Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort to “scientifically” prove God’s existence.

This should be funny and not just because Kirk Cameron used to co-star in a sitcom. He and creationist Ray Comfort have challenged the guys who set up The Blasphemy Challenge to a debate and ABC has agreed to host it. You may remember Kirk and Ray from the wildly funny video in which they claim that the banana is an “atheist’s nightmare” because God made it so it would fit in our hands perfectly thus proving God exists or something.

Here’s the real kicker of this bit of news: Comfort is claiming he will scientifically prove the existence of God:

“Most people equate atheism with intellectualism,” Comfort added, “but it’s actually an intellectual embarrassment. I am amazed at how many people think that God’s existence is a matter of faith. It’s not, and I will prove it at the debate – once and for all. This is not a joke. I will present undeniable scientific proof that God exists.

I wonder what odds the bookmakers are giving for Comfort trying to whip out his banana argument. If he does it’ll just be that much funnier. As for Cameron, well, here’s what he’s going to add to this circus…

Cameron (“Growing Pains” sitcom and Left Behind movies) will speak on what he believes is a major catalyst for atheism: Darwinian evolution. The popular actor stated, “Evolution is unscientific. In reality, it is a blind faith that’s preached with religious zeal as the gospel truth. I’m embarrassed to admit that I was once a naïve believer in the theory. The issue of intelligent design is extremely relevant at the moment. Atheism has become very popular in universities—where it’s taught that we evolved from animals and that there are no moral absolutes. So we shouldn’t be surprised when there are school shootings. Cameron will also reveal what it was that convinced him that God did exist.

Oooo! I can hardly wait to hear what stunning revelation convinced Kirk to become a True Believer™!

Mark your calendars for May 5th as that’s when the hilarity will begin.

234 thoughts on “Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort to “scientifically” prove God’s existence.

  1. Sadie: Well, how do you like that? Distant Claws and I both altered our handles on the same day.

    Even more so, we both (to my knowledge) blended our names (mine=mat) into the handle. Mine comes from my recent interest in FFX. I like change, dunno why.

  2. Wow!  Just went over to ABCNews.com to check out the debate… it’s pretty sad.  Kurt and ray just don’t know how to follow logic and formulate arguments.  They were searching for answers the whole time, and even though they said their claims were based on science, they had to keep referring to the Bible and God as if they existed.  Which means it’s impossible to not have a circular argument.

    I will however state that they Atheists fucked up on their side.  The question was where do people get moral authority from if they do not get it from God or a religion.  And the atheist debaters couldn’t answer the question.  But the funny thing was that the moderator picked it up and not Kurt and Ray.  Kurt and Ray had a fantastic opportunity to slam them and they just sat their with thumbs up their ass.

    My answer to the question, “We decide as people, as civilized society was is moral and immoral.  We agree as a society and writecodes or law.  There doesn’t need to be a God.  And we the people will punish as we see fit.  Why?  Because we have the ability to do so as higher thinkers and higher forms of beings.”

  3. There is a choice to do something for the benefit of others or self. Xians have the self-serve option more open, but things without consequence to self would only be done to help others, meaning atheist morals are more often selfless

    Still why be selfless? Where is the logic in doing something unselfishly? May just be a an instinct that made the tribe more likely to survive -genetic evolution

  4. I thought athiests were more objective

    Laughing at people who think bananas a proof of Gog isn’t being unobjective. We tend to say there is no evidence for ‘x’- sounds objective to me.  If the evidence tends to show ‘x’ we tend to go with it.

    Does this mean Sadie is no longer Sexy long face? I find that hard to believe.

    Final Fantasy 10?  Surely that means FF1 should really be called pre-pre-pre-pre-pre-pre-pre-pre-Penultimate fantasy

  5. LH- LOL highly recomended rpg, >5Oh for £15 for ps2 with lots of thinking between, calls to question perception of existence, morality, feelings, in circumstances unavailable in real world, different scenario and world per edition

  6. Nah – that aint role playing- thats an adventure game.

    Role playing requires other people.  I find even the MMORGs too limiting as an RPG compared to the sit around the table kind.

    They are great at what they do- but I like the interaction.

  7. I laugh at stupid people for the same reason I love a good (or is it bad) shlock film. They try so hard to be serious, but the whole time you’re just awestruck by the idiocy of it.

  8. LH- Ah, you’re correct about the genre, I’m not sure where I picked that idea up, but XI is an online only edition more of the rpg sort – and this requires it be for xbox/pc. I would’ve tried multiplayer but my pc is a little impotent and I can never get the settings right, also xbox+subscription is more than I’d be willing to pay. I like to dream and do things in my own time, which I guess is why I like single player, but I suppose there is more than one form of appeal to gaming which is what multiplayer adresses.

  9. “Gutter instincts”…  OK, I wasn’t going to say anything but this quote of Sadie’s from another thread did provide a visual: 

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but for me there would be no showers hot enough…

  10. Same thing with me where Sadie’s concerned tongue wink

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but for me there would be no showers cold enough…

  11. Just to give you an idea of how powerful it was, everyone here forgot about the idiocy of Kirk and Ray.  LOL  LOL

  12. Just to give you an idea of how powerful it was, everyone here forgot about the idiocy of Kirk and Ray.

    Oh, if only my powers could extend to more Americans!

