- We do not know why the universe exists. That's not the same as "just because", even though that's a good enough stand-in for now, until we maybe gather some knowledge on the subject. It's possible that there is no specific reason, other than a chain of circumstances.However, I personally find it far too difficult to believe that the universe exists "just because", that life on Earth, that our lives, are simply an accident, a spectacular fluke arising from the random alignment of certain molecular structures in the primordial soup millions of years ago. In my experience few things are random, and to believe the universe is simply a random occurrence is to beg an exercise in blind belief far more daring than accepting the existence of a creator.
- Life on earth is not a random fluke, if you ask the scientists. It seems that the emergence of life is a rather straightforward process, a normal and expected consequence of certain conditions, which we already know pretty well even if all details have not been filled in yet.
- Likewise, the evolution of species, including the sentient ones like us humans, some apes and other mammals, birds etc. is also not random at all. It's a natural consequence of a rather simple and logical, well known and explained process of variation and selection. I'd be very happy to explain the logic of evolution in more detail if you wish to listen.
- Again the same goes for the universe itself: it's not a random fluke that the matter is arranged the way it is, but a natural and logical consequence of conditions after the big bang.
ANY end result of a complex chain of effects is extremely unlikely. If you toss a dice a hundred times, and mark down the sequence you get, it would probably take millions of tries to come up with the exact same sequence again the next time you try. Toss it a thousand times, and you need billions of tries and so on. Yet you did get that sequence with your first try.
Back to the case of the universe, life and everything, we're now in a situation where we have the list of those thousand dice throws. It looks like an improbable result for sure, but only in hindsight.
Lack of belief in god is not based on faith, but rather the lack of faith, obviously... it's the same reason why you do not believe that a pink teapot orbits mars right now. Lack of existence of any phenomena is the default position, the null hypothesis.Well, many people claim to have very good reasons to say that God doesn't exist. Funny how not believing in God might actually require more faith than doing the opposite, isn't it? Beware where you put your faith.
That's pure speculation. What makes you think the vessel is anything more than a vessel?That is fine, as long as we don't lose sight of the fact that the vessel and its mechanisms is nothing but that (a vessel, or a container for something far more precious and unbelievable.)
Well, the robots already have rudimentary self-awareness and capability of pseudo-emotional responses. Not to the extent us humans have, but arguably better than for example bacteria... and as far as soulds go, i do not think they exist in the first place.I don't think robots will ever advance to the point that they will become self aware and capable of pseudo-emotional responses even approaching the complexity of those felt by humans. You cannot manufacture souls. And that's where we differ I believe.
To me, what i read in the bible clearly indicates that most of it IS an invention. And not even very consistent at that.The whole point is that you need to accept this is not a matter of evidence. That's why faith is so important. You need to consciously make a decision of whether you believe or not, and if you believe, you better have a strong knowledge of the facts and not just "believe because somebody said so." You will claim that that's exactly what Christians do by believing in the Bible, but if you examine the source of the Bible, the historical accounts surrounding the life of Jesus and figures in early Christianity, and the consistency and continuity involved, it is easy to understand that this is not an invention. Do you believe George Washington ever lived? Why? Do you have any evidence of it? I hope you do get my point.
It's a whole body of evidence, not any single thing:What have you learned that leads you to believe God doesn't exist?
- There's no evidence whatsoever in support of the claims of divine in the bible
- The existence of thousands of similar, but different gods speaks on behalf of each of them being similar myths
- The events in the religious texts are physically impossible in the light of scientific knowledge
- The religious texts usually contain internal conflicts of logic and other clear inaccuracies
- The advances in science have given us a much, much better body of explanations about the life, universe and everything
- Occam's razor
- Extarodinary claims need exraordinary evidence
...just off the bat. The list is long and detailed, the above are just the first things to come to mind.
Actually, i do not believe even in the existence of "evil", except as a product of human mind and culture...Doubt is just a natural process. But it's dangerous in that in many instances (I believe) evil uses it as an insidious tool to bring people away from God. Always examine the sources of your doubt, and never stop thinking and drawing your own conclusions.
I'm ready to change my beliefs about astronomy, including our solar system's construction, if new, better theories and explanations emerge.Are you prepared to accept that Earth is not a (roughly) spherical planetary body orbiting the Sun? Some things you learn to accept, whether the source of this acceptance is "hard science" or an inner conviction born out of years of thought, experience, and spiritual struggle.
Unfortunately, it's very much possible (and in my opinion very likely) that John Cleese was correct when he said that the parrot is no more: after death there's no mind left to make any conclusions, our brains do not function any more.That's OK. Conclusions are never final until (like the Monty Python parrot) you cease to be.
Let me start with one clarification. I am STAUNCHLY opposed to abortion personally. If I were 15 and got a girl pregnant, I would do whatever was in my power to make sure that baby made it to term. However, I am equally pro-choice from a philosophical stance.
I’m unfortunately going to answer your question with a question, though I will try to answer it in the end. Is a 0.000001% chance of life less than a 99.999% chance of life? That is to say, if a pregnancy had a 0.000001% survivability rate for both mother and child, is that worth it? How about 1%? How about 55%? What percentage change is worth it? I contend that an unfit mother may, in fact, be capable of watching a child grow to maturity, but is it worth it if the result is a sociopath due to neglect and abuse? What if we can stop that at the source?
