Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Why is it that most ex-christian atheists seem to be the most militant (from my experience)? are wou guys actually anti-God? Am I wasting my time talking with you guys (I don't mind) if you are really so against God?
Monday, July 27, 2009
I notice that atheists love to tell theists that what they believe is non falsifiable.
Atheism is non falsifiable as well, which makes that "theism is unscientific" argument irrelevant and self contradictory.
Why is atheism non falsifiable? Well, for the same reasons as theism. Can it be shown that there is no God? (absolutely scientifically)
I would say no...therefore atheism is non falsifiable.
We all have assumptions that affect our outlook and view on life/universe/morals etc.
We must take the best options and follow the evidence as Antony Flew says "Since the beginning of my philosophical life I have followed the policy of Plato's Socrates: We must follow the argument wherever it leads."
However, I would like to share with guys that (Biblical) theism is not quite non falsifiable (in an experiential miraculous way) because God said that those who seek Him with a sincere heart will find Him.
(Note: I am rather busy at the moment and will try to get back to answering you guys when it is reasonable to do so. I am currently doing a full time apprenticeship and studying a paper from university...busy, busy. Good to talk with you guys though)
Friday, July 24, 2009
Continued from a Fine Tuning of the universe post...http://vessel-of-clay.blogspot.com/2009/07/fine-tuning-of-universe.html?showComment=1248484033916#c8942741036086708178
Cantareous said: "The fact is our universe is fine tuned. But I fail to see how that is strong evidence for God. All it means is that the physical constants we observe aren't random."
An orchid production complex is made up of constants that work together without a single designer moving every bit. But the orchid production complex needed to be ordered in its constants the way it is, in order to achieve the amazing attributes it has. A snowflake is a wonderful explanation of a Lawmaker's lawmaking that makes a snowflake be a snowflake.
I have evidence of complex things being designed around me but none that I know of that has formed itself without a designer and whose constants just happened to be rightly connected with each other.
Theists are fulfilling the burden of proof for what we believe. Fine tuning is evidence for God. Fine tuning is not evidence against God.
Atheism needs to fulfill the burden of proof for its belief in naturalism over God.
Also proof for it's dis-belief in God just as theism tries to fulfill the burden of proof for its dis-belief in the non-existence of God.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Do you guys go around and gang bash theists?LOL
I just think it is funny and I'm curious. Or is it coincidence?
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
John Lennox is Reader in Mathematics at the University of Oxford and Fellow in Mathematics and Philosophy of Science at Green College, University of Oxford. He holds doctorates from Oxford (D.Phil.), Cambridge (Ph.D.), and the University of Wales (D.Sc.) and an MA in Bioethics from the University of Surrey. Dr. Lennox has weighed in on the science-religion debate with a new book, God's Undertaker: Has Science Buried God?
(1 part-approx 7 minutes)
I would say that I agree with him on the concept that atheism tries to establish rationality from irrationality. However talking to atheists, their line of defense for their rationality is evolution eg. survival of the fittest. This may attempt to answer evolutionary rationality problems but does not touch the pre-life "randomness".
I would like to give a reply that C.S. Lewis made on this subject that challenges the idea that through evolutionary principle "survival of the fittest", we gain reliable rationality.
From his book "Miracles":
"'But', it will be said, 'it is incontestable that we do in fact reach truths by inferences'. Certainly. The Naturalist and I both admit this. We could not discuss anything unless we did. The difference I am submitting is that he gives, and I do not, a history of the evolution of reason which is inconsistent with the claims that he and I both have to make for inference as we actually practise it. For his history is, and from the nature of the case can only be, an account, in Cause and Effect terms, of how people came to think the way they do. And this of course leaves in the air the quite different question of how they could possibly be justified in so thinking. This imposes on him the very embarrassing task of trying to show how the evolutionary product which he has described could also be a power of 'seeing' truths.
