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III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God" 
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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
Flann 5 wrote:
Many Christians including authors of some of these texts died for their belief in the truth of them. If you made up a story about someone you said had died and risen again,would you be prepared to die for something you knew you had fabricated?


That convinces me that there are sincere believers. Unfortunately that has little to do with the validity of their beliefs.

Do people dying for other religions convince you to take their claims seriously? Maybe you picked the wrong one. Or rather, born into the wrong one.



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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
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I understand the naturalistic method.
Personally I don't think it can demonstrate how life emerged from inert matter or even that it is reasonably plausible. The same goes for the origin of the universe. The naturalist is stuck with the material world to explain it's own origin and life forms including conscious life.


I missed this. Methodological naturalism is science, but the methods I speak of are more than that. They are the ones in Carrier's book, starting with logic. When you use proper method in analyzing the world, the conclusion you arrive at is naturalism. Proper method also doesn't explain the origins of the universe, as I mentioned in my last post.

What method does, as an example, is show belief in prophecy to be unsupported. It shows belief in a great many things to be unsupported.

Basically, the only way to arrive at a justified belief is to take all the evidence, rearrange it in every way possible, and discard all the ways that proper method says are invalid or are false.


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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
"Personally I don't think it can demonstrate how life emerged from inert matter or even that it is reasonably plausible"

And this is rational skepticism on your part.

Newton avoided speculating on the cause of gravity itself at the time - "I feign no hypothesis"

Abio genesis attempts to extrapolate a model or theory beyond its testable limitations.

Another great example of feigning a hypothesis or theory is the assertion that evolution by natural selection applies to all life forms including extraterrestrial forms of life.

Feigning hypotheses was anathema to intellectual giants like Newton and Einstein, perhaps the two most brilliant men to ever walk the planet.

A feigned hypothesis is the metaphysical naturalist's own method of "gap filling"
That is abundantly clear.

Stating that an evolutionary algorithm applies to all regimes that are not available for comparison and testing is sheer bunk. It's a silly tactic to expand explanatory power beyond the scope of experience.
Dont let religious naysayers try to convince you otherwise. :)
They are easy to defeat at their own game.



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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
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"Personally I don't think it can demonstrate how life emerged from inert matter or even that it is reasonably plausible"

And this is rational skepticism on your part.


It is misplaced skepticism. It is warranted skepticism towards abiogenesis that is irrationally redirected at naturalism as a whole. The it in the sentence above is naturalism. A more accurate word would be we. We cannot demonstrate how life emerged from inert matter. We also cannot demonstrate how life would otherwise have emerged. What is your hypothesis? If you want to pursue this path, it does not mean life did not emerge from inert matter. The evidence is in front of our face that life did in fact emerge from inert matter. The problem is recreating the process.

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A feigned hypothesis is the metaphysical naturalist's own method of "gap filling"
That is abundantly clear.


When every phenomenon we discover has a naturalistic explanation and converges on a worldview that is naturalistic, the gap filling is a matter of inductive reasoning, and is extremely well founded. It's like we're walking through the remnants of a forest fire, and you see that the largest tree in the forest is burnt down. You scoff at the others who think the tree was burnt due to the forest fire. "But it's too big!" Yes, but we know for sure than most of the trees were in fact burned by the forest fire. We don't have live footage of every tree going up in flames, but inductive reasoning is pretty damned strong here. This is why people like Dawkins don't debate with creationists. They miss the forest for the trees regarding the convergence of evidence.


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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
Interbane wrote:
I start with skepticism and go from there. I haven't had any reason to believe the stories were true. I'm not sure who you're referring to above, but I don't buy the premise. Support the story with proper method and we'll talk.

Can you show that biblical characters were real people? If so, that doesn't mean any of the events attributed to them actually happened. I'm sure some did, but I'm also sure that some were fabricated. That is how men document things - embellished stories. It's amazing how this point never seems to sink in to true believers.


