Theistic Foundation of Science, part 2

By Ken Mann

Think Week: The Foundations of Science Found in Christian Theism, 2

Five Explanations

In this post, we will begin to consider how the presuppositions of science described in the previous post can be explained or grounded. Recall that these presuppositions cannot be discovered or defended via any kind of scientific process. Rather they form a foundation that makes science possible.

In order to explore how to explain or ground the presuppositions of science, we necessarily turn to the question of worldviews. For the sake of space, I am going to contrast Christian theism with naturalism. By naturalism, I mean the view that everything that exists is physical. Immaterial things such as souls, consciousness or numbers do not exist. This would also exclude the existence of immaterial minds.

Let’s consider three of the presuppositions.

A Real World

In contrast to other religious systems (e.g., Hinduism or pantheism), Christianity teaches that the creation is real. Human beings were created as both physical and spiritual beings that must interact with the reality of their physical existence.

For the naturalist, this is not a strange idea, in fact, one definition of naturalism is simply that physical reality is the only reality.

An Orderly World

The Christian perspective as to why creation is orderly is based on three things. First, there is a single, transcendent creator. Creation is not filled with multiple, immanent, and competing gods.

Rather, all of reality is the unified and coherent product of a single mind. Second, the order of nature rests on the character of God. Since God is revealed to be reliable and unchanging, it is reasonable to expect creation to be the same. Third, God is the divine legislator. If God were the source and foundation of morality, why wouldn’t He also be the source for the “laws of nature.”

It is important to note that the very idea of “laws of nature” or even that creation should be orderly and predictable was unknown until the Middle Ages. Scholastic thinkers wrestling with how to integrate Aristotle’s views of creation with the Bible concluded that laws govern nature.

Further, they believed while God was the author of such laws, He was not constrained by them.

Nancy Pearcey makes the following observation: “The order of the reasoning here is important.

The early scientists did not argue that the world was lawfully ordered, and therefore there must be a rational God. Instead, they argued that there was a rational God, and therefore the world must be lawfully ordered. They had greater confidence in the existence and character of God than in the lawfulness of nature.”[1]

A Continuing World

The following passage by David Hume is a powerful description of the problem of induction, the process by which we infer that the future will be like the past.

For all inferences from experience suppose, as their foundation, that the future will resemble the past, and that similar powers will be conjoined with similar sensible qualities. If there be any suspicion that the course of nature may change, and that the past may be no rule for the future, all experience becomes useless and can give rise to no inference or conclusion. It is impossible, therefore, that any arguments from experience can prove this resemblance of the past to the future; since all these arguments are founded on the supposition of that resemblance.[2]

From the naturalist perspective, there is no answer to this issue other than the mere hope that the world will continue and that the “course of nature” will not change. However, the Christian theist turns to the doctrine that God sustains creation. Everything continues because God chooses for it to continue.

In the next post, we will consider the last two presuppositions, An Understandable World, and An Expressible World.

Biography

Carlson, Richard F., Wayne F. Frair, Gary D. Patterson, Jean Pond, Stephen C. Meyer, and

Howard J. Van Till. Science & Christianity: Four Views. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2000.

Collins, C. John. Science and Faith: Friends or Foes?. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2003.

DeWeese, Garrett J. Doing Philosophy as a Christian. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2011.

Deweese, Garrett J. Philosophy Made Slightly Less Difficult: A Beginner’s Guide to Life’s Big

Questions. Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 2005.

Gould, Stephen Jay. Rocks of Ages: Science and Religion in the Fullness of Life. New York, NY: Ballantine Books, 1999.

Hume, David. “The Project Gutenberg eBook of An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding.” http://www.gutenberg.org/files/9662/9662-h/9662-h.htm (accessed April 14, 2015).

Moreland, J. P. Christianity and the Nature of Science: A Philosophical Investigation. 2nd ed.

Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1999.

Moreland, J. P., and William Lane Craig. Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview. IVP Academic, 2003.

Numbers, Ronald L. Galileo Goes to Jail and Other Myths about Science and Religion. 1st ed.

Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009.

Pearcey, Nancy. The Soul of Science: Christian Faith and Natural Philosophy. Wheaton, IL:

Crossway Books, 1994.

Stark, Rodney. For the Glory of God: How Monotheism Led to Reformations, Science, Witch-

Hunts, and the End of Slavery. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004.

Notes

[1] Nancy Pearcey, The Soul of Science: Christian Faith and Natural Philosophy (Wheaton, IL:

Crossway Books, 1994), Kindle Locations 221–223.

[2] David Hume, “The Project Gutenberg eBook of An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding,” http://www.gutenberg.org/files/9662/9662-h/9662-h.htm, (accessed April 14, 2015).

