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Old 08-07-2014, 12:14 PM  
Bufkin Bufkin is offline
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Atheism vs Theism: A discussion between Dave and Eric

While I find myself enjoying formal debates (for nostalgic purposes), I agree with Dave that a discussion is more thought provoking and ultimately will go further on this topic.

To begin, let me identify myself when I use the term "theist". I grew up in a very strict religious household which I ran away from my senior year in high school. I identified myself as an atheist up until my sophomore year of college, when I read the Bible in its entirety following the death of my best friend. While I would argue that my belief in God and the Bible can be supported intellectually, scientifically, historically, and philosophically, I would concede that my "born-again" conversion was wholeheartedly an emotional one.

Notice I said scientifically. I love science. Even though I am a philosophy major, it was the scientific arguments for a transcendant being (or lack thereof) that got me interested in the theism vs. atheism debate. I would argue that the beauty of my specific belief (Christianity) is that our worldview is not defined by a specific theory of how life began. For the atheist, it's evolution or nothing. If Darwinian Evolution is debunked, then the atheist has precious little to lean on without invoking a designer. As a Christian, I would say that I'm agnostic on a lot of parts of macroevolution. There are a lot of questions that I have regarding the theory that seem to be unanswered. With that said, accepting the theory as true in its entirety would not affect my faith in the Bible in any way, shape, or form.

I've often said that the belief in a young Earth is about as scientifically literate as saying the distance between Texas and California is 6 inches. Francis Collins was a leader on the Human Genome Project and is on the National Institutes of Health. Alister McGrath is a molecular biophysicist who teaches at Oxford University. C.S. Lewis, is well, C.S. Lewis. What do all of these brilliant minds have in common? Not only are/were they all evengelical Christians, but all accepted the theory of evolution as true. It certainly does not contradict the Old Testament when read figuratively.

So with all of that said, now you have a basic background on my faith. What say you? Did you grow up in a household that was anti-theistic? At what age did you begin to question the belief in a higher power? And perhaps the most important question I could ask you throughout all of this, what evidence would it take for you to accept a theistic worldview?
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Old 08-07-2014, 12:29 PM   #2
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Old 08-07-2014, 03:05 PM   #3
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Old 08-07-2014, 03:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Fisher View Post
For the atheist, it's evolution or nothing. If Darwinian Evolution is debunked, then the atheist has precious little to lean on without invoking a designer.


Evolution does not address how life began, and it was never intended to.
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Old 08-07-2014, 03:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish View Post


Evolution does not address how life began, and it was never intended to.
Let Dave do the work.

For the record, what he's speaking of isn't evolution but philosophical naturalism. Theists do this a lot and I don't think all of them intend to be insincere when they do it. You can usually tell if they continue saying it after they've been corrected.

People don't usually correct them though.
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Old 08-07-2014, 03:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteWhale View Post
Let Dave do the work.

For the record, what he's speaking of isn't evolution but philosophical naturalism. Theists do this a lot and I don't think all of them intend to be insincere when they do it. You can usually tell if they continue saying it after they've been corrected.

People don't usually correct them though.
He specified Darwinian Evolution.

But regardless I think you're right that I should stay out of it.
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Old 08-07-2014, 03:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish View Post


Evolution does not address how life began, and it was never intended to.
Evolutionary theory states that the original cell, which is the source for all life, spontaneously emerged from Earth's inert chemicals. I suppose another question that could be asked is how could such an organism really come about spontaneously from nonliving chemicals?
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Old 08-07-2014, 03:29 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by loochy View Post
lol

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Originally Posted by Fish View Post


Evolution does not address how life began, and it was never intended to.
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteWhale View Post
Let Dave do the work.

For the record, what he's speaking of isn't evolution but philosophical naturalism. Theists do this a lot and I don't think all of them intend to be insincere when they do it. You can usually tell if they continue saying it after they've been corrected.

People don't usually correct them though.
Title of thread: "A discussion between Dave and Eric"

I don't see that any of your names are either Dave and Eric.
Thanks for ruining the thread.
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Old 08-07-2014, 03:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Fisher View Post
Evolutionary theory states that the original cell, which is the source for all life, spontaneously emerged from Earth's inert chemicals. I suppose another question that could be asked is how could such an organism really come about spontaneously from nonliving chemicals?
That's completely incorrect. Dave can explain why.
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Old 08-07-2014, 03:30 PM   #10
WhiteWhale WhiteWhale is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Fisher View Post
Evolutionary theory states that the original cell, which is the source for all life, spontaneously emerged from Earth's inert chemicals. I suppose another question that could be asked is how could such an organism really come about spontaneously from nonliving chemicals?
...

