What Do You Believe

Discussion in 'Agnosticism and Atheism' started by honeyhannah, May 11, 2004.

  1. memo

    memo Member

    Well, that's pretty much the end of the debate then. It's impossible to reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into.
  2. themnax

    themnax Senior Member

    that is of course the problem with debate as objective rather then means.

    besides who is anyone to reason or any other way persuade anyone in or out of how they see anything. as long as there not using it as an excuse to cause harm. when they do, that's what we have laws for and need to have laws not be dependent on what anyone believes or doesn't, but only on the reduction of real harm and suffering.

    on the other hand, i do aggree with what i see as one point of that statement, the senselessness of pretending to know what is not known.

    that there might be a god or gods or something close enough for government work, is entirely sufficient, without having to pretend to know what color of shoe laces makes it happiest to see us wear.

    what IS important is shairing a genuine concern unconditionally, for the kind of conditions everyone has to experience, and how each consideration we actually live by, ultimately influences those conditions.

  3. Okiefreak

    Okiefreak Senior Member

    This is well said. Where did it come from? Of course, the implication is that not only science but all human thought is limited. Some writers argue, based on evolutionary theory, that it's very unlikely humans will ever be able to answer the improtant questions about the ultimate nature of reality, because we didn't evolve brains for that purpose. If true, wouldn't all of this be a powerful argument for agnosticism?
  4. dreamagain

    dreamagain Member

    At the end of the day,
    both evolutionary theory and the belief in a divine creator require a certain degree of faith.

    Something had to originally exist to create life which breaks a scientific law- something had to come from nothing, or something had to always be. The human mind does not think infinitely, we are finite. So the concept of something always existing is hard to be defined in human terms.

    Despite what is in the science books, Darwin's theory is a religion of it's own kind. His theory breaks basic scientific laws, without being able to answer creation beyond the creatures on this planet. Creationism is able to answer more questions, albeit simplistically-- but it's just as sensible.

    Evolution takes the leap of faith to say that non-living things can and did create life,
    while failing to answer the question of the non-living matter's creation. Additionally evolution breaks a scientific law by stating that things left alone can improve. This is obviously untrue. Science tell us, things left alone tend to break down (second law of thermodynamics). Thus throwing out the science-side argument altogether, because evolution is refuted by pre-existing law.

    So my argument is, that evolution is a religion to. A religion against religion, which is understandable and ignorant. Creationism doesn't try to answer all the questions because it states that humanity is not the ultimate being and doesn't have the ultimate answers, it may be a leap of faith, but at least it sells itself as being what it is.

    The argument that Evolution is the truth and those who believe differently are ignorant is wrong, closed-minded and frankly annoying. Science, which is presented as being what Evolution is all about, does as more than enough to disapprove Darwin's theories.

    This is my view, feel free to poke holes in it.
  5. FreakerSoup

    FreakerSoup Stranger

    One certainly more than the other.
    If you leave a chunk of cheese out overnight and it's gone in the morning, would you say that some mystical being you can't see took it as an offering, or would you say it was mice? Both require faith, because you weren't there.

    Please remind me of these laws and where evolution says something came from nothing.

    1. Is not a religion of its own kind. It has masses of empirical evidence.
    2. Does not break scientific laws, and is not a reply to creationism. In fact, if you understand biology, evolution is quite intuitive.

    1. Breaks MANY scientific laws.
    2. Can't answer these questions in a way other than "god did it."
    3. Cannot account for the evidence that points to evolution.
    4. Is only "sensible" if you have inherited that belief.

    Evolution is not concerned with that.

    That is completely false. Sure, things left alone tend to break down. So what is left alone? Certainly not the Earth. We have a constant influx of a great amount of energy from the sun and from the Earth's hot center. Evolution states that as we reproduce and accumulate mutations (from the sun, generally), there will be mistakes in our DNA. Some will be bad, some may reduce the amount of DNA an individual ends up with, but some increase it, and some are good.

