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Interpreting the Creation story

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'yorz
1242307.  Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:09 am Reply with quote

That doesn't wash. Giving someone the choice only works if they have all the facts. Telling them they'll die if the concept of dying is alien to them, is dishonest to say the least.

 
tetsabb
1242351.  Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:17 pm Reply with quote

'yorz wrote:

Well, yeah. Children believe in Santa, but they're put right in the end.


Sorry, what are you saying?
<<<<trembly bottom lip

 
dr.bob
1242403.  Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:58 am Reply with quote

filofax wrote:
Isn't it the old free will thing?
Just like any parent, he gave us the best possible start in life - but we also have the liberty to make other choices.


This is probably a very old theological discussion, but how does free will of man to make his own mistakes tally with the omniscience of God who apparently knows what we're going to do before we've even done it ourselves?

 
crissdee
1242408.  Fri Jul 14, 2017 3:19 am Reply with quote

The thing that gets me is how my mum will pray to god to help assorted people in trouble, when (if you think it through logically), it was god who caused their suffering in the first place. As I said through one of my story characters;

"Any deity who could toy so wantonly with his people's sanity could count on no further support from this quarter."

 
dr.bob
1242420.  Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:12 am Reply with quote

crissdee wrote:
The thing that gets me is how my mum will pray to god to help assorted people in trouble, when (if you think it through logically), it was god who caused their suffering in the first place.


This is a common problem with religion or, indeed, most common areas of thought: people tend not to think of the complete logical consequences of a particular idea. I've noticed this since I work in astronomy. I'm forever having people come up to me at open days saying "This nonsense about Dark Matter, it's just a fudge to make the theories work, isn't it?"

I then have to take some time to explain that astronomers didn't simply just say "Oh, it's Dark Matter!", then take the rest of the day off. Instead, we've spent the last 80 years or more thinking "so, if Dark Matter exists, what implications does that have for every other bit of Physics that we already know?" and then testing those theories. It turns out it has some pretty interesting, and confusing, implications.

So, when I hear someone say something like "We prayed to God and our friend got better," it just makes me think "So all those other people who didn't get better, God could've helped them but chose not to?"

Tim Minchin touches on this in his song "Thank You God" which he wrote after someone called Sam approached him after a gig and told him of his mother's cataract which, he claimed, had been cured after his local congregation prayed together. I'm thinking particularly of the verse which goes:

"Fuck me Sam, what are the odds
That of history's endless parade of gods
That the God you just happened to be taught to believe in
Is the actual God and he digs on healing,
But not the AIDS-ridden African nations
Nor the victims of the plague, nor the flood-addled Asians,
But healthy, privately-insured Australians
With commonly curable corneal degenerations"

 
Alfred E Neuman
1242422.  Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:40 am Reply with quote

crissdee wrote:
The thing that gets me is how my mum will pray to god to help assorted people in trouble


What gets to me is how all the self-proclaimed atheists (and yes, I'm including many of you lot in that) will ask 'the universe' for help instead. I've got bad news for you - the universe gives far less of a shit than any god does.

 
AlmondFacialBar
1242432.  Fri Jul 14, 2017 6:31 am Reply with quote

Eh? Which atheists of your acquaintance do that? Because most of those of mine (which equates to most people of my acquaintance full stop) don't.

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
Alfred E Neuman
1242433.  Fri Jul 14, 2017 6:43 am Reply with quote

I've seen people on here do it.

 
cornixt
1242447.  Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:19 am Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:
This is probably a very old theological discussion, but how does free will of man to make his own mistakes tally with the omniscience of God who apparently knows what we're going to do before we've even done it ourselves?

Really, people think of God as being just a step back from omniscient (as if you can be) because otherwise He's just cranking the handle and freewill doesn't exist at all. Omnipotence is just easier on the brain than not-quite-omnipotent, when really all they want to do is to describe Him as immensely powerful rather than possessing qualities that make our life pointless.

 
Jenny
1242471.  Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:57 pm Reply with quote

The universe is a handy thing to thank when you're feeling grateful and there isn't anything else obvious to thank.

 
GuyBarry
1242482.  Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:57 pm Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:
I'm forever having people come up to me at open days saying "This nonsense about Dark Matter, it's just a fudge to make the theories work, isn't it?"

I then have to take some time to explain that astronomers didn't simply just say "Oh, it's Dark Matter!", then take the rest of the day off. Instead, we've spent the last 80 years or more thinking "so, if Dark Matter exists, what implications does that have for every other bit of Physics that we already know?" and then testing those theories. It turns out it has some pretty interesting, and confusing, implications.