Hi Interbane, Thanks for your replies,
I'll attempt to address your main points here, beginning with a quote from Paul's first letter to the Corinthian Christians.
"For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures,and that he was buried and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures,and that he was seen by Cephas,then by the twelve. After that he was seen by over five hundred brethren at once,of whom the greater part remain to the present,but some have fallen asleep. After that he was seen by James, then by all the apostles.Then last of all he was seen by me also....."
We find the following words recorded in the book of Acts as Peter's words to a crowd including Jews and visitors from other countries on the day of Pentecost.
" Men of Israel,hear these words:Jesus of Nazareth,a man attested by God to you by miracles wonders and signs which God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves also know- him being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God,you have taken by lawless hands,have crucified,and put to death; whom God raised up,having loosed the pains of death,because it was not possible that he should be held by it.
"For David says concerning him; I foresaw the Lord always before my face,For he is at my right hand,that I may not be shaken.Therefore my heart rejoiced,and my tongue was glad;Moreover my flesh also will rest in hope.For you will not leave my soul in Hades,nor will allow your holy one to see corruption. You have made known to me the ways of life;You will make me full of joy in your presence.
"Men and brethren,let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David,that he is both dead and buried,and his tomb is with us to this day.Therefore being a prophet,and knowing that God had sworn an oath to him that of the fruit of his body,according to the flesh,he would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne,he foreseeing this,spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ,that his soul was not left in Hades,nor did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus God has raised up,of which we are all witnesses. Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God,and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit,He poured out this which you now see and hear. For David did not ascend into the heavens,but he says himself;
The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at my right hand,till I make your enemies your footstool."
"Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly,that God has made this Jesus,whom you crucified both Lord and Christ."
Now when they heard this,they were cut to the heart,and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles,",Men and brethren,what shall we do." Acts 2-22-36.
If we ask the question; How could these Jews have been persuaded to believe that Jesus was the prophesied messiah or Christ, and that he had died and been raised from the dead, what is the answer? How could residents of Jerusalem be persuaded of an event they could easily know and disprove if it had not happened? Crucifixions were public events. Along with the gospel accounts we have reference to this ,albeit later, in such as the writings of Tacitus. How are there Christians in Rome later who believe exactly these things?
Paul refers to witnesses to the resurrection in having met and seen Jesus after his crucifixion and death, and says many were still alive at the time of writing. How could Peter appeal to signs and miracles performed by Jesus to contemporary residents if they would easily have known if it was not true?
The apostles repeatedly cite old testament prophecies concerning a messiah who would suffer and die to make atonement for sin but would live on: e.g. Isaiah ch53, and psalm22 which strongly suggests crucifixion.
Granted that accounts of the deaths of Peter, Paul and others come from traditional Christian sources, does this mean they must be false? And later it is well attested historically, many Christians were executed for sport and died for their convictions. So the question is;How did the first Christians come to believe these things?
I accept that ant has a valid criticism in relation to apriori rejection of possible natural explanation of origins. So currently we have naturalistic theories and they need to be evaluated.
Neo Darwinism is currently the main version in terms of origin of life from some original, simple material source.It's not universally accepted and critics point to deficiencies and what looks contrary to it in terms of the fossil record along with other problems.Maybe it's supporters can address these problems or maybe not. Creationists raise questions and even if people don't like the source, the question is whether the substance of the criticism can be scientifically and logically refuted.
Here's an example in relation to Meta-information. www.creation.com/meta-information



Sat Sep 06, 2014 10:04 am
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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
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If we ask the question; How could these Jews have been persuaded to believe that Jesus was the prophesied messiah or Christ, and that he had died and been raised from the dead, what is the answer?


Consider your question for a moment, and all possible answers. Let's say my answer is that I don't know how they could be persuaded. By deduction, you would conclude that they must be persuaded by the truth, that the event really happened. But this is a classic argument from ignorance. Just because I don' have an answer doesn't mean they believe because it really happened. Why do modern day cultists commit mass suicide for what they believe? Because people believe things strongly, even when that belief is unfounded. When was the above passage written? What is the earliest dated manuscript? 70AD? Four decades after the events supposedly happened? Problems stack on top of problems before you even get started.