  13. I could tell you stories about Harry Potter
    And the Wizard of Oz- there’s a dirty old rotter…

  14. Ouch, you’re right, I did spell atheist wrong. One time I won a spelling bee in sixth grade, but since then I’ve really lost it. Ok, first, all I was doing was making an observation that atheists (I spelled it right that time) are the same as Christians in the way they make fun of the other side to each other, which is really easy to do, but doesn’t really bring anyone closer to the truth. I know Christians do it all the time, they say really ridiculous things to each other, and it’s ok, because they already agree with each other. So I think I’ll say what I believe for those interested, because I think it would be good to hear what you all have to say about it. First of all, I don’t believe that you can prove God’s existence using science, and I think it’s a waste to even try, because the very definition of science excludes the possibility of God. Science is a way of looking at the world that assumes that all natural phenomena have natural causes.  It’s a philosophy, which cannot itself be tested, and so the philosophy itself isn’t scientific. And this is where I think it fails as a way of finding truth, especially with the big bang theory and evolution, which are both ways that scientists explain how the world came to be the way it is now, and how athiests show that we don’t need god to explain the world. Let’s pretend that God did do something throughout evolution, like the Intelligent Design people say. Just pretend. Science would never be able to admit it, or even see it. Suppose you were in a house that you assumed was empty, but someone else was in the house, and that person dropped a glass and then went and hid. You go to see what happened, and you see the broken glass. What conclusions would you draw? Because of your assumptions, you would conclude that the wind or something else knocked the glass over, but it wouldn’t be true. In the same way, because of the assumptions of science, it is unable to see any effect that God might have caused. So we have a question such as “How did life begin?”, and my biology book states, “We will never know for sure, of course, how life began. But science seeks natural causes for natural phenomena, and that is the approach that must guide scientific inquiry about the origin of life.” So I’m very skeptical of scientific explanations like evolution, abiogenesis, or the big bang theory, because we don’t know what happened, and I don’t agree with the assumptions.

    So I don’t really believe that there is any way to prove that there is or is not a God. I think that people make a decision about whether they believe there is a God independent of any evidence or reasoning, and then, once they make that decision, they find evidence and reasoning to back it up, and I think there must be enough to satisfy the most intelligent of us on either side. But I think it’s good to think about these things, if nothing else to examine why we have chosen to believe what we believe, so I’ll try to explain why I believe there is a God. It’s mainly because if I were an athiest, I would have to believe that my life has no ultimate meaning at all. Not that I don’t at times think, and even wish, that were true, but I think there is a better part of me that hopes that there is a reason for my existence. Don’t we all have that need for meaning? Even just now, someone commented how I waste my time with religious activities. This implies that there’s a better way to use my time. But if there is no God, isn’t everything we do a waste of time? We will all end up dead, so in the end, nothing we do makes any difference. So my question is, how, and why, do you all quench this longing for meaning?

    Sorry this is so long.

  15. Aaron:

    Science is a way of looking at
    the world that assumes that all natural phenomena have natural causes. It’s a philosophy, which cannot itself be tested, and so the philosophy itself isn’t scientific.

    First, all “philosophies”, and all intentional actions, cannot be tested according to the reasoning you apply above. In fact, logic as you display is itself a philosophy, and cannot be tested. Are you skeptical of your own logic to the degree that you doubt evolution? Clearly not; you are making claims upon that basis.

    Science is not, per se, mere philosophy. Planes fly because we got our numbers right, not because there’s some philosophy we believe in that makes them fly. Sure, we have no guarantees that we aren’t making a mistake somewhere, outside the universe of discourse for which these things are tested to hold true. That’s more of a question of knowing to what degrees it holds true and testing for them than a flaw in philosophy.

    As for the broken glass metaphor; let me define two domains: the natural (that which is observable by some means) and the supernatural (whose nature is contested). Let us assume that there exists some truth (law) which holds universally for some part of the natural (call it drinking dark beer). The law of drinking dark beer says, “thou shalt be consumed, and thou shalt intoxicate”. Anything that would affect dark beer, even if it is supernatural, must respect the law of drinking dark beer. Let us consider a thing we will call “tolerance”, which halts intoxication in some circumstances. Tolerance cannot affect dark beer where it would halt intoxication, since to do so it would contradict the law of drinking dark beer. In a universe of drinking dark beer, those things which violate the law of drinking dark beer are utterly without meaning. The universe, to scientists, is drinking dark beer. The analogy is that there exists some natural law, that all things in the universe must respect natural law. If true, it makes God natural by extension, and the only means of observing God exist within nature. Even if such a God exists outside of nature, it is a meaningless entity.

    The metaphor is bad because, given the existence of natural law, if a glass falls off of a table, there is a material reason for it, and God is not a child hiding in the pantry.

    Of course, if no natural law exists, our ability to predict would be sorely dampered – yet we use science in predictions all the time which appear to be true in the end. Either we’re right or we’re not, within any given domain. It’s possible that we’re not right, but unreasonable to conclude so. Planes fly.

