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  1. #11
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    Hello Richard

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    Hi David,

    Of course we still have a problem understanding Ultimate Reality. What else would you expect? We are like children. We've only discovered Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, and DNA in the last century. And we did it all without any God or Bible. Indeed, it was when we broke free from those concepts that science really began in earnest. The Bible misled us for 2000 years. People believed all sorts of falsehoods about reality when all they had to go on was the Bible. It was science that corrected our misunderstandings.
    The Bible has not misled us for 2,000 years. Having trouble understanding the Book of Revelation is not because God is deliberately misleading us. God has presented a picture that we have to interpret and understand correctly. It is not essential to understand the Book of Revelation completely and it is better to admit lack of understanding than misinterpret it and promote lies.


    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    Why does the "future of the universe" matter? We're all going to die anyway.
    If that is what you believe, then you will not be disappointed. I do not believe it has to be this way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    If the ultimate fate of the universe is bleak, then that's the fact of reality. The facts of reality are not true or false depending on whether we like them or not.
    According to man's science the future is bleak and I will not argue with that fact. Believing in a creator God means that we can believe in God which sustains His Creation and even might transform it in ways we cannot imaging. We do not need to presume what God might and might not do. We are going to have to decide what we are supposed to understand from our exposition of the Bible. Whether God exists, this should not stop us getting to the truth of what the author wants us to understand.


    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    Kaku is just speculating from our current state of knowledge, which is very limited. And it's just one man's opinion anyway. And if it is true, it's true.
    And if it is false, it is false. It is just one man's opinion. Anything you say against the Bible, there is an equal amount that can be said against what science thinks is the origin of the universe and the origin of life. At least with the Bible we start from the ancient scriptures that were inspired and which that word has not changed. Only our understanding changes. Science changes according to what is found out and it is man's word that is changing as his results and conclusions are written down. If we learned from science text books written a century ago, we would be learning things that we know now were not true. Hence we should learn from the latest textbooks. The ancient scriptures in contrast have not changed.


    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    How can you say such a thing? Science is based on logic, facts, and reality. The Bible is just a pile of ambiguous words that each person interprets differently and which has a 2000 year track record of not helping people understand reality at all.
    Science is built on logic and facts, but scientific conclusions change as the new facts come to light. That is the reality of science. Not all the Bible is easy to understand, and that is not a reason for saying it is a pile of ambiguous words. If that is your conclusion, then that confirms to me that you could never have properly understood it over the ten years you gave it so much study. You have never resolved the problems that became apparent to you. If we are to engage on an exposition of the Bible to get to the truth, then you have to open your mind and suspend conclusions like the one you have made here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    There is no proof for God of any kind. Science is supported by a vast array of evidence. We have no "assurance" that God will do anything, and if we use history as an example, then we have every reason to believe he will never do anything since there is no evidence he has never done anything.
    For the sake of getting to the truth of what the authors of the books of the Bible intend us to understand, we do not have to start by believing in God. It would be good if we can agree on what we are meant to understand. We are either going to agree, disagree or hold in abeyance until a meaning is found. We have yet to see what conclusions we come to and if either of us is prepared to change our beliefs. Is eternal life worth having? If science could give you eternal life, would you want it? If yes, why would you not want the same eternal from God, if God exists? Science at present cannot give you eternal life and yet God can do it and has given us the assurance by the resurrection of Jesus. This is what the Bible is telling us and whether you believe it or not, is not of concern at this moment in time. The importance is that we agree that this is what is on offer from God. Where eternal life is to be enjoyed is what we will have to work at agreeing and so we have to examine all the verses that suggest anything different.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    It would be best if we restricted our comments to the facts of reality. It looks rather silly to make outrageous assertions that have no foundation in any facts at all.
    Although I would agree with that statement,facts do not always have to come into our understanding of God's word. There are archeological facts and historical facts that the Bible will support and vice versa, but then it is the message of the Bible and what the author intends us to understand that we have to get to. Once we have got the correct understanding as we think the author intends us to have then when it is alll put together we might find we have to change our beliefs. At this point in time we should not say whether we are likely to change our beliefs or not. The exercise has to be done with no expectation of the results that might affect what we believe.


    All the best,

    David

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    The Bible has not misled us for 2,000 years. Having trouble understanding the Book of Revelation is not because God is deliberately misleading us. God has presented a picture that we have to interpret and understand correctly. It is not essential to understand the Book of Revelation completely and it is better to admit lack of understanding than misinterpret it and promote lies.
    I wasn't talking about the book of Revelation, I was talking about the whole Bible with all the false information about how the world works, was created, etc. Before we had science, Christians used the Bible to PROVE that the earth could not move, and so could not be orbiting the sun. Other Christians taught that antibiotics were evil because illness was God's punishment for sin. Etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Why does the "future of the universe" matter? We're all going to die anyway.
    If that is what you believe, then you will not be disappointed. I do not believe it has to be this way.
    It's not what I "believe" - its a fact of life that we all know is true. Everyone dies David. You think you will be resurrected - that's fine, but it's not what we were talking about.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    According to man's science the future is bleak and I will not argue with that fact. Believing in a creator God means that we can believe in God which sustains His Creation and even might transform it in ways we cannot imaging. We do not need to presume what God might and might not do. We are going to have to decide what we are supposed to understand from our exposition of the Bible. Whether God exists, this should not stop us getting to the truth of what the author wants us to understand.
    Or we can believe that God is going to totally destroy this universe and create another, or maybe we will exist in "spiritual bodies" or whatever. None of that matters because that has nothing to do with the science that Kaku was talking about.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    And if it is false, it is false. It is just one man's opinion. Anything you say against the Bible, there is an equal amount that can be said against what science thinks is the origin of the universe and the origin of life. At least with the Bible we start from the ancient scriptures that were inspired and which that word has not changed. Only our understanding changes. Science changes according to what is found out and it is man's word that is changing as his results and conclusions are written down. If we learned from science text books written a century ago, we would be learning things that we know now were not true. Hence we should learn from the latest textbooks. The ancient scriptures in contrast have not changed.
    There you go again. Asserting that the Bible was "inspired." Why do you believe that? I've been asking over and over and over again, and I've found no good reason that would convince any rational skeptic.

