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Is There Any Reason to Believe the Biblical Story of Creation?

 
 
Olivier5
 
  1  
Fri 20 Jun, 2014 05:06 pm
@edgarblythe,
Fair enough.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Fri 20 Jun, 2014 08:38 pm
@Olivier5,
Olivier5 wrote:

Quote:
experience shows that believing in facts based on evidence works.

Like Bush did when he rightly invaded Iraq, based on solid evidence, right? :-) That worked out so well...

The easiest way to become a slave to your unsubstantiated beliefs is to be naively certain you don't harbor any... While people who are aware of their beliefs can at times reassess them, you cannot.

You have failed to address my comments to the effect that believing things without evidence that they're true doesn't work. Please do address it and tell me why you think believing with no evidence that you're right has led you to a correct conclusion.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Fri 20 Jun, 2014 08:45 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:

It is not your way of finding an answer you believe to be correct.

The existence of God and the universe operating by "natural" laws are not mutually exclusive. A belief in God doesn't require a belief that each and every object and action in the universe is directly caused by God. God the Creator doesn't have to mean that a being floating in space pointed his finger in various directions and a blue beam was emanated which instantly created individual stars and planets; while a green beam caused all life in the universe to instantly spring into existence.

As I previously wrote, In trying to find the origins of a universe operating by natural laws one will always be faced with the question "what came before?"

What came before the Big Bang, and whatever it was, what came before that?. The question extends infinitely. One way to look at this is to say we are not capable of understanding a process of creation that has no beginning or end, but that does not mean it is supernatural. Another is to say we are not capable of understanding such a process but consider it be sentient and call it God.

From there each individual determines to what degree they believe God is existence and them individually. Clearly a great many believe that involvement includes activities past present and future which are consistent with how a human given that unfathomable power might act, and come to believe in ancient accounts of such activities despite the vast amount of physical evidence that is before them.

Olivier is correct, your life is woven through with beliefs you cannot prove. They obviously work for you. Are you going to discard them because they can't be correct because they can't be proven?

I agree that the existence of God and the universe operating by "natural" laws are not mutually exclusive. My point is that there's little or no evidence to support the theory that God exists and that, therefore, it is illogical to believe that one does. We are constantly reminded in our daily lives that believing things without evidence leads to many false conclusions. Why do you think that this is the one case where believing without evidence is reliable?

Do you have the right to believe in God or leprechauns? Of course. Is there evidence that they exist? Not much. You are using the origin of the universe as evidence. A few centuries ago, someone might have used rain or comets, then unexplainable, as evidence. I don't think it's very much evidence. Basically, you are believing something because it makes you feel good, and that is not a reliable way of determining truth.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Fri 20 Jun, 2014 08:49 pm
@Olivier5,
Olivier5 wrote:

edgarblythe wrote:

That's confusing politics with science. Not in the same ballpark.

1. Brandon is confusing science and religion, and I didn't see you object to that.
2. Science is political. If can easily be manipulated by politics like in the case of the denial of climate change by american conservatives. Another of these hubris-laden 'no-believer', guijohn, has totally fallen for that. He lectures believers to no end that they should be fact-base and rational, only to tell you in the next breath that man-made climate change is a hoax... :-)
3. Brandon claims that his entire life is free of unsupported belief, not only in the realm of science.

You're bringing in a lot of distractions. Climate change has nothing to do with the existence of God (and I don't remember ever saying that it's a hoax. Could you post that link please?). Is distraction how you argue? What I claim about my own life is also an irrelevant distraction. My actual argument, which for some reason you want to run away from, is that you have little or no evidence that a God exists and that, therefore, a belief in one is not logically justified. Kindly tell me how you get around that.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Fri 20 Jun, 2014 08:50 pm
@Olivier5,
Olivier5 wrote:

To explain to you that it was off topic.

Brandon believes that we should never believe anything that's not based on facts, yet he thinks the Iraq war was the right thing to do given the evidence available at the time.... an obvious contradiction, highlighting the naivety of the no-belief crowd.