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87 replies
  1. TGM says:

    This article is strangely similar to Part 1 and does not really add anything new. But let’s look at these presups…
    1. A Real World: it’s strange to use this presupposition in an article contrasting theism with naturalism then admit that theists and naturalists will both agree with the presupposition. But I don’t see why this presupposition is necessary. We don’t need a “real” world (what does that mean anyway?). We just need a world that we can engage. “Real” seems an unnecessary modifier.
    .
    2. Orderly World: It is nonsensical to suggest that a god is necessary to maintain order. The world works the way it works. An electron cannot do what an electron cannot do. It’s tautological. You want to impress an atheist with a god? Show her an electron doing something that an electron cannot do. That would be cool!
    .
    3. Continuing World: most of this section quotes Hume as if there is a problem, but it’s just like #2. The world continues because the world continues. It does not follow that a god is required to maintain it. It just does what it does, and because it’s orderly, continues to do what it does. If it does something different so be it. Actually, doing something different is more evidence of outside influence than consistency would ever be.

    Reply
  2. Brent Hurst says:

    Dear TGM,
    .
    This guy is pretty much a blow hard, he starts from a position of religious superiority and does not really understand what he is talking about.
    .
    “Real world” he is juxtaposing this against the idea of Maya where it is said the this present world is an illusion. Yet in India they still pay taxes and buy food, they don’t just go around saying “this is not real”. Maya refers to the finite nature of this reality, “Identity”, lets say of a bike, is only a static construct, when you consider time by adding a million years before and a million years afterwards, atoms flow into and out and energy is in constant flow. We add a bit of “information” to the elements and they take the form of a bike, but eventually those atoms flow apart to iron, carbon, whatever. Christianity also recognizes this reality in “from dust thou art and unto dust shall thou return”. True biblical Christianity is not at odds with Maya but small minds that seek their own religious superiority will make such unnecessary qualifiers.
    .
    “Orderly World” To push this point of superiority Mann has to refer to the middle ages, but in science we recognize there are universal laws to which matter obeys. From what is termed the Big Bang, there has to have been in influx of information, information such as the restriction of the speed of light and so forth. Science tries to explain this influx by multiverses and such as from where the information would have been passed from. Christians often see it as the arbitrary will of God appealing to His inherent intelligence. Either way the information had to come from elsewhere as all that we see was created from nothing. So “Something?” had to move that nothing to explode, expand, whatever. Whether God or other universes, “Something” existed before the Creation did, and that “something” passed along the information that provided the structure of this universe. On this science and religion could agree.
    .
    “Continuing World” This appears to be merely a sub note to that initial information, yes there is structure, and that structure also incorporates logic and reason, thereby the world is somewhat predictable. But what is also predictable is the finite nature of everything about this Creation, scientifically it will collapse back to a singularity or whatever, biblically the very elements will be consumed in fervent heat or unquenchable fire, “fire” merely being symbolic in this tense as we are not talking about the same type of fire we experience here. But the “consuming nature of fire provides the basis for the symbolism.
    .
    Many Christians are still under the influence of their flesh, in the flesh reality expresses a duality of pain and pleasure where both seem to possess the same degree of Being. And so when they interpret scripture they see Heaven as the greatest pleasure and the fires of hell as the greatest pain. In this aspect they are now the ones living in the dark ages as they follow traditions rather than reason. God created a universe that expresses itself in a duality of “something or nothing”, seen all around us in heat-cold, sound-silence, matter-space, light-dark, even knowledge-ignorance or truth-lies. I sometimes refer to myself as a mystic Christian but in reality I simply interpret the scripture that God inspired by the same subjective reality that He created. But apparently I am a rarity.
    .
    Don’t let this guy speak for all of Christianity and especially not for God, he just feels superior to others based upon the categorization of beliefs or world views, as if thoughts can actually change the nature and being of a man,

    Reply
    • TGM says:

      Thanks Brent, fascinating commentary and far better than the original article. I wonder, though, why you include the Christian God in this composition? You seem to skirting the path of deism. Your metaphors offer better support for a more abstract god. Wherefore Christianity?

      Reply
      • Brent Hurst says:

