An argument for the existence of God: First formulation…


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Message 1233265 - Posted: 19 May 2012, 5:48:59 UTC - in response to Message 1233226.

I actually understood all of that for the first time, I am kinda slow...so my bad. And I agree. Although we do not have solid data my understanding of the history of unbelief is that the population of unbelievers has probably been fairly stable, although as you were pointing out, underground.

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Message 1233266 - Posted: 19 May 2012, 5:50:26 UTC

Geez.....
Since I started this discussion of God in a another thread, it seems to have become a staple of your discussions here.
And yet, I see no wavering of opinions.
Or real realization that their is one.

I did not start this discussion to become an everlasting discussion point.

I stated my beliefs.

Simply, that I DO believe.

I did not expect you all to knock yourselves out in the hope the one or the other could prove their point beyond the belief of all others.

Wow.

Or, rather, meow.

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Message 1233270 - Posted: 19 May 2012, 5:54:21 UTC - in response to Message 1233262.

Yea, I am going to drop or change in the second formulation. I am not sure that statement is necessary or relevant for my argument. I am more concerned with the selective advantage of religious populations.

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Message 1233281 - Posted: 19 May 2012, 6:04:26 UTC - in response to Message 1233199.

Well then I would reverse the argument. Does evolution meet the controlled experiment criteria stated thus far?

Where is the data that a non-religious world would mean a more peaceful one?
I find this to be pretty baseless. The animal kingdom is void of religions and there is conflict a plenty.

Also if I provided data on population demographics and birth rates what would you deem valid? The Scientific America blog had referenced data. I can forward you much more.

Here is a very recent article that concerning said demographics and the EU elections-
Muslim Voters Change Europe
http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/muslim-voters-change-europe/2012/05/17/

Do you deny that Europe, especially highly secular nations, are being rolled over by the Muslim population both by immigration and birth rates? Or do you have a source that can contradict this?

And is it also crazy to think that this would be less likely if Europe had a strong Christian leaning as it had in its not too distant past? No, I think my argument bears out that Christianity was key in keeping Europe alive against the Muslim expansion into Europe. If the RCC was not there to serve as its backbone, Europe would have become Islamic centuries ago.

I think the world you desire is unlikely to come about, although a very nice sentiment, the religious populations will out breed and out maneuver your troop. The way things are going in Europe, seculars are going to have to make some very difficult choices and I doubt they are going to be picking up their guitars and sing kumbaya.

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Message 1233283 - Posted: 19 May 2012, 6:07:39 UTC

Just assuming that a religious population propagates more than a secular one;

What does that have to do with an advantage? Are we to assume secular populations will die out over time? I'm just curious where we're going with this thought process is all.
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Message 1233288 - Posted: 19 May 2012, 6:23:41 UTC
Last modified: 19 May 2012, 6:24:13 UTC

I think you will find, that in most populations where there is decent health care, good education and equality for women that population growth is minimal, and in some cases declining.

In countries like the UK with its Asians, the US with its Hispanics and Italy with Africans, any population increases are probably down to these recent imigrants. (Non-Hispanic US white births now the minority in US, report two days ago)

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Message 1233294 - Posted: 19 May 2012, 6:30:21 UTC - in response to Message 1233288.

I am not against a god or two. I just think people expect too much from her.
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Message 1233355 - Posted: 19 May 2012, 11:07:30 UTC
Last modified: 21 Mar 2014, 13:41:07 UTC

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Message 1233416 - Posted: 19 May 2012, 13:40:26 UTC - in response to Message 1233240.

I would argue that it is too soon to say that humans are the most successful species to inhabit earth. We have only been here for just under a million years whereas the dinosaurs ruled for millions of years. Yes we are more intelligent but I'm not sure intelligence can be equated with success.


I would hazard a guess and say we are. We see no evidence of any other creatures on earth that were able to "man"ipulate their environment and adapt so easily to the varying climates of the earth. Lets not forget we are able to take resources from the ground and make much more than a stone tool or stick to pull termites from a mound. The only area of the earth we haven't really colonized is the oceans.

That being said I thing we also ignore that as a species we are still somewhere in the middle of the food chain. We aren't physically top predators so we are forced to use our brains to find ways to outsmart predators. We still hear reports every year about some fool that gets eaten by a croc, gator, snake, bear, lion, or some other large predator. but by in large we do succeed in dominating the other species of the world. Aside from arthropods and the insects we could easily kill off 95% of land animal species in 1 year if we put our minds to it. Not that we'd want to kill off our pets, pigs cows or chickens. I'm just saying we could.

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Message 1233439 - Posted: 19 May 2012, 14:32:51 UTC - in response to Message 1233355.

CMPO, you've brought up some very good points here.

For those of you who assert (indirectly) that there are no absolutes, rights or wrongs (I'll call you "NARWs" from now on), I have a question for you.