    That is a pretty weak argument.

    No offense, but you are obviously quite ignorant about evolution. You seem to have gleaned your views from various anti-evolution websites, which are filled with silly arguments like the second law of thermodynamics. It doesn't take a biologist to understand evolution, and I'm willing to bet that any scientist worth their weight in salt would be able to refute every point on there.

    Again, no it doesn't. Your view comes from a very basic misunderstanding about the science and about evolution.
  6. Okiefreak

    Okiefreak Senior Member

  7. Okiefreak

    Okiefreak Senior Member

    For sites explaining why evolution doesn't violate the second law of thermodynamics, see:

    In summary, the 2nd law applies to closed systems, and life is not a closed system.
    "Sensible"? Maybe. But it isn't based on a theory that can generate empirically verifiable or (more importantly) refutable hypotheses. Evloution, as a scientific theory, has been impressive in doing that. That's why, right or wrong, evolution is not just "a religion, too".
    I don't know what you mean here. Are you saying that evolution is against religion? Yours maybe, but not mine. There are lots of Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and Christians who see no problem with evolution from the standpoint of religion. I'm a Christian.
    The origin of life and the creation of matter are really both outside the scope of evolutionary theory.
    I agree. Humans are far too fallible to boast about "the truth". But I do think we can brag about the scientific rigor that has guided evloutionary theory.
  8. neodude1212

    neodude1212 Senior Member

    freakersoup, that was a pretty bad metaphor with the mice and cheese..lol it did more to prove his point than anything.

    but basically, when talking about these things, proof is an unreasonable demand to place on a theist. or an atheist for that matter. science in not equipped to deal with the supernatural, and absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
  9. MollyBoston

    MollyBoston Fluffer

    I believe only in science. Does science explain everything? Oh, heck no! But it's exciting to see what it will explain next.

    Back in the day we said that humans had to come from God, because science couldn't explain where we came from. Then science figured out that we came from apes. Now science can't explain how that first speck of life happened, so we think that must have come from God. But someday science will explain that too.

    There will always be people that say God is proven by the things we don't know, and that's fine - I certainly don't mind if people believe in God. But the things we don't know will change. Science keeps going.

    It'll never disprove God, though, of course. That's as silly as thinking that God can somehow disprove science. It's impossible to prove or disprove God, which is why people call it "faith" - and that's exactly as it should be.
  10. FreakerSoup

    FreakerSoup Stranger

    How so? His point=The two are on equal footing. My point=one requires a lot more faith than the other.

    No. It isn't. But if creation was true, don't you think there would be evidence for it? Instead of all the evidence for evolution? Science is equipped to deal with everything that can be shown objectively to exist.

    To prove something absolutely true is impossible in most science. To prove that something has merit is easy (if it has merit). You just have to show that it is plausible. Evolution has been shown to be more than plausible, while creation has not. Until it takes less than complete and utter faith to believe that it is the case, it will remain merely possible.
  11. dreamagain

    dreamagain Member

    The origin of life and the creation of matter are really both outside the scope of evolutionary theory.I agree. Humans are far too fallible to boast about "the truth". But I do think we can brag about the scientific rigor that has guided evloutionary theory.[/QUOTE]This is my biggest problem with athesism based solely on evolution. Because in my search for answers, the origin of life and the creation of matter happen to be two fairly important issues.

    Macroevolution I fully and obviously believe in, but one species does not become something it's not. When humans mutate and develop wings biologically maybe we can talk, but why has man aparently stopped evolving, it would seem there would be evidence for real evolution within the time of written history. Is nature on a sabbatical?

