Monotheism...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Swedish Borg, Apr 8, 2021.

  1. at Quark's

    at Quark's Commodore Commodore

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    'abiogenesis is effectively impossible' proponents like to come up with probability calculations that attempt to show how extremely unlikely it is. However, the exact assumptions of such calculations tend to be crucial for the results. Does it to need to be an all-or-nothing process, or are intermediate steps possible? Also, we don't yet know how much 'simpler' things could be, and some of these simplest, earliest forms of life may have long since disappeared. (I found this article interesting, though).

    Also, even if these calculations would be correct, it's possible the universe /multiverse is much, much, MUCH larger than we can observe- and I'm not talking a few measly orders of magnitude here. If large enough, it might even defeat the fantastical odds-against put forward by such calculations.
     
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  2. Timelord Victorious

    Timelord Victorious Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And to tie things back to monotheism for a bit...

    Even if we assume that life had to be purposely created by a god being.

    Why do you assume that it had to be done by a monotheistic god that has a personal interest in every individual human‘s sex life?

    why couldn’t it be a two, four, a thousand an infinite number of god beings?
    With every single one of them creating one planet, or even just one single unit of life?
    And by that I mean, one god being per cell? Because with infinite god beings there would be no reason not to split the work, right?
    Hell, every single particle could have it‘s own creator god being, because why stop at such a ridiculous macro level as cells.
     
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  3. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    I'm casting your actions in the light of trying to understand them because so far some of them haven't made much sense and the ones that did have been the usual derogatory stuff I hear often from people who see atheists as immoral and having beliefs that I would say are more akin to magic than science.

    I may be a Harry Potter fan, but I know I can't wave a wand and say a spell that creates water or doubles the amount of food available, as Molly Weasley does when she has a few more people to feed in the Burrow or at Grimmauld Place. Seems to me I read that somewhere else, though... oh, right. The New Testament... something about feeding the multitudes on a few loaves and fishes?

    Given that it was the middle of the night, you will have to forgive me that I was thinking that a glass of milk and a snack would be nice, rather than delving into a research project about stuff I would have learned decades ago and didn't bother to keep fresh in my memory since it wasn't something I felt necessary.

    I worked out the implications of this for myself over 40 years ago, thankyouverymuch, and don't need to have it 'splained to me as if I don't know what my own thoughts are.

    Re the part of your post I bolded: now you're delving into Hitchhiker's Guide realms of belief. While the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything is 42... it took 6 episodes of the TV series for Arthur Dent to figure out the Question, which turns out to be "What do you get when you multiply six by nine?" And if you're going to bring Douglas Adams into this, you need to remember that the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy contains a great deal of satire and isn't meant to be taken literally.

    Seriously, there is evidence for the Big Bang. The cosmologists and astrophysicists are still working on it. It's a very complicated thing to try to understand, and the beauty of the scientific method is that if they realize they got something wrong, they set it aside, try to figure out how and why they got it wrong, and work from there to get it right.

    That's how science works, from everything from studying the Big Bang to developing safe covid vaccines.

    "Survival of the fittest" is an unfortunate turn of phrase for modern times, since it conjures images of death and destruction as the only necessary things.

    What is necessary for evolution is for an organism to survive long enough to reproduce. What is also necessary is that when mutations happen that they allow the organism to adapt successfully to the conditions in which it exists.

    We're in an extinction-level event now, due to so many species not being able to produce viable offspring, or if they do, the offspring can't adapt to the polluted hellhole that human activity/climate change has made of their natural habitats.

    All I can say to this is that not one of the multiple deities ever worshiped on this planet throughout the millennia has been any better at engineering the human body than nature itself. You'd think that maybe one of them would have improved things so that people wouldn't die from diseases or medical conditions that the medical profession has worked diligently to cure for thousands of years... but nope. Not one of them bothered.

    What makes you think I haven't been working to deal with this elsewhere? Adriana LaGrange is my MLA (representative in the provincial Legislature) and she is not amenable to being told she's wrong. The next election is still two years away. It's possible someone would mount a Charter challenge, pointing out that proselytizing in public schools is a Charter violation and the Supreme Court would agree. I sincerely hope they do.

    The reason I mentioned any of this in the first place is because when you get a government that is determined to violate everyone's constitutional right of freedom of/from religion, it's appalling just how far they're prepared to go to do it.

