ForumsWEPRThe Religion Debate Thread

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nichodemus
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nichodemus
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Grand Duke

So yeah, our threads on religion have long since died out, so I figured it would be time to start afresh here!

Do you believe God exists (I know almost all of you don't)? Do you feel religion is important today? Is it a force for good? Discuss everything related to that here!

I'm going to start the ball rolling:

We all know about the rise of ISIS and the terrible acts it perpetuates. Does that show that Islam and religion in general is an awful concept? Is it the people who twist it? Or is it fundamentally an evil force?

Roping in the WERP frequenters
@MageGrayWolf @Kasic @Hahiha @FishPreferred @Doombreed @09philj

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Ntech
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Ntech
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Shepherd

@Boofuss


But why?

Well, for one, the Big Bang did not create itself. It required a quantum fluctuation that required pre-existant forces to occur. Energy and time are related by https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/media/math/render/svg/fe2eb5d5f8e32e2fd788e9549f507d3f97b3838e, thus the Big Bang could not have created time, for it was a rapid expansion in energy, which would in turn require time and a non-zero temperature, both of which would not be present if the Big Bang had created the universe.

@Doombreed


But I am afraid this logic has flaws in itself as well. It could have put the universe in motion, as the first actuality that caused the second, but then the second could simply start causing the rest, with a chain of actualities causing the actions that took place during the Universe's history and then ceasing to exist once their role is finished.

As I said, even if the Big Bang did create the universe, something had to create the forces necessary to sustain the quantum fluctuations that sustained the Big Bang.


The amoeba that Fish showed in a previous post is a good example. Other than that, it could very well be the Big Bang, according to physics.

The amoeba does not put itself in motion: it is put in motion by gravity, and is affected by the laws of physics, besides other things.


Again, science is saying that time might as well have started with the Big Bang.

As I earlier pointed out, the Big Bang which required quantum fluctuations (quantum fluctuations require time, energy, among other forces) is supposed to have created the forces which it relied upon. One cannot harness what you create before you create it.

HahiHa
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HahiHa
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Well, for one, the Big Bang did not create itself.

How do you know?
HahiHa
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HahiHa
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Regent

@Moegreche

Hm, yeah. I think this is what Fish was suggesting at the end of his post. This argument is either going to commit a special pleading fallacy or just be entirely question-begging.

But what if I make this move: instead of assuming that god exists (which would definitely be question-begging), let's make the following claim:
If a god does exist, then it would do so as a self-existent being.

Does that seem like a reasonable move to make? I feel like a god (at least, one that can create universes) would definitely have this property.


It is a reasonable move to make, but I don't see this leading anywhere. If the Flying Spaghetti Monster exists, then we are all Touched by His Noodly Appendages.

The point I am trying to get to is that, unlike what Ntech claimed, the mere existence of reality is not logically proof of God's existence.
nichodemus
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nichodemus
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I have a question.

Even if a God/Gods/a higher entity exists, does that necessarily mean we have to revere it?

Doombreed
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Doombreed
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As I said, even if the Big Bang did create the universe, something had to create the forces necessary to sustain the quantum fluctuations that sustained the Big Bang.

No something might simply not have had to create those forces.

The amoeba does not put itself in motion: it is put in motion by gravity, and is affected by the laws of physics, besides other things.

It can still move, and it does not move solely by gravity. If that were the case, it would be completely in thrall to gravity, going only downwards, unable to move itself at all. That's clearly not the case.

As I earlier pointed out, the Big Bang which required quantum fluctuations (quantum fluctuations require time, energy, among other forces) is supposed to have created the forces which it relied upon. One cannot harness what you create before you create it.

No, what science is saying, is that those might simply have been around DURING the Big Bang. As before the Big Bang might not even exist as we know it, it could have started, and then the fluctuations and other physics laws came into being/started applying to the universe as we know it, and sustained it. What if The forces of the universe required to sustain that event came into place after it started, but before it ended? The Big Bang was probably not a momentary explosion. All that the Big Bang assumes is that the Universe was in a very high density and very high temperature state. I can't even say that it was in that state before the Big Bang. It might have even been during the Big Bang, for the simple reason that if time itself started with the Big Bang, again, there is no before the Big Bang.

Even if a God/Gods/a higher entity exists, does that necessarily mean we have to revere it?

