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7/25/2007                                                                                       View Comments

Can a god exist?

By Bob P

For a god to exist, He (She, it?) must possess intelligence. I believe the faithful would agree. Let's take a look... Again, as usual, Occams Razor is the standard.

Intelligence, as we know it, exists in (most) humans, and perhaps in some animals. Intelligence here will be defined generally as awareness, observation, understanding, acceptance/reconsidering, and a memory.

There are additionally four basic conditions for intelligence to exist as we know it. Anything beyond these conditions can only be in the imagination of someone desiring it.

1: Location: Intelligence has only been observed on the earth. At no time or place has any intelligence been observed, elsewhere. Intelligent life may and probably does exist elsewhere in the universe, but we have yet to observe it.

2: Matter: Intelligence requires matter. There has never been any intelligence observed except in matter. There is no observation of intelligence in a vacuum.

3: Life: Intelligence requires life. There is no documented evidence that supports intelligence without life. (No, your computer doesn't count)

4: Communication: Intelligence must possess communication to relate this intelligence. Rumors to the contrary are undocumented.

If the imagined God of the universe lacks matter, life, location and communication, then intelligence becomes a moot point. No claim to the contrary has ever been observed or documented by any credible observer.

Conclusion:

God is the result of man's fertile imagination and need for control. Creating a deity is useful to this end. Does this 'prove' that god does not exist? No, it does not, it's illogical to 'disprove' anything especially anything as vaguely defined as god. There is no good consensuses on what god is anyway. Having a deeply devout belief in something this vague can only be the result of having been brainwashed as children.

Why do I care, anyway? Because it's 'payback' time for the religion that was stuffed into me as a helpless child. Perhaps I can 'save' others from this most ridiculous form of mind control misrepresented as something desirable. Religion is a form of child abuse in that it prevents or at least cripples the ability of children to ask intelligent questions. Religious intolerance is not only child abuse, it's abuse at any age.

The modern world should divorce itself from all forms of superstition, especially religion. I'm not sure that can ever happen, given how superstitious mankind is, but imagine a world of humanitarians who do not require a reward or a punishment to be humanitarians. It would be a time when atheism would enjoy the rightful and honorable position it so richly deserves.

Bob P Kansas City

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49 comments:

Carl K said...

A couple of random comments ...

I think as children (and perhaps as adults) we are somehow predisposed to beliefs in things imaginary. As a young boy, I remember being afraid nearly to death of going into an unlit cellar under our house, no matter my parents assurances that there was nothing under there to harm me. The boogieman lives within us all, and to some degree, this fear of the unknown probably keeps us out of danger. In some ways, God is just an adult boogieman, and religions are ways to approach him.

If we cannot rid ourselves of superstition, perhaps we can at least recognize it as such. I know several people who believe things like wearing a particular shirt gives them success in a competetive event, who also wholeheartedly agree it is irrational, and continue to do it nonetheless. If they could agree believing God were also irrational, and didn't take actions based on that belief, I would have no problem with them continuing to believe it.

Maybe what I'm asking is simply a more passive belief.

Anonymous said...

The premises are flawed and the arguments lack continuity. His confession in his conclusion that none of what he says disproves God is accurate and also demonstrates that there are flaws in the premises. Without establishing his intended point God doesnt exist the rest of his ramblings can be ignored.

Anonymous said...

It is truely sad that you feel the need to exert so much effort in an attempt to disprove and undermine something you don't even believe in.

One of the key flaws to your premise is that it discounts the possiblity of observation. Perhaps we are all just a lab experiment for God, in which He does not wish to interfer with the experiment. If God were to take a purely observational role then there is no reason to assume we would have proof of His existance. Is the rat aware of the cage builder, if the rat never sees the maker?

Monk said...

But if it were an experiment, and assuming the teachings of christianity were true, then one is forced to acknowledge and admit that god HAS interfered several times according to christian doctrine...especially when he supposedly threw himself into the "experiment" 2000 years ago.

so, why doesn't he interfere now when his presence could be more easily and widely documented?

even if one assumes he exists and IS a grand experimenter, what would make you believe that his supposed promises are real and aren't instead a fake (or poisoned) carrot being dangled in front of us poor mice? what was so special about the middle east 2000 years ago? nothing other than rampant superstition combined with Jewish delusions of grandeur.

Anonymous said...

