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Why wouldn't God exist?

Does God exist?  

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  1. 1. Does God exist?

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Similarly, the wrong charge on the electron would stop atoms forming; the wrong gravitino mass would prevent big bang nucleosynthesis, the wrong dark matter content would stop galaxies (and stars) forming.

The trick is that I don't see why we need atoms, stars and galaxies. I am of the view that if they didn't exist, something else would, in whatever incredibly weird form it is, and some strange version of life might emerge.

 

Intelligent life doesn't have to be atoms clumped together exchanging chemicals. It could be any complex interacting system of stuff.

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Intelligent life doesn't have to be atoms clumped together exchanging chemicals. It could be any complex interacting system of stuff.

 

I think that last sentence is the key. You need to have interactions. But to have interactions you need to have clumping of some form. The universe is so huge, and the amount of "stuff" so small that if you spread it out there are no complex interactions. With most of the fine tuning problems you don't even get clumping.

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I wonder if anyone can imagine sets of constants that would be better for life? Would it be those that make decreases in local entropy more prevalent?

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Why not think bigger than just adjusting constants? You could have universes with different fundamental laws entirely. You could probably come up with a set of rules that pretty much guaranteed that "life" - self-reproducing and evolving organizational units, perhaps even capable of some form of intelligence - would arise almost immediately and nearly everywhere. As opposed to in our universe, where it seems to be quite rare and require unlikely circumstances like we have on Earth.

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Why not think bigger than just adjusting constants? You could have universes with different fundamental laws entirely. You could probably come up with a set of rules that pretty much guaranteed that "life" - self-reproducing and evolving organizational units, perhaps even capable of some form of intelligence - would arise almost immediately and nearly everywhere. As opposed to in our universe, where it seems to be quite rare and require unlikely circumstances like we have on Earth.

 

Oh, definitely. In fact, several such universes exist. The ones we know about exist within our own universe as computers running genetic algorithms.

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ok, this unfinished post has sat around in my browser long enough, i'm just posting it.

 

If there is an E. coli cell around, in about 12 minutes you can form a living thing (another E. coli cell).

oh come ON..and how much would it take for the first E.coli to come about? and the time for the circumstances the first E.coli needed to turn up? all of that in 12 mins?

i still say that it is possible that if the world we're living in is a slot machine that scored a jackpot, there is a possibility that the time we've been around isn't enough for the different successive slots to even line up.

 

 

I'm sorry, but I don't think science books have an infinite list of variables.

well i don't see the publishing of science books containing new variables going to stop any where on time's infinite line.

we keep discovering new variables life had to beat to come out, at one point they'd just be too much. so i took the shortcut and said they were infinity.

 

I think I know what you're getting at though. Any of the variables have to be in a certain very small range with uncountably infinite numbers in it, out of a much larger infinite range with just as many numbers in it.

nope, the interval between -1 to 1 contains infinite numbers, but R-[-1,1] contains more numbers, even though both contain infinity numbers.

Now, if you assume that the numbers could be anywhere in an infinite range, then it is rather surprising that they happen to be in a particular, small range. But that requires the aforementioned assumption. Instead, it could turn out that the variables in fact have to be what they are, much like the speed of light has to be what it is given Maxwell's equations. Or, it could be that there are in fact an infinite number of universes with different variables.

:confused:

you referring to this:

every new thing we learn, sets a new infinite plane of possibilities to happen, and a sub area interval on which things "SHOULD" happen, and yet another sub interval within of how things ARE happening.

?

 

 

 

 

So, basically, the idea that a universe like ours is unlikely is nothing more than an assumption. The converse, that a universe like ours is expected, is also an assumption. Since at the moment either is an assumption, people pick the one that they prefer.

glad to see you've got the qualities to reach that.:)

 

however, if one proves that(and this is the best wording i could come up with):

-the infinity that continuously spews or/and discovers conditions needed to be met for life's existence(ex:physical, chemical, astronomical etc..), actually, swallows the infinity which provides opportunity for life to come as a product of chance(ex: time and space)...

he can give a fraction depicting the possibility of life emerging by chance, which could also be infinity or zero;

 

example A

Shakespeare's play consists of a 1000 letters, each letter is an element of the alphabetic set, consisting of 26 letters, there's the possibility of getting one letter correctly individually,then that of getting them all correct separately(the whole play), then of getting them all correct and ordered (which would amount to a big number i forgot how to compute, the nPr and nCr thingies) and let's call it X.

the possibility of the monkey producing the play is 1/X...

if the monkey tries again, the possibility would be 2/X, if he tried X/2 times, the possibility of him getting it right would be 0.5, if he tried X times or more, the possibility of him getting it right would be 100%. this is all assuming he doesn't use the same combination of letters more than once, otherwise he could be pressing the space bar all the time.