I can't emphasize strongly enough how little room is left for support when proper method is applied. This is why you start from the ground up, using proper method from the get-go. Only then can you be sure that your worldview is supported.

Quote:
So the question is;How did the first Christians come to believe these things?


Am I also required to answer this question as it pertains to Scientologists? Or Buddhists? Or Muslims? Men believe things for all the wrong reasons, and have for all of human history. The question isn't why they believe, but whether or not their belief was justified. Even then, we need to see evidence for this justification.

Regarding your link:
creation.com wrote:
Evolutionists say that all this information arose by random mutations, but this is not possible. Random events are, by definition, independent of one another. But meta-information is, by definition, totally dependent upon the information to which it relates. It would be quite non-sensical to take the cooking instructions for making a cake and apply them to the assembly of, say, a child’s plastic toy


The "mutations" in question may well be random, but their accumulation is anything but. This is a classic misunderstanding of how evolution works. The following link will explain the mechanism: http://www.indiana.edu/~ensiweb/lessons/ns.cum.l.html


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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
O,k. Interbane, Paul in his letter is saying that most of the five hundred who saw Jesus alive after his crucifixion were still alive at the time he wrote this,so it wasn't decades later. And scholars concur with this dating.
In the Acts account Peter appeals to things his listeners would have known to be verifiable to them in normal ways.
It's not really comparable to suicide cults and in fact they did not commit mass suicide historically, and neither do Christians who believe this today.
A messiah was prophesied in the old testament and Jesus fulfilled the criteria, most notably in his crucifixion.They believed he had risen from the dead and had appeared to them, not in a vision but in a normal physical way such as when he appeared at first to the apostles and they assumed it must be some sort of spirit. He deliberately took actual physically present fish and ate it to dispel the reasonable expectation that in fact he could not be physically alive.
I've gotten away from Richard Carrier's book here but since I'm on it and it seems to be a favourite subject of his, I'm going to provide a link to a debate between Richard Carrier and Mike Licona on the subject; Did Jesus rise from the dead?
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q43HzpzY04o Richard seems to think Jesus should appear to him personally in order to convince him. It's a civilized debate at least.
I'll have a look at the link you provided on evolution, Interbane.



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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
Flann, may I suggest adding an extra line between paragraphs, it makes it easier to read.



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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
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Paul in his letter is saying that most of the five hundred who saw Jesus alive after his crucifixion were still alive at the time he wrote this,so it wasn't decades later. And scholars concur with this dating.


What do the scholars go by to determine that this "actually happened"? What proof do they have? What evidence do they have? They have the writings you reference, which were written 40 years after the event happened, at the earliest. Why do you say it was written at the time it happened?

Quote:
He deliberately took actual physically present fish and ate it to dispel the reasonable expectation that in fact he could not be physically alive.


Huh? You're saying this as if the words are true. You need to back up a bit and justify that they are in fact true. I don't share your faith Flann, I prefer my beliefs to be justified. I accept that you hold your beliefs on faith. I also don't hold that against you. But I'd rather we be honest with the status of our beliefs. I've traveled this landscape a half dozen times, and there is no justification. Using proper method, you're left unsupported. Just have faith, and stop trying to turn it into anything more.


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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
Interbane wrote:
What do the scholars go by to determine that this "actually happened"? What proof do they have? What evidence do they have? They have the writings you reference, which were written 40 years after the event happened, at the earliest. Why do you say it was written at the time it happened?


