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Does God Exist?

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    (Original post by Ryan_94)
    I think the main reason that people believe in God is that the creation of the universe and the concept of time are a massive stumbling blocks for most people. To make this worse, there is no theory for them that stacks up as easily and obviously correct as say... gravity - something that is completely tangible and proven in front of your eyes. Even with evolution and the big bang theory there is still more than enough room to not actually disprove anything in the Bible to such a level that the belief of it is any more scientifically unreasonable than it was prior to these theories and explanations. It is also perfectly intelligent, wise and logical (words not often used to describe theists) to not fully trust science no matter how "right" and convincing it is - after all, 100s of years ago people were as convinced the earth was at the centre of the solar system as people are convinced today that evolution is 100% true. I believe evolution is obvious as family inheritance (passing ginger hair and distinctive features for example) has been a fact for everyone for 1,000s of years - quite literally an unquestioned fact in everyone's mind, with or without knowledge of the theory of evolution. With that in mind it only makes sense that over a long enough period of time certain features would be completely present in all offspring and some features would be completely absent in all. I just think that there are a few things we're missing in the theory of evolution that will explain things better when we find them. Evolution seriously doesn't conflict with the bible though - evolution HAS to exist so long as sexual reproduction does! It's absolutely obvious.
    Please use paragraphs. What does this have to do with whether god exists or not?
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    (Original post by chickenonsteroids)
    Please use paragraphs. What does this have to do with whether god exists or not?
    I'm discussing why people may choose to believe in God, how their belief may be founded logically and how counter arguments may or may not stack up against their belief in God or not.

    How is this not relevant?
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    (Original post by Ryan_94)
    I'm discussing why people may choose to believe in God, how their belief may be founded logically and how counter arguments may or may not stack up against their belief in God or not.

    How is this not relevant?
    It just didn't seem that relevant to me. It just looked like you were rambling on about evolution. Maybe it's because you didn't use paragraphs.
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    (Original post by Charzhino)
    Thanks for avoiding my statement and posting a useless verse.
    You didn't post any evidence, so your statement has no weight anyway.

    It's not pointless at all, you just want it to be because it rubbishes your argument.

    I don't need your RSS propaganda, I'm fine as I am thank you
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    (Original post by Ryan_94)
    I think the main reason that people believe in God is that the creation of the universe and the concept of time are a massive stumbling blocks for most people. To make this worse, there is no theory for them that stacks up as easily and obviously correct as say... gravity - something that is completely tangible and proven in front of your eyes.

    Even with evolution and the big bang theory there is still more than enough room to not actually disprove anything in the Bible to such a level that the belief of it is any more scientifically unreasonable than it was prior to these theories and explanations. It is also perfectly intelligent, wise and logical (words not often used to describe theists) to not fully trust science no matter how "right" and convincing it is - after all, 100s of years ago people were as convinced the earth was at the centre of the solar system as people are convinced today that evolution is 100% true.

    I believe evolution is obvious as family inheritance (passing ginger hair and distinctive features for example) has been a fact for everyone for 1,000s of years - quite literally an unquestioned fact in everyone's mind, with or without knowledge of the theory of evolution. With that in mind it only makes sense that over a long enough period of time certain features would be completely present in all offspring and some features would be completely absent in all.

    I just think that there are a few things we're missing in the theory of evolution that will explain things better when we find them. Evolution seriously doesn't conflict with the bible though - evolution HAS to exist so long as sexual reproduction does! It's absolutely obvious.
    Gravity and evolution is a very good parallel. We know that both happen, because we can observe them happening. We have theories, nether of which we consider to be complete, to describe both of them. And yet there is this stumbling block with evolution, and people insist that evolution is "only a theory" and demand intelligent design - nobody insists on intelligent falling, even though both theories have the same scientific status.

    What modern science seem to tell us about god is not that god does not exist, but that the existence of god is not necessary for anything else to exist. But in that case, there's no reason to presuppose the existence of god at all. It's just something from an ancient book, like Aesop's Fables, the Norse Sagas, or the Epic of Gilgamesh.
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    I think morality is quite a hard one to explain with the evolution theory. If we are evolved instinctively to survive, what makes us want to help the old lady across the street?
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    (Original post by mmmpie)
    Gravity and evolution is a very good parallel. We know that both happen, because we can observe them happening. We have theories, nether of which we consider to be complete, to describe both of them. And yet there is this stumbling block with evolution, and people insist that evolution is "only a theory" and demand intelligent design - nobody insists on intelligent falling, even though both theories have the same scientific status.

