting?
kochevnik
3.2 / 5 (9) Jan 19, 2012
Henrik's god is some kind of omnipotent bohemian hippie or some being that doesn't give a damn about his own writings and lets Satan run the show. Basically his god is a deadbeat dad. Q in Star Trek comes to mind.
Jorsher
5 / 5 (5) Jan 19, 2012
The car manufacturer is not responsible for the damage when the driver knows the instructions but decides to run his vehicle into a brick wall.


Yeah Deathclock; quit growing wisdom teeth!
Jorsher
5 / 5 (6) Jan 19, 2012
God planned to create people in his image, planned for them to sin (or did not stop them), despite them having no knowledge of "sin" to avoid it. Despite knowing it would happen, before creating them, he still doomed the rest of us to an eternity in hell. He sent his own son, knowing fully that he would be killed, and then dooming all generations to pay for it.

Basically, he knowingly created situations that would lead to our eternal punishment, unless we decide to throw out logic and tangible evidence to believe he exists. Oh, lard, thou art so awesome and loving!

No thanks. I prefer to just rot in the ground.
GDM
5 / 5 (2) Jan 19, 2012
OK, let me see if I can sum up all of the above.
Assuming that god exists, he is f**king with us. That is not very nice, so I would have to conclude that god is really EVIL (sound of rolling thunder). As I have seen no evidence of the existance of "god", the only thing that remains is a remote possibility of beings superior to humankind on some planet waaay out there...or not.
panorama
5 / 5 (3) Jan 19, 2012
I created my own ghod, well someone else created him, I just found him. He's a small wooden statue with one missing foot. He wholeheartedly backs evolution. When I asked him about it he said, "How the hell should I know, I'm just a wooden statue."

Also, Henrik, your level of crazy is rather appealing. Evolutionarily speaking, of course.
panorama
5 / 5 (1) Jan 19, 2012
Henrik's god is some kind of omnipotent bohemian hippie or some being that doesn't give a damn about his own writings and lets Satan run the show. Basically his god is a deadbeat dad. Q in Star Trek comes to mind.

Q would be a lot more fun to have as a ghod. Much more fun than Henrik's boring outdated ghod. I'll believe in any ghod portrayed by John De Lancie...or that's made of wood.
Henrik
1 / 5 (6) Jan 19, 2012
free will is impossible given an omniscient god


This is yet another non sequitur. There is no logical contradiction between an all knowing God and the creation of humans as beings of free will. It is in fact quite possible that God would know the free willed response of every person under every circumstance in advance. This way God respects the free will of every human being, and at the same time is in full control.
Henrik
1 / 5 (5) Jan 19, 2012
God planned to create people in his image, planned for them to sin (or did not stop them


Not al all. The existence of sin is a necessary by-product of the creation of autonomous beings who have the free will to obey or disobey God. According to the Bible, God did warn Adam and Eve about the terrible consequence if sin. They decided to ignore that warning and sin anyway.

However, in His wisdom God planned to take on flesh one day and suffer for all sins so His creation could walk away free. That is why He said: let us create man in our own image. That image is Jesus Christ.

Naturally born human beings are not created in this image yet, so work on us is still ongoing until we freely decide to either reject or accept the image of Christ.

Those people who freely reject Christ will not be able to enter heaven, which is Gods final and perfect design of the universe. These people have chosen to suffer an eternal life of sin away from the God they have freely rejected.
Henrik
1 / 5 (4) Jan 19, 2012
god is really EVIL


No, the answer is that humans commit sin out of their own free will. God has done His part throughout history to redeem people. These stories can (in condensed form) be found in the Bible. His final offer is His own flesh and blood Jesus.

There is no logical contradiction between the existence of evil and God being perfect and good. Atheists have tried to find that connection, but have failed. God may have perfectly sound reasons to allow evil to exist for a limited amount of time. As soon as God has implemented His eternal plan of perfection, sin and evil will be an infinitesimally small event in light of the eternity that is to come.

Every human being has the complete free will to spend eternity suffering in sin in hell or rejoicing in righteoussness in heaven. All the information is available, so no person can accuse God when he is shut out of heaven on the day of resurrection. God can simply say: I do not know you because you rejected me first.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.8 / 5 (17) Jan 19, 2012
That is why He said: let us create man in our own image. That image is Jesus Christ.
Not according to every jew and moslem, and quite a few xians you may want to ask. I love how you guys like to rewrite your book to say whatever you want.

26 Then God said, "Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."

27 So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it."

Adam was perfect and immortal. His punishment for eating of the tree was mortality and suffering.

"17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die."

-The book is very clear on this.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.8 / 5 (17) Jan 19, 2012
And what is THIS supposed to mean??
These stories can (in condensed form) be found in the Bible.
Again you imply that there is a more perfect word than the word of god?? Would this be the more correct interpretation of his word, which can only be found coming from YOU?

You choose in your audacity to reinterpret the word of god. So do many many others EXACTLY like you, and you all interpret it differently.

And to boot, none of you nor even the book itself can correctly interpret what must be gods final and most perfect word of all - the natural world. The book fails miserably to describe it.

The book even fails to describe what scientists can find out for themselves about the stories in the book, simply by digging around and looking for evidence that they actually happened. They find nothing. The stories are all false.

How do you interpret this most embarrassing disconnect henrik?
Freefall
5 / 5 (3) Jan 19, 2012
So, Henrik...

You ask for Atheists to "Convincinly refute every valid argument for the existence of God".
Toss some of those 'valid' arguments out there. Please ensure you only include the valid ones.

As a side request, please do not quote a random part of this post that has nothing to do with the request and respond to it instead, ignoring the request entirely. A large portion of your responses have been exactly that, and I would like to avoid it if at all possible. Thank you.
Henrik
1 / 5 (2) Jan 19, 2012
They find nothing. The stories are all false


The topic of Bible inerrancy is an interesting, but totally different matter alltogether. This thread so far is concerned with the fact that a belief in the existence of God is based on solid, rational arguments. In fact the existence of God is necessary to prevent the universe becoming utterly meaningless, a-moral and inexplicable.

But to give just a brief response. I think there are very good reasons to assume that the Bible stories of Genesis are in fact historical rather than mythical or metaphorical. The reason is that the Bible material is at least generally consistent with the natural. But I do not exclude the possibility that for instance the creation account is a meta-narrative.

But all this is irrelevant for the existence of God and His final plan with the universe and humanity. Those plans we can infer just as well from the words of Jesus Christ or the writings of the apostles and church fathers.
Henrik
1 / 5 (2) Jan 19, 2012
Toss some of those 'valid' arguments out there


There are many. I mentioned the moral argument already:

(1) Without God, no objective moral rules and values exist
If atheism is true, morals would be social or biological constructs subject to change
(2) There are objective moral rules and values
Human experience shows that some things are objectively wrong, such as child abuse, the holocaust or discrimination against homosexuals
(3) From 1 and 2 it flows logically that God exists.
Only if God exists, do we have an obligation to act morally.

The usual responses include the Euthyphro dilemma, moral platonism or equating morality to maximum happiness. All of those are easily refuted however.

Sometimes atheists bring up the probem of evil, but that is irrelevant to the existence of God as lawgiver. Others give a social or moral critique of religion. But in fact evil deeds of believers just reinforce the moral argument not weaken it.

It's a pretty solid argument.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.8 / 5 (16) Jan 19, 2012
But all this is irrelevant for the existence of God and His final plan with the universe and humanity.
Not really. What we know of god and jesus come directly from the bible. If it is describing these things in the context of other things which are known to be false then we must have doubt in god and jesus.
Without God, no objective moral rules and values exist
If atheism is true, morals would be social or biological constructs subject to change
Why would biological requisites be subject to change? I gave you an understandable source for human morality which is wholly biological; the dynamics of the tribe.
http://rechten.el...RID2.pdf

This dynamic is described succinctly and further refined in the OT.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.8 / 5 (16) Jan 19, 2012
"Primeval man", [darwin] argued, "regarded actions as good or bad solely as they obviously affected the welfare of the tribe, not of the species". Among the living tribal peoples, he added, "the virtues are practised almost exclusively in relation to the men of the same tribe" and the corresponding vices "are not regarded as crimes" if practised on other tribes (Darwin, 1871, Vol. I: 182, 179).

-What about the structure of religions DOESNT this describe? What about the stories in the OT doesnt this explain?

Leaders early on learned how to extend their authority by institutionalizing this dynamic. With clever embellishments it enabled the israelites to conquer canaan while resisting the dilution of their identity. It was a brilliant, though totally human, innovation.

Jesus and paul only showed the world how to effect conquest from within, through revolution. Again, thoroughly man-made.
Henrik
1 / 5 (2) Jan 19, 2012
If it is describing these things in the context of other things which are known to be false


There are problems with this statement. Any judgement in terms of false and true must be based on an objective standard or truth. Atheists do not have such a standard. What we have is indirect observation of historical events through documents and archeology.

Second, stories like the flood and the creation account could be metaphorical. In fact many Christians regard them that way. These stories for them convey a higher truth: God as Creator of the universe and the impending judgment of God for sin.

Third, Bible narratives like the flood could be literally true just as well. There is no conclusive evidence against that interpretation. In fact, some Christians insist that the Genesis accounts are more consistent with the natural than for instance Darwinism. This is called creationism. One may not agree with it in full (I don't), but it is a logically defensible position to hold.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.8 / 5 (16) Jan 19, 2012
Your religions all still demand exclusivity. 'Only through jesus christ.' This pits you all against one another.

Irrespective of what you and they all preach, this means inevitable conflict, suffering, sacrifice, and slaughter, because an inseparable part of this equation is your obsession with reproductive aggression. 'FILL UP THE EARTH' is not a request. It is your Prime Directive.

This is where the edgy ecumenicism of dormancy gives way to outward hostility, when the children of the Chosen begin to starve.

Again you all SAY the same things. You all CLAIM to know the source of goodness and peace. But youre always ready and willing to kill and die in droves, in the most amoral of ways, in order to PROVE it arent you?
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.8 / 5 (17) Jan 19, 2012
There are problems with this statement. Any judgement in terms of false and true must be based on an objective standard or truth.
Sorry I wont be sucked into phoney philosophical discussions. You all SAY the very same things in millions of very clever and practiced ways. Thousands of priests and gurus have spent centuries on the public dole refining your arguments.

You seem to be overlooking an important one though. The REASON that god had to sacrifice his only begotten son was because of the original sin. Had not adam succumbed, jesus would never have had to die. I think paul says this somewhere, yes?

Xian guilt is an important part of your particular mantra and this is the source of it. Jesus on the cross was not inevitable.
Third, Bible narratives like the flood could be literally true just as well. There is no conclusive evidence against that interpretation.
No as ethelred will tell you there was simply no time for the flood to happen. Right ET?
Henrik
1 / 5 (2) Jan 19, 2012
source for human morality which is wholly biological


Three fundamental problems I see with a socio-biological foundation for morality:

First, socio-biological constructs are not objective. Objective moral values would hold everywhere, regardless of culture, history or human opinion. The holocaust would also be a bad thing on Pluto.

Second, the truth of a moral value is independent of how that value came about in terms of human experience. This can be understood from our understanding of the natural world. Before we came to understand the electron, electrons did exist.

Third, the social biological account is self-defeating. It presupposes evolution, and within evolution everything is the result of socio-biological processes. This means that the socio-biological argument itself is just the result of the same process. But a natural process cannot prove its own veracity.
Freefall
5 / 5 (1) Jan 19, 2012

(1) Without God, no objective moral rules and values exist
If atheism is true, morals would be social or biological constructs subject to change

Morals are NOT social constructs? They vary from society to society.

(2) There are objective moral rules and values
Human experience shows that some things are objectively wrong, such as child abuse, the holocaust or discrimination against homosexuals

Why are those things wrong? Aside from that notion being ingrained into us since birth. I think we lack a control group for either point to be proven. I think that 'feral humans' would behave quite similarly to animals, killing and raping when it suits them. [yeah, the last part is a bit of an assumption, but it can be seen in less 'civil' populations.

(3) From 1 and 2 it flows logically that God exists.
Only if God exists, do we have an obligation to act morally.

So...because we truly have no OBLIGATION to act morally...where does that leave your claim?
Henrik
1 / 5 (3) Jan 19, 2012
Your religions all still demand exclusivity


Aha, the old religious pluralism objection. Allow me:

1. Religious pluralism is a fallacious ad hominem argument
2. Religious pluralism itself might be wrong, for it also demands exclusivity
3. It is often based on the genetic fallacy: however the truth of something is not defined by it's way of origin
4. Religious pluralism is a worldview of its own which has roots in the culture of western post-modernism

Let me provide you the more logical approach: if indeed objective truth exists as I have shown earlier, then logically one of the religions must be true, and all others false. The true one could be Christianity, or pluralism, or atheism or buddhism etc. But the most likely candidate for truth is based on the best evidence. And Christiany has by far the best papers so far.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.8 / 5 (17) Jan 19, 2012
One thing to understand is that what religionists see as the immoral practices of secular society are endorsed primarily to reduce population growth in exactly the same way that religious mores are configured to maximize it.

The strictest religious cultures allow women to do NOTHING else but make and raise children. Charity is invariably meant for families which have grown too large to support themselves. Physical appearance is standardized and disguised to reduce the temptation to stray. And deviation from these mores carries the worst of punishments.

Religions may moderate these mores but they never abandon them. Secular western society has legitimized alternative sexual activities which do not lead to conception. and it has given both sexes meaningful alternatives to procreation.

This is due in part to our tropical reproductive rate. But religions seek to MAXIMIZE this rate and this has resulted in equally bizarre and draconian social measures designed to compensate for it.
Freefall
5 / 5 (1) Jan 19, 2012
Objective moral values would hold everywhere, regardless of culture, history or human opinion.

Some cultures have no qualms with murder, rape, sodomizing children, ergo those being 'bad' are not Objective moral values.
The holocaust would also be a bad thing on Pluto.

In your opinion...

But the most likely candidate for truth is based on the best evidence. And Christiany has by far the best papers so far.

I have yet to see such 'evidence'.
Henrik
1 / 5 (2) Jan 19, 2012
such as child abuse, the holocaust or discrimination against homosexuals

Why are those things wrong?


I rest my case. Clearly the more rational approach is to consider these things objectively morally wrong. You are in fact saying that child abuse could be a good thing to do. Do you see the level of perverse thinking your atheism has lead you to?
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.8 / 5 (16) Jan 19, 2012
The holocaust would also be a bad thing on Pluto.
But not to joshua or gideon eh? God even condoned incest when his adherents perceived that they were the last of their kind. So does nature by the way.

'Everything is beautiful in its own time... There is a [Proper] time for everything under the sun.' In other words, defeat is NOT an option.
Henrik
1 / 5 (2) Jan 19, 2012
ergo those being 'bad' are not Objective moral values


You have misunderstood the word objective here. Objective means independent of culture, human opinion and time. You are also making the classical mistake of confusing moral epistemology with moral ontology.

The fact that societies and people violate objective moral codes does not mean they do not exist. Even if Hitler had convinced the whole earth that gassing the Jews was a decent thing to do, it would still be morally wrong.
Henrik
1 / 5 (2) Jan 19, 2012
But not to joshua or gideon eh


At the risk of repeating myself: Biblical inerrancy is a different topic. I would be happy to discuss at some point, but not now. You know, when two grownups have a debate they usually don't jump from topic to topic like little children.

Right now we are discussing the moral argument for the existence of God. If you have any contribution to make to that, then feel free to do so.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.8 / 5 (16) Jan 19, 2012
But the most likely candidate for truth is based on the best evidence. And Christiany has by far the best papers so far.
Ha! Not according to the saracens who are massing on the other side of the hill.

I know youre feeling very civil at the moment in stating this, but islam in many parts of the world are feeling the effects of enforced population growth more acutely than you.

And their god tells them their suffering is your fault. Just as your god would if you were in their shoes. And you have been, so to speak, and you WILL be, no doubt. Because in their function, your religions are IDENTICAL. Theirs is a little more refined model perhaps. Mach X.3
You know, when two grownups have a debate they usually don't jump from topic to topic like little children.
Which is why you brought up the holocaust? I only countered with an identical example. Your god CONDONES holocausts in certain circumstances... like the flood. Nazis took inspiration from joshua you know.
Deathclock
2.3 / 5 (12) Jan 19, 2012
Henrik, judging by the responses thus far and the ratings it is evident that no one here is drinking your koolaid... I'd like to know what motivates you to keep posting, because personally the more you say the more I am convinced that you are a lunatic and this magical sky fairy that you are talking about is a figment of your own imagination.
Deathclock
1.8 / 5 (10) Jan 19, 2012
(1) Without God, no objective moral rules and values exist
If atheism is true, morals would be social or biological constructs subject to change


And? Who cares...

(2) There are objective moral rules and values
Human experience shows that some things are objectively wrong, such as child abuse, the holocaust or discrimination against homosexuals


These things are largely agreed upon due to the similarities that most humans share. The fact that we can agree on something in no way implies that there exists an objective standard separate from us and our mutual agreement.

(3) From 1 and 2 it flows logically that God exists.
Only if God exists, do we have an obligation to act morally.


1 is irrelevant and 2 is flawed logic.

It's a pretty solid argument.


It's a shit argument.
kaasinees
1.7 / 5 (6) Jan 19, 2012
First, *blabla non-sense talk* The holocaust would also be a bad thing on Pluto.
'
Holocaust, the jewish word for german inquisition.

Second, the truth of a moral value is independent *blablbablbal* Before we came to understand the electron, electrons did exist.

A moral value can be true or false? Since when? Stop trying to make sense! Yes morals existed before your religion came to due, ever heard of plato?

Third, *balbalbalbal nonsense* But a natural process cannot prove its own veracity.

You are talking but only shit comes out. Every multi cellular life form has to some degree a moral value otherwise cells would never be able to cooperate. Geuss what?! Single cellular organisms dont give a damn! And when they gave a damn they crushed their single cellular organisms and survived many attacks, look evolution.
Henrik
1 / 5 (3) Jan 19, 2012
Henrik, judging by the responses thus far and the ratings it is evident that no one here is drinking your koolaid


A baseless assumption as usual. I receive (anonymous)endorsements through this site on a daily basis. The reality is that Physorg is dominated by a very, very small group of agressive atheists that spoil the debate by intimidation and foul mouthing. This site has by far the lowest standards when it comes to human decency and intelligence of arguments.

You yourself are a fine example of this kind of moral and intellectual degradation by your cursing and bad reasoning.

But your time is up. In fact atheism is on it's way out, even in the west. Naturalism just doesn't have the answers for mankinds problems amymore.
Deathclock
1.8 / 5 (10) Jan 19, 2012
Henrik is a fool, he considers widespread agreements, which are due to the similarities that each human shares, as evidence of an objective moral standard when all it is evidence of is our similarities.

All humans posses the desire to be free from force and coercion, this does not make force or coercion objectively wrong, it makes it mutually agreed upon to be wrong BY HUMANS.

Something that is an objective truth does not depend on subjective valuation. Mathematics for example are objective, no one's opinion determines the result of an addition operation. This is wholly unlike moral valuation, where the moral value of a given scenario is utterly determined by the person considering that scenario. When widespread or close to mutual agreement can be reached we form codes of conduct (aka laws) regarding those agreements, to protect against the individuals that do not agree.