But the very attempt is absurd. This is best seen if we consider the humblest and almost the most despairing form in which it could be made. The Naturalist might say, 'Well, perhaps we cannot exactly see--not yet--how natural selection would turn sub-rational mental behaviour into inferences that reach truth. But we are certain that this in fact has happened. For natural selection is bound to preserve and increase useful behaviour. And we also find that our habits of inference are in fact useful. And if they are useful they must reach truth'. But notice what we are doing. Inference itself is on trial: that is, the Naturalist has given an account of what we thought to be our inferences which suggests that they are not real insights at all. We, and he, want to be reassured. And the reassurance turns out to be one more inference (if useful, then true)--as if this inference were not, once we accept his evolutionary picture,  under the same suspicion as all the rest. If the value of our reasoning is in doubt, you cannot try to establish it by reasoning. If, as I said above, a proof that there are no proofs is nonsensical, so is a proof that there are proofs. Reason is our starting point. There can be no question either of attacking or defending it. If by treating it as a mere phenomenon you put yourself outside it, there is then no way, except by begging the question, of getting inside again.
A still humbler position remains. You may, it you like, give up all claim to truth. You may say simply 'Our way of thinking is useful'-without adding, even under your breath, 'and therefore true'. It enables us to set a bone and build a bridge and make a Sputnik. And that is good enough. The old, high pretensions of reason must be given up. It is a behaviour evolved entirely as an aid to practice. That is why, when we use it simply for practice, we get along pretty well; but when we fly off into speculation and try to get general views of 'reality' we end in the endless, useless, and probably merely verbal, disputes of the philosopher. We will be humbler in future. Goodbye to all that. No more theology, no more ontology, no more metaphysics . . .
But then, equally, no more Naturalism. For of course Naturalism is a prime specimen of that towering speculation, discovered from practice and going far beyond  experience, which is now being condemned. Nature is not an object that can be presented either to the senses or the imagination. It can be reached only by the most remote inferences ........
On these terms the Theist's position must be a chimera nearly as outrageous as the Naturalist's. (Nearly, not quite; it abstains from the crowning audacity of a huge negative). But the Theist need not, and does not, grant these terms. He is not committed to the view that reason is a comparatively recent development moulded by a process of selection which can select only the biologically useful. For him, reason--the reason of God--is older than Nature, and from it the orderliness of Nature, which alone enables us to know her, is derived. For him, the human mind in the act of knowing is illuminated by the Divine reason. It is set free, in the measure required, from the huge nexus of non-rational causation; free from this to be determined by the truth known. And the preliminary processes within Nature which led up to this liberation, if there were any, were designed to do so."
Good brain work out reading Lewis LOL.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Here is an interesting guy,
I own his book called "New evidence that demands a verdict" which is an in depth search for evidence that supports the truth and accuracy of the Bible.
He originally set out to dis-prove the Bible as reliable but in his searching he found the opposite to be true. To find out what he found then you can listen to him speak about his book "New evidence that demands a verdict".
There is a further bio of him in this link.
Monday, July 13, 2009
I came across this page a little while ago and I did not realize just how fine-tuned our universe was.
This surely raises a few or more questions for atheists about how this universe could come to be with the ability to support life and be what it is today without God.
I have taken the following information from: http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/designun.html.
This shows once again evidence for how improbable our universe without a Designer would be.
"Evidence for the Fine Tuning of the Universe
by Rich Deem
The constants of the laws of physics have been finely tuned to a degree not possible through human engineering. Five of the more finely tuned numbers are included in the table below. For comments about what scientists think about these numbers, see the page Quotes from Scientists Regarding Design of the Universe
|Ratio of Electrons:Protons||1:1037|
|Ratio of Electromagnetic Force:Gravity||1:1040|
|Expansion Rate of Universe||1:1055|
|Mass of Universe1||1:1059|
|These numbers represent the maximum deviation from the accepted values, that would either prevent the universe from existing now, not having matter, or be unsuitable for any form of life.|
Degree of fine tuning
Recent Studies have confirmed the fine tuning of the cosmological constant (also known as "dark energy"). This cosmological constant is a force that increases with the increasing size of the universe. First hypothesized by Albert Einstein, the cosmological constant was rejected by him, because of lack of real world data. However, recent supernova 1A data demonstrated the existence of a cosmological constant that probably made up for the lack of light and dark matter in the universe.2 However, the data was tentative, since there was some variability among observations. Recent cosmic microwave background (CMB) measurement not only demonstrate the existence of the cosmological constant, but the value of the constant. It turns out that the value of the cosmological constant exactly makes up for the lack of matter in the universe.3
The degree of fine-tuning is difficult to imagine. Dr. Hugh Ross gives an example of the least fine-tuned of the above four examples in his book, The Creator and the Cosmos, which is reproduced here:
One part in 1037 is such an incredibly sensitive balance that it is hard to visualize. The following analogy might help: Cover the entire North American continent in dimes all the way up to the moon, a height of about 239,000 miles (In comparison, the money to pay for the U.S. federal government debt would cover one square mile less than two feet deep with dimes.). Next, pile dimes from here to the moon on a billion other continents the same size as North America. Paint one dime red and mix it into the billions of piles of dimes. Blindfold a friend and ask him to pick out one dime. The odds that he will pick the red dime are one in 1037. (p. 115)
The ripples in the universe from the original Big Bang event are detectable at one part in 100,000. If this factor were slightly smaller, the universe would exist only as a collection of gas - no planets, no life. If this factor were slightly larger, the universe would consist only of large black holes. Obviously, no life would be possible in such a universe.
