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Author Topic: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand  (Read 21630 times)

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #60 on: February 23, 2017, 11:20:33 AM »

...I also see a growing, popular blind faith in anything labeled as science... It is the new religion and like any religion it has its zealots and priests...

+1

Rob C

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #61 on: February 23, 2017, 11:54:32 AM »

Quote from: N80 on Today at 11:12:13 AM

  "  ...I also see a growing, popular blind faith in anything labeled as science... It is the new religion and like any religion it has its zealots and priests..."

That's neat: brought the topic right back to digital photography!

Rob

N80

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #62 on: February 23, 2017, 12:33:14 PM »

Quote from: N80 on Today at 11:12:13 AM

  "  ...I also see a growing, popular blind faith in anything labeled as science... It is the new religion and like any religion it has its zealots and priests..."

That's neat: brought the topic right back to digital photography!

Rob

Good one, Rob! My D750 sits on a little alter with tiny little Nikon flags, some candles and burning incense beside it. All I have to do is point and shoot. It even knows what people's faces look like so not only does it know how I want the picture exposed, it knows what I want it to take a picture of. If ever science was deserving of worship, behold, the D750.

This has been a great discussion and I hope to come back to it but tonight I have Scotch and Philosophy Club (no kidding, its great, and the best thing is there is no philosophy at all!) and then tomorrow I'm off for a few days of vacation.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2017, 12:36:21 PM by N80 »
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George

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #63 on: February 23, 2017, 01:13:27 PM »

... nothing in the history of mankind compares to the carnage wrought on humanity and this planet in the twentieth century and none of it in the name of god or any other entity other than secularism and humanism. So yes, people use religion for horrible things. Always have, always will. But so far, nothing compares to what we've done in the name of godlessness.

What are these terrible things done in the name of secularism (the alternative of which is theocracy) & humanism, or just plain godlessness? Hitler was deeply religious, and his persecution of the Jews stemmed directly from that age old Catholic nonsense sometimes referred to as the Blood Libel. Stalin persecuted people in the name of his twisted cult of personality, and Pol Pot in the name of his twisted version of communism. So far as I can tell, no one does something in the name of something they lack belief in. If you can point me to those who've done horrible things in the name of religious tolerance & plurality (secularism) or humanism, I'd be interested.

AnthonyM

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #64 on: February 23, 2017, 02:13:27 PM »

Some thoughts.

Hitler's hatred of the Jews was not based on Catholicism.  It was based on his twisted interpretation of German history, not least the events around the end of WW1.

Stalin and Pol Pot were not motivated by religion.  They had belief systems, but these were secular, not religious.

Theist interpretations of nature have been repeatedly disproved.  Less knowledgeable societies attributed many natural phenomena to divine intervention.  We now know better, thanks to science.

Science has driven religion back to the pre-Big Bang status of Prime Mover, originally posited by Aristotle.  "Everything has a cause, so there must be something which did not have a cause."  That thing must be separate from nature, but able to have an impact on nature.  Hmmm.

This does not mean that there exists, today, the supernatural being that kicked off the Big Bang.  It could (wittingly or otherwise) have eliminated itself in creating the Big Bang. 

Or, as Stephen Hawking thinks, the Universe could have created itself.

It is futile, in our present state of knowledge, to try to disprove the existence of a divine being.  If something does not exist, how can one find evidence for it not existing?  It is more fruitful to examine religious beliefs, and try to determine whether or not these are man made. 

As there are very many religions, sincerely believed by their adherents, this will take some time.  But there are clues in internal inconsistencies, founders who benefit in terms of money, power or access to female sexual services.  There are also clues in studying how a new religion incorporates beliefs from existing religions.

Perhaps religious belief has been important in the evolution of humanity.  There is evidence which can be interpreted as religious behaviour by chimpanzees.  So why not humans?
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Chairman Bill

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #65 on: February 23, 2017, 02:22:48 PM »

So much to answer, so I'll limit it just a few. The problem with replying is compounded by the fact that the forum software shows me what you've said in response to my comments, but not my original comments. It a) makes replying difficult, and b) makes any reply potentially confusing to anyone not following the argument in the first place. If there's any one point you really want me to address, let me know.

I don't know what you mean about that. Maybe its a matter of semantics but science is all about dealing with proof.
It absolutely is not. Science will offer disproofs - one black swan disproves the assertion that all swans are white. Proof on the other hand, is anathema to science. Proof would require absolute knowledge, and no chance of any confounding data. In such circumstances, science would stop.