This is reality. If you give a damn about understanding reality listen to me, not this fool Henrik.
Henrik
1 / 5 (4) Jan 19, 2012
Holocaust, the jewish word for german inquisition


Do I need to say more? Are people like him considered the future of humanity? Is this the level of intelligence that atheism strives for? Pathetic.
Deathclock
2.1 / 5 (11) Jan 19, 2012
A baseless assumption as usual.


It's not an assumption when it is right here in black and white. No one agrees with you. We are all laughing at you.

I receive (anonymous)endorsements through this site on a daily basis.


I bet you do buddy, I bet you do.

The reality is that Physorg is dominated by a very, very small group of agressive atheists that spoil the debate by intimidation and foul mouthing.


The reality is physorg is a community dedicated to the advancement of the human race through the scientific method. You fire worshipers, snake eaters, and incense burners are not welcome to proselytize your bullshit all over the place.

You yourself are a fine example of this kind of moral and intellectual degradation by your cursing and bad reasoning.


What are you 5? Oh no bad words mommy help!

In fact atheism is on it's way out, even in the west.


HAHAHA you are delusional, I can give you several prominent sources stating the exact opposite.
Deathclock
1.8 / 5 (10) Jan 19, 2012
NPR: Atheism on the Rise in the US:
http://www.npr.or...11885128

ABC News: The rise of Atheism:
http://abcnews.go...gb2_y98M

The Pew Forum Religious Landscape Survey:
http://religions.pewforum.org/

Demographics of Atheism:
http://en.wikiped..._atheism

The fastest growing religion is no religion:
http://blog.belie...-re.html

I can do this all day. There are HUNDREDS of reports and studies and surveys that show that Atheism is the fastest growing position concerning god and religion, not only in the US but around the world. The pew forum poll shows that TWENTY FIVE PERCENT of Americans under age 25 do not believe in god. Christianity, on the other hand, is steadily losing ground...

You are wrong, you speak out of your ass, or you blatantly lie. I would hope it is not the latter or you would be both a lyer and a hypocrite.
Henrik
1 / 5 (2) Jan 19, 2012
it makes it mutually agreed upon to be wrong BY HUMANS.


In no way does this undermine either premise 1 or 2. The question is not that humans agree, but why do humans agree on moral standards?

The most likely answer is that these standards exist as objective truths, independent of culture and biology. The alternative, that they are arbitrary by-products of evolution, does not explain why people feel compelled to consider things like child rape a moral evil.

So the most plausible explanation for human moral behavior is not majority opinion or biology but simply that premise 2 is true.
kaasinees
2.1 / 5 (7) Jan 19, 2012
Holocaust, the jewish word for german inquisition


Do I need to say more? Are people like him considered the future of humanity? Is this the level of intelligence that atheism strives for? Pathetic.

So you have no clue what the "holocaust" was about? Ok then, i supose your ignorant kind filled with lies is the future.

http://demotivate...gion.jpg
Deathclock
1.8 / 5 (10) Jan 19, 2012
In no way does this undermine either premise 1 or 2. The question is not that humans agree, but why do humans agree on moral standards?


Yes it does, your lack of understand your own faulty logic is not my problem.

The most likely answer is that these standards exist as objective truths, independent of culture and biology.


Oh, the most likely answer huh? According to who, you?

The most likely answer is that humans all share certain similarities so of course we will all like certain things and dislike certain things, for christ sake is this really that hard? All humans feel pain, so the vast majority of humans dislike being stabbed in the gut... well golly gee according to you that means it must be an objective truth... not just a mutual agreement.

The alternative, that they are arbitrary by-products of evolution, does not explain why people feel compelled to consider things like child rape a moral evil.


Of course it does, if you understood empathy worth a damn
Deathclock
2.1 / 5 (11) Jan 19, 2012
The fact that you think there must be an objective law giver to TELL you not to rape a child or stab someone in the gut is very scary.

How weak and pathetic you must consider yourself, to not belief that you would know how to behave morally without god telling you.

Pathetic. You must think you are an idiot... maybe you are and that is why you believe what you believe because you are not intelligent enough to empower yourself with the ability to do right on your own without the guidance of your sky daddy. Grow the fuck up and learn that you, on your own, can understand right from wrong and you do not need the security blanket that is your imaginary friend "god"
Henrik
1 / 5 (2) Jan 19, 2012
All humans feel pain, so the vast majority of humans dislike being stabbed in the gut...


How does that undermine premise 2? The fact that humans share feelings of pain does not prove at all that objective moral values do not exist, this is a non sequitur. To the contrary, moral behavior is sometimes very painful but people still do it. For instance saving another life at the risk of serious personal harm is considered morally good.

Avoidance of pain and striving for happiness are never a good foundation for moral behavior, because they are intrinsically subjective. For instance, the amount of pain that speaking the truth could cause, should not be a reason to conclude that lying is morally ok.
Deathclock
1.8 / 5 (10) Jan 19, 2012
You know what, I am tired of your pathetic argument about objective morality, which has been systematically dismantled. Instead, let's talk about my theory, that "god" is a security blanket for insecure and afraid people that never quite grew up into self sufficient adults.

"God" replaced the role of your father as you grew into adulthood. You never quite matured mentally to the point of self-sufficiency and have always relied on being told what to do, afraid or incapable of making those decisions for yourself. As you passed that age where society deems it inappropriate for your human parents to baby you like they did as a child you found god was able to fill that role quite nicely. Now, you don't have to think for yourself, you don't have to be concerned with whether or not you are doing the right thing, all you have to do is listen to what god tells you through the bible and through your delusions of your "personal relationship" with Jesus.
Freefall
5 / 5 (3) Jan 19, 2012

I rest my case. Clearly the more rational approach is to consider these things objectively morally wrong. You are in fact saying that child abuse could be a good thing to do. Do you see the level of perverse thinking your atheism has lead you to?

One, you don't rest your case, you are going to continue ranting about it until we tire of you and move on to something else.
Secondly, It is cold logic and fact, not perverse thinking. Also, atheism did not lead me to logical thought, quite the other way around...
And (C), You are doing your cause more harm than good.
Your ramblings about morals and semantics do nothing to further your efforts as well.

Ah well, as Deathclock says this whole thing has turned into a "shit argument". You spout crap off, we simply ask for proof, or we counterpoint, you go off on another pre-fab tangent, we try again, repeat.

'twas, entertaining
later o/
Deathclock
1.8 / 5 (10) Jan 19, 2012
All humans feel pain, so the vast majority of humans dislike being stabbed in the gut...


The fact that humans share feelings of pain does not prove at all that objective moral values do not exist


You can't follow a simple argument. I did not set out to prove that objective morality does not exist, I set out to demonstrate that the evidence that YOU gave for objective morality was not evidence at all, and I did that by providing a perfectly plausible alternative explanation.
Henrik
2 / 5 (4) Jan 19, 2012
The fact that you think there must be an objective law giver to TELL you not to rape a child


First of all, I did not make that claim. You are attacking a straw man. Second, how does that undermine premise 1 or 2? I do not see the logical connection.

In fact without God and objective moral values, you could not even make any moral judgement about me or anyone else, because in atheism all moral values are subjective.
Henrik
1 / 5 (3) Jan 19, 2012
You never quite ...


The whole thing is a hopeless straw man. You don't know me so yet another idle assumption. I thought atheism was all about rationality and facts?
Deathclock
1.8 / 5 (10) Jan 19, 2012
The fact that you think there must be an objective law giver to TELL you not to rape a child


First of all, I did not make that claim.


You don't have to, it is the necessary consequence of your position.

In fact without God and objective moral values, you could not even make any moral judgement about me or anyone else, because in atheism all moral values are subjective.


Wait, you just said I cannot make a moral judgement if objective morality does not exist because all moral values are subjective... are you confused? I certainly can make a moral judgement about anything without the existence of objective morality... and I do all the time, as do we all. And when most of us agree on our own subjective moral valuation we use that consensus of opinion to form codes of conduct and laws.
Deathclock
2.1 / 5 (11) Jan 19, 2012
The fact that you think there must be an objective law giver to TELL you not to rape a child


First of all, I did not make that claim.


Either you need god to tell you not to rape a child, or you don't. If you do, you are pathetic and I feel sorry for you, if you don't, then you must possess the ability to reach moral conclusions absent of god... which defeats your entire argument.

So which is it?
Henrik
1 / 5 (2) Jan 19, 2012
I did not set out to prove that objective morality does not exist...


in no way implies that there exists an objective standard


Hmm, how would that be called in terms of logic. Self-contradiction perhaps? Lying? Just being confused?
Deathclock
1.8 / 5 (10) Jan 19, 2012
I did not set out to prove that objective morality does not exist...


in no way implies that there exists an objective standard


Hmm, how would that be called in terms of logic. Self-contradiction perhaps? Lying? Just being confused?


I don't know how you think those two statements are contradictory... they are not.

This is getting ridiculous. I'll explain this one more time. You gave an example as evidence that objective morality must exist. I provided a plausible counter-explanation for your example that did not invoke objective morality. In doing so I defeated your proposed evidence. I was not trying to prove that objective morality does not exist, because one cannot prove a negative assumption, that is faulty logic.

You are confused. Take a second and re-read those posts if you have to.
Henrik
1 / 5 (2) Jan 19, 2012
which is it?


You are presenting the fallacy called the Euthyphro dilemma, which I have adressed earlier. The real answer is that moral values are good because they represent God's expression of His goodness. This He has planted in humans in what we call a conscience. Perhaps however conscience is a new phenomenon for you.
Deathclock
1.8 / 5 (10) Jan 19, 2012
which is it?


You are presenting the fallacy called the Euthyphro dilemma, which I have adressed earlier. The real answer is that moral values are good because they represent God's expression of His goodness. This He has planted in humans in what we call a conscience. Perhaps however conscience is a new phenomenon for you.


No, this is not the Euthyphro Dilemma, you are trying to shoe-horn it into that though.

I'll ask again. Either god needs to tell you not to rape a child or you wouldn't know not to do that, or you would know not to rape a child on your own in a world that is absent of god and his "rules".

Which is it.
Henrik
1 / 5 (2) Jan 19, 2012
I was not trying to prove that objective morality does not exist


So then we agree that premise 2 is valid, good. Objective moral values do exist. Child rape for instance is always wrong, even on the planet Mars, and even if human law would promote such an activity by majority vote.

Premise 1 still stands as well, because you have not provided any credible alternative source for objective morality apart from God. Human majority vote, avoidance of pain and general happiness are all subjective experiences.

With that you will conclude with me that from (1) and (2) it flows logically that (3) God exists.
Deathclock
2.1 / 5 (11) Jan 19, 2012
We can talk about the Euthyphro Dilemma though if you would like, as it is quite interesting.

In one case, what is good is only good because god says it is good, which means "goodness" is arbitrary and anything can be good if god says it is.

In the other case, what is good is good on it's own merits and god says it is good because it simply is good. This implies that goodness is ABOVE god, is BEYOND god, and god cannot change what is good

One alternative makes goodness subjective, which you are arguing against, and the other alternative limits the power of god and puts properties of reality above and beyond him.

Which is it?
Henrik
1 / 5 (2) Jan 19, 2012
Either god needs to tell you not to rape a child or you wouldn't know not to do that, or you would know not ...


This is not a coherent sentence for me to respond to. Yes, you did present the Euthrypho dilemma but in slightly different and somewhat confused wording.
Deathclock
1.8 / 5 (10) Jan 19, 2012
I was not trying to prove that objective morality does not exist


So then we agree that premise 2 is valid, good.


Are you insane or have you given up?

You gave an example as evidence for objective morality, I defeated that example by providing a solution that did not rely on objective morality.

What the fuck gives you the idea that my refutation of your evidence for objective morality means that I suddenly agree with you?

Seriously if you can't keep up this discussion will quickly lose it's novelty.

This is not a coherent sentence for me to respond to. Yes, you did present the Euthrypho dilemma but in slightly different and somewhat confused wording.


No it is not, I just stated the Euthrypho dilemma, which is completely different. Either you are woefully confused or you are deflecting and avoiding my arguments.
Henrik
1 / 5 (5) Jan 19, 2012
Which is it?


The answer to the Euthrypho dilemma is that there is a better, third posibility, namely that God's laws are good because God Himself is good. Goodness is part of God's being. The moral values He has left in the human experience are simply a deliberate expression of His goodness. That solves the dilemma.
Deathclock
1.8 / 5 (10) Jan 19, 2012
So I will ask you again, for the third time: do you or do you not need god to tell you to not rape a child?

I will also ask this a second time: Is goodness subjective and determined by god or is goodness above and beyond god and out of gods control?

The answer to the Euthrypho dilemma is that there is a better, third posibility, namely that God's laws are good because God Himself is good. Goodness is part of God's being.


Okay, so you are saying that god defines what is good, and god can define whatever he wants to be good... you just made an argument for non-existence of objective morality, since what is good is determined by god.

Are we done here? You just agreed that morality is subjective, and it is subject to the will of god.
FrankHerbert
1.4 / 5 (36) Jan 19, 2012
The answer to the Euthrypho dilemma is that there is a better, third posibility, namely that God's laws are good because God Himself is good.


Do you believe in Hell?
Deathclock
2.3 / 5 (12) Jan 19, 2012
Either goodness is subject to the will of god (making it subjective) or goodness is not subject to the will of god (making it beyond god and limiting the power of god)...

You stated that you believe the former, so you necessarily believe that morality is subjective.

I think we are done with your stupid idea of objective morality being evidence for god, since if objective morality existed it would be above and beyond the control of god, and I know you don't think that is true of anything.
Henrik
1 / 5 (3) Jan 19, 2012
You gave an example as evidence for objective morality, I defeated that example by providing a solution that did not rely on objective morality


No, I simply say that human experience is most consistent with the assumption that objective morals do exist. Child rape for instance is considered an evil by virtually all people. Why? The most plausible explanation is that is represents an objective evil that exists independently of human opinion or biology. Be careful: I am not talking in premise 2 about the origin of objective morals, nor about the fact that subjective morals can exist. Just that objective morals do exist.

So do you reject the existence of any objective moral values and duties or not?
Deathclock
1.8 / 5 (10) Jan 19, 2012
And I told you that that is NOT the most plausible explanation. The most plausible explanation is that all humans are very similar so it comes as no surprise at all that there are certain things that we all mostly agree upon.

This is simple, you're grasping for straws and it shows.
Henrik
1 / 5 (3) Jan 19, 2012
You just agreed that morality is subjective, and it is subject to the will of god


What possibly would warrant that conclusion? Objective means independent of variable human experience or opinion. God is by definition not a human but an omipotent Spirit who does not depend on human will. One of the key attributes of God is immutability which means that His morality is anything but variable.
kaasinees
2.8 / 5 (11) Jan 19, 2012
Which is it?


The answer to the Euthrypho dilemma is that there is a better, third posibility, namely that God's laws are good because God Himself is good. Goodness is part of God's being. The moral values He has left in the human experience are simply a deliberate expression of His goodness. That solves the dilemma.

Doesnt that mean that everything that happens around us is good because he created everything? Man your logic is flawed :S And please dont bring that adam and eve crap, god created them so he also was responsible for their mistakes they made. And their mistakes were good cuz god is good right.
Deathclock
2.3 / 5 (12) Jan 19, 2012
I can't believe you even brought up the Euthyphro Dilemma, as it is the nail in the coffin of your entire stupid argument.

If morality is objective then god is not the law giver, and god is not omnipotent, and god does not have freedom of will. Therefore, according to your own beliefs, morality must be subjective, and it must be subject to the will of god.

How say you, heretic?

Objective means independent of variable human experience or opinion


Objective means to not rely on a subject. God is a subject. If what is good relies on the determination of god as a subject (which can also be stated that what is good is subject to god) then morality is subjective, in that it is subject to god.
Henrik
1 / 5 (4) Jan 19, 2012
And I told you that that is NOT the most plausible explanation


Now I can accuse you of dodging the question. Let's stick to the argument and it's premises. Premise 2 states that, given human experiences that condemn many things as evil or promote others as good, objective moral values most likely do exist.

Do you deny that objective moral values (like the evil of child rape) exist or not? A simple yes or no would do.
Deathclock
2.3 / 5 (12) Jan 19, 2012
And I told you that that is NOT the most plausible explanation
Let's stick to the argument and it's premises.


I invalidated your premises...

Do you deny that objective moral values (like the evil of child rape) exist or not? A simple yes or no would do.


No I do not believe that objective moral values exist. I believe that given the similarities between individuals a widespread or near-mutual consensus of subjective moral valuations can be established for the purpose of social order and that gives an approximation of the existence of objectively true moral principles in the absence of them.
Deathclock
2.3 / 5 (12) Jan 19, 2012
Now let me ask you a simple question and get a simple answer...

How would you know the difference between an objective moral truth and one that is simply mutually agreed upon absent of any objective morality?
Henrik
1 / 5 (4) Jan 19, 2012
Objective means to not rely on a subject. God is a subject.


Objective morality is defined as independent of human reasoning and opinion. Obviously morality is subject to the will of God (everything, including the universe originates from God), but not because it exists independently of Him, but because moral values are the expression of God as the source and definition of good. You are trying to make a false distinction between the Word of God and God. But the argument says: only if God exists, can objective moral values exist.
Deathclock
2.1 / 5 (11) Jan 19, 2012
Once again you have defined subjective morality... or morality that is subject to god.

Your definition is flawed. Something that is objective exists as a property of reality independent of any other property of reality. God is a property of reality... if morality was objective it would exist independent of god.

You believe that morality is subjective, you are just too simple to understand that that is what you believe.

I am done here. If you want to continue fumbling over these concepts then please carry on, perhaps you will eventually come to your senses...
Henrik
1 / 5 (4) Jan 20, 2012
No I do not believe that objective moral values exist


Well, that puts you at odds with normal human experience. To imply that for instance child rape could under certain circumstances (through biology or majority vote) be considered morally acceptable, is less plausible than the opposite.

It is far more likely that people are morally outraged by child molestation because it presents an absolute moral abomination instead of just a human convention. I think most people would agree with me.

How would you know the difference between an objective moral truth and one that is simply mutually agreed


Because on Pluto child rape is also evil, and also in Andromeda. Second, the way in which we come to learn moral truth does not negate the plausibility of them being objective truths. The elektron is not true because humans discovered them, but because it exists independently.
caitlincatwest
5 / 5 (4) Jan 20, 2012
@Henrik

Are you ever going to do what I asked?

If your God has an effect on physical reality, then there must be some physical evidence of him somewhere. The results of his actions should be testable and thus able to prove his existence demonstrably.

All I'm seeing are weak philosophical arguments. I doubt you even looked at the link I gave, as it has refutations for practically every "argument" you've presented, including the ones for design, morality, and philosophy.

Enough of this nonsense. Show us some proof, or you're full of the worst kind of BS.
caitlincatwest
5 / 5 (5) Jan 20, 2012
This is getting extremely old.

There is absolutely no proof that objective morality exists. You first have to prove that there is a divine authority that designs the objective moral system. Which you have not done.

Get to it, or you're wrong.
Deathclock
1.8 / 5 (10) Jan 20, 2012
ugh, I could respond to all that (you missed my point entirely for the second part...) but it's not worth it since you believe in subjective morality, you've said as much yourself even if you don't recognize it...

