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Malemute

Ice climber
great white north
Feb 14, 2014 - 09:20pm PT
cheers Anita!




The Natural-law Argument
Then there is a very common argument from natural law. That was a favorite argument all through the eighteenth century, especially under the influence of Sir Isaac Newton and his cosmogony. People observed the planets going around the sun according to the law of gravitation, and they thought that God had given a behest to these planets to move in that particular fashion, and that was why they did so. That was, of course, a convenient and simple explanation that saved them the trouble of looking any further for explanations of the law of gravitation. Nowadays we explain the law of gravitation in a somewhat complicated fashion that Einstein has introduced. I do not propose to give you a lecture on the law of gravitation, as interpreted by Einstein, because that again would take some time; at any rate, you no longer have the sort of natural law that you had in the Newtonian system, where, for some reason that nobody could understand, nature behaved in a uniform fashion. We now find that a great many things we thought were natural laws are really human conventions. You know that even in the remotest depths of stellar space there are still three feet to a yard. That is, no doubt, a very remarkable fact, but you would hardly call it a law of nature. And a great many things that have been regarded as laws of nature are of that kind. On the other hand, where you can get down to any knowledge of what atoms actually do, you will find they are much less subject to law than people thought, and that the laws at which you arrive are statistical averages of just the sort that would emerge from chance. There is, as we all know, a law that if you throw dice you will get double sixes only about once in thirty-six times, and we do not regard that as evidence that the fall of the dice is regulated by design; on the contrary, if the double sixes came every time we should think that there was design. The laws of nature are of that sort as regards a great many of them. They are statistical averages such as would emerge from the laws of chance; and that makes this whole business of natural law much less impressive than it formerly was. Quite apart from that, which represents the momentary state of science that may change tomorrow, the whole idea that natural laws imply a lawgiver is due to a confusion between natural and human laws. Human laws are behests commanding you to behave a certain way, in which you may choose to behave, or you may choose not to behave; but natural laws are a description of how things do in fact behave, and being a mere description of what they in fact do, you cannot argue that there must be somebody who told them to do that, because even supposing that there were, you are then faced with the question "Why did God issue just those natural laws and no others?" If you say that he did it simply from his own good pleasure, and without any reason, you then find that there is something which is not subject to law, and so your train of natural law is interrupted. If you say, as more orthodox theologians do, that in all the laws which God issues he had a reason for giving those laws rather than others -- the reason, of course, being to create the best universe, although you would never think it to look at it -- if there were a reason for the laws which God gave, then God himself was subject to law, and therefore you do not get any advantage by introducing God as an intermediary. You really have a law outside and anterior to the divine edicts, and God does not serve your purpose, because he is not the ultimate lawgiver. In short, this whole argument about natural law no longer has anything like the strength that it used to have. I am traveling on in time in my review of the arguments. The arguments that are used for the existence of God change their character as time goes on. They were at first hard intellectual arguments embodying certain quite definite fallacies. As we come to modern times they become less respectable intellectually and more and more affected by a kind of moralizing vagueness.
from
Why I Am Not A Christian
by Bertrand Russell
anita514

Gym climber
Great White North
Feb 14, 2014 - 09:32pm PT
Malemute

Ice climber
great white north
Feb 16, 2014 - 11:48pm PT
The Argument from Design
The next step in the process brings us to the argument from design. You all know the argument from design: everything in the world is made just so that we can manage to live in the world, and if the world was ever so little different, we could not manage to live in it. That is the argument from design. It sometimes takes a rather curious form; for instance, it is argued that rabbits have white tails in order to be easy to shoot. I do not know how rabbits would view that application. It is an easy argument to parody. You all know Voltaire's remark, that obviously the nose was designed to be such as to fit spectacles. That sort of parody has turned out to be not nearly so wide of the mark as it might have seemed in the eighteenth century, because since the time of Darwin we understand much better why living creatures are adapted to their environment. It is not that their environment was made to be suitable to them but that they grew to be suitable to it, and that is the basis of adaptation. There is no evidence of design about it.

When you come to look into this argument from design, it is a most astonishing thing that people can believe that this world, with all the things that are in it, with all its defects, should be the best that omnipotence and omniscience have been able to produce in millions of years. I really cannot believe it. Do you think that, if you were granted omnipotence and omniscience and millions of years in which to perfect your world, you could produce nothing better than the Ku Klux Klan or the Fascists? Moreover, if you accept the ordinary laws of science, you have to suppose that human life and life in general on this planet will die out in due course: it is a stage in the decay of the solar system; at a certain stage of decay you get the sort of conditions of temperature and so forth which are suitable to protoplasm, and there is life for a short time in the life of the whole solar system. You see in the moon the sort of thing to which the earth is tending -- something dead, cold, and lifeless.

I am told that that sort of view is depressing, and people will sometimes tell you that if they believed that, they would not be able to go on living. Do not believe it; it is all nonsense. Nobody really worries about much about what is going to happen millions of years hence. Even if they think they are worrying much about that, they are really deceiving themselves. They are worried about something much more mundane, or it may merely be a bad digestion; but nobody is really seriously rendered unhappy by the thought of something that is going to happen to this world millions and millions of years hence. Therefore, although it is of course a gloomy view to suppose that life will die out -- at least I suppose we may say so, although sometimes when I contemplate the things that people do with their lives I think it is almost a consolation -- it is not such as to render life miserable. It merely makes you turn your attention to other things.

from
Why I Am Not A Christian
by Bertrand Russell
sullly

Trad climber
Feb 16, 2014 - 11:52pm PT
Anita, what's up with all the homophobic posts this past week? They're really tarnishing your selfie image.
anita514

Gym climber
Great White North
Feb 17, 2014 - 02:48pm PT
sorry, which homophobic posts? you mean the as#@&%e jesus posts up thread?
I didn't think anyone would be offended, seeing as there's quite a bit of nastiness on SuperTopo.
I can delete the offending posts, if you'd like.
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Feb 17, 2014 - 02:52pm PT
we are a big rock being hurled through space and just so happens to be close enough to the sun to have water and life, nothing more nothing less.

nice one, Cozgrove
philo

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Feb 17, 2014 - 03:18pm PT
photo not found
Missing photo ID#345513

Too late.
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
Feb 17, 2014 - 03:27pm PT
Werner is right and Anita is wrong. Who do you think is honest with the truth?