    What modern science seem to tell us about god is not that god does not exist, but that the existence of god is not necessary for anything else to exist. But in that case, there's no reason to presuppose the existence of god at all. It's just something from an ancient book, like Aesop's Fables, the Norse Sagas, or the Epic of Gilgamesh.
    :rofl: that'd be brilliant. That way I won't look foolish if I trip on something
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    (Original post by cookwerth)
    I think morality is quite a hard one to explain with the evolution theory. If we are evolved instinctively to survive, what makes us want to help the old lady across the street?
    Morality is very easy to explain in terms of evolutionary theory. It's all about social cohesion.
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    (Original post by cookwerth)
    I think morality is quite a hard one to explain with the evolution theory. If we are evolved instinctively to survive, what makes us want to help the old lady across the street?

    If I help the lady in the street, people in society might recognise that I'm a good person and may help me when I need help in the future.
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    (Original post by cookwerth)
    I think morality is quite a hard one to explain with the evolution theory. If we are evolved instinctively to survive, what makes us want to help the old lady across the street?
    Humans are social animals. We have evolved to live in small packs and groups. But, genes are random and everyone is different to an extent. Some people are kinder than others (or express more kindness) but generally most people have basic morals that will be dominant in the gene pool because that is a beneficial characteristic for survival.
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    (Original post by Llewellyn)
    but generally most people have basic morals that will be dominant in the gene pool because that is a beneficial characteristic for survival.
    No it isn't. In fact it's a detriment to survival.
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    (Original post by noisy06)
    No it isn't. In fact it's a detriment to survival.
    How do you figure?

    If helping others then puts you in a preferable position for most people, then it benefits you and so is beneficial for survival.
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    (Original post by noisy06)
    No it isn't. In fact it's a detriment to survival.
    Ok, I will agree if you can back that up with evidence that proves when humans evolved that individuals who could not function socially were at an advantage.

    But I think I'll save you some time by telling you that you that you won't be able to find any reasonable evidence.
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    I have question concerning morality. How do you explain those situations where you feel doing something is right, yet it does not relate to our social benefit and more closely contradicts good societal building?

    Ex: Helping out one's enemies. Let's say a terrorist was trying to kill you, but somehow shoots himself in the leg. He begins to bleed profusely and if he doesn't stop the bleeding, he will die. So in desperation, he cries out for help. What social advantage would there be in helping this person? There's a good chance if he recovers, he will again go out terrorizing others. If morality was based on our social attitude toward one another, and we behave as a group, then it wouldn't be moral to help this person, even if he's crying for help. Yet, there may be a cry within our ownselves to help out our enemy in this situation. (I admit not most people would feel this way, but even if a portion of us felt this way, that is good enough to say we as a whole defy morality built on social behavior alone.)
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    (Original post by Okashira)
    I have question concerning morality. How do you explain those situations where you feel doing something is right, yet it does not relate to our social benefit and more closely contradicts good societal building?

    Ex: Helping out one's enemies. Let's say a terrorist was trying to kill you, but somehow shoots himself in the leg. He begins to bleed profusely and if he doesn't stop the bleeding, he will die. So in desperation, he cries out for help. What social advantage would there be in helping this person? There's a good chance if he recovers, he will again go out terrorizing others. If morality was based on our social attitude toward one another, and we behave as a group, then it wouldn't be moral to help this person, even if he's crying for help. Yet, there may be a cry within our ownselves to help out our enemy in this situation. (I admit not most people would feel this way, but even if a portion of us felt this way, that is good enough to say we as a whole defy morality built on social behavior alone.)
    Behavioural traits are rough and generalised. For example - a taste for high-energy food means that we will attempt to acquire things that give more substance to build and maintain our bodies. In a world of plenty, we need to limit our intake, but this behavioural instinct remains the same, so we have a preference for fatty foods. It is beneficial to humans to have the trait, but now conditions have changed and it is detrimental. It never controlled for conditions where it would be detrimental.

    For morality, it is generally beneficial. It is highly beneficial to protect one's family, as they share our genes. Even if we fail to have children, many of our genes can still live on if we have nieces and nephews. It is highly beneficial to protect others in our society, as we are a social species and so would have depended on the tribe's survival for our own survival.

    There are some conditions where this behaviour is detrimental. For example, helping look after an old or disabled person. It serves no selfish benefit. So there is the question of why evolution would have caused us to be moral in these situations. Well, we are moral in these because the situations in the previous paragraph are beneficial. It is possible to set behaviours for 'be relatively altruistic', and also to add in the extra of 'especially for your own kin'. It is only of minor detriment to our survival to help a non-functioning societal member, and presumably difficult to be controlled for, so we help them due to the generalised 'be altruistic' instinct. Overall, the instinct is beneficial to us.