I hope you continue to think about these concepts and eventually come to the proper conclusion, that you cannot redefine objective to any meaning that suits you, if something is subject to the will of anything, god included, then it is subjective.
Henrik
1 / 5 (3) Jan 20, 2012
subjective morality


Expressed by God, and objective to humans. And that is the point that matters. As humans we will be held accountable one day for our adherence to these objective truths. God will be the judge that day. But humans can never keep Gods laws because they are sinful. That is why God took away the sins of the world by taking on human experience and dying on the cross as Jesus. The only deadly sin in life remaining after that is to wilfully reject such a final love offer, and continue an existence in sin. God reserves the right to judge those people according to His high standards if they consistently reject His own flesh and blood.
caitlincatwest
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 20, 2012
Expressed by God, and objective to humans. And that is the point that matters. As humans we will be held accountable one day for our adherence to these objective truths. God will be the judge that day. But humans can never keep Gods laws because they are sinful. That is why God took away the sins of the world by taking on human experience and dying on the cross as Jesus. The only deadly sin in life remaining after that is to wilfully reject such a final love offer, and continue an existence in sin. God reserves the right to judge those people according to His high standards if they consistently reject His own flesh and blood.


And here we go. Proof, man! Proof!

I want to see some proof!

Is this really the best you've got? I surely hope not.
Deathclock
2.1 / 5 (11) Jan 20, 2012
Yes and Pinocchio became a real boy and snow white lived with seven dwarfs and a frog turned into a prince with the kiss of a princess and sleeping beauty slept for a thousand years and harry potter defeated Voldemort and fragglerock is inhabited by furry puppet creatures and the smurfs collect smurf berries and eve was made from adams rib and a talking snake tempted them to sin by eating an apple and yada yada yada...

If you don't recognize all that you just said as a childish fairy tale I feel bad for you.
Henrik
1 / 5 (4) Jan 20, 2012
that you cannot redefine objective to any meaning that suits you


That is incorrect. I have consistently defined objective morality in terms of independence from human opinion or biology. You are the one who is trying to redefine objective and play intellectual gymnastics, not me.
CHollman82
1.4 / 5 (19) Jan 20, 2012
that you cannot redefine objective to any meaning that suits you


That is incorrect. I have consistently defined objective morality in terms of independence from human opinion or biology. You are the one who is trying to redefine objective and play intellectual gymnastics, not me.


You have consistently defined it incorrectly...

As stated, if the value of something is subject to something else, then that thing is subjective. It doesn't matter if that thing is a human or not. Most dictionary definitions probably state human only because they consider humans the only things in existence that can make determinations. If we consider that god exists and that god can make determinations then things can be subject to the will of god, making them subjective.

If you think that god can determine what is good and bad, that god has control over that rather than it having control over god, then you think that morality is subjective and you invalidate your previous argument.
Henrik
1 / 5 (4) Jan 20, 2012
There is absolutely no proof that objective morality exists


Many people would disagree with you, and say that human experience of good and evil is most consistent with the existence of objective moral values. So in that sense there is proof, because it is unlikely that all morality is just biology or majority opinion.

For instance, would gassing Jews during the nazi holocaust be objectively evil or could it be morally acceptable in some sense according to you?
CHollman82
1.2 / 5 (19) Jan 20, 2012
There is absolutely no proof that objective morality exists


Many people would disagree with you, and say that human experience of good and evil is most consistent with the existence of objective moral values. So in that sense there is proof, because it is unlikely that all morality is just biology or majority opinion


It is not proof and deathclock explained to you several times now why it is not proof. At this point you appear to be shoving your fingers in your ears and shouting "LA LA LA IM NOT LISTENING"
caitlincatwest
5 / 5 (2) Jan 20, 2012
Many people would disagree with you, and say that human experience of good and evil is most consistent with the existence of objective moral values. So in that sense there is proof, because it is unlikely that all morality is just biology or majority opinion.

For instance, would gassing Jews during the nazi holocaust be objectively evil or could it be morally acceptable in some sense according to you?


Of course many people would disagree with me. Probably closed-minded bigots like yourself that think they know it all. I would deem it immoral, but obviously the people doing it would not.

Would you consider mass homicide of other nations' innocents by Moses' followers at the command of God moral? Because apparently if God tells you to do it, it's a-okay. And don't bother trying to tell me that they deserved it because they were sinful. I fail to see how the virgins they kidnapped and all the male and female children they slaughtered would be considered sinners.
CHollman82
1.4 / 5 (19) Jan 20, 2012
Does anyone else besides me wonder why Henrik keeps posting? He is not accomplishing anything at all here. Henrik, if your goal is to convince someone of your tales you should look for a medium populated by less intelligent individuals. A website devoted to science and technology is a poor choice, perhaps you can find a forum filled with impressionable kids or something if you want to indoctrinate people.

Actually, please don't do that.
Henrik
1 / 5 (5) Jan 20, 2012
Would you consider


How about just answering the question? Is according to you the mass killing of Jews an objective evil or not? If not, then please explain how there could be some good in there after all. Or are you afraid to give an answer?
caitlincatwest
5 / 5 (2) Jan 20, 2012
Would you consider


How about just answering the question? Is according to you the mass killing of Jews an objective evil or not? If not, then please explain how there could be some good in there after all. Or are you afraid to give an answer?


I did answer your question. Read again.

I would deem it immoral, but obviously the people doing it would not.


Now that that's out of the way, mind answering my question?

You have a tendency to ignore my requests.
CHollman82
1.2 / 5 (18) Jan 20, 2012
Would you consider


How about just answering the question? Is according to you the mass killing of Jews an objective evil or not? If not, then please explain how there could be some good in there after all. Or are you afraid to give an answer?


There was certainly good that came from it, yes. If you think otherwise you are thinking too simply. Of course, the good does not outweigh the bad in most people's opinions, but perhaps not everyone's opinion. Perhaps the holocaust taught the world a very important lesson that will remain in our collective consciousness for millenia to come. Perhaps if such an event didn't happen when it did an atrocity 1000x times greater would have happened in the distant future since we did not learn our lesson then.

The fact is you have no idea what would have happened had the holocaust not happened, it may have been MUCH MUCH worse. Perhaps we would have lost the war and been conquered by now.
Henrik
1 / 5 (4) Jan 20, 2012
If you think that god can determine what is good and bad, that god has control over that rather than it having control over god, then you think that morality is subjective and you invalidate your previous argument.


That is the Euthrypho dilemma which we have covered already. You may check my earlier posts on it. God wills something because He is good, and something is right because God wills it. So God's moral values are good because God is good. God does not determine what is good arbitrarily, but what is good flows logically from His own good nature.
caitlincatwest
5 / 5 (3) Jan 20, 2012
That is the Euthrypho dilemma which we have covered already. You may check my earlier posts on it. God wills something because He is good, and something is right because God wills it. So God's moral values are good because God is good. God does not determine what is good arbitrarily, but what is good flows logically from His own good nature.


And where is your proof of this moral authority? And proof that he is good? Because I don't think sacrificing innocents, subjecting women to moral torture, and forcing girls to marry their rapists is acceptable actions of an objectively moral entity by any means.

You just walk right into these logical fallacies, you know?
bluehigh
1 / 5 (2) Jan 20, 2012
It doesn't matter if that thing is a human or not
- Mr Hollman

Probably does actually. When talking about ones own subjective experience then the crux of the matter is that some communication occurs when assessing an external influence. Just because the lizard on my deck is feeling happy in the warm sunshine (its a lovely late summer day here) does not imply that my subjective experience (its too hot) is modified unless the lizard communicates its feeling of comfort and thereby moderates my experience. However, the lizard says nothing and so I reckon its too hot.

Then again matey, I accept that I may have missed the point.

How do you feel?
CHollman82
1.5 / 5 (22) Jan 20, 2012
That is the Euthrypho dilemma which we have covered already. You may check my earlier posts on it. God wills something because He is good, and something is right because God wills it. So God's moral values are good because God is good. God does not determine what is good arbitrarily, but what is good flows logically from His own good nature.


Now it seems like I am talking to a bot, or someone who's first language is not english.

I KNOW THAT IS THE EUTHRYPHO DILEMMA... the Euthrypho Dilemma is the failure of your argument. Deathclock tried explaining this to you but it's like talking to a brick wall.

Your definition of objective is wrong. Objectivity means that that which is objective does not depend on a subject. God is a subject. If what is good depends on Gods opinion, rather than being beyond Gods control, then what is good is subjective, and morality is subjective.

How many times do people have to tell you this? Is this your argument style, to go on and on to exhaustion?
Henrik
1 / 5 (6) Jan 20, 2012
There was certainly good that came from it, yes


That is another matter. Good can come from many things, either good or bad, that is not the point. A plane crash caused by a terrorist bomb is bad, but if a passenger rescues someone that is good.

But my question is whether the killing of Jews itself could be morally acceptable, and if so, in what sense?
caitlincatwest
5 / 5 (2) Jan 20, 2012
But my question is whether the killing of Jews itself could be morally acceptable, and if so, in what sense?


I have already answered this question, and you have still failed to answer mine.

Helloooo? Anyone in there?
CHollman82
1.6 / 5 (20) Jan 20, 2012
Probably does actually. When talking about ones own subjective experience then the crux of the matter is that some communication occurs when assessing an external influence. Just because the lizard on my deck is feeling happy in the warm sunshine (its a lovely late summer day here) does not imply that my subjective experience (its too hot) is modified unless the lizard communicates its feeling of comfort and thereby moderates my experience. However, the lizard says nothing and so I reckon its too hot.

Then again matey, I accept that I may have missed the point.

How do you feel?


Sure, but a lizard cannot make a valuation, or at best cannot communicate that valuation. God, presumably, can. Therefore the state of something is able to be subject to god. If god determines goodness (rather than visa-versa) then goodness itself is subject to gods valuation, meaning it is subjective, because it is subjective to gods valuation.
Henrik
1 / 5 (5) Jan 20, 2012
Objectivity means that that which is objective does not depend on a subject


That is just restating the obvious. Objective with regards to what? Human experience of course, which is exactly what my definition was. The other side contended that morality was subjective because of either human biology or human agreement, so subjective in terms of humanity as well. So your redefining of objective has no bearing upon the argument at all.
CHollman82
1.4 / 5 (19) Jan 20, 2012
But my question is whether the killing of Jews itself could be morally acceptable, and if so, in what sense?


Yes, if it was enacted intentionally as the only means to prevent an even greater tragedy. In that case it would be immoral to fail to prevent the greater tragedy by not committing the lesser tragedy.

There was an article on here recently about a situation wherein you were at a switch board for a railroad and a train was coming and was going to kill a group of 10 hikers on the tracks, or you could throw the switch and the train would only kill 1 hiker... would it be moral to throw the switch, or moral to not throw the switch? What if the one hiker was elderly, or abused his wife, or a drug addicted, or whatever while the other 10 were upstanding citizens, would that change things?
CHollman82
1.8 / 5 (21) Jan 20, 2012
Objectivity means that that which is objective does not depend on a subject


That is just restating the obvious. Objective with regards to what? Human experience of course, which is exactly what my definition was.


No, you're wrong.

Objective to REALITY. If something is objectively true it doesn't depend on ANYTHING. It is true by it's own right, not because something else says it is true. If god has to say that something is good then it is NOT objectively good.

This is a simple concept, and I feel that you are still twisting the definition of objective to suit your purposes.

Perhaps you should go read about the Euthyphro Dilemma, because even theologians understand and admit to the dilemma that you are trying to skirt around by redefining what objectivity means.
kaasinees
1 / 5 (8) Jan 20, 2012
There was an article on here recently about a situation wherein you were at a switch board for a railroad and a train was coming and was going to kill a group of 10 hikers on the tracks, or you could throw the switch and the train would only kill 1 hiker... would it be moral to throw the switch, or moral to not throw the switch? What if the one hiker was elderly, or abused his wife, or a drug addicted, or whatever while the other 10 were upstanding citizens, would that change things?

Yeah theres a video of youtube on that lecture from a professor, forgot the details, but i geuss physorg stole it to make an article, or maybe the professor made an article out of it , idk.

But my question is whether the killing of Jews itself could be morally acceptable, and if so, in what sense?


There is no concrete proof that they massively killed jews. The people who died in concentration camps might as well died from diseases, i have no clue i wasnt there.
bluehigh
1.7 / 5 (23) Jan 20, 2012
No, you're wrong.
- CHollman82

Your arguments are often strong enough without including such a definitive retort.

There is no concrete proof that they massively killed jews.
- kaasinees

Take care. This belief is unlawful in parts of the western world.

Henrik
1 / 5 (5) Jan 20, 2012
Yes, if it was enacted intentionally as the only means to prevent an even greater tragedy.


That is a logical fallacy, because such an event is unknown. In your words the gassing and killing of 6 million people could have been necessary to prevent a yet greater evil? That is just ludicrous thinking. Far more logical is to assert that the shoah constitutes an objective moral abomination, which is exactly what premise 2 states.
Henrik
1 / 5 (5) Jan 20, 2012
i have no clue i wasnt there


That pretty much sums it up indeed.
Henrik
1 / 5 (7) Jan 20, 2012
because it is subjective to gods valuation


No, God is objective not subjective. There is no alternative opinion besides God or in God regarding moral values. These values are His because He is the objective standard of what is good, and moral laws are the necessary expression of His being.
Ethelred
5 / 5 (2) Jan 20, 2012
There is no concrete proof that they massively killed jews. The people who died in concentration camps might as well died from diseases, i have no clue i wasnt there.


For those that didn't see a recent series of posts by Kaasinees here is link.

http://www.physor...vey.html

He is a SERIOUS hater of Jews. I disagreed with him so I became an evil Jew in his mind.

http://en.wikiquo...3%B6ller

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn't a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.
For people like Kaasinees I am a Jew and not a former Catholic.

Ethelred
CHollman82
1.3 / 5 (18) Jan 20, 2012
No, you're wrong.
- CHollman82

Your arguments are often strong enough without including such a definitive retort.


Thank you, I appreciate that. I'll try to be more reserved, I know that is a weakness of mine.
CHollman82
1.4 / 5 (19) Jan 20, 2012
@Henrik,

I can't speak for the other posters here, but I know that there is no convincing you that you are wrong, about anything, because that is a property of your belief system. When the inherent correctness of a belief system is rolled right in tight with that belief system there is little anyone can do to persuade. My motivation for arguing with you was for the benefit of other readers, so that you don't sway someone else to believe in your nonsense.

I believe I have accomplished that goal based on the comments of others. There is no further need to run around in circles with you as it accomplishes nothing.
Ethelred
5 / 5 (7) Jan 20, 2012
Henrik you are quite correct that murder of 6 million Jews, 1.5 million Gypsies, millions of Poles, homosexuals and anyone else the Nazis thought were vermin was immoral.

As an Agnostic I have no trouble figuring that out. I don't need a psychotic non-existent god to tell that. I don't need you either. Its covered by the idea of treating others as you would wish to be treated. There is no need for a god to figure that one out.

By that same standard Jehovah's alleged murder of all the first born in Egypt and EVERYONE except 8 in the non-existent Great Flood was equally reprehensible.

If you claim otherwise you are not being objective nor is you claim of objective morality based on logic. Its just another false claim of yours.

All the dancing and evasions aren't going to make the world 6000 years old. Nor the Flood real nor the murder of the first born real either. All of those are just myths. Rather nasty ones but still just myths.

Ethelred
panorama
5 / 5 (2) Jan 20, 2012
No, God is objective not subjective. There is no alternative opinion besides God or in God regarding moral values. These values are His because He is the objective standard of what is good, and moral laws are the necessary expression of His being.


Pffft...not my ghod. Your ghod sounds stupid and idiotic. Join the 21st century invest in a new shordurpersav.
aroc91
5 / 5 (8) Jan 20, 2012
No, God is objective not subjective. There is no alternative opinion besides God or in God regarding moral values. These values are His because He is the objective standard of what is good, and moral laws are the necessary expression of His being.


Circular reasoning at its finest. You can't make something that doesn't have objective proof for it into a supreme objective authority.

You're saying God is objective because he says so and that's true because he's objective. Tard.
Telekinetic
2.7 / 5 (12) Jan 20, 2012
"There is no concrete proof that they massively killed jews. The people who died in concentration camps might as well died from diseases, i have no clue i wasnt there."-Kaasinees

Congratulations, you are now the stupidest person to have posted on the PhysOrg forum, which is quite a feat. More than two dozen members of my family were murdered in Hitler's concentration camps, and I didn't have to be there to know that they were killed there.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.8 / 5 (17) Jan 20, 2012
This is funny:
God wills something because He is good, and something is right because God wills it. So God's moral values are good because God is good. God does not determine what is good arbitrarily, but what is good flows logically from His own good nature.
-and informative. God wills goodness but it is invariably humans who carry out his plans isn't it? Right and wrong can be determined by whichever side god is on right?

Germans were a religious people fighting a total war. They were desperately trying to save their country from complete destruction. They believed god was on their side; Gott mit Uns on army and police belt buckles. Even the SS swore allegiance to hitler unto the death 'so wahr mir Gott helfe.' They all thought god was on their side.

They opened up his holy instruction manual and found explicit instructions on how to secure the holy land - Lebensraum. They desperately needed this because their religion had been enforcing maximum growth for a few generations.
antialias_physorg
4.6 / 5 (11) Jan 20, 2012
He is good, and something is right because God wills it

I think the point is that
"He is good, and something that is right because Henrik wills it (and therefore god)..."

The idea of a god is only a tool to seemingly augment the veracity of one's own opinion. God never disagrees with the believers.

But since believers disagree with each other all the time then either god is a multiple billion schizophrenic or he's just made up.

so god is delusional or a delusion. Not much of a choice, really.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4 / 5 (16) Jan 20, 2012
The most plausible explanation is that is represents an objective evil that exists independently of human opinion or biology.
Your god explicitly contradicts this in ecclesiastes. In his instructions to priests he explains:

"11 He has made everything beautiful in its time."

This follows a long list of things the god says all have their proper time, including dying, uprooting, killing, tearing down, weeping, mourning, scattering, refraining from embracing (celibacy), giving up, throwing away, tearing, remaining silent, HATING, and making WAR.

The message to priests here seems to be that there is a proper time for breaking every one of the commandments that moses received on the mount. Including quite a few not included.

And the actions by both god and his people throughout the book only confirm this. Obviously, the only real evil to the religionist is any action which would endanger the faith itself. Because god would not exist if there were no one left who believed in him.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.9 / 5 (15) Jan 20, 2012
And this would explain why the church thought it was more important to protect its reputation than to endanger it by exposing the transgressions of pedo priests.

Solomon also tells us

"As for human beings, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals."

-which describes the congregation but not of course the clergy, who were all chosen before birth to inhabit the city of god and so were born forgiven for everything they might ever choose to do, whether it was to assassinate popes or bugger alter boys. 'Before you were born I knew ye.'

This typically includes the chosen of all faiths. Muhammud got to marry a 10 year old. Kohannim got to eat the savory sacrifices given to god. The borgias had all sorts of fun. Etc. Grace has its privileges.
GDM
4.9 / 5 (7) Jan 20, 2012
In the beginning, humans invented gods to explain the natural forces around them that they lacked the knowledge to understand. As understanding increased, the need for a multitude of gods diminished, eventually leaving just one. Fast forward to today: after 2,000 years of control, oppression, rebellion and reorganization, we have dozens of Christian sects, Islam, Judaism, Mormonism and all purporting to worship the same remaining god, but perfectly willing to exclude the others and even kill them because they are not true (fill in the blank). Where is the objective morality in all that? No, god as a concept is no longer necessary. We (or rather, those who seek understanding) have learned the most basic forces of nature, biology, physics etc. We still have much to learn but we no longer need to hide our ignorance behind an angry god.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.8 / 5 (17) Jan 20, 2012
Natural selection works with religions in the same way it worked with tribes. The more virulent, enthralling, and aggressive were naturally selected for.