    I'll be honest with you, there is a big part of me that wants nothing more than to buy into atheism but I don't have the evidence to make me comfortable enough to throw away my previously held beliefs, because if they were true throwing them away would be of greater consequence than if I were wrong all along and went on believing that way. I have nothing to lose if I'm wrong, as a creationist christian.
  12. MollyBoston

    MollyBoston Fluffer

    Dream...you know evolution happens slowly, right? Like, thousands of years slowly? We ARE evolving. For instance, we're developing greater lactose tolerance right now. We're also significantly taller than we were back in the olden times. Evolution doesn't mean some of us are going to develop optic blasts or something.
  13. dreamagain

    dreamagain Member

    Those things are related to us eating processed foods, that react to our bodies differently. Because of that nowadays there are 2nd graders in C-cup bras. But that's besides the point.

    Because of the exponential growth of humanity in the last couple hundred years we should be seeing an exponential growth in such mutations. Technology has boomed exponentially, theory has boomed exponentially, there are 6 billion more potential candidates for human mutation now than there were say 400 years ago.

    Man is the highest being on this planet and we apparently have been the ultimate highest form for a long while now.

    We are the only creatures who create/destroy our own environment, we are special because we develop new ways of doing things. We do not run solely on "evolutionary instinct." We are too powerful. No other species has developed the social interactions we have. Sex for pleasure, music, war, specialization of tasks (a job), I could go on all day. We do not adhere to environmental interactions we create them, we build civilizations.

    These things can be defined by evolution, but you just don't find them elsewhere. I don't think amoebas are splitting because the enjoy it especially. Music has absolutely no evolutionary purpose, it is not a survival instinct. Neither is homosexuality, because it does not procreate. So if the purpose is survival which is evolutions basis it has no grounds.

    The human mind is too far ahead to be explained via apes, the missing link is too great.
  14. neodude1212

    neodude1212 Senior Member

    that is my take on the whole thing.
  15. neodude1212

    neodude1212 Senior Member

    not so. if you weren't there, and the only evidence you have that something took the cheese is the fact that the cheese is gone, why is it more plausible to assume it was a mouse over the option that God himself took it? If there is no evidence to say it was a mouse, then they both require the same amount of faith.

    get back to me when you have collected all the evidence of everything for everything in existence.

    supernatural events can be experienced objectively, but science cannot explain them.
  16. Okiefreak

    Okiefreak Senior Member

    You're right, from a strictly logical standpoint. It could also have been that Flying Spaghetti Monster we keep hearing about. Ordinarily I, and apparently other people as well, operate on the principle that when something unexplained like that happens, we go for the most familiar explanation--it was the mice, rather than God, elves, Martians, Spaghetti Monsters, etc. That's not exactly logic. It's experience-based intuition.

    I think Freakersoup is not saying science has all the answers; just that on the particular subject of evolution, there's an enormous amount of evidence that seems to support the theory, nothing that really refutes it, very little empircal theory for creationism other than a literalist interpretation of scripture, and the problem of explaining why all the evidence supporting evolution got there if direct special creation was the real explanation of our origins. Not that there aren't scientists out there who have ventured explanations. In Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, Denton argued that the appearance of gradation in species is the result of the fact that the Creator was doing variations from a basic design "blueprint". (As I mentioned in an earlier post, he seems to have softened this view in favor of a more Darwinian approach). Progressive Creationism maintains that God intervenes at intervals to create irreducibly compled structures like DNA, while others think that design could have been front-loaded in information contained in the first living cells, but not activated until later. ID guru, Michael Behe, has advanced this view. Process theologians think that God generally prefers to shape evolution by influencing genetic mutations by radiation, etc. These explanations are all, shall we say, highly speculative.
    For some additional information on evolution of lactose tolerance, see:
  17. jrnyman

    jrnyman kermit

    I'd say right there that's evidence that we obviously aren't the highest species on the planet. We're pretty m uch the only one who hasn't been able to find a sense of homeostasis with the rest of earth and her charges I'd say that puts us at the bottom of the totem pole.

    I think a lot of our technology could also be keeping us from evolving in any strict sense of the word. We begin to rely upon technology for say health reasons and spontaneously we become a species with no immune system... same could be said for many other techno wonders.