I am of the mind that we don't. A lot of theological theories assume the presence of a much more passive God. Spiritually speaking, if said being exists, I doubt it keeps being actively involved in the Universe. It seems much more probable that God, even Christianity's god, would "jumpstart" the Universe (possibly not even create it, just put in motion some of the events), became actively involved for a bit to show the way when mankind was still a younger species, but gradually withdraw. See how we fare on our own. If you believe in such things, judgement has to necessarily take place after death, but it is on a more individual basis. We wouldn't be judged as a species. At least, theoretically obviously

FishPreferred
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You are getting confused. Time has always existed in that it is a concept that humans apply to keep track of the movement of potentialities into actualities.
1 People can believe different things without being confused.
2 Humans have not always existed.
3 There is no "movement of potentialities into actualities". That's an utterly nonsensical statement.

Time cannot be taken seriously into this argument because it is just a concept and not a force, and as such, cannot justify your argument that time was "created."
The universe is not a force. Therefore, you cannot justify your argument that the universe was "created".

As it is impossible for there to be an infinate set of sequences which has started the universe in motion, only a self-existant Creature could explain what Is.
1 False Dichotomy. There doesn't need to be any "start" to the universe. There isn't any need for a "self-existant Creature".
2 A "self-existant Creature" does not explain anything. "God did it" is not an explanation, it is a thought-terminating cliché.

God is not an exception to the rule that everything is put in motion by another, but God is put in motion by Himself, and thus He is self-existant.
1 You keep saying that He's self-existant; this is unsupportable.
2 If God is not an exception, God is not necessary. I refer you to my statement on cheese.

This has no relevance whatsoever to my argument. I use the universe to show that it can only exist if something has put it in motion, and since nothing but a self-existant Being (one that puts Himself in motion and requires no previous mover) could have done such - because everything is put in motion by another - that Being exists and I call Him God.
1 You fail to show that or anything like it. You only claim that. Repeatedly. Against all logic.
2 That has no relevance to your argument because it isn't a response to your argument.

1) Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
2) The Universe began to exist.
3) Therefore, the Universe had a cause.
4) A first cause must exist.
5) That first cause did not have a cause - it caused itself.
6) That cause is God.
2 is completely unfounded and 4 is impossible, so the entire argument falls apart.

Well, because the universe as we know it is not self-existing.
If you narrowly (and, some might say, erroneously) define "self-existing" as being caused by itself, sure.

Well, for one, the Big Bang did not create itself. It required a quantum fluctuation that required pre-existant forces to occur. Energy and time are related by https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/media/math/render/svg/fe2eb5d5f8e32e2fd788e9549f507d3f97b3838e, thus the Big Bang could not have created time, for it was a rapid expansion in energy, which would in turn require time and a non-zero temperature, both of which would not be present if the Big Bang had created the universe.
Proof by assertion.

The amoeba does not put itself in motion: it is put in motion by gravity, and is affected by the laws of physics, besides other things.
. . . ? In what sense is the amoeba not moving itself?

As I earlier pointed out, the Big Bang which required quantum fluctuations (quantum fluctuations require time, energy, among other forces) is supposed to have created the forces which it relied upon. One cannot harness what you create before you create it.
As I earlier pointed out, proof by assertion.

@Moegreche
Why can't we say that it's part of god's nature to be self-existent? I mean, that's the role that god is meant to be playing here--an unmoved mover who's capable of creating an entire universe out of nothing.
Because that's tautological. If I define Snobgobgyz'zaz as an extradimensional panentheistic deity who is capable of creating a god out of nothing, does it follow that Snobgobgyz'zaz created God?

Does that seem like a reasonable move to make? I feel like a god (at least, one that can create universes) would definitely have this property.
Not if a self-existent almighty entity creates another almighty entity and only the latter creates the universe.

@nichodemus
Even if a God/Gods/a higher entity exists, does that necessarily mean we have to revere it?
No. For the existing universe to be the creation of some almighty being, that being can only be a sadistic tyrant and/or totally incompetent.
Ntech
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Ntech
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@Hahiha


How do you know?

Look at my proof that the Big Bang required pre-existing matter that it did not create.


The point I am trying to get to is that, unlike what Ntech claimed, the mere existence of reality is not logically proof of God's existence.

On the contrary, the existance of reality points to the Creator.

@nichodemus


Even if a God/Gods/a higher entity exists, does that necessarily mean we have to revere it?

Well, it would make sense to revere the one who created us, especially since He holds the balance between life and death, and even life after death.

@Doombreed


No something might simply not have had to create those forces.

Then those forces were pre-existant? Impossible.


