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Old 08-07-2014, 12:14 PM  
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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 08-09-2014, 01:37 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Pawnmower View Post
The thing about this topic that frustrates me the most is so many athiests think that a creator and science have to be mutually exclusive.

Like a creator couldn't create a SYSTEM wherin exists evolution, gravity, and other laws...

Ive spent a better part of my life as an Agnost...and for me people like Dave and Hitchins, who completely dismiss the spiritual or creator sieds of the argument and constantly try to 'convert' others and prove how 'stupid' they are for having a faith are just as laughable...heck...even MORE laughable than the Jehova or Mormon knocking on my door....At least the Jehova is honest and forthright....The athiest will look you straight in the face and say faith is stupid, all the while trying to 'convert' you to his faith...not seeing that he has just as much emotion and just as little logic, and is proselytizing every bit as much as the Jehova.

It's almost like extreme left wingers vs extreme right wingers, once you go around the circle from left to right it gets pretty hard to tell a NAzi from a Commie to a Fascist and basically it doesn't matter.

They're all bullshit.
Best post I've seen in DC in awhile. Welcome back.
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Old 08-09-2014, 01:50 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by Pawnmower View Post
The thing about this topic that frustrates me the most is so many athiests think that a creator and science have to be mutually exclusive.

Like a creator couldn't create a SYSTEM wherin exists evolution, gravity, and other laws...

Ive spent a better part of my life as an Agnost...and for me people like Dave and Hitchins, who completely dismiss the spiritual or creator sieds of the argument and constantly try to 'convert' others and prove how 'stupid' they are for having a faith are just as laughable...heck...even MORE laughable than the Jehova or Mormon knocking on my door....At least the Jehova is honest and forthright....The athiest will look you straight in the face and say faith is stupid, all the while trying to 'convert' you to his faith...not seeing that he has just as much emotion and just as little logic, and is proselytizing every bit as much as the Jehova.

It's almost like extreme left wingers vs extreme right wingers, once you go around the circle from left to right it gets pretty hard to tell a NAzi from a Commie to a Fascist and basically it doesn't matter.

They're all bullshit.


Well stated.
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Old 08-09-2014, 01:52 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by Dave Lane View Post
Well I did address it. See my prior post. I can link you to as many scientific papers or general discussions as you can stomach if that is a help to you.

It seems despite your statement that you didn't want to get into evolution, which I agree with by the way, we have veered there in your very next response.

So let's get some basics down and I want to make sure I have your agreement before we proceed.

1) Evolution does not in anyway attempt to address the origins of life. It seeks only to be the model which the diversity of life in based upon. All medical science is very dependent upon this being true or many of our treatments would be ineffective.

2) Abiogenesis is the study of how life may have arisen. This is your spark of life. Elements > molecules > RNA > proteins > long chain proteins to very simple self replicating molecules > DNA

I will put a general thought process of how this worked (I'll drastically redact it to 3-4 paragraphs) so you can follow it and not have your eyes roll back in your head. Its extremely complicated stuff and makes bible reading seem simple (I found the bible reading quite tedious and my mind had a hard time at that age to not wander, well maybe at this age too).

However you have not addressed my questions. How did you vet the information you copied? How did it become a belief? What were the steps that you took in your research that led you to make this a very formal and real belief in your worldview and mind?
As I mentioned previously, the foundation of my knowledge of evolution comes from high school and post-secondary education. I have also read a lot of literature that most certainly leans towards an Intelligent Design view. Are you familiar with Professor Michael Behe? He is a professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University, who sparked the theory of irreducible complexity. He wrote a book called "Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution", that I've read numerous times over the years. Like I said before, while I have no qualms regarding the theory of evolution, I also adhere to many aspects of the Intelligent Design movement.
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Old 08-09-2014, 01:56 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by canoworms View Post
The fine tuning of physical constants can be explained by the existence of parallel universes, many which do not have the correct physical constants to support intelligent life as we know it, and an infinite number of other universes that do. Max Tegmark's book "Our Mathematical Universe" describes this to a general-readership audience.
I strongly disagree. Dr. William Lane Craig (Dave's favorite) directly refutes this objection in his book "Reasonable Faith". I believe he dedicates an entire chapter towards it.
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Fair enough. You seem to be like the majority of Christians. Using the belief like a buffet picking and choosing which parts fit for you. It is the reason there are countless variations of the belief. I see you have it all figured out. Carry on and maybe after you finish here you can unite the religion~
Hasty generalization much? I accept the Bible as the inerrant, inspired, and infallible Word of God as far as it is translated correctly. Am I a sinner? Absolutely. We're all sinners. My fallibility is painfully obvious, which is why the virtue of forgiveness is essential in my life. The humbling realization that there is an omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent God who loves me regardless of my imperfections was a big part of my conversion.
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Old 08-09-2014, 02:06 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by Pawnmower View Post
The thing about this topic that frustrates me the most is so many athiests think that a creator and science have to be mutually exclusive.