Another finely tuned constant is the strong nuclear force (the force that holds atoms together). The Sun "burns" by fusing hydrogen (and higher elements) together. When the two hydrogen atoms fuse, 0.7% of the mass of the hydrogens is converted into energy. If the amount of matter converted were slightly smaller—0.6% instead of 0.7%— a proton could not bond to a neutron, and the universe would consist only of hydrogen. With no heavy elements, there would be no rocky planets and no life. If the amount of matter converted were slightly larger—0.8%, fusion would happen so readily and rapidly that no hydrogen would have survived from the Big Bang. Again, there would be no solar systems and no life. The number must lie exactly between 0.6% and 0.8% (Martin Rees, Just Six Numbers).
Fine Tuning Parameters for the Universe
- strong nuclear force constant
if larger: no hydrogen would form; atomic nuclei for most life-essential elements would be unstable; thus, no life chemistry
if smaller: no elements heavier than hydrogen would form: again, no life chemistry
- weak nuclear force constant
if larger: too much hydrogen would convert to helium in big bang; hence, stars would convert too much matter into heavy elements making life chemistry impossible
if smaller: too little helium would be produced from big bang; hence, stars would convert too little matter into heavy elements making life chemistry impossible
- gravitational force constant
if larger: stars would be too hot and would burn too rapidly and too unevenly for life chemistry
if smaller: stars would be too cool to ignite nuclear fusion; thus, many of the elements needed for life chemistry would never form
- electromagnetic force constant
if greater: chemical bonding would be disrupted; elements more massive than boron would be unstable to fission
if lesser: chemical bonding would be insufficient for life chemistry
- ratio of electromagnetic force constant to gravitational force constant
if larger: all stars would be at least 40% more massive than the sun; hence, stellar burning would be too brief and too uneven for life support
if smaller: all stars would be at least 20% less massive than the sun, thus incapable of producing heavy elements
- ratio of electron to proton mass
if larger: chemical bonding would be insufficient for life chemistry
if smaller: same as above
- ratio of number of protons to number of electrons
if larger: electromagnetism would dominate gravity, preventing galaxy, star, and planet formation
if smaller: same as above
- expansion rate of the universe
if larger: no galaxies would form
if smaller: universe would collapse, even before stars formed
- entropy level of the universe
if larger: stars would not form within proto-galaxies
if smaller: no proto-galaxies would form
- mass density of the universe
if larger: overabundance of deuterium from big bang would cause stars to burn rapidly, too rapidly for life to form
if smaller: insufficient helium from big bang would result in a shortage of heavy elements
- velocity of light
if faster: stars would be too luminous for life support if slower: stars would be insufficiently luminous for life support
- age of the universe
if older: no solar-type stars in a stable burning phase would exist in the right (for life) part of the galaxy
if younger: solar-type stars in a stable burning phase would not yet have formed
- initial uniformity of radiation
if more uniform: stars, star clusters, and galaxies would not have formed
if less uniform: universe by now would be mostly black holes and empty space
- average distance between galaxies
if larger: star formation late enough in the history of the universe would be hampered by lack of material
if smaller: gravitational tug-of-wars would destabilize the sun's orbit
- density of galaxy cluster
if denser: galaxy collisions and mergers would disrupt the sun's orbit
if less dense: star formation late enough in the history of the universe would be hampered by lack of material
- average distance between stars
if larger: heavy element density would be too sparse for rocky planets to form
if smaller: planetary orbits would be too unstable for life
- fine structure constant (describing the fine-structure splitting of spectral lines) if larger: all stars would be at least 30% less massive than the sun
if larger than 0.06: matter would be unstable in large magnetic fields