    How do I find meaning? In all the things I can experience. That’s it. Go for a walk. Eat ice cream. Have sex. Drink dark beer. Smile, for christsakes. It’s a big universe, and even being part of a very small portion of it makes it plenty big for my liking. It’s sort of like asking how I can live having never been to China. I don’t long for “meaning”, since I really don’t know what that means. Reality is what it is. Talking about it like there’s something more to reality than reality is nonsense. But my life is about me having a good time, and I’ve got all that I need, all around me, to do just that. I can’t understand, with such a huge universe, how someone can desire “meaning” within the universe – it seems abundantly clear to me that dealing with the enormity of everything is much harder than finding something to do, which is probably where God-belief came from in the first place.

  16. Aaron,

    somebody else beat you to this and I wrote about it here a few years ago. The original site is long gone, but here’s a copy of the Griswoldian Catechism:

    QUESTION. How did the universe come to be?
    ANSWER. We do not know, but to assume God made it is premature.

    QUESTION. Why is it premature?
    ANSWER. Because we have not yet found a naturalistic answer to that question.

    QUESTION. And when we find a naturalistic answer to that question, will it no longer be premature to assume God made it?
    ANSWER. No, then God will be made unnecessary.

    QUESTION. For what purpose does the universe exist?
    ANSWER. For no purpose at all, since it has no creator. We make our own purpose.

    QUESTION. When there is no purpose, can there be such a thing as a waste of time?
    ANSWER. No, there cannot be such a thing as a waste of time when there is no purpose, except for religion, which is a waste of time.

    QUESTION. How did we humans come to be?
    ANSWER. Through thousands of millions of years of evolution by natural selection.

    QUESTION. What makes the atoms self-organise for evolution by natural selection?
    ANSWER. The laws of physics. Not any sort of élan vital as the ancients assumed, for we have no evidence of such.

    QUESTION. How did the laws of physics come about?
    ANSWER. They are the natural outcome of a random quantum fluctuation in a vacuum.

    QUESTION. What does a random quantum fluctuation in a vacuum do?
    ANSWER. It operates outside cause and effect, and enables something to come out of nothing.

    QUESTION. Does something normally come out of nothing in everyday life?
    ANSWER. No, but the quantum scale is an exception. There, something out of nothing is a regular occurrence.

    QUESTION. Could a random quantum fluctuation in a vacuum produce the lawful progression of self-organisation we see?
    ANSWER. Only it could have, because all science would grind to a halt if we assumed a supernatural creator.

    QUESTION. What is science?
    ANSWER. It is the only way of determining what is true and what is false.

    QUESTION. How does science operate?
    ANSWER. Hypotheses must be testable and within the framework of naturalism.

    QUESTION. Can science alight upon the supernatural?
    ANSWER. No, the supernatural is outside sciences domain.

    QUESTION. Then if the supernatural does exist, is science not a limited tool for discovering the whole of reality?
    ANSWER. The supernatural cannot exist, for when it is discovered it becomes natural.

    QUESTION. How does the supernatural become natural?
    ANSWER. When it is explained. We once thought thunder was supernatural, caused by a God, but now we know it is natural.

    QUESTION. And we now know the God does not cause thunder?
    ANSWER. Certainly, since we have a scientific explanation that makes him redundant.

    QUESTION. And if I explain the boiling of water in molecular terms, does it make the human teamaker redundant?
    ANSWER. No, since the human teamaker is natural.

    QUESTION. Could there be no possibility of a Teamaker of this cup of the universe?
    ANSWER. We could also say the Invisible Pink Unicorn made the universe.

    QUESTION. Regarding the Invisible Pink Unicorn—what makes you rule out even her?
    ANSWER. She is not observable by our five senses, whether bare or with the aid of instrumentation.

    QUESTION. Do you regard our five senses, whether bare or with the aid of instrumentation, as the key to uncovering the whole of reality?
    ANSWER. Yes, since we have nothing else. Science is our only way of knowing.

    QUESTION. Would you say deaf people are justified in regarding the world of sound as truly, objectively, really nonexistent?
    ANSWER. No, their reliance upon their senses does not make objective reality so.

    QUESTION. Is there life after death?
    ANSWER. No. Life after death is wishful thinking.

    QUESTION. How do you know there is no life after death?
    ANSWER. I know because scientists have mapped mental functions to areas of the physical brain.

    QUESTION. Could it be we have a duplicate of the body that survives physical death?
    ANSWER. There is no evidence for that, and life after death is wishful thinking.

    QUESTION. Does the snake cease to exist after shedding its skin?
    ANSWER. Snakes are natural.

    QUESTION. Is religion as a whole based on nothing but wishful thinking?
    ANSWER. Of course it is, since a wholly unbiased look at the world shows there is no evidence for its claims.

    QUESTION. What do you say to the charge that atheism is for the purpose of being freed of all accountability to a higher authority?
    ANSWER. That is arguing the motives and it is invalid. Atheism should be weighed on merits alone.

    QUESTION. Would the world be better off without religion?
    ANSWER. Certainly. Most wars and massacres are caused by religion.

    QUESTION. Including the two World Wars?
    ANSWER. We could call, for example, Nazism a religion.

    QUESTION. How would you regard the Nazis use of science to justify their aims?
    ANSWER. It was pseudoscience and a misuse of science.

