The God Delusion

No. When a recombination of genes occurs which is superior to the current generation’s genes, then those genes will gradually spread through the generation’s individuals until practically a new species or variation dominates the population. In other words: The ape ancestor that was our and the modern monkeys’ ancestor’s could simply not spread his genes enough, because they were inferior, versus the new proto-humans and proto-modern-monkeys to survive for generations ahead. This can be and has been proven through genetic algorithm simulations in which this effect is observed.

Do you really mean to tell us that you don’t think hundreds of scientific papers published in scientific journals have been written on this very subject?

Science cannot per definition provide an explanation for everything - there are still mountains and mountains of unanswered questions (for example, in physics, why there is more matter than anti-matter in the universe). In addition, old theorems are constantly corrected to more accurately predict reality, and thus science is forever changing. Thus, we still do not know if there is evidence “for the existence of the universe”, but neither does science have to provide one to remain valid, which it is.

That is not how the topic started. Regardless, you (meaning “you” as a group) have thus failed to provide valid, logical evidence why the book “is a piece of dung” - I have “argued back” by explaining why these arguments are invalid, and thus do not form a valid opinion.

Provide evidence for why it is illogical, and I will listen.

Non sequitur, wrong cause, and appeal to emotion for one of your premises. Even if I would mock you (which I don’t), why would the cause be that “must have mor intelligence”? Provide evidence that this is the cause. In addition, an inconsistent comparison, because you are comparing knowledge from experience and knowledge from “intelligence”, which is invalid.

Argumentum ad hominem.

I can prove what I say, because I am using logical reasoning. Emotional arguments are invalid in reasoning. In addition - the burden of proof of God does not lie on me, but on the person that theorizes God. (To explain this with Russel’s Teapot; suppose I told you there was a teapot orbiting earth, which we cannot detect because our telescopes are too weak. If I told you to disprove that, you couldn’t, of course, which is why the burden of proof lies on you, not me)

Appeal to flattery. Yes, that is a logical fallacy; by flattering others you try to gain support for your arguments, even though the content of the argument may be completely incorrect.)

YEA,YEA :wink: go danielns13 :content:

God. Prove it? I am saying this. “God is the intelligence behind coincidence. Trees give off oxygen, absorbing carbon. We absorb oxygen and give off carbon.” You see the design in that. The over all intricacy of the universe is astounding with a persons eyes opened. A male and a female come together to create life. God becomes less distinguished once the small miracles are taken for granted. Water falling from the sky. That’s God. The intelligence it takes to create a habitable planet with cyclical nature laws providing all the necessary resources. Plants growing off sunlight. Food growing from the ground. The fact light refracts every color in the spectrum. All our scientific knowledge and discoveries of the last century are a testimony to God’s magnificence.
Your human body is a wonderful piece of art. Thought, blood stream, nervous system, emotions… consciousness.

“The Big Bang is correct. God Pulled the Trigger.”

Regardless of what you say it is not necessarily correct. Provide evidence that God exists, instead of claiming that God exists because you say it.

@Bombax: Why don’t you provide some evidence that God doesn’t exist?

I just said why above, and apparently you did not read it:

Sorry, you’re right I did miss that. On the other hand we are talking about a book in which Dawkins attempts to disprove the existence of God.

I haven’t come here to proselytize or convert anyone, but your suggestion that it’s a good book led me to assume (perhaps erroneously) that you believe such an endeavor is possible or worthwhile.

I can’t satisfactorily prove the existence of God and I’m not sure such a thing is even possible. In any case I have no intention of trying.

this is turning into one heated debate!! :content:

i wish i were smart enough to join thu :cry:

I feel like the conversation has strayed entirely from the original debate: whether or not “The God Delusion” is worth reading. That being said though, I really don’t think that’s going to derail the current topic :tongue: .

Bombax, I understand your opposition to Argument from Design. It’s simply not a compelling argument for God’s existence. It looks great and makes sense… but only if you’re either (1) already a believer or (2) of a more simple and less questioning faith than inquisitive philosophers such as yourself. As a Catholic, I look at nature and see God’s handiwork in it, and it’s awesome; however, some non-believers look around and see the wonders of science and evolution, and it’s pretty cool for them too. The bottom line is that looking at something in nature and saying, “look at how complex this is! See how it exists in harmony with its surroundings!” simply isn’t enough proof for a non-believer to say, “God must have made this!”