Like a creator couldn't create a SYSTEM wherin exists evolution, gravity, and other laws...

Ive spent a better part of my life as an Agnost...and for me people like Dave and Hitchins, who completely dismiss the spiritual or creator sieds of the argument and constantly try to 'convert' others and prove how 'stupid' they are for having a faith are just as laughable...heck...even MORE laughable than the Jehova or Mormon knocking on my door....At least the Jehova is honest and forthright....The athiest will look you straight in the face and say faith is stupid, all the while trying to 'convert' you to his faith...not seeing that he has just as much emotion and just as little logic, and is proselytizing every bit as much as the Jehova.

It's almost like extreme left wingers vs extreme right wingers, once you go around the circle from left to right it gets pretty hard to tell a NAzi from a Commie to a Fascist and basically it doesn't matter.

They're all bullshit.
There is not direct evidence of a creator.

The evidence that the universe could have evolved from the big bang to its current state without divine intervention has never been stronger. Until the last 100 years, religion has always argued against this point of view, and many religions still do.

The evidence is consistent with the statement: if there is a creator, that being has not chosen to explicitly reveal itself to us, to date.
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Old 08-09-2014, 02:17 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by canoworms View Post
There is not direct evidence of a creator.

The evidence that the universe could have evolved from the big bang to its current state without divine intervention has never been stronger. Until the last 100 years, religion has always argued against this point of view, and many religions still do.

The evidence is consistent with the statement: if there is a creator, that being has not chosen to explicitly reveal itself to us, to date.
The idea that the Earth had a definitive beginning is a relatively recent one. The Bible was often dismissed due to the very first sentence of the Bible. "In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth". This assumes that the earth began to exist. Modern day cosmology has confirmed this biblical foundation. The once accepted notion that the earth is eternal and uncaused is now almost unanimously thrown out by scientists.
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Old 08-09-2014, 02:40 PM   #67
RedNeckRaider RedNeckRaider is offline
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Originally Posted by Eric Fisher View Post
I strongly disagree. Dr. William Lane Craig (Dave's favorite) directly refutes this objection in his book "Reasonable Faith". I believe he dedicates an entire chapter towards it.

Hasty generalization much? I accept the Bible as the inerrant, inspired, and infallible Word of God as far as it is translated correctly. Am I a sinner? Absolutely. We're all sinners. My fallibility is painfully obvious, which is why the virtue of forgiveness is essential in my life. The humbling realization that there is an omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent God who loves me regardless of my imperfections was a big part of my conversion.
Craig is a formidable debater. He is however a disingenuous asshole. Being caught unaware disrespecting Bart Ehrman which brought a chuckle to most and provides what someone needs to know about his credibility. Also if you do believe the bible as the inerrant inspired and infallible word of god please share which one is. Do you rely on the original writings or one of the countless altered versions? You openly have admitted your sins to me with no remorse. Do you accept the fate for this? Before you play the judging card keep in mind I think your beliefs are utter nonsense and do not think you will suffer any afterlife punishment. Stick to eatin' pussy and kickin' ass you are in way over your head on this subject~
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Old 08-09-2014, 02:46 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by Eric Fisher View Post
As I mentioned previously, the foundation of my knowledge of evolution comes from high school and post-secondary education. I have also read a lot of literature that most certainly leans towards an Intelligent Design view. Are you familiar with Professor Michael Behe? He is a professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University, who sparked the theory of irreducible complexity. He wrote a book called "Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution", that I've read numerous times over the years. Like I said before, while I have no qualms regarding the theory of evolution, I also adhere to many aspects of the Intelligent Design movement.
So you read a bit of literature. Some pamphlets perhaps. A obviously (and admitted) slanted book. How much have you read outside of the "faith"? Apart from some high school biology what have you read from scientists? The ones that study such things and have devoted their entire lives building on a framework of 100,000s of other biologists before them? The ones who's scientific knowledge and understanding blow both of us away? The ones that have developed vaccinations, disease treatments and other very well accepted advances to society.

