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Thread: A civil conversation...

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    spydertl79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Statler Waldorf View Post
    Spyder and I have decided to start a new thread for our conversation about the existence of God (YHWH). I have posted his first response to my questions below. If anyone else would like to jump in please do, let’s keep this discussion cordial and civil though. I think it should be a lot of fun.

    Here is Spyder’s response to my questions about what he meant by evidence and if we’d be able to know anything at all if God didn’t exist.

    My response…

    1. I am not sure the question of whether God exists or not is something that could be answered in a laboratory, I can’t really conceive of a “test for God” you could conduct in any such environment. As for a courtroom, are you saying that we the people as the jury determine whether or not God exists and as long as a majority or consensus of us believe He does exist then He does? I guess I am not quite following you on that one either. I agree with your last criteria though, I think that a rational person could arrive at the belief in God without being indoctrinated. In fact, I think a very strong case could be that rationality requires a person to believe in the God of scripture, a case that I hope to make throughout our discussion.
    2. A. Addressing your points about the Human brain; how do you know the human brain functions in a manner that accurately reflects reality? More precisely, how do you know that what you sense to be real is indeed real and your ability to reason accurately discerns what is true? In a Universe that is purely natural and material I do not understand how you can have any confidence that your brain has evolved in a manner that accurately depicts reality. As a Christian I can have confidence that my brain depicts reality because I am the creation of a rational God who desires for me to learn about Him and His creation.
    B. Now about your point about Humans and Fish, I am not aware of any such lineage being traceable; could you be a bit more specific on how a person can trace the evolution of the Human brain from that of a Fish’s? Thanks.
    3. Yes, I believe there is proof for the existence of YHWH as opposed to other gods and Santa. In order to not get off topic though I’d like to store that discussion away for a little bit if you don’t mind and continue to focus on what you believe (naturalism) and what I believe (Christianity). Fair enough?
    Sounds great, looking forward to this. Again, last week was my one week/ year when I'm not living at work but Ill be doing my best to respond in a reasonable timeframe. I'm also typing on an iPad so there will be errors.

    Topic 1, Evidence: Instead of trying to define evidence, which would just lead us away from my point, I will rephrase. how can a rational person who hasn't been indoctrinated believe in a god or, more specifically, a Christian god? If so, wouldn't this person also be inclined to believe in Krishna, Allah, and Santa? The level of evidence (defined as broadly as you see fit) is the same... No reliable eyewitness accounts and no physical evidence of their existence. I argue that only people who are indoctrinated would be able to believe in this. If you do a strict comparison between your god and another god, an unbiased observer with no knowledge of either would not be able to decide which is real and would probably arrive at the correct conclusion that neither of them are. You say that you believe it is possible for a rational person to make this distinction... How? I don't think it's possible to address my question of evidence without drawing a comparison with something that you choose to not believe in despite a similar amount of evidence. My standard of belief is rational because its the same across the board... I hold your god to the same standard as Allah. Believers hold their god to a different standard of proof. This is why a belief in a specific god is illogical. That was the basis of my question. Even if you believe the existence of Yahweh is likely, you certainly can't offer any proof or evidence to sway a non-believer. Your belief is based off of faith alone and your faith is derived from indoctrination.

    Human brain: If you're familiar with evolution, which I assume that you are, then you know that the general idea is that life started with a single cell organism which eventually became a multi cell organism and so on and so forth all the way up to the diverse flora and fauna that inhabit the earth today. There is overwhelming evidence to support this such as the fact that all living creatures share 23 universal proteins and that the fossil record shows this timeline to be true. The first nervous systems were found in jelly fish and if you look at the structure of each creature that followed them in the evolutionary tree, you will see that the nervous systems gradually get more complex, culminating with the evolution of the cerebral cortex in primates. The four step process put in general terms was: centralization, encephalization, addition, and plasticity. The final step is what makes the brain able to conceptualize and think for itself. Only highly evolved mammals have achieved step 4. Lower mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and fish have all gone through addition of new components, some more than others. Encephalization (concentration of nervous system components to one end of the body) can be seen in any creature with a head... Eyes ears and nose are all close to each other, leading to a more efficient system. The first step, centralization can be seen in the evolution from sea sponges and jellyfish (no brain, just nerves) to fish and then beyond that. What's so beautiful about this phenomena is that if you look at the way that the components of the brain are structured, the most primitive components that we share with lower species can be observed in the brain stem and the most advanced components are found in the front. This structure is common throughout nature. You can see how the brain has evolved and built on itself through hundreds of millions of years of natural selection.

    My brain: I know that my senses are accurate, if that's what you're asking. My sense of sight can be explained by middle school science... Whichever colors in the spectrum are reflected, the human eye's rods and cones can see and whichever are absorbed we can not. Sounds can be explained by frequency, wavelength, amplitude, etc. The physiology of the ear is also pretty simple, relative to the brain. If you're talking about additional dimensions or something of the like then there are theories in quantam science that address this possibility. My brain reflects reality because it has evolved in a manner to maximize the survival of our species. While there are mutations within each species that alter our perception, these traits are naturally selected out of the genetic pool because a creature that possesses a brain that does not accurately perceive threats is more likely to die while one that does is more likely to live and reproduce, passing along the DNA that forms an accurate brain.

    If science is wrong and our bodies/ brains did not evolve, but were created by god, then wouldn't one expect a better design? I would have designed a symmetrical heart and a much more efficiently routed laryngeal nerve. Evolution embraces these flaws in our bodies and can even identify the chain of evolutionary events that caused them. It's impossible to justify this if you believe in an infallible, omnipotent creator.
    Last edited by spydertl79; 01-04-2013 at 12:08 AM.
    "As scarce as truth is, the supply has always been in excess of the demand."
    Henry Wheeler Shaw
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