Negative proven about my character or judgment do nothing to advance your position that it believing in God without evidence makes sense. How about staying on topic, or can't you?
mark noble
 
  1  
Sat 21 Jun, 2014 07:26 am
@Brandon9000,
To those who find solace in the creation story there is every reason to believe it.
To those who don't there is none.

question answered - Gimme my prize!!!
Olivier5
 
  3  
Sat 21 Jun, 2014 09:10 am
@Brandon9000,
Brandon9000 wrote:

You're bringing in a lot of distractions. Climate change has nothing to do with the existence of God (and I don't remember ever saying that it's a hoax. Could you post that link please?).

If you had read my post, you'd knew that I pointed at GUIJOHN's climate change denial as ANOTHER example, beside you, of how rationalists can be blind to their own irrationality.

Quote:
you have little or no evidence that a God exists and that, therefore, a belief in one is not logically justified. Kindly tell me how you get around that.

If you cared enough to read my posts, you would know that I AGREE it makes no logical, rational sense to believe in God. But it makes other kinds of sense. It makes cosmological sense since it explains the origin of the universe. It makes artistic sense as a source of inspiration, poetic sense by infusing the world with meaning, social sense by supporting moral rules, etc. Logic is not the only source of sense.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Sat 21 Jun, 2014 09:45 am
@mark noble,
mark noble wrote:
To those who find solace in the creation story there is every reason to believe it.
To those who don't there is none.

question answered - Gimme my prize!!!

If you like, but that has nothing to do with whether it's actually the truth.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Sat 21 Jun, 2014 09:48 am
@Olivier5,
Olivier5 wrote:
If you cared enough to read my posts, you would know that I AGREE it makes no logical, rational sense to believe in God. But it makes other kinds of sense. It makes cosmological sense since it explains the origin of the universe.

It does explain the origin of the universe, as would a dozen other fairy tales I could make up, but there is little or no evidence to suggest that it is the correct explanation. That's the entire problem.

Olivier5 wrote:
It makes artistic sense as a source of inspiration, poetic sense by infusing the world with meaning, social sense by supporting moral rules, etc....

That has nothing to do with it being the correct explanation.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Sat 21 Jun, 2014 11:23 am
@farmerman,
I hope mankind continues to search for the answers to questions like how life began and what caused the Big Bang, if those answers lead to more questions, I hope we vigorously seek answers to them. My expectation is that eventually the pursuit of those answers will lead to God, but in the meantime I want to know and marvel at how he operates.

I'm sure I gave the wrong impression of my thinking on this when I wrote that believe in God is a way to avoid pondering the imponderable. My belief in God does not mean I think we should stop seeking answers to these questions; that his existence settles all mysteries and we should direct our focus on more pressing issues. The concept of science and mankind's continued obsession with it, is an enormous boon for our species. One of the greatest characteristics of humans is our curiosity and the practice of science has shaped that characteristic into an incredibly powerful force. I am by no means anti-science or anti-scientist, anything but. Science is not the enemy of belief, nor is belief the enemy of science.

Olivier has pointed out that Brandon believes in logic, without the proof he is requiring of others. It is certainly clear that he believes it is fundamental to right thinking. I may have missed it but I don't think Brandon has offered any proof for logic. Maybe that proof has already been established. Are you aware of it? If there is no proof, then it's hard to see how his belief can be considered a "variable."

There are hundreds of unproven beliefs that are required if we wish to function on a daily basis in society. Perhaps very few rise to the status of a belief about the existence of God, or are not temporarily discarded by scientists engaged in research, but this is beside the point that belief in what cannot be proven is not illegitimate.

I agree completely that we should always test our beliefs and not unduly rely upon them, and I am not suggesting that a belief is as valid as a proven fact. The process of evolution (as generally understood) is, in my opinion, a fact. Within certain parameters, I don't see the harm in anyone holding on to the belief that all living things were, at the same instant (or over 24 divine hours) spontaneously created by God, but it is not simply a belief than can't be proven, it's a belief than can be proven wrong.

