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and I'm sure we all agree... there's no need to attack atheists because a FEW atheists were clubbing baby rabbits. Yes, some people need a moral compass, but not all atheists need that :D

I never said it was atheists that club rabbits. In fact I'm willing to bet that most people that do are theists.

I've personally never clubbed a rabbit that didn't deserve it.

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But YOU need a god to be moral, right? Because you couldn't have implied that any stronger than you did in post #597.

Thats a fair interpitation of what I said.

If you don't need a god to be moral, why would you do horrible things if it were convinced there was no god? How does the guilt one would feel when harming animals and the world disappear when one stops believing in the existence of any gods? Where are you getting the idea that it's the atheists that do those things?

If you don't need god to be moral, you don't need god to be moral. If your the type that does need a belief in god to be moral and thats the only reason your moral take away that reason and now you won't be moral.

You have any evidence of this at all? I've worked with troubled youth from inner cities and guess what? Most of them were brought up with the belief that God exists and still had that belief when they wound up in trouble.

I've got tons of proof of this. I've worked with inmates(I just peed further than you) in prison and a new found belief in God has made a difference with a lot of them.

Why do you believe the rednecks in your area are atheists? If their moral genetic code is askew, how could belief in God get them to be moral?

I didn't say they were atheists, you implied that. I know for sure that most of them are Theists.Its fairly obvious why a belief in God would make a difference.

And what does any of this have to do with God actually existing? Maybe we can get kids to behave better if we tell them Santa knows if they've been good or bad. So what? Do you have any evidence that your god actually exists?

We got off the subject of wether or not god exists way back yonder.

Do I have proof my God exists? Abso-freakin-lutely.

How do you know serial killers don't believe there is something greater than themselves? How do you know they wouldn't kill if they did believe? You believe the lack of a conscience in serial killers is due to their not having a belief in a higher power? I know plenty of believers who do bad things all the time. Some of them even feel okay about it because they believe God will forgive them. They don't fear God at all.

Take this up with the seial killers. I'm just going by what they have said themselves.(before you nit pick that apart too. NO i have not talked to them personally. It was in a mental health journal. Take it up with them.)

Unless they start? They've started.

all atheists good. all theists bad.

tawanna, you've been called out and questioned on A LOT of things you've said. Are you going to keep ignoring rebuttals to your posts and just keep going on to another subject every time your arguments are destroyed?

I don't care to respond to nit picking. You've made it abundantly clear that no matter what I say you'll disagree no matter how finite the disagreement. Arguing for the sake of arguing gets old fast.

Unreality has the decency to aleast acknowledge points that can be agreed upon as does ADParker,Ploper and all the others. In your multitude of responses have you one single time even tried to agree upon common ground with any of the posters? Can you show me one instance where you have? How about three?

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Thats a fair interpitation of what I said.

It's pretty sad that you need belief in God to stop you from being a horrible person.

If you don't need god to be moral, you don't need god to be moral. If your the type that does need a belief in god to be moral and thats the only reason your moral take away that reason and now you won't be moral.

You didn't answer one question I asked.

I've got tons of proof of this. I've worked with inmates(I just peed further than you) in prison and a new found belief in God has made a difference with a lot of them.

Inmates claiming to have found God isn't proof of anything. ALL inmates know that might impress parole boards in your redneck neighborhood.

I didn't say they were atheists, you implied that.

No, I didn't imply it. You said it:

If they one day decide to believe in God

I know for sure that most of them are Theists.

Then it didn't make any sense at all when you said "If they one day decide to believe in God", did it?

Its fairly obvious why a belief in God would make a difference.

No, it's not. Especially after you admitted that the rednecks you grew up around that do horrible things and those that club rabbits are probably mostly theists.

Do I have proof my God exists? Abso-freakin-lutely.

Please share.

Take this up with the seial killers. I'm just going by what they have said themselves.(before you nit pick that apart too. NO i have not talked to them personally. It was in a mental health journal. Take it up with them.)

Nit pick that apart. You bet ya. If you're going to make claims like that, back them up. It's a ridiculous assertion that if serial killers kill becauser they don't have the fear of God.

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all atheists good. all theists bad.

Nice way to avoid responding in any way that's meaningful.

I don't care to respond to nit picking. You've made it abundantly clear that no matter what I say you'll disagree no matter how finite the disagreement. Arguing for the sake of arguing gets old fast.

You haven't answered questions or responded to rebuttals that blew your arguments away starting on page 54 from both ADParker and me.

In your multitude of responses have you one single time even tried to agree upon common ground with any of the posters?

Multitude? Please. Yes, I've wrote that I agree with ADParker. The purpose here is to debate. Not to mention whose posts or statements I agree with. If I agree with something, I have no need to comment; I let that post speak for itself.