if smaller: all stars would be at least 80% more massive than the sun
- decay rate of protons
if greater: life would be exterminated by the release of radiation
if smaller: universe would contain insufficient matter for life
- 12C to 16O nuclear energy level ratio
if larger: universe would contain insufficient oxygen for life
if smaller: universe would contain insufficient carbon for life
- ground state energy level for 4He
if larger: universe would contain insufficient carbon and oxygen for life
if smaller: same as above
- decay rate of 8Be
if slower: heavy element fusion would generate catastrophic explosions in all the stars
if faster: no element heavier than beryllium would form; thus, no life chemistry
- ratio of neutron mass to proton mass
if higher: neutron decay would yield too few neutrons for the formation of many life-essential elements
if lower: neutron decay would produce so many neutrons as to collapse all stars into neutron stars or black holes
- initial excess of nucleons over anti-nucleons
if greater: radiation would prohibit planet formation
if lesser: matter would be insufficient for galaxy or star formation
- polarity of the water molecule
if greater: heat of fusion and vaporization would be too high for life
if smaller: heat of fusion and vaporization would be too low for life; liquid water would not work as a solvent for life chemistry; ice would not float, and a runaway freeze-up would result
- supernovae eruptions
if too close, too frequent, or too late: radiation would exterminate life on the planet
if too distant, too infrequent, or too soon: heavy elements would be too sparse for rocky planets to form
- white dwarf binaries
if too few: insufficient fluorine would exist for life chemistry
if too many: planetary orbits would be too unstable for life
if formed too soon: insufficient fluorine production
if formed too late: fluorine would arrive too late for life chemistry
- ratio of exotic matter mass to ordinary matter mass
if larger: universe would collapse before solar-type stars could form
if smaller: no galaxies would form
- number of effective dimensions in the early universe
if larger: quantum mechanics, gravity, and relativity could not coexist; thus, life would be impossible
if smaller: same result
- number of effective dimensions in the present universe
if smaller: electron, planet, and star orbits would become unstable
if larger: same result
- mass of the neutrino
if smaller: galaxy clusters, galaxies, and stars would not form
if larger: galaxy clusters and galaxies would be too dense
- big bang ripples
if smaller: galaxies would not form; universe would expand too rapidly
if larger: galaxies/galaxy clusters would be too dense for life; black holes would dominate; universe would collapse before life-site could form
- size of the relativistic dilation factor
if smaller: certain life-essential chemical reactions will not function properly
if larger: same result
- uncertainty magnitude in the Heisenberg uncertainty principle
if smaller: oxygen transport to body cells would be too small and certain life-essential elements would be unstable
if larger: oxygen transport to body cells would be too great and certain life-essential elements would be unstable
- cosmological constant
if larger: universe would expand too quickly to form solar-type stars
Taken from Big Bang Refined by Fire by Dr. Hugh Ross, 1998. Reasons To Believe, Pasadena, CA.
A classic book for modern Christian apologetics and science. Dr. Ross presents the latest scientific evidence for intelligent design of our world and an easy to understand introduction to modern cosmology. This is a great book to give agnostics, who have an interest in cosmology and astronomy."
Thursday, July 9, 2009
He is not a christian yet, although I pray that he may come to know Christ! He was one of the world's leading atheist philosophers and changed his mind, he is now a believer in a deistic god.
He has participated in many debates with people including C.S. Lewis and many others.
To find out why he changed his mind then watch the following:
(1 part, approx 2 minutes)
I had my 21st a little while ago, it was such a cool time!
My parents did a wonderful job in putting it on for me. So many friends and family came and shared encouraging words, of which I am sooo blessed.
