I have been an atheist for a while and have always been looking for an argument that will prove the existence of A GOD. A GOD is in all caps to show that I am not looking for you to prove the christian god or the greek gods, all i want is proof of the existence of a higher power that created all things. He does not have to be a moral being, nor does he have to give to craps about his creation. I just want someone to prove that he is there (I use he because in the English language we assume masculine when no gender is put forth). So anyone of any background of any knowledge level go for it.
Oh and as a side note, yes you do have to prove that god is there, i don't have to prove he is not. It is like asking someone to prove that a dragon exists when the dragon will become undetectable the minute a person looks at is. The same is true for god. He does not exist in our plane of being as I have been told oh so many times and therefore cannot be detected in any way. So don't come in here and say that I have to prove that there is no god. That is for another debate.
Evidence, no matter how convincing (In this case, not very), is not the same thing as a proof.
Douglas Adams said it best:
"Now it is such a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mindbogglingly useful could evolve purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as a final and clinching proof of the non-existence of God. The argument goes something like this:
Most leading theologians claim that this argument is a load of dingo's kidneys. But this did not stop Oolon Colluphid making a small fortune when he used it as the central theme for his best selling book, Well That About Wraps It Up for God. Meanwhile the poor Babel fish, by effectively removing all barriers to communication between different cultures and races, has caused more and bloodier wars than anything else in the history of creation."
God's existence should only matter to the people concerned with his existence - nonbelievers need not apply, and they probably don't mind much anyway.
Well, if someone could just prove once and for all the existence of ghosts, I would be much more inclined to accept the possible existance of other transcendent things such as gods and whatnot. It ought to be pretty easy also. All you need to do really is meticulously monitor multiple haunted houses for significant periods of time until something moves. Heck I might even do it, if no one else beats me to it.
It doesn't sound wierd, and reminds me of one of my own arguments against Dawkin's view. IE that it is circular. My genes exist to perpetuate my gene's existance. I exist so that I continue existing. Pointless. Which then raises the question, why would we have evolved to a state where we can observe the pointlessness of our own existance? Surely it would have been better to evolve differently, so that we do see function in our existance.
Thanks for replying! I do understand your point about asexual reproduction beginning as a sort of computer backup system for life, but (and warning, this will sound very nihilistic) I don't much see the basic point of life itself. We exist to generate. And pardon my nihilism, but from a coldly logical viewpoint life in itself seems rather ... pointless. Of course the experiences that I have had are subjectively very important to me, but I am looking at those experiences as an individual. The Universe doesn't care when I play laser tag with my friends or even when I die. And while I hope to influence others' lives and ways of thinking for the better up until and past the point of my demise, I in no way think my legacy will be permanent. Referencing existentialism, then; why would I exist only to be taken out of existence by the passage of time? What would the point of my living at all be if one day I was simply to not exist any more, to be wiped out of the universe altogether? If there is nothing after death, then life, in itself, becomes logically (if not subjectively) worthless. Or at least that's the way I view it; I'm delighted to hear your take on the matter!
Although, please don't misunderstand what I'm saying - I love life, and as an individual I think my life is very important and even great. However, speaking for a moment as the Universe, I could die in some terrifically mundane or horribly fantastic way tomorrow and the cosmos would continue on.
Does this make any sense?
I place value in experience and can see function in our (my) existence beyond mere continuing my existence.
Yes, but that function is not real. It is what you see, but it has no objective reality and as a result, no real value. You may value it, so may others, but in reality it is nothing.
As to why we evolved this way? I would like to point you at your teleological viewpoint again because you seem to have the idea that evolution has some sort of definitive goal to it.
Yes, survival. That is evolution's primary goal. And it doesn't make sense that evolution would give us to tools for survival which at the same time allow us to see the fruitlessness of it.
Whoa there, hold it. You're saying that my valuations and/or my experiences are not real, because they're not objective? You gotta be kidding me!
Not real in a meaningful sense, no. They need not bear any relation to the world around.
But wait a second. If you're serious about this 'not objective thus not real', then you're effectively saying that everything we experience is not real.
No. Much of our experiance is created by that which objectively exists.