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We got off the subject of wether or not god exists way back yonder.

Do I have proof my God exists? Abso-freakin-lutely.

Lets get back on that topic. If you missed it, I posted earlier that's what this thread should focus on now. Debates about morals and whether or not belief in God will scare people to not do bad things can be debated in a separate thread.

I don't care to respond to nit picking. You've made it abundantly clear that no matter what I say you'll disagree no matter how finite the disagreement. Arguing for the sake of arguing gets old fast.

If you don't want to respond to rebuttals to your arguments because it gets old fast, then don't make the arguments. The responses you've gotten weren't 'nit picks'.

Now lets see this evidence I keep hearing about.

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Now lets see this evidence I keep hearing about.

Yeah, seriously tawanna, you say you have proof, so where is it? Over the last 61 pages, it has been repeatedly brought up that there is proof of a God, and yet no one has actually said what the proof was (Not counting personal experiences, which don't really prove anything).

Edit: Now 62 pages.

Edited by Frost

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A lot of (Christian) theists that I know, when asked for evidence of God, shrug and say "The Bible". If this is the case, give us proof of the Bible's 100% authenticity. Otherwise give us a proof for God- a reason so strong that you believe in a Magical Space Man without question

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Lets get back on that topic. If you missed it, I posted earlier that's what this thread should focus on now. Debates about morals and whether or not belief in God will scare people to not do bad things can be debated in a separate thread.

If you don't want to respond to rebuttals to your arguments because it gets old fast, then don't make the arguments.

et tu martini? What I said is: "I don't care to respond to nit picking. You've made it abundantly clear that no matter what I say you'll disagree no matter how finite the disagreement. Arguing for the sake of arguing gets old fast."

Now lets see this evidence I keep hearing about.

No. This post was off that topic when I joined it. Arguing about proof of God is like teaching a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.

Edited by tawanna

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Um, isn't the whole purpose of this topic to argue about whether God exists? That at least has been the main focus.

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et tu martini? What I said is: "I don't care to respond to nit picking. You've made it abundantly clear that no matter what I say you'll disagree no matter how finite the disagreement. Arguing for the sake of arguing gets old fast."

I read what you wrote and I responded to it. If you're having a difficult time understanding, PM me and we can discuss it privately.

No. This post was off that topic when I joined it. Arguing about proof of God is like teaching a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.

If you believe your arguments about proof of God which you claim have tons of will be a waste of time, then by all means, don't post them.

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Um, isn't the whole purpose of this topic to argue about whether God exists? That at least has been the main focus.

It started that way. My first post mentioned that it had gotten of topic and nobody seemed to care. At no point have I been part of the proof of god argument. I have only argued the bible and jesus.

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it has been repeatedly brought up that there is proof of a God, and yet no one has actually said what the proof was (Not counting personal experiences, which don't really prove anything).

Actually, some have said what their proof was, but each time someone has, their proof have been shown to be less than convincing. The last supposed proof if I'm not mistaken was given by Duh Puck.

The deeper we look into the cell, genetics, reproduction, ecosystems, human language, quantum mechanics, etc., the more intricate and fantastic they become. To me, this is evidence of intelligent design. It's funny that anyone who invokes Paley's Watchmaker is belittled as ignorant, yet I've never seen a shred of evidence to demonstrate how the "miracles" of apparent design in nature actually developed on their own. For any objection raised regarding living things, evolutionists devise a fantastical, unproven progression to explain how something might have happened. To me, such explanations bear the same hallmark of imagination as Zeus throwing thunderbolts.

ADParker did a fine job of showing that intricacy is not evidence of intelligent design. I love how he says evolutionists devise fantastical explanations and for some reason 'an omniscient, omnipotent being created everything' is less than fantastic and is more reasonable than the massive amount of evidence there is for evolution through natural selection. He thinks evolutionary theory "bears the same hallmark of imagination as Zeus throwing thunderbolts". :lol:

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It started that way. My first post mentioned that it had gotten of topic and nobody seemed to care. At no point have I been part of the proof of god argument. I have only argued the bible and jesus.

post your proof of God. We promise we won't be annoyed

It's not up to you to decide to point of this topic- it's always been about the existence of God, though it gets a little side-tracked at times. You can't use that as an excuse to not post your proof... just post it ;D

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post your proof of God. We promise we won't be annoyed

It's not up to you to decide to point of this topic- it's always been about the existence of God, though it gets a little side-tracked at times. You can't use that as an excuse to not post your proof... just post it ;D

Flogger asked about proof of MY God. I could worship money,power, or pink flamingos. None of which are difficult to prove. :)

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Flogger asked about proof of MY God. I could worship money,power, or pink flamingos. None of which are difficult to prove. :)

Folks, don't bother responding to this and feeding the troll.