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... there is not a total absence of evidence for a creator.
Evidence for, requires that the evidence is unambiguous & incontrovertible. If you have evidence for a creator, let's hear it.

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... And to date there is no scientific, mathematical or philosophical conclusive evidence that god does not exist. If you think you know of such evidence then let's have it.
There's no evidence that pixies don't exist either. Nor Three-toed Snortiblogs, nor an invisible teapot orbiting the earth. In fact, the evidence for the absence of all manner of things is lacking.

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No, the Kalam Cosmological Argument will do just fine. Once you've explained it away then I'll worship at the same alter as you.
Seriously? It's as full of holes as Pascal's Wager. The KCA falls at it's original premise.

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That is a shockingly poor misrepresentation of the man who pretty much single handedly transformed the modern study of philosophy.
Plantinga is an educated idiot. I have read his stuff, and it is woeful. If you want my reasoning for saying this, and you want the KCA taken apart, let me know.

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So I believe it rests with you. The OP had a feeling. You explained it away with "shit happens". You made the positive claim which in is essence is that nothing exists outside of what science can test for. And you have no proof to support your assumption. But if you wish to turn it around and say that the OP claimed that god exists, fine. But you'd be wrong. He didn't. He claimed he had a feeling. You'll have a hard time disproving that. Still and yet, if you wish to turn it around and say that I have claimed the existence of god, then again, I think you are wrong (I say I think because maybe I did and don't remember). That's fine too if you want me to make the claim so that I can defend it. I don't mind.
I offered an alternative take on the explanation for his experience. Maybe you don't like alternatives. Inherent in the idea of a 'guiding hand', is the supernatural, for which there is not one iota of evidence. My explanation was rational & grounded in observable reality. If you want to argue for the supernatural explanation, have at it. Bend some spoons.

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I'll concede that we live in the land of the offended. But to equate a belief in god with believing in pixies is insulting
You choose to be insulted by it, but the belief is the same; that a supernatural entity exists. Gods & pixies are of a kind. The claimed powers & abilities of one might be more fanciful than the other, but they are just variations on a theme. If that fact bothers you, that's really your problem, not mine.

stamper

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #66 on: February 23, 2017, 02:24:50 PM »

The best description of religion I have read is that it is a psychological crutch.

Jeremy Roussak

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #67 on: February 23, 2017, 02:37:41 PM »

Not at all, Rob. Beliefs are not chosen. They arise as a result of causes and conditioning. A Muslim is a Muslim because he/she was raised in a Muslim family and sent to a Muslim school, and a Christian is a Christian because he/she was raised in a Christian family and probably repeated the Lord's Prayer every morning at school.

That's nonsense. Of course beliefs can be chosen. For one example, see here.

Jeremy
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(formerly kikashi)

N80

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #68 on: February 23, 2017, 03:13:29 PM »

What are these terrible things done in the name of secularism (the alternative of which is theocracy) & humanism, or just plain godlessness? Hitler was deeply religious, and his persecution of the Jews stemmed directly from that age old Catholic nonsense sometimes referred to as the Blood Libel. Stalin persecuted people in the name of his twisted cult of personality, and Pol Pot in the name of his twisted version of communism. So far as I can tell, no one does something in the name of something they lack belief in. If you can point me to those who've done horrible things in the name of religious tolerance & plurality (secularism) or humanism, I'd be interested.

The point was made that lots of bad things were done in the name of religion. I pointed out that far worse things were done in the name of other things than religion.  If you want to call what Pol Pott believed in "religion" that's fine but then that encompasses all belief structures as religion which makes any reference to it rather pointless. Hitler was not deeply religious. Hitler used various fanciful conflations to justify his deeds including racism, nationalism, Aryanism, and various Wagnerian/Neitschian theories. To call the Nazis a religious group is not supportable, to call Hitler deeply religious is unsupportable. From his beginnings in the 1930's he sought to remove all forms of religion from the German culture going as far as outlawing church based sports clubs. So, try again. You also failed to mention Mao.

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If you can point me to those who've done horrible things in the name of religious tolerance & plurality (secularism) or humanism, I'd be interested.

That is totally beside the point. I did not assert that there weren't good atheists, humanists, etc. My assertion is that far greater atrocities have been committed for reasons other than religion than those committed in the name of religion. It is a point that cannot be argued.
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George

"What is truth?" Pontius  Pilate

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #69 on: February 23, 2017, 03:22:43 PM »

Some thoughts.