Monk, you are assuming that I am talking about the Christian God or any other god's men claim to know of. My argument is against the central premise of this article, can *a* god exist. The author is trying to come across as an intellectual but instead makes an arguement that has many words and no real substance.

Anonymous said...

Can a God exist? His very own conclusion answers the question with a "yes".

Bloviator said...

Interesting thoughts, but I find the most faulty reasoning the implied belief that humans without a "god belief" would act rationally and humanely towards each other (and by inference, mother earth). Fat chance. Humans have very poor risk assessment(sp?), poor logical thinking skills, predisposition to superstition (as mentioned by Carl K), a herd-like instinct to avoid the "outsider" and any number of other traits that make any and all utopian thoughts/fantasies just that: fantasies. As far as can a 'god' exist? Of course it can, but a better question perhaps is how likely is it that a god exists?

stronger now said...

Bloviator said...
"Interesting thoughts, but I find the most faulty reasoning the implied belief that humans without a "god belief" would act rationally and humanely towards each other (and by inference, mother earth). Fat chance."

It would seem that you find atheists to be inhumane to each other. Why? Or am I not reading this correctly? Perhaps you meant that it was implied that if all people dropped superstitious thinking it would solve the problem of mankinds inhumane treatment of each other. I do not think that it was implied.

"...imagine a world of humanitarians who do not require a reward or a punishment to be humanitarians. "

It doesn't imply every person would automatically become humanitarians. It implies that the world would be better if people would drop the stigma they give to atheism.

At least it would be better for the humanitarian who is now judged partly by who/what/how he worships.

But what do I know?

Anonymous said...

stronger now wrote...

"But what do I know?"

God only knows. :)

Thackerie said...

The argument that there is a god who is conducting a sort of experiment - i.e., observing us without interfering - doesn't work if the said deity is assumed to be omnimax (all-knowing, all-loving and all-powerful).

If it's all-knowing, it doesn't need to experiment because the conclusion is already known, as is every step in the process of reaching the conclusion. (Good question for fundies: Does god know what he's going to think before he thinks it?)

If it's all-loving, the deity would certainly intervene to end natural disasters and suffering and if it's all-powerful it could easily do so. Even we mere mortals see the point in ending a medical research project if it jeopardizes the health and lives of the human subjects of that research, so shouldn't god be at least as moral as us meat sacks?

Maybe there is (or was) something with creative ability that got the universe and all that. I don't know and neither does anyone else. But, I'm 100 percent confident that the god described in the bible cannot and does not exist.

Monk said...

Anonymous,

I apologize for my presumption that you meant the christian god. however, since it's the exchristian.net website, I feel like I may be excused ;).

I agree in principle with where I feel like you're going with your argument: that no one can say for certain that god does NOT exist. This is true. However, no one can say for certain that ANY god DOES exist. All Bob or most anyone else on this website wants to do (in my opinion) is present the acknowledged, verifiable, and reasoned evidence we have in our possession. That evidence does NOT seem to point to the existence of any god. Much of what goes on here revolves around the supporting and refuting semantics.

This is the central premise of atheism/agnosticism as I see it: that no one can say for certain that god exists, and that it is also intellectually dishonest to claim with certainty that one does and/or that the bible (or any document) is his inerrant will for mankind.

I appreciate all reasoned arguments.

Monk said...

"...and that it is also intellectually dishonest to claim with certainty that one does and/or that the bible (or any document) is his inerrant will for mankind."

This is unclear. I was trying to say that it is intellectually dishonest to claim with certainty that any god exists, and that it is also intellectually dishonest to claim that the bible or any other religious document represents his inerrant will for mankind.

Thanks.

stronger now said...

Smashing pumpkins:

"Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage."


Anonymous, please pick a name.

I agree that it is possible that god could just be observing us. Or we could say that he was observing us but now the experiment is over and he no longer does. Or we could say that god doesn't exist and never did. Which is more likely and why?

alanh said...

Anonymous wrote:

Perhaps we are all just a lab experiment for God...

Perhaps we are an experiment conducted by aliens from the Andromeda galaxy. Without any supporting evidence its an interesting topic for discussion but not particularly useful. It does preserve the guilt that religion thrives on (someone is still watching you,) but now you've downgraded mankind from "children of god" to mere lab animals.

William said...

To anonymous (coward):
Though you try at the very least to present yourself in a logical way, providing no evidence to the contrary doesn't really help your case. The only thing you provide, as a matter of the fact, are baseless statements and a silly example.