    The fact that the Bible has not changed explains why it is so full of error. You have repeatedly said that we should doubt science because it is constantly getting more and more accurate, and that we should believe the Bible because its errors never change. That seems totally nuts to me.

    It would be best if you did not appeal to the "inspiration of the Bible" until you find some evidence supporting your position, don't you think?

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Science is built on logic and facts, but scientific conclusions change as the new facts come to light. That is the reality of science. Not all the Bible is easy to understand, and that is not a reason for saying it is a pile of ambiguous words. If that is your conclusion, then that confirms to me that you could never have properly understood it over the ten years you gave it so much study. You have never resolved the problems that became apparent to you. If we are to engage on an exposition of the Bible to get to the truth, then you have to open your mind and suspend conclusions like the one you have made here.
    Oh I "resolved" lots of problems to my satisfaction, but now I'm not satisfied with those answers because I can see I overlooked things like the 32,000 virgins, the irrationality of Yahweh, etc. Our many hours of discussing indicate that you are still overlooking those things, and trying to make up excuses for them when I demand an explanation. Why do you do that? Why don't you accept what the Bible plainly teaches about Yahweh?

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    For the sake of getting to the truth of what the authors of the books of the Bible intend us to understand, we do not have to start by believing in God. It would be good if we can agree on what we are meant to understand. We are either going to agree, disagree or hold in abeyance until a meaning is found. We have yet to see what conclusions we come to and if either of us is prepared to change our beliefs. Is eternal life worth having? If science could give you eternal life, would you want it? If yes, why would you not want the same eternal from God, if God exists? Science at present cannot give you eternal life and yet God can do it and has given us the assurance by the resurrection of Jesus. This is what the Bible is telling us and whether you believe it or not, is not of concern at this moment in time. The importance is that we agree that this is what is on offer from God. Where eternal life is to be enjoyed is what we will have to work at agreeing and so we have to examine all the verses that suggest anything different.
    I think it would be great if we could discern what the Bible is really teaching. That's why I keep calling for folks to establish the "Big Picture" that everyone (that is, all rational people) can agree upon. If we can't do that, then it pretty much confirms that the Bible is a confused mess with no central message. So let's begin by establishing what the book actually says and means.

    Cheers!

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

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  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    I wasn't talking about the book of Revelation, I was talking about the whole Bible with all the false information about how the world works, was created, etc. Before we had science, Christians used the Bible to PROVE that the earth could not move, and so could not be orbiting the sun. Other Christians taught that antibiotics were evil because illness was God's punishment for sin. Etc.
    | referred only to the Book of Revelation as it is a book with lots of symbols and figurative language that confirms the point you were making and could be considered misleading. I do not find the Bible so misleading as you try to make it out. As for those ill-informed Christians who did not know understand antibiotics, then what has that got to do with this discussion? I know that Christians have misunderstood the Bible and it would not be surprising to find it is the same Christians who do not understand medicine. In the case of thalidomide, there might be a case for saying that drug was evil. The drug might have done some a lot of good, but it also did a great deal of harm.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    It's not what I "believe" - its a fact of life that we all know is true. Everyone dies David. You think you will be resurrected - that's fine, but it's not what we were talking about.
    We are talking about death, but not necessarily eternal death. It might not be what you are talking about. You might get what you expect.


    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    Or we can believe that God is going to totally destroy this universe and create another, or maybe we will exist in "spiritual bodies" or whatever. None of that matters because that has nothing to do with the science that Kaku was talking about.
    I know it has nothing to do with what Kaku is speaking about and we do not know what changes God will make (if any). It is all speculation.


    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    There you go again. Asserting that the Bible was "inspired." Why do you believe that? I've been asking over and over and over again, and I've found no good reason that would convince any rational skeptic.
    When you stop saying the Bible was written (authored) by fallible men, I will stop saying the Bible was inspired. I believe Timothy when he writes; "all scripture is given by the inspiration of God" As I said;Moses was instructed to write things down plainly so the people would understand and have not excuse.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    The fact that the Bible has not changed explains why it is so full of error. You have repeatedly said that we should doubt science because it is constantly getting more and more accurate, and that we should believe the Bible because its errors never change. That seems totally nuts to me.
    You make a false statement that because the word of God has not changed, it explains why it is full of error. If that is not a forced conclusion after you know that the errors have either been through translation or transcription of deliberate corruption of the original. The words originally written down you cannot prove have been altered. That would mean the original documents would be full or crossings out and insertions. If the original manuscripts have been lost then we cannot refer to them as proof one way or the other. We can say from the methods used in the copying of manuscripts that there would not be many serious errors and the fact that a few errors have been found is proof that the original manuscripts were copied and it is the copy we have.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    It would be best if you did not appeal to the "inspiration of the Bible" until you find some evidence supporting your position, don't you think?
    No! Not until you stop making the claim that the Bible was authored by fallible men. The inspired men were fallible men, but the words which they were inspired to write are not the words of fallible men are but God's word. While you concentrate on the errors and make your own deductive errors you show your own fallibility. I will state what God wants us to know and that is His word has been written down by men as they were inspired. The consistency of the message across all 66 books of the KJV is testament to the divine authorship. If you fail to recognize this, then you do not have much alternative other than to say what you do.