Theist interpretations of nature have been repeatedly disproved.  Less knowledgeable societies attributed many natural phenomena to divine intervention.  We now know better, thanks to science.

And many, scientific interpretations of nature have repeatedly been disproved (by other science) as well, right?

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Science has driven religion back to the pre-Big Bang status of Prime Mover, originally posited by Aristotle.  "Everything has a cause, so there must be something which did not have a cause."  That thing must be separate from nature, but able to have an impact on nature.  Hmmm.

Hmmm what? Do you know the answer? 

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Or, as Stephen Hawking thinks, the Universe could have created itself.

Well, that sounds more ridiculous than God to me. It is also outside the purview of science to prove or disprove which puts it in the very same category and theism. And if it were true it just means the universe=god. Again, science becomes its own religion.

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It is more fruitful to examine religious beliefs, and try to determine whether or not these are man made.

That might be interesting from an anthropological standpoint but how man understands or misunderstands something is hardly valuable as proof that that something does not exist. We could study how man came to his various mistaken ideas about gravity. That would not change the nature of gravity. But Freud pretty much beat that horse to death years ago.
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George

"What is truth?" Pontius  Pilate

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #70 on: February 23, 2017, 03:35:23 PM »

So much to answer, so I'll limit it just a few. The problem with replying is compounded by the fact that the forum software shows me what you've said in response to my comments, but not my original comments. It a) makes replying difficult, and b) makes any reply potentially confusing to anyone not following the argument in the first place. I

Agreed.

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It absolutely is not. Science will offer disproofs - one black swan disproves the assertion that all swans are white. Proof on the other hand, is anathema to science. Proof would require absolute knowledge, and no chance of any confounding data. In such circumstances, science would stop.

Disagree. What is this compound? Apply tests. Rule out all other possibilities. It is gold. Or it is lead. Proof that it is nothing else. Drop a ball in a vacuum. It falls every time. At the same speed. Proof of a constant.

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If you have evidence for a creator, let's hear it.

That is not the topic at hand. It is a diversion. Its a good topic, but start it in another thread. This one it too muddled already.

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Seriously? It's as full of holes as Pascal's Wager. The KCA falls at it's original premise.

Again, you make statements without proof. Show me a single hole in the argument. Ball is in your court.
 
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Plantinga is an educated idiot.

Wow. I guess all the accolades from Notre Dame and other universities were idiotic too. Yes, Notre Dame is a Cahtolic school. But Plantinga is a reformed protestant, so that won't fly either. You're embarrassing yourself.

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I have read his stuff, and it is woeful.

Then you do not understand it. Show me one thing about it that is woeful.

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If you want my reasoning for saying this, and you want the KCA taken apart, let me know.

Go. Challenge accepted. No more dithering. No more subjective assertions without proof. Take it apart. Don't delay.

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George

"What is truth?" Pontius  Pilate

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #71 on: February 23, 2017, 05:18:57 PM »

Anyone have any interesting coincidences happen in their life as big as the cosmos?

As big as the cosmos?  I doubt it :-)  The only incident that might fall under your original concept was as a teenager, with my dad, we were on the family sheep station shooting (just at logs and rocks and such).  We had a .22 and a .243.  Anyway, the .243 jammed and wasn't easily cleared.  Rather than take the small risk of fiddling with it in the open paddock, we fired the last few rounds from the .22 and headed back to the homestead.  As we got in the car (about 50 or 60 yards away), lightning struck right where we had been.  Big burned patch, smoke, the works.  We may or may not have been killed had we been there, or having been there may have meant the lightning wouldn't have struck.  I don't know.  We laughed, shrugged, and headed in.
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Phil Brown

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #72 on: February 23, 2017, 05:48:31 PM »

As big as the cosmos?  I doubt it :-)  The only incident that might fall under your original concept was as a teenager, with my dad, we were on the family sheep station shooting (just at logs and rocks and such).  We had a .22 and a .243.  Anyway, the .243 jammed and wasn't easily cleared.  Rather than take the small risk of fiddling with it in the open paddock, we fired the last few rounds from the .22 and headed back to the homestead.  As we got in the car (about 50 or 60 yards away), lightning struck right where we had been.  Big burned patch, smoke, the works.  We may or may not have been killed had we been there, or having been there may have meant the lightning wouldn't have struck.  I don't know.  We laughed, shrugged, and headed in.


That one's easy: you simply thank your lucky stars. No messing about with the supernatural... just rely on astronomy to lead the way.