    Uh-huh. Proselytizing of a different sort, then. I could ask a series of questions comparing our respective countries, but that would be off-topic for this thread. So I will leave it in case you ever want to have a conversation in which you're willing to discuss things quietly, rather than in anger.

    'Splaining rarely solves anything.

    I never figured you did care. Obviously others in this thread and in my own personal experience care.

    :rolleyes:

    You're making a lot of assumptions about me. Back in the '80s, I joined the Society for Creative Anachronism (google it; it's a long story to explain it, but the relevant part here is that it's a religion-neutral educational organization that studies the Middle Ages through Tudor era).

    When introduced to a new person, the first words out of her mouth were not "Hi" but rather "what church do you go to?" I told her I don't go to any church, and she immediately became terribly confused. She mulled it over and then said, "Well, that's okay... I guess."

    At which point I had to stop myself from getting angry and informing her that I don't need anyone's permission to be atheist... because both of us were guests in another person's house, and I do have some company manners (more than she did, since I have never in my life asked anyone what their religion was, considering it to be none of my business unless they bring it up first).

    Fast-forward a decade... we'd become good friends. Friends to the point that I was "Auntie ____" to her grandchildren and we had many interests in common including medieval history, strategy games, D&D, computer games (she taught me how to play Civilization), and Star Trek.

    But the one thing she could never wrap her mind around was my being atheist. After about 11 years, I finally brought it up, since she'd accepted the not going to church, but I hadn't told her the reason why.

    So I said, "I'm atheist" and her immediate reaction was "No. You're PAGAN."

    She could not handle the idea that I don't believe in any deities, spirits, supernatural, paranormal, etc. entities. I guess it did confuse her that someone who could play a cleric character in D&D could be atheist in RL. She would rather believe that I engage in Wiccan rites than nothing at all (nothing against Wiccans here; it's just that it falls into the same category of Stuff I Don't Believe In).

    I have no idea what this even means. You seem to be taking a lot of this very personally and have assumed that I've been yelling at you when I actually haven't been.

    Sorry, was trying not to get personal, and I do believe I can usually divorce the person from the belief (unless they get personal about it).

    I have no interest whatsoever in debating which country is "freer". It's off-topic here and I've already had so many discussions about it over the years anyway.

    I have been debating with myself about starting a thread about school curricula, because I've honestly been curious as to if and how much other jurisdictions in North America have had to put up with the sort of bullshit that's happening now in Alberta. It could (likely would) get contentious, so if you think it would work here, I'll think about it. If not... there's always other places.

    Nobody is trying to "evangelize" you. Atheism is not a religion.

    It would be nice if you would accept the validity of the scientific method, though, since that's what has led to this cushy modern lifestyle we have where we don't have to start from scratch every time we want to know something.

    You have a strange fascination with the word "random".

    :guffaw:

    I am trying to picture any atheist lecturer or presenter I know of, mounting a Billy Graham crusade-style event, imploring their atheist audience to contribute $$$$$$$ or Charles Darwin will "call him home."

    Here's some reading material for you on Stellar Evolution.

    The article is a bit wordy, but in essence, there have been several generations of stars that have existed since the Big Bang. The earliest ones were pretty basic compared to stars like our own Sun. They didn't have all the goodies the Sun does, like oxygen, for instance. They only had hydrogen and helium.

    The biggest stars - the supergiants - often end their lives as a supernova (I'm sure you've heard of those, even though Star Trek never depicts them accurately). In the final phases of a supergiant's life, before it goes BOOM! (silently, of course), it makes heavier elements in a desperate attempt to keep existing. It never works, though - something has to give, and so the star explodes, releasing its constituent atoms into the universe... and billions of years later, some of those atoms get recycled into new stars, possibly planets, and maybe life (thanks to those more-complex-than-helium atoms cooked up inside those older stars).

    So next time you roast a hot dog over an open fire, thank an old, billions-of-years-dead star. It gave you the carbon, oxygen, and everything else necessary for the fire, your hot dog, the stick you use for roasting, and the ketchup, mustard, relish, or whatever else you might use as condiments, as well as your own self, who is eagerly anticipating biting into that hot dog.