(Here's sort of a control group for you bobby)

(Dullnando, true, a Non-Religious Microbe could wipe us all out today, but it hasn't yet and may or may not in the future)

Man With 30 Kids Can’t Pay Child Support

Now, though there's no mention in here if Desmond has any religious tendencies, I'll will make a stretch here and venture to say he probably has fewer religious tendencies than others based on my experience with others who find themselves in similar situations.

Quesion: Do you think this guy has a positive effect on the selection of humans (currently and in the future) as the dominant species?


I doubt this one person has a measurable effect, positive or negative, on the future success of homo sapien sapien.

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I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that ...

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Message 1233460 - Posted: 19 May 2012, 15:10:59 UTC - in response to Message 1233355.
Last modified: 19 May 2012, 15:20:13 UTC

One example of one dips***, a case against non-religion it does not make.
What this one guy does, or can or can't do, or the bad decisions he makes, has no place in a discussion about populations as a whole.

And no. That guy does not have a positive influence on selection. And there are many like him. But if you are to say that people without religion are like that guy, then you haven't met enough well decided/well meaning atheists.

You don't need religion to teach you what's right and wrong. It's that simple. Either you are a good person, or you are not (or perhaps you just don't know any better), and all of these types are found with and without religion...

I've mentioned several times that morals/values are a directly influenced positive of religions, unfortunately to the contrary many religions also breed hate, and in some instances drive their members to do horrible things..

CMPO, you've brought up some very good points here.

For those of you who assert (indirectly) that there are no absolutes, rights or wrongs (I'll call you "NARWs" from now on), I have a question for you.

(Here's sort of a control group for you bobby)

(Dullnando, true, a Non-Religious Microbe could wipe us all out today, but it hasn't yet and may or may not in the future)

Man With 30 Kids Can’t Pay Child Support

Now, though there's no mention in here if Desmond has any religious tendencies, I'll will make a stretch here and venture to say he probably has fewer religious tendencies than others based on my experience with others who find themselves in similar situations.

Quesion: Do you think this guy has a positive effect on the selection of humans (currently and in the future) as the dominant species?

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Message 1233471 - Posted: 19 May 2012, 15:25:15 UTC - in response to Message 1233281.

Well then I would reverse the argument. Does evolution meet the controlled experiment criteria stated thus far?


Evolution is a scientific theory, backed by observation. Evolution is not a theology or a working hypothesis.

Where is the data that a non-religious world would mean a more peaceful one?
I find this to be pretty baseless. The animal kingdom is void of religions and there is conflict a plenty.


I never said a non-religious world would mean more peaceful. We are a very immature, ignorant, self-centered species as a whole, and we will fight over petty things. My hope is that less of this fighting will happen in the name of God, and any reduction in senseless fighting is welcomed by me.

Also if I provided data on population demographics and birth rates what would you deem valid? The Scientific America blog had referenced data. I can forward you much more.


I never said it wasn't valid, only that it was a simple observation that doesn't take all data into account, and therefore more of an Op-Ed piece than a truly scientific review. Why is it that non-religious groups have lower birth rates? Would it still be the case if the world weren't so populated? Would it still be the case if different economic systems were in place?

More importantly, as someone else brought up, is having more offspring really a chance for better natural selection? Since evolution is on such a larger timescale than we're used to, and like the coin flip thought experiment from another thread, each child is considered a separate flip of the coin. More flips of the coin doesn't necessarily mean better chances, as each flip is still a 50/50 percent chance.

Here is a very recent article that concerning said demographics and the EU elections-
Muslim Voters Change Europe
http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/muslim-voters-change-europe/2012/05/17/

Do you deny that Europe, especially highly secular nations, are being rolled over by the Muslim population both by immigration and birth rates? Or do you have a source that can contradict this?

And is it also crazy to think that this would be less likely if Europe had a strong Christian leaning as it had in its not too distant past? No, I think my argument bears out that Christianity was key in keeping Europe alive against the Muslim expansion into Europe. If the RCC was not there to serve as its backbone, Europe would have become Islamic centuries ago.


No, I assert none of this. See my previous answer in this post. But if you'd like, we can use this same correlation between population sizes and religious beliefs to blame religion for the over-population of some areas of the world and our impending inability to feed all these hungry mouths. Thus, every religious child that dies of starvation could be an argument that more offspring doesn't mean better selection if said offspring are unable to live a full, meaningful life.

I think the world you desire is unlikely to come about, although a very nice sentiment, the religious populations will out breed and out maneuver your troop. The way things are going in Europe, seculars are going to have to make some very difficult choices and I doubt they are going to be picking up their guitars and sing kumbaya.


...but there's enough data to show that non-belief is growing, especially in Europe. So it seems like the religious population are simply breeding people right into Atheism. Seculars are in positions to educate the masses and challenge the false mythologies of religion; indeed they've made the smart choice. Maybe a religion-less world isn't too far off?