    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    Oh I "resolved" lots of problems to my satisfaction, but now I'm not satisfied with those answers because I can see I overlooked things like the 32,000 virgins, the irrationality of Yahweh, etc. Our many hours of discussing indicate that you are still overlooking those things, and trying to make up excuses for them when I demand an explanation. Why do you do that? Why don't you accept what the Bible plainly teaches about Yahweh?
    As you know I do not have a problem understanding the incident involving the 32,000 virgins. It was not as you present it and you fail to accurately quote scripture. It is just your opinion. I have given you my understanding of the that episode, and if you are only going to treat it as excuses, then there is nothing more I can do. I do not accept what you say is the"irrationality of Yahweh" It is your own irrationality and dismissing of words in the records that shows me why you are making the record say the things you want it to say. I have no reason from you to change a word of what I have written by way of response to the way I understand the events that took place. I accept what the Bible says about Yahweh including all the good things that you do not mention. You are skewing the truth in favor of your own argument.


    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    I think it would be great if we could discern what the Bible is really teaching. That's why I keep calling for folks to establish the "Big Picture" that everyone (that is, all rational people) can agree upon. If we can't do that, then it pretty much confirms that the Bible is a confused mess with no central message. So let's begin by establishing what the book actually says and means.
    Your big picture is not the big picture I have. I do not know what picture you have for this earth after AD70. If you do not believe the Bible teaches the literal return of Jesus to set up God's kingdom, then we have very different pictures. The Bible is not the mess you say it is. Many wrong interpretations have made it appear to you that it is a mess. I do not find the difficulty you have in accepting the Bible. I have not followed blindly. Years of reading the Bible and listening to Bible talks, I have gradually come to understand what might seem to others as difficult passages. There are some passages that I am not entirely clear on but these to do make any significant contribution to the overall understanding I have.

    I do not want to continue with this thread and will wait to see where you want to start on in order to take one subject/chapter/passage at a time and see how far we get.

    All the best

    David
    Last edited by David M; 12-03-2012 at 11:41 PM.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    Hey there John,

    Your comment is unintelligible to me. I have no idea what you mean. No scientist that I have ever read says "Natural selection is nothing more than the product of pre-programed information." What does that even mean? Where did you get that idea? Please explain what you mean


    Again, your logic makes no sense to me at all. What do you mean when you say "Tuning implies a scale?" What do you mean when you say that a "scale implies parameters?" None of your comments make any sense to me at all.

    All the best,

    Richard
    Richard, "unintelligible?". Really? I thought the illustration demonstrated in a most fundamental way, an application of logic.

    If something is "tunable", it is "adjustable".
    If something is "in tune" or "adjusted properly, then it naturally follows that the same thing can be "out of tune" or "out of adjustment".

    This establishes at least two parameters, "in tune" and "out of tune" or "in" and "out". "Fine tuning" implies more than the two simple positions of "in" or "out", it necessitates a "range" or "scale" of adjustment. When I'm tuning the G string on my guitar there comes a point in the tuning process when "it's almost there", just a little more tension and the desired key will be reached.

    In this illustration, "tuning" is not a noun, but rather a verb, showing action. That which is being tuned is the noun and the topic of this thread is a place, the Universe and the condition of the Universe is... "properly tuned". It logically follows that if the Universe has been "finely tuned", then there must be a Tuner, and in the case of the Universe, a Creator/Tuner. Of course, I would suggest that in it's initial created state it was already finely tuned, or, in God's words... "Very Good". It is because of man's disobedience that things are winding down, becoming "detuned" and less harmonious.

    All of this is based on intelligent information in the same way that amino acids need pre-coded genetic material to form the right proteins for life. Without DNA or RNA you have no information and if you eliminate information, what are you left with? Simple, a theory that the universe sprung into existence from nothingness which suggests that not only was it necessary for the Big Bang to produce energy, matter, space and time, but also intelligent information as well.

    Logic, guided by Wisdom leads to Truth.

    Your friend,

    John

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    Richard, "unintelligible?". Really? I thought the illustration demonstrated in a most fundamental way, an application of logic.

    If something is "tunable", it is "adjustable".
    If something is "in tune" or "adjusted properly, then it naturally follows that the same thing can be "out of tune" or "out of adjustment".

    This establishes at least two parameters, "in tune" and "out of tune" or "in" and "out". "Fine tuning" implies more than the two simple positions of "in" or "out", it necessitates a "range" or "scale" of adjustment. When I'm tuning the G string on my guitar there comes a point in the tuning process when "it's almost there", just a little more tension and the desired key will be reached.

    In this illustration, "tuning" is not a noun, but rather a verb, showing action. That which is being tuned is the noun and the topic of this thread is a place, the Universe and the condition of the Universe is... "properly tuned". It logically follows that if the Universe has been "finely tuned", then there must be a Tuner, and in the case of the Universe, a Creator/Tuner. Of course, I would suggest that in it's initial created state it was already finely tuned, or, in God's words... "Very Good". It is because of man's disobedience that things are winding down, becoming "detuned" and less harmonious.

