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View Poll Results: You are a...
firm believer 157 28.14%
Deist 18 3.23%
Theist 22 3.94%
Agnostic 119 21.33%
Atheist 242 43.37%
Voters: 558. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-10-2011, 10:28 AM   #1321
brianL
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God rested on the 7th day. Well, 'til noon. Then after lunch He created Slackware.
 
Old 05-10-2011, 10:41 AM   #1322
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^ What did Pat do then ?
 
Old 05-10-2011, 10:50 AM   #1323
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"Bob" = God, therefore God = "Bob"
And Pat is His/Their representative on Earth, sort of like the Pope, or a prophet, or even the messiah.
 
Old 05-10-2011, 10:54 AM   #1324
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Mmmm, nah I don't agree. Ivan Stang would be the Pope, Pat is somewhere under that, probably a Cardinal or something.
 
Old 05-10-2011, 10:59 AM   #1325
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Ah, but Pat gave mankind Slack in a material form, sort of like transsubstantiation. A miracle.
 
Old 05-10-2011, 11:10 AM   #1326
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Finally the thread has come back on track

Praise Bob!
 
Old 05-10-2011, 11:16 AM   #1327
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Yes, getting back to the serious stuff after all that profound philosophy.
Praise "Bob"!
 
Old 05-10-2011, 01:05 PM   #1328
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Pardon my ignorance guys but are you talking about this guy ( praise "Bob" ):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._R._%22Bob%22_Dobbs

I'm least aware of this parody religion thing, but oh boy, interesting stuff it seems .
 
Old 05-10-2011, 01:09 PM   #1329
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrinceSharma View Post
Pardon my ignorance guys but are you talking about this guy ( praise "Bob" ):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._R._%22Bob%22_Dobbs

I'm least aware of this parody religion thing, but oh boy, interesting stuff it seems .
Yep, thats the guy!
 
Old 05-13-2011, 01:02 PM   #1330
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reed9 View Post
[I]
The laws of physics were not handed down from above. Neither are they rules somehow built into the structure of the universe. They are ingredients of the models that physicists invent to describe observations. Rather than being restrictions on the behavior of matter, the laws of physics are restrictions on the behavior of physicists.
If I understood you correctly, you're saying that the job of science is to observe the world, and make theories that consistently explain/describe behavior of the world - i.e. keep building models that provide reasonable explanations of real-world phenomena.

I think that such approach cannot be used to prove existence or non-exsitence of god - if there were a god, such method would simply turn that god into another mathematical model or "natural law". For example, if gravity were an act of god, you would not discover a god using such method, but you would make a new mathematical model for gravity. If a god created laws of physics, you would not discover a creator, but you would describe the laws that has been created. With such approach you will discover a deity only if it is dumb enough to leave traces or wants to be found. However, if some god handles certain physical laws (let's say there is a god of gravity), you would not discover a god, but get a formula describing a law instead. Such approach is imperfect, and frankly, if that's all atheism has to offer, then I'm really disappointed.

I would prefer to see a perfect proof from either theists or atheists. So far both sides only have opinions. Well, maybe discussing existence of god IS meaningless after all.

Last edited by SigTerm; 05-13-2011 at 01:03 PM.
 
Old 05-13-2011, 01:17 PM   #1331
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I would prefer to see a perfect proof from either theists or atheists.
What would be the point of expecting proof from atheists? We're not the ones making outrageous claims.
 
Old 05-13-2011, 01:22 PM   #1332
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Also, atheism doesn't have ANYTHING to offer. You're failing to understand the nature of atheism. It's simply a lack of a belief in a god... no more.

If you want something more, and you're atheist, then that's what philosophy is for. I like secular humanism, myself.
 
Old 05-13-2011, 01:28 PM   #1333
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Originally Posted by SigTerm View Post
If I understood you correctly, you're saying that the job of science is to observe the world, and make theories that consistently explain/describe behavior of the world - i.e. keep building models that provide reasonable explanations of real-world phenomena.
Correct.