Alanh answered your example adequately, I believe, but let me examine your statements.

"Premises are flawed"

Which one?
Location: Inductive (on Occam's Razor, as stated), but correct as far as human knowledge goes.

Matter: Inductive (once again, based on the principle of Occam's Razor), but correct once again. Neither myself, nor you, can name one such observable instance of intelligence without matter.

Life: Inductive (Occam's Razor, again), but correct once again. I certainly cannot disprove this statement and neither can you, and there are many provable instances (i.e. everything we know about that is alive and has "intelligence", as we commonly know the property as.

Communication: Inductive (Occam's Razor), though I could see where one could argue not necessarily, but you could never prove a supernatural being by arguing against the premise.

"arguments lack continuity"

Wrong, again. Let's look at the actual argument.

"If the imagined God of the universe lacks matter, life, location and communication, then intelligence becomes a moot point."

This is inductive (need I mention it?), based on what we do know. Everything we know of which has intelligence has all of these properties. God has none of them. Therefore, God does not exist, based on a very sound inductive argument (on the principle of Occam's razor, as mentioned many times before).

Once again, the argument is inductive (empirical, also; no metaphysical entities in here, besides God, of course, but not one used in the premises or argument, just the conclusion), but there is only room for argument in more philosophical aspects of it, but not by people that have no idea what they are talking about.

Think of this, though. The argument that two atoms of Hydrogen and one atom of Oxygen will always combine to make water is inductive as well. Just because we're sure that they will the next time we try to combine these elements doesn't mean that these elements will necessarily combine that way.

Also, he based everything on Occam's Razor, and none of the premises are incorrect based on the method. They are purely inductive, as stated far too many times (possibly as a disclaimer for anyone wanting to argue against the premises on a better basis than Coward, here), but they do not feign themselves otherwise. Scientific inferences and hypotheses are also inductive, at times. Do you wish to argue against gravity being constant as well?

Inductive arguments are not necessarily correct, I will admit once again, but your accusations against the argument itself are baseless.

At the beginning, I was thinking, "Your criticisms may be applicable", as you seemed well thought-out. After I read the argument again, though, I realized all of your criticisms were without merit. This does not necessarily disprove a God, as it does not necessarily disprove a giant floating monkey intelligence either. The fact is that this argument states that God and my giant disembodied monkey intelligence are highly improbable, but are still possible if one of his premises are proven wrong, which, though they haven't been throughout all of human knowledge so far. I would not say, though, that it is impossible for one of the premises to be untrue, though I will say that it hasn't been disproved yet, to wit.

Coward, do you even know what Occam's Razor is, let alone an inductive argument. The argument is, to repeat, a sound inductive argument.

Next time just label yourself "Coward", so we can identify you that way, rather than I myself simply referring to you as such Coward (a.k.a. anonymous). A fitting name, I think, for not answering others' criticisms, and for your pseudo-intellectualism (more cowardice, in my opinion).

Perhaps there really aren't that many brave scholars, or honest ones, at least.

WilliamFWN

Anonymous said...

William, your arguments with the writer of this not me these are his own words quote: Does this 'prove' that god does not exist? No, it does not,

stronger now said...

Anonymous/Coward: "It is truely sad that you feel the need to exert so much effort in an attempt to disprove and undermine something you don't even believe in."

It does't sound like he's trying to disprove the existence of god.

Bob P: "...it's illogical to 'disprove' anything especially anything as vaguely defined as god."

Sounds more like he's trying to make an argument for the improbability of god useing occams' razor. Since this is an exchristian website It would seem that he is speaking of the bible god specifically.

What is really sad is how anyone could have missed the fact that Bob P wants to help others.
Bob P:
"Perhaps I can 'save' others from this most ridiculous form of mind control misrepresented as something desirable."

Anonymous said...

William,
1: location: I think it would be more accurate to say intelligence has been observed from earth. Just look at the order in the universe and on earth. They are signs of intelligence. on top of that he himself believes life existed elsewhere and worse yet Location isnt neccesary. There were people on the moon.
2: Matter: The only thing science has ever explored is the material universe. Hardly a compeling statement.
3: Life this I find interesting. So I ask "How do you get and keep life?"

