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Sermon On Fine Tune Argument


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I don't want to spoil things for anyone who hasn't read the book and wants to, but I think it's safe to say that they use an ice shield.

 

There is also interesting treatment of the question of how common other life is outside of Earth.

 

Ice shields...interesting, albeit fragile and heavy for such travel. It would also be subject to the intense radiation in space. Not sure that it would allow for warp travel.

 

LNC

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God is by definition an uncreated self-existent being. He had no beginning and has no end. He is a necessary being and the author of a contingent universe, of which we are a part.

 

References please?

 

Here is a quote from the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

To Plato, God is transcendent-the highest and most perfect being-and one who uses eternal forms, or archetypes, to fashion a universe that is eternal and uncreated.

 

Consistent with theism, Augustine (354-430) regarded God as omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, morally good, the creator (ex nihilo) and sustainer of the universe. Despite these multiple descriptors, God is uniquely simple. Being entirely free, he did not have to create, but did so as an act of love. As his creation, it reflects his mind. Time and space began at creation, and everything in creation is good. Evil is uncreated, being a lack of good and without positive existence.

 

This is from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy in the article "God and Other Necessary Beings"

 

It is commonly accepted that there are two sorts of existent entities: those that exist but could have failed to exist, and those that could not have failed to exist. Entities of the first sort are contingent beings; entities of the second sort are necessary beings. We will be concerned with the latter sort of entity in this article.

 

There are various entities which, if they exist, would be candidates for necessary beings: God, propositions, relations, properties, states of affairs, possible worlds, and numbers, among others. Note that the first entity in this list is a concrete entity, while the rest are abstract entities

 

Abstract entities are said to be effete in that they cannot cause any effects, while God, being a concrete entity has causal powers. I hope that is helpful.

 

LNC

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I haven't read through this whole thread yet, so my reply may be way off topic by this point, but I wanted to address something that was said.

 

The other problem is that even accepting the design argument, it doesn't prove who the designer is but Christians automatically assume the designer must be their god.

I discussed this very point with my parents, in an e-mail exchange a while back. My mom said (among many other things!):

 

I believe we have three options:

 

1. A pre-existent universe with no creator, in which case nothing is required of us and we go merrily on our way until we return to dust,

2. We have a god of our own making - in other words, custom made by us to suit us

3. A pre-existent God who was the first cause of everything else, and who created the earth - the God of the Bible.

I replied:

 

You said that we have three options, and the one you chose was “A pre-existent God who was the first cause of everything else, and who created the earth – the God of the Bible.” Why does it have to be the god of the Bible? How do you make the leap from “Life is grand!” to “The deity written about in *this* particular ancient tome must be responsible for all of this!”?

 

In every other religion that has ever existed, adherents have had the same faith you do that their religion/god is the right one. Countless people who worship a different god have the same certainty you do! Why do you think you have the true religion? Just as you think they are deluded, they are fully confident that you are the deluded one. In every religion, people have mystical experiences; they think their prayers are answered; they have faith; they think they witness miracles. How do you explain that? Why does every other religion have followers who have just as much faith and devotion as you, and who feel just as fulfilled in their beliefs as you?

 

And how do you know that you are one of the lucky few who got it right, even within the confines of your own religion? There are 35,000+ Christian denominations – unique denominations, not individual churches – each of which disagrees with all of the others on at least one point of doctrine. Many of them even disagree on which books should be included in the Bible! Yet each of them believes that their viewpoint is the right one. Each of them believes that the holy spirit is giving them the correct interpretation of the Bible. Clearly, they can’t all be right!

And so on.

 

I think that your mother was right with options 1 & 3; however, there is another option in that the universe popped into existence uncaused (option 2 doesn't give a potential cause for the universe as it is a made-up god). Science and logic seem to work against option 1, although some scientists are trying to revive that as an option. It still suffers from logical problems of an instantiated infinite (see, David Hilbert's Hilbert's Hotel explanation). Regarding the option of the universe popping into existence uncaused, that also suffers from logical problems of a thing cannot be its own cause of existence as it would have to exist to cause its existence. Also, if we introduce the concept of a thing coming into existence uncaused, then we might as well toss out all of scientific experimentation and theory since there would always be that loophole. The most likely option is that the universe was caused by a necessary cause and God best fits that definition.

 

As to how we go from that to the God of the Bible, we have to introduce other arguments, such as fine-tuning, the moral argument, and the resurrection of Jesus.

 

 

LNC

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Actually, we do know of things in the universe that exists which are uncaused. They're called gas molecules: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmological_argument#Scientific_positions

