"But That's The Old Testament"

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Acheick
 
Reply Sat 21 Oct, 2006 09:58 am
Thorwald, I just didn't explain myself very well. I'll get back to you later, it's Sat and I'm off to a party.

Walker - you dont' really know me. Yes, I have tried not believing in God, I went down that path very seriously and realized it was just not what I believe. Everytime I look at my garden, or I see a perfectly symmetrical butterfly, all kinds of things, I can't deny the existence of a creator. Science does not explain it sufficiently either. The no God theory just doesn't cut it, it doesn't make sense. Things have to make sense for me.

And didn't even Darwin towards the end of his life admit there was something more, some sort of creator?

Also, I am not a creationist if by interpretation you mean literalist. I think that there is great misunderstanding and I don't agree with literalists. Anyway, it's been an envigorating chat but I'm off to a party, so will chat more later.
 
Monger 1
 
Reply Sat 21 Oct, 2006 04:54 pm
Acheick wrote:
The world to me is too great, complex and amazing to think it just happened out of the blue. Personally, I think it takes more faith to not believe in a creator.
Acheick wrote:
Everytime I look at my garden, or I see a perfectly symmetrical butterfly, all kinds of things, I can't deny the existence of a creator.

The universe is certainly complex, but the idea that it was designed is something you choose to read into it. It is also important to consider all the disorder that exists in the universe.

I've heard many people use the complexity of the universe as evidence that god existis. In reality, a universe without god is far simpler, as a sentient god adds whole new levels of complexity. Why do you suppose that a universe with a supreme creator who has the conscious intelligence, technical knowledge, mechanical ability, and inexplicable desire to create it is simpler than the same universe without such an infinitely more complicated being?
 
WalkerJ 1
 
Reply Sat 21 Oct, 2006 08:36 pm
Acheick wrote:
Walker - you dont' really know me. Yes, I have tried not believing in God, I went down that path very seriously and realized it was just not what I believe.

OK, my bad. I took you literally when you said you had "never, ever not believed."

Acheick wrote:
Science does not explain it sufficiently either.

True. And it probably won't for another few millenia. But you've got to admit that science has come a long way in the last few centuries, whereas believers in a creator haven't changed their views much in all that time.
 
m 2
 
Reply Sun 22 Oct, 2006 02:04 am
Acheick wrote:
And didn't even Darwin towards the end of his life admit there was something more, some sort of creator?

http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v18/i1/darwin_recant.asp
 
Thorwald 1
 
Reply Sun 22 Oct, 2006 11:34 am
M, even though your source (a pro-Creationist website) refutes another attempt by fundamentalist Christian's at deceiving the general public (who don't bother to cross-check), I should think directly "from the horse's mouth" is a better source:

Charles Darwin (1809-1882) wrote:
"By further reflecting that the clearest evidence would be requisite to make any sane man believe in the miracles by which Christianity is supported,—and that the more we know of the fixed laws of nature the more incredible do miracles become,—that the men at that time were ignorant and credulous to a degree almost incomprehensible by us,—that the Gospels cannot be proven to have been written simultaneously with the events,—that they differ in many important details, far too important, as it seemed to me to be admitted as the usual inaccuracies of eye witnesses;—by such reflections as these, which I give not as having the least novelty or value, but as they influenced me, I gradually came to disbelieve in Christianity as a divine revelation. The fact that many fake religions have spread over large portions of the earth like wildfire had some weight with me. But I was very unwilling to give up my belief; I feel sure of this, for I can remember often and often inventing day-dreams of old letters between distinguished Romans, and manuscripts being discovered at Pompeii or elsewhere, which confirmed in the most striking manner all that was written in the Gospels. But I found it more and more difficult, with free scope given to my imagination, to invent evidence which would suffice to convince me. Thus disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate, but was at last complete. The rate was so slow that I felt no distress, and have never since doubted even for a single second that my conclusion was correct."

--source: (Charles Darwin in his Autobiography of Charles Darwin, Dover Publications, 1992, p. 62. )



Sir Francis Darwin (1848-1925) wrote:
"Lady Hope's account of my father's views on religion is quite untrue. I have publicly accused her of falsehood, but have not seen any reply. My father's agnostic point of view is given in my Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Vol. I., pp. 304-317. You are at liberty to publish the above statement. Indeed, I shall be glad if you will do so. Yours faithfully, Francis Darwin. Brookthorpe, Gloucester. May 28, 1918."

--source: (Quoted from James Moore, The Darwin Legend, Baker Book House, MI. 1994, p. 21.)


These fundies have no shame!
 
evanman
 
Reply Sun 22 Oct, 2006 12:05 pm
Do we really want to get into a creationist/evolutionist debate here?

There are many leading scientists who also accept creation. The scientist who discovered the "G-nome" is a perfect example.