We humans have tremendous computational power in our brains and this allowed us to do many things that increased our chances of survival, such as creating a food surplus. We humans also have very much spare time; we're not really very busy with survival any more with our excess food and shelter and cities allowing us to have hobbies, to watch football, to obsess over fictional characters and the actors who portray them. Because these two coincide (so much computational power making us so good at survival) we humans are allowed to do all manner of things like create things that fly all across the world, study the sciences, and to ponder over the meaning of life and see the fruitlessness of it.
I can very easily imagine ways that evolution can and indeed should have taken us that would mean that we would not be in this position. I find it very hard to believe that we are here just because of our desire to survive.
Then your valuations are no more real or meaningful than mine, since your brain is no exception to the non-objective encoding of information and value.
No. I believe differently, IE that our brains are made to perceive truth. By believing in naturalism, you believe that our brains are just the product of a natural process.
And how should it have happened then?
Very simply. The intelligence for advanced tool building needed to come independently of our self awareness. Something that we can see beginnings of in other animals.
I notice that this sounds very much like what Eystein mentioned in his post
Well, you're able to write it much more eloquently.
It is not a violation of that law. Complex molecules will form and brake apart over and over again with the infusion of external energy. The stars privide ample amount of such energy.
Second, all matter have chemical properties that are unique to them. Genes and biological building blocks are no exeption. Molecules form and interact with each other in accordance to their surroundings. Sometime they repell each other, sometimes they don't. Sometimes they pick up a ion and becomes a carrier of that ion for another molecule. Why do they do it? Who knows, it just happens.
Even though modern living things are incredible complex systems, people seem to forget that the basic pieces are usually not, many of which can easily be synthsized or appear spontaniously.
Take this section from the wiki on 'Prebiotic RNA syntesizis' for instance:
RNA chains are proposed as the first, primitive forms of life. In an RNA world, different forms of RNA compete with each other for free nucleotides and are subject to natural selection. The most efficient molecules of RNA, the ones able to efficiently catalyze their own reproduction, survived and evolved, forming modern RNA. Such an RNA enzyme, capable of self replication in about an hour, has been identified. It was produced by molecular competition (in vitro evolution) of candidate enzyme mixtures.
When they say that RNA competed for nucleotides, they don't mean that they actively swam around doing it. It means that certain nucleotide bonds hold stronger and have a stronger capacity to attract additional nucleotides compared to other bonds. The strong ones will continue to grow in length and at the same time increasing the way they might interact with other types of free molecules. That RNA chains concisting of thousands of individual nucleotides have sections of it that may have an actual chemical function to it is hardly very surprizing.
Well I'm not exactly an authority on the topic, but I'm pretty sure they can synthesize all as well a couple more. Also the lab experiments are not as finely tuned as you say. They are ment to emulate the conditions believed to have been present on a the prebiotic Earth. Which means they usually utilizes an ooze of smelly inorganic junk, which is heated up to see what kinds of familiar organic stuff is generated. That's what I have read anyway, but there might be different approaches.
I'm just struggling to convey that even though modern living systems are mindbendingly complex, they doesn't necessarily have to be in order to be self-replicable. And as seen with RNA, it doesn't even have to be alive in order to replicate itself. If I imagine the simplest organism possible, I imagine the distinction between it and something non-living to be very shallow. The moment something self-replicable get's trapped inside a membrane, I imagine it opens up an array of new possibilities as far as chemical reactions go. I don't have much indepth knowledge, so this is just a hunch based on what I know.
And I'm pretty sure genes in themselves don't contain any information about reality, they just happen to be a catalyst for all manner of weird shit. We know this, whether we believe they are here by design or evolution. Genes can contain the formula for how to build and operate a sensory organ, a nerve and a brain center, but it doesn't care what the organism does with the information. If the genes contain formulas for molecules and cellular structures that enables the organism to respond to sensory input in an appropriate manner, then the organism is more likely to continue it's existance and pass on those genes, and consequently it appear as if genes have an innate will to survive. But it's not so much a reason behind it, more consequense of their ability to replicate. Also most organisms aren't literally competing, they just happen to be dependent on the same type of resource as others to continue existing, or are themselves potential resource.
The sort of sophisticated sensory systems we enjoy is more complicated because it involve understanding sensory input in a whole other way than organisms without a brain does. The key to unlock that mystery reside in the way the brains are organized and not so much within our genes, even though the genes are responcible for building of it.