    QUESTION. So can then war have an other cause than religion?
    ANSWER. The cause was the same: irrationality. Rationality is the only thing that can stop humans from flying planes into office buildings.

    QUESTION. What if reason tells you to kill for the greater good?
    ANSWER. It must be a good reason.

    QUESTION. Cannot kindness and compassion and empathy be a stop-gap against atrocity?
    ANSWER. No, they are too weak and emotional and irrational to serve against crime. Only reason can give us peace.

    QUESTION. Is reason the arbiter for us all, in all our lives?
    ANSWER. Nothing but reason should be exercised in a grown personҒs life.

    QUESTION. How do you know the faculty of reason should always be employed?
    ANSWER. Because the faculty of reason tells me so.

    QUESTION. Are prayers answered?
    ANSWER. Prayer has never coaxed a drop of rain from the sky.

    QUESTION. How do you know prayer has never coaxed a drop of rain from the sky?
    ANSWER. I know prayer and a few pennies get you a sandwich.

    QUESTION. Do you believe religious people pray to their deities to fix their computer?
    ANSWER. No, and that is because reality there cannot be ignored.

    QUESTION. What do you do when you board a plane?
    ANSWER. I submit myself to fate.

    QUESTION. Who controls fate?
    ANSWER. Only we to a very limited degree.

    QUESTION. And is there no possibility of an external hand over fate?
    ANSWER. No, because then there would be no starving children in Africa.

    QUESTION. Do you regard evil as evidence against a creator of the universe?
    ANSWER. A creator of the universe would never have made diseases and other manner of suffering.

    QUESTION. Can a creator of the universe be called good only if he makes the universe Disneyland-compatible?
    ANSWER. I would rather much live in a Disneyland, yes. That it is not so speaks volumes against God.

    QUESTION. Do you hate God?
    ANSWER. Atheists do not hate God, they do not believe in his existence.

    QUESTION. So you would theoretically accept Gods existence?
    ANSWER. Only upon receipt of evidence.

    QUESTION. What kind of evidence would you accept for God?
    ANSWER. Scientific evidence.

    QUESTION. You said the supernatural was outside scienceҒs domain. How can a supernatural being be evidenced using science?
    ANSWER. It cannot, that is why it does not exist.

    QUESTION. Can there be scientific evidence for the supernatural despite this?
    ANSWER. I want to see the supernatural interact with the natural universe.

    QUESTION. The American continent did not interact with Europe before its discovery. Was it nonexistent before the 16th century?
    ANSWER. The American continent is natural.

    QUESTION. Is “natural” a synonym for “real” and “supernatural” for “fictional”?
    ANSWER. Indeed so.

    QUESTION. Do you find yourself comfortable to be confined not only to the five senses, but to language as well?
    ANSWER. That is where reason, evidence and science lead me.

    QUESTION. What is the goal of science?
    ANSWER. To give us a Theory of Everything that will wrap up the whole of existence in one or a few mathematical equations.

    QUESTION. What will be done afterwards?
    ANSWER. Nothing, we will have answered the mystery of the universe to our satisfaction.

    QUESTION. What if God is that Theory of Everything?
    ANSWER. We must never assume God, because then all further inquiry and research would grind to a halt.

    Copyright © Heathen Dawn. Some Rights Reserved.
    somerights20.png

    You say

    Science is a way of looking at the world that assumes that all natural phenomena have natural causes.  It’s a philosophy, which cannot itself be tested, and so the philosophy itself isn’t scientific.

    The major problem here is that the believer wants to have his cake and eat it, too.

    Science makes a number of assumptions about the natural world and all it takes to falsify it is are scientific observations that cannot be reconciled with these assumptions.

    So I’m very skeptical of scientific explanations like evolution, abiogenesis, or the big bang theory, because we don’t know what happened, and I don’t agree with the assumptions.

    This is a tired old petulant saw.

    So I don’t really believe that there is any way to prove that there is or is not a God. I think that people make a decision about whether they believe there is a God independent of any evidence or reasoning

    The word you’re looking for is faith in the sense of: Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.

    and then, once they make that decision, they find evidence and reasoning to back it up

    And that is called a rationalization, something prone to confirmation bias.

    I’ll try to explain why I believe there is a God. It’s mainly because if I were an athiest, I would have to believe that my life has no ultimate meaning at all.

    And that’s another tired old saw and another tired old misspelling of atheist. The universe is cruelly indifferent towards us, but on the up side it empowers—even forces—us to give our lives meaning. I will never understand the appeal of believing that the meaning of our lives are contingent on a sky daddy. Why bother going through the motions?

    Aaron, to make a long story short—what are the good arguments you mentioned? You certainly haven’t mentioned anything new…

  17. Maybe I’m simply suffering from sleep-deprivation and not thinking clearly, but isn’t it a bit arrogant to basically claim that anything that cannot be explained by our rational understanding simply does not exist?

    Yes, as a species of animals, we may have accomplished quite a lot in our short run of existence thus far. But think about this for a moment: If there really were beings that you might call “gods”—beings which operated on a higher plane of existence, and could influence our lives in any manner that they saw fit—do you really think that we, as beings on a lower plane of existence, could truly explain or rationalize them? After all, as humans, we do share a similar genetic markup with idiots like Bush, Cameron, and Comfort.