    Carl Sagan said it best: We are starstuff. We're made of recycled star matter from billions of years ago. So yeah, evolution was around long before there was any life to try to figure it out.

    Mutations happen. Some have beneficial results. Most don't. That virus going around right now has been mutating. I don't call that "marvelous."

    But sometimes accidents to lead to something better. I've had cooking accidents that led to better recipes.

    You could have fooled me. You've just been waxing hysterically at the thought of nasty people in this thread trying to turn you into an atheist, when the actual reality is that we don't care what you believe as long as you please stop attributing things you don't understand to "magic" and try to understand the scientific method and that just because we don't have the knowledge RIGHT NOW, that doesn't prove that "goddidit."

    And there you prove that you really have no clue at all what atheism is, and although some of us have been taking the time and effort to explain it to you, you haven't understood one syllable about it.

    Nobody here is trying to "convert" you to being an atheist. There's nothing to "convert" to, as it's not a religion.

    How a worldview that prefers the scientific method over "we don't understand it, therefore miracles" can be "scientifically unsound" makes no sense.

    I guess this can be summed up as "projecting, much?" and since you have no idea how evolution actually works (your example with domestic dogs is artificial selection, not natural selection), I am at a loss to understand why you would drop a "like" on a caption contest entry for an episode that partly deals with evolution.

    Or maybe it's not so mysterious, after all. Whoever wrote "Threshold" didn't understand it, either.
     
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  4. Finn

    Finn Bad Batch of TrekBBS Premium Member

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    I can't believe this isn't in the TNZ


    how riveting.

    Yeah, most mutations do nothing. Most fertilizations fail.

    :shrug:
     
  5. 1001001

    1001001 Pull Up a Groove and Get Fabulous! Moderator

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    Formally?

    Did you submit an notarized affidavit?

    :shrug:

    God, as described in mainstream Christianity, is Santa Claus for adults. It's ludicrous. And the pseudo-scientific language adopted by apologists is equally ludicrous.

    If you're the one making a positive assertion, it is your responsibility to prove it.
     
  6. 1001001

    1001001 Pull Up a Groove and Get Fabulous! Moderator

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  7. Doom Shepherd

    Doom Shepherd Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Nope.

    An entirely unfounded assumption.

    Except you continue to willfully ignore the 'keep all correct combinations" factor. This refusal, among others, reduces your calculations to gobbeldygook.

    What university? Must remember never to send children there, because their curriculum is clearly woefully substandard.

    Mere gibberish.

    Crap on a stick, Hoyle's Fallacy went out with the Gish Gallop.
     
  8. 1001001

    1001001 Pull Up a Groove and Get Fabulous! Moderator

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    [​IMG]
     
  9. Oddish

    Oddish Rear Admiral Commodore

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    I'm getting a lot of contempt here, and not a lot of evidence. This is the normal response of atheists when I reject their faith: they can't provide evidence, so they spew contempt. Debate Tactics 101: when the facts are not on your side, make an ad hominem attack.

    LOL!!! Isn't that the core of the atheist faith? Everything just "happened"? If you start thinking creation isn't "random", then you veer into agnosticism.

    Let's step back a bit. Those of you who are atheists, and are pursuing this matter with the intensity of a door-knocking Jehovah's witness, ask yourself one question:

    Why are you doing this? Why does it matter to you the way it does?

    A. The noble, heroic desire to spread enlightenment to the foolish heathens, whether they welcome your interference or not.
    B. You're lost in the choking blackness of nihilism, and determined to spread your misery to others.
    C. You feel dangerously insecure in your own beliefs, and it occurs to you that there may be something greater out there, and it scares the crap out of you. As a result, you are outraged when someone questions them.

    Don't answer that.
     
  10. Swedish Borg

    Swedish Borg Commodore Captain

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    Of course, I differentiate the two, just as I differentiate night and day. No matter how "unlikely" abiogenesis is according to your self-serving calculations it'd still be way more probable than the existence of your magical being that can do anything it wants just by snapping its fingers.

    I mean adults usually don't believe in Santa Claus because they consider such a belief ridiculous and also most don't believe in fairies, goblins, and whatnot but your unique magical king could make them all real if he wanted to!!!

    Isn't that what you believe? Or do you think your god has limitations in that regard?

    So caricature atheism all you want but try as you may you won't be able to make it nearly as ridiculous as the reality of what you believe.
     