Islam is perhaps the most 'evolved' of them all, being conceived and refined with lessons learned from all the others.

Judaism really broke the barrier though. It codified the principles of reproductive aggression and made itself portable. Judaic proselytism and growth endangered the world to such an extent that another religion - christianity - had to be conceived as a backfire in order to stop it.

It made jews the people who killed god and thus justified their martyrdom and severe social restrictions. Constantine began this restriction which forbade jews from owning property or conducting normal business.

But even with all their oppression and cyclic pogrom jews persisted, because of the forced reproductive formulas which were an inseparable part of their faith. Xians and moslems used this formula to conquer the world.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4 / 5 (16) Jan 20, 2012
Here is a pretty nasty list of quotes from xians describing prevailing opinions on jews throughout the ages:
http://www.sulliv...ters.htm
kochevnik
3 / 5 (8) Jan 20, 2012
A plane crash caused by a terrorist bomb is bad, but if a passenger rescues someone that is good.
So one man's good is another man's evil. You just proved my point that good and bad are completely relative. Only a schizophrenic god could abide by absolute good and bad.
kaasinees
1 / 5 (7) Jan 20, 2012
Here is a pretty nasty list of quotes from xians describing prevailing opinions on jews throughout the ages:
http://www.sulliv...ters.htm


So i think everyone here can agree here that it was an age of german inquisition. They didnt limit theirselves to fightng against jews, but everyone who didnt coooperate with their believes. I wouldnt be surprised if half the people that died were actually atheists or protestant christians.
What better publicity for the jews to claim the "jewish genocide" (which is an oxymoron since jewish people of multiple ethnicies exist) so they can call anyone who opposes jews a nazi?
I dont hate jews, i oppose religion, jews are just the worst of them all, but here is ethelred the jew trying to make out to be a racist.
For people like Kaasinees I am a Jew and not a former

There are christian jews in existince.
http://en.wikiped..._Judaism

I geuss you have no clue about what the jewish cult is.
Freefall
5 / 5 (6) Jan 20, 2012
I just had to chuckle.
Every time someone makes a point that Henrik can not refute, he quotes a small part of the post elsewhere and wanders off with the argument in a direction that better suits his script.
To anyone that might actually be listening to what he is saying, think hard on that.
CHollman82
1.6 / 5 (20) Jan 20, 2012
I just had to chuckle.
Every time someone makes a point that Henrik can not refute, he quotes a small part of the post elsewhere and wanders off with the argument in a direction that better suits his script.
To anyone that might actually be listening to what he is saying, think hard on that.


I noticed this too but gave him the benefit of the doubt and assumed he was trying to overcome the character limit... but it is strange that the portions he chooses to quote are usually not the main point of the argument but some irrelevant component that he then attacks while failing to address the actual argument being made.
Henrik
1 / 5 (17) Jan 20, 2012
Where is the objective morality in all that?


Examples of evil conduct actually reinforce the moral argument, confirming premise 2. Objectively good values and objectively evil values can only exist if God exists. In an atheistic world there would be no basis for condemning religious intolerance, because morality is just a man made illusion. In fact, in an atheistic world, things like the crusades could be considered a heart warming example of evolution in action, all part of the survival of the fittest.

No, god as a concept


That is a straw man. To a believer, God is not a concept but a deep and essential truth. God is the center of that persons life. God is not an artefact to explain the unexplained. God is the foundational reality for everything in the universe.
Henrik
1 / 5 (17) Jan 20, 2012
But since believers disagree with each other


That is the fallacy of religious pluralism. It is self-defeating, because it also claims exclusivity. The truth is that the most plausible worldview is the one supported by the best evidence. If atheism is based on poor evidence, then it should be dismissed as false.
Scientist_Steve
5 / 5 (5) Jan 20, 2012
@Henrik
Give up already guy. We get it, you don't approve of atheism. Guess what, nobody gives a damn. For most of these guys, this was simply target practice.
Henrik
1 / 5 (20) Jan 20, 2012
Circular reasoning at its finest


Perhaps you do not know what a philosophical argument actually is. Philosophy uses concepts and ontological statements to build logical arguments. The point of the moral argument is to show that the existence of objective morality is possible only if God exists, and the morality is the expression of His Being.
Henrik
1 / 5 (16) Jan 20, 2012
this was simply target practice


What target? I did not see any credible refutation of either premise 1 or 2. No one has shown me that either:

Objective moral values and rules do not exist.

or:

Objective moral values and duties can exist in an atheistic world.
CHollman82
1.4 / 5 (19) Jan 20, 2012
Yes, and the moral argument was defeated when you revealed that you yourself do not believe in objective morality (whether or not you are smart enough to understand this...)
Henrik
1 / 5 (16) Jan 20, 2012
you don't approve of atheism


I have no problem with atheism. In fact atheists are sometimes more honest than many religious people. I just demonstrated that atheism is not based on any rational arguments, and therefore an irrational worldview.
Henrik
1 / 5 (16) Jan 20, 2012
Yes, and the moral argument was defeated


No, it was not. Your statements were a misrepresentation of my argument. Simply a straw man.

Objective moral values are values that are always true, independent of human opinion or biology. God is the source of morality not because He has arbitrarily chosen some set of values over another, but because they are the only possible expression of His Being. There is nothing subjective about God, He is subject to nothing, and is completely objective and true.
Scientist_Steve
5 / 5 (3) Jan 20, 2012
"I have no problem with atheism. In fact atheists are sometimes more honest than many religious people. I just demonstrated that atheism is not based on any rational arguments, and therefore an irrational worldview"-Henrik

No thanks. Keep fishing pal.
GDM
not rated yet Jan 20, 2012
To a believer,
Thats the first thing you have said in all your pontifications that I can agree with. Yes, to a believer, all you say is true. To a non-believer, all you say are just the ramblings of a deranged person. Im happy you have found peace in your beliefs, now be gone and let the rest of us have peace in ours. You have no right or obligation to inflict your beliefs on others who do not agree with you, any more than I desire you to accept my beliefs unless you choose to do so. Just dont think that you or your kind (including politicians sharing your beliefs) will ever exert your control over the rest of us. It is unwelcome, insulting and will be resisted. So long and good luck, Ive wasted far too much time listening to your babble.
Henrik
1 / 5 (16) Jan 20, 2012
No thanks. Keep fishing pal


Perhaps you just have no arguments for your belief in atheism. Then you are the irrational one here, not me. I have provided an elaboration of why I believe that the simple, elegant and logically airtight moral argument makes theism more plausible than atheism. You have provided exactly nothing. So your handwaving may look cool to you but in reality it is just silly.
Henrik
1 / 5 (15) Jan 20, 2012
To a non-believer, all you say are just the ramblings of a deranged person


So what premise of the moral argument for the existence of God do you disagree with, and why? If you cannot answer that coherently it is you who has lost the debate, not me. Running away is a sign of weakness, not strength.
CHollman82
1.4 / 5 (20) Jan 20, 2012
you don't approve of atheism


I have no problem with atheism. In fact atheists are sometimes more honest than many religious people. I just demonstrated that atheism is not based on any rational arguments, and therefore an irrational worldview.


You realize that stating something does not make it true right?

Atheism is the absence of belief in god. I do not believe in god because I see no credible evidence for god. "God" is an extraordinary claim that requires extraordinary evidence and I see NO credible evidence.

What you consider evidence is nonsense. You don't know something so you make up god and say "god did it"... and you deign to tell me that I am irrational?
CHollman82
1.4 / 5 (20) Jan 20, 2012
Objective moral values are values that are always true, independent of human opinion or biology.


Are you getting dizzy yet? You like to go around in circles don't you...

Something that is objectively true is true independent of ANYTHING... INCLUDING GOD.

Keep redefining what objective truth means to suit your argument, you are not fooling anyone but yourself.
GDM
5 / 5 (4) Jan 20, 2012
Rave on, arguing with you is like arguing with my kitchen table...wait, no..it is arguing with a "believer", who cannot and will never be convinced of anything I could ever say. There is no debate when there is no communincation. There is no point in continuing a non-productive conversation. Call it a "win", but in reality, you win nothing.
CHollman82
1.7 / 5 (22) Jan 20, 2012

ad infinitum
ad nauseaum
ad exhaustium

These are Henriks debate tactics. Repeat the same thing over and over again and ignore all counter arguments.
Scientist_Steve
5 / 5 (3) Jan 20, 2012
"You have provided exactly nothing. So your handwaving may look cool to you but in reality it is just silly."-Henrik

Wrong. I provided you with the most critical piece of information that has come for this pointless two day exercise, nobody cares on any level what YOU think. I guess I will just have to live with being "silly" then too.
animah
5 / 5 (4) Jan 20, 2012
> That is the fallacy of religious pluralism. It is self-defeating, because it also claims exclusivity.

No, it is the religionists who claim exclusivity, to the point of considering all other worldviews the attributes of inferior humans. Who can be washed away. As in the flood. Disgusting.

> The truth is that the most plausible worldview is the one supported by the best evidence.

You typically confuse the truth and what is plausible. The truth is very, very hard to get to, even with a million research papers a year and billion-dollar gear. Your philo tools would not even be able to demonstrate the earth is round without science's help. While you ramble ignorantly, we cure cancer.

Henrik
1 / 5 (17) Jan 20, 2012
Atheism is the absence of belief in god


That is nonsene. It is the same as saying that your cat is an atheist. He has that same lack. Or were you born as an atheist? When you were lying around in diapers you lacked belief. If atheism is just an absence, it is nothing, and you have no way of knowing atheism is actually correct. Your world view is in that case self-refuting.

But Dawkins bus banner said: there is probably no God. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
CHollman82
1.6 / 5 (20) Jan 20, 2012
Atheism is the absence of belief in god


That is nonsene. It is the same as saying that your cat is an atheist. He has that same lack. Or were you born as an atheist? When you were lying around in diapers you lacked belief.


Yes, animals are atheist as far as we know, and yes all humans are born atheists... I don't see the problem.

If atheism is just an absence, it is nothing, and you have no way of knowing atheism is actually correct. Your world view is in that case self-refuting.


You don't have to KNOW that it is correct. I don't KNOW that there is no god, I don't believe there is one. Atheism is a position concerning belief, not a position concerning knowledge.

Knowledge and belief are two completely different things.

But Dawkins bus banner said: there is probably no God. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.


It's not an extraordinary claim when there is no credible evidence for the existence of any god.
Henrik
1 / 5 (17) Jan 20, 2012
Something that is objectively true is true independent of ANYTHING... INCLUDING GOD


Proof? You are just making up definitions as you go.

A tree planted in the ground in your back yard is an objective truth, for it exists. But it's existence depends on the existence of the universe. But for your little peabrain, it's an objective truth.
CHollman82
1.8 / 5 (21) Jan 20, 2012
Henrik, rather than arguing with you about this, let me just tell you my position.

When I say I am atheist I mean that I do not believe in god. That is ALL I mean. I am not saying that I KNOW there is no god, because I do not know that. I am saying that I do not believe in the existence of any gods.

I don't particularly care what you think of that definition of the word, that is the one that this self-described atheist uses. Theism has to do with belief in god, DO NOT confuse belief and knowledge. I claim no knowledge of either the existence or the non-existence of god, I only claim that I do not believe in god.

Furthermore, I cannot control what I believe, and neither can you or anybody else. I cannot force myself to believe in god any more than I could force myself to believe in the Loch Ness Monster. I could ACT like I do, but that would be an act and I would always know that I do not believe it.

Maybe you should try to learn some things about people before you make assumptions.
Henrik
1 / 5 (19) Jan 20, 2012
Yes, animals are atheist as far as we know


So now you have provided some actual evidence that rationality is not an object for atheism. Please sign them up for Dawkins little foundation on the promotion of rational thinking.
Telekinetic
2.5 / 5 (11) Jan 20, 2012
Here is a pretty nasty list of quotes from xians describing prevailing opinions on jews throughout the ages:
http://www.sulliv...ters.htm

I geuss you have no clue about what the jewish cult is.


I'll listen to Henrik all day long over one sputtering utterance from this beast.

CHollman82
Jan 20, 2012
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.9 / 5 (18) Jan 20, 2012
But since believers disagree with each other


That is the fallacy of religious pluralism. It is self-defeating, because it also claims exclusivity. The truth is that the most plausible worldview is the one supported by the best evidence. If atheism is based on poor evidence, then it should be dismissed as false.
I keep thinking you must be misusing this term.

Religious Pluralism is "Sometimes as a synonym for ecumenism, i.e., the promotion of some level of unity, co-operation, and improved understanding between different religions or different denominations within a single religion."
http://en.wikiped...luralism

-In its most pure form pluralism is the acceptance of other religions, not their exclusion yes? And it is rare in the modern religions, especially in regions of chronic, FORCED overpopulation where theyre trying to CONSUME one another. Yes?

This is objectively immoral but endorsed by every god in every holy book on the shelf. YES?
Henrik
1 / 5 (16) Jan 20, 2012
Knowledge and belief are two completely different things.


Sigh. Belief, if rational, is based on knowledge. And knowledge is based on certain beliefs. They are not completely separate. To think that is to deny basic human experience.

If you board an airplane you know the pilot is trained to fly it safely and the aircraft is designed with safety in mind. You base your belief that you will arive in one piece on that knowledge. But you believe it, because you dont know for sure.
Henrik
1 / 5 (18) Jan 20, 2012
You think animals believe in god you fucking idiot?


Please stay polite. Anger is irrational. But I can already see an atheist parade with you and your little angry atheist goldfish.
CHollman82
1.5 / 5 (22) Jan 20, 2012
Sigh. Belief, if rational, is based on knowledge. And knowledge is based on certain beliefs. They are not completely separate. To think that is to deny basic human experience.


Something being based on something else does not mean it is the same as something else... are you illiterate?

If you board an airplane you know the pilot is trained to fly it safely and the aircraft is designed with safety in mind.


ROFL you don't know that at all... you believe it, but you don't know it. In order to know it you would have had to have witnessed the design and construction of the aircraft and the training of the pilot.

Your problem is that you don't even know what constitutes "knowledge"...
CHollman82
1.5 / 5 (22) Jan 20, 2012
Please stay polite. Anger is irrational. But I can already see an atheist parade with you and your little angry atheist goldfish.


Do you think animals believe in god? Because if they do not they are atheists. Stop deflecting and making posts with no content, and stop attacking people and pretending that you are innocent.
Deathclock
2 / 5 (12) Jan 20, 2012
Henrik, please answer, do you think animals believe in god? This should be good... /popcorn!
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.8 / 5 (17) Jan 20, 2012
You think animals believe in god you fucking idiot?
"As for human beings, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals." ecc3

-Sheeple are easy to herd. Rods and staffs comfort them. Even cats can be herded if you have a long stick with a smelly fish on the end of it.

"16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

-But if this is not smelly enough maybe we can put the fear of god into you:

"18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil."

-What is the difference between immortality and a smelly fish? Whats the difference between hell and the rack of the Inquisition? Or the fasces even? The cross??
Deathclock
2.1 / 5 (11) Jan 20, 2012
If you board an airplane you know the pilot is trained to fly it safely and the aircraft is designed with safety in mind.


How do you know that?
Henrik
1 / 5 (15) Jan 20, 2012
Do you think animals believe in god


Faith in God is a uniquely human feature, because of the very fact that this kind of faith and reason go together. Animals act out of instinct, so they have no rational basis for developing faith in a deity. But to say that your cat is an atheist shows that atheism has nothing to do with being more rational.
Deathclock
2.2 / 5 (13) Jan 20, 2012
Do you think animals believe in god


Faith in God is a uniquely human feature, because of the very fact that this kind of faith and reason go together. Animals act out of instinct, so they have no rational basis for developing faith in a deity. But to say that your cat is an atheist shows that atheism has nothing to do with being more rational.


Atheism means you don't believe in god... so if you don't believe in god you are an atheist. Animals don't believe in god, because as far as we know animals can't believe in anything, so animals are by definition atheists...
CHollman82
1.4 / 5 (18) Jan 20, 2012
Exactly, Henrik doesn't even understand what the word means but he is ranting and raving about it like a rabid dog foaming at the mouth.

How can you call something irrational that you have no understanding of?
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.7 / 5 (19) Jan 20, 2012
Do you think animals believe in god


Faith in God is a uniquely human feature, because of the very fact that this kind of faith and reason go together. Animals act out of instinct, so they have no rational basis for developing faith in a deity. But to say that your cat is an atheist shows that atheism has nothing to do with being more rational.
My cat seemed to worship me. He would entreat me every day at dinner time. He learned to fear my wrath should he leave a puddle on the carpet. He even brought me offerings sometimes in the form of mangled baby rabbits.

Im not being facetious. What makes you think there is a DIFFERENCE other than the degree of elaboration?

What makes you think that believing earnestly in the eucharist is not just like learning to fetch or jump over backwards? The expectation of reward is the same. Humans can wait a little longer for gratification is all.

Youre belief system is a mechanism of husbandry. We are DOMESTICATED.
animah
5 / 5 (4) Jan 20, 2012
If there is such a thing as objective morality, then it invalidates Henrik's religion.

Noah was happy saving rats, cockroaches and other vermin. Did not try to save a single baby, did not even think of pleading with his godawful creator, in the face of the genocide of the human race. Xians use Hitler and Stalin as straw men but the slaughtering of mankind makes them small fry compared to that.

Christianity teaches it's OK to stand idle in the face of Genocide when it's convenient. Claiming this kind of think to be absolute moral truth is truly the root of all evil.

So Henrik, even if your god existed, I would be his sworn enemy. If the price of my rapture was the damnation of the rest of mankind, I would stay behind every time and fall with dignity, with my people.

There is nothing appealing in your religion Henrik, just the bleating herd.
Henrik
1 / 5 (15) Jan 20, 2012
animals can't believe in anything, so animals are by definition atheists


A banana cannot believe in anything, so is a banana also an atheist? Is a demented person an atheist? Someone in a coma? A dead one?

One good thing for you is that this definition would mean atheism becomes the largest religion overnight. But I think you should try and be more careful to save all your fellow atheists that are designated to become processed food. I just ate some of them today. Do atheists eat atheists as well?
CHollman82
Jan 20, 2012
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Henrik
1 / 5 (16) Jan 20, 2012
Did not try to save a single baby, did not even think of pleading with his godawful creator,


Proof? You are making an assumption here without basis. In fact Noah preached for a 120 years according to the Bible. His sermon was his hammer and saw.
Deathclock
1.7 / 5 (11) Jan 20, 2012
animals can't believe in anything, so animals are by definition atheists


A banana cannot believe in anything, so is a banana also an atheist? Is a demented person an atheist? Someone in a coma? A dead one?

One good thing for you is that this definition would mean atheism becomes the largest religion overnight. But I think you should try and be more careful to save all your fellow atheists that are designated to become processed food. I just ate some of them today. Do atheists eat atheists as well?


I don't know why you think this is meaningful, we are just telling you what the word means, this is not a competition.

Atheism is the null position, the null hypothesis. It is not a religion or a belief system. At best it can be called a position concerning god, and that position is a lack of belief.

