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New Dawkins book: "The God Delusion"

#35: Jan. - Mar. 2007 (Non-Fiction)
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Mr. P

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Re: New Dawkins book: "The God Delusion"

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Quote:If you'll read one of my threads you'll find I have another belief system worked out. And the fact that anyone can just work out a belief system makes me very uneasy and confident that they are all just fabrications. Your just looking for a different version from that which you were raised within.Mr. P. Mr. P's place. I warned you!!!The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper
Saint Gasoline

A few more critiques

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Quote:Its pretty much a two sided situation. Arguing about the existance of god is like placing a coin in a sealed box, shaking the box, then arguing if the coin came up heads or not.No, it's not like that at all. When trying to determine which way a coin is facing, we need evidence for this. A lack of evidence isn't supportive of either position. However, in the case of existence claims, a lack of evidence can indeed support a particular position. For instance, when we say something like, "There is nothing inside this box!", we wouldn't claim that we somehow have evidence of something not existing in the box. Rather, we don't see any evidence of something in the box, and we infer that since we could expect such evidence if there were something in it, that there must not be something in the cereal box. This very simple case illustrates why claims of nonexistence differ from other claims in terms of justification--they don't need to be supported with evidence, because the only thing that could possibly support a claim of nonexistence (for something that isn't self-contradictory, of course) is a lack of any evidence of its existence. This is why there is a burden of proof for existential claims. So when we say that something does not exist, what we reallly mean is that this best fits the "evidence"--that meaning that the hypothesis of a thing's nonexistence is a better explanation for why it produces no evidence of its existence. This principle is related to Ockham's Razor in that it prohibits unnecessary and unwarranted hypotheses.Quote:He said that the universe has many forces in it which conspire to shape our world. He believes that these forces are in part intelegent because intelegent beings are a part of them.Can that be refuted?A house has many substances in it which conspire to shape its form. My teacher believes that this house is a brick because bricks are a part of it.Simply put, I don't think your inference that "these forces are intelligent" follows from the fact that "intelligent beings are a part of them". This would be valid if you meant that intelligent beings are LITERALLY a part of the forces (IE--humans were LITERALLY part of the force of gravitation, for instance, perhaps as a variable in the equation describing it, a lowly x). But it seems clear to me that you don't mean this literally, and therefore the inference doesn't follow. The fact that intelligent beings may have been produced as the result of such forces doesn't mean that the forces themselves are intelligent beings. This is like arguing, to use another example, that humans must be inanimate objects because the hats they produce are inanimate.
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Re: A few more critiques

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Welcome St. Gasoline! I hope you stick around! Is that fresh air I smell?Mr. P. Mr. P's place. I warned you!!!The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper
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Re: A few more critiques

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Saint Gasoline was here before, I believe. Why her post count is back down to 4 is beyond me.
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Chris OConnor

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Re: A few more critiques

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What do you mean by "before?" I don't recognize the name as an old member. Could you mean before the ezBoard crash that happened over a year ago? If so all ezBoards experienced members dropping off the roster. We lost over 220 members.
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Re: A few more critiques

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I have been here before, Chris. My stay was rather short. I subsequently lost an internet connection for about a year, so I didn't really have any time to come back here. Now that I finally have my own internet again, though, I can perhaps actually participate in this community. I'm especially glad that a Dennet book is on the list!
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Re: A few more critiques

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Ha! And I like the new listing under my name: "A breath of fresh air!"
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Mr. P

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Re: A few more critiques

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HA! And I typed my comment before that 'title' appeared!It must be true!Mr. P. Mr. P's place. I warned you!!!The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper
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Re: New Dawkins book: "The God Delusion"

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Quote:Humans may not be products of an intelligent designer but given genetic technologies, our descendants will be. What does this mean about the future of evolution? It's an interesting thought that in some remote time in the future, people may look back on the 20th and 21st centuries as a watershed in evolution -- the time when evolution stopped being an undirected force and became a design force. Already, for the past few centuries, maybe even millennia, agriculturalists have in a sense designed the evolution of domestic animals like pigs and cows and chickens. That's increasing and we're getting more technologically clever at that by manipulating not just the selection part of evolution but also the mutation part. That will be very different; one of the great features of biological evolution up to now is that there is no foresight.In general, evolution is a blind process. That's why I called my book "The Blind Watchmaker." Evolution never looks to the future. It never governs what happens now on the basis on what will happen in the future in the way that human design undoubtedly does. But now it is possible to breed a new kind of pig, or chicken, which has such and such qualities. We may even have to pass that pig through a stage where it is actually less good at whatever we want to produce -- making long bacon racks or something -- but we can persist because we know it'll be worth it in the long run. That never happened in natural evolution; there was never a "let's temporarily get worse in order to get better, let's go down into the valley in order to get over to the other side and up onto the opposite mountain." So yes, I think it well may be that we're living in a time when evolution is suddenly starting to become intelligently designed. This is an interesting point. Can we really control eveolution, or will the natural always thwart our efforts to control it? I mean we can obviously modify plants and animals with the technology we have, but evolution is a process played outo over hundreds of thousands...but more like millions of years!! Do we really have any impact on something like this?Mr. P. Mr. P's place. I warned you!!!The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper
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Re: New Dawkins book: "The God Delusion"

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This thread is proof of God. How else would Nick have known that "A Breath of Fresh Air" would appear next. Clearly, this is some sort of sign.
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