Physicist Michio Kaku directly addresses the cosmological argument in his book Hyperspace, saying that it is easily dismissed by the law of conservation of energy and the laws governing molecular physics. He gives an example — "gas molecules may bounce against the walls of a container without requiring anything or anyone to get them moving except the walls of the container."[26] According to Kaku, these molecules could move forever, without beginning or end. So, there is no need for a First Mover to explain the origins of motion.
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You are specifically arguing for a fine-tuned hospitable planet, the question you must ask, is why isn't this planet, and the surrounding universe itself, not hospitable in and of itself. You are still looking at the Earth as it is now. Not how it was, and not how it may end up. You are essentially arguing from a Rare Earth point of view, that only the type of life that we find specifically on this planet is the only type of life that will be found on other planets. We again return to the ever shrinking God of the Gaps argument. You are arguing, that this planet and surrounding universe is specifically fine-tuned by an uncaused cause who through mysterious methods gave rise to the universe as we now see it. In no way is this making an argument, prediction or providing a testable theory other than saying it was an uncaused cause. Seismic activity is indeed a natural process wherein a sudden release of energy of the Earth's crust results in seismic waves. I do not refer to this as "evil." The problem is, if you have an uncaused cause who caused this planet, the problem is that this uncaused cause did not fine tune this planet, or this universe to be the best hospitable environment as you apparently see it. Natural disasters must be accounted for, though they at times help or helped give rise to the life as we now see it on this planet, an omnipotent, omniscient god could conceivably imagine a far far more fine-tuned universe for life to flourish in.

 

I am actually arguing for a fine tuned universe, a fine tuned galaxy, a fine tuned solar system, and then a fine tuned planet. There is ample evidence for each of these being finely tuned. I believe that the planet is hospitable, which is the very reason that we exist on it. The rest of the universe may not be hospitable to life, but that is irrelevant to our discussion as we are focused on this planet. It doesn't matter that Earth was inhospitable in the past or may be in the future, since we didn't live in the past and won't exist in the future when it becomes inhospitable. For all we know, our species may kill itself off long before the planet becomes inhospitable. I am not making a God of the gaps argument, I am arguing not from what we don't know, but from what we do know. Those are the issues that must be addressed and that is how and why our universe, galaxy, solar system, and planet exhibit the characteristics that make life possible. You haven't even attempted to address this, yet you assert that this is what i have done. I will look forward to hearing your explanation of the cause and reason for these conditions.

 

Another problem with your reasoning is that you are still mixing concepts. The existence of tectonic activity is a good thing for our planet, something that is necessary for life to be sustained on this planet. The fact that people are also hurt or killed from the effects of these seismic activities could have many explanations (people knowingly building or vacationing near fault lines, near volcanoes, or other geological time bombs. Can we fault them for this? Yes and no. People build houses or vacation near these spots because they are beautiful and are good places for commerce; however, most do it with the knowledge that they will likely, at some point, be the victim of a earthquake, flood, hurricane, tornado, or some other natural event that will cause catastrophe. This is why insurance companies make them buy special policies against these types of events. Which would be worse for God to do, prevent all such events leading to our eventual starvation due to a depletion of the soil or lack of rain, or to allow these events to happen knowing that it is for the ultimate good of humanity while some will be hurt or killed by them? I think it is best to have these activities, even if it may negatively effect some people. What do you think? Would you choose the first scenario or the second? Nevertheless, you haven't made your case that Earth is not finely tuned as tectonic activity and weather patterns are part of that fine tuning.

 

Your uncaused cause is a pretty shitty designer if his desire was for the best possible environment for us to live in then. You are saying this uncaused cause deigned to place his loved subjects in a room, filled with dangerous objects, knives, guns, natural disasters and countless other dangers? If you were an omnipotent, omniscient parent, would you create and place your child in a room such as this?

 

 

God didn't create the dangerous objects, man did. Man didn't create those objects to be used as weapons against other men, that was due to man's sinful nature and the evil intents of our hearts. We are products of the Fall, which cannot be blamed on God, it was man's fault.

 

I'm sorry but I am not arguing against you in reference to a Circumstellar Hospitable Zone or the Goldilock's zone (which themselves come with inherent problems...) but rather the fact that you seek refuge in the God of the Gaps. Essentially, what we have here is you finding that we live in a semi-hospitable planet, wherein, life through evolutionary processes gives rise to the various inhabitants of this planet. The problem you have is that by arguing for an uncaused cause you begin to accrue baggage with this uncaused cause. Various logical inconsistencies and methods of operation spring to mind when you cite an uncaused cause who deliberately sets about in fine tuning the universe we find ourselves in. The physical constants we find ourselves with are a brute fact. The physical constants may be argued to be "one of a kind" despite the fact that any physical constants we are living in would in fact be one of a kind. By relying on an uncaused cause to be the theory of everything various explanations for the uncaused cause must be put forth. There are various explanations for the origin of the universe. It seems better to me for people to continue to seek a natural explanation for the origins of our universe and not an uncaused cause who through mysterious and magical means gave rise to our universe.

 

So either the physical constants are either a brute fact, or we must cite an uncaused caused who comes with various logical inconsistencies, lack of scientific evidence and an overall lack of interest in the inhabitants of this planet. If this uncaused cause did indeed give rise to the universe then how do we make the leap to Yahweh? Why not Ba'al, or Allah, or Krishna, or Mahadeva, or Brahaman, or any other god out there?

 

Hey look!! I have a YouTube video as well!

 

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=_bGx3UB-Slg (Roger Penrose is in here too...)

 

 

The Universe is a mystery and continues in many ways to be a mystery. To reach back to a Bronze Age conception of a deity is to bolt on an ancient supernatural conception and try to shoehorn it into our current, yet growing, understand of the universe around us.