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  11. Doom Shepherd

    Doom Shepherd Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The funniest part of this is how you can't even recognize the fact that you're literally the only one here proselytizing. The rest of us are simply explaining core scientific and mathematical principles to someone who is clearly not able to grasp them in any meaningful way.
    Oddish used Projection! It's not at all effective.
     
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  12. 1001001

    1001001 Pull Up a Groove and Get Fabulous! Moderator

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    This is truly one of the most absurd statements I've ever read here, and that's saying a lot.

    Atheism is not "faith" and no matter how contorted your logic is, it will never be a "faith". This is a false equivalence, attempting to place both sides on equal footing. They are not. A tired old religious trick from the "creation vs. evolution" days.

    I don't need any evidence because I am not making the positive assertion here. You are. You need evidence, and of course there isn't any. The attempt to equate Hawking's "no boundary" proposal with spontaneous generation is like comparing apples to skyscrapers. Not even close.

    Whether there's a single God, a committee of Gods, a hierarchy of Gods, no God at all....I have no idea. What I can say for sure is that people who claim to know (not believe, know) are usually full of something other than knowledge.
     
  13. BillJ

    BillJ Canon Warrior Premium Member

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    God, gods, eternal nothingness or something else entirely, I’ll live my life and deal with those things when the time comes.
     
  14. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Vice Admiral Moderator

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    OK, so remember I said that this topic was OK in here, it was just expected that people follow the board rules? Well, this is veering into trolling territory here, and needs to stop. This is a discussion board, people are going to discuss. As has been pointed out, no one is trying to "convert" you or whatever. If you would like to discuss your beliefs in good (ahem) faith, then by all means go ahead, but you need to leave this type of posting behind.
     
  15. Admiral2

    Admiral2 Admiral Admiral

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    And your method of bringing it up is to tie me to the actions of that reckless government just because I happen to be in the same religion as Minister LeGrange, which, by the way, is the only thing we have in common.

    And that's what's killing me, because over the course of this discussion I've told you over and over again I agree with you! Yes, forcing religion into public schools against the written law of land is government overreach and should be fought! Yes, you have the right to see your kids educated in the manner you prefer! Yes, you have the right to not believe in God, and not have outsiders force your kids to believe in God against your will or theirs. You're RIGHT, okay??? I don't know what else I can do to demonstrate that that's my opinion beyond moving to Alberta, Canada and voting against the bitch myself in two years!
    As with all attempts at conversion, all you have to do is say "No." I have a right to praise and defend my country. I have no illusion that those I praise and defend it to have an obligation to be convinced.

    The topic of this thread, according to the guy who started it, is about the nature of Christian Monotheism, which means we've been off topic for ages now. So again, why stop now?

    Well, that would depend on which hated Canadian politician you decide to compare my patriotism to, wouldn't it?

    My 'splaining doesn't have to solve anything, because I'm not the one with the problem. So, why don't you tell me how close arguing with me - or anybody else in this thread - has gotten you to a solution?

    And as I said in my last post, complain about it to THEM. Complaining about it to me is a waste of electrons.
    Wow. More wasted electrons.

    I get it. You have suffered prejudice from believers because you choose not to believe. That is wrong. I understand that, which is why I'm not the one visiting that prejudice upon you, and I never have, and I never will. Again, you have every right to not believe in any kind of deity, period, and if a believer can't accept that without trying to label you or convert you, that believer is the one with the problem.

    I would not treat you the way your friend did. If we met I would say "Hi!" I'm sure there are much more interesting things about you than where you might go to church, and I am well aware of the dictionary definitions of the words "Atheist" and "Pagan." (hey, back on topic! That's what some people think the Holy Trinity is!)
    I'd tell you, but you don't like me 'splaining things.
    Would it work on the board? Sure, but I would start a thread like you were planning. That way, you define the topic and straying from it won't a problem,,,for you at least.

    As for other jurisdictions, religion in schools and related topics are constantly being argued about in the states. From the Scopes Monkey Trial, where a science teacher was arrested and brought to court for the "crime" of teaching Evolution in a public school, to the various School Prayer debates, to the constant complaining about religious iconagraphy (like Nativity Scenes at Christmas) placed anywhere near government buildings.