;-)

Rob C
« Last Edit: February 24, 2017, 04:12:44 AM by Rob C »
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Farmer

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #73 on: February 23, 2017, 05:50:02 PM »

I thought of thanking Winchester for average quality control on their munitions production :-)
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Phil Brown

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #74 on: February 23, 2017, 05:54:37 PM »

I just wanted to throw in a couple of other things since I'm going to be headed out of town (and leaving my computer at home).

Someone suggested that religious people are arrogant. Obviously a stereotype but I'll accept it at face value. The funny thing is, the Christians I know, even very mature and devout ones deal with doubt regularly. They will tell you that by God's good grace, and nothing that they have done, they have been convicted by their faith. Maybe some see that as arrogance because they have the nerve to believe that they know a central truth. Yet, most of them openly admit that they struggle with doubt.

On the other hand, I experience people here, and elsewhere who virtually bristle when faith or god is mentioned. They seem to have an unshakeable faith that science has all the answers and that anyone who doesn't get that is prone to believing in just any old thing and is probably uneducated and unsophisticated. That is a paradox isn't it? To decry someone's faith as arrogance and yet willingly, knowingly and purposefully belittle them for it.

And that brings me to my second thought which is a demand for evidence of god from people who readily admit that science cannot tell us anything at all about god, and demand it even when no one is trying to force or even defend that belief. It is incongruous.

But, as evidence I will submit a tiny bit, however weak it may be. Invoking a famous name as proof of something is not much more than a parlor trick. And to be clear, I'm not offering proof, I'm offering evidence. Weak evidence but evidence that should, nonetheless at least give pause to someone who is certain that to believe in a deity is as irrational as believing in pixies.

Einstein was a deist.
Newton was a Christian
Heisenberg said, “The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.”
Louis Pasteur, a Christian, said,""a bit of science distances one from God, but much science nears one to Him. The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator."
There are many, many more.

No, this does not prove that God exists. No, it is not even much by way of evidence. But at the same time is it valid to suggest that these are the types of men who believe in the fanciful or things for which there is absolutely no evidence?

Again, not proselytizing here. I'm not trying to change anyone's beliefs. I'm just suggesting that it might be a bit unfair to dismiss out of hand (and often in unkind ways), the beliefs of others, especially when you have nothing with which to disprove them?
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George

"What is truth?" Pontius  Pilate

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #75 on: February 23, 2017, 05:56:22 PM »

I thought of thanking Winchester for average quality control on their munitions production :-)

Or could it have been a .243 (a Ruger maybe?) that had not been as well cleaned as it should be....? ;)
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George

"What is truth?" Pontius  Pilate

Chairman Bill

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #76 on: February 23, 2017, 06:16:40 PM »

...
Show me a single hole in the argument. Ball is in your court.
 
Wow. I guess all the accolades from Notre Dame and other universities were idiotic too. Yes, Notre Dame is a Cahtolic school. But Plantinga is a reformed protestant, so that won't fly either. You're embarrassing yourself.

Then you do not understand it. Show me one thing about it that is woeful.

Go. Challenge accepted. No more dithering. No more subjective assertions without proof. Take it apart. Don't delay.

OK. The Kalam Cosmological Argument (hereafter KCA), for those not up to speed on this aspect of supernaturalist apologetics, goes like this;

1) Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
2) The universe began to exist.
3) Therefore, the universe has a cause.

The first mistake is the assertion that the universe began to exist. Well we don't actually know that to be the case. The universe may have existed forever. The physics tells us that everything winds back to a point at which the science begins to break down, the so-called 'singularity' that preceded the cosmic expansion known as the Big Bang. Science can't reliably go back any further, because there's no evidence, and because the mathematics results in a singularity, which is physics-speak for "we have no idea what this means, other than we know it tells us that we need a new mathematics". The conditions prior to the cosmic expansion, may have persisted for eternity. There may have been an eternal process of expansion & contraction. Because point 2 doesn't necessarily stand, point 3 does not necessarily follow. Now, modern apologists like William Lane Craig, who put together the KCA, offers a proof of the second point, namely;

2.1) An infinite temporal regress of events would constitute an actual infinite.
2.2) An actual infinite cannot exist.
2.3) Therefore an infinite temporal regress of events cannot exist.