 

First of all, you cannot explain why anything at all exists versus nothing at all (see Spinoza). These videos don't do it (I have seen them before), they simply assume that things have always existed or popped into existence uncaused (both are non-scientific assumptions, i.e., cannot be proved empirically). So, you have a groundless metaphysic that has inherent problems in that each leads to logical absurdities. You accuse me of God of the gaps, a baseless charge on your part, yet you resort to scientism of the gaps - which leaves you in no better position, and I think, actually a worse position as it is a self-refuting position. In other words, it is based upon an assumption that the only true knowledge we have comes through science, but then where does that foundation come from? Surely not science as science cannot prove that the only true knowledge comes through science. So, you are left with no foundation to your beliefs. You have not basis for explaining existence (no ontology), no basis for how and why we know things (no epistemology), and no way to underpin your science. You are left with mystery, but that isn't knowledge, that is simply punting the problem down a black hole. Sure, we don't understand everything about the universe, but let's get back to explaining what we do know - why is the universe finely tuned for our existence? Simply passing off physical laws as brute facts is to appeal to ignorance, you cannot prove this to be the case and it seems to be merely an ad hoc way to avoid a designer. On the other hand, you say that appealing to an uncaused cause leads to logical inconsistencies, but you didn't state what they were. To simply say that by appealing to an uncaused cause it leaves the question of who that uncaused cause is, does not negate the argument. What you are doing is simply asking a different question. So, I think you must do better with both your explanations and your objections as you have not come up with a valid case for either.

 

LNC

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I am actually arguing for a fine tuned universe, a fine tuned galaxy, a fine tuned solar system, and then a fine tuned planet. There is ample evidence for each of these being finely tuned. I believe that the planet is hospitable, which is the very reason that we exist on it.

 

Yes, a universe governed by physical constants.

 

The rest of the universe may not be hospitable to life, but that is irrelevant to our discussion as we are focused on this planet. It doesn't matter that Earth was inhospitable in the past or may be in the future, since we didn't live in the past and won't exist in the future when it becomes inhospitable.

 

A prime example of the egocentrism inherent in this view. It does not matter how we got here (through evolutionary processes) nor the 200,000+ plus years of history of our ancestors.

 

For all we know, our species may kill itself off long before the planet becomes inhospitable. I am not making a God of the gaps argument, I am arguing not from what we don't know, but from what we do know. Those are the issues that must be addressed and that is how and why our universe, galaxy, solar system, and planet exhibit the characteristics that make life possible. You haven't even attempted to address this, yet you assert that this is what i have done. I will look forward to hearing your explanation of the cause and reason for these conditions.

 

No, you are postulating that because we have physical constants in our universe and that this planet is hospitable, just enough for evolution to happen that a God must be responsible for it.

 

Another problem with your reasoning is that you are still mixing concepts. The existence of tectonic activity is a good thing for our planet, something that is necessary for life to be sustained on this planet. The fact that people are also hurt or killed from the effects of these seismic activities could have many explanations (people knowingly building or vacationing near fault lines, near volcanoes, or other geological time bombs. Can we fault them for this? Yes and no. People build houses or vacation near these spots because they are beautiful and are good places for commerce; however, most do it with the knowledge that they will likely, at some point, be the victim of a earthquake, flood, hurricane, tornado, or some other natural event that will cause catastrophe. This is why insurance companies make them buy special policies against these types of events. Which would be worse for God to do, prevent all such events leading to our eventual starvation due to a depletion of the soil or lack of rain, or to allow these events to happen knowing that it is for the ultimate good of humanity while some will be hurt or killed by them? I think it is best to have these activities, even if it may negatively effect some people. What do you think? Would you choose the first scenario or the second? Nevertheless, you haven't made your case that Earth is not finely tuned as tectonic activity and weather patterns are part of that fine tuning.

 

You are completely ignoring the problem. An omniscient, omnipotent God would be able to create a planet that would not require geological processes that would end up killing millions of people. Yes, geological processes are a naturally occurring event on this planet, but to try to conceive of a more suitable fine tuned planet created by an omnipotent omniscient God, can't we think of one that does not require natural disasters? Yes, people who unknowingly build their houses near a beach and are then wiped out by a tsunami (2004) are at fault, or maybe it was God's will? Posing a false set of choices does not frame your argument in any better of a light.

 

God didn't create the dangerous objects, man did. Man didn't create those objects to be used as weapons against other men, that was due to man's sinful nature and the evil intents of our hearts. We are products of the Fall, which cannot be blamed on God, it was man's fault.

 

God created the Bubonic plague, smallpox, HIV, cholera or any number of other diseases? I thought God created everything though? If God created man, than an inherent ability to commit sin was already implanted within man from the start. If there were no physical universe before God created it, where did sin, or even the potential for sin come from? Was it there in the non-universe from the start?

 

First of all, you cannot explain why anything at all exists versus nothing at all (see Spinoza). These videos don't do it (I have seen them before), they simply assume that things have always existed or popped into existence uncaused (both are non-scientific assumptions, i.e., cannot be proved empirically). So, you have a groundless metaphysic that has inherent problems in that each leads to logical absurdities

 

First of all, you have not watched the videos as they were meant to be posted. They are not meant as an ultimate answer. You are posing an ultimate theory of everything - God. As opposed to competing scientific theories that seek a natural explanation that can be acquired through natural observation. Inserting God into gaps of knowledge is essentially inserting an unknowable supernatural explanation into a natural quandary. A God who "himself" comes with a whole mountain of logical absurdities that cannot be successfully explained away.