    People here like to talk about "freedom of speech," but the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution starts this way: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;" Now, in the context of when the Constitution was written that essentially meant "Don't start a church like Henry the XIII did and leave the Puritans alone," but over time most have taken it to mean that there should be a separation of church and state, which is not what the amendment says but at this point the Federal Government mostly adheres to. The problem is it says nothing about the states and religion, and given the clause that says powers not reserved to the Federal Government shall devolve to the several states, that means for ages state governments have been pretty much free to do what they please concerning religion, which is the only way something like the Scopes Trial could be possible. And there are fifty states. :shrug:

    I guess any country that professes to champion religious freedom has to deal with many of these debates because there's always somebody on both sides of the issue willing to test the government's commitment.
     
  16. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Vice Admiral Moderator

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    Go for it. The rule against contentious issues in Misc hasn't been a thing for a while now, as evidenced by this very thread.
     
  17. Swedish Borg

    Swedish Borg Commodore Captain

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    Besides even if we posit that a god exists, it's still a very far cry from proving that there is any kind of afterlife. I've noticed that most people associate, the two so readily that they are not even aware of it.
     
  18. Oddish

    Oddish Rear Admiral Commodore

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    Not only is that NOT true, but I didn't even shoot first.

    Except I support evolution as fact. Science clearly indicates that living things evolve via natural selection. What I refuse to do is put FAITH in the existence of yet undiscovered scientific principles that explain that life can just "happen". If science currently says "A", it is an act of faith to say that it will one day say "B". I don't have that kind of faith.

    You have a point. Debates over religion and politics often degenerate into the verbal equivalent of back-alley knife fights. Compared to some I've seen, this one was fairly civilized.

    That's one reason why I find it so odd that so many atheists defend their beliefs with such ferocity. If you truly believe that we're all doomed to eternal oblivion anyway, why do you care if someone else disagrees?

    You don't have to answer that, either. Just food for thought.
     
  19. 1001001

    1001001 Pull Up a Groove and Get Fabulous! Moderator

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    I can speak for myself (not an atheist though).

    My problem is that people who claim to know that God exists (again, not believe, know) often do not stop there. True believers tend to go much further, into school curricula, health care, the bedroom, and so on. People who are convinced they know the Truth can often push that on to other people who don't want it. History is replete with examples. Too many to list here.

    I hasten to add that does not seem to be the case with you personally (at least not from the dialogue in this thread), but certainly you must know that true believers have done a lot of harm to a lot of people over the centuries. For some, it's a very small step from "I know God exists" to "I know his will" (usually because the read a book that purports to be an accounting of such). From there, it's just a hop, skip, and a jump to "You need to behave in a way that pleases my god" (see American culture wars).

    Again, I don't get the sense that you are saying that, but enough of us have experienced it, seen it, read about it, etc. that we have an instant reaction to it. It's based on history that's easily observable.

    IMHO
     
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  20. Timelord Victorious

    Timelord Victorious Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The thing with life is, that it‘s not something magical that we have no idea how it‘s working.
    I think we have an incredible understanding of individual parts of it.
    It‘s just the specific how it all came together that we obviously haven’t worked out yet because it happened 3-4 billion years ago.
    But we know for a fact, that at it‘s most fundamental base we are dealing with chemistry.
    A very special kind of chemistry, but still chemistry.
    People very easily categorize everything into physics, chemistry, biology...
    But there is no clear cut hard border between the disciplines.
    Biology is an emergent result of chemistry, it is ongoing chemistry.

    And if you go even more fundamental you are up to your chin in nuclear physics and quantum physics.

    All understood to varying but surprisingly accurate degrees.

    there is no first stone that got pushed over, it‘s gradual.
    Very similar to biological evolution , somewhat.

    you will not find a first human, nor a first ape, not a first mammal and you sure as hell (excuse the pun) won’t find a first cell.
    You might find something very similar to a modern cell, but somehow more rudimentary, missing functionality, simpler or missing components.
    But definitely precursor.
    And then you go further back and the „thing“ will more and more resemble simpler chemistry and eventually just particle physics dictating the shape of things to come.

    the human capability to categorize and stuff concepts into neat little boxes really is detrimental here.
    And once you did that you don’t look at the flowing relations anymore and don‘t see the clear lineage.
    And then you shrug and say a god did it.
    Bravo.
     
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