This seems easily reversible to me. From my point of view, you’re theorizing that God does not exist, and in that case the burden of proof rests upon YOU, doesn’t it? We can toss that burden back and forth, but it’s not going to get us very far, is it? So instead, I would like to pose a different, more specific question to you…

As someone who evidently does not believe in the existence of a “God” in any form, how would you refute Thomas Aquinas’s Argument from Causality (explained below)?

[spoiler]Aquinas’s original argument:
“The second way is based on the existence of efficient causality. We see in the world around us that there is an order of efficient causes. Nor is it ever found (in fact it is impossible) that something is its own efficient cause. If it were, it would be prior to itself, which is impossible. Nevertheless, the order of efficient causes cannot proceed to infinity, for in any such order the first is cause of the middle (whether one or many) and the middle of the last. Without the cause, the effect does not follow. Thus, if the first cause did not exist, neither would the middle and last causes in the sequence. If, however, there were an infinite regression of efficient causes, there would be no first efficient cause and therefore no middle causes or final effects, which is obviously not the case. Thus it is necessary to posit some first efficient cause, which everyone calls ‘God.’”

A simplification (though, in my opinion, it seems to be an oversimplification)
(1) Some events cause other events.
(2) If an event happens, then it must be caused by something outside of itself.
(3) There can be no infinite cause/effect chains.
(4) So, there is a first, uncaused cause.
(5) Therefore God exists.[/spoiler]

Also, I feel like I’ve got to address a post from the previous page that didn’t get much attention…

I’ve read Angels and Demons. It’s is a work of fiction… you know that, right? Don’t get me wrong, I actually enjoyed reading it, but just because it’s written by a former Catholic does NOT mean that it is an authoritative work that fully explains/displays God or Catholicism in a correct and complete manner. It’s just a story that happens to draw lightly from history and religion (for example, the Iluminati did exist long ago in history). Hardly something that constitutes a “test of faith”. (thread bump! :grin: )

Not necessarily. The conditions for fossilization are a lot rarer than most people would think, so fossil evidence is patchy. They look impressive when people can wire them together, great to illustrate/represent what life was probably like way back when, but fossils are not the basis for evolution theory-- taxonomy is the basis.

Since we’re talking about evolution, that gives a loooong lot of time. It isn’t that hard a nudge to get from cells that perform binary fission and mitosis, like you described, to ones that can perform meiosis. Protists, for example-- single celled, or in colonies with no tissue specialization, still do meiosis.

Some life forms that we can extrapolate haven’t changed as much as other evolving life forms-- like barnacles, for example-- primitive life forms, well, some are hermaphroditic. Other varieties of barnacles seem to have found it more favorable to specialize, so they do have what can roughly be considered “males” and “females”… but, the males spend their lives embedded in the females like an organ that’s also a being of its own. Not a big leap to think that the barnacles’ umpt cousins a billion times removed, would be nudged towards a form of species that had full individual beings distinctly specialized into males and females.

The rest of this will just be my fanciful keyboard-mashing. To conform to gender-binary as we understand it, the sexes must evolved together in parallel or there wouldn’t be one to define the other-- so, let’s roughly consider us a hermaphrodite that split. But, if I were to revert evolution theory into a modern creation myth, females seemed to have come first. Human embryos show not to be gender-neutral-- until/unless the sperm’s Y chromosome sparks a masculinization, the embryo follows a female template. Men have nipples. All the DNA in a zygote may be half taken from the mother and half from the father, but the cellular organelles like mitochondria are all taken from the mother.

I define proof as a series of statements used to convince another mathematician that a given statement is true. I suppose Existence Of The Universe isn’t proven, because… it’s an axiom.

At that, Computer Simulation/Dream sounds very appealing.

ive noticed alot of oppssition,u know people taking sisde because of thier religion.really to be hones i dont see why the whole “oooh ur a catholic and im an athiest so ur my enemy”,has to be involved in this whay cant we all just be the same and still have a normal discussion about this book and please stop taking sides considering religion.