 

You accuse me of God of the gaps, a baseless charge on your part, yet you resort to scientism of the gaps - which leaves you in no better position, and I think, actually a worse position as it is a self-refuting position. In other words, it is based upon an assumption that the only true knowledge we have comes through science, but then where does that foundation come from? Surely not science as science cannot prove that the only true knowledge comes through science. So, you are left with no foundation to your beliefs.

 

It's funny to hear this charge from someone who would posit a God, who through supernatural, unknowable means gave rise to the universe as we see it. You have no basis for your beliefs other than through faith. You are putting words in my mouth and stating that science provides ultimate truths. Science is our best tool at attaining our best understanding of the world around us. It is not a Bronze Age belief that is constantly updated to the times it finds itself in in order to save itself from irrelevancy.

 

You have not basis for explaining existence (no ontology), no basis for how and why we know things (no epistemology), and no way to underpin your science. You are left with mystery, but that isn't knowledge, that is simply punting the problem down a black hole. Sure, we don't understand everything about the universe, but let's get back to explaining what we do know - why is the universe finely tuned for our existence? Simply passing off physical laws as brute facts is to appeal to ignorance, you cannot prove this to be the case and it seems to be merely an ad hoc way to avoid a designer. On the other hand, you say that appealing to an uncaused cause leads to logical inconsistencies, but you didn't state what they were. To simply say that by appealing to an uncaused cause it leaves the question of who that uncaused cause is, does not negate the argument. What you are doing is simply asking a different question. So, I think you must do better with both your explanations and your objections as you have not come up with a valid case for either.

 

Since when did I disregard any other philosophical field of study? You are putting words in my mouth at this point. We were specifically talking about a fine-tuned universe and now you begin ranting about how I have no underpinnings for my beliefs since I disregard any and all philosophical fields. Good job in assuming my points and getting them completely wrong. I have not seen a valid case for your argument in any way, shape or form. Mental gymnastics I have seen, though. It is an attempt to shoehorn your God into natural processes.

 

There area many logical inconsistencies of your God and why an uncaused cause does not fit because you posit a God that you are agnostic about with window dressings tacked on to appeal to your baser nature to have a supernatural person watching out for you.

Supernatural means beyond or above nature. God is essentially exempt from Natural Laws. God is either the source of Natural Law or the creator of Natural Law. God is able suspend Natural Law through the use of miracles. A God such as this is epistomologically transcendent or basically unknowable. God at this point is defined as being beyond human comprehension. A God at this point who can be known, is inherently contradictory since it contradicts the whole definition of being supernatural. Supernatural tells us what God is not; not a part of the natural universe. This definition does not inform us of what God is. Something supernatural existing outside of the natural is not explained. An “unnatural” or “supernatural” experience is not adequately explained. Characteristics define what an entity can or cannot do. A plant cannot become a car, a car cannot become an acorn, this is the uniformity of nature because of physical constants, even evolution. Things are limited by their characteristics and can only do what they are limited to doing. This lack of randomness gives rise to scientific inquiry and law. A supernatural being therefore, can't act in the natural universe, because it cannot possess specific characteristics that would limit it's actions, by definition making it not supernatural. If a being is to be exempt from Natural Law it must not have any specific characteristics making it indeterminate. This being must exist without a limited nature, which essentially means to exist without a nature. To assign characteristics limits this supernatural being and imposes characteristics on it.

 

 

God is viewed as Unknowable - The universal Christian tenet is that God is beyond human purview and is essentially unknowable.

 

Common attributes of God, almighty, eternal, holy, immortal, immense, ineffable, infinite, invisible, just, loving, merciful, incomprehensible, immutable, patient, perfect, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent .To define the nature of God is to restrict the nature of God. As shown above, characteristics are limitations. These characteristics restrict this supernatural being to a natural being. To say God has a characteristic A is to say God does not possess characteristic -A. It is here that God is assigned Unlimited Attributes, such as omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence. The problem with this is that it is self contradictory. To characterize something is to specify determined qualities and qualities cannot be separated from limitations. This is essentially assigning finite qualities to a defined infinite being. In order to escape agnosticism the Christian must posit assignable characteristics while at the sametime trying to not limit a by definition limitless being. God is often described in negative terms. Invisible – not visible. Ineffable – indescribable. Infinite – not finite. Immaterial – not material. Eternal – not subject to time. Unknowable – not knowable. Inconceivable - not conceivable. Unrestricted – not restricted. Unlimited – not limited. The Omni's – not subject to limits

 

None of these negative claims make a positive claim of what God “is”. The negative definitions presuppose a positive definition, and positive definition (characteristics) are limiting. Loving, Powerful, Wise, Compassionate, Empathetic, Justice, Mercy and Ultimate Knowledge. All of these attributes only describe what would be the personality of God and not the metaphysical existence of God. There is an imbalance between the negative definition and the positive ones that in no way do they begin to explain the actual nature of a supernatural being. To apply the human concept of wisdom to God is inherently self contradictory as well. Knowledge and wisdom are gained through experience, trial and error. In order to gain wisdom, God had to go through the process of trial and error? Or that God is loving, posits the existence of God's emotions, thereby meaning God can be passionate. As we have seen, we do not have to regard rocks as having emotions since they do not have the physical capacity for emotions. This is important because as we have seen, God is described as being supernatural. A term that has a connotation of not being of the physical world. Our emotions are brought on by physical processes, emotions without physical processes, aren't emotions.