 

wait a sec... WHAT!!?..(i never thought of that last bit before:eek:)

 

so it is necessary for the world to have a serious meaningful chance at introducing life is for it to continuously change, otherwise all it's parts could just reach different states of equilibrium and the universe would keep still for eternity.(of course nothing can disturb its equilibrium cuz everything is INSIDE it). as a matter of fact, isn't that the inevitable end of the universe? everything will collide and react until they all dissolve into their basic lowest energy forms, IOW, rubble, with the highest entropy levels possible. and just sit like that for eternity.

 

but hypothetically, there could also be some portions of the universe with potential action, but would slumber undisturbed because the rest of the universe is in equilibrium (or dead) to ignite that potential?

imagine, for the sake of simplicity, that the big bang resulted in two big identical masses, which were launched in lines of motion which would cause them to circle each other uniformly for eternity.

 

anyway, so not to deviate from the main point, something similar can happen, (equilibrium throughout the whole system) in infinitely numerous ways. and that equilibrium means that all parts of the system are doing nothing, or doing the same thing repeatedly. and if life didn't emerge in the time of one cycle, then time being infinite in general terms means nothing to the possibility of life emerging.

 

so back to the type writer, we'll assume the monkey types in a pattern that keeps changing without repeating for eternity.

 

yeah, then what?

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If God didn't exist, then would that mean everything is okay to do? What is the purpose of right and wrong if God and the devil do not exist? If there is no God, then there is no devil, if there is no devil and no God, then there is NO right or wrong. Does that mean I can go and rob my neighbors house? What do I care that he loses a couple things if I'm not going to get punished by a higher authority than man? People would say that is bad, but there is no bad if there is no good, there is no good if there is no God. If I went and killed my neighbor, why does the government care? Why would I need a trial? You're never going to see him again. Because there is no heaven if there is no God.

The natural man grabs what he wants when he wants it. Why do we make laws then? Because it is against our conscience to do wrong, then what is our conscience? Why do most people try to do good? Because a God influences all of us to do good.

The above post is so off the wall that it's almost not even worth responding to. However, it is rather common for sheeple to regurgitate without thinking.

 

If God didn't exist, then would that mean everything is okay to do? What is the purpose of right and wrong if God and the devil do not exist? If there is no God, then there is no devil, if there is no devil and no God, then there is NO right or wrong. Does that mean I can go and rob my neighbors house?

So the only think keeping you from raping and pillaging is the fear that an invisible father figure will torture you forever if you're bad? How on earth are you claiming moral superiority on THAT basis? :confused:

 

What do I care that he loses a couple things if I'm not going to get punished by a higher authority than man?

What's wrong with the authority of man? How is actually getting punished here, by people we know exist, less authoritarian than possibly getting punished after you die by someone whose existence is indistinguishable from non-existence?

 

If I went and killed my neighbor, why does the government care? Why would I need a trial? You're never going to see him again. Because there is no heaven if there is no God.

The natural man grabs what he wants when he wants it. Why do we make laws then?

 

Morality can be summed up as what we 'ought' to do. Some people like to dwell on the problem of not being able to derive an 'ought' from an 'is', but I don't actually see it as a problem.

 

We may not be able to derive an ought from an is, but we can derive an "ought, if" from an "is". It is merely a matter of observing the conditions and determining the necessary course to meet the desired outcome. We are social animal, and as such, benefit from peace(at the least within our tribe). If we want an effective society, we ought foster peace. People do respect others more when they are given respect. If you want to be respected, you ought respect others. etc

 

We've evolved to be social animals, so we ought to do what benefits and maintains a stable society.

 

Because it is against our conscience to do wrong, then what is our conscience? Why do most people try to do good? Because a God influences all of us to do good.
Actually, it's because we're social animals with an evolved social contract. Nice try, though.

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The above post is so off the wall that it's almost not even worth responding to. However, it is rather common for sheeple to regurgitate without thinking.