It's your problem that you don't understand what atheism is and is not, we are just trying to educate you.
Henrik
1 / 5 (14) Jan 20, 2012
If there is such a thing as objective morality, then it invalidates Henrik's religion


I was not talking about the truth of any specific religion, nor about Bible inerrancy, but the existence of God. Try to stick with the subject. Your argument is irrelevant to either premise 1 or 2.
Henrik
1 / 5 (16) Jan 20, 2012
Atheism is the null position


So then how do you know it is true? Atheism may be wrong but you have no way of telling. It seems quite illogical to hold a position that cannot be explained in any way by rational arguments. Theism seems more logical, for it does depend on rational arguments.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.7 / 5 (15) Jan 20, 2012
That's an interesting parallel.
"1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me."

Et cetera. The references are undeniable. God continually tempted the israelites to stray throughout the OT and repeatedly culled those who could not conform, leaving the Remnants as breeding stock. This is HUSBANDRY.

Is this moral henrik? Is was perhaps necessary, given the vicious state of humanity at the time and its great potential for ecological destruction. Even by nebucchadnezzars time vast areas had been saltified, desertified. Something had to be done. Humanity had to be corralled and pacified.

'The meek shall inherit the earth.'

-This is a Promise and a Goal.
Deathclock
2.1 / 5 (11) Jan 20, 2012
Stop repeating the same things, your 2 premises were shown to faulty a long time ago.

Please learn what atheism is, if you take nothing else from this discussion please let it be knowledge of that word means. Atheism is the default position, it is what you are if you don't believe in any gods. If you don't know of any gods then you obviously do not believe in any gods and are therefore an atheist. My son is an atheist, not because I am but because he is only 1 year old and has never heard of the concept. I am atheist despite having heard of the concept of god because I fail to see any credible evidence to support a positive belief in any god.

As was said, no one controls what they believe, you can't just choose to believe or not to believe something. If I told you to choose to believe that leprechauns were real you couldn't do it, you could act the part but you couldn't actually change your belief. It is exactly the same with god.
Henrik
1 / 5 (16) Jan 20, 2012
Youre belief system is a mechanism of husbandry


How would you know? You do not know anything, because you hold the null position. If God is a Father, then believers are His children. A father loves his children. Do you have a family or are these alien concepts to you?
Deathclock
2.2 / 5 (13) Jan 20, 2012
So then how do you know it is true?


I don't know that it is true, I don't know that god does not exist. Atheism is not about your knowledge, it is about your belief.

Atheism may be wrong but you have no way of telling.


Absolutely.

It seems quite illogical to hold a position that cannot be explained in any way by rational arguments.


The position is the default position because it invokes the fewest assumptions. Do you know what the term null hypothesis means? You should look it up sometime.

If I ever found credible evidence for the existence of god I am sure I would then believe in god.

Theism seems more logical, for it does depend on rational arguments.


When you say that atheism is not supported by reason but theism is you are just stating your bias. Atheism is far more rational to me because I do not recognize any credible evidence for god, that makes the lack of belief in god rational, and the opposite irrational.
Henrik
1 / 5 (15) Jan 20, 2012
your 2 premises were shown to faulty a long time ago.


I have not seen any such evidence. Both premise 1 and premise 2 still stand. From those it flows logically that God exists.

If you don't know of any gods then you obviously do not believe in any gods and are therefore an atheist


I am not speaking about what people believe or not. The issue is whether the existence of God is more plausible than the opposite. The moral argument has shown that theism is rational because it can account for the existence of objective moral values. What atheism believes, is irrelevant. The question is about plausible existence not beliefs of individuals.

Your child is also an infant or toddler. He is that despite him not having any knowledge of those concepts. He also does not know which doctor delivered him, but the doctor exists.
Telekinetic
2.1 / 5 (11) Jan 20, 2012
My dog believed in God when she got extra treats.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.9 / 5 (15) Jan 20, 2012
Youre belief system is a mechanism of husbandry


How would you know? You do not know anything, because you hold the null position. If God is a Father, then believers are His children. A father loves his children. Do you have a family or are these alien concepts to you?
A metaphor... Sometimes god is literal and sometimes he is not. But who can tell which is which and what is what? Shall we cut our sideburns or not? Shall we eat pork or not? Is the eucharist the actual blood and body of christ or is this just too gross and immoral to believe?

Did god actually visit himself upon a 13 year old married girl, or would this too be immoral? Why do some moslems crap on the floor rather than use toilets? Why was it ok to slaughter cathars by the score? Who is to ask and who is to answer?

Am I praying or am I really just talking to myself?
Deathclock
2.1 / 5 (11) Jan 20, 2012
You're trying to make the word mean more than it does.

Atheism means you do not believe in god. It has nothing to do with what you know or what you think is more plausible.

Stop changing the meaning of the word, stop arguing as if it meant more than it does.

Atheism is the null hypothesis. Look up that term and you will find that the null hypothesis can NEVER be proven, data (knowledge) can only reject the null hypothesis or fail to reject the null hypothesis. No amount of information in the world can prove that god does not exist, for several reasons, including gods defined omni-properties which allow him to intentionally and perfectly avoid detection.

You need to understand some basic philosophic concepts before you attempt to use philosophy to support an argument. You do not appear to understand even basic principles.

You need to know about these concepts:
-Null hypothesis
-Burden of proof
-The nature of knowledge
-The nature of belief
-Falsifiability

..and probably a few more
Henrik
1 / 5 (15) Jan 20, 2012
and the opposite irrational.


Since you admit you have no way of knowing if atheism is actually true, how do you then go on to conclude that someone else his belief in God is irrational?

You may not see the evidence, but they do see it. If atheism is ultimately an absence of personal belief in God that cannot be validated in any way, how can you ever make the claim that a Christian is irrational for believing in God?
Deathclock
2.4 / 5 (14) Jan 20, 2012
You also need to realize that "proof" is almost always impossible. You can never prove something to be true or false because there always exists the slim chance that our entire perception of reality is illusory. I cringe when people talk about proof, there is no such thing as proof. The best you can do is to show that something is true relative to certain initial assumptions that are taken to be axiomatic... but you cannot prove these assumptions, so you cannot prove that which are based on them.
Deathclock
2.1 / 5 (11) Jan 20, 2012
Since you admit you have no way of knowing if atheism is actually true, how do you then go on to conclude that someone else his belief in God is irrational?


I never said your belief in god is irrational, I said it would be irrational for me to believe in god.

What is rational is relative to the individual. I don't think mentally healthy individuals ever act irrationally.

You may not see the evidence, but they do see it.


Correct. That does not mean they are right, however, but it does make their belief rational.

If atheism is ultimately an absence of personal belief in God that cannot be validated in any way


Now you are getting it, null hypotheses can never be validated, by definition. They can only be upheld by the evidence or overturned by the evidence.

how can you ever make the claim that a Christian is irrational for believing in God?


I don't. You have been the one telling me that I am an irrational atheist.
Henrik
1 / 5 (16) Jan 20, 2012
The position is the default position because it invokes the fewest assumptions


Atheism makes a lot of assumptions:

- no existence of objective moral values
- mankind is a biological machine, the by-product of evolution
- life has no higher meaning
- the universe is uncaused
- the universe is fine tuned for life by chance
- why there is something rather than nothing cannot be known
- no supernatural events are possible

And many more. So atheism is not the simplest assumption, it is a complex one.
Deathclock
2 / 5 (12) Jan 20, 2012
Let's take a step back. I believe that there is objective truth, many people do not believe this. I don't believe that we can ever know that what we know is objectively true. Therefore I do not believe in proof, or the notion of proving something.

Knowledge does not have to be true. You can have knowledge that is false. Just because something is knowledge does not mean that it is correct.

Rational is acting in a manner that is consistent with your knowledge. Keep in mind that knowledge is not necessarily true or accurate.

Maybe that will help you understand where I am coming from anyway.
Telekinetic
2 / 5 (8) Jan 20, 2012
Then there's the whole miasma of psychosexual imagery of a half-naked, dead or dying man in a tortured pose that has become the world's symbol of love and redemption. Is this not a remnant of the pagan ritual of human sacrifice?
animah
5 / 5 (4) Jan 20, 2012
It is possible that the world is fully computable (pixelated - planck length and time may be like pixels on a screen). Let's say this is a 50/50 proposition with regards to objective truth.

Every conjecture we make on top of that is exponentially less likely to be true.

That the universe is a construct is less likely.

An artificial construct, even less likely.

The artificial construct of an entity - of a sentient entity - that is still around - that observes - that cares - all much less likely than the previous conjecture.

This is the point we reach something you think of as a god, and we are in very unlikely territory. This is a scientific argument against the existence of any God.

By the time we reach your god and all its specifics, the probability of truth is infinitesimal.
Deathclock
2.1 / 5 (11) Jan 20, 2012
- no existence of objective moral values
- mankind is a biological machine, the by-product of evolution
- life has no higher meaning
- the universe is uncaused
- the universe is fine tuned for life by chance
- why there is something rather than nothing cannot be known
- no supernatural events are possible

And many more. So atheism is not the simplest assumption, it is a complex one.


None of this describes atheism.

I told you, atheism is the lack of belief in god, that is ALL it is. You keep asserting that atheism means all these things that have nothing to do with it.

A negative assumption (the assumption that something does not exist) is a lesser assumption than a positive assumption (the assumption that something does exist).

Assuming that there is no god is less of an assumption than assuming that there is a god... because there are an infinite number of things that COULD exist but do not, but only a few things that do exist.
Henrik
1 / 5 (14) Jan 20, 2012
I never said your belief in god is irrational, I said it would be irrational for me to believe in god


That is a form of postive atheism, perhaps almost agnosticism. You do not believe in God for personal lack of evidence, but at the same you have no way of knowing if you are correct.

Let me then ask you what kind of evidence would convince you to believe there is a God?
Deathclock
2 / 5 (12) Jan 20, 2012
That is a form of postive atheism, perhaps almost agnosticism.


I don't want to get muddied by competing definitions and sub-definitions. When I say atheism I mean a lack of belief in god, please just accept that I have spent far too long arguing about these definitions.

You do not believe in God for personal lack of evidence, but at the same you have no way of knowing if you are correct.


Correct.

Let me then ask you what kind of evidence would convince you to believe there is a God?


This is an excellent question. Let's start with what would give me the strongest belief.

- If an entity appeared before me and a large group of people that defied explanation and that claimed to be god I would think that it was either god or an alien life form if the veracity of the experience was confirmed by most/all of the other witnesses.

cont'd.
Henrik
1 / 5 (15) Jan 20, 2012
I believe that there is objective truth, many people do not believe this.


That would be a self-refuting position, because "there is no objective truth" is assumed to be an objective truth, which is self-contradicting

I don't believe that we can ever know that what we know is objectively true


Imagine that someone would pour some boiling hot water over your head. Is the resulting pain an objective truth you think?

Suppose you child is suddenly very sick. Is that an objective enough truth for you to call the doctor?
animah
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 20, 2012
The objective morality argument from god is easily refuted - every day by millions of atheists, agnotics and animists such as Shinto believers in Japan who are moral.

There are indeed hundreds, if not thousands of moral systems that do not involve a god.

Here is mine: The economist's view.

In all the universe, sentient life is so rare it is easily a trillion times more valuable than gold. Therefore all the wealth in the world (including oil, ahm!) does not justify the suffering of a single soul. Justice and all the rest flows from that.

Your ideas are not a panacea for the world; and their side effects are so toxic as to be actively detrimental to civilisation.
Deathclock
2.5 / 5 (13) Jan 20, 2012
- Each time I prayed for a miracle that had virtually zero chance of happening naturally and it came to be it would increase my belief. I do NOT mean winning the lottery, or a loved one being cured of cancer, or a change in the weather. These types of thing happen naturally. I am talking about things like turning my car into a ferrari in front of my very eyes, or making Jessica Alba fall madly in love with me for no discernible reason, things like that that have virtually zero chance of occurring without divine intervention. In this case I would again think it was either god or an alien life form.

- If science exhausts all possible research and is "finished" and the final result is that the universe is completely inexplicable and random. I am not holding my breath for this as science will not be finished for the conceivable future.
Deathclock
2.3 / 5 (12) Jan 20, 2012
I believe that there is objective truth, many people do not believe this.


That would be a self-refuting position, because "there is no objective truth" is assumed to be an objective truth, which is self-contradicting


Meaningless word-play.

Imagine that someone would pour some boiling hot water over your head. Is the resulting pain an objective truth you think?


This is the definition of subjective. You just demonstrated that you have no idea what these terms mean.

Suppose you child is suddenly very sick. Is that an objective enough truth for you to call the doctor?


It is truth that is relative to the assumed context of my perception of reality, and that is enough to warrant the action of visiting the doctor. I have no issue with relative truth, only objective truth.

You don't think deeply enough to understand what I am talking about, or to participate in matters of philosophy.
Henrik
1 / 5 (15) Jan 20, 2012
every day by millions of atheists, agnotics and animists such as Shinto believers in Japan who are moral.


You have misunderstood the moral argument. It is not the belief in God that is responsible for moral objectivity, but the existence of God. The moral argument states that unless God exists, objective moral values do not exist. The fact that people can behave moral or immoral is another matter.
Henrik
1 / 5 (16) Jan 20, 2012
You don't think deeply enough to understand what I am talking about, or to participate in matters of philosophy


From your own worldview, is that:

a. an objective truth based on some form of logical proof
b. a relative truth in some context without proof
c. just a random opinion

If it is not a., then how do you know you are right about this assertion?
Deathclock
2 / 5 (12) Jan 20, 2012
Henrik, if I may make a suggestion, you need to study Epistemology. There are some fantastic books I could recommend if you are interested.
Deathclock
2.7 / 5 (14) Jan 20, 2012
From your own worldview, is that: a. an objective truth based on some form of logical proof


I don't believe that humans have the ability to prove anything in absolute terms, only in relative terms. I can point to a brick and say "there is proof of that brick, we both see it, we can both touch it, that is proof"... but the reality is that proof is relative to several assumptions. The first assumption is that our perception of reality is not a mutually shared illusion a la the matrix. There are many other assumptions being made here but I'm running out of characters...

b. a relative truth in some context without proof


Relative truth is determined through relative proofs. A relative proof is based on initial assumptions, also known as axioms.

If it is not a., then how do you know you are right about this assertion?


I don't and cannot know that I am objectively right about anything, that is the point.
Henrik
1 / 5 (16) Jan 20, 2012
you need to study Epistemology ... There are some fantastic books


Is that an absolute truth, a relative truth without proof or a random opinion. How do you know that these books are actually fantastic, and that I need them. Remember you said you did not believe in proof or the knowledge of absolute truth.

In fact all your statements are void because you have no way of knowing that anything you say is actually true, for proof is not possible.
Deathclock
2 / 5 (12) Jan 20, 2012
You might bring up mathematics, but mathematics is itself a defined context. 1 1 = 2 is true relative to the context of mathematics. There is nothing natural about mathematics. I'll be the first to admit that it is difficult to conceive of a scenario in which mathematics has no meaning, but I can understand that mathematics depends upon counts, or enumerations. In reality everything is energy. Humans define things and categorize things, and only though these categorizations and classifications can enumerations occur. There are not 3 trees in the yard, for example, there is 1 of that tree, and 1 of that tree, and 1 of that tree... those trees are not the same. We ignore their differences through classification, this allows enumeration, and allows mathematics to be meaningful.
Deathclock
2.3 / 5 (12) Jan 20, 2012
you need to study Epistemology ... There are some fantastic books


Is that an absolute truth, a relative truth without proof or a random opinion.


A relative truth. It is relative to the assumption that my perception of reality is accurate, which I have no way to know for sure.

How do you know that these books are actually fantastic, and that I need them.


Well they are fantastic in my opinion, so that is an opinion. It is also my opinion that you need them evidenced by our interaction. All of this is also relative to the assumption stated above.

Remember you said you did not believe in proof or the knowledge of absolute truth.


I did not forget...

In fact all your statements are void because you have no way of knowing that anything you say is actually true, for proof is not possible.


How does that make my statements void? If you only ever concern yourself with proven objective truth you will either delude yourself or never do anything.
Henrik
1 / 5 (15) Jan 20, 2012
I don't and cannot know that I am objectively right about anything, that is the point


That includes your definition of atheism. If you cannot objectively prove that you are indeed an atheist, you could in fact be a theist who is temporarily insane.

You are not able to objectively prove that atheism even exists or has a definition. That pretty much invalidates all of your previous posts.

One step further, how do you know that your belief that objective truth cannot be known, is true? You see, your view of truth is a form of post-modernism/relativism, and it is self-refuting.

Paris is the capital of France, as we can know this to be objectively true. To say anything else is meaningless word play, because you have no way of knowing if you are correct.
Tausch
1 / 5 (3) Jan 20, 2012
You can not afford anyone's time.
We can not afford your time.
Mutually balanced exclusion.
Henrik
1 / 5 (16) Jan 20, 2012
It is relative to the assumption that my perception of reality is accurate, which I have no way to know for sure


I conclude that you choose to live in your own little twilight zone, your eclectic world where everything is relative and floating in wavy perceptive asumptions of nullness.

Do you mind if I write you off as a serious contender for truth in this debate evidenced by your interaction? But thanks for your time. Be blessed, objectively.
Deathclock
2.4 / 5 (14) Jan 20, 2012
you could in fact be a theist who is temporarily insane.


I could be insane. A fundamental property of insanity is that you don't realize it.

That pretty much invalidates all of your previous posts.


No it does not. Are axioms a new concept for you? I am not the only one subject to these limitations, you are too.

One step further, how do you know that your belief that objective truth cannot be known, is true? ... and it is self-refuting.


I don't, and it is not, it is very simple to demonstrate. Do you know that reality is not an illusion? Answer the question.

Paris is the capital of France, as we can know this to be objectively true.


You continue to prove that you have no idea what I am talking about. You do not know what objective means. Paris being the capital of France is relative to the context of our perception of reality, which MAY be illusory.

I'm beginning to think that you are not ready to consider these concepts...
Deathclock
2.4 / 5 (12) Jan 20, 2012
I conclude that you choose to live in your own little twilight zone, your eclectic world where everything is relative and floating in wavy perceptive asumptions of nullness.

Do you mind if I write you off as a serious contender for truth in this debate evidenced by your interaction? But thanks for your time. Be blessed, objectively.


Do you know for a fact that your perception of reality is not an illusion?

I'll answer for you, you don't.

Therefore everything I have said applies to you as well. You're just too ignorant and immature to understand it.

The old adage about "throwing pearls to swine" comes to mind here...
Deathclock
2.3 / 5 (12) Jan 20, 2012
Let's see if I can make you understand this... ever watch Harry Potter? If not I can use another example, if so would you say it is true that Harry's parents were killed by Voldemort?

(I don't particularly like Harry Potter, for some reason this was the first example I thought of...)
aroc91
5 / 5 (4) Jan 20, 2012
Circular reasoning at its finest


Perhaps you do not know what a philosophical argument actually is. Philosophy uses concepts and ontological statements to build logical arguments. The point of the moral argument is to show that the existence of objective morality is possible only if God exists, and the morality is the expression of His Being.