I may be incorrectly stating Brandon's position (in which case he can correct me), but what I am reading is that he thinks (believes?) all conclusions based on belief rather than fact are invalid, and probably wrong. That such a process of arriving at conclusions will almost always (if not always) result in wrong conclusions, and even if there is no evidence to support any conclusion, it is "wrong" a mistake or foolhardy to arrive at one through belief no matter what the basis of that belief may be. Better to have no conclusion at all. Obviously I don't agree.

Scientist shouldn't insert God or any other belief in the recipe. Most are very good about excluding God, but we all know they've been known to be less exacting with other beliefs.

Brandon9000
 
  1  
Sat 21 Jun, 2014 12:25 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:

I hope mankind continues to search for the answers to questions like how life began and what caused the Big Bang, if those answers lead to more questions, I hope we vigorously seek answers to them. My expectation is that eventually the pursuit of those answers will lead to God, but in the meantime I want to know and marvel at how he operates.

I'm sure I gave the wrong impression of my thinking on this when I wrote that believe in God is a way to avoid pondering the imponderable. My belief in God does not mean I think we should stop seeking answers to these questions; that his existence settles all mysteries and we should direct our focus on more pressing issues. The concept of science and mankind's continued obsession with it, is an enormous boon for our species. One of the greatest characteristics of humans is our curiosity and the practice of science has shaped that characteristic into an incredibly powerful force. I am by no means anti-science or anti-scientist, anything but. Science is not the enemy of belief, nor is belief the enemy of science.

Olivier has pointed out that Brandon believes in logic, without the proof he is requiring of others. It is certainly clear that he believes it is fundamental to right thinking. I may have missed it but I don't think Brandon has offered any proof for logic. Maybe that proof has already been established. Are you aware of it? If there is no proof, then it's hard to see how his belief can be considered a "variable."

There are hundreds of unproven beliefs that are required if we wish to function on a daily basis in society. Perhaps very few rise to the status of a belief about the existence of God, or are not temporarily discarded by scientists engaged in research, but this is beside the point that belief in what cannot be proven is not illegitimate.

I agree completely that we should always test our beliefs and not unduly rely upon them, and I am not suggesting that a belief is as valid as a proven fact. The process of evolution (as generally understood) is, in my opinion, a fact. Within certain parameters, I don't see the harm in anyone holding on to the belief that all living things were, at the same instant (or over 24 divine hours) spontaneously created by God, but it is not simply a belief than can't be proven, it's a belief than can be proven wrong.

I may be incorrectly stating Brandon's position (in which case he can correct me), but what I am reading is that he thinks (believes?) all conclusions based on belief rather than fact are invalid, and probably wrong. That such a process of arriving at conclusions will almost always (if not always) result in wrong conclusions, and even if there is no evidence to support any conclusion, it is "wrong" a mistake or foolhardy to arrive at one through belief no matter what the basis of that belief may be. Better to have no conclusion at all. Obviously I don't agree.

Scientist shouldn't insert God or any other belief in the recipe. Most are very good about excluding God, but we all know they've been known to be less exacting with other beliefs.

I do not, as you suggest, believe that conclusions arrived at without evidence are wrong or almost always wrong. I believe they are right or wrong randomly, and that believing things without evidence that they're so is an error prone technique.

Amazingly, you ask me for "proof" that believing things without evidence that they're true is an unreliable way of determining truth. You ask me why since I require evidence, I don't provide evidence of this.

My first answer is believing in the truth of ideas based on evidence that they're so, as opposed to believing them without evidence that they're so is confirmed by our day to day experience in daily life. You undoubtedly practice this idea in your daily life. The problem is that in this one case in which you want to believe something, you make an exception. Somehow you think that you must use evidence to determine what's true in your daily life, but that in this one case where you have an emotional need, suddenly belief without evidence is a reliable technique.

My second answer is that believing in rationality is not comparable to believing in a magic invisible companion. Someone who was convinced with no indication that it was true that he was about to win the Publisher's Clearinghouse sweepstakes couldn't fairly say that my belief in logic was just as flawed as his belief that he was about to win the contest. In fact, one could defend any wild belief for which there was no evidence by saying, "well you believe in logic and my belief is no more unjustified than yours is. Experience in our lives indicates that we are much more likely to be right when we believe things with an indication that they're true than with no indication.