:rolleyes:

 

 

So the only think keeping you from raping and pillaging is the fear that an invisible father figure will torture you forever if you're bad? How on earth are you claiming moral superiority on THAT basis? :confused:

where on earth DID he claim moral superiority? athiesim's morals are under the scope, not him nor his morals, don't shift the goal posts.

 

What's wrong with the authority of man? How is actually getting punished here, by people we know exist, less authoritarian than possibly getting punished after you die by someone whose existence is indistinguishable from non-existence?

this is freaking obvious, what authority is governing man who is practicin the authority of man?

 

-the man in authority, who's authority does HE follow?

-if man is strong enough to practice a certain authority, another man is able to break the first's authority.

 

[...]

We've evolved to be social animals, so we ought to do what benefits and maintains a stable society.

utter nonesense, what logic are you following?

we evolved to social animals, SO WHAT? we also evolved intelligence to realize our immortality and the ability to realize our benifits on the expense of others.

Actually, it's because we're social animals with an evolved social contract. Nice try, though.

we also evolved the brainpower to break that contract, that's the whole point, so better try next time.

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So you think theism is better than atheism because (supposedly) only theists can have morality. But then where does the preference for morality come from? Not theism, since that is the argument for theism. Hence, the fact of the argument disproves the premise.

 

It doesn't even need to be logically disproven, though, as it is clearly empirically disproven. Most participants in this argument do not get their morality from some religious text, and yet we're not running around raping and pillaging, and in fact are rather nice people. The prediction that non-theists "would" be running crazy is contradictory to clear reality.

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The impact of centuries of religion has created the present state. The long term impact of religion is so interwoven into modern culture it is not always clear where it begins and ends.

 

I can not think of any atheist civilizations that has lasted thousands of years. They don't work out. But with religion, there are dozens of examples. The atheist, have always been a part of the religious assisted civilizations, but in dilute form. They gradually assimilated the essence of religion, so the modern atheist could do the same moral things.

 

As an analogy, say you went to live in another culture. As time goes on, one starts to take on the cultural characteristics. It is easier for the larger group to mold the few, than the few to mold the larger group. Both did occur, but morality was not always an atheist strong suit. It took time.

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I can not think of any atheist civilizations that has lasted thousands of years.

They don't work out.

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.

 

 

As an analogy, say you went to live in another culture. As time goes on, one starts to take on the cultural characteristics. It is easier for the larger group to mold the few, than the few to mold the larger group. Both did occur, but morality was not always an atheist strong suit. It took time.
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?


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where on earth DID he claim moral superiority? athiesim's morals are under the scope, not him nor his morals, don't shift the goal posts.

the general premise here is the allegation that atheism doesn't provide a source of morality and that theism does.

 

utter nonesense, what logic are you following?

we evolved to social animals, SO WHAT? we also evolved intelligence to realize our immortality and the ability to realize our benifits on the expense of others.

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!!!!

 

we also evolved the brainpower to break that contract, that's the whole point, so better try next time.
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?

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I

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!!!!

 

20100605.gif

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So you think theism is better than atheism because (supposedly) only theists can have morality.

oh come on i didn't say that..

 

ok. um, morality is simply to define right and wrong, and give reasons or incentives to do right and not wrong.

 

speaking broadly, atheism and theism share the same definition of right and wrong (although i think this is mainly because atheism is still in an early minority stage, let theisms be part of history and raping a child may be normal)

 

but when we come to incentives, atheism is not satisfactory yet theism is.

imho, no incentives = broken ethical code.

 

simple as that.

 

But then where does the preference for morality come from? Not theism, since that is the argument for theism. Hence, the fact of the argument disproves the premise.

i guess wanting to feel good is where it comes from?

and you can't outdo heaven and hell and you can (or more importantly, you THINK you can) outdo anything else:-)

 

 

It doesn't even need to be logically disproven, though, as it is clearly empirically disproven. Most participants in this argument do not get their morality from some religious text, and yet we're not running around raping and pillaging, and in fact are rather nice people. The prediction that non-theists "would" be running crazy is contradictory to clear reality.

:D

in which case your morality if it is coined somehow to do good and not evil(however you coined either if you did) is well, a leap of faith, as that video inow posted showed.