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God is by definition an uncreated self-existent being. He had no beginning and has no end. He is a necessary being and the author of a contingent universe, of which we are a part.

 

References please?

 

Here is a quote from the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy:...........

 

Essentially it's all just speculation.

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Maybe I misunderstand how Jesus could be both god and man at the same time, or how the holy spirit operates within a believer, but that would be where god would be if you want to say that is where god is. I am saying you can only be one or the other, finite infinite, black white, physical non physical, you can't be both something you are and something your not. Seems like to me things like jesus or the holy spirit being in all believers would be therefore a contradiction, unless there is some theological explanation I am not aware of. Of course one could change form, but one can't be a contradiction.

 

Yes, Jesus is both God and man and while he was on earth, he had locality in space and time; however, he had two natures, a human nature and a divine nature. God didn't become human, he took on human flesh, there is a distinction between the two ideas. He didn't become human, he took on human flesh. God is also the Father and the Holy Spirit, which do not have locality in space and time. The Holy Spirit can and does indwell believers; however, it is not like the Holy Spirit does that serially (meaning one at a time), rather the Holy Spirit indwells all believers concurrently. Also, it is not like I can look at myself and say, the Holy Spirit is located here (say, in my heart, which is a metaphorical way of saying that the Holy Spirit indwells the life of believers. So, there is not contradiction in this concept.

 

So your saying he can't make a stone he can't lift essentially, outside of that, your statement doesn't really say much. So is god logic, or logic god, because if it doesn't exist apart of him, it is contingent on him. Now I have a question for you, is he not powerful enough to change his own nature? And a another question, what says he is logical, himself, or something outside himself. How do we have a absolute then if its depends on somebodies thought. This is considering we don't know anything about god outside what we are told. He could potentially say for example I am good, because we only get his interpretation of himself and his nature. And with being god, anything really goes practically. Same goes with being logical.

 

I am wondering what you mean by this "Logic is not something external to God in the sense that it could exist apart from him"

 

God is not logic and logic is not God. Logic is contained withing God's nature, but is not the totality of his nature. His nature also includes love, justice, wisdom, truth, and many other attributes. Changing one's nature is not a matter of power, it is simply an illogical question. If God's nature changed, he would no longer be God, but would be something else. Regarding logic, it must be grounded in something or someone eternal. There are two options, one is that it is grounded in God as the only eternal being; the second is that it exists as an eternal form, a brute fact. We relate to logic as it is related to our mind and is apparently the product of a mind. To say that logic is a brute fact is not to ground it in reality. We could then ask why it could not be otherwise. Maybe the relativists and postmodernists would be right in arguing that there is no law of non contradiction or law of excluded middle. I believe that logic, like morality, needs an objective grounding which I believe can only come when grounded in God's unchanging nature. We only have an absolute if it is grounded in something or someone who is unchanging. No, it is not true that with God anything goes, God is bound by his nature and that nature is immutable, unchanging.

 

What I mean when I say that logic is not something external to God is that apart from God's existence, logic would cease to exist. Logic is contingent (dependent) upon God. It is not a necessary feature of existence that would exist independent of God.

 

LNC

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Guest Valk0010

 

Yes, Jesus is both God and man and while he was on earth, he had locality in space and time; however, he had two natures, a human nature and a divine nature. God didn't become human, he took on human flesh, there is a distinction between the two ideas. He didn't become human, he took on human flesh. God is also the Father and the Holy Spirit, which do not have locality in space and time. The Holy Spirit can and does indwell believers; however, it is not like the Holy Spirit does that serially (meaning one at a time), rather the Holy Spirit indwells all believers concurrently. Also, it is not like I can look at myself and say, the Holy Spirit is located here (say, in my heart, which is a metaphorical way of saying that the Holy Spirit indwells the life of believers. So, there is not contradiction in this concept.

Okay dokey then, I stand corrected.

 

 

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God is not logic and logic is not God. Logic is contained withing God's nature, but is not the totality of his nature. His nature also includes love, justice, wisdom, truth, and many other attributes. Changing one's nature is not a matter of power, it is simply an illogical question. If God's nature changed, he would no longer be God, but would be something else. Regarding logic, it must be grounded in something or someone eternal. There are two options, one is that it is grounded in God as the only eternal being; the second is that it exists as an eternal form, a brute fact. We relate to logic as it is related to our mind and is apparently the product of a mind. To say that logic is a brute fact is not to ground it in reality. We could then ask why it could not be otherwise. Maybe the relativists and postmodernists would be right in arguing that there is no law of non contradiction or law of excluded middle. I believe that logic, like morality, needs an objective grounding which I believe can only come when grounded in God's unchanging nature. We only have an absolute if it is grounded in something or someone who is unchanging. No, it is not true that with God anything goes, God is bound by his nature and that nature is immutable, unchanging.

 

What I mean when I say that logic is not something external to God is that apart from God's existence, logic would cease to exist. Logic is contingent (dependent) upon God. It is not a necessary feature of existence that would exist independent of God.