Circular reasoning is completely devoid of logic. You can't make an argument for ANYTHING when the foundation of your argument is illogical circular reasoning. Philosophical arguments aren't immune to logic; quite the opposite, actually. The basis of philosophy is logic. Circular reasoning is pretty much chapter 1 of phil 101.
Deathclock
2.1 / 5 (11) Jan 20, 2012
Forget it, let's go with your paris being the capital of france example.

You say this is an objective truth. Unfortunately for you you do not and cannot know if your perception of reality is accurate or is an illusion. France might not exist in reality, france might only exist in the context of your illusion. If this is the case, then it is NOT an objective truth that paris is the capital of france, because neither paris nor france exist and so they cannot be/have a capital.

Do I think this is the case? Of course not. Do I KNOW that it is not the case? No, and neither do you.

Again, epistemology, study it.
Deathclock
2 / 5 (12) Jan 20, 2012
With harry potter, you would have said that yes it is true that harrys parents were killed by voldemort. The point I would have made is that harry potter, his parents, and voldemort do not exist, so no it is not true that his parents were killed by voldemort, it is only true relative to the context of the story. That is an example of the relative nature of truth, it is easy to see and understand when exemplified by a fictional story... the mental leap is to understand that your entire reality may be a fictional story.
Deathclock
2.7 / 5 (14) Jan 20, 2012
We, all of us, operate under the assumption that our perception of reality is NOT an illusion... because it is the only thing we can do. However, most people never even consider the possibility, so you have people obsessed with "proof" and "truth" that fumble around with these concepts failing to realize that humans can never prove anything and can never be sure that they have gained absolute truth.

Scientists, for the most part, understand this. That is why science is NOT about finding "truth" it is about finding evidence. That is why a theory is described as the best explanation we have given the evidence, instead of being defined as "the truth". As soon as you start talking about "the truth" you are deluding yourself... and that is all Christians talk about. Religious people are the most deluded people on the planet. Atheists admit they don't know, because really no one knows. That is why atheism is a rational position.
aroc91
4.3 / 5 (6) Jan 20, 2012
Deathclock, you have handled this spectacularly.
Deathclock
2.1 / 5 (11) Jan 20, 2012
Thank you very much, these concepts have interested me since I was a child, and it is good to refresh them in my own head every once in a while. I don't hold any hope that Henrik will take anything away from this other than assuming I am crazy, but I don't post for Henrik I post for other readers, and the hope that maybe somebody reading this will have a more open mind in the future because of it.
Henrik
1 / 5 (16) Jan 20, 2012
NOT about finding "truth" it is about finding evidence


And that is exactly what I am establishing. Faith in God is rational because it is rooted in plausible evidence. It is a reasonable, plausible faith. One argument I have provided is the moral argument. It makes plausible that without God, objective moral values are impossible. With objective I mean independent of human opinion. (Not objective in terms of objective reality or platonic truth).

Objective truth is not my claim, but reasonable evidence for that truth. Ultimately human experience relies on certain axiomatic principles that cannot be proven, but are assumed to be true, like the reliability of our senses and the reality of the universe.

But to conclude from that that atheism is more rational is a non sequitur, because the belief in God can be demonstrated to be rooted in credible evidence. Atheism is not supported by credible evidence, and cannot be validated. It is the weaker position, and less rational.
Deathclock
2 / 5 (12) Jan 20, 2012
Atheism is not supported by credible evidence, and cannot be validated. It is the weaker position, and less rational.


This tells me that you still don't understand what atheism is, and that I have wasted my time with you... oh well, no meeting of the minds will be had here today.
Henrik
1 / 5 (15) Jan 20, 2012
As soon as you start talking about "the truth" you are deluding yourself.


That is a logical fallacy. Objective truth exists (as you have admitted), and through plausible evidence we can know it. That includes reliance on certain self-evident truths, but we have no reason to believe that our knowledge of the truth is illusory because we cannot prove everything though observation or logic.

I want to add one more important point, and that is that you are assuming that human reasoning is the only way of establishing truth. How do you know that to be true? For instance, it is quite possible that God reveals certain truths through His Spirit to humans, or via other immaterial means. For instance, the human conscience could contain God's moral values.

This is in fact what the Bible claims. Through faith we can know God, and even the world. Faith is not based on human reasoning, but is spiritual. Only by faith can objective truth really be known.
Henrik
1 / 5 (16) Jan 20, 2012
(continued)

The fact that only faith can really bring people to the truth, is implicitly affirmed by your own analysis. You have confirmed that objective truth is fundamentally inaccesssible through human reasoning, because of its epistemological limits.

This is logically consistent with the Biblical claim that objective truth (Jesus said He is the truth Himself) can only be accessed trough the Spirit by faith. In fact by affirming the weakness of human reasoning you have confirmed the Biblical account of faith as the evidence of things that cannot be seen (Hebrews 11:1-3)

The lack of atheism is a lack of faith in God, and therefore the lack of truth. Only through knowledge of God can this (otherwise hidden) objective truth be known.
Henrik
1 / 5 (18) Jan 20, 2012
In conclusion, Christians are fully aware of the limits of human reasoning. Human thinking alone is not enough to uncover objective truth, as you have confirmed. But the objective truth still exists, for otherwise we would live in an inconsistent and illusory universe.

The solution to that problem of epistemology is not atheism. Atheism is an escape from that reality. God is the ultimate standard of truth that humans cannot grasp with logic. That is what the Bible says: my thoughts are higher than your thoughts. Jesus said: by faith you shall live. The missing truth that leads people to cynicism, atheism, skepticms or agnosticism can only be known in full through spiritual revelation, by faith in Jesus Christ.

And if you have not tried that route, I would like to challenge you to test Jesus. God does not reveal Himself to man through ferrari's popping up, or grand manifestations, but in the heart through faith in His Name. If you test this, God will answer and you will know.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.8 / 5 (17) Jan 20, 2012
psychosexual imagery of a half-naked dead or dying man in a tortured pose that has become the world's symbol of love and redemption. Is this not a remnant of the pagan ritual of human sacrifice?
You bet! In fact look at the whole xian persona...a soft-spoken, sandal and robe-wearing, long-haired love guru surrounded by an all-male entourage. Except for his mother of course; and a token harlot.

And his mom - the only woman EVER (until the present) able to conceive without being sullied by the touch of a man? What does this all SUGGEST to you?

Homosexuals were problematic in societies geared toward maximizing reproduction. What better way to remove them from the general pop than to turn them into monks and nuns? Who would more fiercely guard the church and protect its secrets than the minority who were given a pleasant and secluded alternative to persecution?

I am sure there was ample precedent in dionysian and athenain cults, temple virgins and such. Nothing new under the sun.
Deathclock
1.8 / 5 (10) Jan 20, 2012
Objective truth exists (as you have admitted), and through plausible evidence we can know it. That includes reliance on certain self-evident truths...


Plausible evidence? for objective knowledge? Reliance on "self evident truths"? You have a serious case of mush-mouth (or mush-brain)...

You are fumbling with philosophical concepts. Again I will suggest you study epistemology because while you assert that you understand these concepts that you keep referring to your own words demonstrate that you do not, or at best you have only a passing familiarization with them.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.9 / 5 (15) Jan 20, 2012
But the FACT henrik, that the stories had to be written expressly to convey this imagery, along with the vilification of jews by their implication in the murder of the savior of the world, is further EVIDENCE that the bible stories are FANTASIES assembled and tailored expressly for the purpose of DECEIVING people.

They were powerful facets of social engineering, of waging war on subcultures and manipulating minorities. And of conquering and reordering a large part of the world. Isnt this enough evidence for you? Let me know if you need more.
Deathclock
2.5 / 5 (13) Jan 20, 2012
Let me assure you, you have an acute case Dunning-Kruger syndrome. You have a surface level understanding of some basic philosophy, which is fine, until you try to exaggerate that understanding beyond your comfort zone with the concepts. You need to realize that this is blatantly obvious. If you want to discuss these matters at a significant level and depth you need to spend more time familiarizing yourself with the various schools of traditional philosophy. If you take half the time that I am sure you spend studying the bible you should be able to come up to speed relatively quickly. When that time comes I welcome you to revisit this discussion.
aroc91
5 / 5 (5) Jan 20, 2012
I want to add one more important point, and that is that you are assuming that human reasoning is the only way of establishing truth. How do you know that to be true? For instance, it is quite possible that God reveals certain truths through His Spirit to humans, or via other immaterial means. For instance, the human conscience could contain God's moral values.


Again, you're trying to use an unfalsifiable hypothetical concept as the basis of an allegedly logical argument. If the foundation of what you're saying is not either an objective truth or an accepted subjective truth or fact, then it's not even worth discussing.
caitlincatwest
5 / 5 (6) Jan 21, 2012
@Henrik

If you even entertain the possibility of one God, you have to entertain the possibility of them all. Because they are all equally likely. They all have the same amount of evidence supporting them (which is none, by the way). You may claim to not be referring to any one specific God. But the nature of the God to which you keep referring is the Christian God, as you refer to him as ultimately good and attainable only by faith. How many times have I asked you this now: Where is your PHYSICAL EVIDENCE that this God exists? Where is your evidence that he is the ONLY PLAUSIBLE GOD?

Philosophical arguments are not evidence. They are cop-outs. Learn this quickly, and you will be better off. You have continuously ignored me, so I give you one more chance to redeem yourself. You demand evidence from us. We've given it to you. I linked you to an ENTIRE WEB PAGE of physical evidence for atheism, with too many arguments to list.

Do the same. Or you will continue to lose this argument.
animah
5 / 5 (3) Jan 21, 2012
> With objective I mean independent of human opinion.

Objective morality does not exist. It is not possible outside of human consensus. If the Earth were to be wiped out (say by an asteroid), if all humans ceased to exist, the morality of "thou shalt not kill" or "covet thy neighbour's wife" would become utterly devoid of meaning.

Furthermore, if humans were to be the only sentient beings in the universe, the word "meaning" itself would become meaningless.

Your argument for objective morality is without merit.
animah
5 / 5 (3) Jan 21, 2012
> But the objective truth still exists, for otherwise we would live in an inconsistent and illusory universe.

Indeed (although you confuse objective truth with objective reality).

> The solution to that problem god is the ultimate standard of truth.

No, it is more plausible that the laws of physics (i.e. of the universe) are the ultimate standard of truth, than that it is supernatural phenomena.

As I have demonstrated, the agency at the origin of these laws is statistically unlikely to be what you think of as a god, and exponentially less likely to be the god you want as you make more and more unproven (and I mean 6-sigma) statements about him.

Thus your argument for the origin of objective truth is without merit.

Your failure is compounded by the non-sequitur of stating that the universe must have a creator and that god must not have a creator in the same dogmatic breath.

You made my point yourself Henrik:

> Faith in God is a uniquely human feature
Henrik
1 / 5 (4) Jan 21, 2012
By redefining atheism as a lack of belief in God, atheism is no longer a defensible position. Atheism is thus no longer true nor false, but just a psychological state of an individual. Infants and house pets by that definition have also become atheists.

But this kind of linguistic arm-twisting does not put away the valid question if God exists. And to answer that question both positively or negatively, one is in need of arguments. The existence of God can be investigated through human reasoning and observation.

Objective truth exists as most would affirm, but indeed it is impossible to know it in full because of the limits of human understanding. Some things, like the reliability of our senses and the reality of the universe, we just have to assume in faith. To conclude from this however that assertions like Paris is the capital of France cannot be true or false because France could be an illusion, is absurd and reductionist. In reality no human being lives that way.

(cont.)
Ethelred
5 / 5 (1) Jan 21, 2012
So i think everyone here can agree here that it was an age of german inquisition.
If that was a carefully antiseptic way to refer to WWII then that is a just bit of an evasion.

They didnt limit theirselves to fightng against jews, but everyone who didnt coooperate with their believes.
That seems to mean anyone not a Fascist. Or have you redefined that as well. You did call the Roman Empire fascist on another thread where you went strange.

. I wouldnt be surprised if half the people that died were actually atheists or protestant christians.
Died, another peculiar way of avoiding the truth. Murdered is the correct term. And no. Most were Catholics. The Poles were the majority and they were mostly Catholic. Jews were next in absolute numbers.

What better publicity for the jews to claim the "jewish genocide"
Lying again I see. Millions were murdered. This is exceedingly well documented.>>
Henrik
1 / 5 (4) Jan 21, 2012
Furthermore, to conclude from this form of relativism that atheism is the most rational position is a non sequitur.

First of all, we can know some level of the truth through credible evidence. By observing and reasoning we can make a certain world view more plausible, more credible. Atheism by definition cannot rest on any plausibility, because it cannot be validated in any way.

Second, atheism as lack of belief is self-defeating. There is no way in knowing that atheism even exists, or that its definition is correct. Worse yet, the atheist can never refute any arguments for the existence of God, because he does not believe that things like evidence and proof could be sufficient for him to know the truth about God, ar any truth at all.
Henrik
1 / 5 (4) Jan 21, 2012
Thirdly, the atheist commits the reductionist fallacy. By assuming that only human reasoning can provide access to truth, he could be wrong. If God exists, it is quite possible that He communicates truth to humans through spiritual means, such as faith.

In fact the plausibility of this is implied by the atheist position that objective truth cannot be known naturally. Supernatural revelation is thus completely consistent with the atheists lack of belief due to inaccessibility of truth though natural reasoning.

Because of this, the conclusion is warranted that atheism is not the most rational position to take , because of the wilfull ignorance of these possibilities to learn about truth. That makes atheism irrational.
Ethelred
5 / 5 (2) Jan 21, 2012
(which is an oxymoron since jewish people of multiple ethnicies exist)
Wrong. Its one ethnic group with three races involved in it. The majority is Semitic, second is the Ethiopian Jews and third is that small pocket in China on the Silk Road that was discovered when a TV series was made about the Silk Road. Funny how you thought were telling me something I didn't know.

o they can call anyone who opposes jews a nazi?
No. I have the sneaking suspicion that in Israel they call the main opposition, Arabs.

I dont hate jews,
No and neither did the French that turned Jews over to the Nazis.

i oppose religion
I haven't seen one I am enthralled with but I am not obsessed either.

jews are just the worst of them all,
Oh dear on the other rant you acted as if it was Catholics and I was sure I could get on both your lists as I was Catholic before becoming an Agnostic. However, just for you, I can call myself a jewish Agnostic.>>
Ethelred
5 / 5 (1) Jan 21, 2012
but here is ethelred the jew trying to make out to be a racist.
No. I said it once. You are a total asshole. Just as nearly all racists are. So I made a mistake. You are a bigot. And an asshole as that seems to be requirement for being a bigot. And an utter psycho as well.

There are christian jews in existince.
I said it was an ethic group. Yes there are Christians that are ethnic Jews. Not many but some.

I geuss you have no clue about what the jewish cult is.
Since you insist I am one then I must know. However it isn't a cult. Its a religion. Several religions in fact just as Protestants have more than one religion.

I guess you just don't have any clue at all about being a decent human.

Ethelred
Henrik
1 / 5 (4) Jan 21, 2012
Objective morality does not exist. It is not possible outside of human consensus


Why would that be? It is quite possible that things like love and tolerance are objectively good values even if humans do not exist. In fact you are begging the question for atheism. By assuming there is nothing beside nature, you commit a logical fallacy.
Ethelred
5 / 5 (1) Jan 21, 2012
the mental leap is to understand that your entire reality may be a fictional story.
The Circle Jerk of Philosophy. 'E Pissed on Mount Illogical.

Stay away from that shit. It's bad for you.

Running around words instead of using something that at least remotely resembles facts is just a Philosophical Circle Jerk. Tiresome, pointless, and an idiotic waste of time.

Especially with someone the uses special definitions that are carefully chosen to evade rational discourse. Kind of like using German philosophical words to avoid clarity.

the mental leap is to understand that your entire reality may be a fictional story.
Oh goody. You comprehend the concept of objective reality. Try sticking to that an you have an easier time of it with Henrik.

That is why science is NOT about finding "truth" it is about finding evidence.
And damn every bloody one of them believes in an objective reality.

Ethelred
Henrik
1 / 5 (4) Jan 21, 2012
No, it is more plausible that the laws of physics (i.e. of the universe) are the ultimate standard of truth


This statement is problematic. First of all, where do the laws of physics come from? Everything that begins to exist has a cause, including the laws of nature. Second, this is also begging the question for atheism. You do not know that physical reality is the only reality that exists, you just assume it.
Deathclock
2.7 / 5 (14) Jan 21, 2012
Why would that be? It is quite possible that things like love and tolerance are objectively good values even if humans do not exist.


As far as we know these things do not exist without humans, so no, wrong.

By assuming there is nothing beside nature, you commit a logical fallacy.


You don't know what logical fallacy means... you throw the term around like you do but in reality you have no notion of logic or reason. To assume that all that exists is natural (as opposed to supernatural) is merely an initial assumption that we take based on the evidence. There is no credible evidence for the supernatural, so we assume that there is no such thing as the super natural and we take that as axiomatic as part of the context that we use to establish truth relative to that context.
Deathclock
1 / 5 (4) Jan 21, 2012
Eth, I am not going to start a side argument with you about philosophy here, but I will say that you don't know whether or not your perception of reality is an illusion or not. That is all that has to be true to make all of my points valid, and it is true.
Henrik
1 / 5 (3) Jan 21, 2012
You're being completely fucking ridiculous. Just because we can't watch something occur due to the timescales involved doesn't mean we can't learn about the process.


(Deathclock, Jan 16 2012)

So some level of knowledge is possible with natural things according to you. The same is possible with the existence of God or the supernatural.
Henrik
1 / 5 (4) Jan 21, 2012
As far as we know these things do not exist without humans


That is a fallacious argument from ignorance, and provides no logical reason why things like love and tolerance cannot exist independently of human existence.
Henrik
1 / 5 (3) Jan 21, 2012
There is no credible evidence for the supernatural,


How would you know that? According to your earlier admission you do not believe in things like proof. You are not in a position to evaluate any argument for the existence of God, because you deny that anything you claim could be proven true or false.
Henrik
1 / 5 (3) Jan 21, 2012
I linked you to an ENTIRE WEB PAGE of physical evidence for atheism


How can there be any physical evidence for a personal absence of belief? To think that anything could be proof for an absence is illogical and self-refuting.
animah
5 / 5 (3) Jan 21, 2012
> In fact the existence of God is necessary to prevent the universe becoming utterly meaningless, a-moral and inexplicable.

To recap: if an asteroid were to extinguish humankind (and assuming no sentient aliens), the universe would become meaningless, a-moral and inexplicable by definition (indeed, there would be no one to do the explaining).

To illustrate with the case of your specific religion: if the human race did not exist, the 10 commandments would be meaningless.

Therefore premise 1 and 2 are without merit. As are all subsequent arguments built on these foundations, with no additional refutations needed.
Henrik
1 / 5 (4) Jan 21, 2012
if an asteroid were to extinguish humankind (and assuming no sentient aliens), the universe would become meaningless, a-moral and inexplicable by definition (indeed, there would be no one to do the explaining).


Why? can you provide any logical argument for that assertion? In fact you commit the logical fallacy of begging the question by assuming atheism is true.

God could have sufficient reasons to create even an empty universe where love would be the primary directive, simply because He is love.
aroc91
5 / 5 (4) Jan 21, 2012
By redefining atheism as a lack of belief in God, atheism is no longer a defensible position. Atheism is thus no longer true nor false, but just a psychological state of an individual. Infants and house pets by that definition have also become atheists.


