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Everything posted by AzurePhoenix

  1. you have to know all the varying ways by which life or exotic equivalents of life can form before you even begin to estimate. You don't have the data to say whether the chance of life is 1 in a million or 1 in a trillion trillion. that would be life as we know it. It is entirely different in that it is based on rationality and model-able hypothesis. YEC, like ID, is based off of irrational, unsupported claims lacking in viable supportive models that fail to explain anything and are rooted in emotional predispostions. if we can't model them, then we can't model whether or not the fine tuned universe holds any water as a result. "How likely is the existence of a universe like ours?" "dunknow." But it's never silly to consider ideas and judge their merit. It's simply that, after being considered carefully, yours have already been shown to lack any. You're just reiterating the same baseless claim that have no scientific support or rational merit. Your proposal by its very nature requires a progression beyond the creator in order for the god itself to exist. It's one thing to consider the spontaneous emergence or ever existence of unformed matter and energy in an initial primordial state of chaos and disorder. It's quite another to assume the same of a complex entity. Higher complexity has only ever been shown to arise via processes.
  2. So it's official. Canadians are the nicest people in the world.
  3. hrm... something i didn't consider though is that, from the opposite side of concern, it'd be harder to protect the identities of career-judiciary panelists. And under my system they'd be judge and jury, so, double the resentment. Eh, they're grownups. Pansies can go work at dairy queen instead. The idealist me... I dunknow. Most would probably fall into the impulsive category, and if idealist me shows mercy to impulsive killers, can it fairly not show mercy to impulsive sex offenders? On the otherhand, Idealist-Me has no problem executing malicious sex offenders. (including those that act with forethought even if driven by their impulses) As you wish Maybe I'm evil, but I think it would be economical that, for any repeat offenders or notable offenders of malicious, violent or destructive crimes (this wouldn't be used for embezzling or insider trading or anything) should be placed into gladiatorial shows. Around the nation / world coliseums could be built, or existing stadiums altered, and people would be charged to come and indulge their human sadism (we love bloodsports) and watch scum fight and die (pay per view too). I guarantee it would make more money than american football, all the more so since only the tiniest amount would be spent on the contestants to keep them fed and properly imprisoned and whatnot (rather than pay them ridiculous sums for no reason... i hate football). And all that money could then be put right into the government. Judiciary systems, law enforcement, community upkeep/care, roadwork, power, environmental policies, etc etc. ... I totally mean it.
  4. There ARE hypothetical models supported at least by math that offer suggestions how it might arise. There are NO models for a created universe (no mechanisms are ever proposed) and where someone attempts one they fail. Naturalistic models win points for probability in that they actually exist. You are wrong. Occam's Razor states that plurality should not be posited without necessity. It's often misinterpreted in the laymen sense of "simple" is better, but that is a simplification that leads to it's abuse. It means don't make many unnecessary assumptions where you can do just as well with a few. The most direct route is the most parsimonious. Fine tuning DEPENDS entirely on the unlikelihood of life arising in the first place. If there are more than one universe, or if the universe is cyclic, the chances of a single unlikely event are increased by repetition. And we do have models that suggest how multiple, variable universes might arise. Nothing suggests the universe HAS to be the way it is. And no mechanisms are proposed to show that it has to be. However, mechanisms for generating alternate parameters have been hypothesized and modeled. You have to propose equally viable models of why alternate parameters can't be true. There is no evidence of design in nature. None. Ever. At all. Dynamic naturalistic processes have been repeatedly shown to give rise to order via perfectly naturalistic, materialistic, godless means. Evidence? nope. Mathematical models, sure. This is where you have to apply rationalism and reasoning and consider the hypothesis as such. And no one said infinite. Maybe there are many, or maybe even just one cyclic one. Or, maybe there are many possible variations