 

LNC

Like you I disagree with anybody that says things like there is no law of non contradiction. But I would root logic in a different way then you. Here is a thought to consider and I will just use it as a example. Is black always black. Is is black only because we say it black because we say it or because it is. I would say regardless of a mind, that black thing will always have that feature, but we label it black, so therefore anything with that feature would be called black. And we can see obviously that feature can't be another feature, whatever that feature is. Black can't both be white and black for example. So our perception, which creates logic says, that label on that thing, only applies to that label on that thing and can't apply that label (black) to something that we perceive as completely different yet keep the description black. Logic like math is a formalization of perceived phenomena. Absolutes are thing that are not seen to change, like say non contradiction. Show me how a black feature could actually be the same thing as a white feature, and I will believe that non contradiction is a joke. 1 could be labeled 2, but still be the same thing, regardless of labeling, same with black, black could be called gobble yet still be whatever is labeled black. Does that make sense? I also don't think that is post moderist or somehow relativist, because every homosapien can perceive it the same way, that say isn't biologically incapable in some way like say blind. How could it not be otherwise, well if what we saw every showed otherwise (odds are on not) then that would be blown out of the water, but that would also blow out of the water every observation we have made sense the beginning of time.

 

About god's nature being logical, when then how is he author of the system, and how do we know anything, we are just playing along with some other persons, subjective understanding.

 

God after all does interpret himself right?

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We are saying similar things, except we think its has different roots, god is bound by the exterior according to my understanding and god is bound by his nature according to yours, it comes out the same way in practice, like in saying he can't contradict himself.

 

Question, how do you know god is logical, did he tell you. If logic is just something that is part of god, how can't we know anything. He tells us what his nature is, we don't tell him, right?

 

I think we are saying quite different things. I don't believe that anything exists necessarily apart from God and you do. You have multiplied necessary entities beyond necessity which would I believe would be cut away by Occam's razor.

 

As for your question, let's think about a few ideas related to logic. First, logic is made up of concepts that seem to be objective and transcendent. They are not dependent upon a certain place or time for the veridicality of the concepts (law of non-contradiction, law of excluded middle, law of identity, etc.), nor are they relative to situations. Logic is not even dependent on the material world, these concepts are true apart from material existence. Concepts are thoughts and are mind dependent, that is, concepts do not exist apart from minds. Minds are not equal to brains as brains do not in and of themselves have thoughts or intentionality (specific thoughts that are of or about their objects). Since all of these ideas cannot be explained by the material world, then we can surmise that logic is eternal, but mind dependent. Therefore, we can conclude that logic is the product of an eternal mind. God is the only possible eternal mind that could exist, therefore, logic is the product of God's eternal mind, which is part of his eternal nature.

 

God created us in his image in the likeness of his eternal nature, with logic and morality being reflections of that nature within us. So, we can know these things as a result of being created in his image.

 

LNC

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God created us in his image in the likeness of his eternal nature, with logic and morality being reflections of that nature within us. So, we can know these things as a result of being created in his image.

If we are created to the likeness of an eternal nature, then why are humans so different and why has the human species changed, both biological, culturally, religious, and scientifically? How can it be eternal and absolute if all of it has changed?

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So god is somehow a more scientific explainable as the "metaphysical assumption" you claim hawking makes. God isn't measurable or even explainable by scientific means, the only way to say anything then about this explanation is through divine revelation, which even if you prove god exists, or even a supernatural thingy, you can't prove your exact divine revelation, you just proved god.

 

Ever heard a christian say, the devil started other religions like hinduism. Well if you prove a supernatural independent of appealing to religion your just left with that(ohh the devil did it) sort of thing and got nothing.

 

As far as I know, your definition of god comes from divine revelation, you got to do better then that.

 

And more to the point, if you proved a supernatural thing exists independent of religion, some could say, ohh trick the 12 apostles into thinking they saw jesus when he died, and say wants us to follow a different path, whatever that may be. In fact a muslim would probably say such a thing. This if of course if you use things like say the kalam arguement just as a example, to prove a god or a supernatural exists.

 

The bottom line is that Hawking is not making a scientific explanation, but a metaphysical one. Science is not the only source of knowledge, that is known as scientism and it is a self-refuting concept. However, divine revelation is not the only source of knowledge about God either; we can learn about him through nature as well.

 

 

I don't think we have to appeal to "the devil created such and such religion" to prove one to be wrong. We can simply look at the internal and external consistency or inconsistency of its espoused doctrines and beliefs to determine whether it coheres and corresponds consistently with the external world.

 

I don't claim that my definition of God comes merely through divine revelation, I give other arguments for God's existence that are not dependent on divine revelation (the cosmological argument, the teleological argument, the moral argument, and the argument for the resurrection, to name a few).

 

You don't seem to be familiar with world religions if you believe that the followers of Jesus were somehow tricked into believing he rose from the dead. How might he have pulled that off when he was crucified on the cross and clearly dead and buried for three days? Also, Muslims would not claim that a person rose from the dead. They don't claim that Jesus was risen, or Muhammad, or anyone else for that matter. Now, I'm not sure exactly how you are tying the kalam argument into your argument. It seems that it doesn't fit with your train of thought before that, so maybe you can clarify what you mean.

 

LNC

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Guest Valk0010

 

 

I think we are saying quite different things. I don't believe that anything exists necessarily apart from God and you do. You have multiplied necessary entities beyond necessity which would I believe would be cut away by Occam's razor.