We had skits, humour, music, sharing and food!
Thanks Micheal for the humiliating story. LOL
And my darling sisters for also singing a duet for/about me:)
I could not of asked for a better 21st.
Sad you couldn't make it Cantareus...though here are some photos.
Thank you for everyone who was involved!
P.S. Sorry about the photos being all over the place. Can't help it. They like placing themselves in random positions and not according to my orders :)
(I'm the guy in the beanie, and a stripe on my green jersey)
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
I wondered whether to put it on here or not since Anthony Flew comes across rather strong, and I don't want to pull down people but rather...their arguments.
My reason for placing this review is that "The God Delusion" has been upheld by some atheists and has destroyed some people's faith in God (to my understanding).
I want to bring another view on it.
(Note: I have not read the book, although I heard Dawkins dabate about it with John Lennox)
This is a review of a famous atheistic book by a famous ex-atheist philosopher who is now a deist.
(An intro by someone else in blue)
Flew Speaks Out: Professor Antony Flew reviews The God Delusion
Antony Flew was a lecturer at the Universities of Oxford and Aberdeen, before posts as Professor of Philosophy at the Universities of Keele and of Reading. He has now retired. He is renowned for his 1950 essay "Theology and Falsification" and his atheistic work, before announcing in 2004 his belief in a Creator God.
On 1st November 2007, Professor Antony Flew’s new book There is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed his Mind was published by HarperOne. Professor Flew has been called ‘the world's most influential philosophical atheist’, as well as ‘one of the most renowned atheists of the 20th Century’ (see Peter S. Williams’ bethinking.org article “A change of mind for Antony Flew”). In his book, Professor Flew recounts how he has come to believe in a Creator God as a result of the scientific evidence and philosophical argument.
Not surprisingly, his book caused quite a stir – as can be seen from the miscellaneous customer reviews on Amazon.co.uk. Some of those comments (and those elsewhere) implied that Flew was used by his co-author, Roy Varghese, and did not in fact know what was in the book. This is a serious charge to which Professor Flew responded and which he reiterated in a recent letter (dated 4th June 2008) to a friend of UCCF who has shown it to us. Professor Flew writes:
I have rebutted these criticisms in the following statement: “My name is on the book and it represents exactly my opinions. I would not have a book issued in my name that I do not 100 per cent agree with. I needed someone to do the actual writing because I’m 84 and that was Roy Varghese’s role. The idea that someone manipulated me because I’m old is exactly wrong. I may be old but it is hard to manipulate me. That is my book and it represents my thinking.”
Professor Flew has recently written his forthright views on Richard Dawkins’ book The God Delusion. His article, reproduced below, shows Professor Flew’s key reasons for his belief in a Divine Intelligence. He also makes it clear in There is a God (page 213) that it is possible for an omnipotent being to choose to reveal himself to human beings, or to act in the world in other ways. Professor Flew’s article is offered here as testimony to the developing thinking of someone who is prepared to consider the evidence and follow its implications wherever it leads.
Professor Antony Flew writes:
The God Delusion by the atheist writer Richard Dawkins, is remarkable in the first place for having achieved some sort of record by selling over a million copies. But what is much more remarkable than that economic achievement is that the contents – or rather lack of contents – of this book show Dawkins himself to have become what he and his fellow secularists typically believe to be an impossibility: namely, a secularist bigot. (Helpfully, my copy of The Oxford Dictionary defines a bigot as ‘an obstinate or intolerant adherent of a point of view’).
The fault of Dawkins as an academic (which he still was during the period in which he composed this book although he has since announced his intention to retire) was his scandalous and apparently deliberate refusal to present the doctrine which he appears to think he has refuted in its strongest form. Thus we find in his index five references to Einstein. They are to the mask of Einstein and Einstein on morality; on a personal God; on the purpose of life (the human situation and on how man is here for the sake of other men and above all for those on whose well-being our own happiness depends); and finally on Einstein’s religious views. But (I find it hard to write with restraint about this obscurantist refusal on the part of Dawkins) he makes no mention of Einstein’s most relevant report: namely, that the integrated complexity of the world of physics has led him to believe that there must be a Divine Intelligence behind it. (I myself think it obvious that if this argument is applicable to the world of physics then it must be hugely more powerful if it is applied to the immeasurably more complicated world of biology.)
