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This forum is open discussion between atheists and all theists to defend and debate their views on religion or non-religion. Please respect that this is a Christian-owned forum and refrain from gratuitous blasphemy. VERY wide leeway is given in range of expression and allowable behavior as compared to other areas of the forum, and moderation is not overly involved unless necessary. Please keep this in mind. Atheists who wish to interact with theists in a way that does not seek to undermine theistic faith may participate in the World Religions Department. Non-debate question and answers and mild and less confrontational discussions can take place in General Theistics.


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  • #46
    Originally posted by Sparko View Post

    Infinite means that somewhere anything possible would have to happen.
    Why is that?

    Comment


    • #47
      Originally posted by Machinist View Post

      Why is that?
      Infinite is not just "really big" - it allows for all sorts of absurd things. Read up on it. Like Hilbert's hotel. Imagine a hotel with infinite number of rooms. Now imaging there is someone in every room. No vacancy right? Now you walk up to the desk and want a room. Even though the hotel is full, all the proprietor has to do is make everyone shift up one room and he has an empty room for you.

      So anything that can happen will have happened somewhere. No matter how unlikely. And it will have happened an infinite number of times.

      Comment


      • #48
        Originally posted by Sparko View Post
        the infinite God is possible, so if the universe is infinite, he will exist.
        In most philosophical arguments Christian apologists tend to make, the Christian God is defined as Necessary rather than Contingent. e.g. see Plantinga's version of the ontological argument. So having all contingent possibilities existing, wouldn't cause the Christian God to exist.

        What physicists usually mean by talking about all possible worlds though, is usually just all possible numeric variations on the basic physical laws. It's not at all the same thing as all conceivable universes existing. Also a general assumption tends to be that those universes wouldn't be able to interact with each other in any way.

        I agree that if all conceivable universes existed, a claim which nobody is really making, then a number of them (an infinite number) would contain god(s). But those god(s) would then be local to those universes, as they presumably wouldn't be able to interact with other universes. (The mind boggles at what would happen if an infinite number of different god(s) all with infinitely varied personalities were able to interact between universes) So you don't really get anywhere near the conclusion you seem to want to reach - the best you could say is that a Christian-like god would exist in some universes.

        Comment


        • #49
          Originally posted by Sparko View Post
          Magic could just be the result of some physical laws in another part of the galaxy. Heck what we do now would be magic to people of a few hundred years ago. Talking to people instantly across the planet on little magic boxes.
          Clarke's third law: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

          But "indistinguishable from" does not mean "identical to". I was referring to magic that isn't the result of advanced technology, but is something that can't be explained naturally.

          Also an infinite universe wouldn't be limited by your imagination, or mine. Infinite means that somewhere anything possible would have to happen. Which is why I think an actual physically infinitely extant universe is impossible. It's just too absurd.
          I think you need to be careful about how you use the word "possible", which can mean many different things. An infinite universe does not mean that anything that is logically possible or epistemically possible has to happen. For something to happen, it would have to be physically or nomologically possible (i.e. possible under the actual laws of nature).

          To put it another way, you can't say that anything will happen as long as you don't know that it's impossible. You'd have to know that it's possible.

          Comment


          • #50
            Originally posted by seer View Post
            As an unbeliever what is your single greatest objection to Christianity. I'm not looking for a litany of objections, just the single most important one to you. Perhaps me and other Christians here can provide reasonable answers. Please let's keep it civil...
            In a universe that appeared 13.7 billion years ago, on a planet that formed 4.6 billion years ago, in an emerging but questionably conscious species that has been anatomically modern for hundreds of thousands of years, the creator of all this suddenly decided it was time for an intervention, chose to follow the Hindu lead and incarnated, briefly, before abruptly departing, leaving behind contradictory traditions written by followers who immediately began splintering in the beliefs I'm told it's important to get right.

            To scale, that's like me asking for proper comprehension of myself from a particular subatomic particle tucked inside a lint ball under my fridge.

            And I'm asked to accumulate these correct beliefs without seeing.

            As if there's going to be a lot of call for that in eternity.

            I like the charity thing, though, and the do unto others bit, and the caring for your community. I like a lot of things about Christianity, but ya gotta admit, the back story needs work.