Do you think it fair to devote so little to the study of the other side. These are men that do not have a agenda to push at all, just an understanding of what the experiments and evidence show them.

Do you believe in other large "conspiracies"? It will just help my understanding if you can state any you think are at least intriguing to you.

Evolution and ID are diametrically opposed. You can't really say I will pick and choose off of column A and Column B. They are opposites in approach to the problem.

Also since you say you adhere to "to many aspects of the Intelligent Design movement" what specifically are you talking about?
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Old 08-09-2014, 02:47 PM   #69
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Craig is a formidable debater. He is however a disingenuous asshole. Being caught unaware disrespecting Bart Ehrman which brought a chuckle to most and provides what someone needs to know about his credibility. Also if you do believe the bible as the inerrant inspired and infallible word of god please share which one is. Do you rely on the original writings or one of the countless altered versions? You openly have admitted your sins to me with no remorse. Do you accept the fate for this? Before you play the judging card keep in mind I think your beliefs are utter nonsense and do not think you will suffer any afterlife punishment. Stick to eatin' pussy and kickin' ass you are in way over your head on this subject~
I think you're the disingenuous asshole. Notice how I said "as far as it is translated correctly". I do accept the fate for my sins. I also accept the most basic principles of Christianity. I have genuinely accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior, and fully anticipate on inheriting the Kingdom of Heaven. I would propose that my profanity on an internet message board, while most likely sinful no doubt, is most likely pretty low on the totem pole of sin. I've never been in any legal trouble outside of 1 speeding ticket on my way to Arrowhead. I tithe 10 percent. I don't do drugs or drink alcohol. Me and my fiancee are also saving ourselves until marriage. Regardless, I'll gladly accept that I am a filthy sinner who absolutely deserves hell. It is the beauty of Christ's sacrifice that allows me to avoid eternal punishment.
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Old 08-09-2014, 02:51 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by Dave Lane View Post
So you read a bit of literature. Some pamphlets perhaps. A obviously (and admitted) slanted book. How much have you read outside of the "faith"? Apart from some high school biology what have you read from scientists? The ones that study such things and have devoted their entire lives building on a framework of 100,000s of other biologists before them? The ones who's scientific knowledge and understanding blow both of us away? The ones that have developed vaccinations, disease treatments and other very well accepted advances to society.

Do you think it fair to devote so little to the study of the other side. These are men that do not have a agenda to push at all, just an understanding of what the experiments and evidence show them.

Do you believe in other large "conspiracies"? It will just help my understanding if you can state any you think are at least intriguing to you.

Evolution and ID are diametrically opposed. You can't really say I will pick and choose off of column A and Column B. They are opposites in approach to the problem.

Also since you say you adhere to "to many aspects of the Intelligent Design movement" what specifically are you talking about?
I told you up front that I am most certainly a layman on the theory of evolution. This is why a discussion on evolution, while interesting, wouldn't go far at all. It's also pretty irrelevant to my contentions for the existence of God, so it doesn't do me much good.

