Thursday, June 29, 2006

This is a little out of sinc with the topic but here is a small diaglouge i wrote in my early days on Teleology....

This was written some 12 months ago as part of a uni elective.

Enjoy

Ecats: There is no proof of god

Nadia: The proof of god is everywhere: the wonders of the world, the miracles of life, the mind numbing vastness and beauty of the universe.

Ecats: All of which can be explained naturalistically, by chance and random patterns forming the beauty which we see in the night sky, or smiles of a new born baby.

Nadia: All things can be used to prove god by design, this is known as teleological argument. Take for example the human body. It has complex chemical signalling systems, and the sheer brilliance of design of the eye is astounding. It is a body designed to be the perfect caretaker of the earth.

Ecats: Perfect? Hardly! Take the knee for example, perhaps the most crudely designed of hinges. Even a simple carpenter could design a more sturdy and reliable hinge. Are we to believe that an all powerful God is a simpleton? Surely an omnipotent being would only design a perfect being. What about organs without function or a redundant function? Organs such as the appendix or the spleen(1) . Their functions are superfluous and unnecessary; the body would function just as well without them. What is the purpose of retaining them? How about disease, or cancer and defects, this surely adds doubt to this form being a design?

Nadia: A fair criticism, and to answer such points I shall employ an analogy, which was originally put forward by William Paley (2) . Think of a watch: many complicated working parts, working towards an overall function. It doesn’t matter if all the parts don’t always work, or we do not always know the function of the parts in question, the interaction of the parts alone shows intelligent design. Design of such perfection and complexity could only come from a perfect being, such as God.

Ecats: A good analogy, but there are naturalistic explanations, without falling back to the supernatural; where better to look for the answers to nature than nature? For example, evolution and natural selection. Centuries of evolution and many natural selection events may have led to the design of our current form. Using naturalistic explanations we are able to gain hard evidence by use of fossils and an observed conservation in the DNA of many evolutionary ancestors, such as an 98% synteny (3) between humans and chimpanzees. Also why must there be a designer? If the designer is in fact perfect, surely this is further evidence of design by your same logic, and should lead to the designer of the designer and so forth.

Nadia: Congratulations you have created an infinite regression, which is of no use to us at all, which is as hard to envisage as an infinite series. You argue natural selection and evolution as if proven, however many links within the alleged origins of our species are still unaccounted for, even after hundreds of years of searching.

Ecats: Well the fossil record is far from incomplete and each day we find more evidence towards the theory.

Nadia: Consider a man being tried for murder, would a jury not convict the man on the strength of the argument that more evidence may turn up to clear his name at a later date?

Ecats: Possibly not, but the fact still remains there is still more physical evidence to support a naturalistic argument, than to rely on the explanation of creation through a supernatural being.

Nadia: Each to their own dear Ecats, each to their own.


1 Neither is totally functionless, the spleen creates lymphocytes and acts as a filter of red blood cells, the appendix also has immune functions and is utilised in digesting raw plant matter. Their functions are however non essential and the body can continue to survive without their presence.
2 Paley, W. (1802) Natural Theology, or Evidences of the Existence of a Deity Collected from the Appearances of Nature.
3 Presence of conserved genes between 2 different species of regions of chromosomes with the genes in the same order.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Ok people are now reading this i have to make the words count....

Cosmological argument (causa prima) *first cause*

This is an idea that has been thrown around since the time of Aristottle, the first case argument. AKA why Playing "mouse trap" makes you god..

The cage falls, because the man jumps in the tub, only because a ball falls on the board via a bath tub, which of course only happens because annother ball ran down the stairs and onto a big red slide, but surely this couldnt happen unless a boot (not the canadian about) kicked a bucket, which does not hapen unless the handle is wound.

The mouse trap falls, via a series of intermediates, the root cause is the winding of the handle. The begining of the sequence, god.....

Time like all things needs a beggining a middle and an end. It is impossible to to think of a infinite regression, it had to start at "sometime, " and come from somewhere and the only logical possibility is god...

First problem: We can not envisage the infinite, one would expect by definition that we couldnt. Just because we cannot imagine an infinitately long history it does not mean it can not exist..

Causa prima alpha: If god caused everything what caused god? Then what caused gods god, and so on and so forth at some point on either a theistic or atheistic standpoint one must accept at somepoint something can from nothing...

*As a brief aside when we boil right down to it all things are really made of nothing, consider an atom, majority is empty space, a Pea (the nucleus) in the size a football stadium.**

Remoteness of god: If god created the universe, it was created before time, time and space being related. Where does this leave god? A remote or impersonal god is not the common perception, outside of time god would merely be. This is not the god of the Christians, a god which you can build a personal relationship with. This remote god if not dead would be as good as....

First and final flaw: Is simply within the analogy, it is a matter of scale, how can one take the finite to prove the infinite. How can one relate a finite effect to an infinite cause? (David Hume)

The gears will turn the cage will fall, but it is not God that drives this. Mouse trap will be put away, it caused too many fights when my firends hogged the dice as the cage was falling so i couldnt move my piece....