    All of this is based on intelligent information in the same way that amino acids need pre-coded genetic material to form the right proteins for life. Without DNA or RNA you have no information and if you eliminate information, what are you left with? Simple, a theory that the universe sprung into existence from nothingness which suggests that not only was it necessary for the Big Bang to produce energy, matter, space and time, but also intelligent information as well.

    Logic, guided by Wisdom leads to Truth.

    Your friend,

    John
    Hey there John,

    I think I see the source of the confusion. When folks say the constants of the universe are "fine tuned" they are using a METAPHOR. It seems you have mistaken the metaphor for a literal description. A similar problem arises when folks hear about the "laws of nature." Literal "laws" are only created by humans. Some king or ruling body lays down some "laws" that are supposed to be obeyed with penalties for disobedience. But natural laws are not made up by any human or legislative agent and they cannot be "disobeyed." It's just a metaphor.

    Lot's of confusion comes from mistaking metaphors for literal descriptions.

    Your error is quite obvious from your comment that "It logically follows that if the Universe has been "finely tuned", then there must be a Tuner." That's simply not true. We don't know that the universe ever existed in a "non-tuned" state so you cannot assert that it was "tuned by a tuner." There are other possibilities. It could be that there is a multiverse that constantly spits out universes with random settings and we find ourselves in a "fine tuned universe" because we wouldn't be here to observe if it wasn't "fine tuned" which actually means "randomly generated."

    If you want to pursue the idea that a Painting implying Painter, you should watch this video. It is based on the fundamental teachings of Christianity. It's only 9 minutes long. I would be very interested in what you think of it.

    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

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  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    Hey there John,

    I think I see the source of the confusion. When folks say the constants of the universe are "fine tuned" they are using a METAPHOR. It seems you have mistaken the metaphor for a literal description. A similar problem arises when folks hear about the "laws of nature." Literal "laws" are only created by humans. Some king or ruling body lays down some "laws" that are supposed to be obeyed with penalties for disobedience. But natural laws are not made up by any human or legislative agent and they cannot be "disobeyed." It's just a metaphor.
    Well, if that's the case, to what is it finely tuned? Please explain your concept of tuning?

    Lot's of confusion comes from mistaking metaphors for literal descriptions.
    I was not confused. I understand what tuning implies. You are the one who prefers that it become interpreted as a metaphor.

    Your error is quite obvious from your comment that "It logically follows that if the Universe has been "finely tuned", then there must be a Tuner." That's simply not true. We don't know that the universe ever existed in a "non-tuned" state so you cannot assert that it was "tuned by a tuner."
    I do not err when I conclude that if something is characterized as "finely tuned", I am lead to understand that it has been adjusted. I also suspect that God created the Universe in a state of perfection and to add the phrase "finely tuned" to His work is a gross underestimation of His capabilities. The whole idea is a bad metaphor at best.

    There are other possibilities. It could be that there is a multiverse that constantly spits out universes with random settings and we find ourselves in a "fine tuned universe" because we wouldn't be here to observe if it wasn't "fine tuned" which actually means "randomly generated."
    Another summons to the tooth fairy? Time for a new invention, we are currently in need of extra universes which have become necessary to explain unpredictable activity in the quantum arena. How about something much simpler such as, the fundamental particles are responding to the commands of their Creator, containing matter and energy.

    If you want to pursue the idea that a Painting implying Painter, you should watch this video. It is based on the fundamental teachings of Christianity. It's only 9 minutes long. I would be very interested in what you think of it.

    The video is a slam at God for defective births. I take the position that these are not accidents, that whatever the cause, the Sovereignty of God has allowed it. God is also Lord of the Hurricane and other destructive events, He has never backed away from that attack. How ironic that puny men, including you accuse Him of things He's in charge of. The question is not about the free will of man vs the Sovereignty of God, but rather the limitations He places on man's freedom and restrictions on anything to resist His will. The Biblical God is not in need of being defined by any man, He openly proclaims His all encompassing authority to execute His will.

    One more point on the video, there have been many human beings born with defects ranging from cripples to the blind who have come to Christ. Their testimony is refreshingly simple and they are able to thank God for the life He has given them and the hope beyond this life. Now think about this, You seem to enjoy good health and I would suspect that you are able to earn enough to sustain your lifestyle. You also live in a country that allows you to satisfy most of your lusts and also denigrate the Biblical God. Because of this I assume you are thankful to someone or something for the benefits you have reaped, but eventually you keep you appointment with death and perhaps discover that you missed out on the opportunity to live forever. Now, let's assume instead that you were born handicapped, but you received the measure of faith in Christ to sustain you through the inconveniences of your handicap, and at the end of this life, you were able to enter Eternity with a flawless immortal body, free of all the past earthly pains and disappointments. Would you trade places? You see, the real question in life is "what would you give in exchange for your soul?". I suspect, "everything", but that would be, after the fact.

    As always, your friend to the end,

    John

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    Well, if that's the case, to what is it finely tuned? Please explain your concept of tuning?
    Nothing is "tuned." That term is a metaphor. Just as the A string on a guitar is "tuned" when it is close to 440hz, so various constants of nature are called "tuned" if they are found in an apparently narrow range that allows for our kind of life. For example, if gravity were much stronger, then stars would burn out too fast for life to EVOLVE. Stuff like that. Note that the argument is based on the general body of scientific knowledge, including biology, astrophysics, and evolution. If you attack science then you cut off this argument at its knees.