I apologize. I've given you far too much credit.

I'll resign myself to full lurker status.
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Old 08-07-2014, 03:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteWhale View Post
...

I apologize. I've given you far too much credit.

I'll resign myself to full lurker status.
Well, you were nice at first.
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Old 08-07-2014, 03:34 PM   #12
mcan mcan is offline
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Man.. Nobody ever wants to debate me.


...probably because I only show up once a year and all my posts are 3 paragraphs long.


...Except this one. Well, wait... 1, 2, 3... I didn't say they were all LONG paragraphs.
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Old 08-07-2014, 03:36 PM   #13
mcan mcan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Fisher View Post
Evolutionary theory states that the original cell, which is the source for all life, spontaneously emerged from Earth's inert chemicals. I suppose another question that could be asked is how could such an organism really come about spontaneously from nonliving chemicals?
...a swing and a miss. Better hit that "edit" button before your opponent realizes he's in a debate and shows up and reads that.

(i'm biased, as you can tell. But I actually dig that you want to do this thread, FTR).
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Old 08-07-2014, 03:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Fisher View Post
Evolutionary theory states that the original cell, which is the source for all life, spontaneously emerged from Earth's inert chemicals. I suppose another question that could be asked is how could such an organism really come about spontaneously from nonliving chemicals?
One of my favorite programs The Secret Life of Chaos. I urge you to try to find it online...

Quote:
Chaos theory has a bad name, conjuring up images of unpredictable weather, economic crashes and science gone wrong. But there is a fascinating and hidden side to Chaos, one that scientists are only now beginning to understand.

It turns out that chaos theory answers a question that mankind has asked for millennia - how did we get here?

In this documentary, Professor Jim Al-Khalili sets out to uncover one of the great mysteries of science - how does a universe that starts off as dust end up with intelligent life? How does order emerge from disorder?

It's a mindbending, counterintuitive and for many people a deeply troubling idea. But Professor Al-Khalili reveals the science behind much of beauty and structure in the natural world and discovers that far from it being magic or an act of God, it is in fact an intrinsic part of the laws of physics. Amazingly, it turns out that the mathematics of chaos can explain how and why the universe creates exquisite order and pattern.

And the best thing is that one doesn't need to be a scientist to understand it. The natural world is full of awe-inspiring examples of the way nature transforms simplicity into complexity. From trees to clouds to humans - after watching this film you'll never be able to look at the world in the same way again.
Jim Al-Khalili is a Physicist and Humanist and frickin' awesome! He also has documentaries on the history of chemistry, electricity, and the atom, as well as some great two-parters called 'Everything and Nothing', 'Light and Dark', and 'Order and Disorder'
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Old 08-07-2014, 03:40 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by mcan View Post
...a swing and a miss. Better hit that "edit" button before your opponent realizes he's in a debate and shows up and reads that.
It's not a debate, it's a discussion. Dave can show me where I'm wrong and I'll gladly explain my reasoning using sources.

Here's an interesting tidbit on Charles Darwin.
Quote:
When Charles Darwin published The Origin of Species 150 years ago he consciously avoided discussing the origin of life. However, analysis of some other texts written by Darwin, and of the correspondence he exchanged with friends and colleagues demonstrates that he took for granted the possibility of a natural emergence of the first life forms. As shown by notes from the pages he excised from his private notebooks, as early as 1837 Darwin was convinced that “the intimate relation of Life with laws of chemical combination, & the universality of latter render spontaneous generation not improbable”. Like many of his contemporaries, Darwin rejected the idea that putrefaction of preexisting organic compounds could lead to the appearance of organisms. Although he favored the possibility that life could appear by natural processes from simple inorganic compounds, his reluctance to discuss the issue resulted from his recognition that at the time it was possible to undertake the experimental study of the emergence of life.
http://www.ncbi..nih.gov/pubmed/19633921
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Last edited by Bufkin; 08-07-2014 at 03:48 PM..
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