Anonymous said...

william,
here is a well designed argument

1)The universe displays a staggering amount of intelligibility, both within the things we observe and in the way these things relate to others outside themselves. That is to say: the way they exist and coexist display an intricately beautiful order and regularity that can fill even the most casual observer with wonder. It is the norm in nature for many different beings to work together to produce the same valuable end—for example, the organs in the body work for our life and health. 2)Either this intelligible order is the product of chance or of intelligent design.
3)Not chance.
4)Therefore the universe is the product of intelligent design.
5)Design comes only from a mind, a designer.
6)Therefore the universe is the product of an intelligent Designer.

Bloviator said...

Stronger Now:

Yes, that is the implied belief in that statement. I don't believe in god or the entire fantasy surrounding "him", so don't misunderstand and think me some christian troll trying to create a strawman argument. How do you make the leap to "It would seem that you find atheists to be inhumane to each other."? I think rather that humans act, have acted, and will undoubtedly continue to act inhumanely to each other into the foreseeable (sp?) future. That in mind, I like and applaud Bob for the hope expressed in the statement and I certainly believe religion has been used as a wonderful excuse for savage, hideous and inhumane behavior for thousands of years. I wish I could be more optimistic, but sadly, I am not.

Bloviator said...

thackerie said:

Maybe there is (or was) something with creative ability that got the universe and all that. I don't know and neither does anyone else. But, I'm 100 percent confident that the god described in the bible cannot and does not exist.

I couldn't agree with you more.

Monk said...

Anonymous,

You only see a design because you have preconceived notions that a "designer" exists. Quite simply, you want it to be true, so you are far more likely to see what you want to see. People do this. Do all scientists put their feelings aside while conducting research. No, but their peers ensure that a certain level of objectivity remains. I find christians defending intelligent design are far too often emotionally driven, and therefore, their judgments are clouded by their personal agendas.

Science looks at the physical evidence, and it suggests that your designs are NOT designs but random chance. Can you mathematically say that the probability of getting the outcomes that we see in our physical world is astronomical? Perhaps, but, short of some "divine intervention," mankind must use the tools that he has...reason, logic, and intellect.

These suggest randomness rather than design.

dano said...

God must be pretty stupid if he had to try out a couple million versions of man, before he got one that he wanted to love him.
Dan, Agnostic

dano said...

And why did it take him so long?

I mean five million years!

Give me a break!
Dan, Agnostic

dano said...

And all the design flaws in the finished product!

Scheesh!
Dan, Agnostic

William said...

To anonymous (Coward):
Did you read what I wrote?

I said the argument was, by its very nature, inductive. How can you not remember that if you read it? If you counted all of the times I said "inductive", it would make your head spin. I, myself, thought I had spieled on that enough, but it seems like I can go about saying it all day and you still won't listen to it. It does not definitively "prove" anything. I was simply defending its construction, as it was not deserving of the comment "flawed"; rather, it is a perfectly well-constructed, though *inductive* argument. I am not saying it is necessarily true, of course, as I iterated quite a few times in my dissection of your comments.

To refute your other arguments:

1. I have two arguments against what you said for location. For one, a perception can be different from actuality. You argue that from perception, and from a quality that humans, in fact, gave it (i.e. the universe), we can determine what the universe is and its creator. For example, one can perceive a print of an ampersand as the letter "A". It does not necessarily follow that the print is, in fact, an ampersand. Therefore, it does not necessarily follow that due to a perception of "order", there is necessarily that "order (even the term order I might be willing to argue against. Also, you cannot prove that, even if there were some sort of creator, that the creator is a god. Certainly, it seems that you can only prove that something powerful enough created it, and it most definitely does not follow that the creator is some sort of metaphysical entity (i.e. a god), or, indeed, if that entity is even a god.

2. This argument is faulty because you assume a priori that there is something beyond the material. Not assuming such at all is a better place for the argument to start, so please try that next time.

3. Does life need maintenance? I have not seen a god come down to repair someone who has cancer, nor have I seen him come down to fix my rock, nor have I seen him come down to keep my atoms' orbits in line. So what does god maintain exactly? The universe? What in the universe, as I have not seen God hiding in my molecules, nor have I seen him under my bed. To get life, even I do not purport to know such a thing. The best thing one has is humanity's current (certain) knowledge of things. Your argument here is the "god of the gaps" fallacy, a.k.a. argumentum ad ignorantiam.