Quote:
I think that such approach cannot be used to prove existence or non-exsitence of god - if there were a god, such method would simply turn that god into another mathematical model or "natural law". For example, if gravity were an act of god, you would not discover a god using such method, but you would make a new mathematical model for gravity. If a god created laws of physics, you would not discover a creator, but you would describe the laws that has been created. With such approach you will discover a deity only if it is dumb enough to leave traces or wants to be found. However, if some god handles certain physical laws (let's say there is a god of gravity), you would not discover a god, but get a formula describing a law instead.
Also, in my opinion, correct. However, there is some debate about this. I don't think you can "prove" a god for the very reasons you state. Some prominent atheists, such as the author of the quote, Victor Stenger, think that absence of evidence is evidence of absence if it's evidence you should expect to find. This is the standard argument against any particular god - once you start defining it in concrete terms or claiming in interacts in the world, and start looking for evidence of miraculous interaction, there's nothing there, so we assume such a god doesn't exist. But a god that doesn't intervene in the universe or whose intervention looks just like gravity or whatnot, there's no scientific way to evaluate.

Quote:
Such approach is imperfect, and frankly, if that's all atheism has to offer, then I'm really disappointed.
Science is not the end all be all. It has not and probably cannot tell us everything there is to know about the universe. But it's the best we have.

One thing I have learned in a long life: That all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike—and yet, it is the most precious thing we have. -Albert Einstein

Quote:
I would prefer to see a perfect proof from either theists or atheists. So far both sides only have opinions. Well, maybe discussing existence of god IS meaningless after all.
There is no such thing in science as a perfect proof. Math has 'em, science does not and cannot. All scientific truth is provisional. There is always the possibility we could be wrong, with claims occupying a continuum of probability, from the very likely to the very unlikely. I think the best explanation of this principle comes from Isaac Asimov, in his essay "The Relativity of Wrong", examining just how wrong from a scientific perspective the claims of a flat earth are. (Answer: not very all things considered.)

Besides that, there are as I've said before an infinite number of hypotheses that could be made about the universe. How do you possibility go about disproving them all? The only restriction to making up claims is our imagination. Here Carl Sagan has given us a good explanation of the trouble with this in his essay "The Dragon in my Garage".

Last edited by reed9; 05-13-2011 at 01:31 PM.
 
Old 05-13-2011, 02:37 PM   #1334
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What would be the point of expecting proof from atheists?
Looks like somebody took it personally. Well, whatever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by reed9 View Post
Correct.
...
Well, it was interesting while it lasted, but after the last conclusion (" But a god that doesn't intervene in the universe or whose intervention looks just like gravity or whatnot, there's no scientific way to evaluate.") now there's really nothing left to talk about - there is no proof that a god exists, there is no proof that is doesn't, and there is no sure way to discover it if it exists. There are also scenarios when god exists or existed but cannot be discovered, so I guess arguing further will be meaningless.

I think I'm done here. Have a nice day.
 
Old 05-13-2011, 02:47 PM   #1335
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Originally Posted by SigTerm View Post
Looks like somebody took it personally. Well, whatever.


Well, it was interesting while it lasted, but after the last conclusion (" But a god that doesn't intervene in the universe or whose intervention looks just like gravity or whatnot, there's no scientific way to evaluate.") now there's really nothing left to talk about - there is no proof that a god exists, there is no proof that is doesn't, and there is no sure way to discover it if it exists. There are also scenarios when god exists or existed but cannot be discovered, so I guess arguing further will be meaningless.

I think I'm done here. Have a nice day.
Well, I never intended to offer a definitive proof there is no God. My point is that there is no good justification to believe in god, most especially any particular god, any more than there is justification to believe in a cosmic unicorn watching over us. Can't prove there isn't, but it's not a very interesting question. And you hit the nail on the head, god is not an interesting or meaningful proposition, it is in fact a banal and trivial idea, just as the cosmic unicorn is. I would be more than happy to go about the rest of my life never having to discuss god, but religion's profound influence on real people and real things makes that impossible.
 
  


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