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Now lets see this evidence I keep hearing about.

I wish I had more time to participate lately. I've dropped way too many balls in this discussion already. When I asked, a long time ago, how to move the discussion forward, Scraff said:

Yeah, it's already been suggested a few times. Give us your best piece of evidence for a creator and we'll discuss just how reasonable it is to conclude He must exist based on that. You brought up that the universe provides evidence of intelligent design. Want to go with that? We'll give you plenty of evidence how it is more an illusion of design and tell how complexity can come from disorder on its own. You said, "I believe God has revealed himself to man in various ways". Want to go with that? We can take care of that one in pretty short order. You said, "In nature we see countless phenomena which are so complex, intricate, interdependent, fine-tuned, etc., etc., that I believe it is reasonable to propose that they are the product of intelligence". Want to go with that? We'll demand that if the complexity in the universe were designed by a being, then by your own rationale you must believe your creator has a creator. Pick your best argument and we'll discuss it.

I didn't take it head on because of the feeling that, particularly given Scraff's highly confident manner, we'd just be rehashing all the same old arguments. Octopuppy's new thread seemed a preferable way to discuss the details, but after spending probably close to six hours studying the bacterial flagellum and irreducible complexity, I had little desire to extend the conversation in that direction. I think I just got tired, and again, the outcome seemed inevitable. In any case, my premonitions of inevitable disagreement don't justify not even trying. Hence, I'd like to take on Scraff's comment about the "illusion of design."

The primary examples I've seen of the illusion of design (hurricanes, crystalline formations, etc.) aren't anywhere even close the nature of what I would describe as evident design. A quick scan of Google results for "what is design?" suggests that the key to design is planning in order to solve problems. As Stroud observed, it inherently involves a "mind." It follows that surmising the mental planning process from the resultant product is a matter of subjective guesswork. However, when we drive a car, we know it was designed. If we decided to make a car of our own from scratch, we would quickly encounter many difficulties. If we examined an existing car, we would have many moments where we thought "Ah, that's how they did it!" In observing the solution to a problem, we grasp the intelligence required to arrive at that solution, and we recognize the presence of "design".

We frequently get this same feeling when examining living things. How does a person stay balanced when running? We can't seem to make robots do it. It's very complicated and requires phenomenally accurate timing, and yet that's one of the comparatively simple functions of a human body. There are numerous extraordinarily complex systems in the human body (circulatory, nervous, endocrine, renal, skeletal, immune, muscular, lymph, etc.) which elegantly interact to overcome tremendous challenges to our successful existence. In addition, these complex systems provide us with capabilities such as humor and selfless love which have little value from an evolutionary standpoint. As intelligent designers, we humans can't even come anywhere near making something of this complexity, not by many orders of magnitude. Yet, the standard atheist response is to say that the appearance of intelligent planning is an illusion resulting from blind processes (which, despite being unimaginably capable problem solvers, also happen to be accidental, with any appearance of design being strictly illusory).

Of course, the standard response has already been stated many times, but I'll quote it again:

Any designer capable of designing and creating something as complex as the universe surely also is complex enough to require its own designer. Indeed any designer, by definition, would have to be complex; the very act of “designing” requires the presence of a mind. This is because design, by definition, is planning/executing something with a specific goal with respect to the end result. Mind, the only entity capable of design work, simply is too complex to arise by pure chance.

So how do you resolve this conundrum you've gotten yourself into?

I've already explained before why I believe this is a cop-out. It doesn't address the issue of whether or not blind natural processes are sufficient to explain our universe. It's like saying: "I don't have to argue your point because I've got this handy paradox you can't answer." Nevertheless, I think I can elaborate more clearly now on why this is so irritating ...

The topic in question is the existence of God. In general, theists who argue this, myself included, are not arguing about the existence of a created deity such as Zeus; we're arguing for the existence of a creator of the universe. We're arguing that there was an intelligent first cause. It is implicit in our argument that the being who's existence we are trying to establish did not have a creator, and hence could not be designed. Therefore, the argument "A designer would require a designer" begs the question. It tries to argue that the evidence supporting the existence of God is invalid by first assuming that God does not exist. That's why I said long ago that it's more rational to examine all the evidence and see which explanation makes the most sense, not eliminate one whole side of the discussion from the outset using a simplistic paradox.

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DP!!!!