The thing is, Craig's invisible magic friend is said to be omniscient, which means he knows that Craig has said that an actual infinite cannot exist. Being omniscient, he also knows that he knows this. Further, he knows that he knows that he knows. And if he is omniscient, that knowledge continues ad infinitum. What is more, God must know an infinite number of things, which Craig says can't be the case. We're left with a choice; either this God character doesn't exist, or 2.2 is incorrect, in which case the KCA falls.

As for Plantinga, PZ Myers does a pretty good job of undermining his alleged brilliance, and frankly, I can't out-do Myers in this, so ... http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/05/29/alvin-plantinga-gives-philosop/

Rand47

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #77 on: February 23, 2017, 08:10:56 PM »

What are these terrible things done in the name of secularism (the alternative of which is theocracy) & humanism, or just plain godlessness? Hitler was deeply religious, and his persecution of the Jews stemmed directly from that age old Catholic nonsense sometimes referred to as the Blood Libel. Stalin persecuted people in the name of his twisted cult of personality, and Pol Pot in the name of his twisted version of communism. So far as I can tell, no one does something in the name of something they lack belief in. If you can point me to those who've done horrible things in the name of religious tolerance & plurality (secularism) or humanism, I'd be interested.

Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao - you claim these are not secular?  Not humanist?  You must be joking.  They are just not your "preferred" vision of secular.  With no transcendent standard for "good secular humanist thinking" it is merely a matter of preference and power.  These killed more people for secular ideology in the 20th century than all the religious wars of history combined.  As I see it, the problem is "the evil that men do."  The banner they carry in doing it changes with the cultural context.  When religion = politics that was the banner.  When secular ideology = politics, in part because "god was dead" according the leading humanists, they did a fine job killing off many more folk because the killing technology was better.  Once again, we're seeing the rise of religion = politics in radical Islam.

You're dead wrong on Hitler, by the way.  Here's a lovely quote from "the leader" inscribed over the doors at Auschwitz, "I want to raise a generation of young people who are devoid of conscience, imperious, relentless, and cruel."  Hardly sounds like the Sermon on the Mount to me.  Sounds more like Richard Dawkins describing our dancing to our DNA.

When mankind killed in the name of Christianity (and there's no denying the ugliness and reality in that) they did so in complete and utter contradiction to the teaching of Jesus of Nazareth.  In the logical outworking of materialist ideology "some people are going to get lucky and some people are going to get hurt" - as Professor Dawkins clearly and logically asserts. 

I don't mean this as ad hominem, but your assertions are specious in the extreme.  It is the pap of the popular post-modern metanarrative.

Rand

« Last Edit: February 23, 2017, 08:14:12 PM by Rand47 »
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Rand Scott Adams

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #78 on: February 23, 2017, 08:38:45 PM »

Coincidences are God's little miracles.

Science explains how the universe works.  God gives it purpose.

If you could prove God exists, what would be the point of faith? 

Tim Lookingbill

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Re: Just experienced an event that suggests there's a guiding hand
« Reply #79 on: February 23, 2017, 08:49:10 PM »


If we assume that our galaxy, with an estimate of 20 billion planets, is an average size galaxy, then the number of planets in the universe could be 20 billion x 2 trillion, or 40 quintillion, far, far greater than the US national debt in dollars.  ;)

The chances of at least one of those 40 quintillion planets having suitable conditions for life to form, are probably quite high. No need to invent a Creator God.


And you've assumed with a broad glazing over and redirection of my points that I'm advocating a view of the universe according to current religion which is farthest from the truth. I don't believe in a creator God either, but there's something in all this that points to an intelligent consciousness or mindfulness.

You also keep focusing or maybe defining your POV through statistics and numbers only instead of including examining patterns of plausibility of the natural world that any forensic investigator uses to find perpetrators. They don't use statistics to find the criminal. Profiling is the closest they come to this, but that's not facts, either. They employ a drawn out series of decision making and intuitive  deduction derived from years of street smarts and knowing past human behavior that leads them to an arrest. And I'm employing the same in my OP.

You say nay, I say there's something there that can't be quantified with just statistics and a big ass telescope in space.

There's also no indicator in all of the galaxies that the same human conscience that drives a multitude of decision making similarly used in my OP that led to other decisions based on a LACK OF FACTS that I had no idea would finally help police gather the perps wallet and cellphone as evidence.

There is nothing in the universe that plays out like this. I don't need scientific facts to prove this because it's impossible to gather any. I'm using the same intuition and series of decisions as the police investigators to let me view the world in a less hard line "Just the facts, Jack." way. There's something here, we're just not able to look close enough because we only rely on facts established by a rather young civilization.

 
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