When I say, "You probably shouldn't believe that you're descended from Irish kings unless you have some evidence for it," you cannot reasonably object that I haven't proven that rationality works.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Sat 21 Jun, 2014 12:56 pm
@Brandon9000,
Brandon9000 wrote:

I agree that the existence of God and the universe operating by "natural" laws are not mutually exclusive. My point is that there's little or no evidence to support the theory that God exists and that, therefore, it is illogical to believe that one does. We are constantly reminded in our daily lives that believing things without evidence leads to many false conclusions. Why do you think that this is the one case where believing without evidence is reliable?

Do you have the right to believe in God or leprechauns? Of course. Is there evidence that they exist? Not much. You are using the origin of the universe as evidence. A few centuries ago, someone might have used rain or comets, then unexplainable, as evidence. I don't think it's very much evidence. Basically, you are believing something because it makes you feel good, and that is not a reliable way of determining truth.


To the extent that logic requires the application of proven facts, you are accurate when you say that belief in God is illogical. I think your comment about there being "little evidence" of God's existence was to avoid an absolute statement, not because you acknowledge there is some evidence of his existence, so a response that any factual evidence would make the belief logical is probably not apropos.

The question is how important is a strict adherence to logic?

We may, with frequency throughout our lives, find that conclusions absent of evidence are often false. ( I think "constantly" and on a "daily basis" very much overstates the point) This, of course, doesn't mean that the absence of evidence always leads to false conclusions, and it seems that you are lumping conclusions based on little or questionable evidence with those based on no evidence what-so-ever.

So first of all, I don't think that a belief in God is the one case where believing without factual evidence is reliable.

Secondly, while I would agree that there is no clear and unambiguous factual evidence of the existence of God, I don't think that this precludes a sound basis for the belief that he does.

I am not using the origin of the Universe as evidence of God's existence.

Neither I, nor you, know what the origin of the universe is. There is a widely accepted theory which is supported by observational evidence and works to help explain a range of phenomena, but which, as you know, cannot be called scientific fact and has several currently unresolved "problem." Still I accept this theory provides us with our most rational understanding of the origin of universe. It is not proof of God's existence and I haven't claimed it is.

I suppose it's possible to essentially shrug off the question of what initiated the Big Bang with the answer that it is an, as yet, unidentified natural process which we don't understand, but I hope and believe that scientists are still very interested in this question and are looking for answers. My expectation is that whatever theory develops to help answer this question will carry with it the same basic question: "What initiated that natural process," and I suspect that when a theory is developed to help answer that question, it too will carry with it the same question of origin. Eventually this series of questions may end with an ultimate explanation, or they may be infinite.

Infinity is a concept, not a proven fact,(at least there is no overwhelming consensus that it is) and if there is no "evidence" that it is, do you consider it illogical? (Note: I am referring to physical infinity not mathematical infinity. I confess to not fully understanding the concept of a Countable Infinity, but understand that it has been accepted by many mathematicians within a sub-branch of pure mathematics, and, interestingly enough, that theologians, rather than mathematicians were the first to accept the concept).

I'm sure the question of "What came before?" seems simplistic to some, but to me, at least, it is the essence of the questions that have formed what we call science.

This has never been about one's right to believe in anything, so your comment about God and leprechauns is gratuitous and once again is a specious attempt to equate a belief in God with a fairy tale.

I am not believing something because it makes me feel good. I am believing something because it makes sense to me. I suppose one could argue that it feels good to make sense of things, but I don't think this is what you meant by your comment. I don't need to believe in God to enjoy my life or quell my fears. I am agnostic about the possibility of any sort of existence after death, but do not believe there is a supernatural plane where we are reunited with all of our dead loved ones and spend eternity in unspecified but blissful activity, so my belief offers little consolation for my eventual death. I don't believe that God takes an active role in determining events on earth and if there is some underlying plan to all this, it is far too large and complex for me to ever understand, so my belief in God does not provide me, at least, with any comfort that might be brought by a sense of order and divine purpose.