I wish I had more time to participate lately. I've dropped way too many balls in this discussion already.
Good to have you back, the religious debate has been a bit dull lately -_-

Octopuppy's new thread seemed a preferable way to discuss the details, but after spending probably close to six hours studying the bacterial flagellum and irreducible complexity, I had little desire to extend the conversation in that direction.
I started the thread to create space for deeper discussion of those gaps in our knowledge to which God is often attributed. While that's a generally invalid point in pro-theist argument, nevertheless it has interesting topics within it. I'm sorry you never found anyone to discuss the bacterial flagellum, it's so far outside my field of knowledge I couldn't possibly comment except to blindly parrot somebody else's point of view.

The primary examples I've seen of the illusion of design (hurricanes, crystalline formations, etc.) aren't anywhere even close the nature of what I would describe as evident design.
I wouldn't say they are the best examples of the illusion of design. Selective processes are where the illusion of design really gets going, because selective processes have an innate "intelligence" (in that what works, persists and develops, and what doesn't work, doesn't). See how apparent "purpose" can be intrinsic to that? Evolution is of course the prime example, but there are others. The anthropic principle is a kind of selective process, though not an iterative one.

Memetic processes are another good example. Religions themselves are highly complex sets of concepts and beliefs, largely brought about in the absence of design. Obviously you may not be inclined to apply that view to your own religion, which perhaps exists because God wills it so ;) . But consider other religions. There are many mutually supporting strands to them, such as:

  • Encouraging the active bolstering of belief. Do not allow your belief to waver. Seek encouragement from like-minded people.
  • Ostracism or pity of non-believers. Remind yourself that they don't know what you know.
  • Promotion of "faith" as a virtue. Belief is particularly virtuous when it does not require evidence.
  • Belief that there are things we fundamentally cannot understand, and should not try to.
  • Assume that things happen for a reason. Promote the assumption with questions like "why are we here?"
  • Promote the idea that we need religion in order to be moral, and to have meaning in our lives, that life would be dry and empty without it.

This list is nowhere near close to being complete, and I'm not saying that all of them apply to all religions. But can you see how such ideas work together and reinforce each other? If all that was just invented by somebody, they would have to be the ultimate evil genius. But there is no genius. These things have come about by selection. Ideas which work well together have stuck together, been replicated, mutated and developed over thousands of years, to create an extremely complex and compelling structure, with apparent "purpose" (to replicate, persist, and make us believe something).

A quick scan of Google results for "what is design?" suggests that the key to design is planning in order to solve problems...We frequently get this same feeling when examining living things. How does a person stay balanced when running? We can't seem to make robots do it. It's very complicated and requires phenomenally accurate timing, and yet that's one of the comparatively simple functions of a human body. There are numerous extraordinarily complex systems in the human body (circulatory, nervous, endocrine, renal, skeletal, immune, muscular, lymph, etc.) which elegantly interact to overcome tremendous challenges to our successful existence. In addition, these complex systems provide us with capabilities such as humor and selfless love which have little value from an evolutionary standpoint.
Let's go with humour and selfless love. The other bits have a clear function for the individual. Humour's tricky because it's so ill-defined. Maybe it encompasses a rag-bag of behaviours. I'd say it includes important social processes which enable us to challenge ideas without confrontation. A lot of comedy is about challenges to the intellectual, moral, perceptual or linguistic status quo. It's an important social problem-solving mechanism. I'll say no more about that for now, as its worth getting other people's views on the function of humour.

Selfless love by definition does not serve the needs of the individual, but genetic processes do not necessarily require that. Genes persist if their corresponding phenotypes make the proliferation and replication of those genes more likely. Animals which selflessly protect their young have developed this behaviour because the behaviour promotes the genes that cause it. It's all about the genes, not the individual organism. Selfless love as a general rule of thumb applies to our children, our wider family, our social group, and wider social categories (in descending order of importance) because all these groups tend to carry common genes. The behaviour works, in general, to promote our area of the gene pool. Long ago, people would have lived in smaller tribal groups with much more genes in common, so a general love of your fellow man or patriotism would be behaviours which promoted your genes in that situation. Not so much today, but the behaviour persists.

(talking about designer needing a designer) I've already explained before why I believe this is a cop-out. It doesn't address the issue of whether or not blind natural processes are sufficient to explain our universe.
I think they are, but it's more a question of whether blind natural processes or any other possible explanation, known or unknown, could be sufficient to explain our universe. If there is no possible rational explanation, we have a paradox. Our universe is impossible. But still there would be no reason to cop out and say "God did it". The "God did it" explanation is

a) also paradoxical

b) meaningless, since it just resorts to magic and mystery and therefore explains nothing

c) complete assumption, since it is a story invented by people. Why not invent a different bizarre story? It would be just as valid

You might reasonably disagree with the above IF you have independent evidence that God exists in the first place. But only under those circumstances. So in the extremely unlikely event that you could rule out any possible rational explanation for the existence of the universe, there would still be no reason to believe in God without further evidence. And there are of course rational explanations, we just don't know which, if any might be correct.

