Thread: Awsome article
10-07-2005, 03:56 PM #1
some good quotes
The first cause, or cosmological argument, says that everything has a cause, and, since we supposedly can’t have an infinite series of causes stretching into the past, God must be the first cause — an uncaused cause. This argument has at least three problems, which I will get to after a short overview.
For problems such as this, it's important to realize that it's perfectly OK to say, “I don't know,” or “We don't know,” — just as it would have been, when people asked several hundred years ago, “Where does lightning come from?” or “Why do things fall to the ground?” or countless other questions for which we now have straightforward scientific explanations. Obviously, just because we don't know how something happened does not mean that “God did it.”
The main problem of the first cause argument is the idea that every event has a cause. As we discovered in the 20th century, the Universe is actually ruled at the bottom level by quantum mechanics, in which it’s possible for events to have no cause. An obvious example of quantum mechanics in action is the radioactive decay of a uranium atom. There is no previous cause for each such event, and we can only predict it with probability. The averaging of quantum effects gives us the Newtonian experience that we have. However, Newtonian physics does not control the Universe; quantum mechanics and Einsteinian relativity do. We now know that the Universe has an intrinsic, bottom level of uncertainty that cannot be bypassed. Quantum mechanics also shows us that objects can appear out of nothing and then disappear back into nothing. Even in supposedly empty space, virtual particles are continuously appearing and disappearing. This is a real and measurable process.You’ve probably heard people say that evolution is “only a theory.” It’s important to remember that the term “theory” in science is not the same as it is in general usage. A scientific theory is a unifying concept that explains a large body of data. It is a hypothesis that has withstood the test of time and the challenge of opposing views. The Theory of Evolution is the basic unifying concept of biology. The CEO of The American Association for the Advancement of Science, Alan Leshner, wrote, “Although scientists may debate details of the mechanisms of evolution, there is no argument among scientists as to whether evolution is taking place.” The National Academy of Sciences, the nation’s most prestigious scientific organization, has declared evolution “one of the strongest and most useful scientific theories we have,” and notes that evolution is supported by an overwhelming scientific consensus. The Theory of Evolution has as much validity as the theory of gravity, atomic theory, or the germ theory of disease.
10-07-2005, 04:00 PM #2
It is also necessary to note that in order for Intelligent Design to be true, these areas of science would be largely false: evolutionary biology, paleobiology, cosmology, physics, paleontology, archeology, historical geology, zoology, botany, and biogeography, plus much of early human history. These fields of science make predictions and get results. ID makes no verifiable predictions and gets no useful results, and thus cannot in any way be called a science. A simple example of this is the field of oil exploration, where you won’t find an
10-07-2005, 04:39 PM #3Some people say that we can’t prove that a god doesn’t exist; to do so we would have to have absolute knowledge. This is wrong. Depending on how we define a god, it is possible to prove that it's self-contradictory and can’t exist, just like it's possible to prove that square circles can’t exist. Let's discuss the Christian god Jehovah, which is typically defined as having free will, and being omniscient (all-knowing), omnipotent (all-powerful), omnibenevolent (all-good), and eternal.
Many Christian philosophers also add other attributes to Jehovah (a.k.a. God), such as unknowable, ineffable, incomprehensible, transcendent, and of course supernatural — because they don’t want to limit a supposedly infinite being. How can we conceive or even logically discuss these characteristics? Any in-depth analysis ends in confusion, contradictions, and irrational nonsense.
First, it’s important to note that all these qualities of God were concocted by humans, and have no examples in the real world — much like the capabilities of Superman.
God’s typical qualities sound pretty good. Unfortunately these attributes are mutually exclusive and can’t all exist in one being, no matter how supernatural it is. God can’t have free will and be omniscient and omnipotent. If God knows the future, God would be unable to change it, and thus could not be omnipotent. As a simple example, let’s say that God declares what tomorrow’s winning lottery numbers will be, and writes them down. However, now God can’t change those numbers. God can’t both know the future and change it. In fact, an omniscient god can’t actually decide to do anything!
God also can’t be both omnibenevolent and omnipotent, because terrible events really do occur, and this all-loving god hasn’t prevented them. This is known as the Problem of Evil, and I think that it is one of the biggest problems for those attempting to prove the existence of the Christian god. How can anybody explain the existence of a loving, all-powerful god, while also knowing the bad things that happen to all of us and the terrible things that happen to far too many?
The ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus summed it up well when he wrote these ideas:
Either God wants to abolish evil, and cannot; or he can and does not want to.
If he wants to, but cannot, he is impotent.
If he can, but does not want to, he is wicked.
If, as they say, God can abolish evil, and God really wants to do it, why is there evil in the world?
10-07-2005, 04:41 PM #4
it also doesnt mean that "God didnt do it".
10-07-2005, 04:44 PM #5
You could say that for everything. It also doesnt mean that "the easter bunny didnt do it".
10-07-2005, 07:02 PM #6
Ill reply more after breakfast..but their first point about first cause and uranium decay. The first cause would have to be where did the uranium come from, not what caused it to decay. Its 'creation out of nothing' not an 'extinction' (for lack of better words) of something. (for lack of right wording but you understand i think).
10-07-2005, 08:28 PM #7
Max makes a good point. I will do a little research and reply within the next 1 or 2 days, hopefully sooner.
10-08-2005, 06:47 AM #8Originally Posted by max2extreme
But anything can happen as long as the net sum of energy is not changed. In fact it does happen all the time. Virtual particles. Without them we would not exist and they are created out of nothing all the time, everywhere, within our bodies, in the vacuum of space. All the time everywhere.(im sure both of you have heard of Heisenberg uncertainty principle)
Not trying to explain the apperance of the universe with that though. But something to think about.
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