The next anonymous argument:

1. For this one, I'm sorry, but I need a barf-bag. You simply sit here and hyperbolate (my own word) everything that you know about the world (simply poetics and a bore list; I hesitate to read the first part, but I have seen the argument from order before... from you). I remember reading an argument about how humans apply beauty to the universe only based on human perceptions, rather than some sort of empirical standards. We cannot say the universe is "orderly" or that its "beautiful" as an empirical fact. This is a perception, and that is all.

2. Either/or fallacy. One cannot say "it is either x/x" unless there are most definitely only two choices. In this case, not necessarily.

3. How did you get that? Pull that out of your ass? Flip a coin? I'd like to know, as this is the argument's biggest weakness.

4. And how did you get "intelligent"? Even if your premises were true, you cannot pull intelligent out of nowhere. How do you know that the designer here wasn't mindless: an automaton, if you will? Certainly this can't be proven, even if your argument somehow followed.

5. Once again, since the previous parts didn't follow this is wrong, but I'll still address it, even if its already wrong. I want it dead-in-the-water. Also, you go back to design, which is due to perception, once again, as already addressed earlier. Design does not necessarily come from a mind. Once again, mindless automaton like computers can design, but I would not argue that computers are either intelligent or have a mind.

6. Your conclusion was separate from the argument, as the argument is fallacious.

I shall not argue that it necessarily disproves the conclusion, but it disproves the faulty argument. You seemed to have misread everything I wrote, though. I emphasized that the argument was *inductive* as the author himself acknowledged, yet you disregarded that and in your vanity hoped that my points would be disproven, simply because the author "disagreed" by your perception of my dissection of your statements. This is, once again, not the case. I myself agreed many times on the first post that it was *inductive*, and you can count how many times I said it. You just don't seem to care, and wanted to spew forth your argument by design/order/Thomistic fallacy. I did not advocate the argument either: I simply wished to show that you were wrong in assuming his premises and arguments were "flawed". You were wrong, in this case.

I hope you are more intelligent than your intelligence argument (argument from design, etc., etc.). I have seen that fallacious argument far too many times.

To the readers and even those that may have skimmed (except Coward: go back and read the whole thing if you haven't) this long manifesto, though redundant, I'll apologize for the length. It takes a while to refute *every single* point your opponent has.

WilliamFWN

William said...

As I just posted my last comment, I realized that everyone else had refuted his "well-designed" argument. As soon as I saw Coward again, I had to respond. Eh, oh well. The response, I felt, was necessary anyway, to prevent him from bringing a really stupid argument again, or to bring one of its points.

Here's a similar argument, based on the argument from design you wrote, Coward:

1)The taco displays a staggering amount of delectability, both within the things we observe in the taco and in the way these things relate to others outside themselves. That is to say: the way the ingredients exist and coexist display an intricately beautiful order and regularity that can fill even the most casual observer with wonder. It is the norm in tacos for many different ingredients to work together to produce the same valuable end—for example, the organs in the body work for our life and health.
2)Either this delectable order is the product of chance or of delectable design.
3)Not chance.
4)Therefore the taco is the product of delectable design.
5)Design comes only from a mind, a designer.
6)Therefore the taco is the product of a delectable Designer.

Same fallacy, different spin. Though I think I could actually believe in "delectable design". :P

Thanks for the cut-and-paste words by the way. Hope you don't mind me doing the same to your argument.

John of Indiana said...

My burning question for the Anonymous Coward is:

Does the rat in the cage worship the cage-builder?

stronger now said...

Bloviator, my apologies. I must have misenterpereted your pessimism as being directed at atheists specifically. I guess I've heard xtians describe atheists as immoral one too many times. I did not mistake you for a xtian troll wich is why I felt the need to ask for more elaboration. I suppose I have more of a pessimistic attitude toward humanity as well. I am also attracted to bright, shiny objects and easily confused. Again, sorry.

J. C. Samuelson said...

Bob,

I enjoyed your article, though I was somewhat confused by the title. The answer to the title question "Can God Exist?" is yes, as you seem to have affirmed with "...it's illogical to 'disprove' anything especially anything as vaguely defined as god." Yet not everything possible is probable, so I think you've successfully argued for God's improbability from one perspective, which is a bit different from what I'd expected due to the title.

There was one statement, however, I do disagree with: "Having a deeply devout belief in something this vague can only be the result of having been brainwashed as children." Speaking from my own experience, I was never brainwashed into belief as a child, yet I considered myself very devout during my time as a Christian, which came later. Our human ability (or disability, if you like) to compartmentalize and rationalize our beliefs enables us to accept irrational ideas at any stage of life. Of course, brainwashing greases the wheels for us, but is not the only means of acquiring a devout belief.