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Message 1233472 - Posted: 19 May 2012, 15:28:28 UTC - in response to Message 1233294.

I am not against a god or two. I just think people expect too much from her.

Well hurry up and start answering our prayers. ;-)
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Message 1233474 - Posted: 19 May 2012, 15:33:35 UTC

I really wish we had some practicing members of Islam in here. Just so the pro-christians could see that they are not the only game in town. It may be humbling for them to realize that there are other god believers out there whos views do not align with theirs.
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Message 1233475 - Posted: 19 May 2012, 15:35:32 UTC - in response to Message 1233474.

I'd prefer it be a non-Abrahamic religion (Judaism, Christianity and Islam are all based upon the same God of Abraham). What of Buddhists and Taoists?

Message 1233513 - Posted: 19 May 2012, 17:00:55 UTC

well decided/well meaning atheists


The Religion Of The GOOD Person. The GOOD People are More Preachy than The GOD People.

And Thinking/Knowing(LOL) you are Right/Righteous(LOL), does not a GOOD Person Make or A People who will Lead Us To The Promised Land of...what?...A World Without Religion?

ROTFLMAO

Hello Universe! Welcome To Earth. Home Of The GOOD People.

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Message 1233518 - Posted: 19 May 2012, 17:08:33 UTC - in response to Message 1233474.

When I was in college I studied both Islam and Buddhism academically and as a practitioner. I say this with as much of a humble heart as possible for me... ;-) But I know much more about Islam as it relates to its theology and doctrine and even history than most Muslims. In the case of Islam, I practiced as a Muslim for a full year, I did not drink and followed the dietary prescriptions and attended Mosque every Friday on the day or prayer. I have fasted during many a Ramadan. I have read the Quran, and the Hadith and am decently versed in the Sunnah.

Unfortunately, Most practitioners of their cradle religions are not well versed in their own faiths. I have found this to be true of Jews, Christians (especially Catholics), Muslims and Buddhist.

As a seeker I have been dedicated to the quest my entire adult life. And I continue to seek still as I synthesize what I have learned and experienced.

I was not a confirmed Catholic in the RCC until 2005, with myself; my wife and our unborn son were in her belly. It was an amazing experience for all of us. And it continues to be still.

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Message 1233526 - Posted: 19 May 2012, 17:20:16 UTC

I think the reason that atheism appears to be growing is that more people are willing to come out of the closet and admit their skepticism over the concept of God. When the church was in control of everyday life claiming to be an atheist could earn you a one way ticket to an early grave.
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Message 1233529 - Posted: 19 May 2012, 17:27:13 UTC
Last modified: 19 May 2012, 17:32:07 UTC

I can agree with that Bob. Someone else mentioned it, and it's very likely. Especially when (as you said) a couple hundred years back renouncing your faith would have you burned alive or worse.


@CMPO, At least you seem be outside of the box of a singular religion, that I respect. As someone who was raised catholic and has all my sacraments (except priesthood obviously), can I ask what drove you towards picking Catholicism vs. other religions?
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Message 1233575 - Posted: 19 May 2012, 19:34:13 UTC - in response to Message 1233518.

When I was in college I studied both Islam and Buddhism academically and as a practitioner. I say this with as much of a humble heart as possible for me... ;-) But I know much more about Islam as it relates to its theology and doctrine and even history than most Muslims. In the case of Islam, I practiced as a Muslim for a full year, I did not drink and followed the dietary prescriptions and attended Mosque every Friday on the day or prayer. I have fasted during many a Ramadan. I have read the Quran, and the Hadith and am decently versed in the Sunnah.

Unfortunately, Most practitioners of their cradle religions are not well versed in their own faiths. I have found this to be true of Jews, Christians (especially Catholics), Muslims and Buddhist.

As a seeker I have been dedicated to the quest my entire adult life. And I continue to seek still as I synthesize what I have learned and experienced.

I was not a confirmed Catholic in the RCC until 2005, with myself; my wife and our unborn son were in her belly. It was an amazing experience for all of us. And it continues to be still.


What exactly is the RCC. I hope this isn't referring to the Roman Catholic Church.
There is no such animal. Look at their website and check your yellow pages Heck drive by your local Catholic Church. Its Catholic Church. Most of the other variants of Catholicism still look to the main church for guidance. You'll find Polish, Serbian, Coptic, even Greek Orthodoxy, there is even a small Iraqi Catholic Church, etc. all are Catholic.

But my point. You say you investigate and seek knowledge yet insist on using the Derogatory name given the church by Protestants centuries ago. This seems a bit backwards and insulting to me. You wouldn't call a Muslim, a Saudi muslim, they are muslim and may have different sects Shia sunni suffi etc.

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