and just one universe that settled on a particular variation. And it's impossible to say how likely or unlikely that variation might have been, or whether or not how many other variations prevent life. That my friend is the fallacious argument from personal incredulity. You have no logical reasons to reject the possibility, but it doesn't appeal to you on some level so you reject it as stupid. And I submit that you are incapable of distinguishing sense from nonsense. But this isn't about us, this is about the logical consistency of our arguments. So stuff it. I'm perfectly happy to consider any proposed model so long as it has either evidence, or lacking that, a rational basis. There is no model for a creator, simply people giving up, throwing their hands in the air and saying "It's not worth the trouble of thinking about so god did it!" The pseudo-scientific fine tuned universe fallacy has been examined, debunked and rejected for the nonsense that it is since the onset of its own modern incarnation. And again, it must be stressed, LIFE AS WE KNOW IT. You have no evidence whatsoever, none to reject, just a few people who crunched some numbers, glanced at them and said "well these numbers suggest it'd be hard Yay god!" And I'm not changing anything, just pointing out that any conclusions must be supported by the evidence. If you can find evidence that the universe was created by intelligence, and that's all the evidence suggests without insight into the nature of this creator, then you still don't have evidence of a god-like being that created the universe and might interact with it. The creator could just as likely be a fat kid from another universe playing with his supercollider and an advanced version of Spore. see, common ground, lets be friends now No there's not. There are a wide range of models that suggest how abiogenesis might have occurred naturally. We're not sure how it did yet, but there's nothing to suggest it can't happen, and all the circumstantial evidence in the world to suggest that it did. The same applies to the universe (we've reasonably figured out how it developed to it's current state, now it's just a matter of figuring out that origins bit) Anything that indicated clear signs of intentional conscious design in the universe or the origins of life. Anything that suggests naturalistic processes are unsupportable. Anything at all. Just one. Maybe there are some models that allow for this, I don't know, but some cosmological models of the early universe indicate that the infant universe was born in a state of maximum entropy, with the implication that any "programming" would've been wiped clean, leaving no imprint of intent on the universe and allowing it to develop along its natural course devoid of design. As a reference, Victor Stenger discusses this in some of his books. I am curious about one thing; by your own speculations, do you imagine that your creator had a direct hand in directing the genesis of life, and then did it interfere in the process to give rise to specific forms of life, particularly, human-like intelligence? Or did it simply outline the parameters of the universe to increase certain likelihoods, set it in motion and cross its fingers in hopes that a specific outcome might arise? Models clearly show that given the initial parameters, given what we know about the universe as of now, stellar, galactic, and planetary formation occur just fine without interference. Evolutionary models show just fine how unicellular life can give rise to complex multicellular organisms. Then there are indications of the naturalistic origins of the parameters themselves (spontaneous symmetry breaking and whatnot.) There are no known signatures of design. If mine is tautological, it provided grounds upon which it can be evaluated and either modeled with support or rejected. But I'm still asking, are you suggesting it's pointless to try to refute a creator because it's simply beyond us, or aren't you? And if so, on what grounds do you base this assumption? Quantum fluctuations; something is more stable than nothing, and a system with a total net energy of zero is hypothesized to be capable of spontaneously emerging without cause. I find this to be the most boring proposed mechanism for the emergence of the universe, but i do have to admit it's parsimonious elegance puts all the rest to shame, and completely discards the need for any other prior cause. Other models suggest that matter/energy simply always existed, without need for a first cause. A conscious creator on the otherhand would show the very "signs of design" that you accuse the universe and life of displaying. So now you have to push further back and figure out "who created the creator" or more reasonably "what naturalistic process gave rise to the creator? itself"