    It is very important to understand that the fine tuning argument is totally irrelevant to our specific discussions. At the very best, it could only prove the existence of some sort of intelligence underlying reality, like the Cosmic Mind or whatever. That "mind" might not even have a center of consciousness that we call "self" or "ego" (Christianity is presents God as the ultimate egoist). It does not and cannot prove the biblegod in any way at all. It is totally irrelevant to me because I already allow for the possibility of something like a "Cosmic Mind." Indeed, I lean towards that idea since it makes more sense to me that consciousness is the "Ground of Being."

    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    I was not confused. I understand what tuning implies. You are the one who prefers that it become interpreted as a metaphor.
    It's not a "preference." The idea of "fine tuning" DOES NOT IMPLY A TUNER! It is compatible with the existence of a tuner, but it does not imply a tuner since we could get the same result from a random universe generator or a universe created by a singular consciousness that manifests in each of us, or something else we have yet to imagine. In other words, a Tuner is a sufficient but not necessary condition for the existence of a fine tuned universe.

    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    Your error is quite obvious from your comment that "It logically follows that if the Universe has been "finely tuned", then there must be a Tuner." That's simply not true. We don't know that the universe ever existed in a "non-tuned" state so you cannot assert that it was "tuned by a tuner."
    I do not err when I conclude that if something is characterized as "finely tuned", I am lead to understand that it has been adjusted. I also suspect that God created the Universe in a state of perfection and to add the phrase "finely tuned" to His work is a gross underestimation of His capabilities. The whole idea is a bad metaphor at best.
    You most certainly do err. The idea of "fine tuning" is a METAPHOR. It does not imply that the universe ever existed in a "non-tuned" state and so it does not necessitate a Tuner. You admit exactly this when you assert that God created the universe fully tuned.

    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    There are other possibilities. It could be that there is a multiverse that constantly spits out universes with random settings and we find ourselves in a "fine tuned universe" because we wouldn't be here to observe if it wasn't "fine tuned" which actually means "randomly generated."
    Another summons to the tooth fairy? Time for a new invention, we are currently in need of extra universes which have become necessary to explain unpredictable activity in the quantum arena. How about something much simpler such as, the fundamental particles are responding to the commands of their Creator, containing matter and energy.
    It is not a "tooth fairy." You simply reject any idea that contradicts your Bible fairy tale. If you had any understanding of QM you would not think that the multiverse is unlikely at all. On the contrary, you would see that the basic idea underlies our current experimentally confirmed understanding of QM. Physicists have been talking about particles appearing out of nothing for decades. It is fundamental to our modern scientific understanding.

    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    The video is a slam at God for defective births. I take the position that these are not accidents, that whatever the cause, the Sovereignty of God has allowed it. God is also Lord of the Hurricane and other destructive events, He has never backed away from that attack. How ironic that puny men, including you accuse Him of things He's in charge of. The question is not about the free will of man vs the Sovereignty of God, but rather the limitations He places on man's freedom and restrictions on anything to resist His will. The Biblical God is not in need of being defined by any man, He openly proclaims His all encompassing authority to execute His will.
    I see that the video has profoundly disturbed you. That's good, because it exposes fundamental inconsistencies in fundamental Christian doctrines that you take for granted.

    It is NOT a "slam against God." It is a lucid and irrefutable refutation of your incoherent Christian doctrines. That's why it's so powerful. It has a typical hammy preacher man up there proclaiming all the traditional Christian falsehoods even as those falsehoods are being displayed to the viewer.

    Your doctrine that the "Sovereignty of God" allows all the evil in the world is incoherent. What then is the difference between God being "sovereign" and God not existing? He does nothing and Christians praise him for everything he doesn't do? Is that what you invite me to believe?

    Christians use words with no meaning. They say God is trustworthy when they know he cannot actually be TRUSTED to do anything in any specific situation. Likewise, they say God is sovereign when he doesn't even appear to exist, let alone rule anything. And you say that God "proclaims" things when in fact he proclaims nothing. All the proclamations are being made by puny humans like you and me. You have chosen to believe the Bible and then proclaim that your proclamation is the proclamation of God. You are no different than me. I could just as freely, and with the same justification, assert that my opinions are really God's proclamations.

    The biblegod has no moral authority at all after ordering the murder of every man, woman, and child of the Midianites except the 32,000 sexy virgins that he distributed to the very soldiers that slaughtered every person those poor girls ever loved.

    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    One more point on the video, there have been many human beings born with defects ranging from cripples to the blind who have come to Christ. Their testimony is refreshingly simple and they are able to thank God for the life He has given them and the hope beyond this life. Now think about this, You seem to enjoy good health and I would suspect that you are able to earn enough to sustain your lifestyle. You also live in a country that allows you to satisfy most of your lusts and also denigrate the Biblical God. Because of this I assume you are thankful to someone or something for the benefits you have reaped, but eventually you keep you appointment with death and perhaps discover that you missed out on the opportunity to live forever. Now, let's assume instead that you were born handicapped, but you received the measure of faith in Christ to sustain you through the inconveniences of your handicap, and at the end of this life, you were able to enter Eternity with a flawless immortal body, free of all the past earthly pains and disappointments. Would you trade places? You see, the real question in life is "what would you give in exchange for your soul?". I suspect, "everything", but that would be, after the fact.
    Let's get our facts straight. It is not I who denigrates the biblegod. It is the BIBLE that denigrates the biblegod by attributing gross moral abominations to him.