Of course many physicists with the highest of reputations do not agree with Einstein in this matter. But an academic attacking some ideological position which s/he believes to be mistaken must of course attack that position in its strongest form. This Dawkins does not do in the case of Einstein and his failure is the crucial index of his insincerity of academic purpose and therefore warrants me in charging him with having become, what he has probably believed to be an impossibility, a secularist bigot.
On page 82 of The God Delusion is a remarkable note. It reads ‘We might be seeing something similar today in the over-publicised tergiversation of the philosopher Antony Flew, who announced in his old age that he had been converted to belief in some sort of deity (triggering a frenzy of eager repetition all around the Internet).’
What is important about this passage is not what Dawkins is saying about Flew but what he is showing here about Dawkins. For if he had had any interest in the truth of the matter of which he was making so much he would surely have brought himself to write me a letter of enquiry. (When I received a torrent of enquiries after an account of my conversion to Deism had been published in the quarterly of the Royal Institute of Philosophy I managed – I believe – eventually to reply to every letter.)
This whole business makes all too clear that Dawkins is not interested in the truth as such but is primarily concerned to discredit an ideological opponent by any available means. That would itself constitute sufficient reason for suspecting that the whole enterprise of The God Delusion was not, as it at least pretended to be, an attempt to discover and spread knowledge of the existence or non-existence of God but rather an attempt – an extremely successful one – to spread the author’s own convictions in this area.
A less important point which needs to be made in this piece is that although the index of The God Delusion notes six references to Deism it provides no definition of the word ‘deism’. This enables Dawkins in his references to Deism to suggest that Deists are a miscellany of believers in this and that. The truth, which Dawkins ought to have learned before this book went to the printers, is that Deists believe in the existence of a God but not the God of any revelation. In fact the first notable public appearance of the notion of Deism was in the American Revolution. The young man who drafted the Declaration of Independence and who later became President Jefferson was a Deist, as were several of the other founding fathers of that abidingly important institution, the United States.
In that monster footnote to what I am inclined to describe as a monster book – The God Delusion – Dawkins reproaches me for what he calls my ignominious decision to accept, in 2006, the Phillip E. Johnson Award for Liberty and Truth. The awarding Institution is Biola, The Bible Institute of Los Angeles. Dawkins does not say outright that his objection to my decision is that Biola is a specifically Christian institution. He obviously assumes (but refrains from actually saying) that this is incompatible with producing first class academic work in every department – not a thesis which would be acceptable in either my own university or Oxford or in Harvard.
In my time at Oxford, in the years immediately succeeding the second world war, Gilbert Ryle (then Waynflete Professor of Metaphysical Philosophy in the University of Oxford) published a hugely influential book The Concept of Mind. This book revealed by implication, but only by implication, that minds are not entities of a sort which could coherently be said to survive the death of those whose minds they were.
Ryle felt responsible for the smooth pursuit of philosophical teaching and the publication of the findings of philosophical research in the university and knew that, at that time, there would have been uproar if he had published his own conclusion that the very idea of a second life after death was self-contradictory and incoherent. He was content for me to do this at a later time and in another place. I told him that if I were ever invited to give one of the Gifford Lecture series my subject would be The Logic of Mortality. When I was, I did and these Lectures were first published by Blackwell (Oxford) in 1987. They are still in print from Prometheus Books (Amherst, NY).
Finally, as to the suggestion that I have been used by Biola University. If the way I was welcomed by the students and the members of faculty whom I met on my short stay in Biola amounted to being used then I can only express my regret that at the age of 85 I cannot reasonably hope for another visit to this institution.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
If you know of any good reputable articles, then let me know...
I will be looking around and acknowledging different view points,
I was recently given this short video clip from youtube about a father taking his own disabled son on a triathlon.
I couldn't help but think about how God carries us through our ups and downs in life. He is so faithful!
23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way. 24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the LORD upholds him with His hand.
I tell you, there is forgiveness and a chance to start a new life with our Creator, our Lord, our Father.
(1 part, 4:35)
Thankyou Lord God for all you have done for us sinners!