            Comment


            • #51
              Originally posted by Juvenal View Post
              I like the charity thing, though, and the do unto others bit, and the caring for your community. I like a lot of things about Christianity, but ya gotta admit, the back story needs work.
              Agreed. But I was reflecting today that even the charity thing needs work: What teachings Christianity has on either charitable action, or self moral-improvement are exceptionally brief and not overly helpful in helping Christians learn to do those things.

              In certain strands of Buddhism we see hundreds or thousands of pages of teachings focusing on helping followers learn the ways of moral self-improvement and how to meditate upon loving-kindness etc. In Christianity, that is hand-waved away under 'sanctification' and often classified as "something the holy spirit does inside the believer, you don't need to worry too much about it" and positive virtues have a tendency to appear in the NT as a simple list of fruits of the spirit with little explanation of how the Christian is supposed to achieve them or work toward them. The NT is, simply put, not at all any sort of great instruction manual for moral self-improvement.

              There is a little bit more in the NT on charitable acts towards others, than there is on the topic of moral self-improvement, but again, not much. The topic is almost completely lacking in details or in methods. Since most Christians today flatly refuse to follow what very few instructions the NT does have on the topic - to sell everything one owns and give / share it all with the poor - the result is that when it actually comes to the details of giving to charity there's not much to go on.

              So as I said in my post, and you repeated in yours, the theological backstory of Christianity is poorly written and the plot needs a complete rewrite, but the part where it actually does something in the life of the adherent is itself bad also - it's about as useful/useless as handwavingly saying "do some good stuff guys" and leaving it at that. If Christians are going to pretend to / claim to have a perfect God-given morality it needs to be a complete list of good stuff along with a thorough manual of how to achieve it. But in practice the bible either doesn't address at all or speaks positively about what we would today generally consider the three morally worst possible actions: Genocide, slavery, and torture. And it's pretty spotty at best on the rest of the topic of morality.

              Comment


              • #52
                Originally posted by Juvenal View Post

                In a universe that appeared 13.7 billion years ago, on a planet that formed 4.6 billion years ago, in an emerging but questionably conscious species that has been anatomically modern for hundreds of thousands of years, the creator of all this suddenly decided it was time for an intervention, chose to follow the Hindu lead and incarnated, briefly, before abruptly departing, leaving behind contradictory traditions written by followers who immediately began splintering in the beliefs I'm told it's important to get right.
                First of all, the the Jewish story of Christ did not take the Hindu lead. As far as timing, that is immaterial if it has the desired effect. And Christ's message has spread world wide (which he predicted BTW). He sill, to this day, commands the largest spiritual following of any religious founder in history. And arguably the most influential person of human history.

                And I'm asked to accumulate these correct beliefs without seeing.

                As if there's going to be a lot of call for that in eternity.

                I like the charity thing, though, and the do unto others bit, and the caring for your community. I like a lot of things about Christianity, but ya gotta admit, the back story needs work.
                Each man must decide for himself, is Jesus THE Son of God or not? Did He conquer death or not?

                Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by Starlight View Post
                  Agreed. But I was reflecting today that even the charity thing needs work: What teachings Christianity has on either charitable action, or self moral-improvement are exceptionally brief and not overly helpful in helping Christians learn to do those things.

                  In certain strands of Buddhism we see hundreds or thousands of pages of teachings focusing on helping followers learn the ways of moral self-improvement and how to meditate upon loving-kindness etc. In Christianity, that is hand-waved away under 'sanctification' and often classified as "something the holy spirit does inside the believer, you don't need to worry too much about it" and positive virtues have a tendency to appear in the NT as a simple list of fruits of the spirit with little explanation of how the Christian is supposed to achieve them or work toward them. The NT is, simply put, not at all any sort of great instruction manual for moral self-improvement.

                  You still don't get it do you. Tell me where is the Buddhist paradise? With the thousands of teachings on self-improvement? A good portion of the Japanese officer corps in WW2 were Buddhists, did that stop the Rape of Nanjing or their other atrocities? https://www.quora.com/How-was-Zen-Bu...an-during-WWII

                  And you don't need thousands of pages of moral teaching, like I said in the past, if all men followed the golden rule from the heart we would have a peaceful world - though not necessarily moral. And contemplating the sound of one hand clapping is not going to change a man's moral direction.