I do not need to question anything, I know the truth.

It's funny how atheists try to lure people away from religion. If they truley believed in nothing, can't they just leave us alone?

God is real, and so is evil. They are opposing forces. They fight.

What side are you on?
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Feb 17, 2014 - 04:03pm PT
I do not need to question anything, I know the truth.

Isn't that the very definition of a closed mind?
Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
Feb 17, 2014 - 04:08pm PT
If they truley believed in nothing, can't they just leave us alone?

Which Atheists are bothering you Blue? Are they knocking on your door uninvited?
philo

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Feb 17, 2014 - 04:12pm PT
It's funny how atheists try to lure people away from religion. If they truley believed in nothing, can't they just leave us alone?


It's funny how born agains try to lure people away from reason. If they truly believed in Creationism can't they just leave us alone?

There fixed it fer ya Bluey.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
U.N. Ambassador, Crackistan
Feb 17, 2014 - 04:19pm PT
I like those drawings Anita. I appreciate your voice on the Taco, much as I appreciate sully's voice.

Cheers
DMT
philo

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Feb 17, 2014 - 04:20pm PT
Me too.
I like those two's presence and voice on the Taco.
The QuackerJack Kid however emmmm not so much.
splitter

Trad climber
SoCal Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Feb 17, 2014 - 05:09pm PT
anita - I didn't think anyone would be offended...
well, i am certain there is at least one person who was offended about them...jesus! particularly you characterizing him as using slurs ("faggy"). as most X'ians know, that would be sinful (a sin). a particularly evil one (imo) because it harms another person who jesus loves just as much as any X'ian in this world. very sad. furthermore, he gave the man his artistic talents, why would he discourage him for using them to depict another human being that he also loves? there are so many misconceptions about him. hate us X'ians, i can understand that. but you have no clue how much j.c. loves you, no matter what you do, think, or say about him.
pyro

Big Wall climber
Calabasas
Feb 17, 2014 - 05:30pm PT
I like those drawings Anita. I appreciate your voice on the Taco, much as I appreciate sully's voice.

the three L sullly!?!


bluey wrote
It's funny how atheists try to lure people away from religion. If they truley believed in nothing, can't they just leave us alone?

dude if you like going to church then have fun! I wouldn't want to bother you!!!

Malemute

Ice climber
great white north
Feb 23, 2014 - 07:34pm PT
The Moral Arguments for Deity
Now we reach one stage further in what I shall call the intellectual descent that the Theists have made in their argumentations, and we come to what are called the moral arguments for the existence of God. You all know, of course, that there used to be in the old days three intellectual arguments for the existence of God, all of which were disposed of by Immanuel Kant in the Critique of Pure Reason; but no sooner had he disposed of those arguments than he invented a new one, a moral argument, and that quite convinced him. He was like many people: in intellectual matters he was skeptical, but in moral matters he believed implicitly in the maxims that he had imbibed at his mother's knee. That illustrates what the psychoanalysts so much emphasize -- the immensely stronger hold upon us that our very early associations have than those of later times.

Kant, as I say, invented a new moral argument for the existence of God, and that in varying forms was extremely popular during the nineteenth century. It has all sorts of forms. One form is to say there would be no right or wrong unless God existed. I am not for the moment concerned with whether there is a difference between right and wrong, or whether there is not: that is another question. The point I am concerned with is that, if you are quite sure there is a difference between right and wrong, then you are in this situation: Is that difference due to God's fiat or is it not? If it is due to God's fiat, then for God himself there is no difference between right and wrong, and it is no longer a significant statement to say that God is good. If you are going to say, as theologians do, that God is good, you must then say that right and wrong have some meaning which is independent of God's fiat, because God's fiats are good and not bad independently of the mere fact that he made them. If you are going to say that, you will then have to say that it is not only through God that right and wrong came into being, but that they are in their essence logically anterior to God. You could, of course, if you liked, say that there was a superior deity who gave orders to the God that made this world, or could take up the line that some of the gnostics took up -- a line which I often thought was a very plausible one -- that as a matter of fact this world that we know was made by the devil at a moment when God was not looking. There is a good deal to be said for that, and I am not concerned to refute it.
from
Why I Am Not A Christian
by Bertrand Russell
go-B

climber
John 6:44
Feb 23, 2014 - 08:16pm PT
Too late.

(It should read everyone should repent NOW!)

...not yet Jesus saves! :)
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
Feb 23, 2014 - 10:22pm PT
Werner from Feb 6th on previous page:
Atheist[s] are the most unintelligent beings period.

I agree with your post. It is very funny. Active Atheists depend on opposing God as a source of their attention and activity. Thus they are forever subordinated.

dirtbag

climber
Feb 23, 2014 - 10:27pm PT
Weird
Malemute

Ice climber
great white north
Feb 23, 2014 - 10:37pm PT
People that are delusional are not intelligent.
Atheists would prefer to ignore the religious nutbars, but when the nutbars meddle in politics, it's time to set some firebreaks to limit the damage.
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