    Your comment touches upon what I have long considered to be the most despicable of all Christian doctrines that exposes it as a mind-control cult. You tell me that I must believe "by faith" with no proof, and that when proof is finally given after I die, IT WILL BE TOO LATE and the DEMON-GOD will then send me to HELL for eternity? What could be more perverse? If I die and God tells me that I "missed out on eternal life" because I held to my INTEGRITY then he can keep his delusional heaven to himself and enjoy it with all his mindless minions. I wouldn't want to live in such a place. It would be pure hell for a person like me, or anyone who loves truth, goodness, and justice. This teaching of yours is one of the worst I have ever encountered.

    Your response deeply saddens me. I feel a gulf widening between us. You are threatening me with hell because I hold to my integrity and speak the truth of what I see. Do you really think this is an effective means of evangelism? Do you really think it addresses the issues I have encountered in the Bible?

    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    As always, your friend to the end,

    John
    I'm banking on that, my friend,

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Mio, Michigan
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    [QUOTE=Richard Amiel McGough;50938]

    Richard, just a couple of things before I retire for the evening.

    I see that the video has profoundly disturbed you. That's good, because it exposes fundamental inconsistencies in fundamental Christian doctrines that you take for granted.
    Not at all was I disturbed by the video. I merely passed judgement on his approach to mock God's creation by pointing out deformed humans, to whom God had given the gift of life. It is after all life that is important. Yes, there are qualities of life that range from very poor to very good, and if this life was all there was, then we can all conclude "what a shame". I don't know if the presenter was a believer or an atheist, all I know is that he denigrated God by denigrating the deformed.

    It is NOT a "slam against God." It is a lucid and irrefutable refutation of your incoherent Christian doctrines. That's why it's so powerful. It has a typical hammy preacher man up there proclaiming all the traditional Christian falsehoods even as those falsehoods are being displayed to the viewer.
    I perceived it in a different light and in no way a "lucid, irrefutable refutation of my incoherent Christian doctrines". On the contrary, I have a very coherent understanding of my place in the world, thanks to Scripture. If the message of the gospel is confusing, it is because it is lost on those who are perishing.

    Your doctrine that the "Sovereignty of God" allows all the evil in the world is incoherent. What then is the difference between God being "sovereign" and God not existing? He does nothing and Christians praise him for everything he doesn't do? Is that what you invite me to believe?
    That is probably the biggest difference between our understanding and acceptance of Scripture. I see the world as a place where God is working out to perfection, important issues that will carry over into Eternity. In other words, the things we experience here are not to be compared to the glories that await, but it is not without purpose that everything and everyone endures the curse. There is a perfect plan and an eternal purpose for this experience.

    Christians use words with no meaning. They say God is trustworthy when they know he cannot actually be TRUSTED to do anything in any specific situation. Likewise, they say God is sovereign when he doesn't even appear to exist, let alone rule anything. And you say that God "proclaims" things when in fact he proclaims nothing. All the proclamations are being made by puny humans like you and me. You have chosen to believe the Bible and then proclaim that your proclamation is the proclamation of God. You are no different than me. I could just as freely, and with the same justification, assert that my opinions are really God's proclamations.
    I honestly don't know where you are getting this from. The Scriptures proclaim that God is Trustworthy, the Scriptures proclaim that He is Sovereign. If I proclaim anything, it is as a witness to His existence and the Goodness He has shown to me. I am nothing but a man like you. I have no sovereign power or supernatural ability of my own. There was a time when you proclaimed these very truths in humility yourself.

    The biblegod has no moral authority at all after ordering the murder of every man, woman, and child of the Midianites except the 32,000 sexy virgins that he distributed to the very soldiers that slaughtered every person those poor girls ever loved.
    You set yourself up as a judge dictating moral authority to God? On what basis do you possess such authority being a creature who once lived and acted out immoral behavior.

    Let's get our facts straight. It is not I who denigrates the biblegod. It is the BIBLE that denigrates the biblegod by attributing gross moral abominations to him.
    When you accuse God of immorality because of His right to execute judgement in the taking of human life, I think you do err not knowing all the facts necessary to render such an accusation.

    Your comment touches upon what I have long considered to be the most despicable of all Christian doctrines that exposes it as a mind-control cult. You tell me that I must believe "by faith" with no proof, and that when proof is finally given after I die, IT WILL BE TOO LATE and the DEMON-GOD will then send me to HELL for eternity? What could be more perverse? If I die and God tells me that I "missed out on eternal life" because I held to my INTEGRITY then he can keep his delusional heaven to himself and enjoy it with all his mindless minions. I wouldn't want to live in such a place. It would be pure hell for a person like me, or anyone who loves truth, goodness, and justice.
    Despicable doctrine? Mind control cult? Because I convey the idea that by faith, mankind has the opportunity to live forever. If some choose to turn their back on such, who have they to blame? Who said anything about hell? It may be just a termination of life, there are controversial passages to support both arguments. I choose to avoid drawing any conclusions on that topic. As far as minions, the many brothers and sisters I have in the faith are wonderfully optimistic people who are the first to volunteer to help others when a need arises. They are honest, hard working people. They take extra care to instruct their children in righteousness, honesty and integrity in hopes that they will be prepared to contribute to society and not become a burden to others. These people are a mixture of poor, middle class and well to do, and they all consider themselves equal in Christ. And there are millions just like them all over the world, serving in mission work and other giving of themselves. I am pleased to think that I can be part of this group.