It's like saying: "I don't have to argue your point because I've got this handy paradox you can't answer." Nevertheless, I think I can elaborate more clearly now on why this is so irritating ...

The topic in question is the existence of God. In general, theists who argue this, myself included, are not arguing about the existence of a created deity such as Zeus; we're arguing for the existence of a creator of the universe. We're arguing that there was an intelligent first cause. It is implicit in our argument that the being who's existence we are trying to establish did not have a creator, and hence could not be designed.

You're postulating an impossible magical entity that fits in with whatever you require from it. Doesn't require intelligent creation when everything else does? Why not? That's what I'm postulating! Wouldn't it be simpler to say the universe is also magic, and hence could have purpose and design without having a designer? What's the difference, except that the second explanation is simpler?

Therefore, the argument "A designer would require a designer" begs the question. It tries to argue that the evidence supporting the existence of God is invalid by first assuming that God does not exist. That's why I said long ago that it's more rational to examine all the evidence and see which explanation makes the most sense, not eliminate one whole side of the discussion from the outset using a simplistic paradox.
It is not at all unreasonable to first assume that X does not exist, when considering evidence for the existence of X. In fact it's the only reasonable approach. If the evidence is sufficient to overturn that assumption, we know that X exists. But in this case it isn't. The other approach is to say that God exists by default unless you can disprove it (a very weak argument, given the bizarre, complex and magical nature of what is proposed).

But the "a designer would require a designer" argument doesn't rely on such an assumption anyway. We're saying "OK, let's assume God DOES exist. But then we are left with no explanation for WHY or HOW God exists. Oh dear, that would be pretty unlikely then." You can look at that independently from the first-cause argument, but it's just amusing that the first cause argument depends on similar rationale and so defeats itself quite neatly.

As you know, I've proposed that any possible universe would necessarily exist, and therefore not need a creator. Some might disagree, but interestingly that implies that all possible things do exist (though not in the same "reality"). I wonder if perhaps that means God must exist, in some reality? Alas I fear not because God is supernatural, which would imply impossible. A "natural" God might exist (might even be overseeing our reality, though I'd say the odds are astronomically against it). But would a "natural" God really be God, or just some super-being? Kind of spoils it a bit if you take the magic out, doesn't it?

The other problem with the intelligent designer is that the universe shows no signs of being designed. If it was designed, what is it for? What is the purpose we are working towards? Is it a mystery???

Edited by octopuppy

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God lies in belief and hope. If you believe in him, he is real, if you don't believe, he is not real. We make him real through belief and hope, kinda like Tinkerbell in Peter Pan.

Believing that God created everything differs between Theists because of the levels of power and authority that are assigned to each person's "God"

I believe the universe created itself and God exists in it. Science and Religion can coexist happily ever after.

Saying the universe was created for us is selfish. Saying the universe was not created but just happened means each of our perspectives have created our own universe, like a dream. To say the universe exists and we all live in the same universe means it was created as one, or more specifically from one source, and there by had to come from somewhere. If everything in existence came from nothing, and we are all headed back to that nothing ultimately, then what's the point of life. (Not to get off topic and tackle that big one) God is a more rational explanation for mankind because we cannot truly understand infinity and cannot truly imagine nothing. As soon as you think about nothing, it is something. As soon as you think about infinity, it has a limit. The God or Source of all that is must be comprised of both. Logically you cannot explain the mere existence of us all without these concepts. You must believe this principal and therefore believe in what some people call God. If not than you are simply dreaming. :D

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I didn't take it head on because of the feeling that, particularly given Scraff's highly confident manner, we'd just be rehashing all the same old arguments.

We shouldn't rehash the same arguments regardless of how confident my manner is, but you go on to do it in this post anyway.

You are yet again rehashing a modern version of Paley's watchmaker argument. Why? We've put that puppy to rest already. It's been put to rest over a hundred years ago. Are you going to keep repeating arguments in this thread just so others can rebut them...again? You've done this and at times haven't even responded to the rebuttals, only to make the arguments once again. Repeating the arguments doesn't make the argument any better.

I'll use some help from the IronChriots wiki and the TalkOrigins site to respond to your repeated arguments.

The primary examples I've seen of the illusion of design (hurricanes, crystalline formations, etc.) aren't anywhere even close the nature of what I would describe as evident design.

The appearance of design is subjective. What features denote design? Complexity? Order? Beauty? Suitability to a purpose? Any of these can be lacking in objects we know to be designed (i.e., manufactured by humans).