  5. Hiya. I know you now.

  6. * *Addressed below Reason requires reasoning, and one valuable element of the reasoning process is Occam's Razor. The last Thursdayist universe requires far more assumptions than the naturalistic one, so while the consequences of either are possibly no different, it's perfectly reasonable to bet on the more parsimonious hypothesis. Where science cannot arrive at an empirical conclusion, it CAN weigh the probable values of varying hypothesis and decide which is more likely. The fine tuned universe argument ONLY holds water if you assume that this is the only universe that has ever been. Can we prove whether that's true, or there are many universes? Nope. Not now, maybe not ever. But we can compare models and reason out which make more sense. And I'm unaware of any model that specifically requires this to be the only universe. Erm, someone please correct me if I'm wrong Anyway, even if then, the fine tuned universe only holds water if you can show that life as we know it or not as we know it cannot exist under any other conditions or circumstances. I hate to use what seems to be an increasingly popular cliche, but puddles in holes and whatnot. And also I'll point out that many of the "fine tuning" parameters have quite a range to swing in and still turn out in carbon-based life's favor. On top of that, even if you could prove that there was only one universe, and that only one tiny model of parameters shaping that universe could shape life, then you could only say how LIKELY this universe being as it is is, you still don't have any evidence that this universe had to have been actively chosen specifically for life by an intelligent being. But I'd happily admit that given those criteria Occam's favor certainly begins to swing toward a creator or multiple creators' favor (I don't get why IDers almost universally assume a singular creator). But it doesn't constitute proof, particularly since it doesn't offer anything to say about how the universe came to be and how it was shaped and influenced or anything about the nature of that doing the creating / shaping. Now you have to show that something conscious DID do it. IF you can do that somehow, then you're left with the incomplete answer of "Something conscious did it." NOW you have to figure out how it was done and what the thing or things that did it is/was/are/were. I'm having trouble finding any... if you could dig some up to share with me I'd be happy to consider it. Honestly Assuming we're not dealing with a deist creator actually outside of the universe, thereby isolated from it, which would be irrelevant to our existence anyhow (based on at least one cosmological model I'm aware of, a truly deistic universe would be indistinguishable from a natural one as a consequence of the initial state of the early universe), then you're dealing with one that does interact with the universe in some way. This can be tested for. And has been. Repeatedly. And no sign of any form of intervention has ever been detected. Any form of intervention. No matter what interpretation of deity. As far as we can tell based off of what we know currently, the universe looks exactly as you would expect it to if it had formed by naturalistic means. Otherwise, are you just suggesting some tautology that no matter what evidence is found for or against god it doesn't matter because god is above our capacity to consider, and therefore question? Models exist that represent the universe as we know it fairly, without having to resort to god. They don't get everything right, but they do get quite a bit. And they have made testable predictions that have been confirmed via testing. And while gaps exist, there is no evidence to suggest that a god is needed to fill those gaps. It's not self-delusion to simply make the most parsimonious choice based objectively off of the available information. Claiming a conscious entity did it raises more questions than answers, where perfectly adequate answers are already available.
  7. Make jury tampering a capital offense As for bias, defense attorneys prey on the average juror's emotional biases and prejudices as a matter of course anyhow. I would suspect that a more coldly, professionally analytical judicial panel would be less sensitive to emotional bias, particularly if their career is on the line. But as for corruption; how do you ensure integrity beyond the threat of immediate termination of your job upon discovery of it? I'm not sure... other than to suggest that a division be in place to regularly examine career histories and look for any patterns or irregularities and whatnot that might suggest foul play. And non-career panelists wouldn't have the benefit of familiarity and experience and might more easily get caught up in the thrill of it all and react as such, i would suspect.
  8. well the first thing I'd get rid of if the jury of peers. The idea of a group of anybodies with quite possibly no real training in critical analysis and examination, and no real degree of knowledge in the fields that have to do with human behavior and forensics and ethics just seems like a bad idea to me. Replace that with a panel of forensics specialists, ethicists and behaviorists plus experienced cops or something and whatnot, and I'd more than happily allow capital punishment. (to be fair, I personally tend to have little regard for human life and if someone's repeatedly or solidly proven themselves to be better off not being allowed out and about on the streets and they're not being put to indentured use towards some sort've productive gain (lets say mining as a simplistic example) I'm realistically perfectly happy to kill um off rather than waste resources on keeping them imprisoned... but for the sake of this thread I'll play the idealist) Alright, I realize the following is going to be overly simplified, I'm just using it as a rudimentary philosophical framework based on some "ideals". Off the top of my head without looking up stats I can imagine 4 simplified killing types (I realize there are probably more, as well as crossovers); 1) The Freak Out Killer - I stumbled on my boyfriend with someone else and went a'stabbin' or I got scared while mugging someone and pulled the trigger to get rid of a witness; anger, jealousy, fear, vengeance whatever 2) The Impulse Killer - someone who just lashes out in rage, doesn't know when to stop punching, maybe raised in an environment where killing is a matter of course (gang warfare, etc), and "crazies," the dangerously insane, whatever. 3) The Active/"Hot" Sociopath - anyone who simply kills for the pleasure of killing. Simply malicious and like to end life. No reason needed (maybe impulsively driven) 4) The Practical/"Cold" Sociopath - not necessarily malicious, but is simply willing to eliminate what they perceive as an obstacle or threat to their own success. For the sake of simplicity I'd say that it's not justifiable to execute most Type 1 & 2 Killers. 2 in particular could benefit from rehabilitation/therapy/treatment, while Type 1 killers may have been in a sense justifiably emotionally driven to their actions and unless they're particularly 2-like might never kill again. Don't know what to do about them, but the point is I probably wouldn't have them killed. Type 3 Killers are probably just not worth the effort, and it's simply a waste of resources to keep them around for a lifetime so might as well execute them if you're not willing to use them for medical experimentation / scientific research. Type 4 is where I feel uncertain... ideal representatives of the archetype would, ideally, probably realize that they'll be too closely watched on the outside to ever get away with it and just have to grudgingly do things the hard way. But maybe not. And of course that would not really render them "safe," just muzzled. But maybe if they were forced into an utterly mundane life in which the gains from obstacle-elimination just aren't worth it? Is that good enough for letting them loose? Even if closely watched?