(edited)
Olivier5
 
  1  
Sat 21 Jun, 2014 01:12 pm
@Brandon9000,
Quote:
It does explain the origin of the universe, as would a dozen other fairy tales I could make up, but there is little or no evidence to suggest that it is the correct explanation. That's the entire problem.

The same is true for any alternative explanation, so what's the big deal? This one has advantages and disadvantages, but as a working hypothesis, it's just as good as any other.

Quote:
That has nothing to do with it being the correct explanation.

Exactly, but it makes a lot of sense nevertheless.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Sat 21 Jun, 2014 02:09 pm
@Olivier5,
Olivier5 wrote:

Quote:
It does explain the origin of the universe, as would a dozen other fairy tales I could make up, but there is little or no evidence to suggest that it is the correct explanation. That's the entire problem.

The same is true for any alternative explanation, so what's the big deal? This one has advantages and disadvantages, but as a working hypothesis, it's just as good as any other.

It's just as good as any other belief that has little or no evidence behind it, which isn't very good at all. Saying that you do believe things for which there is little or no evidence is not rationally justified.

Furthermore, there was a time when Man understood little of the physical world and the workings of nature. Everything we now think we have explained about how nature works has been explained by science. There is no answer about how nature works that we feel is verified which has been explained in terms of magic. This strongly suggests that science is more likely to be the way to go to arrive at facts about nature.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Sat 21 Jun, 2014 02:36 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
...Secondly, while I would agree that there is no clear and unambiguous factual evidence of the existence of God, I don't think that this precludes a sound basis for the belief that he does....

What's the pretty good, although not clear and unambiguous, evidence behind this sound basis for the belief that God exists?
Olivier5
 
  1  
Sat 21 Jun, 2014 06:03 pm
@Brandon9000,
Quote:
Saying that you do believe things for which there is little or no evidence is not rationally justified. 

How many times will I need to say that I agree with that?

It is justified for believers in other ways: social, cosmological, poetic, etc., as explained above. Rationality is not the alpha and omego of the human condition.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Thu 26 Jun, 2014 05:41 pm
@Olivier5,
Olivier5 wrote:

Quote:
Saying that you do believe things for which there is little or no evidence is not rationally justified. 

How many times will I need to say that I agree with that?

It is justified for believers in other ways: social, cosmological, poetic, etc., as explained above. Rationality is not the alpha and omego of the human condition.

Once the word "God" is defined clearly, then either he exists or he doesn't. You can't have your own version of reality. There is only one right answer. How do social, cosmological, or poetic considerations provide a basis believing that God actually does exist?
giujohn
 
  2  
Thu 26 Jun, 2014 09:34 pm
Really people...god? The cruelest joke ever played on man. The gulibility is staggering and incredibly sad. What a freakin waste.
0 Replies
 
mark noble
 
  1  
Wed 2 Jul, 2014 04:26 pm
@Brandon9000,
What's not the truth?
People believe different truths - How can you state that anything is true or false?
Is there any reason to believe anyone's story of anything?
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Thu 3 Jul, 2014 10:07 pm
@Brandon9000,
You and I obviously think differently.

As Olivier put it, you seem to believe that rationality is the alpha and omega of the human condition. I do not.

We have gone beyond the original question of a "reason" to believe in what we probably agree is a creation myth told by the Bible, to is there a "reason" to believe in God, and I have already explained to you that in the absence of empirical evidence that precludes a conclusion that God exists or God doesn't exist, I prefer not to settle with "I can't say," and based on contemplation, have concluded there is a God.

I understand that you believe it heretical or even just plain stupid for me to believe that there is a sound basis for my belief in God that is not based on empirical evidence, but I see no profit in attempting to explain the nature of my contemplation further since we both know it doesn't contain empirical evidence, and I know that you cannot appreciate any basis that does not.

Since you can't get past the notion that a "reason" can't exist or is invalid unless it is based on empirical evidence, and you view these threads a debate to be won or lost, there's no "reason" for me to continue what I would have liked to be a discussion.

I also know you enjoy declaring victory in your debates and so I concede.

You won.

 

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