 

atheists can be moral, as a matter of fact, the majority are peaceful and intelligent(once again maybe because atheism is still young), and many theists are immoral and unethical.

 

but those theists are simply not following theism when acting unethically, and atheists are not strictly following atheism if they act ethically.

 

we're discussing the system, not the adherents.:)

 

 

nwrt

trolling.


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the general premise here is the allegation that atheism doesn't provide a source of morality and that theism does.

yes, at least not a logically valid one.

 

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!!!!

:doh:

and if i can do something to you and you can't do anything about it?:eyebrow:

2+2=4???

 

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?

:confused:

"evolutionary origins of morals"?

WHAT morals?

you mean packhood?:D

why wouldn't we choose what made sense in the first place and REMAIN religious?:D

 

here, social darwinism;

creationist site: http://creation.com/darwins-critical-influence-on-the-ruthless-extremes-of-capitalism

atheistic site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Darwinism

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the difference between the prisoners dilemma and its application to the "do unto others.." thingie, is that the dilemma puts overpowering the guards out of the question to begin with, where in real life many situations square A has "bad for HIM only" and D has "good for HIM only". in essence you are over-oversimplifying reality and ethical choices.

well...not so bad of a try..keep it up..

Edited by forufes
Consecutive posts merged.

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If you look at PC (politically correct) that is an example of atheist morality. It stems from the more anti-religion political party thereby helping us isolate it. It is sort of a spin-off of Christian morality; do onto others and love your neighbor, but with an Old testament twist; an eye for an eye.

 

It makes use of retroactive guilt and divine entitlement. It magically turns words (noises) into demons and angels, which have power over people, creating false gods or verbal idols. The atheist church enforces this morality, using law and force. This is atheist religion. One can take people out of religion but not religion out of the people.

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the difference between the prisoners dilemma and its application to the "do unto others.." thingie, is that the dilemma puts overpowering the guards out of the question to begin with, where in real life many situations square A has "bad for HIM only" and D has "good for HIM only". in essence you are over-oversimplifying reality and ethical choices.

Yes it is a simplification, anyone can see that. But it is a simplifcation by necesity. What ydoaPs and the author of that comic were trying to do is to explain the basics of how game theory can lead to morality, not the complexities of how game theory can lead to morality.

 

Besides, Prisoners dilema only covers one small category of game theory, there are many more "games" that have been identified, and I would say that the Prisoners Dilmena is not actually the best one for showing the complexities of it.

 

A better example would be the "Ultimatum Game". In this the rule are one player gets a sum of money and then splits that how they like into two piles (the pile don't have to be even). The first player then decides which of the piles to give to a second player and which to keep for themselves. The second player then chooses to either accept or reject the offer.

 

If the second player accepts the offer, both players get the money in their respective piles. If the second player rejects the offer, then neiter of the players get any money.

 

(note: It doesn't have to be money but can be anything that can be shared between the players and would be benificial to have)

 

Now, on first thought it makes sense as the second player to accept any offer the first player offers as something is better than nothing. Also as the first player it is in your interest to only offer the minimum amount that the second player would accept to them.

In other words if this first thought is correct the second player would never get much mooney and the first player would hog it all.

 

As a one off event, or if neither player could communicate their actions to a third party, then this is probably the best choice, however, if you repeat this game, or play it where players can communicate to other players about this, then it radically changes what is benficial to do.

 

As the first player, if you offer good deals to the second player, and as the second player to reject unfair deals, and this is communicated tothe other players (or over repetitive plays), then you will get more money by being fair (and ethical and moral offers) than by being greedy.

 

This is because you will more likely be offered fair deals (as the second player) if they know you will reject unfair deals. And, as the first player if you offer fair deals, then other players will not reject them.

 

You might think that the prisoner dilema game does not apply easily to many daily situaitons (and that is true), but this game (the ultimatum game) is much more applicable to real life situaitons. For example: Every time you drive on the road, every time you pass another person on the street, and so on. This game applies hundreds of time each day. This game is about fairness and trust. Every time you trust someone, or expect them to be fair, the results of this game apply, and our society could not exist without fairness or trust. Living in a society would not be possible.

 

Since this game does not rely on any spirituality, and it defines the core of what makes society possilbe (and also underpins most of the morality and ethics of religions, then this shows that religion is not needed for morality and that morality can exist without the need for religion.

 

"evolutionary origins of morals"?