  9. ... alright, assume you have a base cause that is either A) a natural event resulting in the emergence of the universe as we know it, or B) an equally, or to be realistic, drastically more unexplained conscious phenomenon of unknown origin and nature somehow directed the world into being; either way, the ensuing process would be no different. Different sources set off the same reaction. We're no less or more free for the universe having been made by a god than by a quantum fluctuation of hyperdimensional brane collision. Either way, everything anything does is predetermined by a preceding series of events with a degree of uncertainty provided by the random elements of our universe. well the only designed systems we have are those designed by us, so for once i agree with you. Generously assuming that you're not implying life of course. Which would just be stupid we can rationalize that it is quite nearly certain deterministic and random because that's all we know there to be, and there's nothing to suggest anything else is needed. So we make the fewest assumptions, leaving us with the current interpretation. Which may change. But hasn't needed to yet. Sigh... to reassert this; what do you mean by intentional choice? you seem to be re-implying something other than random or deterministic. Which would be.... ?
  10. Isn't it fair to say that the rules of science allow us to say werewolves or vampires do not exist? But what, God gets a special pass because he has the handicap of being invisible and intangible? By comparison to corporeally cursed undead, the God hypothesis rates in at "Not Even Wrong. Isn't it reasonable to conclude that while Last Thursdayism is conceivably possible, provided an omnipotent being, that it probably isn't true, or at least that there isn't any reason to believe in it, and never even could be a reason to believe in it, even if it were true? (assuming an omnipotent being could pull the masquerade off perfectly, which is sort've implied by all the omnipotence) Now, what I'm implying here isn't that science hasn't specifically proven the in-existence of such an entity, so much that the hypothesis for it (or they) lacks any support from observations of the universe, and requires many more assumptions than the various, far simpler naturalistic hypothesis, which, unlike god, hold more empirical water than the Great Green Arkleseizure. There has never been a veritable peer reviewed study or observation that has ever suggested that the actions or intercession of a conscious entity was necessary to account for the world we observe around us. This fair amount of evidence you mention does not exist except in the heads of the wishful. And personally, I would PREFER a world with a god, where decent people were truly rewarded for who they were at heart and ultimate happiness was just a shimmer away, where even such ambiguously subjective concepts of right and wrong might be quantifiable and as such utopian paradise was achievable for all. But I'm not gonna delude myself into believing in anything that has no rational or empirical basis, and is consistently contradicted by all the evidence.
  11. while I agree that that's the third choice, I'd have to argue that it isn't science's position no more than it's science's position that "we don't know whether or not a giant glowing elephant lurks the peaks of the Rocky Mountains eating campers." Science can and tends (surreptitiously) to conclude (or for political reasons, imply) the nonexistence of God, assuming most alleged characteristics of most variations of most gods. Lack of evidence for or the necessity of is evidence against. I'd suggest that science's position is closer to "lacking any evidence whatsoever to the contrary, with no reason to assume the necessity of, it can be reasonably assumed that god as generally understood does not exist"
  12. I would say science HAS largely answered questions about the supernatural, so far as you can prove a negative (I'm of the "yes you can" school of thought.) As far as I'm concerned supernatural just means something suspected by some that doesn't fall under the known spheres of science, but if it DOES exist in any capacity and we ARE capable of finding out about it / detecting it / testing it, then obviously it's some aspect of the natural world (no matter how exotic) and you might as well drop the Super bit. And I third Ophi's stance.