Cheers!

alanh said...

Anonymous wrote:

The only thing science has ever explored is the material universe.

Do you have any evidence that something exists "outside" the universe?

Either this intelligible order is the product of chance or of intelligent design.

Not necessarily. There is a process that intelligent design advocates tend to ignore, which is matter can be self organizing:

"Self-organization is a process in which the internal organization of a system, normally an open system, increases in complexity without being guided or managed by an outside source."

So what you might perceive as design could be a property of matter itself.

Design comes only from a mind, a designer

Not necessarily true either. If you see a "design" in a rock or a cloud, does that mean someone put it there?

eel_shepherd said...

An anonymouse wrote:
"...the way [things in the universe] exist and coexist display an intricately beautiful order and regularity that can fill even the most casual observer with wonder..."

What are we talking about here? Orbits? (Like, within the atom, or within solar systems?) Wave functions? These are all circular functions (and, as such, we can appreciate the appeal they'd have for a Christian... but I digress). That's pretty thin gruel, isn't it? I want to see something a bit more integrated than orbits and wave functions before I start getting all runny inside about all the "order" in the universe.

"...It is the norm in nature for many different beings to work together to produce the same valuable end—for example, the organs in the body work for our life and health..."

I wish I had a dime for every time I've seen this one. It seems to be hard-wired into god fans. It's the old "amazing how the water always makes it to the shore" schtick. Here's what's the norm in nature: Things that don't function in harmony with themselves and their surroundings are soon departed, and are, consequently, not there to be examples of anything except something that's no longer there.

Anonymous said...

William, thankyou for your thoughtful response it although your conclusion is confusing. I like tacos and I happen to know that they do come from a designer. that is myself when i make them and a chef when i dont. no taco has ever made itself.

the term delictable caught my interests and caused me to recall another set of logical arguments you might like. Questions "Why are some reasons why the taco is there?" "Why do I need to eat?" "Why do I like tacos?"

Argument. In any such system as the above (like our world) no component part or active element can be self—sufficient or self—explanatory. For any part presupposes all the other parts—the whole system already in place—to match its own relational properties. It can't act unless the others are there to interact reciprocally with it. Any one part could be self—sufficient only if it were the cause of the whole rest of the system—which is impossible, since no part can act except in collaboration with the others.

Nor can the system as a whole explain its own existence, since it is made up of the component parts and is not a separate being, on its own, independent of them. So neither the parts nor the whole are self—sufficient; neither can explain the actual existence of this dynamically interactive system.

Three Conclusions

1-Since the parts make sense only within the whole, and neither the whole nor the parts can explain their own existence, then such a system as our world requires a unifying efficient cause to posit it in existence as a unified whole.
2-Any such cause must be an intelligent cause, one that brings the system into being according to a unifying idea. For the unity of the whole—and of each one of the overarching, cosmic—wide, physical laws uniting elements under themselves—is what determines and correlates the parts. Hence it must be somehow actually present as an effective organizing factor. But the unity, the wholeness, of the whole transcends any one part, and therefore cannot be contained in any one part. To be actually present all at once as a whole this unity can only be the unity of an organizing unifying idea. For only an idea can hold together many different elements at once without destroying or fusing their distinctness. That is almost the definition of an idea. Since the actual parts are spread out over space and time, the only way they can be together at once as an intelligible unity is within an idea. Hence the system of the world as a whole must live first within the unity of an idea.
Now a real idea cannot actually exist and be effectively operative save in a real mind, which has the creative power to bring such a system into real existence. Hence the sufficient reason for our ordered world—system must ultimately be a creative ordering Mind. A cosmic—wide order requires a cosmic—wide Orderer, which can only be a Mind.
3-Such an ordering Mind must be independent of the system itself, that is, transcendent; not dependent on the system for its own existence and operation. For if it were dependent on—or part of—the system, it would have to presuppose the latter as already existing in order to operate, and would thus have to both precede and follow itself. But this is absurd. Hence it must exist and be able to operate prior to and independent of the system.
Thus our material universe necessarily requires, as the sufficient reason for its actual existence as an operating whole, a Transcendent Creative Mind.

Anonymous said...