    I’m not bashing science or rationality at all. If we can begin to understand our world more logically, then good for you, and good for us all. However, we also need to get off of our high horse, and accept the fact that there are simply some matters in our universe that will never be properly defined, explained, or understood, and yet will still exist, anyway.

  18. Simply because there are things in the universe we’ve not completely figured out yet doesn’t mean we won’t so long as we don’t end up killing ourselves off beforehand. If it exists within the universe then it is natural and if it’s natural then given enough time I have no doubt we can figure it out eventually.

    Consider how much knowledge we’ve already amassed in our very short existence as cognitive beings and it should be clear that we are very clever naked monkeys and, in comparison to how long the universe has been around, we’re only just getting started.

  19. but isn’t it a bit arrogant to basically claim that anything that cannot be explained by our rational understanding simply does not exist?

    It would be arrogant if it weren’t a straw man.

    We don’t fully understand gravity, yet only The Onion would claim it doesn’t exist.

    If a claim isn’t supported by evidence that meets the standards of rational and scientific inquiry, then there’s no reason to believe it to be true.

    But think about this for a moment: If there really were beings that you might call “gods”—beings which operated on a higher plane of existence, and could influence our lives in any manner that they saw fit—do you really think that we, as beings on a lower plane of existence, could truly explain or rationalize them?

    That’s not worth thinking about.

    Any sufficiently advanced being is indistinguishable from God.

    —Edward D. Knapton

    So what? There could be beings vastly more advanced than we are, but unless the evidence is in, the only rational response is to remain properly agnostic about the question.

    Just because something could exist is not good enough reason to believe it really does exist.

    However, we also need to get off of our high horse, and accept the fact that there are simply some matters in our universe that will never be properly defined, explained, or understood, and yet will still exist, anyway.

    Emphasis added. Phrased like this, it’s anti-intellectual special pleading.

  20. We will all end up dead, so in the end, nothing we do makes any difference. So my question is, how, and why, do you all quench this longing for meaning?

    Aaron, Patness already said it: meaning is local, and there’s no obvious reason why the whole universe should have a meaning.  Here’s why:

    Meaning, and purpose, and intention, are not inherent properties of matter or energy, but are thought patterns, or viewpoints, of living things.  A rock, or a planet, has no purpose or meaning or purpose: it just is.

    Now, you or I, or a mouse for that matter, might find a meaning in a rock, or we might think of a purpose for the rock.  For instance, a rock might serve the purpose, or have the meaning (depending on what you mean by “meaning”- a very slippery word!) to a mouse of shelter.  A rock on a certain trajectory towards my head might have the meaning to me that someone nearby wishes me ill.  But the rock itself has no meaning, in the absence of a relationship with living things that have intentions.

    Meanings, and intentions, and purposes, did not exist until life appeared- they are also evolved entities.  So unless you already believe a priori in the existence of God, there’s no reason to believe that life as a whole, or the universe as a whole, have a meaning or purpose.

    So why do some of us have this longing for ultimate meaning?  I suspect the reason is this: since we are social animals, and it’s very important for us to know the intentions of our fellow beings, we are always asking ourselves “what is the meaning of such-and-such an action?”  Trouble is, we assume that simply posing the question assumes that there must be an answer, which is not necessarily so.  There’s a hierarchy of meaningful questions that can be asked about different phenomena:  for a rock thrown at our head by another agent, we can ask “what is the intention of the thrower?” “Why does the rock describe a parabola?” “How does gravity work?”.  For a bolt of lightning from a cloud, the question about intention is meaningless, but the “why” and “how” questions are part of science.  If we ask why there is a universe at all rather than nothing, it may well be that the “why” question is also meaningless, and all we can meaningfully do is describe as best we can the “how”.  This of course depends on what one considers the difference to be between “why” and “how” questions, which is also debatable.  In any case, questions about the meaning of the whole universe assume the existence of a Meaner outside the universe.

    I agree that when I’m dead, nothing will make any difference to me anymore.  But I’m not dead yet, and that makes all the difference:  my life is filled with meaning.  As Patness said, the universe is a very big place, and I’m more than content with the little smidgeon of meaning and life that’s been granted me.

  21. So why do some of us have this longing for ultimate meaning?

    But it’s 42. Enough already.

    Marginally more seriously, there’s a difference between meaning and ultimate meaning. The former is whatever you make it, the latter makes me think of windmills.

  22. there’s a difference between meaning and ultimate meaning. The former is whatever you make it, the latter makes me think of windmills.

    Hmmm, extracting sustainable energy from the environment to build culture?  That’s pretty close to my idea of ultimate meaning…

  23. I have a little catching up to do so i’ll be adressing more than one person here

    Aaron – You seem to be thinking about it, so I’ll take you seriously

    First of all, I don’t believe that you can prove God’s existence using science

    Correct – If god resides in another dimension (as he would have to if he existed and we didn’t see him), and we can’t build machines that are able to venture into that dimension because we can’t interpret it ourselves (so won’t know what corresponds to what even if we observed something from this end) – it’s that analogy that you can’t make an equation only knowing one side of the algebra, so we as humans would never be able to calibrate the machine

    because the very definition of science excludes the possibility of God

    Disagree – it tries to explain things using physically observed rules, which if consistent it will consider proof. The thing about science is it’s highly repeatable so it’s a natural assumption that the same rules will always apply.