  13. Both statements are declarative sentences, and are each nine words long. The second differs from the first in ending with the word "logic" rather than "math," making the second statement one letter longer than the first.
  14. Fortunately science isn't about trust. It's about data. Lots and lots and lots of data. Would you like share your data indicating the natural cycle hypothesis? Or are you just trusting something to arrive at that belief?
  15. Yeh, the target of my mocking was solely the philosophy of "if we can speculate it, it must be," regardless of what he's arguing must be, whether that be a creative force/entity, some less elegant object of equally little or no credibility, or something entirely credible or even statistically certain (e.g. speculating that there are probably undetected asteroids zipping around.)
  16. I speculate that a hyperdimensional polka-dotted neon pink elephant with butterfly wings is responsible of the disappearance of socks from even the most vigilantly guarded clothes dryers. My simple speculation of this demands there must be something to my random suggestion, beyond what we observe in reality.
  17. the variance of laws between states I think is a prime example of WHY ignorance is a valid excuse. More so concerning obscure or quaintly outdated local laws restricting matters that do no harm. Like dancing politely somewhere with room to do so, or most of all when you have absolutely no means of finding out otherwise like in phi's example. There's a difference between wrong-doing and breaking frivolous laws, and when someone breaks such a law they should either be excused immediately (and warned if the law actually is relevant) or the law itself should be raised for review as to whether it's still viable. Personally I feel that any set of rules should serve as a set of guidelines to direct people who lack relative experience or don't have the capacity to work out the situation for themselves, not to restrain those people who might be capable of making better choices than those dictated by the letter of the law. And of course a police force should be upheld to observe for circumstances when someone endangers or flouts the rights of others. And when flouting occurs that isn't obvious, the flouters should be alerted to their wrong-doing, but not necessarily reprimanded.
  18. I feel the same... while morality is ultimately rooted in evolutionary social behaviors, humans have definitely reached a point where we can consider things reasonably and take an active approach to tailoring our fundamental morals, concocting new ones and pruning away the more contemporarily negative ones. Normally I think most cultural values that stand out as kind've unique, random and/or pointless or negative are obviously the results of the evolution of memes, originally based on some reasonable concept before being twisted this way or that over the ages. But we're definitely able to choose our morals intellectually regardless of our baser impulses, and can strive for ideals that we've conceived even if we don't quite meet them yet. This is where I feel memetics and reason have come into play, part of what I meant by the "complexity" of humanity compared to other animals in my earlier post. Merged post follows: Consecutive posts merged I suspect I'm being self-deceptively optimistic here... I suppose some human concepts of what constitutes right and wrong must be cooked up with a heavy dose of irrationality straight from the start
  19. The concept of free will is incoherent in the first place. What does anyone mean by it? Anything and everything we do has some sortve causal context. This happened so this happened so we did/thought/chose this. I know lots of spiritual-types like to denounce "materialism" as eliminating free will by reducing us to strictly material machines, but what do they want free will to be? Either we do what we do for a reason, or we behave randomly with no purpose. Either I went to get ice cream because I had a craving and it was hot out, or I... what? I'm not a physics person so I'm not certain of the accuracy of the analogy, but I see it like a nuclear chain reaction in an atomic bomb, following a path of cause and effect vs virtual particles in a vacuum, popping into and out've existence for no rhyme or reason, and to no effect.