I am beginning to see no reason to argue that point, it doesn't really matter at least to me either way. This is because it doesn't make or break either of us positions to me.

 

As for your question, let's think about a few ideas related to logic. First, logic is made up of concepts that seem to be objective and transcendent. They are not dependent upon a certain place or time for the veridicality of the concepts (law of non-contradiction, law of excluded middle, law of identity, etc.), nor are they relative to situations. Logic is not even dependent on the material world, these concepts are true apart from material existence. Concepts are thoughts and are mind dependent, that is, concepts do not exist apart from minds. Minds are not equal to brains as brains do not in and of themselves have thoughts or intentionality (specific thoughts that are of or about their objects). Since all of these ideas cannot be explained by the material world, then we can surmise that logic is eternal, but mind dependent. Therefore, we can conclude that logic is the product of an eternal mind. God is the only possible eternal mind that could exist, therefore, logic is the product of God's eternal mind, which is part of his eternal nature.

I should have elaborated more earlier. If we say didn't exist, the thing we would call black would still not be the same as the thing we call white, its just that no one would be around to really say there is a difference. Concepts are thoughts based of external factors I think. Meaning the world would be as we know it now if we weren't here and the world effects are concepts.

 

Since it can't be explained by the material world (or not yet) that sounds like the argument from ignorance. And of course all we can prove is also a mind, not necessarily a personal god if your right(I am splitting hairs yes, but its a curious point). As far as I can see there is nothing but the material world, but as far as we can tell if there was a material world then I would have to agree.

 

And minds, do we really wanna have a whole separate debate on that, logic has a lot to do with a mind, but I don't see how bringing up the supposed failures of naturalism to explain conscience and the mind has any real purpose here. Maybe you would like to say why you think otherwise.

 

God created us in his image in the likeness of his eternal nature, with logic and morality being reflections of that nature within us. So, we can know these things as a result of being created in his image.

 

LNC

Well I guess there should be no atheists then if logic is reflected in god's nature, and we should still be in the bronze age.
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I'm avoiding answering your question because I don't waste my time explaining basic theology to moronic Christians who should already know this. Come back to this thread when the wizard gives you a brain because until then I'm not debating anything with you. I'll be perfectly blunt that I find debating with you to be annoying and frustrating and I'm not going to debate with you further until you get your act together and stop changing arguments as you go along. I'm tired of playing your little word games with you.

 

That is another dodge to avoid answering the question. When a person has to resort to ad hominem, it means that they have no valid argument to put in its place. It's funny that you seem to find debating with me annoying as you keep coming back for more. I don't know that anyone is forcing you to reply, do you? As far as this exchange is concerned, I have been sticking to the arguments and answering them as they come up. But feel free to do something else with your time if you feel that I am somehow below your intellectual understanding, plenty of others are interested in an honest exchange and it is all I can do to keep up with them.

 

]Apparently LNC thinks he knows more about science than Stephen Hawking does which is just laughable.

 

You apparently aren't familiar with Hawking's argument as it is not a scientific argument, it is a metaphysical argument. On that basis, I think I am equally qualified to speak on the subject as he is.

 

LNC

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Guest Valk0010

 

 

You don't seem to be familiar with world religions if you believe that the followers of Jesus were somehow tricked into believing he rose from the dead. How might he have pulled that off when he was crucified on the cross and clearly dead and buried for three days? Also, Muslims would not claim that a person rose from the dead. They don't claim that Jesus was risen, or Muhammad, or anyone else for that matter. Now, I'm not sure exactly how you are tying the kalam argument into your argument. It seems that it doesn't fit with your train of thought before that, so maybe you can clarify what you mean.

 

LNC

I actually don't the disciples were deceived by outside forces(unless jesus counts,which I think does to a certain extent), I would say there simply deluded but that is another debate entirely. I have my own views on that.

 

Sure your right on the Muslims part, but you don't get what I mean, iirc they have a devil to, and that is how they would explain how the 12 believed and did what they did, if of course they didn't appeal to some more academic explanation as at least as far as I can gather. I don't honestly know what exact supernatural explanation they would use to say the disciples were deceived into believing what they did and seeing what they did I am not a muslim and I am not satisfied with a overly simplistic answer. But if you prove a supernatural realm exists and its not just the material realm, what they say that is supernatural is far game and has about the same weight as any other miracle claim.

 

I am just saying, that if you prove there is such a thing as a supernatural, based of things like say the teleological argument or tag, or absolute morals and so on and so forth, you don't automatically prove one particular god on that basis.

 

And if you prove some generic god, what stops one from just forming there own doctrine according to that supposed proof provided by said arguments.

 

You could from that basis, rule out, since you got no reason not to, approaching from that perspective, say the resurrection or the miracles of jesus, or any other religion, for the sake of another religion. Does that make sense because I have a feeling it doesn't?

 

Sure you could find problems with other religions to lnc, just like people find problems with yours. I was just saying that is the simpletons explanation and in a theistic world, that is potentially far game.

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LNC's arguments can be summed up as follows: You're misrepresenting this view! blahblahblahblahblah etc Goddidit! blahblahblahblahblah etc God doesn't need to have been created because I say so! blahblahblahblahblah

 

Neon, your posts have devolved into meaningless babble. Unless you actually can present a coherent argument, I will be skipping your posts from here on. Plenty of others on this thread are actually willing and able to do the work of thinking through and presenting cogent arguments, so my time is better spent with them.