    This teaching of yours is one of the worst I have ever encountered.
    What teaching are you referring to? The opportunity to live forever in the Kingdom of God? What is so bad about that? Why are you so offended?

    Your response deeply saddens me. I feel a gulf widening between us. You are threatening me with hell because I hold to my integrity and speak the truth of what I see. Do you really think this is an effective means of evangelism? Do you really think it addresses the issues I have encountered in the Bible?
    You have lost me Richard. I cannot relate to your accusation. Threatened you with hell? That has never been an evangelistic tool at my disposal. As I said before, I have no stand on that doctrine, in fact, I pray that it is only termination and nothing more, if indeed some will miss heaven. I still prefer Universalism for I see no reason why God should spare me and condemn another, especially you. I mean that with all sincerity.


    I'm banking on that, my friend,

    Richard
    As long as I'm here, I remain your friend.

    John

  9. #19
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    15,146
    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    Not at all was I disturbed by the video. I merely passed judgement on his approach to mock God's creation by pointing out deformed humans, to whom God had given the gift of life. It is after all life that is important. Yes, there are qualities of life that range from very poor to very good, and if this life was all there was, then we can all conclude "what a shame". I don't know if the presenter was a believer or an atheist, all I know is that he denigrated God by denigrating the deformed.
    There was no mockery or denigration. The video simply displayed REALITY and contrasted it with the irrational religious fairy tales preached every day by Christians.

    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    It is NOT a "slam against God." It is a lucid and irrefutable refutation of your incoherent Christian doctrines. That's why it's so powerful. It has a typical hammy preacher man up there proclaiming all the traditional Christian falsehoods even as those falsehoods are being displayed to the viewer.
    I perceived it in a different light and in no way a "lucid, irrefutable refutation of my incoherent Christian doctrines". On the contrary, I have a very coherent understanding of my place in the world, thanks to Scripture. If the message of the gospel is confusing, it is because it is lost on those who are perishing.
    The video is a a lucid and irrefutable refutation of your incoherent Christian doctrines. You did not write a word refuting this assertion, so it stands.

    As for the coherence of the gospel - it truly is incoherent. Hank Hanegraaff (the Bible Answer Man) says that hell is necessary since otherwise Hitler would die in peace and never be punished and that would imply that "justice" would be impugned. I don't know how he failed to see that the same argument proves the Gospel is false since no believers suffer any punishment for their sins.

    Your assertion that "the gospel is confusing because it is lost on those who are perishing" is nothing by mindless parroting of the Bible. If you can't explain WHY it is "lost on those who are perishing" then you don't understand why it is lost on those who are perishing and your assertion is empty.

    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    Your doctrine that the "Sovereignty of God" allows all the evil in the world is incoherent. What then is the difference between God being "sovereign" and God not existing? He does nothing and Christians praise him for everything he doesn't do? Is that what you invite me to believe?
    That is probably the biggest difference between our understanding and acceptance of Scripture. I see the world as a place where God is working out to perfection, important issues that will carry over into Eternity. In other words, the things we experience here are not to be compared to the glories that await, but it is not without purpose that everything and everyone endures the curse. There is a perfect plan and an eternal purpose for this experience.
    Your comment does not address the issues I raised.

    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    Christians use words with no meaning. They say God is trustworthy when they know he cannot actually be TRUSTED to do anything in any specific situation. Likewise, they say God is sovereign when he doesn't even appear to exist, let alone rule anything. And you say that God "proclaims" things when in fact he proclaims nothing. All the proclamations are being made by puny humans like you and me. You have chosen to believe the Bible and then proclaim that your proclamation is the proclamation of God. You are no different than me. I could just as freely, and with the same justification, assert that my opinions are really God's proclamations.
    I honestly don't know where you are getting this from. The Scriptures proclaim that God is Trustworthy, the Scriptures proclaim that He is Sovereign. If I proclaim anything, it is as a witness to His existence and the Goodness He has shown to me. I am nothing but a man like you. I have no sovereign power or supernatural ability of my own. There was a time when you proclaimed these very truths in humility yourself.
    I'm constantly amazed at how Christians can't understand that their words are meaningless even when it is explained to them. Let me say it again. Suppose your child had appendicitis. Could you TRUST that God REALLY WOULD ACTUALLY HEAL HIM???? No. You cannot TRUST HIM to do that. You know this with perfect certainty. God cannot be TRUSTED to heal. Indeed, it is very rare, if ever, that he actually does anything like that. Therefore, God is not TRUSTWORTHY. Do you now understand?

    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    The biblegod has no moral authority at all after ordering the murder of every man, woman, and child of the Midianites except the 32,000 sexy virgins that he distributed to the very soldiers that slaughtered every person those poor girls ever loved.
    You set yourself up as a judge dictating moral authority to God? On what basis do you possess such authority being a creature who once lived and acted out immoral behavior.
    All Christians JUDGE GOD. You do it every time you judge that he is "good."

    You ask how I can judge that genocide and rape are evil? I am not "dictating" anything when I declare that the BIBLE says God commanded immoral things. I'm not even talking about God per se. I'm talking about what the Bible says about God. I've explained this a million times. Christians are very dense on this issue apparently because they confuse the Bible with God.