Doesn't "dark matter" violate the "Occam's Razor" principle, though? "Among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected." The way that I understand scientific enquiry to proceed is that people make observations, construct a theory to explain those observations, and then conduct experiments to test the theory. A theory involving something that has never been observed is bound to be open to dispute. I sometimes wonder about the value of all those experiments at CERN to try to detect particles whose existence has only ever been predicted theoretically; it seems to be putting the cart before the horse. Aren't we supposed to be observing natural phenomena rather than trying to create them for ourselves?

Indeed (and to bring the post back on-topic), Occam's Razor is one of the reasons why I don't believe in God; all natural phenomena that I'm aware of can be explained without reference to God, so therefore there's no need to introduce the concept.

 
djgordy
1242487.  Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:30 pm Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:
filofax wrote:
Isn't it the old free will thing?
Just like any parent, he gave us the best possible start in life - but we also have the liberty to make other choices.


This is probably a very old theological discussion, but how does free will of man to make his own mistakes tally with the omniscience of God who apparently knows what we're going to do before we've even done it ourselves?


It's often called "theological fatalism" and goes back to at least the 12th century.

Arguably, the same argument applies to God too. If God is omniscient then he must know what he himself is going to do. However, that means that God cannot have free will because he cannot act in a way other than that he already knows he must.

The usual counter argument would be that, rather like the Bajoran Prophets, God does not perceive time in a linear manner.

 
ali
1242490.  Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:46 pm Reply with quote

djgordy wrote:
God does not perceive time in a linear manner.


I think that is a logical necessity. If God created the universe in its entirety, then it follows that time was included in the creation, since time is part of the basic structure of the universe.

 
bobwilson
1242507.  Fri Jul 14, 2017 7:20 pm Reply with quote

GuyBarry wrote:
dr.bob wrote:
I'm forever having people come up to me at open days saying "This nonsense about Dark Matter, it's just a fudge to make the theories work, isn't it?"

I then have to take some time to explain that astronomers didn't simply just say "Oh, it's Dark Matter!", then take the rest of the day off. Instead, we've spent the last 80 years or more thinking "so, if Dark Matter exists, what implications does that have for every other bit of Physics that we already know?" and then testing those theories. It turns out it has some pretty interesting, and confusing, implications.


Doesn't "dark matter" violate the "Occam's Razor" principle, though? "Among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected." The way that I understand scientific enquiry to proceed is that people make observations, construct a theory to explain those observations, and then conduct experiments to test the theory. A theory involving something that has never been observed is bound to be open to dispute. I sometimes wonder about the value of all those experiments at CERN to try to detect particles whose existence has only ever been predicted theoretically; it seems to be putting the cart before the horse. Aren't we supposed to be observing natural phenomena rather than trying to create them for ourselves?

Indeed (and to bring the post back on-topic), Occam's Razor is one of the reasons why I don't believe in God; all natural phenomena that I'm aware of can be explained without reference to God, so therefore there's no need to introduce the concept.


Short answer "no, it doesn't violate occam's razor".

You're confusing assumptions with complexity. An assumption is something which isn't under question - I'm assuming, for instance, that I'm actually here typing this right now and that I'm not some holographic illusion.

Complexity is something different.

I might theorise (for example) that the reason the computer is working is due to the power cable attached to the side. I might predict that if the cable is removed that the computer will stop working.

I'd be wrong - and now I have to come up with a new explanation for the observed facts. Hmm - battery. But now it gets more complicated rather than simpler - the battery gets charged when the computer is plugged in. Explaining that process in detail is definitely more complex - but the over-riding explanation is simple.

Quote:
"Among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected."


Incidentally, that's obviously a bad translation - under that version here's an unassailable proposition with just one assumption - "God did it". Even Euclid needed 5 basic ones.

 
ali
1242523.  Sat Jul 15, 2017 3:58 am Reply with quote

GuyBarry wrote:
Doesn't "dark matter" violate the "Occam's Razor" principle, though? "Among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected."


No. Observations show that there is more gravity than can be accounted for by the matter we can see. The simplest explanation for this, which requires no new assumptions, is that there is matter that we can not see for some reason - dark matter.
To further assume that it's composed entirely of teapots would indeed be a violation of Occam's razor, as the assumption is not necessary. Investigating whether it might be composed of teapots is an entirely different thing as, if it exists at all, it's got to be composed of something.

 

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