Not RE-defining, just defining. Why you're bringing this up again, I have no idea, because this has been discussed and agreed upon already. Atheism cannot be validated. We know. It's completely irrelevant.

The existence of God can be investigated through human reasoning and observation.


Reasoning? Sure. Observation? Absolutely not.

Regarding reasoning, you have to be aware that it's still limited by the subjective human experience. Show me observational evidence for God.

Before you bring up the whole "God needs to exist for objectivity to exist, and because this is an objective statement, God must exist", that's just more of your flawed, circular hand-waving. We don't know for a fact that's objective.
aroc91
5 / 5 (3) Jan 21, 2012
Second, atheism as lack of belief is self-defeating. There is no way in knowing that atheism even exists, or that its definition is correct. Worse yet, the atheist can never refute any arguments for the existence of God, because he does not believe that things like evidence and proof could be sufficient for him to know the truth about God, ar any truth at all.


The same could be said for Christianity.
aroc91
5 / 5 (3) Jan 21, 2012
Thirdly, the atheist commits the reductionist fallacy. By assuming that only human reasoning can provide access to truth, he could be wrong. If God exists, it is quite possible that He communicates truth to humans through spiritual means, such as faith.


Guilty once again of trying to form an argument from a huge IF statement.

aroc91
5 / 5 (3) Jan 21, 2012
Objective morality does not exist. It is not possible outside of human consensus


Why would that be? It is quite possible that things like love and tolerance are objectively good values even if humans do not exist. In fact you are begging the question for atheism. By assuming there is nothing beside nature, you commit a logical fallacy.


You would have to prove that love exists if there aren't people around to define it to say that. There's no logical fallacy because love is an emergent property of humanity.

As far as we know these things do not exist without humans


That is a fallacious argument from ignorance, and provides no logical reason why things like love and tolerance cannot exist independently of human existence.


Propose a logical way for love to exist without beings around to enact it. You need an anthropomorphic basis for love to exist.
aroc91
5 / 5 (3) Jan 21, 2012
There is no credible evidence for the supernatural,


How would you know that? According to your earlier admission you do not believe in things like proof. You are not in a position to evaluate any argument for the existence of God, because you deny that anything you claim could be proven true or false.


Go back and read again. He said there can't be any such thing as proof, due to our subjective experience. Evidence is perfectly fine, because it's not absolute and uses logic as a means to making claims and assumptions.

I linked you to an ENTIRE WEB PAGE of physical evidence for atheism


How can there be any physical evidence for a personal absence of belief? To think that anything could be proof for an absence is illogical and self-refuting.


Proposition: The Great Flood happened

Fact 1: No physical or observational (ie, the Egyptians) evidence for it.

You can whittle down any religion like this by disproving the claims it makes.

animah
5 / 5 (2) Jan 21, 2012
> By assuming there is nothing beside nature, you commit a logical fallacy.

By assuming there is something beside nature, you commit a logical fallacy. You fail the burden of proof test, not me, under any formal logic framework.

> sufficient reasons to create even an empty universe where love would be the primary directive

Nonsense. In the absence of humans, there would be no one to give love to or to receive love from.

There would be no one but the creator to even know what the definition of love is, no possible manifestation or any way to make it known that the concept exists. The directive would apply to no one - it would be impotent in the most literal sense.

Therefore your hypothetical god could only love himself.

The same goes for morality and therefore as demonstrated, objective morality does not exist.

You have utterly lost the entire argument without recourse. End of the line.
Henrik
1 / 5 (3) Jan 21, 2012
By assuming there is something beside nature


This proves that you have not really read or comprehended the moral argument. In neither premise 1 nor 2 do I presuppose the existence of God.
Henrik
1 / 5 (3) Jan 21, 2012
Propose a logical way for love to exist without beings around to enact it


It was your statement that love cannot exist independent from humans or aliens. He who avers, must prove. Until you do that, the existence of love is quite rational if love is simply an attribute of God.

flood ...


We are not discussing the flood. The flood has nothing to do with the moral argument for the existence of God. Get your thoughts back on track.
Henrik
1 / 5 (4) Jan 21, 2012
Evidence is perfectly fine ...


Then what evidence do you have against the evidence for the existence of God? Please provide credible evidence that either:

a. moral values that are independent of people's opinion or biology can exist without God

b. That no moral values do exist that are independent of human opinion or biology.
Tachyon8491
1.9 / 5 (13) Jan 21, 2012
Religionism is a dangerously infective, pandemic mental virus that historically has caused more death and destruction of inviduals, tribes and cultural heritage, more disenfranchisement and suppression of innovation and evolutionary cultural-technical progress, than pandemic disease. The universe is undoubtedly intelligent and sacredly divine - but does not need "gods," simplistically always made in man's image. Even Plato knew this when he asserted that a tribe's gods said more about the people who believed in them (created them) than other attributes. "Intelligent Design" is about the most unintelligent myth of infantilism that humans have ever come up with...
Deathclock
2.1 / 5 (11) Jan 21, 2012
As far as we know these things do not exist without humans


That is a fallacious argument from ignorance, and provides no logical reason why things like love and tolerance cannot exist independently of human existence.


Do you even listen to yourself? Say these words out loud and hear how completely ridiculous you sound.
Deathclock
2.3 / 5 (12) Jan 21, 2012
Hi my name is Henrik, there is no reason that color cannot exist without light. There is no reason that love cannot exist without consciousness. There is no reason that literature cannot exist without words. There is no reason that trees cannot exist without land. There is no reason that music cannot exist without sound. There is no reason that art cannot exist without vision...

Should I go on? You have resorted to being completely fucking ridiculous in your arguments, and you have lost, many times over. I don't know why you keep posting... for that matter I don't know why I keep posting.
Henrik
1 / 5 (4) Jan 21, 2012
Say these words out loud and hear how completely ridiculous you sound


Not as ridiculous as an atheistic cat or a goldfish with a lack of belief in God. You said yourself that it is distinctly possible that you are insane.
Henrik
1 / 5 (5) Jan 21, 2012
for that matter I don't know why I keep posting.


Perhaps because being an atheist, you are irrational and have no means of validating your own motives.
Henrik
1 / 5 (4) Jan 21, 2012
There is no reason that love cannot exist without consciousness


That is not what I said. If God exists, then with Him being a conscious Mind, He can be a creature of infinite love. So there is no logical contradiction between the existence of love and the absence of humans.

In fact, in an atheistic universe an immaterial quality such as love would not even exist, because inert matter cannot give rise to immaterial values.
aroc91
5 / 5 (4) Jan 21, 2012
It was your statement that love cannot exist independent from humans or aliens. He who avers, must prove. Until you do that, the existence of love is quite rational if love is simply an attribute of God.


Again, you're using what you're trying to prove as the foundation of your argument. Stop it. You do realize there's no way to logically refute "love can exist without people because God says so", right? Circular reasoning.

flood ...


We are not discussing the flood. The flood has nothing to do with the moral argument for the existence of God. Get your thoughts back on track.


That's exactly what you asked for: physical evidence for a lack of belief. I don't believe because physical evidence points to your belief system being completely false and making shit up.
Henrik
1 / 5 (3) Jan 21, 2012
suppression of innovation and evolution...


The first universities in Europe were founded by Christians. Many famous scientists and philosophers were Christians. A Christian discovered the laws of motion. A Christian invented Calculus. A Christian invented the taxonomy of evolutionary species. A Christian discovered the laws of natural selection and genetic variability. A Christian first formulated the theory of the big bang. etc etc.
aroc91
5 / 5 (4) Jan 21, 2012
Then what evidence do you have against the evidence for the existence of God? Please provide credible evidence that:

b. That no moral values do exist that are independent of human opinion or biology.


The very foundation of morality stems from empathy. Empathy is a survival instinct. We know what we don't want to have happen to us to ensure our survival and through communication, we've figured out that others have these feelings as well and we respect those. Without life, there is no empathy, because it's an emergent property.

If God exists and the universe exists devoid of life, God cannot feel empathy, because there is nothing to empathize with.
Henrik
1 / 5 (4) Jan 21, 2012
physical evidence for a lack of belief


No I asked evidence against evidence for the existence of God, like the moral argument. That implies evidence against premise 1 or 2.

The flood is not relevant for Gods existence, it could only be relevant in a discussion about Biblical inerrancy.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.1 / 5 (18) Jan 21, 2012
We are not discussing the flood. The flood has nothing to do with the moral argument for the existence of God. Get your thoughts back on track.
YES IT DOES. God killed all but 8 people. That is indeed a topic for discussion of morality of god.

Furthermore the flood is described in a book purported to be the word of god, but the flood never happened and so someone lied. This is also a topic for discussion of the morality of god or at least of those who created him and those who choose to believe in him.

You dont want to discuss the flood because it proves your god doesn't exist.
The flood is not relevant for Gods existence, it could only be relevant in a discussion about Biblical inerrancy.
Everything we know about henriks god we get from the book. If the book is full of lies then either henriks god is a liar or his god doesn't exist. Either way henrik loses.
Henrik
1 / 5 (4) Jan 21, 2012
The very foundation of morality stems from empathy. Empathy is a survival instinct


Proof?

Morality is about a distinction between good and evil. Empathy and other feelings are subjective and cannot be measured or validated. At best this would provide a relative moral foundation, but not an objective one, that is independent of human feelings and opinions. A murderer could simply say that he does not feel any empathy for his victims.

But we know that child rape is objectively wrong, even if one could not feel empathy for the child that was abused. If not, in court all the rapist would have to do is claim a lack of empathy.

I think premise 2 is more rational than the belief that moral values rest on subjective human feelings. If they do, moral values would be an illusion.
aroc91
5 / 5 (4) Jan 21, 2012
physical evidence for a lack of belief


No I asked evidence against evidence for the existence of God, like the moral argument. That implies evidence against premise 1 or 2.

The flood is not relevant for Gods existence, it could only be relevant in a discussion about Biblical inerrancy.


I'll point you to your own words from the last page-

First of all, we can know some level of the truth through credible evidence. By observing and reasoning we can make a certain world view more plausible, more credible. Atheism by definition cannot rest on any plausibility, because it cannot be validated in any way.


By your very own circular reasoning, if the word of God is not true, then its description of him cannot be regarded as true.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.1 / 5 (17) Jan 21, 2012
Morality is about a distinction between good and evil. Empathy and other feelings are subjective and cannot be measured or validated.
And we've proven your god is evil because of the bible stories, true or not, describe evil deeds. And your god compels people to do evil today, specifically by compelling them to produce more children than they can support. Starving children is evil. Having children so they can die defending your god is evil.
But we know that child rape is objectively wrong, even if one could not feel empathy for the child that was abused. If not, in court all the rapist would have to do is claim a lack of empathy.
-And this is the ONLY thing apart from the many many evil abuses your god DOES visit upon the world, which you want to discuss henrik? What about STARVING children? What about children who lose parents to religious conflict? These too are evil and they are caused by an evil god.
aroc91
5 / 5 (2) Jan 21, 2012
Proof?


Without empathy, every species on earth would have killed itself off a long time ago. You said it yourself below, regarding the murderer. I'm honestly a bit flabbergasted at your questioning of the role of empathy on survival.

Empathy and other feelings are subjective and cannot be measured or validated.


I disagree.

http://www.washin...ory.html

At best this would provide a relative moral foundation, but not an objective one, that is independent of human feelings and opinions.


Which supports my position, not yours.

A murderer could simply say that he does not feel any empathy for his victims.


He's the minority and is judged by what the majority deems acceptable, aka subjective morality.

aroc91
5 / 5 (2) Jan 21, 2012
But we know that child rape is objectively wrong, even if one could not feel empathy for the child that was abused. If not, in court all the rapist would have to do is claim a lack of empathy.


The same stands here that stands for the murderer. The rapist is the minority.

aroc91
5 / 5 (1) Jan 21, 2012
This is the same argument that ended up here 5 days ago-

Based on overwhelming consensus of the population


The general consensus in nazi Germany was that persecuting and killing Jews was acceptable, even by law. Does that consensus make the holocaust morally acceptable? No.

Even if Hitler had convinced the whole earth that Jews are evil and worthy of annihilation, the death camps would have still been a moral abomination. That is because moral absolutes exist, and they are a proof that not human thinking is the foundation of good and evil, but a righteouss and holy God.


If Hitler had convinced the whole earth that the Holocaust was fine and dandy, it wouldn't be because that's what everybody truly thinks, it would be through coercion, going AGAINST their most primal instincts.
Henrik
1 / 5 (4) Jan 21, 2012
He's the minority and is judged by what the majority deems acceptable


The majority in nazi Germany consented to the dehumanization, rounding up and killing of the Jews. Does that make the holocaust any more acceptable? No. In fact the holocaust is evil even if the whole world would have been convinced otherwise by Hitler. That pretty much invalidates your morality by majority vote. Human crowds are a poor source for sound morals.
Henrik
1 / 5 (4) Jan 21, 2012
I'm honestly a bit flabbergasted at your questioning of the role of empathy on survival.


I am questioning the role of empathy in the establishment of moral values and duties. A rapist or murderer is in jail not because of a lack of empathy, but because he committed a henious crime and was judged based on clear moral laws, distinguishing between good and evil objectively. The law is not concerned with empathy for the victim, but the enforcement of justice.
Henrik
1 / 5 (4) Jan 21, 2012
it wouldn't be because that's what everybody truly thinks, it would be through coercion


That is just guessing, you have no way of knowing that. In fact anti-semitism was and is widespread in Europe. The hatred for the Jews was a core theme of nazi's, but that did not stop the majority of voters to vote him into office. Even on this site it has reared its ugly head.
Henrik
Jan 21, 2012
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
aroc91
5 / 5 (3) Jan 21, 2012
The majority in nazi Germany consented to the dehumanization, rounding up and killing of the Jews.


Proof?

I am questioning the role of empathy in the establishment of moral values and duties. A rapist or murderer is in jail not because of a lack of empathy, but because he committed a henious crime and was judged based on clear moral laws, distinguishing between good and evil objectively. The law is not concerned with empathy for the victim, but the enforcement of justice.


What made him commit the crime in the first place? His lack of empathy for his victim.

Additionally, empathy offers a poor model for love and tolerance.... But there is no logical reason why anyone would love, forgive or pray for the rapist of their child.


Not sure what you're getting at here. So you're saying the teachings of Jesus are illogical? Duh.

Henrik
1 / 5 (3) Jan 21, 2012
His lack of empathy for his victim.


How does that flow logically from anything? Far more likely is that rapists rape because of uncontrolled lust or the desire to control others sexually. A lack of empathy does not make anyone a murderer, but a lack of basic moral values definately is required.

So you're saying the teachings of Jesus are illogical?


No, I am saying that empathy cannot explain a lot of moral behavior, such as altruism and Christian values such as love and self-sacrifice. Empathy is a very egocentric basis for morality, because it implies that without empathy, the other person would not be worth treating well. There are in fact many people who completely lack empathy for others, but do not rape or murder because they simply know it's evil.

Finally, even if evolution is responsible for moral values, then God could have simply used empathy to reveal his values to us. So in now way does empathy invalidate moral values as objective truths.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.2 / 5 (19) Jan 21, 2012
The majority in nazi Germany consented to the dehumanization, rounding up and killing of the Jews.
Their religion had been configured to make jews its natural enemy. They had been told this for centuries. Ill post the link for you again:
http://www.sulliv...ters.htm

-Your religion was RESPONSIBLE for the holocaust. It had conditioned the people to hate the christ-killers for 2 millenia. The holocaust was only the latest and greatest of a long line of pogrom.

Its funny henrik how you can forget what you are told in the space of only a few hundred posts. Like xians can forget things like WHY the holocaust happened in only a few generations.
http://en.wikiped..._of_John

John made jews christ-killers so that xians would become jew-killers. Jews invented religion-mandated overgrowth which required that an even more vile religion be created to counter it.

And now there is islam which threatens more pogrom.
aroc91
5 / 5 (3) Jan 21, 2012
God could have simply used empathy to reveal his values to us. So in no way does empathy invalidate moral values as objective truths.


Unfalsifiable claim. That's the same as a proponent of intelligent design coming to a compromise with evolutionists by saying evolution is God's method of creation.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4 / 5 (16) Jan 21, 2012
From the wiki link:

"Hence it is argued[who?] that "the Jews" properly refers to the Jewish religious authorities (Sanhedrin), and not the Jewish people as a whole. It is because of this controversy that some modern English translations, such as Today's New International Version, remove the term "Jews" and replace it with more specific terms to avoid anti-Semitic connotations."

-So just now they are retranslating it to skew its original, constantinian wording?

"Most critics of these translations, while conceding this point, argue that the context (since it is obvious that Jesus, John himself, and the other disciples were all Jews) makes John's true meaning sufficiently clear, and that a literal translation is preferred."

-But the People who originally wrote John werent too concerned about context. They wrote it to make jews the enemies of the people, to counter the spread of that religion before it undermined the west.

They did a very good job. The holocaust is exhibit #1.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.1 / 5 (17) Jan 21, 2012
Jesus, the disciples, and paul et al had abandoned their religion because, according to the book of john, they came to understand what it was:

"They answered him, "Abraham is our father." Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would do what Abraham did. ... You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires."

-Had jews followed jesus they would no longer have been jews. Like marranos. They killed jesus, according to the bible, because he rode into their holy city on its holiest of holidays and declared that he was not just their king, he was their GOD.

"38 "What is truth?" retorted Pilate. With this he went out again to the Jews gathered there and said, "I find no basis for a charge against him. 39 But it is your custom for me to release to you one prisoner at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to release 'the king of the Jews'?"

40 They shouted back, "No, not him! Give us Barabbas!"

-Whoever wrote this book was VERY specific.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.9 / 5 (17) Jan 21, 2012
The majority in nazi Germany consented to the dehumanization, rounding up and killing of the Jews. Does that make the holocaust any more acceptable? No. In fact the holocaust is evil even if the whole world would have been convinced otherwise by Hitler. That pretty much invalidates your morality by majority vote. Human crowds are a poor source for sound morals.
They didnt HAVE to be convinced. YOUR RELIGION HAD ALREADY DONE THIS.
Henrik
1.8 / 5 (5) Jan 21, 2012
So just now they are retranslating it to skew its original, constantinian wording?


You are raising many interesting questions, which deserve an honest answer. Christendom's history is indeed full of crimes that are contrary to the core message of the gospel. But whatever evil deeds people commit, they are also an illustration of how sinful humans are. However I suggest to use another thread. Like you said, there is a time for everything. Be blessed.
Henrik
1 / 5 (4) Jan 21, 2012
YOUR RELIGION HAD ALREADY DONE THIS


No need to shout. I am not a member of any religious movement, and I am not promoting any form of religion. Jesus did not come to establish a new religion at all. There were plenty of religions around when He appeared. In fact Jesus was a major critic of religion. Religion cannot save anyone, only Jesus can save a person.
caitlincatwest
5 / 5 (8) Jan 21, 2012
YOUR RELIGION HAD ALREADY DONE THIS


No need to shout. I am not a member of any religious movement, and I am not promoting any form of religion. Jesus did not come to establish a new religion at all. There were plenty of religions around when He appeared. In fact Jesus was a major critic of religion. Religion cannot save anyone, only Jesus can save a person.


