Working for the Lord wrote:
Fine tuning requires a designer who has the skills of being greater than the design itself, which would be God. Random chance is so off the wall to be even considered as a way of life to have come into existence.

johnheadWorking for the Lord,

Firstly, the claim that the universe is fine tuned needs to be demonstrated. Could it have been tuned some other way? If so, how would you demonstrate that? As far as we know the cosmos simply is the way it is and life appears to have adapted to fit a niche on the surface of one of the trillions of planets which have formed within it.

The error in your argument lies with your premise that the universe is “fine tuned” for life. Suppose I showed you a map of the United Stated and said “Is it not amazing that the Mississippi river was ‘fine tuned’ to exactly match the state borders so perfectly. It must have been designed because a river matching the state borders via random chance is so off the wall to even be considered. The designer who had the skills must have been greater than the design itself, therefore God did it.”

You would look at me like an idiot, kind of like I’m looking at you now. Obviously the borders match the river because the state borders were formed after the river. Likewise, life on earth appears so well suited to the planet because life has had 4.7 billion years to adapt to our planet.

As far as your assertion of chance, the probability of life arising on Earth is exactly 1:1 or 100%; we are here now after all.

If the universe needs a creator to explain the fine tuned order of everything, and this creator you label god obviously possesses order, what super-duper god maker created your god? Surely your god could not have come into being by random chance, that is so off the wall to be even considered.

 

Working for the Lord wrote:

My God didn’t come from random chance, he has always existed. God who is all knowing, all powerful. The first God being as I described is sufficient, only would man need more than one God, or at least think he does. This world could not have been in existence forever as we would have completely exhausted all energy by now.

 

johnheadWorking for the Lord,

You assert that the universe must have been created because it has order which could not have come about randomly. When asked what created your orderly god you simply assert that your god has always existed.

You are making a fallacious appeal to special pleading, a spurious argument where favorable details are included or unfavorable details are excluded by alleging a need to apply additional considerations without proper criticism of these considerations. Essentially, you are attempting to present your god as the one exemption to the very rule you use to make your original argument, without justifying the exemption.

If your God can just “always exist” then what is prevents reality from “always existing”. Conversely, if reality could not have “always existed” and your god is real, what justifies your god being exempted?

You assert your god is sufficient but sufficiency does not imply necessity. There may be a first cause but that cause may not necessarily be an entity remotely like you describe.

Your claim that your god is all-knowing and all-powerful is a fallacious bare assertion. These are attributes which you need to demonstrate. You may not simply start with God is ______ and move on from there without justifying exactly how you know God is _______.

This world has not been in existence forever, in fact the history of the cosmos until now was 2/3 over before this world came into being. We are far from exhausting all of “our” energy, the star which provides all “our” energy has been fusing 700 million tons of Hydrogen into 695 million tons of Helium every second since it formed and will continue burn for at least another 5 Billion years.

Cyclist wrote:

But see, there in lies the problem…unbelief in something does not make it untrue. Lets say I abandoned my belief in God, my abandonment of belief does not make him any less real.

Lets say for example, I decided man never went to the moon, that it was all a hoax. Does that make it any less real that they did?

Truthfully, you can not prove God doesn’t exist any more than I can prove that he does. You can offer why you believe he does not, but you can’t offer fact based evidence that shows he does not. I can offer why I believe he does exist but can not offer tangible fact based evidence that he does.

johnheadCyclist,

Correct, non-belief does not equal non-existence. I never said that it did and atheism, despite what many misinformed people may say and what you may have been told, is NOT the assertion that gods do not exist. That position is called anti-theism.

Correct, your abandonment of belief in gods will have no effect on whether or not gods actually exist. Your abandonment of belief does not make your god any less real. Likewise, your current belief in no way makes your god actually real.

Correct, if you told me that you disbelieve the claim that man walked on the moon you would be contesting a positive claim; that man did walk on the moon. The burden of proof would be upon the person making the claim. Let’s say I am the one making the claim. I could point you to the mountains of evidence like moon rocks, photos, and even video. Fake you say! OK, I could point a laser at one of the three retro reflectors that astronauts left on the surface and show how reflected laser light can be detected by a photo multiplier. I could even show you images taken recently by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter here which show the actual landing sites and left over crap from 40 years ago. The last thing I would do is tell you to have faith. There is no need for faith because we have evidence.