  20. Where do you draw the line between where being moral is good for the individual vs the group? It's clearly to the advantage of the individual to be part of a cooperative society in which it's offered a greater chance of personal success by not having to rely solely upon itself, and for the group itself to function FOR the benefit of the individuals all the individuals should be mutually reliable to one another. the "laws of Darwin / the Jungle" as you put it, in a non-human gregarious species would probably lead to the individual being punished in some way, making it in their best interest not to steal, and therefore to avoid punishment. It's typically only most lucrative to cheat where cheating is rare and the populace is ill-prepared to identify and avoid/punish cheaters. In that case, cheating genes may overcome "moral" genes for a time unless and until the moralists adapt in response to counter the cheaters, and in the end the best sustainable balance will always have fewer cheaters than moralists if everyone's going to get the maximum gain.I used cleaner wrasse and vampire bats earlier as strong examples. Where groups are concerned, behavioral laws create morality. On a selfish, practical basis. only in the sense that it's needed by any social group of any complex species. Darwinian evolution occurs on several levels, not just the group. Natural selection works at the level of individual genes, individuals, groups etc. And competition occurs between all the levels, whether lions vs hyenas, lion prides vs lion prides, unrelated lions within a pride vs one another for dominance or food, or siblings vs one another for dominance or food. A animal doesn't breed for the sake of its species, but for the sake of its own genes' propagation. A close relative of the individual shares more of its genes, so occasionally it might adopt the orphaned young of a sister/mother/cousin. But rarely more distant. Humans pretty much behave the same on all counts. As for groups, chimps can live in groups of over a hundred, and other species of primate can live in even larger communities. Early pre-agricultural humans probably lived in similar or smaller groups than that. Resources are a better limiting factor on group size. Look at the modern era; "higher civilization" as some might put it is clearly associated with HOW MUCH people have, not how many people there are. Well... yes how many people there are, but in the sense of FEWER equaling better. How do YOU define civilization? Communication? Inter-generational culture (strategies, routes, technologies, hunting/foraging techniques, games)? Hierarchical social structures? Cooperative behaviors and social codes of conduct? None of these are unique to humanity; we do all the same things as anything else, just with a higher degree of complexity thanks to a bigger brain. Is human ehtics more complex than vampire bat morality? Sure. We're more complex, and live in a more complex world, so our morals HAVE to be more complex if we're going to survive one another. Faster evolution isn't necessarily better. And morality by no means means advancement. Look at any region that holds most tightly to "moral traditions" or whatever you want to call them; they're often the most stodgy and least willing to change (the Amish, for example). Not to suggest more liberal shakers and movers are less moral, but I'm sure you understand my point. No matter how you cut it, as a member of a group-species being moral is, most simply, the most self-servingly practical way to behave.
  21. but your arbitrary numbers don't mean anything!
  22. Lies propagated by the Space Cylinder! My eyes have been opened, and it's clear to me that all Darker Birds must be put down if the Fish are to take their rightful place over all.
  23. gambling occasionally pays off
  24. I'm unaware of any atheistic pre-modern civilizations ever having existed in the first place. It can't be said that they "didn't work out." And where, say, soviet Russia was concerned, it didn't constitute an atheistic civilization so much as a political entity that chose to adopt atheism as a useful tool. atheism has tended to emerge from WITHIN the presiding culture, as "out of the box" thinkers began to really consider the world around them and try to explain it. And on what basis do you claim that morality was never a developed atheistic trait? Religions mostly tend to CLAIM moral superiority and whatnot, but in what sense do they regularly DISPLAY a higher tendency towards morality? Merged post follows: Consecutive posts merged the general premise here is the allegation that atheism doesn't provide a source of morality and that theism does. it's simple selfishness. I do something bad, you don't do something for me or retaliate. I do something nice for you, you maybe do something nice for me. In a simplified sense, the Golden Rule. Or, look up Game Theory. It's all as sensible of 2+2=4, so long as you're not actively shoving your thumbs in your ears, screwing closed your eyes and screaming NAHNAHNAH I CAN'T HEAR YOU PRAISE GOD!!!! SO... you're accepting the evolutionary origins of morality and now saying that we dont HAVE to follow what makes sense because we're smart enough to choose differently? Well, if we were truly intelligent, wouldnt we choose what made sense in the first place and REMAIN moral?
  25. in most it's basically water, various hormones, proteins, nutrients etc wandering around, some have more advanced haemolymph with oxygen-binding haemocyanin proteins, copper-based non-cellular equivalents of our blood cells, but that's mostly in other arthropods, not so much insects.
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