A quick scan of Google results for "what is design?" suggests that the key to design is planning in order to solve problems. As Stroud observed, it inherently involves a "mind." It follows that surmising the mental planning process from the resultant product is a matter of subjective guesswork. However, when we drive a car, we know it was designed. If we decided to make a car of our own from scratch, we would quickly encounter many difficulties. If we examined an existing car, we would have many moments where we thought "Ah, that's how they did it!" In observing the solution to a problem, we grasp the intelligence required to arrive at that solution, and we recognize the presence of "design".

We recognize designed objects by comparison with previously known designed objects and by contrasting them with naturally occurring objects. Thus, we know the car had a designer because there is no evidence that cars occur naturally and a mountain of evidence that they are designed and manufactured.

If the appearance of design is all it takes to show that something couldn't have evolved, then who designed God? After all, in order to be capable of designing an entire functional universe, God himself must be incredibly complex and would need a designer as well. This makes the argument from design a subset of the cosmological argument.

I've already explained before why I believe this is a cop-out. It doesn't address the issue of whether or not blind natural processes are sufficient to explain our universe.

Why should it? That's a separate argument altogether. How is showing you exactly why your argument falls apart a cop-out? Why should the counter-argument go on to show how how "blind natural processes are sufficient to explain our universe"? How would one do that without writing volumes? Is one copping out by showing where the contradiction in your argument is and not going on to give a step-by-step lesson of how humans evolved and what evidence there is for it? One does not have to "explain our universe" to show that sufficient evidence for the existence of a Creator has not been given.

It's like saying: "I don't have to argue your point because I've got this handy paradox you can't answer." Nevertheless, I think I can elaborate more clearly now on why this is so irritating ...

It is arguing your point. Lets see:

The topic in question is the existence of God. In general, theists who argue this, myself included, are not arguing about the existence of a created deity such as Zeus; we're arguing for the existence of a creator of the universe. We're arguing that there was an intelligent first cause. It is implicit in our argument that the being who's existence we are trying to establish did not have a creator, and hence could not be designed.

How is it implicit in your argument that your creator didn't have a creator? The logic doesn't follow and you've never showed why this should be so (or how). Your argument is that when something seems to be designed, it must have a designer. If the appearance of design is all it takes to show that something couldn't have evolved, then your god by your own logic must therefore have a designer.

In order to tell whether something looks designed, you must first be able to distinguish designed from un-designed. This immediately begs the question of what is un-designed. If you believe God created everything, then nothing is un-designed, and the claims of appearance of design fail for lack of comparison.

Do bombardier beetles look designed? Yes; they look like they were designed by evolution. Their features, behaviors, and distribution nicely fit the kinds of patterns that evolution creates. Nobody has yet found anything about any bombardier beetle which is incompatible with evolution. Creationists have argued for an appearance of design in everything from bacteria flagella to butterfly metamorphosis. Those arguments all share the same fallacies; they are all based on a combination of ignorance combined with a concept of design that is indistinguishable from evolution. If a kind of design incompatible with evolution were found in biology, nobody would be more excited than the professional biologists. As yet we haven't found such a design.

But all this is besides the point. I don't want to have this thread sidetracked once again to be about evolution because it's irrelevant to the debate. Maybe there will be a better natural explanation for how we got here. Maybe there is a terrific supernatural explanation. In the meantime, there is no convincing evidence that God or any other creator exists.

Therefore, the argument "A designer would require a designer" begs the question.

You've got that backwards! Claiming that all things that are very complex and can think need a designer except the designer begs the question.

It tries to argue that the evidence supporting the existence of God is invalid by first assuming that God does not exist.

No, you couldn't be more wrong. It shows that you make an exception for your own argument and give no reason why this exception should be made.

That's why I said long ago that it's more rational to examine all the evidence and see which explanation makes the most sense, not eliminate one whole side of the discussion from the outset using a simplistic paradox.

If a simplistic paradox is all it takes to show a hole big enough in your argument for the necessity of design, then so be it. There are many other flaws in your rehashing of the watchmaker argument which have all been addressed already.

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As intelligent designers, we humans can't even come anywhere near making something of this complexity, not by many orders of magnitude.

If humans can't create things that exist, those things must exist through an intelligent design? Martini has already responded to that assertion:

A frog can't comprehend how water falls from the sky but that doesn't mean a Rain God must exist.

I've already explained before why I believe this is a cop-out. It doesn't address the issue of whether or not blind natural processes are sufficient to explain our universe. It's like saying: "I don't have to argue your point because I've got this handy paradox you can't answer." Nevertheless, I think I can elaborate more clearly now on why this is so irritating ...

You made that argument already. ADParker responded fully in post # 380.

That's why I said long ago that it's more rational to examine all the evidence and see which explanation makes the most sense, not eliminate one whole side of the discussion from the outset using a simplistic paradox.