WHAT morals?

you mean packhood?

In evolutionary terms, this Untimatum game shows that if you live as as a solitary animal, then your interactions with other animals of your species should follw the behaviours of selfishness (and if youy look at the behavious of solitary aniamls this is how they behave), however, it also shows that if you live as a social animal then being fair and trustworthy is the better set of behaviours (at least with the members of your social grouping).

 

As group animals that do better will be more likely to pass on their genes to new generations (and social species have advantages in certain environments over solitary species) then in terms of evolution fairness and trustworthiness will be selected for.

 

This also shows that individuals in a social species will be selected against if they practice selfish behaviours as they can be ostracised by everyone refusing the deals they offer, even if they would be fair (or more than fair).

 

In social species, the ultimatum game shows how both selection at the indivisual as well as the species level works to create morals and ethics by giving advantages to those that can be fair and trusted.

 

In other words "packhood" gives the mechanism by which evolution works to produce morals and ethics. Packs hood does not mean a bunch of ravening wolves tearing things to shreds, but it menas that ther eis a definite and very strong selection pressure against imoral and unethical behaviour.

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Morality is about optimizing human social interactions so the group can evolve and grow. It is less about the needs of the ego or the individual, and more about the needs of the group so it can evolve.

 

For example, it is not moral to steal. Stealing could optimize the ego or individual by allowing one to get extra resources with the least amount of effort. But this won't optimize the group. If we all decided to steal, there is nobody working to make any resources. This would cause the group to shrink and the individual to ultimately suffer, until the laws of the jungle apply. Then we are under the laws of Darwin.

 

If we say, "thou shall not steal" and we all agree to act this way, then there is no quickie resource commandeering by the individual. We all need to contribute, causing the group to have maximum output. This allows the group to grow. Morality was needed for civilization.

 

Darwinian evolution is about the group being optimized genetically, via the selective advantage of the individual. This makes the species chemically strong via breeding. Animals do not have to be moral because of this genetic method. However, this genetic method limits the group size, with apes only able to form very small groups.

 

To form a civilization of apes; million members, they would need some version of social ape morality. Science tends to promote the Darwinian ape and leaves out the extra human spark behind civilization.

 

The best morality allows the group to evolve the fastest.

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Morality is about optimizing human social interactions so the group can evolve and grow. It is less about the needs of the ego or the individual, and more about the needs of the group so it can evolve.
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.

 

For example, it is not moral to steal. Stealing could optimize the ego or individual by allowing one to get extra resources with the least amount of effort. But this won't optimize the group. If we all decided to steal, there is nobody working to make any resources. This would cause the group to shrink and the individual to ultimately suffer, until the laws of the jungle apply. Then we are under the laws of Darwin.
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.

 

If we say, "thou shall not steal" and we all agree to act this way, then there is no quickie resource commandeering by the individual. We all need to contribute, causing the group to have maximum output. This allows the group to grow. Morality was needed for civilization.
only in the sense that it's needed by any social group of any complex species.

 

Darwinian evolution is about the group being optimized genetically, via the selective advantage of the individual. This makes the species chemically strong via breeding. Animals do not have to be moral because of this genetic method. However, this genetic method limits the group size, with apes only able to form very small groups.
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.

 

To form a civilization of apes; million members, they would need some version of social ape morality. Science tends to promote the Darwinian ape and leaves out the extra human spark behind civilization.
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.

 

The best morality allows the group to evolve the fastest.

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.

Edited by AzurePhoenix

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Not to completely derail this thread into secular vs. non-secular morality, but how would we define the treatment of animals with regards to the moral opposition towards cruelty?

 

I can see how on a certain evolutionary level, animal cruelty would be symptomatic of psychopathic tendencies and threatening to the human group, not just the animals - thus a good candidate for selective moral exclusion.

 

However, I think it's worth considering at this point in our self-awareness if morality can really be treated as entirely evolutionary in nature. The blueprint clearly is - we lived for hundreds of thousands of years without progressing very much intellectually, but having eventually come to a point where we think about ourselves and our existence in the ways we do, I think morality has transcended that original evolutionary blueprint.

 

People regularly debate morality intellectually, and we can see how morals have changed throughout the ages and across cultures at a pace we can surely all agree is not the work itself of evolution. I'm certain how we feel about morality is largely dictated by the impact of evolution but it's expression and even tenants seem far more culturally and philosophically based.