John of Indiana, God came into the cage to free anyone who wants out of the cage. I worship God because I love Him and He is beautiful. His willingness to enter the cage to free me by taking my place shows how much He loves me. I praise Him because He has the power to free us from the cage of sin and death. He came to free you too just ask Him.

Anonymous said...

alanh,
Where did the matter/material come from?

Anonymous said...

eel_sheperd, we could be talking about anything even friendship or love. surely you can appreciate holding hands with a loved one. Even the desire to experience love demonstrates some design to things. God loves you. It is real and you can experience it.

alanh said...

Anonymous:

If you are going to cut-and-paste from an article on apologetics.com (where you got the three conclusions) you really should provide proper attribution. The material in the universe came from the big bang, if you want to argue that a god created the big bang that's fine, but intelligent design just isn't a credible hypothesis.

William said...

I hope you realize "delectable design" is just a joke. It's not meant to be any sort of analogy with the argument from order whatsoever. Unless you're willing to argue that the person making the taco is eatable and delicious(a delectable designer). If you are a cannibal, I guess you could disagree with me there, but I wouldn't think a human was either eatable or delicious unless I was deranged. If you still want to analogize the two, only people who are deranged can believe in either sort. And if the conclusion of the thing is confusing, that's not my fault. I just put "delectable" or some variation of the word when there was "intelligent" or something of the like, and taco where there was "universe"; it's really just what you had put down, for the most part. Read my actual arguments against you in the post before that for something more substantial.

As for the cut-and-paste arguments:

1. Too general, and you assume far too much. Large systems do not necessarily require anything, and you saying it isn't really provable.

2. I guess the biggest weakness is your use of "order" again. You certainly cannot prove that this "order" exists, inasmuch as "laws" the universe follows. I dispute that, though, as I have far too many times to count; order's perception is not the same thing as "order". Orderliness describes a whole set of qualities which, each independently, can either be refuted or approved. One quality of "order" is usually peace. Peace is something not found within the universe in general. One can go on and on about different qualities of order. "Order" for the argument from order has simply become a blanket term for anything that is anything in the universe, which is not necessarily "order".

3. If you take this argument all the way, you see you have to assume something patently ridiculous: that is, a metaphysical entity capable of creating the universe (though, I will note, not a god, still). Not only does one have to assume that there is, in fact, such a realm, but the fact that such an entity can live in a place. Using Occam's Razor, one should realize this is assuming far too much. I could assume all of this, but why should I assume such a thing when I know that natural entities account for this (i.e. the big bang), and I do not have to slop up this drivel in the first place.

Think of your own arguments next time, Coward. And try using Occam's Razor, as it was, after all, what this article used to reach its conclusion.

Anonymous said...

alanh, you are mistaken i didnt get it from there. but that site looks very useful. thanks.

Anonymous said...

william, yes i realize it was intended as a joke but a very useable one. You can read this because there is order. there is order all around. we can land on the moon because there is order. The more we explore the more order we find not less. To assume the universe is random and chaotic is absurd. the only reason this can be stored on the internet is because of predictable order. the only reason your eyes can take in the light from the screen is because an eyeball is highly ordered to take light in. Yes take the argument all the way occams razor demands it.

Anonymous said...

thanks for bringing up the big bang how did a stable mass become unstable and explode? where did the matter come from?

and thanks to alanh website i can posit this solid argument

We notice that some things cause other things to be (to begin to be, to continue to be, or both). For example, a man playing the piano is causing the music that we hear. If he stops, so does the music.

Now ask yourself: Are all things caused to exist by other things right now? Suppose they are. That is, suppose there is no Uncaused Being, no God. Then nothing could exist right now. For remember, on the no-God hypothesis, all things need a present cause outside of themselves in order to exist. So right now, all things, including all those things which are causing things to be, need a cause. They can give being only so long as they are given being. Everything that exists, therefore, on this hypothesis, stands in need of being caused to exist.

But caused by what? Beyond everything that is, there can only be nothing. But that is absurd: all of reality dependent—but dependent on nothing! The hypothesis that all being is caused, that there is no Uncaused Being, is absurd. So there must be something uncaused, something on which all things that need an efficient cause of being are dependent.

Anonymous said...

and to a hungry lion the person making the taco is delectable.

alanh said...

Anonymous:

You're quite welcome. Have fun in your cage!

Anonymous said...

Of course, your post assumes that you know the truth about intelligence.