    And actually there are many species who have sex for pleasure, nearly every species of ape or monkey, dolphins and whales just to name a few. Interestingly enough many of those same species also have gay and group sex for pleasure as well. :)

    And MollyB how do you know I haven't developed optic blasts... *focuses psyclops laser glasses...* you should should see my other special powers :D

    Honestly I haven't seen compelling evidence that humans evolved on this planet to the point where we are... at least from the information we've been given. Unless there were massive spontaneous leaps in evolution, which is entirely possible. I think evolution itself is fairly obviously somewhat possible at least having major adaptations within a species. The lack of piltdown man, however, has made evolutionary claims somewhat lacking although I wouldn't put it past the vatican or any other (perhaps all other) major states to hide evidence of that nature.

    I think it's equally as plausible that we came from off planet at whatever point and many aboriginal mysticisms claim such, including many native american mythologies. If we did evolve here I'd say that humans have been around for at least several hundred thousand years in stages possibly as advanced or more advanced (read not intent on dominating but in coexisting) states than we are now. We just tend to look for skyscrapers and nukes as signs of intelligent life and bypass radically advanced social structures of peace and happiness.

    Personally I'm not a fan of a big whitey in the sky farting out ant farms in the form of humans but then I never was a very good christian even when I was one.
  18. Okiefreak

    Okiefreak Senior Member

  19. hippie_chick666

    hippie_chick666 Senior Member

    I think the fact that we still have a tail bone (modified, of course), an appendix, (which has little to no benefit whatsoever), and "junk" DNA (DNA that has no purpose, just copies of copies that takes up space) indicates clearly that humans have evolved. Why would an intelligent creator given humans (the supposed perfect creature) parts that have no use and can be detrimental? This is obviously NOT an intelligent design for humans.

    About evolution today, people are starting to be born w/o an appendix. These people are just as healthy as people born w/ an appendix. This is evolution in action- the frequency of a genetic trait (no appendix) is increasing in a population. A change in frequency of an allele or genotype is evolution the fact.


    Peace and love
  20. FreakerSoup

    FreakerSoup Stranger

    I think you just aren't looking at the big picture. It's not all about instincts, that's only part of it. Sure, we have a lot of social interactions, but they all have consequences. E.G. Sex for pleasure. Lots of unprotected sex w/o BC = babies = evolutionary advantage. Lots of unprotected sex w/ BC = STD's, gross factor, probably obstacles to future reproduction. Generally. Homosexuality=no babies=no genes passed on=genes removed from pool. War = hegemonic advantage=one race has advantage over another. Music that pisses you off=hateful person=less successful reproduction. Most of what evolution deals with is the disadvantages, rather than the advantages. Many people are born with bad mutations, that will harm their ability to reproduce. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Beneficial? Some people are immune to the bubonic plague. Some are immune to HIV. Some people have sexual characteristics that are more attractive to the opposite gender.

    Additionally, as Molly said, these things happen very slowly. And they happen MUCH more slowly in larger organisms than smaller, simpler ones.

    If you know that mice exist, live in your area, and eat cheese, then it irrational to say "Mice didn't do this. God did." It doesn't make sense to assume the existence of a third party whose existence isn't known. Now maybe if you have that suspicion, you can put out another piece of cheese the next night, and spread flour on the ground. If there are mouse tracks through it in the morning, no it's not proof, but it's more evidence. If you put a piece of meat out and film it overnight and find that a mouse truly eats it, it still isn't proof, but it's more evidence. If you then put another piece of cheese there, film it, and find a mouse eating it, it's not proof of the first one, but it's a heck of a lot of evidence, especially if god doesn't make an appearance. But I have a feeling that even if there were a camera pointed at it the first time and you see a mouse, I have a feeling a lot of people would say the god worked through the mouse.

    But I really don't think you care about evidence.

    Can you show me objective evidence of the supernatural?

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