Hi Interbane, The consensus among scholars is that 1st Corinthians was written about 20 years after the the crucifixion of Christ. Questions of dating and authorship are debated by scholars who tend to divide, as I've said before, on a worldview basis in relation to the supernatural.
I'm going to provide a link to a Christian website which provides arguments for the reasons we incline to earlier dating for new testament books rather than later.The same applies in terms of authorship. Just click the "dating" box on the link page provided.
http://www.bethinking.org/the-dating-of ... -testament.
As I've already said if these things were written at this time then obviously contemporaries would know whether in fact these things such as the crucifixion of Christ had happened or not. The later dating and authorship view suggests some people inventing or embellishing history.

I provided a link earlier raising questions in relation to information and meta-information in D.N.A. and how these could evolve. You referred me to a link which supports your view of natural selection cumulatively conserving "useful" information.
How this would actually occur I'm not sure and the relationship of information to meta-information do seem inextricably dependent.
What's interesting is where attempts are made to create computer simulations of neo-darwinian evolution it appears the programmers factor in active information into the program to achieve their "goal."
In the link you provided ,something of this sort is occurring with the "selection" criteria in the example given with the playing cards. Again I'm providing a link to a talk given by Robert J Marks; Information.What is it?
It's over an hour long but if you pick up about 50 minutes in you will get the examination of such simulations, and the question arises how unguided processes square with what they have to program in, to get the desired result.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7seCcS_gPk



Last edited by Flann 5 on Mon Sep 08, 2014 12:58 pm, edited 3 times in total.



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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
Quote:
I'm going to provide a link to a Christian website which provides arguments for the reasons we incline to earlier dating for new testament books rather than later.The same applies in terms of authorship. Just click the "dating" box on the link page provided.


The link didn't work. It doesn't matter what you incline to believe, to be honest. It's what you're able to show is true. At least, if you're wanting to say that your belief is justified. An "inclination" from historical scholars is not strong enough. First and most obvious, they are already inclined in that direction, so naturally they will form reasons to support that presupposition. But again, the inclination doesn't matter. You need something more solid.

Quote:
What's interesting is where attempts are made to create computer simulations of neo-darwinian evolution it appears the programmers factor in active information into the program to achieve their "goal."


There is a tremendous amount of information in a bleak rock-laden landscape. At least, in the sense that a phenotype must be able to interact with it in any beneficial way. The environment is the parameter.

The programmers also have to "program" the evolutionary algorithm. It is essentially a computerized model of physical processes. Short of creating a perfect simulation of every law of physics as well as the environment, that's the only way to do it. So yes, a great deal of information is put in place for the program to run.

Quote:
In the link you provided ,something of this sort is occurring with the "selection" criteria in the example given with the playing cards.


The selection criteria is determined by the environment. A comparative analogy would be: pick an organism that needs 20% oxygen in the air to breathe, or one that needs 40%. You have to model some things with demonstrative programs or games.

The question is, are you seeking to understand the mechanism, or seeking to find misunderstanding? Any misunderstanding we the laymen could uncover at our level of education on the topic is merely that- a misunderstanding. The true issues are much much deeper, and not in conflict with the theory. The misunderstandings you're dredging up on the internet are an excellent example of confirmation bias at work.

Quote:
It's over an hour long but if you pick up about 50 minutes in you will get the examination of such simulations, and the question arises how unguided processes square with what they have to program in, to get the desired result.


Flann, I can't watch videos the majority of the day. If you can provide a transcript, I'd be happy to take a look.


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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
Thanks Interbane,
The link I gave to the"be thinking" webpage wasn't perfect but on the bottom left of the page there's a large box titled; "Dating the new testament." If you clicked that you would find the article. I think there are good reasons given for early dating and authorship.
For most Christians there are multiple strands of reasons why we believe what we do.
Richard Carrier, espouses what he believes is good methodology yet it seems to me he abandons this without realizing it at times, as I've suggested previously.
So with the "useful fiction produced by the brain" notion of the passing of time.What is immediately and directly experienced is bypassed in favour of a particular theory of time, which is challenged by many.
And empirical evidence is practically abandoned when he strongly favours mutiverse theory.
Again, he is building on notions of the necessity of going from simple to complex when he favours the single chaos point origin of the multiverse. I'm not convinced that simple to complex is necessarily required or is some kind of universal law.