I don’t think that it’s hard to imagine an uncaused cause. I think that the easiest way to think about it is in terms of dominoes (though it’s a helluva lot of dominoes that we’re talking about here, going from the first “cause” ever to the present day). You have the classic setup: a row of dominoes (standing on end), spaced evenly apart so that when one falls, it hits the next, et cetera, et cetera. Now, within this system of dominoes, no single domino can cause itself to fall, right? We covered this within Aquinas’s proof. Now, in relation to the dominoes, you are God. You are, in the terms of this experiment, an uncaused cause; you are not a domino, and you don’t need a domino to fall on you to allow you to knock down other dominoes. You cause the first domino to fall, and a chain reaction ensues.

I realize that this isn’t an entirely satisfying answer for some people. To just say that God is some infinite entity outside of the rules and logic of the known universe… well, yeah, that seems like a nice cover-all excuse, but I don’t feel that it’s that strange of a concept, either. I think of it in terms of a video game programmer: the programmer creates a video game where live players and NPCs can “live” and interact in an immersive, massive “world”. But he creates his own rules – gravity is similar to the moon’s gravity; you must kill another character every 24 hours in order for you to survive; the sun revolves around the earth. Does this mean that he must be subject to his game’s rules? No. Unless he creates a character and plays the game himself, he exists outside of the game and is therefore not subject to his own rules. In the same way, God is outside of the universe, space, and time because he created them, and is not bound within his own creation except when he chooses to be (Jesus Christ). Again, this probably isn’t a fully satisfying or perfect analogy for everyone, but… well, it’s my best attempt at articulating what I’ve come to believe as true.

Thank you!!! Debating religion doesn’t mean that we have to be antagonistic, folks, and I’d like to apologize if I’ve written anything that you would find directly insulting/counter-productive so far. I really didn’t mean it to be offensive!

I accept the null hypothesis, IE: that there are no gods (atheism). Without reason, I will not move from that position. Reason, and not special pleading! Such pleading seems to be the heart of every attempt at a proof for the existence of any god.

I believe in non-superstitious, non-dogmatic, non-other-wordly, spirituality. I do not need to believe that all is crafted by an benevolent intelligence to feel mind-stopping awe at a beautiful sunrise. I do not need the neurotic clutter of guilt, sin, and penance to feel just. I do not need the promise of another life to make this one worth living: indeed, such a promise would cheapen this life.

Religion is a putrid corpse, but nihilism is a cadaver of the soul. This is also Dawkins’ position, and if one can see past their faith’s hurt feelings, they can see he is quite reasonable in The God Delusion.

You will not prove with science that science is false, IE: with the “proofs” against evolution you can see in this very thread. They are so thoroughly refuted (see for an exact, complete, well-sourced answer to absolutely any common claim). A public forum is not the place for a debate about hard science, but thankfully - your questions have already been completely answered by others on a public website.

You will not prove your faith with science. You removed the burden of your reason from your shoulders when you took a great leap into the abyss. You will not find where you have landed with your mind. You have forsaken it, and it has forsaken you.

Not to that logic puzzle, I grant you… but, then, by that isolated context… what about what else is God? We’ve stuck God in the placeholder of a logical paradox where only God fits by the transcendental nature of God, yes, but it does not follow that Cause1=God and God=Cause1 all equal: love, patriarchy, canonical text, specific codes of morality, grace, fate, free will, Sunday bests, nuns and nurses in the slums of Calcutta, tiffs in Northern Ireland, Christmas pageants, crusades, Inquisitors, indulgences… any more than the aspects of the universe that would certainly not characterize Aquinas’ God.

We might as well say that causeless Cause must be Shiva, or some cosmic Platonian spaghetti.

If you mean that you can’t disprove scientific theories using science then you’re wrong. That’s what science is all about.

If you mean that you can’t disprove the larger concept of science as a way of viewing the world then you might be wrong there too. We know that science works through observation and the very act of observing a phenomena affects it. Science is not a flawless doctrine. I think it may even have been quantum physics that showed this (that would mean science was used to discredit the scientific method).