As are other Astro-physicists, Geologists, Chemists etcetera. In fact, some of them came to accept creation as a direct result of studying their particular fields of science.

Evolution, being a "theory" cannot be anything other than a question of faith.

As there is more than one idea of evolution, without any real evidence of transitional forms, the onus is to provide the actual concrete evidence!

Please show us any examples of the evolution of one species into another.
 
m 2
 
Reply Sun 22 Oct, 2006 12:52 pm
Thorwald wrote:
M, even though your source (a pro-Creationist website) refutes another attempt by fundamentalist Christian's at deceiving the general public (who don't bother to cross-check), I should think directly "from the horse's mouth" is a better source...

Yep. Just thought that as Acheick is a Christian she might appreciate it coming from a Christian website.
 
Thorwald 1
 
Reply Sun 22 Oct, 2006 01:09 pm
evanman wrote:
There are many leading scientists who also accept creation.


Care to name a few of these "leading scientists"?

evanman wrote:
The scientist who discovered the "G-nome" is a perfect example.


If by "G-nome" you meant "genome", then of which organism (of the many millions) did this scientist "discover" its genome? When did this scientist make this "discovery"? And, more importantly, who is this scientist?

evanman wrote:
Evolution, being a "theory" cannot be anything other than a question of faith.


If we define "faith" as the belief in anything that transcends what can be proven to be false (scientifically), then, no, evolution takes zero "faith" to believe in. Every piece of the Theory of Evolution can be tested (in vivo, in vitro, or in silico). The general idea has yet to be proven false (after the many hundreds of thousands of experiments, performed by thousands of scientists around the world, over the last 150 years). In fact, the Theory of Evolution does an incredibly good job at explaining nature.

It is the continual modifications to the theory that confuse the general public. This is, however, the strength of the scientific method, not a weakness of the theory.

Also, the term "theory" is, by no means, a derogatory one; at least, not as used by scientists. Every explanation for every observable phenomena is just a theory. This includes the Theory of Gravitation. No matter how many times the ball falls towards the centre of the earth, we can never say with absolute certainty that the next time it won't shoot off into space. This is actually not as silly as it may sound; such an event could occur, it is just very unlikely.

evanman wrote:
Please show us any examples of the evolution of one species into another.


If you define "speciation" (the separation of species into distinct groups) as the point at which interbreeding no longer produces viable offspring, then, we observe this all the time at the molecular level.

There is an experiment going on as I write (and has been for the last ~15 years) where scientists are inducing speciation in E. coli. I have seen the results and was in the room when the lead scientist presented them (see: the E. coli Long-term Experimental Evolution Project Site for more details). This is evolution!

There are many more and at the macro-level. If we wish to start this debate, I am ready. Believe me, I am ready. Just be prepared to know your math, chemistry, biology, and physics . . . because I won't take the time to explain the basics.
 
Day 1
 
Reply Sun 22 Oct, 2006 01:20 pm
Monger wrote:

I've heard many people use the complexity of the universe as evidence that god existis. In reality, a universe without god is far simpler, as a sentient god adds whole new levels of complexity. Why do you suppose that a universe with a supreme creator who has the conscious intelligence, technical knowledge, mechanical ability, and inexplicable desire to create it is simpler than the same universe without such an infinitely more complicated being?


I'm not sure if I understand. Are you asking, Why would one suppose a universe created by a god were simpler than one that wasn't? Would you explain a bit more?
 
Thorwald 1
 
Reply Sun 22 Oct, 2006 01:27 pm
Day wrote:
Why would one suppose a universe created by a god were simpler than one that wasn't?


I believe Monger was arguing the opposite.
 
Day 1
 
Reply Sun 22 Oct, 2006 01:54 pm
Ah, now I get it. Thanks, Thorwald.
 
Monger 1
 
Reply Sun 22 Oct, 2006 04:26 pm
Day wrote:
Monger wrote:
I've heard many people use the complexity of the universe as evidence that god existis. In reality, a universe without god is far simpler, as a sentient god adds whole new levels of complexity. Why do you suppose that a universe with a supreme creator who has the conscious intelligence, technical knowledge, mechanical ability, and inexplicable desire to create it is simpler than the same universe without such an infinitely more complicated being?

I'm not sure if I understand. Are you asking, Why would one suppose a universe created by a god were simpler than one that wasn't? Would you explain a bit more?

My point is that a god capable of creating the universe would be more complex than the universe itself. Or rather, the idea of god creating the universe solves fewer mysteries than it creates.
 
Monger 1
 
Reply Sun 22 Oct, 2006 04:31 pm
As for Evanman's attempt at name-dropping scientists who believe in creation theory, I'd like to introduce you to Project Steve.
 