    It’s a philosophy, which cannot itself be tested, and so the philosophy itself isn’t scientific

    Religion is a philosophy that cannot be tested, science is testable within it’s philosophy, and is a credible possibility because it agrees with observation. As long as you can explain observation you have a theory that might hold water and might contest accepted science, but don’t think that you necessarily have to completely dismiss science because it might form part of the explanation, and if you do use it you have a lot less you need to explain. Consider science as just the mechanics of the physical world. If there were a link between science and god then that would be a vital part of the theory, and I’ll give a head start with saying that a door is open with the uncertainty principle

    So we have a question such as “How did life begin?”, and my biology book states, “We will never know for sure, of course, how life began. But science seeks natural causes for natural phenomena, and that is the approach that must guide scientific inquiry about the origin of life.” So I’m very skeptical of scientific explanations like evolution, abiogenesis, or the big bang theory, because we don’t know what happened, and I don’t agree with the assumptions

    It’s a case of ‘this is what we consider the most probable explanation if everything strictly abides by our rules’. Anyway, one thing that has me confuddled about how life started is how primordial cells managed to gain stereochemical purity when there is no chemical reason to favour one enantiomer over the other, that is where science might struggle, but what you have to understand is that it’s all too easy to say ‘god did it’ to terminate the arguement, the patern of science is such that there is often more depth to that which puts scientists off resorting to ‘god did it’. Also no scientific paper is going to suggest an uncertainty because of the way things are, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true…

    It’s mainly because if I were an athiest, I would have to believe that my life has no ultimate meaning at all

    (for others too)
    Whether there’s a god or not we can go broader than that, existence in any form has no meaning, feelings have no meaning (I can explain), and yet they have direction (you’d prefer to be happy, and things that make you more likely to survived are associated with that) but why should you prefer to be happy? If we are god’s dreams because he was lonely or wanted some escapism or to learn, then why should any of those things bother him? I don’t understand why anything should have prefrence for existing or not, or about what happens or how it feels, these things (and time itself) are unsymetrical and it doesn’t make sense to me that there isn’t some anti version to balance them.

    But if there is no God, isn’t everything we do a waste of time? We will all end up dead, so in the end, nothing we do makes any difference

    From the end it can look that way, but you will exist for some time at least and be subject to different feelings, even though there is no clear reason for prefrence, there is preference, and it’s a case of making the best of it. An interesting thing is about selfishness vs helping others out for no personal gain – there is no logical reason to not have selfish motives at the deepest level and yet people violate this, just as I am now to some extent I guess, and I don’t understand it or myself

    Now Les:

    Simply because there are things in the universe we’ve not completely figured out yet doesn’t mean we won’t

    Remember there will always be a place for religion and anything else in dimensions that our machines can’t probe, of which there are an infinite number because some are imaginary (and don’t require an imaginer)

  24. Aaron:

    Science is a way of looking at the world that assumes that all natural phenomena have natural causes.  It’s a philosophy, which cannot itself be tested, and so the philosophy itself isn’t scientific.

    The only philosophy here is your interpretation of science. You’ve created a strawman here, and a fairly nonsensical one at that.

    So I’m very skeptical of scientific explanations like evolution, abiogenesis, or the big bang theory, because we don’t know what happened, and I don’t agree with the assumptions.

    Bully for you, but that doesn’t make such explanations unscientific.

    It’s mainly because if I were an athiest, I would have to believe that my life has no ultimate meaning at all.

    I’m sorry you feel that way. It’s not the way I feel at all.

    Not that I don’t at times think, and even wish, that were true, but I think there is a better part of me that hopes that there is a reason for my existence.

    I know the reason for my existence—my parents had sex circa September 1976.

    But if there is no God, isn’t everything we do a waste of time?

    Not at all. We decide for ourselves whether or not our lives are a waste of time. God belief is irrelevant in that regard.

    So my question is, how, and why, do you all quench this longing for meaning?

    Simple—by getting the most I possibly can out of my brief existence and being the best person I can be within my own frame of reference.

  25. Sadie Jane, I missed the memo (as usual), but am guessing you are our good friend Sexy Sadie?  I notice the name has changed on other comments.

    Sorry if we embarassed you with that shower bit.  We’ll be good.  cool smirk

  26. I kew exactly who she was.  I don’t aim to be good- I aim to be bloody fantastic (Hint guys- pelvic floor exercises for men)

  27. I hate it when I have to read through pages and pages to get caught up on a discussion that cries out for a contribution from me.  tongue laugh

    First let me say that with respect to this:

    So I’m very skeptical of scientific explanations like evolution, …

    You kill any credibility that you have.  DOA.

    Which is only partially a shame because this portion:

    So I’m very skeptical of scientific explanations like…abiogenesis, or the big bang theory, because we don’t know what happened, and I don’t agree with the assumptions.

    gets at something that is being inartfully worded.  In all fairness to science, I’m not aware of any explanation that explains the beginning of matter so I’m not sure that science is actually offering anything at the present time.  That said, is what this:

    Just because something could exist is not good enough reason to believe it really does exist.

    cuts both ways.  The faith principle of the atheist that life originated from non-life, also known as spontaneous generation, is where the atheist must take refuge at the present.  Granted, there are some underlying assumptions that are likely to make one more predisposed to accept such a heretofore and currently unproven proposition that has not been replicated in any meaningful fashion.  Yet, those assumptions are lack of faith in one area that manifests itself as faith in a different area.  We all choose to believe.  The only question is in what.