                  And you never did respond to your category error: https://theologyweb.com/campus/forum...27#post1254727
                  Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by seer View Post
                    You still don't get it do you. Tell me where is the Buddhist paradise?
                    You're right, I don't get your non sequiturs.

                    Is what I'm supposed to be 'getting' that you will stubbornly and flatly refuse to ever change your view in the face of all logic and evidence, and will instead just reask random and silly questions until the heat death of the universe? Because I sure am getting that.

                    With the thousands of teachings on self-improvement? A good portion of the Japanese officer corps in WW2 were Buddhists, did that stop the Rape of Nanjing or their other atrocities? https://www.quora.com/How-was-Zen-Bu...an-during-WWII
                    There are plenty of variants of Buddhism just as there are Christianity. Plenty of them have done bad things, just as plenty of Christian groups have.

                    I'm an atheist after all, so you don't need to convince me that overall religion is a bad idea.

                    like I said in the past, if all men followed the golden rule from the heart we would have a peaceful world
                    Sure. So have you converted to Confucianism? After all, Confucius uttered the golden rule some five centuries before Jesus did.

                    And contemplating the sound of one hand clapping is not going to change a man's moral direction.
                    Actually meditation does tend to improve morality. There's been serious investigation as to its use for prisoners for that reason.

                    And you never did respond to your category error: https://theologyweb.com/campus/forum...27#post1254727
                    I couldn't make any sense of your statement. If you think you were making a valid point or argument, you need to explain it.

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Starlight View Post
                      You're right, I don't get your non sequiturs.

                      Is what I'm supposed to be 'getting' that you will stubbornly and flatly refuse to ever change your view in the face of all logic and evidence, and will instead just reask random and silly questions until the heat death of the universe? Because I sure am getting that.

                      There are plenty of variants of Buddhism just as there are Christianity. Plenty of them have done bad things, just as plenty of Christian groups have.
                      Yet you are here promoting Buddhism.

                      Sure. So have you converted to Confucianism? After all, Confucius uttered the golden rule some five centuries before Jesus did.
                      So what, God's moral law has been universally diffused though out humankind. You know this. The point is it is not hard to come up with a decent moral theory the problem is and was - how to get men to follow it.

                      I couldn't make any sense of your statement. If you think you were making a valid point or argument, you need to explain it.
                      Are you slow? Morality is nothing like physical distance. Physical distance exists whether minds exist or not. Morality is mind dependent and therefore subject. And inter subjective. Moral realism is not a fact.
                      Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Originally posted by seer View Post
                        Morality is nothing like physical distance.
                        Both to be seem to be similar in that they are both measurements of relations between things.

                        Physical distance exists whether minds exist or not. Morality is mind dependent and therefore subject. And inter subjective.
                        If minds exist, then truths about relationships between them will exist. Just as if objects exist, truths about distances between them will exist. So if minds exist then morality can exist, just as if objects exist then distance can exist.

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Originally posted by Starlight View Post
                          Both to be seem to be similar in that they are both measurements of relations between things.
                          Is distance mind dependent? Is morality mind dependent?

                          If minds exist, then truths about relationships between them will exist. Just as if objects exist, truths about distances between them will exist. So if minds exist then morality can exist, just as if objects exist then distance can exist.
                          That is the point. It is a logical leap to then say that murder is a moral wrong. Unlike the object fact of distance moral ideals are subjective.
                          Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Originally posted by seer View Post
                            Is distance mind dependent?
                            Yes and no. It exists, though exists differently in different reference frames (i.e. the Theory of Relativity), and people can choose to measure it in different ways and with different measurement units.

                            Is morality mind dependent?
                            Yes and no. It exists, though people can choose to measure it in different ways.

                            So overall distance and morality seem very similar to me.

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Originally posted by Starlight View Post
                              Yes and no. It exists, though exists differently in different reference frames (i.e. the Theory of Relativity), and people can choose to measure it in different ways and with different measurement units.
                              The answer is no. The actual distance between to earth and the moon is not mind dependent. On any level.

                              Yes and no. It exists, though people can choose to measure it in different ways.

                              So overall distance and morality seem very similar to me.
                              How do you get to jump to the ideal that murder is a moral wrong? If we are in fact measuring things differently?
                              Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                              Comment

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