I think when it comes to the whole debate on evolution, I'm not qualified in terms of understanding highly technical specialised areas of knowledge ,to argue these things,as well as others. R J Marks is maintaining that evolution simulations are flawed if not downright cheating in their programs.
Usually there is a goal or target and the programs are not unguided and goal less as evolution is supposed to be. How primary information and meta information in D.N.A. would evolve together and what kind of unguided process or environmental factors could select for this, I do not know. But as I say, I'm no expert here.
Anyway here's a link to a written examination of Richard Dawkin's supposed Darwinian modeled simulation and the subject in general. Evolutionary Simulation; is the title. http://www.evoinfo.org/weasel/



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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
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For most Christians there are multiple strands of reasons why we believe what we do.


The multiple reasons you've shown me are the same ones I've seen many times before, and none of them justify belief. My criteria is to blame. I wish there were justification as well.

Quote:
And empirical evidence is practically abandoned when he strongly favours mutiverse theory.


I wouldn't say abandoned. He ranks the methods as he sees them in terms of priority and applicability. The further we get from the foundation, the more tenuous the knowledge, hence the weaker the method. Regarding an endpoint cosmology, that means we're at the bottom of the list. This doesn't mean everything above is abandoned. It means that it doesn't(yet) apply. Well, they all apply in small parts, but without any of the strength of a more certain theory such as general relativity or evolution. I think he mentions this in his book, to be fair. Regarding eternalist version of time, it's strongly supported by method(math/logic). Why do you think otherwise? Yes, there are people who disagree with Carrier, but that doesn't mean the version he champions is false, or that he has abandoned method.

Quote:
Again, he is building on notions of the necessity of going from simple to complex when he favours the single chaos point origin of the multiverse. I'm not convinced that simple to complex is necessarily required or is some kind of universal law.


Going from simple to complex isn't a starting principle. It's a pattern we see in nature, and if it is a principle, it's one reached as a conclusion, rather than a starting condition. We know the elements start from simple and go to complex. We know life goes from simple to complex. Why would this not also apply to universes? While this may not be a law, it's also not the primary principle in reaching the conclusion he came to. It's a guiding principle, side by side with others. The multiverse theory could also be wrong, and some other explanation may turn up that doesn't show the evolution from simple to complex. But without additional information to narrow down the results, it's useful as a guiding principle, don't you agree?

Quote:
Anyway here's a link to a written examination of Richard Dawkin's supposed Darwinian modeled simulation and the subject in general. Evolutionary Simulation; is the title. http://www.evoinfo.org/weasel/


There is nothing wrong with Dawkins' program in the link. Dembski and Marks claim he used an "oracle" to lock letters into place after they're found, as if there's something wrong with it. But that's precisely what the environment does when a beneficial gene arises! Since it is beneficial, it survives, by virtue of the survivability it lends to the organism that holds it. Flann, do you understand how the evolutionary algorithm works? If you truly understand the mechanism, and can understand how it would play out over time, these sorts of objections fall to the wind. It's like watching a stream move a small amount of dirt, then extrapolating a million years into the future and picturing the potential canyon that could be formed. There is undeniable, inevitable math behind all of it. But your understanding must meet it halfway. As I said before, if you keep looking for ways to misunderstand, that's all you'll be left with is misunderstanding.


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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
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I wouldn't say abandoned. He ranks the methods as he sees them in terms of priority and applicability. The further we get from the foundation, the more tenuous the knowledge, hence the weaker the method. Regarding an endpoint cosmology, that means we're at the bottom of the list.


Sorry, but where did Carrier present the multiverse hypotheses he presented as being at "the bottom of the list" of our methods of knowledge?



Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:34 am
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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
III.3.3 Modern Multiverse Theory <- In there somewhere. I only have the audio book, and I know I'm right, so I'm not going to get you a quote. :razz2:


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Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:47 am
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