Theistic Evolution, or "BioLogos", is evolution with an intelligent designer. When I mentioned that there are certain parts of ID that I accept, it's more so the arguments for a designer. Irreducible complexity is something I've read quite a bit on, as I think it does a decent job presenting an argument for Intelligent Design. Professor John Lennox has often said that he's "agnostic" on the theory of evolution, and can certainly accept aspects of both theories. I think that's a formidable philosophy to have on the origins debate.
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Old 08-09-2014, 02:53 PM   #71
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I think you're the disingenuous asshole. Notice how I said "as far as it is translated correctly". I do accept the fate for my sins. I also accept the most basic principles of Christianity. I have genuinely accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior, and fully anticipate on inheriting the Kingdom of Heaven. I would propose that my profanity on an internet message board, while most likely sinful no doubt, is most likely pretty low on the totem pole of sin. I've never been in any legal trouble outside of 1 speeding ticket on my way to Arrowhead. I tithe 10 percent. I don't do drugs or drink alcohol. Me and my fiancee are also saving ourselves until marriage. Regardless, I'll gladly accept that I am a filthy sinner who absolutely deserves hell. It is the beauty of Christ's sacrifice that allows me to avoid eternal punishment.
I will stand by the previous post...the one you ignored. Adding the side note you have nothing to offer much less anything new. You cannot even qualify which version of the bible or the religion that allows you this unwarranted arrogance~
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Old 08-09-2014, 02:57 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by Eric Fisher View Post
I strongly disagree. Dr. William Lane Craig (Dave's favorite) directly refutes this objection in his book "Reasonable Faith". I believe he dedicates an entire chapter towards it.

Hasty generalization much? I accept the Bible as the inerrant, inspired, and infallible Word of God as far as it is translated correctly. Am I a sinner? Absolutely. We're all sinners. My fallibility is painfully obvious, which is why the virtue of forgiveness is essential in my life. The humbling realization that there is an omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent God who loves me regardless of my imperfections was a big part of my conversion.
So to follow up on this, which is the bible? The inerrant or the inspired work of god? You seem fairly confused because there are drastic differences between these two views.

I may as well throw this out as well at this time. I look at philosophy as a lost science, much like an appendix, virtually without function. A carry over from the middle ages when alchemy, astrology and philosophy all shared a wing in colleges. The Kaalam Cosmological Argument is a refined version of can god create a stick with one end, can he create a secret even he doesn't know. All of these are childish and insulting to men of intellect.

Sorry if this is your chosen field as you have seemed to indicate but the derision and disdain for that would be evident over time so I'll get that out now. I understand this will force you to dig in to your own confirmation bias and possibly refuse to go further so I mention it now.
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High Tech is Sorcery and the people who are really powerful are literally telling people to commit crimes using the psychic interspace created by the WWW and Wireless. They are controlling peoples actions like drones . The two things are deeply intertwined. The more man's brain interfaces with machines the creepier it gets. They use brains separate from a human body in a supercomputer and you have The Image of the Beast. The military has been doing this since the 50s
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Old 08-09-2014, 02:58 PM   #73
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I will stand by the previous post...the one you ignored. Adding the side note you have nothing to offer much less anything new. You cannot even qualify which version of the bible or the religion that allows you this unwarranted arrogance~
Mostly because this is a discussion between two people, Kramer. I read from the King James Version, and have already said that every English version of the Bible is simply a fallible translation of the infallible Word of God.
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Old 08-09-2014, 03:02 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by Dave Lane View Post
So to follow up on this, which is the bible? The inerrant or the inspired work of god? You seem fairly confused because there are drastic differences between these two views.

I may as well throw this out as well at this time. I look at philosophy as a lost science, much like an appendix, virtually without function. A carry over from the middle ages when alchemy, astrology and philosophy all shared a wing in colleges. The Kaalam Cosmological Argument is a refined version of can god create a stick with one end, can he create a secret even he doesn't know. All of these are childish and insulting to men of intellect.

Sorry if this is your chosen field as you have seemed to indicate but the derision and disdain for that would be evident over time so I'll get that out now. I understand this will force you to dig in to your own confirmation bias and possibly refuse to go further so I mention it now.
On the contrary. The Christian Church as a whole claims that the Bible is inspired and inerrant. This means that God is the one who moved through the writers Bible to communicate to us the words which God wanted us to hear.

The fact is that there are indeed copyist errors on the biblical documents, and they account for many alleged contradictions. Remember, it is the original writings that are inspired and inerrant, not the copies. The copies we have now are copies of inspired documents. The copies are not themselves "inspired", that is, they have no guarantee of being 100% textually pure.
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Old 08-09-2014, 03:02 PM   #75
RedNeckRaider RedNeckRaider is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Fisher View Post
Mostly because this is a discussion between two people, Kramer. I read from the King James Version, and have already said that every English version of the Bible is simply a fallible translation of the infallible Word of God.
So you admit you have bad information fair enough carry on~
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