It's not God exists vs. a particular explanation of how things got here and the one that makes more sense to the layman wins. It's: you assert there is sufficient evidence for belief in God, so the burden of proof is on you. That was also taken care of in post #380:

Where is our Burden of Proof?!

All we do is fail to accept your claims, there are no counter-claims made by us at all.

What we have to defend is reason and logic against the barrage of logical fallacies thrown at us and the unsuspecting public at large.

Martini also responded to the assertion:

We don't have to provide an alternate possible answer, even though we have. I already gave you my 'lightning' example. If one were to propose to me that God creates lightning and I reject this proposal due to lack of evidence, me not having an alternate theory for where lightning comes from does not make "God did it" the default answer.

Can we get to some new evidence or are you going to keep repeating the same arguments? If the rebuttals you've received aren't good enough for you, sorry, they're not likely to change much.

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Thank you all for validating my hesitancy to return to the main issue of the thread. Well, I tried, anyway.

Scraff said "You brought up that the universe provides evidence of intelligent design. Want to go with that? We'll give you plenty of evidence how it is more an illusion of design and tell how complexity can come from disorder on its own." Ok, I said, show me the evidence. Octopuppy was the only one who even attempted to take a stab at it, but to be honest, I don't find the illustration of the development of religion to be persuasive, no doubt due to my existing bias about how I believe religion developed. Everyone else said 'we already rebutted that,' when the only previously provided examples of illusory design arising without intelligence were hurricanes and crystals. Of course you say that there's abundant evidence in evolution. You would obviously have to think that since there's so much apparent design in nature. I'm arguing that, if illusory design is ubiquitous in nature, it ought to be easy to demonstrate, with real-life examples (not theoretical models), how such arises without intelligent guidance. And I tried to clarify what is meant by "design" for a reason -- it's more than just complexity. It involves problem solving and purpose. Scraff discerned this and immediately jumped on the anti-Teleological argument, claiming that the identification of purpose is simply subjective, and merely involves comparison to existing known design. This entirely misses the point of my explaining how we discern design by recognizing the way in which a things solves problems in a manner that would require intelligence, typically involving a complex interaction of parts. As a software engineer, I do this type of design all the time. And, based on that experience, I can examine a piece of software and tell you, not simply that it was designed, but how well it was designed, by seeing how elegantly it solves problems such as extensibility, flexibility, and adaptability. By these standards, living beings are phenomenal examples of elegant design, able to change their characteristics to a great extent to adapt to changing environments. That's the type of complexity I'm asking you to show arises without guidance.

Y'all keep saying "show us new evidence." Of course I don't have new evidence. I already said long ago that there's no need for new evidence; the existing lines of reasoning that everyone is already familiar with are quite sufficient. If there is to be a debate, it has to revolve around how existing evidence is interpreted. You propose a paradox to suggest that it's ridiculous to think that there's an undesigned designer. Ok, the direct implication of this argument is that non-intelligent causes have to sufficiently explain the illusion of design. I asked you to show me evidence for this. Please respond with something other than insults.

Incidentally, Scraff, you said that the bombardier beetle appears to be "designed by evolution." I just thought I should point out that this is contradictory to the meaning of design, as it has already been established that the word involves thought and planning. I get tired of hearing "evolution" anthropomorphized as an intelligent designer. I see it constantly in scientific writing, and it's rather disingenuous if you really don't believe that there is any actual design taking place.

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PART 1

Thank you all for validating my hesitancy to return to the main issue of the thread. Well, I tried, anyway.

sorry :D I hope I didn't have anything to do with it (lol that was a joke, I haven't been on this topic for a while... I was waiting for your return ;D) May I ask what you were hesitating for? The fact that people would rebut/falsify your arguments? It's a debate :P or is it you were afraid everyone would be a d*ck?

Scraff said "You brought up that the universe provides evidence of intelligent design. Want to go with that? We'll give you plenty of evidence how it is more an illusion of design and tell how complexity can come from disorder on its own." Ok, I said, show me the evidence.

the point was YOU would supply your "universe-provided evidence of intelligent design" and then we (the atheists) would "give you plenty of evidence how complexity can come from disorder on its own". We can't rebut your arguments before you make them ;D

Octopuppy was the only one who even attempted to take a stab at it, but to be honest, I don't find the illustration of the development of religion to be persuasive, no doubt due to my existing bias about how I believe religion developed.

yeah, that wasn't the best example, but reapply the same words to something like a large corporation, say McDonalds. Or something. Or if you really need a new, different example, I'm sure one of us can give it to you.