(Now if I told you man walked on Mars, I would have no evidence for that claim and you would be justified in not believing that claim)

I cannot prove your god doesn’t exist, but then again nobody bears any burden to disprove any claim. There have been more than a thousand different gods which have been worshiped and claimed to exist throughout recorded history. Should you be expected to disprove all of those gods? NO. Does your inability to disprove Thor or Oden mean that belief in Thor or Oden is justified? Certainly NOT.

Imagine I told you that there was a teapot in orbit around mars, you would have no way to disprove that. Would that inability to disprove my claim justify some belief that a teapot was orbiting Mars? NO. The default position with regard to any existential claim is to disbelieve until that claim is demonstrated to be true.

Going back to what I said in my previous post, I am not claiming there are no gods. All I am stating is that the theist has not met their burden of proof and there is no evidence yet discovered which can demonstrate that gods either exist or are required for the cosmos to operate. This is the null hypothesis, which by definition can never be proven.

If you can offer a good reason why you believe then let’s examine your reasoning for any flaws. Have at it.

According to Reason,

I freely admit to not being as knowledgeable about the whys and how’s of my beliefs, as you are about yours, you have obviously put much time and study into what you believe, where as I have just accepted what I believe to be true.

Having said that, I can not separate my belief in the Bible and God from my views on creation and how everything came to be. In other words, I look at everything through “God glasses”. In doing that I have automatically accepted the bibles account of creation.

Secularism is as foreign to me as Christianity seems to you. I don’t mean that to sound flip, we just have different world views. I do enjoy our conversations though, they challenge me and make me think.

– Cyclist

johnheadCyclist,

You pretty much summed it up in your first sentence. My beliefs are based on much time and study and not simply accepting something a priori.

If you cannot separate your belief in God from the biblical views concerning creation then maybe you should consider separating yourself from a belief in gods. I know, its shocking to even consider what with hell and all but that BS goes away when you begin basing what you believe upon empirical data and the rejection of magical unsubstantiated superstition.

Those “God glasses” are keeping you from learning about reality. Imagine someone rejecting chemistry because he could not separate himself from his belief in alchemy or rejected astronomy because he could not separate himself from his belief in astrology. That person would be insisting upon being willfully ignorant of how the universe actually was, he would be rejecting reality in favor of fantasy.

Why would you purposefully choose to believe a story with absolutely no evidence to support it while rejecting scientific conclusions supported by mountains of the stuff. It’s insane that anyone would limit their minds in such a way.

You also have a misunderstanding of secularism as it is not antithetical to Christianity. Secularism relates to the principle of separation of government institutions, and the persons mandated to represent the State, from religious institutions and religious dignitaries. It is not impossible to be both a Christian and a Secularist, that is to say someone who believes in the precepts of Christ’s redemption on the cross, and that such belief should be kept separate from acts of government.

We do have different world views, no argument there, but you do realize that whereas you ignore evidence and reason in favor of what your holy book says, I discard anything which is contrary to or unsupported by evidence and reason.

I think you are being self-contradictory with your last sentence. You write that I am challenging you to think but by that same token you just admitted that you limit your own thinking via “god glasses”.

If the Bible is true and your god is real then there should be evidence which bears that out. You are being dishonest with yourself when you start with a conclusion that “X is true” and proceed to automatically reject anything suggesting otherwise simply because “X is true”.

The process of rational thought involves first admitting your ignorance; “I do not know if X is true or false”, sometimes called the null hypothesis. Then setting out to find evidence pointing in either direction and not moving in that direction until such evidence is found, no matter how strongly you may want one direction over the other.

To be honest, if you strip out all the evil shit in the Bible and stick with just the Sunday school kid version of a god who is nothing but caring , loving, and wanting of the very best for everyone, I might want that to be true. However, even if that was all the Bible said I could not simply accept it as true in the absence of reason and evidence. I know the universe does not exist according to my wants and desires and wishing for something to be true does not justify my pretending that it actually is.