    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    Let's get our facts straight. It is not I who denigrates the biblegod. It is the BIBLE that denigrates the biblegod by attributing gross moral abominations to him.
    When you accuse God of immorality because of His right to execute judgement in the taking of human life, I think you do err not knowing all the facts necessary to render such an accusation.
    I don't need to "know all the facts." I know more than enough to judge that genocide and the rape of 32,000 sexy virgins commanded by the biblegod is a moral abomination.

    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    Your comment touches upon what I have long considered to be the most despicable of all Christian doctrines that exposes it as a mind-control cult. You tell me that I must believe "by faith" with no proof, and that when proof is finally given after I die, IT WILL BE TOO LATE and the DEMON-GOD will then send me to HELL for eternity? What could be more perverse? If I die and God tells me that I "missed out on eternal life" because I held to my INTEGRITY then he can keep his delusional heaven to himself and enjoy it with all his mindless minions. I wouldn't want to live in such a place. It would be pure hell for a person like me, or anyone who loves truth, goodness, and justice.
    Despicable doctrine? Mind control cult? Because I convey the idea that by faith, mankind has the opportunity to live forever. If some choose to turn their back on such, who have they to blame? Who said anything about hell? It may be just a termination of life, there are controversial passages to support both arguments. I choose to avoid drawing any conclusions on that topic.
    You did not address my point. I tell you the truth, it strikes me as quite perverse to say a person can only know the truth when it is too late to do anything about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    As far as minions, the many brothers and sisters I have in the faith are wonderfully optimistic people who are the first to volunteer to help others when a need arises. They are honest, hard working people. They take extra care to instruct their children in righteousness, honesty and integrity in hopes that they will be prepared to contribute to society and not become a burden to others. These people are a mixture of poor, middle class and well to do, and they all consider themselves equal in Christ. And there are millions just like them all over the world, serving in mission work and other giving of themselves. I am pleased to think that I can be part of this group.
    I know that Christians have many wonderful moral qualities, almost as much as the Mormons. But they tend to get lost when it comes to justifying their faith. Traditionally, Christians have been taught that part of their joy in heaven would be watching the damned suffer torment in hell. The amount of crap preached by Christians would clog the sewers of Los Angeles.

    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    If I die and God tells me that I "missed out on eternal life" because I held to my INTEGRITY then he can keep his delusional heaven to himself and enjoy it with all his mindless minions. I wouldn't want to live in such a place. It would be pure hell for a person like me, or anyone who loves truth, goodness, and justice. This teaching of yours is one of the worst I have ever encountered.
    What teaching are you referring to? The opportunity to live forever in the Kingdom of God? What is so bad about that? Why are you so offended?
    I was referring to the teaching that I was referring to. I highlighted it red to help you see it.

    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    Your response deeply saddens me. I feel a gulf widening between us. You are threatening me with hell because I hold to my integrity and speak the truth of what I see. Do you really think this is an effective means of evangelism? Do you really think it addresses the issues I have encountered in the Bible?
    You have lost me Richard. I cannot relate to your accusation. Threatened you with hell? That has never been an evangelistic tool at my disposal. As I said before, I have no stand on that doctrine, in fact, I pray that it is only termination and nothing more, if indeed some will miss heaven. I still prefer Universalism for I see no reason why God should spare me and condemn another, especially you. I mean that with all sincerity.
    OK - I misunderstood you. You were only threatening me with eternal death, not hell. We haven't discussed this so I didn't no that you rejected the fundamental Christian doctrine of hell.

    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    As long as I'm here, I remain your friend.

    John
    Great! And I will remain yours.

    It would be nice if we could get our feet on the ground of some mutual understanding. You are presenting so many irrational creationist talking points I get the feeling that you live on a different planet. The big issue is that you show EXTREME SKEPTICISM towards anything that contradicts your beliefs, and NO SKEPTICISM OF ANY KIND for your beliefs. Don't you see why that might indicate a profound problem relating to your intellectual integrity?

    All the best,

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  10. #20
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    Jan 2012
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    2,564
    As far as we know, our known universe is without life except for this one planet As far as we know, this earth is unique and could remain this way for ever. Man is the pinnacle of life on this planet. For all we know, God might not be able to create a better life form than man.

    God's only begotten Son Jesus is the pinnacle of all men. This is why Jesus remains God's only Son. If God could create a better life form, is it logical to think that God might yet have another Son or that there would be no need for another son of God in another creation? The idea of another Son of God would muck up the idea of the Trinity that somehow Jesus (only) was with God from the very beginning. Jesus is the unique Son of God who was a man. The conception within Mary was a unique event but the baby that was born is no more unique than you and I are unique and we have no double.

    Life of earth (as man has come to understand) is finely balanced, just as the moon has been set in the heavens to compliment the Sun and both of these are at exactly the right distance from the earth that enables life to be sustained. Whether life in earth can survive without the moon is another question, we can speculate about in another thread. There are many factors that have to be correct in order for life to exist. This planet might be able to tolerate various shifts in the balance of some things and is explained by the Gaia hypothesis. The earth can be self-healing up to a point after which balance can not be restored. We know the level to which scientists have become concerned that man might have already tipped the balance too far and global warming in just one consequence of man upsetting the balance. Nuclear war would bring about the demise of life due to upsetting the balance too much. according to scientists this universe will die eventually and long before then, the earth will have perished.

    So should we regard the term "tuning" as it is being applied to this universe as only really applying to this planet? Life on earth might need only the sun and possibly the moon and everything else in the universe could be taken away without having any effect.

    David

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