Acheick
 
Reply Sun 22 Oct, 2006 05:55 pm
m wrote:
Thorwald wrote:
M, even though your source (a pro-Creationist website) refutes another attempt by fundamentalist Christian's at deceiving the general public (who don't bother to cross-check), I should think directly "from the horse's mouth" is a better source...

Yep. Just thought that as Acheick is a Christian she might appreciate it coming from a Christian website.


Thanks, M - you're so thoughtful! Actually, I read anything and everything. I would say I'm more "Christian oriented" rather than Christian as we understand it in today's society. I don't think I really fit in anywhere.
 
Acheick
 
Reply Sun 22 Oct, 2006 05:59 pm
Monger wrote:
Day wrote:
Monger wrote:
I've heard many people use the complexity of the universe as evidence that god existis. In reality, a universe without god is far simpler, as a sentient god adds whole new levels of complexity. Why do you suppose that a universe with a supreme creator who has the conscious intelligence, technical knowledge, mechanical ability, and inexplicable desire to create it is simpler than the same universe without such an infinitely more complicated being?

I'm not sure if I understand. Are you asking, Why would one suppose a universe created by a god were simpler than one that wasn't? Would you explain a bit more?

My point is that a god capable of creating the universe would be more complex than the universe itself. Or rather, the idea of god creating the universe solves fewer mysteries than it creates.


I always felt that if there was a creator, how could anyone really understand that creator until the day we are freed from our finite minds. So, actually, I agree that a god capable of creating the universe would definitely be more complex than the universe itself.

Another thing that always leads me back to God, (and I'm sorry that I misspoke about never, ever not believing, I always believed in something even if I didn't know what it was or was trying to find out what it was, then I went back to Christianity) is how nearly all societies worshipped something, even if it was pagan societies. There is this uncanny knowledge within human beings that something bigger than them created them and that there is something to worship, even if they get it wrong and sacrifice virgins to appease their god of thunder or whatever.
 
Acheick
 
Reply Sun 22 Oct, 2006 06:48 pm
Some more answers from my Torah following friend:

Quote:
"So when the Bible says, 'God created the heavens and the earth', was it just a figure of speech--Aramaic slang for 'God's a powerful guy'-- or is it to be taken literally? ... where do you draw the line?"


To learn which English expressions are idiomatic, we consult experts in BOTH the English language AND the particular culture which produced those expressions. Likewise, one should consult experts in BOTH Biblical Hebrew AND Biblical culture to understand Biblical Hebrew text.

Yes, God did create the heavens and the earth.



Quote:
When it says, "He that believeth not the Son ... the wrath of God abideth on him", is that just an idiom for "He'll have a lousy day"?


This verse comes from the Christian bible. However, I am speaking about the Torah.



Quote:
"Nor is there evidence that he could."


You claim the text can be understood as saying it was God, not Elisha, who instigated the bears. Yet, the text refutes you. The text plainly tells us that Elisha was the actor here, not God. (i.e., Elisha cursed them.)

You claim the text can be understood as saying Elisha could not have privileged knowledge to accomplish things that you or I could not. Yet, the text refutes you. The text tells us that Elisha was a prophet and that prophets have access to knowledge that others do not.



Quote:
"Your friend accepts that Elisha was a prophet. Is it possible that 3000 years from now, people will believe that David Berg was a prophet because they find ancient documents calling him one?"


The Torah provides a specific methodology to determine if someone is a true prophet. In his lifetime, Elisha met the Torah definition of prophet. David Berg has (so far at least) failed to meet the Torah definition of prophet - and can not be called a prophet until he does so.

If somebody believes David Berg to be a true prophet (whether it's now or 3000 years from now), they are not using the Torah methodology.

======================================================



Quote:
Quote:
"Remember Occam's Razor? Often the simplest answer is the correct one."



I agree. For me, the simplest explanation is that Elisha had knowledge that we don't have. No miracle need be involved at all.

Quote:
"His 'privilege' was the ability to summon God to perform miracles for him."


this part confuses me, because I did NOT say that last sentence If the poster is attributing that sentence to me, please correct him or her. What I said was: A prophet's "privilege" is only the ability to access special knowledge from God. What the prophet CHOOSES TO DO with that knowledge is up to himself.
======================================================



Quote:
An additional factor to Occam's Razor is that one must be careful of simple answers that are based on assumptions.


Yes, the poster must be careful to (1) NOT assume that God doesn't exist; (2) NOT assume that God doesn't have knowledge; (3) NOT assume that God doesn't grant this knowledge to humans; (4) NOT assume that some humans are incapable of understanding/using that knowledge; and (5) NOT assume the Torah is inaccurate. Wink


Quote:
"The only reason your friend can accept that explaination is because they have internalized the above assumptions and consider them to be fact. It is an illogical explaination for anyone who has not accepted them. "


The only reason why I accept the above assumptions as fact is because I used logic and reasoning to make my decision. Through the use of my intellect - not emotion - I have consciously concluded that God must exist and that the Torah is true.