I totally understand the adoption mantra, but sometimes it seems as if that is cast off as “no big deal”. If abortion is to be considered emotionally devastating, I invite that adoption is at least doubly so. Again, from a PERSONAL standpoint, I would either raise the child or put it up for adoption 100 times out of 10, but I understand my beliefs need not be the law.
Evolving robots with rudimentary self-awareness:
Other robots with rudimentary self-awareness:
Robots with emotional responses:
...now, these are just the early steps. The same as where computers were in the 40's or so. Give it a few dozen years, and it will likely be rather hard to distinguish a robot from a human, as far as social skills go (it's likely though that the robots will not LOOK like humans, as that's found to be rather unnerving for humans that interact with them:
The non-existence is a neutral default position, the null hypothesis.
And by that you probably guessed my stance on abortion - with early pregnancies, i see no problem with them. A few cells does not a human make. In late pregnancies, abortions should only be done for pressing medical reasons. And as one can guess, the time between is a gray area.
Now to the planned parenthood... to me this seems like an applaudable effort. I understand you are against aborts, but they are just 3% of the procedures Planned Parenthood does, according to their web site: most of their work is sex education and preventing unintended pregnancies, pap tests, breast exams, and sex disease tests. I hope you're not against that?
And I think for oponents of Planned Parenthood, it doesnt matter how much good they do. If they perform 1 abortion, they are evil. That's a fine position to have. So 3%, 95%, .00000003% is irrelivent.
No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life...Albert Einstein
terrorist attacks against Planned Parenthood "including (but not limited to) bombing, arson, and attacks with chemical weaponry" - and i'd assume those would serve as yet more recent examples of violence in the name of religion...
- It is nothing but straightforward. Nobody has ever been able to manufacture life from inert matter, and nobody ever will.
- The question in itself is moot, because we haven't even begun to explain the existence of the Universe itself! In other words, even if you find a plausible set of chemical reactions that would have caused life to rise from inorganic matter, you still have to explain how the matter came to be. (Please remember this when I respond to your Occam's Razor argument below.)
As for the null hypothesis, do you agree that the most plausible default position is for there to be nothing? Unless there is something to act as an agent of change and creation. In other words, we (and everything around us) shouldn't exist, yet here we are having this nice conversation.
The existence of false gods discredit the existence of one true God? Really? That's pathetic as far as logic deductions go.
The events in religious text are impossible? Nothing is impossible for God, by definition. Again, another pathetic attempt at logic.
The advances of science have given us very little in terms of actual advantages towards survival. If we were to become aware of the existence of a large enough asteroid or comet in a trajectory towards Earth, chances are there is nothing we would be able to do about it. Science (and industrialization) has created an imbalance in the planet which has endangered our own existence. Overpopulation, global warming, depletion of natural resources... You name it. So yes, I happen to think that science (when not moderated by higher ideals) is nothing but a dangerous dead end.
I already talked about Occam's Razor. You want me to believe that the Universe either always existed (which we know not to be true) or came out from nothing. Every effect has a cause, except that which always has existed outside of time. And the Universe is not it.
To me, everybody should do at every instance what they know in their heart to be right. The problem is that a whole generation has been brainwashed to change their views of what is right and wrong. I honestly have never met anybody who would have rather had the chance to live a life stolen from under their feet before they were even born. I know for a fact that millions of women have been convinced they were doing nothing wrong, and I feel nothing but compassion and sorrow for them. They are victims too.
Tell that to an expecting mother that feels the life growing inside her at every moment. Tell her that it's not murder, and see what she tells you.
If 97% of my daily activities consist of helping old ladies crossing the road and saving puppies, and between 1:00 AM and 1:15 AM every night I get a gun and kill two or three people, does that make me "mostly good"?
Let us be clear here: abortion is a great business for Planet Parenthood, and a lot of the clinic directors have made millions out of this activity. If you think abortion is OK I guess there is nothing wrong about that, but my sense of smell is offended by it.
I haven't thought about IVF, but I have heard of techniques that produce a surplus of embryos which are then frozen, and also often eventually destroyed. To me, this is unethical. Extremely unethical. I think IVF in itself is not bad, but those specific techniques are not acceptable. We have the technology to avoid this, but we don't use it probably because it would be prohibitively expensive to do so. Again, not acceptable.
My guess is that 99% of the women who abort are uneasy about the experience, and a large part of those even end up having life-long remorse and depression. Like I said before, they are victims also. One of my friends happens to be one of those women.
I am very aware that many people might be reading my words and feeling rejection for my position. I have come to accept that, and I apologize if I am offending you in any way. Thinking and reflection is always good, and I am always willing to examine my own beliefs, so if you want to enlighten me as to why I am wrong, I would respectfully hear what you have to say. Again, I am not a fundamentalist. In many ways I am quite liberal as a matter of fact. I have ecclectic views which do not line up very well with one given political party or philosophy, but I guess I would say I could be described as a (very imperfect version of a) Christian wannabe.
Not me. I'm waiting for the release of a G5 PowerBook.We are not alive for the sole reason that we may witness the glorious release of the iPhone 5
"It is dark the other side. Very dark!" - "Oh, shut up and eat your toast!"
If atheism is a belief in the non existence of god. Then the atheist would have to concede that he has no knowledge of god. How then, can he define god, or accept any definition as useful enough for the basis of a rational discussion about the existence of the deity?
The Korova milkbar sold milk-plus, milk plus vellocet or synthemesc or drencrom, which is what we were drinking. This would sharpen you up and make you ready for a bit of the old ultra-violence.