It can still move, and it does not move solely by gravity. If that were the case, it would be completely in thrall to gravity, going only downwards, unable to move itself at all. That's clearly not the case.

I am pointing out that it is not wholly self-existant in that it relies upon exterior forces to move.


No, what science is saying, is that those might simply have been around DURING the Big Bang. As before the Big Bang might not even exist as we know it, it could have started, and then the fluctuations and other physics laws came into being/started applying to the universe as we know it, and sustained it.

That makes no sense. "It could have started." What started it?


A lot of theological theories assume the presence of a much more passive God. Spiritually speaking, if said being exists, I doubt it keeps being actively involved in the Universe. It seems much more probable that God, even Christianity's god, would "jumpstart" the Universe (possibly not even create it, just put in motion some of the events), became actively involved for a bit to show the way when mankind was still a younger species, but gradually withdraw.

No. He created the universe to test man: man is only worthy of heaven if he can prove himself faithful to His Creator. God placed many challenged to man: 'proofs' of His non-existance, vices that contradict His commandments, etc. so that there would be many opportunities for man to prove himself worthy of heaven or hell.

@Fishpreferred


1 People can believe different things without being confused.
2 Humans have not always existed.
3 There is no "movement of potentialities into actualities". That's an utterly nonsensical statement.

1. I did not say they could not.
2. I have not denied their creation.
3. Everything is the movement of the potential into the actual. Think about it. I type a key by moving the potential motion of typing into the actual motion of typing by harnessing exterior and internal forces.


Proof by assertion.

What does that prove?


In what sense is the amoeba not moving itself?

In that it is not wholly self-reliant and the forces it harnesses are not self-contained.


Because that's tautological. If I define Snobgobgyz'zaz as an extradimensional panentheistic deity who is capable of creating a god out of nothing, does it follow that Snobgobgyz'zaz created God?

There can only be one God for if a "god" was created, then it cannot be "god" for God is self-existing and was not created.


Not if a self-existent almighty entity creates another almighty entity and only the latter creates the universe.

A "almighty entity" is not a self-existing entity, which we are talking about.


No. For the existing universe to be the creation of some almighty being, that being can only be a sadistic tyrant and/or totally incompetent.

How dare you insult God. The universe is a test for mankind, an illusion of sorts, a test for the soul. The soul controls a body, let's see what it does to judge wether we should let it enter heaven or hell.

HahiHa
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HahiHa
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Look at my proof that the Big Bang required pre-existing matter that it did not create.

What proof? There is no proof. Do you really assert that somehow, sitting in front of your PC at home, you know something even particle physicists don't know?

On the contrary, the existance of reality points to the Creator.

Again, no it doesn't because it requires an assumption to be true.
FishPreferred
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FishPreferred
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Duke

Then those forces were pre-existant? Impossible.
No, it isn't.

I am pointing out that it is not wholly self-existant in that it relies upon exterior forces to move.
Whereas I am pointing out that its movement is initiated by an internal sequence.

He created the universe to test man: man is only worthy of heaven if he can prove himself faithful to His Creator.
Well, that's utterly stupid of Him. Look, I'm sorry, but why would man need to prove himself worthy? Why doesn't God already know if man is worthy, and why can't God just make man worthy if he isn't already?

God placed many challenged to man: 'proofs' of His non-existance, vices that contradict His commandments, etc. so that there would be many opportunities for man to prove himself worthy of heaven or hell.
God deliberately deceives humans and gives them every reason not to believe that He exists just so He can shunt them off to eternal ****ation when they reach the most logical conclusion? Why? You must realise that makes no sense whatsoever.

3. Everything is the movement of the potential into the actual. Think about it. I type a key by moving the potential motion of typing into the actual motion of typing by harnessing exterior and internal forces.
Here's the main problem: You're ineffectively trying to make a first cause necessary through deterministic causality, yet you're invoking Aristotelian indeterminism in an attempt to make that first cause into God. Deterministically, there is no first cause, because there can be no reason or impetus for such a thing. Indeterministically, anything could be the first cause by nature of spontaneous actuation.
The secondary problems are that a) "movement" is a misnomer when discussing causation itself, and b) attributing the action of you typing to yourself alone is a causal oversimplification.

What does that prove?
It doesn't, which is the point.

In that it is not wholly self-reliant and the forces it harnesses are not self-contained.
What do you mean by "self-reliant" and "self-contained", then? It appears as though these should be as true for an amoeba as they are for a god.