Everyone else said 'we already rebutted that,' when the only previously provided examples of illusory design arising without intelligence were hurricanes and crystals. Of course you say that there's abundant evidence in evolution.

uh, there is.

Wait.

You don't accept evolution as a scientific fact? How can you call yourself "logical" and not accept evolution? I mean, cmon... I always thought you at least realized that evolution was real

You would obviously have to think that since there's so much apparent design in nature.

"apparent" design? I say some hardcore design! Designed by natural processes- ie, the blind watchmaker. Like you've said, there's two ways to look at the same piece of evidence. Religious people who believe in silly "theories" without any proof obviously have ways of looking at the evidence too (you use complex patterns as "evidence that someone designed it")

by the way, you still haven't answered how a Creator could have existed on its own, but not the universe

I'm arguing that, if illusory design is ubiquitous in nature, it ought to be easy to demonstrate, with real-life examples (not theoretical models), how such arises without intelligent guidance.

why does it ought to be easy? If they're complex, chaotic systems, why should it be easy? Isn't that the whole point? I personally don't have any good examples for you right now... but between octopuppy, martini, flogger, etc, etc, I'm sure we can show you (it's just a model was easiest to explain what he meant, that's why octopuppy did that)

And I tried to clarify what is meant by "design" for a reason -- it's more than just complexity. It involves problem solving and purpose.

yes, it does. Which none of the natural process exhibit, and neither does anything in R/L. Give us an example ;D

Scraff discerned this and immediately jumped on the anti-Teleological argument, claiming that the identification of purpose is simply subjective, and merely involves comparison to existing known design.

and you didn't reply to him :D

END OF PART 1

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PART 2

This entirely misses the point of my explaining how we discern design by recognizing the way in which a things solves problems in a manner that would require intelligence, typically involving a complex interaction of parts. As a software engineer, I do this type of design all the time.

cool :D and cool job :P

And, based on that experience, I can examine a piece of software and tell you, not simply that it was designed, but how well it was designed, by seeing how elegantly it solves problems such as extensibility, flexibility, and adaptability.

that's quite a talent ya got there ;D

joking around aside, I know what you mean :P

By these standards, living beings are phenomenal examples of elegant design, able to change their characteristics to a great extent to adapt to changing environments. That's the type of complexity I'm asking you to show arises without guidance.

yeah, life is pretty cool. But living beings are NOT "phenomenal examples of elegant design"... ADParker has the biggest list, but evolution is slow and human beings have lots of faults that would make a designer a crappy designer. Check out The Revival in my sig, and go to the top forum "muhahaha" and the topic called "relligion" (yes spelled with two "l"s lol)- ADParker has destroyed this argument multiple times in there

Y'all keep saying "show us new evidence." Of course I don't have new evidence.

and (IIRC) we took down your old evidence, so that's why we were checking to see if you had anything NEW to throw at us :P

I already said long ago that there's no need for new evidence; the existing lines of reasoning that everyone is already familiar with are quite sufficient. If there is to be a debate, it has to revolve around how existing evidence is interpreted.

not if that evidence has already been interpreted and disproved (multiple times). But since you're bringing the same stuff up, we'll go at it again :P

You propose a paradox to suggest that it's ridiculous to think that there's an undesigned designer.

uh yeah, it's ridiculous

Ok, the direct implication of this argument is that non-intelligent causes have to sufficiently explain the illusion of design.

yes

BY YOUR OWN LOGIC, a Creator requires a Creator

I asked you to show me evidence for this. Please respond with something other than insults.

I didn't insult you, and I didn't see where anyone else did, but I could've easily missed it

Incidentally, Scraff, you said that the bombardier beetle appears to be "designed by evolution." I just thought I should point out that this is contradictory to the meaning of design, as it has already been established that the word involves thought and planning.

it's just a phrasing... he could've said "come about by evolution" or something. He was just demonstrating a point... like this:

IDists: the bombardier beetle is designed

Scraff: yes, by evolution

ie, designed blindly. If that's an oxymoron in your eyes, then so be it :D he was just stating the fact that the Bombardier Beetle fits perfectly into evolution

I get tired of hearing "evolution" anthropomorphized as an intelligent designer. I see it constantly in scientific writing, and it's rather disingenuous if you really don't believe that there is any actual design taking place.

I get your annoyance, but since religion attacks evolution [as if disproving evolution will prove creationism correct (it won't)], it's a common rebuttal to show that today's living things came about by evolution. Nothing more :D

END OF PART 2

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Heh heh. Two nice long posts responding to everything I said, and ... still no evidence. Still waiting. I got time ... :P

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Like I said (if you actually read my nice long posts ;D), I don't have it... but other people do :P

but first you have to propose a system that you claim to come about by design, then we counter that. I thought that was the proposed setup?

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