    And that's how a selfish instinct has the thankful by-product of making us moral and altruistic. Whatever the circumstance, it blindly shouts at us to be empathetic.
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    (Original post by Llewellyn)
    Ok, I will agree if you can back that up with evidence that proves when humans evolved that individuals who could not function socially were at an advantage.

    But I think I'll save you some time by telling you that you that you won't be able to find any reasonable evidence.
    Wait, where's your evidence?

    Humans like to butcher other humans if it furthered their goals. There's plenty of evidence there.
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    (Original post by Alofleicester)
    How do you figure?

    If helping others then puts you in a preferable position for most people, then it benefits you and so is beneficial for survival.
    Yes, but the advantages of ethnic cleansing are many, that's why many nations and individuals did so. In fact, even at an individual level, why incentive is there to act "morally"? There is none whatsoever. You might be nice to people to get a promotion or whatever, but when a promotion is not on the line, there's just non incentive. In fact, in many parts of Africa today, sometimes people have to do horrific things to further their life goals and development. People climb the ladder of prosperity through corruption, bribery, theft, armed robbery, even murder. Let's not even start on history. The amount of nations that gained its superior status through pillaging and massacres are a lot, and why shouldn't they? Genghis Khan gave Mongolia an empire they could only dream of through the most barbaric actions. Soviet Russia punished the Germans in world war 2 by literally raping and pillaging their way to Berlin. It worked didn't it?
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    It's funny how those who completely disbelieve in God get into those situations e.g about to fall off a cliff, or is at the brink of death in a house fire, and they yell "OH PLEASE GOD HELP MEEE!!!"

    It's better to believe in something than believing in nothing...what have you got to lose?
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    (Original post by noisy06)
    Wait, where's your evidence?

    Humans like to butcher other humans if it furthered their goals. There's plenty of evidence there.
    http://www.gnxp.com/wp/2011/06/13/wh...als-come-from/
    I also have a number of books recognised by various Biological institutes which suggest similar sentiments.

    Nice citation. I like the part where it's not your own view on the matter. Oh wait...

    I'm not saying there aren't anomalies. There are cats born without functional limbs; but that doesn't mean that not having functional limbs is beneficial to cats. And I don't see what your point has to do with evolution or creationism.
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    (Original post by noisy06)
    Yes, but the advantages of ethnic cleansing are many, that's why many nations and individuals did so. In fact, even at an individual level, why incentive is there to act "morally"? There is none whatsoever. You might be nice to people to get a promotion or whatever, but when a promotion is not on the line, there's just non incentive. In fact, in many parts of Africa today, sometimes people have to do horrific things to further their life goals and development. People climb the ladder of prosperity through corruption, bribery, theft, armed robbery, even murder. Let's not even start on history. The amount of nations that gained its superior status through pillaging and massacres are a lot, and why shouldn't they? Genghis Khan gave Mongolia an empire they could only dream of through the most barbaric actions. Soviet Russia punished the Germans in world war 2 by literally raping and pillaging their way to Berlin. It worked didn't it?
    Yeah, the whole butchering populations could technically work in terms of survival of your own genes by reducing competition, likewise raping - increased chance of passing on your genes and the resultant child surviving if you're having sex with hundreds of people.
    However, such actions are detrimental to the survival of the species as a whole, due to the reduction in numbers, reduction of variety within the gene pool etc.

    As I've said, the incentive to act moral at an individual level is to gain favour from the other members of the population.
    To go on an primitive tribe analogy - If a man shares his kill with others, he can be seen as a good provider and so a desirable mate - hence increased chance of mating and so their line survives through to another generation.

    edit:

    (Original post by snooper)
    It's funny how those who completely disbelieve in God get into those situations e.g about to fall off a cliff, or is at the brink of death in a house fire, and they yell "OH PLEASE GOD HELP MEEE!!!"

    It's better to believe in something than believing in nothing...what have you got to lose?
    A societal trait rather than theistic - I frequently resort to saying things like "for god's sake", "Christ almighty, can you..." etc., not because I have any notion of belief in a higher power, but because it's a norm in modern society. Likewise, use of the phrase "OMG" doesn't mean that person believes in god.

    Pascal's wager - ignoring that there are a number of different things people believe in and that each differ, some only slightly, some greatly, and the being to which belief is attributed often punishes you for believing in a different god.
Updated: August 21, 2012
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