There can only be one God for if a "god" was created, then it cannot be "god" for God is self-existing and was not created.
And THAT is tautological. What you are saying is "God was not created because God is a non-created thing". Besides, who ever said Snobgobgyz'zaz was a mere god?

A "almighty entity" is not a self-existing entity, which we are talking about.
Exactly.

How dare you insult God. The universe is a test for mankind, an illusion of sorts, a test for the soul. The soul controls a body, let's see what it does to judge wether we should let it enter heaven or hell.
A necessary truth is not an insult. Don't you get it? A perfect and worthy god would have done the job right in the first place. A perfect creation does not need to be tested for flaws (or put through eternal suffering for having flaws that were intentionally built into it for no valid reason, but that's another matter).
Ntech
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Ntech
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@Hahiha


What proof?

I demonstrated before that quantum fluctuations require preexistant forces.


No, it isn't.

Please explain to me how forces were used to create themselves.


Whereas I am pointing out that its movement is initiated by an internal sequence.

But it is not wholly reliant upon those internal sequences.


Well, that's utterly stupid of Him. Look, I'm sorry, but why would man need to prove himself worthy? Why doesn't God already know if man is worthy, and why can't God just make man worthy if he isn't already?

Well, man needs to merit heaven, for only the holy may go there. Second, God knows everything but wants us to see for ourselves the faults we have, and if He sends us to hell, at least we will know that we deserved it. Third, God is Good and gives everyone free will. He cannot make someone worthy all of a sudden, if one's will is against it or if one's will is not worthy.


God deliberately deceives humans and gives them every reason not to believe that He exists just so He can shunt them off to eternal ****ation when they reach the most logical conclusion? Why? You must realise that makes no sense whatsoever.

He does not deceive them: He has given so much proof. But He allows the devil to mislead them, that they may be tested and may merit heaven by their upholding of His Truths.


Here's the main problem: You're ineffectively trying to make a first cause necessary through deterministic causality, yet you're invoking Aristotelian indeterminism in an attempt to make that first cause into God. Deterministically, there is no first cause, because there can be no reason or impetus for such a thing. Indeterministically, anything could be the first cause by nature of spontaneous actuation.
The secondary problems are that a) "movement" is a misnomer when discussing causation itself, and b) attributing the action of you typing to yourself alone is a causal oversimplification.

Through reason alone, we can determine a first cause necessary.


What do you mean by "self-reliant" and "self-contained", then? It appears as though these should be as true for an amoeba as they are for a god.

By self-reliant and self-contained I mean a Creature that is not acted upon or modified by any force.


And THAT is tautological. What you are saying is "God was not created because God is a non-created thing". Besides, who ever said Snobgobgyz'zaz was a mere god?

I do not care what term you have came up with. The Truth remains the Truth.


Exactly.

I was pointing out that there can only be one God, for God is the First One, there can be no other.


A necessary truth is not an insult. Don't you get it? A perfect and worthy god would have done the job right in the first place. A perfect creation does not need to be tested for flaws (or put through eternal suffering for having flaws that were intentionally built into it for no valid reason, but that's another matter).

NO. God is so Good that He gives us free will. He does not want us to be like robots, he gives us the opportunity to make up our minds. He is so Good that He allows us to hurt Him.

HahiHa
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HahiHa
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I demonstrated before that quantum fluctuations require preexistant forces.

1. You never came up with quantum fluctuations. We (mostly Doombreed) told you that as far as we know, this was what was commonly thought to be the cause of the Big Bang among physicists. Or at least it certainly was at some point. Since then you have been claiming this as if it was factual.

2. You proposed that according to the principle of causality, the Big Bang must have been caused by something and thus cannot be self-caused, which is a very reasonable assumption. It is not proof of anything, as our current technology cannot give us information of anything that happened before the Big Bang. We do not know. We cannot yet know.

The interesting thing here is that we don't really understand how causality works on the quantum level. The assumption is that there must be causality because there is on the level of conventional physics, but we don't even know for sure if that's true. If you're interested I found this and this article that give a superficial peek into the debate. I think this is interesting because if we assume that causality works differently on the quantum level, the Big Bang could very well be its own cause.

He is so Good that He allows us to hurt Him.

That's bad parenting. Also masochism.
No but in all seriousness, being good =/= letting everything happen. What you described here is a deity that loves us so much that it doesn't care for us; it doesn't care. We're free to do whatever we want, but we will be eternally tortured if we happen to do something that a deity (a being so different to us that we cannot understand it) has arbitrary standards against? If a deity like that existed, I would not feel compelled to worship it.
Ntech
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Ntech
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@Hahiha


You never came up with quantum fluctuations. We (mostly Doombreed) told you that as far as we know, this was what was commonly thought to be the cause of the Big Bang among physicists. Or at least it certainly was at some point. Since then you have been claiming this as if it was factual.