  28. (Consi) The faith principle of the atheist

    You’re still equivocating on the meaning of faith, aren’t you?

    faith n.
    1. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.
    2. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. See Synonyms at belief, trust.
    3. Loyalty to a person or thing; allegiance: keeping faith with one’s supporters.
    4. often Faith Christianity The theological virtue defined as secure belief in God and a trusting acceptance of God’s will.
    5. The body of dogma of a religion: the Muslim faith.
    6. A set of principles or beliefs.

    Which is it for atheists and theists respectively?

    cuts both ways.

    No, it does not.

    that life originated from non-life, also known as spontaneous generation, is where the atheist must take refuge at the present.

    The atheist must take refuge? It’s the theist who must hide his gods in ever shrinking gaps. cheese

    Yet, those assumptions are lack of faith in one area that manifests itself as faith in a different area.

    More faith-based equivocation.

    We all choose to believe.  The only question is in what.

    I am incapable of choosing to believe something that I consider self-evidently absurd. How about you?

    Consi, I know that you’re fond of using variations on the “it takes just as much faith to be an atheist” theme. Remember what you told Aaron, though: DOA.

    Why don’t you read up on computational theory and partial functions. Undefined doesn’t have to slow you down wink

  29. You’re still equivocating on the meaning of faith, aren’t you?

    Not at all.

    Which is it for atheists and theists respectively?

    Belief that does not rest on material evidence.

    No, it does not.

    But it does.  When you put lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig.  When you dress up propositions that lack material evidence, well, they are faith based beliefs no matter who holds them. 

    The atheist must take refuge?

    Would you prefer “The atheist has always taken refuge?” smile

    I am incapable of choosing to believe something that I consider self-evidently absurd. How about you?

    I’m of the mind that a lack of material evidence is just that-a lack of material evidence, not self-evident absurdity. I’m not sure how you make that jump.  The only way I know for you get from lack of material evidence to “self-evident absurdity” is to color the numbers with personal prejudice.  If I’m mischaracterizing that, please feel free to set me straight on the path you traveled.

    Why don’t you read up on computational theory and partial functions

    If you have an article in mind, please point it out to me.

  30. Belief that does not rest on material evidence.

    I’m of the mind that a lack of material evidence is just that-a lack of material evidence, not self-evident absurdity

    DOA.

    The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, unless you’re a Christian apologist—in which case it’s evidence of existence.

    It’s really quite simple, Consi. You can make up things as go and claim that they explain something, but these claims are utterly vapid until all the evidence is in. In your case, I’m still waiting for any evidence.

    If you have an article in mind

    I do have a text book in mind that’s a fairly simple read, but I don’t recall it’s exact title.

  31. It’s really quite simple, Consi. You can make up things as go and claim that they explain something, but these claims are utterly vapid until all the evidence is in.

      I would agree and just add for clarity’s sake that it applies with equal force to all beliefs that lack material evidence.

    …I’m still waiting for any evidence.

    Me too.

  32. Me too.

    The difference is that you have to wait until all the evidence is in to confirm that your beliefs are right, whereas we can wait until all the evidence is in to see if we were wrong.

    You really should stop playing the “it takes as much faith” card. One of things you neglect to address is probability. Given what we have learned about nature and the ever-shrinking gaps for gods to hide in, I am confident (as in faith#1) that abiogenesis has a purely materialistic explanation. It’s disingenuous to claim that the lack of a full materialistic explanation lends equal probability to the existence of the Christian god, the IPU, the FSM, or even the bland god of philosophy and forces me to take refuge in faith (#2)—when you talk about “taking refuge”, you’re trying to shift the burden of proof for good measure.

    The long and short of it—whatever floats your boat. I consider theistic beliefs as self-evidently absurd, religions as self-evidently man-made, and until you have something that’s admissible as evidence within my world view, your line of “it takes as much faith to be an atheist” doesn’t get more credible the more often you repeat it. Yours is an extraordinary claim and it’s not my job to prove you wrong.

  33. One of things you neglect to address is probability. Given what we have learned about nature …I am confident (as in faith#1) that abiogenesis has a purely materialistic explanation. It’s disingenuous to claim that the lack of a full materialistic explanation lends equal probability

     

    Either there is evidence or there is not evidence.  As it stands now, the only discernible reason probability for a materialistic explanation weighs heavier for you is a personal bias.  As you aptly point out, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. 

    I will grant you that for the proposition that there is a God, there is a burden to carry that may not be met, absent faith as defined in number 2.  I won’t say it is somehow disingenuous to suggest that when there are two propositions, both lacking material evidence in support of them, that it is more likely to suggest that one is more probably just because you think it should be.  I will say it is not disingenuous, to suggest that when there is an absence of material evidence, there is an absence of material evidence. 