 

LNC

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Apparently LNC thinks he knows more about science than Stephen Hawking does which is just laughable.

 

That's LNC's world - Habermas is an unassailable genius, and Hawking is a drooling imbecile who doesn't understand basic physics. :loser:

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Apologists don't define God, that was done by philosophers long before.

 

and I can define a unicorn. :Wendywhatever:

 

But wait, philosophers defined 'god'? Mortal, fallible men 'defined' 'god'? 'God' didn't reveal itself in its perfect infallible word? Interesting... :scratch:

 

So, being mortal and fallible - and a hell of a lot more ignorant than us - these philosophers (i.e. woolgatherers) could be wrong. Couldn't they.

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Actually, our planet is water-poor compared to many in the universe, but that is a good thing, otherwise, we would not have land masses on which for higher life forms to exist. The mistake is to think that water is the "key" factor, rather than only one of the necessary factors. Earth is the only planet that we know of in which water exists in the three forms (liquid, solid, and vapor) and each is necessary.

 

 

 

Can you post a link to the survey of the universe you are referencing?

 

Also, since your god can do anything, couldn't it create an aquatic Adam and Eve on another planet?

 

Have you seen The Abyss?

 

Where do you get your definition of god?

 

The confusion for most people is that though Earth is predominantly covered by water on its surface, water is still a small fraction of the mass of Earth. On other planets, they are either covered by ice or are gassy planets with a great deal of water in the atmosphere (something that earth fortunately doesn't have an over abundance of as water is a greenhouse gas). Here is an article that details some of the info.

 

First, it is a misconception that God can do anything. He cannot act contrary to his nature. For example, he cannot lie or act illogically as those would be contrary to his nature.

 

Could God have created another planet and populated it? Sure. Has he? We have no evidence of that so far.

 

I have probably seen the Abyss, although it has been many years and I don't remember the movie.

 

My definition of God is the classic definition that is generally accepted by philosophers. It was probably most refined by Augustine in the fourth century.

 

LNC

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The confusion for most people is that though Earth is predominantly covered by water on its surface, water is still a small fraction of the mass of Earth. On other planets, they are either covered by ice or are gassy planets with a great deal of water in the atmosphere (something that earth fortunately doesn't have an over abundance of as water is a greenhouse gas). Here is an article that details some of the info.

 

LNC

 

Really? Most people?

 

Didn't you say in a previous post, "the universe"?

 

Do you think you have an earth-centric view on the universe?

 

I'd still like to know what your reference is to the composition of all the other planets in the universe.

 

 

 

First, it is a misconception that God can do anything. He cannot act contrary to his nature. For example, he cannot lie or act illogically as those would be contrary to his nature.[/size][/font]

LNC

 

It can't do anything?

 

Your god you mean?

 

 

My definition of God is the classic definition that is generally accepted by philosophers. It was probably most refined by Augustine in the fourth century.

 

LNC

 

Do you choose that definition because it fits with what you believe or because you think those philosophers have some special ability? Or?

 

Do people of other religions and cultures accept that definition for their god(s)?

 

If not then would it only be classic in a euro-centric historical perspective?

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You don't necessarily need to convince me that the universe is fine tuned to contain life, but I do not have a really good feel for just how well we "hit the jackpot," cosmologically speaking. Why do the universal constants in our universe have the values they do? What about multiverses? How many "just right" universes can be conceived? One? A finite number? An infinite number? How many could host some form of life for which its universe is fine tuned, but which would not support human life? I hope we learn more about these things. I have not read Cosmic Jackpot, but I think I'll put it on my list if I can find enough time.

 

I think you would enjoy Cosmic Jackpot. Davies, in the end, advocates for a multiverse. Of course there are different levels of multiverse theory. I think that a level one multiverse is without question (that more of our universe exists than we can see on our cosmological horizon). I am skeptical of any level beyond that at this point as I don't think we have evidence to support these levels. I don't even think that the scientists are agreed on this either as there are many different and conflicting theories as to what is out there. I am agnostic on the issue at this point, but still verging on skepticism.

 

LNC

 

I think you'd find stephen hawking's latest book quite interesting (the grand design). He seems to believe the many-histories theory of quantum physics applies to the entire universe because it started on a quantum level (see: big bang). He thinks this supports the M-theory (which includes the multiverse idea). That we don't have a history, only every possible history is interesting.

 

Also- might I add for skeptics, we have objective evidence of the many-histories model of quantum physics. See: http://en.wikipedia...._over_histories

 

Hawking's work has been broadly criticized from all corners. He dismisses philosophy in the early pages of the book only to engage in it for the balance of the book. He cites M-theory as his slam dunk explanation when the theory has approximately 10(500) possible interpretations (or possible explanations), so why should we believe that his is the correct one? Really what he and Mlodinow are engaging in is metaphysical speculation with some scientific language mixed in. I don't think that anyone other than the two of them, Deepak Chopra, and Larry King have been very impressed. I'm not saying he is wrong, but I'm not saying that we could prove his theory to be right either.

 

I think you have overstated your case on the many-histories model as well. Here is a book that gives evidence that this view has its own set of problems.

 

LNC

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