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The blueprint clearly is - we lived for hundreds of thousands of years without progressing very much intellectually, but having eventually come to a point where we think about ourselves and our existence in the ways we do, I think morality has transcended that original evolutionary blueprint.
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.

 

People regularly debate morality intellectually, and we can see how morals have changed throughout the ages and across cultures at a pace we can surely all agree is not the work itself of evolution. I'm certain how we feel about morality is largely dictated by the impact of evolution but it's expression and even tenants seem far more culturally and philosophically based.
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.


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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.
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 -_- Edited by AzurePhoenix
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So, I would think that there are so many "coincidences" that I find it impossible for anyone who really understands physics or chemistry to believe that all this we are studying just came about by chance! The universe is too perfectly designed for that. From the smallest atom to the largest galaxy, incredible design features abound in our universe. These design features I believe are the fingerprints of God.

 

The sciences make me believe in God, more everyday. What do you guys think? :D

 

I think you are using the Strong Anthropic Principle. The problem is that the SAP has an error in logic. You are saying that the universe must have the values for the neutron and everything else just as it is. But it doesn't. You have made an error in logic. Here, read this carefully:

 

"According to the Anthropic Principle, we are entitled to infer facts about the universe and its laws from the undisputed fact that we (we anthropoi, human beings) are here to do the inferring and observing. The Anthropic Principle comes in several flavors.

In the "weak form" it is a sound, harmless, and on occasion useful application of elementary logic: if x is a necessary condition for the existence of y, and y exists, then x exists. If consciousness depends on complex physical structures, and complex physical structures depend on large molecules composed of elements heavier than hydrogen and helium, then, since we are conscious, the world must contain such elements.

"But notice that there is a loose cannon on the deck in the previous sentence: the wandering "must". I have followed the common practice in English of couching a claim of necessity in a technically incorrect way. As any student in logic class soon learns, what I really should have written is: *It must be the case that*: if consciousness depends ... then, since we are conscious, the world *contains* such elements.

 

The conclusion that can be validly drawn is only that the world *does* contain such elements, not that it *had* to contain such elements. It *has* to contain such elements *for us to exist*, we may grant, but it might not have contained such elements, and if that had been the case, we wouldn't be here to be dismayed. It's as simple as that.

Take a simpler example. Suppose John is a bachelor. Then he *must* be single, right? (That's a truth of logic.) Poor John -- he can never get married! The fallacy is obvious in this example, and it is worth keeping it in the back of your mind as a template to compare other arguments with."

Daniel Dennett, Darwin's Dangerous Ideas, pp. 165-166.

BTW, I did not vote in the poll because you did not state "I believe God exists." "I believe God does not exist." You also did not put the third alternative: "I do not know if God exists or not."

That third alternative is the position of science.

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You also did not put the third alternative: "I do not know if God exists or not."

That third alternative is the position of science.[/font]

That third alternative is the position of science.

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"

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Honestly, if you think something that occurs one time in a billion isn't likely to occur at least once given a hundred trillion opportunities, it's a waste of my time to talk to you.

 

I don't know of any reasonable estimates being one in a billion. The highest probability estimates for the modern scenarios have it at well under 10^400, and no wonder. Simple replicating biomolecular systems have been been studied for some time now and the common element is that they require a substantial infusion coherent stored information defining a working structure from among the countless alternatives. The probability of obtaining a working structure by any mechanism is the basis of the estimate. Estimates of the number of atoms in the universe are about 10^81 so the opportunities to search the set of workable structures isn't worth discussing.


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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"

 

Its likely that some scientist hold this particular position, but it does not seem to follow rules of science. Since the cause of the universe remains out of reach to scientific discovery at this time, science properly done is silent on the existence of a creator. However, contrary to your assertion, there actually is a fair amount of evidence that indicates the necessity of a creator for both the universe and life in it. Perhaps you have difficulty accepting the existence of this evidence.

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Its likely that some scientist hold this particular position, but it does not seem to follow rules of science. Since the cause of the universe remains out of reach to scientific discovery at this time, science properly done is silent on the existence of a creator.

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.

 

However, contrary to your assertion, there actually is a fair amount of evidence that indicates the necessity of a creator for both the universe and life in it. Perhaps you have difficulty accepting the existence of this evidence.
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. Edited by AzurePhoenix

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