I am just disproving the Big Bang by using your definition of it.


which is a very reasonable assumption.

Thankyou. Also, I thought those links were interesting.


That's bad parenting.

No, He loves us just as much as He loves Himself, that's why he lets us hurt Him.


loves us so much that it doesn't care for us; it doesn't care.

On the contrary, He loves us.


We're free to do whatever we want, but we will be eternally tortured if we happen to do something that a deity (a being so different to us that we cannot understand it) has arbitrary standards against?

God is not supersensitive. No, God is pure Good and as such, nobody that bears the slightest trace of evil may enter heaven; He cannot tolerate evil. In addition, He gives us commandments not to impair what we can do but to test our loyalty in Him. We have to be worthy to enter heaven.

HahiHa
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HahiHa
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Regent

I am just disproving the Big Bang by using your definition of it.

Wait what? I must have missed something because I don't remember you trying to argue against the Big Bang ever happening.

Also you cannot disprove something (like the cause of the Big Bang) if there are no proofs for or against it. What you do is argue for a particular point using assumptions. It's semantics, but it's important. Please understand that.
Ntech
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Wait what? I must have missed something because I don't remember you trying to argue against the Big Bang ever happening.

I am saying that I was proving that the Big Bang could not have been the First Mover.

FishPreferred
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Duke

I demonstrated before that quantum fluctuations require preexistant forces.
No, you didn't.

Please explain to me how forces were used to create themselves.
No, because that's an obvious presupposition. Forces were not "created". Forces exist and always have.

Well, man needs to merit heaven, for only the holy may go there.
You're begging the question again. You stated one thing and then, instead of justifying it, stated it again with some rewording.

Second, God knows everything but wants us to see for ourselves the faults we have, [...]
Why? What conceivable purpose is there for that?

[...] and if He sends us to hell, at least we will know that we deserved it.
Well, no. We can't deserve punishment for something that's been forced upon us through duplicity and outright sabotage.

Third, God is Good and gives everyone free will.
1 If God is good, He is necessarily incompetent.
2 Our free will is irrelevant. It has nothing to do with what God is or is not justified in doing.

He cannot make someone worthy all of a sudden, if one's will is against it or if one's will is not worthy.
Why can't He make a person's will worthy?

He does not deceive them: He has given so much proof.
1 He has given no proof whatsoever. Proof would mean we'd have nothing to discuss beyond "Hey did you notice [insert proof here]?" "Why no, but I see it now. It's clear that God is undisputably real." *thread goes inactive for 6 years until necro'd by RandomTroll83* "gr8 prufs dud lolz" *thread locked*
2 If He doesn't deceive people, how is He giving them "'proofs' of His non-existance"?

But He allows the devil to mislead them, that they may be tested and may merit heaven by their upholding of His Truths.
Why? It makes no sense to put anything to such a test, especially if you already know the necessary result.

Through reason alone, we can determine a first cause necessary.
Yet, as you have clearly demonstrated, you can't.

By self-reliant and self-contained I mean a Creature that is not acted upon or modified by any force.
In that case, we can conclude that God's self-existence is either
a) inert, meaning that He has no interaction with the physical world, or b) spontaneous, meaning that He cannot choose His actions, but simply does them without thinking. I'm not sure which would be the better option here.

I do not care what term you have came up with. The Truth remains the Truth.
And the tautology remains unsupported.

NO. God is so Good that He gives us free will. He does not want us to be like robots, he gives us the opportunity to make up our minds. He is so Good that He allows us to hurt Him.
1 What do robots have to do with anything?
2 In what way does this contradict what I pointed out? Aside from the "NO" part, I mean.

I am just disproving the Big Bang by using your definition of it.
No, you aren't.

No, He loves us just as much as He loves Himself, that's why he lets us hurt Him.
1 Why would He even give us reason to hurt Him?
2 How can an almighty transcendent being be hurt by ... well, anything?

On the contrary, He loves us.
Ipse dixit.

No, God is pure Good and as such, nobody that bears the slightest trace of evil may enter heaven; He cannot tolerate evil.
Then He shouldn't have made it.

I am saying that I was proving that the Big Bang could not have been the First Mover.
And HahiHa was saying that, no, in fact, you aren't proving that.
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