Sunday, June 25, 2006

The arrow, for example, requires an archer. Everything in nature, therefore is directed to its goal by someone with understanding, and this we call God..

This is part of a simple teleological argument, put forward by St Thomas Aquinas. Teleological arguments in terms of theology can be best expressed as proof by design.

Take for example the human eye, Photosensitive cells, incredably complicated signaling pathways, Various cells types, the formation of a lense, the protective layers, and even colouring for a LEVEL OF INDIVIDUALITY. Something complicated, something which you would look at and say "Something so incredible could not merely have happened by accident. How could this be anything other than designed or pre meditated. Who else could create something so amazing except god."

For me this seems a tad simplified, imagine if you will a puddle of water. It takes on the shape of its crater, "wow" thinks the water, " this hole in the ground fits so perfectly it must have been made for me."

Yes the world can be an amazing place, but why do we search the heavens for answers that can be found at our feet. Everyday we adapt to our environment, the environment the planet is NOT suited perfectly to our needs, we burn foosil fuels to stay warm, wear clothes, Manufacture products to make our lives easier. Perhaps these ideas come from god. Perhaps god is not the archer but merely one who guides the arrow.

Evolution and god.
If god was controlling evolution what would we see. Perfection, no cancer, no defects, no unnesscessary changes to genetic structure all things would have a place and a purpose. What we see, 1.5% of the genome is actual coding, the rest junk or repeats. Cells which due to changes become uncontrolled and invasive, even colonising other tissues. We see children being born with birth defects, people who noww have t adapt to furter adversity in an all ready challenging world.
God is an answer to a question when logic cant prevail. WE cant see the answers as yet, we have "theories". Evolution being a main one and a lot of evidence to suggest that, endosymbiotic cell signalling, synteny between species, fossil record ( granted with a few glaring records and a history fraud), but their is evidence. For god their is nothing but a calm feeling and an intangiable answer to make us feel better..

Design flaws.
Reasons why i am glad god is not an designer.

The knee:
When aguing from teleology, we take something complicated and say wow it is amazing how this was designed. What about something simple. The Knee. It is one of the worst designed hinges in history, a drunken architect could design a better hinge. Are we really to belive this was the best an omniscent, omnipotent being could come up with.

The Cocunut. The coconut posibly one of the most useful things on the planet, you can eat the flesh, drink the fluid, and the shells are useful as bowls or utensils. Now; lets put it all the way up there. Was god high, maybe this is just for a laugh like the producer of a reality tv show.

And the less said about the penis the better...
If that is the best design i would hate to se the others

Things just come about becasue they are forced too, we find a way to survive it is what compels us on, plants on, anmals on. Nothing more nothing less. We can explain it with god taking an active interest in the grass growing.......

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The incongruities of the bible.....

Perhaps god is Bi polar, we see a movement from angry god to hey you just killed my son but it's cool. Consistancy of my diety should be paramount, who am i worshiping somedays one who wishes to bring goodness and love to the people of the planet, other days death and destruction. A more humourous view of the outdated and often comical ideals portrayed in the bible is illustrated in the dear laura letter (a once influencial evangelistic Christain)

Dear Dr. Laura,

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's law. I have learned a great deal from you, and I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind him that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the specific laws and how to best follow them.

When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev. 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. How should I deal with this?

I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as it suggests in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev. 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

Lev. 25:44 states that I may buy slaves from the nations that are around us. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans but not Canadians. Can you clarify?

I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Lev. 10:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?

Lev. 20:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Enjoy

Monday, June 19, 2006

Why I am not a Christian.

I miss writing and reading about theology so i decided to make ammends this afternoon.

Polytheism. Most christain religions take on a from of disguised polytheism. All claim that there is one true god, yet this is contradictary to the concept of a triune god. The father, the son, and the holy spirit. IS there one god or three? There is no adequate logical separation of such entities, or a separation which can still produce a singular Omnipotent being. Catholisism embraces polytheism closer to its "pious" bossum, by prayer and offerings to the saints. Saints for travelers, the sick, the poor. There are offering and prayers directed to them, as almost a god equivalent.

Absurdity of Omnipotence.
Could god create a mountain so big he himself could not lift it?
Of course he could make it, but could he lift it? Could God produce a square circle? This also relates back to the problem of a triune god. Logically there is only logical room for a singular omnipotent being. Being A must be able to destroy being B, If being B is also omnipotent, being A can not destroy or banish it, therefore a limitation but and not an omnipotent being. Although this does not rule out the existance of a god, it merely creates a limited yet powerful being.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I was reading annother blog about why she was happy to be alive.
here are 7 reasons why i should be happy to be alive today

I woke up next to a beautiful woman who loves me.
I got to read a bit more of a fantastic novel by Neil Gaiman (neverwhere)
I am well
I have a bearable job
I got paid today:)
Most of my customers today had a sense of humour.

I am Alive.

I guess we take for granted the real achievements, we focus on the negatives. So many people are so unhappy to be alive, in one piece. Yes life is not always great, there are problems with the world i am not denying that. But we are alive.