While there are some who try to do this I wouldn’t say it’s the majority. I am open to hearing reasons not to believe in God, or to change my beliefs about God, but so far I haven’t encountered any particularly good ones - The God Delusion not withstanding.

Furthermore, I see your position as an atheist as a matter of faith. It is essentially unscientific to be an atheist is it not? You cannot disprove the existence of God so your belief in God’s non-existence is essentially a matter of faith. And so I say to you, “You will not prove your faith with science.” But I invite you to try, or perhaps convert to agnosticism.

Would you mind quoting and paraphrasing some of these ‘reasonable’ arguments for those who haven’t read the book recently, or at all. I think this thread would benefit from focusing more closely on what Dawkins has written.

Including quotes from our previous posts, I am 2,571 words into my refutation of your posts, Bombax. I was not able to finish it, as my roommate needed the light to go out and I cannot read from any of my sources. I hope to finish my post by tomorrow night, but as I have not much spare time from a full load of college courses in my senior year, I estimate that it will not be done entirely until Friday night or even perhaps Saturday. Thanks for your patience, I do appreciate it.

Edit: After seeing this post I am about to quote, I decided I need to do a relatively quick refutation tonight, before this poster stops checking this thread.

Atheism affirms that there is no God. Yet atheists cannot hold this position dogmatically, for to make the type of statement with authority, we would have to know the universe in its entirety and to possess all knowledge. If anyone had these credentials, then by definition he would be God. Thus, we can see that, unless the atheist is all-knowing, he cannot make a dogmatic statement on God’s existence. Therefore, he can only either logically state that he is uncertain whether or not there is a God–and this view is agnosticism–or he can accept the principles of atheism on faith–the very faith that atheism supposedly despises in religion.

Logically, then, the choice of pure reason is agnosticism. Agnosticism, by definition does not know whether a God exists. Therefore, in the search for truth, all agnostics should make an effort to know whether or not there is a God. Logically, then, agnosticism is not grounds for rejecting any religion outright, but rather for examining it.

Credit for this argument more or less goes to Josh McDowell and Don Stewart in their book, “Answers”

Just because some brainy intellectual says it doesn’t mean it’s true, you said that yourself.

You could use the same logic for intelligent design, we do not have to provide evidence for every little thing the argument to remain valid.
Also because the laws of science are continualy changing, that means that scientific laws and theroys don’t match the real world, and probaly never will, if you don’t know that half the stuff they have is correct know how do you know what is currently correct and what is wrong?
I’ll take an example from men in black:
Long time ago people knew, that earth revolved around the sun, while back people knew that earth was flat and right now we know that the big bang happened.
See what i mean, just about every generation has seen the world in a way that has been proved wrong, hor do we know that our current scientific belief are right or wrong?

Yeah i think it is.

We did, look at the first page of posts, and if you find no evidence in that, look at the actual book and see his arguments, and if you fail to see his lack of logic,(something that you have been saying we have none of) then take my advice and again deflate your giant ego, it must be bulging up and covering your eyes.
Yes i know, theres some faild logic in that sentece, but it’s true. You are the proof with your giant ego staring us all in the face! Ask anyone in this topic but you, your side or ours.

I did not do this to appeal to flattery, i wrote that because, i’m a nice guy and didn’t want to get in trouble with genuinly nice people for pointing out your flaws.
At the time i only wrote it so i would not get in trouble.

Now i sit back and watch as you tear up my argument and still fail to provid a compelling argument.

I totally posted a criticism of his proof against the existence of God on the first page. A proof you didn’t respond to…

Absolutely! Aquinas’s proof doesn’t really necessitate a Christian God in any sesne (though doubtless it was the existence of the Christian God that he was eventually trying to get to). He developed proofs for that too, but I can’t think of them right now (nor do I have the time, as I’ve got to get to class), but it seemed to me like the main debate was over whether or not it was logical to assume that there must have been a Creator. (Also, points for the Flying Spaghetti Monster reference!)

That’s exactly why I don’t believe in God.