That's a load of crock. You've been promoting Christianity with your blatant use of the word "God" and a plethora of other characteristics specific to the nature of the God of the Christian Bible. Don't think you're fooling anyone.
Telekinetic
1.5 / 5 (8) Jan 21, 2012
You would have made a great theologian, Ghost, if it wasn't for the requisite "belief" part.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4 / 5 (16) Jan 21, 2012
You would have made a great theologian, Ghost, if it wasn't for the requisite "belief" part.
I BELIEVE in the cleverness and ingenuity of human beings in positions of Leadership who could understand the desperate nature of the human condition (not hard) and begin to take Steps to rectify it.

I believe that some People could be so desperate to save Their own tribe that They would endeavor to conquer the world. And I believe They would be ruthless enough to concoct the major religions in order to assist Them in accomplishing this Task.

These doomsday weapons themselves now endanger the world. But not to worry; I BELIEVE that Leaders have these things all worked out. As usual.

Henrik, forced reproduction as a method of conquest was an inevitable development. You could say it was naturally selected for. A tribe which could grow faster would tend to prevail in conflict. But this also made events like the holocaust inevitable. This is the tragic reality of the human equation.
Vienna
1 / 5 (8) Jan 21, 2012
Oh here we go again. So you take a complex organism, and that IS what yeast is, by the way. Where yeast is in level of complexity is far, far, far above "one-celled organisms". Yeast is already programmed for a range of behaviors. Otherwise, it would not be so effective in turning all manners of sugars and carbohydrates into alcohol.

And as for "multi-cellularity" -- they are observing behaviors that are already embedded, encoded, prepared to initiate the behaviors they observe.

And as for this quote :

"Considering that trillions of one-celled organisms lived on Earth for millions of years, it seems like it should have, Ratcliff says."

Prove it. A cell, just one cell, has a staggeringly complex range of mechanisms that are ALREADY encoded in a phenomenally coordinated and "super-intelligent" fashion.

That cells just sprang up out of chemicals to begin with is a supreme act of faith. It is a religious belief on the part of scientists and their masses of slavering believers.
Telekinetic
1.5 / 5 (8) Jan 21, 2012
Unlike you, I have an extremely guarded trust that leadership can do much at all to rectify social and global problems. Sure, there are programs and policies that historically alleviated hardships, i.e., Emancipation Proclamation, New Deal, Civil Rights Amendment, but the problem is the ignorance and hatred that the individual carries around like a torch, reinforced over generations not so much by the tribe as by the nuclear family, as evidenced by the willingness of an individual to submit readily to patriarchal authority. This is where we get the "good German" who was only following orders. Yes, religion worms its way into the subconscious mind, but only to superimpose the pattern of martyrdom and suffering of an individual's notion of his place in the universe, who, for the sake of his country, will lay down his life. An individual's rage from being humiliated all of his life in the family manifests as a broader symbolic rage against the world- The Jews, the Blacks, the Foreigner-
Telekinetic
1.9 / 5 (9) Jan 21, 2012
It's simple psychology, often rejected because of its simplicity. If we are to evolve in a healthy fashion, we must teach future generations to believe in themselves, and not to fear anyone or any idol.
animah
5 / 5 (5) Jan 21, 2012
> This proves that you have not really read or comprehended the moral argument. In neither premise 1 nor 2 do I presuppose the existence of God.

Backed in a corner, now you lie to save yourself: after hundreds of posts, it is painfully obvious that you, Henrik, do presuppose the existence of god.

But you would still have lost if you did not: I have demonstrated that premise 1 and 2 cannot be logically correct.

That is because logical arguments built on false premises are sophistry. It is a key element of science fiction. You should know this.

You lack logical depth as well as rigour. I suggest you read the intellectual giants of your faith, starting with Teilhard de Chardin (atheists, do this too - sparring with his ideas is much, much more challenging than with this intellectual dwarf).

For now though, you are utterly defeated on all logical grounds, and all you have left is your continuing idle speculation.
animah
5 / 5 (3) Jan 21, 2012
Please provide credible evidence (..) b. That no moral values do exist that are independent of human opinion or biology.

I have aready proven this:

If humans did not exist, the 10 commandments would be meaningless.

There is no logical way to disprove this statement. Your only counter-argument is doubly idle speculation on a hypotethical god's hypothetical intentions. Therefore you have still lost the argument.

Why wouldn't you accept that your faith is stronger than logical deduction?
aroc91
5 / 5 (8) Jan 21, 2012
That cells just sprang up out of chemicals to begin with is a supreme act of faith. It is a religious belief on the part of scientists and their masses of slavering believers.


Liposomes spontaneously form in solution. I'm not convinced you grasp how simplistic the first life must have been. Even the simplest of bacteria didn't magically form. Those came later.
kochevnik
2.4 / 5 (5) Jan 21, 2012
In the Bible Jesus calls on people to love their enemy, not just their friends. That is a moral code, but not a natural human habit. The natural thing would be to hate one's enemies, which makes sense in an evolutionary scenario. But there is no logical reason why anyone would love, forgive or pray for the rapist of their child.
That was taken from Julius Cezar (aka Jesus Christ) when he stated that Romans should "love" their conquered peoples. By that he mostly meant not bashing in their skulls. That only makes sense when you're expanding an empire. You xtian nutcases created a "love thy enemy" fable out of that with your reanimated dead zombie Jew character.
A lack of empathy does not make anyone a murderer, but a lack of basic moral values definately is required.
Playing Russian roulette doesn't make you dead. God looking the other way does, right?
kochevnik
3 / 5 (4) Jan 21, 2012
They didnt HAVE to be convinced. YOUR RELIGION HAD ALREADY DONE THIS.
Exactly. Jesuit-educated Stalin killed half of the people in Ukraine among the 100million he did in. Catholic Hitler had full backing of the Vatican, with the pope going out of his way to collaborate with Nazi Germany. Allies leveled German town with no targets murdering 200,000 women and children and killed 3/4 of captured German soldiers after the war. All xtians looking for someone to kill.
animah
5 / 5 (5) Jan 21, 2012
Henrik, the central tenet of your argument is that god(s) provide morality.

Then please provide evidence as to why the following moral framework, which is one of many that are completely god-free, is not perfectly valid:

The economist's view:

In all the universe, sentient life is so rare it is easily a trillion times more valuable than gold. Therefore all the wealth (including oil, ahm!) and pleasures in the world do not justify the suffering of a single soul; thus justice is necessary to prevent suffering.

If you can't show this moral framework to be immoral (note: specifically immoral - you don't need to like it for it to be valid), then your argument is proven false for yet another reason and this whole thread concludes (again) with your utter defeat.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.8 / 5 (16) Jan 21, 2012
Unlike you, I have an extremely guarded trust that leadership can do much at all to rectify social and global problems.
Not leadership, Leaders. What you see is lieutenants and clerks.

This is also why free markets can never work for long. Leaders will always choose to collude, eventually, rather than compete, because it just makes sense. Politically speaking this is called diplomacy. But this sort of diplomacy happened a very long time ago, when leaders of opposing tribes realized that their true enemies were not each other but the people they governed. The people who would always reproduce themselves into misery and then blame their leaders for their suffering.

The Solution was easy. Leaders can collude to set their people against one another in Constructive and Manageable ways. By understanding that the people were the true enemies of leaders everywhere, their mutual problems could at last be solved.

The Meme spread worldwide. Leaders intermarried. A new Tribe was born.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.1 / 5 (17) Jan 21, 2012
-But I digress.
But whatever evil deeds people commit, they are also an illustration of how sinful humans are. However I suggest to use another thread.
Now, you choose to discuss morality not me. You argue that objective morality stems from god, and I suppose in your own custom-tailored religion-of-one, it does.

But everything you know of Jesus comes from the book, and it is the book which condones and encourages the most immoral of things. There is no denying this.

For instance the book ENABLES believers to kill unbelievers without remorse, because it defines them as satanists. Per Jesus himself. This facilitates immoral actions does it not?
Jesus did not come to establish a new religion at all
Jesus is an amalgam of many precursors. The myth was designed with very specific sociopolitical intentions. This is clear from what the myth enabled, and what might have happened without it.
Jesus was a major critic of religion.
The JEWISH religion, specifically. Yes?
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.9 / 5 (19) Jan 21, 2012
You cannot discuss god and morality without acknowledging YOUR god and it's LACK of morals. For instance it is mostly plagiarized.

Jesus the myth- nothing new under the Son.

You can shovel your way through this:
http://en.wikiped...ythology

-Or you can watch a nice movie:
http://www.youtub...a_player

-in 3 pieces just like your god-
Telekinetic
1.4 / 5 (9) Jan 22, 2012
"The Meme spread worldwide. Leaders intermarried. A new Tribe was born."
As in the royal intermarriages of England, Germany, Spain, and France. A lot of first cousin inbreeding, then came marital unions with other countries. The British royals are really of German extraction. It's no wonder the world is upside down. It was designed by chromosomal monsters.
Vienna
1 / 5 (2) Jan 22, 2012
FrankHerbert, yes, yes, and while we are at it why don't you lead us in heaping together Henrik's posts in a public square? Lots of kerosene, maybe? Hmmm, why don't you exhort the crowd to just toss Henrik in on top of the flames? A suspension of his account and deletion of his posts are surely not Draconian enough.

"pointless verbiage" is a close call for you then, FrankHerbert
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.8 / 5 (17) Jan 22, 2012
"The militant Muslim group Boko Haram, which is fighting for sharia rule in countrys mainly Muslim north, claimed responsibility for blasts that struck eight government buildings on Jan. 20 killing at least 165 people, its spokesman, Abu Qaqa, said by phone. Another 11 people were killed when suspected Islamist gunmen attacked a bank, a police station and a hotel in the northeastern town of Tawafa Balewa today, police said."

-Anyone, anywhere, who entertains the idea that there is a god worth believing in, must share in the responsibility for events such as this. Your pleasant fantasies only legitimize the fantasies of others, and make horrors such as this possible. Your indulgence makes them INEVITABLE.

Deny the lie that there is a god. Do your part to bring peace to the world.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.8 / 5 (17) Jan 22, 2012
It's no wonder the world is upside down. It was designed by chromosomal monsters.
Upside down? Imagine what the world might have been like had humanity been allowed to continue unfettered. Like I say, even by the time of nebucchadnezzar, unrestricted growth had ruined the tigris and euphrates valleys. Deserts were created and expanded. Species were extincted. The world was on track to becoming something like this:
http://funpreside...anistan/

-No trees, no arable land, no large animals; a vast swath from north africa through the middle east, the balkans, and eastward as far as the gobi desert, ruined long ago through mans natural proclivities. These People saved the world from this, by restricting growth. They divided humanity up and sent them against one another in Orderly ways.

Youre right - this is most apparent in medieval europe. Rulers often didnt even speak the same language as their subjects. It was as if the mafia ruled a continent.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.8 / 5 (17) Jan 22, 2012
Throughout the middle east there are city mounds - tels - which record the cyclic growth, decay, and ruin in layer after layer of destruction. The moors in scotland and ireland are testament to what even a few generations can do to a landscape.

Instead of communal farming which had ruined so much of the world, euro Leaders established serfdom which restricted people to their own little plots of land and kept them always on the verge of starvation. Borders were constantly moving as Leaders staged small, Prearranged conflicts to Manage the people and prevent overgrowth.

These Leaders were all related, and all were descended from Charlemagne, who originally united the continent.
davhaywood
5 / 5 (4) Jan 22, 2012
What puts every argument to rest for every denier of evolution is that nowhere do you see these people denying other theories of science, such as the science behind semiconductors or Newtonian Physics. The reason is that these other theories don't shrink the probability of their God existing, thus they aren't threatened by them. These people aren't mere, healthy skeptics. They deny, deny, deny like conspiracy theorists, even in the face of a mountain of evidence because they cannot let go of their precious superstitions. Nothing will break their resolve, so you may as well save your breath.
Mala_Mucika
1 / 5 (6) Jan 22, 2012
i was abducted once by aliens that i knew, what if god is on the pics?
Mala_Mucika
1 / 5 (7) Jan 22, 2012
and if you ask me creationism and evolution, isnt this the same process i dont understand difference between those two words, you create computer or you evolute computer, and everything is made of atoms no matter wh0 what created it and if atom was god or whatever then what?

single-celled organisms

single celled organism is not single celled organism ;p
Mala_Mucika
1 / 5 (7) Jan 22, 2012
and those i know travel through nothing, like in sci fi movies, and about god who said that god is like some creature sitting somewhere? because your scientific babble is like you are the most universally advanced company in the universe ;n and did you ever see circle in the square what do you think bout that so called scientists? if you ask you dont even understand the difference between number 1 and number 5 that you are rating with if you ask me, see how not rated yet turns into rated, how "dead" text made you function ;p
Mala_Mucika
1 / 5 (7) Jan 22, 2012
and there is no line between dead and alive, didnt you knew that, so you are showing what with those pics? are you sure that you understand what you are saying according or in relation to those pics? i dont think so, you are explaining pics and at the same you are not even explaining pics,truly no lies ;p

make sacrifices for the common good,

now this is a massive statement
kochevnik
1.7 / 5 (7) Jan 22, 2012
They deny, deny, deny like conspiracy theorists, even in the face of a mountain of evidence because they cannot let go of their precious superstitions.
Not the best analogy, because many conspiracies are quite real whereas most religions aren't. Or at least they're doing backward science: seeking evidence that fits a hypothesis instead of forming a hypothesis which fits the evidence. Of course in the USA there are people talking on cellphones with no battery but then again there's a reason conspiracy is an actual crime. And every traitor republican knows killing some Americans in a false-flag operation is a precursor to getting his war going. Wars without conspiracies are just battles. They lack the sizzle vital to any Tom Cruise flick.
davhaywood
2.7 / 5 (3) Jan 22, 2012
Kochevnik, the vast majority of conspiracy theories are patently false. I think you are failing to appreciate the sheer number of them out there. Sure, every once in a while one is true, but I still stand by my analogy. You can't prove that religions are or aren't real. The only thing you can hope to do is to show them to be highly improbable truths. As long as a believer admits that, and conducts themselves accordingly, I am content to respect their beliefs because those who acknowledge that tend not to be deniers of evolution, or homophobes. For, as a pragmatic atheist, I feel much the same as Bertrand Russell felt when he said, "I ought to call myself an agnostic; but, for all practical purposes, I am an atheist." The existence of the Abrahamic God is about as probable as the existence of the Greek gods. However, those who would identify as pantheists, deists, or the physicists like Einstein who speak of a physical God are much more likely on point.
davhaywood
5 / 5 (4) Jan 22, 2012
Mala, I am highly confused by your screed.
kochevnik
1.2 / 5 (6) Jan 22, 2012
Kochevnik, the vast majority of conspiracy theories are patently false. I think you are failing to appreciate the sheer number of them out there.
Sure, given that most are promulgated by intelligence agencies as disinformation. They attach to the original theory as a means of diluting the integrity in the minds of the masses. Classic psy-op. And of course there are the illiterate/insane nutcases liberated from the asylum, talking on their broken cell phones. But these are secondary to discredit the original conspiracy. Yet the unifying factor is the physical evidence, which does not lie, but lies in waiting for the scientist. Here's a vid of some US false-flag conspiracies as a prelude to war: http://vimeo.com/34992640
PunkRockStud
4 / 5 (1) Jan 22, 2012
Could there be a way to further evolution in the laboratory? In controlled situations, therefor, could steps be taken over time that would bring forth new life beyond the highest evolved creature on this planet or known to man under the most guarded of hidden secrets in alien lifeforms? Would this be possible? What could exist that hasn't existed yet? Anything, right?
davhaywood
5 / 5 (2) Jan 22, 2012
I know most of these well and don't doubt their veracity. However, the idea that 9/11 was a mass conspiracy and collusion by the government has been thoroughly debunked. In any case, I don't need conspiracies to be ethically opposed to war, because war simply is wrong.

http://www.popula.../1227842
kochevnik
1 / 5 (6) Jan 22, 2012
I know most of these well and don't doubt their veracity. However, the idea that 9/11 was a mass conspiracy and collusion by the government has been thoroughly debunked. In any case, I don't need conspiracies to be ethically opposed to war, because war simply is wrong.

http://www.popula.../1227842
Which conspiracy are you referring to? The Saudi hijacker fantasy, the CIA masonic Steven Jones thermite truther disinformation movement, or the physical facts that 1400 jumped to their deaths and exploded in pieces in midair, 80% of the tower mass disappeared in dust, and cars a mile away spontaneously caught fire, and the bathtub was undamaged with subway cars and store merchandise unscratched even with "500,000" tonnes of debris on them?

Scalar waves are capable of this.

Popular Mechanics is a CIA rag and moreover that article was penned by Zionist Chertof's cousin. No ulterior motives there, right? You let Madoff manage your pension too?
Silverhill
5 / 5 (3) Jan 22, 2012
Henrik:
suppression of innovation and evolution...
The first universities in Europe were founded by Christians. Many famous scientists and philosophers were Christians. A Christian discovered the laws of motion. A Christian invented Calculus. A Christian invented the taxonomy of evolutionary species. A Christian discovered the laws of natural selection and genetic variability. A Christian first formulated the theory of the big bang. etc etc.
And a Christian who began the formulation of the laws of mechanics, and who discovered amazing things via that new invention, the telescope, was threatened with torture (possibly unto death) by *fellow Christians* (so-called) for trying to promulgate that which was obvious to men of reason: the heliocentric Solar System. Know who I mean?
...And the (allegedly Christian) Church only took 300 years to get around to admitting that his ideas were not, after all, incompatible with their teachings....
Silverhill
5 / 5 (3) Jan 22, 2012
Vienna:
A suspension of his account and deletion of his posts are surely not Draconian enough.
Note that the moderators have not followed their own dictates here. No Draconian (or other) punishment has been visited upon him.
-------------

Mala Mucika:
did you ever see circle in the square what do you think bout that so called scientists?
It's difficult to tell exactly what you are meaning in your posts, but this part seems to be addressing the famous problem of "squaring the circle". You also seem to be asserting that the circle can be squared, but it was proven impossible in 1882.
(If this is not your assertion, please post more clearly, thanks.)
davhaywood
5 / 5 (2) Jan 23, 2012
I'm wondering where you get your "physical facts." Scalar waves? Zionism? Next time I'll remember that you conspiracy theorist nuts are anti-semitic, pseudo-scientist hacks.
Joe Cool
1 / 5 (7) Jan 23, 2012
"For example, all cells in the human body are essentially a support system that allows sperm and eggs to pass DNA along to the next generation." This is what this science falsely called has to say about human life. If this is truly the case, then why should not one group in the world get control and then wipe out another group. Just a bunch of cells. We're just accidents. Let's build death camps for evolutionists, then. Why not? Why not?
antonima
5 / 5 (3) Jan 23, 2012
Very cool research, great article. Did you know 90% of biomedical advances are due to laboratory evolution? This stuff is too complicated for us to understand so we just do trial and error (not difficult since there are billions of cells in a milliliter of broth), and choose the best ones. And it works great, to some extent!
PunkRockStud
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 23, 2012
Why are we not talking about science here? I came here to read about, learn about , discuss, and intellectualize about science on this site! Why does this seem to be a head bash forum between opinionated people who are stubborn? I have to ask myself "Why are these people arguing when they are being fruitless in their endeavor to fight about irrelevant issues?" I don't know why issues like these are arising on a site like this. Do you all thing this is in accordance with behaving like reasonable adults? This is not an article about what you are talking about or who you think is ignorant.
PunkRockStud
not rated yet Jan 23, 2012
Thank you antonima by the way, I don't mean you in what I said.
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