Quote:
"As I said earlier, God is a concept."


I am interested in learning more about your understanding of God. Would you please elaborate on your statement that "God is a concept." Thank you.

Acheick speaking: I find all this fascinating. I'm sorry if I'm boring you with it. For me my path is different because I joined TF out of a deep and sincere desire to follow God. I believed in the bible and it was used mercilessly on me. It traumatized me. By finding out how Torah followers understand the Torah, it makes things clearer for me. I think Christians who don't do that are losing a lot of insight.

Yes, when I left TF I was mad at God for a long time. Then I thought I should find out about the other way of not following the bible at all and coming to a place where I could be an unbeliever and I didn't go for it. It was pretty brief. I just couldn't deny the existence of a creator.

I realize that your experiences are much different and in no way do I ever want to preach to you, however, you all brought it up :wink:
 
Thorwald 1
 
Reply Sun 22 Oct, 2006 07:03 pm
Torah dude wrote:
Yet, the text refutes you.


Your "text" refutes nothing. It contains only what the author(s) wrote down (and it has changed many times over the few thousand years this text has been around). It has no more authority than the writing of a five year old discussing the Tooth Faerie. Just because millions of people believe it to be the "Word of God" gives it zero authority. Millions of people used to believe the world is flat . . .

There are so many things wrong with your Torah friend's statements . . . where to begin?
 
Day 1
 
Reply Sun 22 Oct, 2006 07:40 pm
Monger wrote:
My point is that a god capable of creating the universe would be more complex than the universe itself. Or rather, the idea of god creating the universe solves fewer mysteries than it creates.


Monger, thanks for explaining it more. I realize that my thinking often reflects a long-held belief in a Supreme Being, and that can cloud one’s perspective. With that in mind, my question is, in very simple terms, if a blacksmith built an iron kettle … that isn’t hard to imagine? But, an iron kettle fashioning itself does seem unlikely. With the addition of the blacksmith into the picture, everything does become much more complex, but without him the iron kettle wouldn’t be. What is it that I'm failing to consider here?
 
Thorwald 1
 
Reply Sun 22 Oct, 2006 07:59 pm
Day wrote:
...an iron kettle fashioning itself does seem unlikely. With the addition of the blacksmith into the picture, everything does become much more complex, but without him the iron kettle wouldn’t be. What is it that I'm failing to consider here?


This is just the classic Watchmaker Analogy or argument.

It has been shown to be a flawed argument almost from the first time it was proposed. Peter Richerson and Robert Boyd had a good response:

Quote:
Cultural anthropologists challenge the watchmaker argument both as a 1) faulty analogy and also as a 2) mistaken idea about the matching of people, animals, and plants to their natural settings. That is, a man's mother makes the man, not a God. And people, animals, and plants have many biological mistakes in their design.

...though one woman may make a watch, the know-how that the watchmaker uses consists of the accumulated learning of many generations of technology workers that managed to make minor improvements on the traditions of prior generations. That is, the cultural evolution in watchmaking from generation to generation demonstrates the very Darwinian accumulation of variations between generations in a population that creationists try to use the watchmaker analogy to disprove. It is not even a case of the watchmaker standing on the shoulders of giants. Developing the art of watchmaking is a case of "midgets standing on the shoulders of a vast pyramid of other midgets."

For example, when John Harrison in 1759 created the most accurate watch that had ever been made for use on sailing ships, he used techniques from many generations of traditions in watchmaking and added in "a number of clever tricks borrowed from other technologies of the time, such as using bimetallic strips (you have seen them coiled behind the needle of oven thermometers and thermostats)" that kept his clocks from changing their rate even when the temperature rose and fell. There are so many hundreds of generations of innovations that go into making any good watch that "William Paley's famous Argument from Design would better support a polytheistic pantheon than his solitary Christian Creator; it takes many designers to make a watch."
 
Day 1
 
Reply Sun 22 Oct, 2006 09:06 pm
Thorwald wrote:
Quote:
the know-how that the watchmaker uses consists of the accumulated learning of many generations of technology workers that managed to make minor improvements on the traditions of prior generations. That is, the cultural evolution in watchmaking from generation to generation demonstrates the very Darwinian accumulation of variations between generations in a population that creationists try to use the watchmaker analogy to disprove.
There are so many hundreds of generations of innovations that go into making any good watch that "William Paley's famous Argument from Design would better support a polytheistic pantheon than his solitary Christian Creator; it takes many designers to make a watch."


I'd wondered about the skill and "know-how" aspect. And the polytheistic pantheon suggestion adds another interesting twist. Yeah ...thanks.
 
 

 
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