Just because you state your theory of intelligence doesn't mean that it's true, nor does it negate the possiblilty of an intelligence higher than (and defined differently than) your own.

Anonymous said...

Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.
- Sherlock Holmes (Arthur Conan Doyle)

God remains.

Yule Goat 2 Hell said...

@Anonymous Fundibot:

I find the notion of an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-LOVING god soooo much more improbable than the big bang or anything else that has been suggested as the source of the universe. So, no, I'm not buying into your Sherlock Holmes quotes.

But it is nice to see that the bible is not the only fictional work you've perused.

stronger now said...

Anonynut,

If all that is in existence is caused by god, what caused god? You are simply taking the argument to an absurd abstraction if you are saying that the existence of the universe must have had a first cause(creator). But something as complex as a god must also have had a creator. So what created god? If you say god "just is" then why can't the universe "just be"? You see, your argument explains nothing. You just want it to be so. But just because you want it to be true doesn't make it true.

William said...

As much as I love Sherlock Holmes, I'm glad that now cowardly fundie-bots will use by "Delectable Design of a Taco" as their proof for God, and how tasty God, in fact is. The taco is proof of God. All hail the taco! I'm glad to note that you love to eat humans as well, considering they are "delectable" to you. That is the joke. The argument was that man is delicious because tacos show evidence of deliciousness. Even so, it's a poor analogy (thus, the joke label). Tacos are not universally tasty (such as to me; ha). Therefore, tacos can also show evidence of a nasty designer.

I swear, this is more sad than Aquinas trying to prove God in less that a paragraph. Now Taco Bell can change its slogan to "proving God every day". Seriously, though, I really hope that you'll go ahead and post that on a fundie-board as proof of God. Go ahead, make my day.

As for where the matter of the big bang came from, I sense a god-of-the-gaps argument in the making. Yep. There she blows! I've responded to such a stupid argument already. Just because we don't know what does something, does not mean a god does it. For example, god-of-the-gaps is just as ridiculous as me asserting that pixies made all of the natural laws, as nothing else could have in my own belief. Such a thing is stupid, and why you bother posting the same thing in a different form says something for your own mental coherence as well. Coward, make a name and stop posting anonymously. I am tired of answering the same stupid questions for you.

Current theories also hold that the big bang was possibly created by the collision of two different universes (ours and another) in the multiverse. Of course, this hypothesis is just that at this point in time, and it shall wait to be said whether it is true or not. The difference between your dogma and my own opinions is that my own actually have some sort of basis in reality; your guesses rely too much on metaphysical hogwash to back them up.

Once again, I think you don't pick a name just to spite everyone on this board. That way, you can be a coward and hide behind anonymity rather than actually facing anyone else, and sneak between the boards posting your nasty babble and cut-and-paste arguments.

Try figuring out something for yourself for once, as this epidemic of cut-and-paste from you is exactly the same thing as spewing forth what a pastor has said during the last outing at church. Same thing, different occasion.

boomSLANG said...

Annoynomous: To assume the universe is random and chaotic is absurd.

To "assume" that proponents of naturalism assume that the universe is wholey "random" and "chaotic", is absurd, and furthermore, it shows that you know jack-shit about your opponent's argument, other than what you've picked up on the fundi-mentalist's websites you loiter on.

Annoynomous: Now ask yourself: Are all things caused to exist by other things right now? Suppose they are. That is, suppose there is no Uncaused Being, no God.

Oh shit..this is going to be hard. Give me a minute...okay, done.

Annoynomous continues: Then nothing could exist right now. For remember, on the no-God hypothesis, all things need a present cause outside of themselves in order to exist. So right now, all things, including all those things which are causing things to be, need a cause. They can give being only so long as they are given being. Everything that exists, therefore, on this hypothesis, stands in need of being caused to exist

Congratulations, your long-winded hypothesis answers absolutely N-O-T-H-I-N-G. If you posit a "God" as responsible for the singularity, then you have entered the infinite regress of what "caused" this alleged "Causer". To review, you've gone on record to say that "uncaused" things can't exist. Well?...isn't "God" a "thing"? Or is "God" not-a-thing?..i.e..nothing? Which?

In any event, for a hypothetical "uncaused" entity to "cause" something to come into existence, it must do so IN time; such an act is temporal. So for something to "exist" before time, is an impossible concept.

So how does your foot taste?.... ungodly?