    Elwed, there are some necessary implications for the lack of a belief in God.  For example, based on the science we have to date, we no of no way for matter to generate from non-matter or life to generate from non-life.  Everything we know to date, from the material evidence that we have, suggests that these two propositions do not fit.  It is the same belief in science that you have that I have and from which I come to the same conclusion that science stands on my side. 

    So, though there may not be a burden of proof for God that is not carried by the theist, likewise, there is an uderlying assumptions you are forced to take that is a proposition.  It is the lack of material evidence for the underlying proposition that is problematic and for which there is a burden of proof.  A burden that goes unmet.  It breaks down the same way whether you like that or not-Yours is an extraordinary claim and it’s not my job to prove you wrong applies to the extraordinary beliefs that we both possess, Sir.   

    I understand that you believe that science will eventually fill the “gaps” and reveal how what is currently unfathomable is in fact very fathomable.  That may be the case.  That has a ring very much like the theist claiming “More will be revealed,” though.

    As you indicated, we are left with whatever floats your boat.  There is no intellectual superiority to one over the other though.  Such implications occur only when one fails to account for the lack of material evidence that exists within the complete universe of propositions on both sides.

  34. I won’t say it is somehow disingenuous to suggest that when there are two propositions, both lacking material evidence in support of them, that it is more likely to suggest that one is more probably just because you think it should be.

    Should read:

    I won’t say it is disingenuous to suggest that when there are two propositions, both lacking material evidence in support of them, that it is more likely that one is more probably just because you think it should be.

  35. Says the person making the extraordinary claim.

    You make the extraordinary claim.  You just try and hide it under the surface. 

    Atheists are sneaky devils. wink

  36. As it stands now, the only discernible reason probability for a materialistic explanation weighs heavier for you is a personal bias.

    Consi, I’m just about done feeding you…

    I have the accumulated and growing body of scientific knowledge about our natural world on my side. On your side is centuries of futile grasping at straws. What has theology done to increase the knowledge about our natural world—other than mystical hand-waiving and making things up as the centuries went?

    If it makes you happy to claim that your theistic belief has equal or higher weight than a naturalistic world view, then so be it. Just know that I consider it a risible claim in and by itself.

    For example, based on the science we have to date, we no of no way for matter to generate from non-matter or life to generate from non-life.

    That’s not quite the full story. There are hypotheses that are in principle testable, even if it may not be practical to do so. Even if a lab experiment would luck out in our lifetimes, this wouldn’t be proof conclusive that this is the exact thing that happened in the Earth’s past.

    What do you have to offer? A firm, inner belief that a sky daddy was nice enough to create the universe just to give humans a place to fart around on?

    You keep harping on the absence of evidence theme, but you should know well enough that an unanswered question on one side does not validate the other. It doesn’t suffice for you to keeping coming back with “you don’t know how abiogenesis happened—neener neener neener”. What you have to do is to show that it cannot have a naturalistic explanation. I’m not holding my breath.

    I have no evidence that would conclusively disprove that it wasn’t a space alien that reached with an interdimensional tentacle into my pocket and stole a wad of cash out of it when I was in ninth grade. I’m confident that it was another student (or perhaps an employee or visitor of the school). What you are saying is that the tentaclist theory forces me to take refuge in my suspicion that it must have been another person present at the time, because I’m unwilling to entertain the extraordinary tentacle claim. Same difference with god and abiogenesis.

    I understand that you believe that science will eventually fill the “gaps” and reveal how what is currently unfathomable is in fact very fathomable.  That may be the case.  That has a ring very much like the theist claiming “More will be revealed,” though.

    It only rings like this if a theist wants to flatter his or her delusions. Science works and results in theories that make testable predictions about the natural world. Some theories don’t get it quite right and presto, they’re discarded in favor of more accurate ones. On the other hand, all a theist has is belief without proper evidence. If they don’t like specific parts of a theology, they pull something else out of their asses.

  37. You make the extraordinary claim.  You just try and hide it under the surface.

    Or, translated into more common language; “Nuh-UH!”

    Let’s see now: the naturalistic claim is that the rest of the physical universe probably works the same way as what we’ve observed of it so far. We have disovered in extremes of minute scale and great velocity that matter behaves oddly, but it behaves consistently oddly, which provides a set of clues to the extremely remote past.  Some things may never be figured out but we haven’t encountered any clear sign that in principle, they couldn’t be.

    The theistic claim is that there is an invisible being, who routinely violates the nature He created.  (it’s a He, at least according to the religions of Humanity from the last three Millennia – a very short section of our very brief tenure so far on Earth).  This being goes to some pains to be undetectable, and punishes attempts to test Him.  The specifics of this being change from century to century as different humans reinterpret ancient legends.  Failure to believe the right interpretation of this being will result in eternal torment, though we have no evidence that personal consciousness survives the body. 

    Gosh, you’re right; what was I thinking?!! cool hmm

  38. But, but, DOF! You make it sound like there’s something wrong with an imaginary solution that’s more complex than the original problem.

  39. Sadie Jane, I missed the memo (as usual), but am guessing you are our good friend Sexy Sadie?  I notice the name has changed on other comments.

    Yep, she and I are very close. No embarrassment received on this side. I’m only wondering what’s taken KPG so long… wink

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