        TGM,
        .
        “””””Thanks Brent, fascinating commentary and far better than the original article.””””””
        .
        In my meager attempt to follow logic and reason, I have to start with the question of Creator, establishing that, then is that Creator personal or impersonal, having addressed that, what religion might reflect that nature.
        .
        What you see above in the original article is more commercialism than Faith (Spiritual knowledge). They are selling Christianity, not really Christ, for anyone who is truly seeking truth, they have to rise above such things. You could today become a Christian, go to church this Sunday, and instantly feel superior to much of the population, a man goes to seminary a few years, learns his trade, and then stands in front of a congregation who might think he is called or special, some might be but many are just running a business and selling doctrine.
        .
        “”””””” I wonder, though, why you include the Christian God in this composition? You seem to skirting the path of deism. Your metaphors offer better support for a more abstract god. Wherefore Christianity?””””””””
        .
        The “Christianity” you know is this one mentioned above, and it is a serious misrepresentation of scripture and the understanding of the Apostles and prophets.
        .
        Problem one, human beings are CONDITIONED in their thinking by their every day experience in the flesh, in the flesh the brain experiences pain and pleasure as if they are both equal in reality. And so when they interpret scripture they end up with hell as torment, and heaven as pleasure. This doctrine I am sure you know well.
        .
        But the objective universe around us, the one God? created BTW, expresses a duality of something or nothing, hot cold, light dark, sound silence, even ignorance knowledge, or truth and lie. If a man is not simply seeking a superior status in relation to others but seeks truth for its own sake, like science is SUPPOSED to, then they have to renew their minds to think in these objective terms because true reality, which is manifested by the universe, is something or nothing.
        .
        Problem two, This “something or nothing” is actually in the division between Infinite reality and Finite reality. We are finite creations, as such we feel as if we are real, but the very fact that we are finite takes away any true reality of ourselves as only the Infinite can be considered a true reality. So despite we experience ourselves as real, the Creator is in fact the only true reality and we are the dream.
        .
        Many religious scriptures point to this, but many religious followers are still held by their conditioned minds so they don’t see it, they feel themselves to be special and that’s all they need.
        .
        But why Christianity, ultimately if we want to transcend the finitude of our existence, then the finite must reconcile with the Infinite, hence eternal life.
        .
        Problem three, since people are conditioned by their experience in thinking they are a true reality, Infinity is set aside as a POTENTIAL reality, like counting endlessly you can never really reach it. Therefore the substance of the Infinite Creator, God’s Spirit or Being, cannot be understood as a true reality much less the only reality. So when the Scriptures speak of Spirit, they are blind to the substantial reality behind the words. In short, to be born of the Spirit they can only conceive of as changing what you do, becoming a cultural adherent to Christianity etc… they cannot conceive of an actual alteration to their very Being.
        .
        The Mystery of Christianity is that the Creator has sent into this finite Creation a seed of His own Infinite Being, that seed bonds itself with so many created souls making them ONE as they now all share in the same Infinite Being as their source of existence, and then when the end of this finite creation finally comes, they can transcend into the Infinite Reality with their Infinite Creator.
        .
        The Finite attains Infinite reality, or eternal life, and the Creator begets Children for Himself. Hence the reason why He creates. In the finite we have limited supply, you pour from a pitcher and what is within the pitcher diminishes, Infinite Being can be seen as “ever full and over flowing”, So God is forever creating Children, forever expanding, and yet simultaneously He is complete and the only Reality, He expands by making NOTHING into Something.
        .
        Christianity reconciles Infinite Being with Finite existence but don’t expect Christians on the whole, or even very partially to understand this.

        Reply
  3. jcb says:

    The last lines say: “From the naturalist perspective, there is no answer to this issue other than the mere hope that the world will continue and that the “course of nature” will not change. However, the Christian theist turns to the doctrine that God sustains creation. Everything continues because God chooses for it to continue.”
    This is a great example of what is wrong with much theistic thinking. The author starts with the fact that there is a question that theists don’t have a good answer for. Spoiler alert: atheists don’t have all the answers, but spoiler alert 2: no one does! Unfortunately, the author then concludes from this that it is true that “God sustains creation”. This doesn’t follow, and of course, the author does nothing to show that it is true.
    This is a classic “god of the gaps” move: Someone doesn’t know the answer to something, so automatically, without any evidence, the theist claims that God is the answer to that question.
    Nothing of course shows that “everything continues because God chooses for it to continue”.

    Reply
    • Brent Hurst says:

      Dear JBC,
      .
      “”””””Spoiler alert: atheists don’t have all the answers, but spoiler alert 2: no one does!”””””””
      .
      You are claiming to understand a truth which you have no knowledge of. This is a classic “atheist of the gap” move,
      .
      You don’t have the answer to something, so automatically, without any evidence, the atheist him or her self claims to have the answer to that question. This logical fallacy is known as
      .
      “”””Argument from ignorance (from Latin: argumentum ad ignorantiam), also known as appeal to ignorance (in which ignorance represents “a lack of contrary evidence”) is a fallacy in informal logic. It asserts that a proposition is either true or false because of lack or absence of evidence or proof to the contrary. This represents a type of false dichotomy in that it excludes a third option, which is that there may have been an insufficient investigation, and therefore there is insufficient information to prove the proposition be either true or false. Nor does it allow the admission that the choices may in fact not be two (true or false), but may be as many as four,””””
      .
      In trying to sound intelligent, you are proving the contrary

      Reply
      • jcb says:

        Brent,
        I am making claims. You say I have no knowledge of what I’m claiming. You failed to specify which of my claims you are talking about, and you failed to show that I have no knowledge of that which I claimed to know. Thus, nothing you said showed that anything I said was false.
        There are many things I don’t know/don’t have the answer to. I did not “automatically, without evidence” say I have an answer for anything. What question are you talking about? What claim did I make that you think is false? What shows that it actually is false? Please do more work. You haven’t shown that anything I’ve said is false.
        What argument did I make that involves the Argument from Ignorance fallacy? You failed to say.
        I claimed that there is no good argument for God (as far as I know). Since I (and no one) knows everything, there might be such a thing. If you have such an argument, please offer it. Until then, that’s what it looks like.
        Yes, my investigation may be insufficient. That doesn’t mean that it is. No investigation is final. Thus I’m claiming that so far my investigation of arguments for god have all been lacking. If you have investigated, and know of an argument that succeeds, offer it. Until then, it looks like there is no god, and no good arguments for god. Feel free to show otherwise.

        Reply
        • TVZ says:

          Its the same impression I get from your arguments: “I don’t know, therefore it’s false.” Shouldn’t a true atheist stop at “I don’t know.”

          Reply
          • jcb says:

            What am I saying “I don’t know” about, here? What am I saying is false here (for you)? I said “We don’t know what caused the universe”. And we don’t. And you haven’t shown that anyone actually does know. Thus when one asserts, as you do, that God (a perfect in all ways being) created the universe, I rightly responded with, “you don’t know that” and “no one seems to know that to be true”, and “it appears to be false/it is not known to be true”.
            Instead of actually showing that it is true (and that my claims of falsehood are inaccurate), you have complained (to no useful effect) that I (rightly) have said “we don’t know what caused the universe”.
            So a “true” atheist would say: Dogs exist, unicorns do not exist, God does not exist, as far as any of us know. The universe exists, and something caused it, but we don’t know it to be a giant rat, or a perfect being. Theists should not say they do know it to be any particular thing, since they don’t know it to be any particular thing. If they do know it to be a particular thing (like an all perfect being, or even an intelligent being), make the case. All the cases I’ve been presented to I’ve responded to and have shown the failure of such cases. If you have a good probable case, make it! Or, respond to my response, showing why my response fails, and your claims are unaffected.

          • TVZ says:

            You can’t use the words false or refuted if you don’t know. You should only use uncertain or unconvinced. When you say false, you have a burden of proof too. Why is God false. How has He been refuted. You are going further than just saying you are unconvinced. Your ignorance is no reflection on truth, just your opinion.

          • Bob says:

            It’s this simple:
            1 – Atheists, in general, do not believe a god exists because of the complete lack of evidence for the existence of a god.
            2 – Christians believe their god exists in spite of the complete lack of evidence for the existence of their god.

          • jcb says:

            TVZ,
            Again, it is false to say “God exists”. By that I mean it is not known to be true.
            Just I say it is false to say “unicorns exist”, I mean by that “it is not known to be true that unicorns exist”. And I mean, it looks like unicorns do not exist. When we look, we usually don’t find them, see them, touch them, taste them, etc.
            The same is true of God/a perfect being. We have found no such thing.
            Additionally, the existence of evil/suffering makes it unlikely that such a thing exists.

          • jcb says:

            TVZ,
            You are convinced of God. I am not. But what I’m claiming is that you do not have good evidence for God. I have evidence that there are no unicorns, no mermaids, and no gods: yes, that evidence is, as far as I, and all others, and all of our science can tell, such things are absent from the world.
            I’m not starting from nothing. I’m starting from the evidence that we have. We have evidence that dogs exist. We have evidence, when we look, that there are no mermaids, and no gods.
            You can be tricky and say, but god is not to be found in this world. Great. You’ve confirmed then that God doesn’t exist in this world. But then the one claiming that God exists in another world has to show that we have evidence for that, and then show that I can go and find evidence, or the lack of evidence, for it.
            It’s like when Susan says: you prove God exists by praying and then he will reveal himself. Great, I’ve run that test, and Susan is wrong.
            So: define God, explain how we can test for its existence, and then we can run those tests. The tests that have been run have failed to show that there is a perfect being. Thus, so far, it looks like there is no God.
            This claims are not just my opinions. They are truths as well.
            You say my claims are not reflections on the truth. For that to be true, you need to know the truth! So prove it: prove that you have the truth, and it is contrary to my claims about the truth.

          • TVZ says:

            JCB, the best evidence of God ( setting aside the universe, laws of nature, life, morality, and consciousness) is Israel and born again Christians. This is a debate for another thread, but just wanted to let you know that God uses people to reveal Himself… the nation of Israel first then Jesus of Nazareth and his followers (as well as Israel) today. I mean this as an informational post, not one to debate…. if you are truly looking for evidence start there.

          • jcb says:

            The universe doesn’t make God probable. The same is true for the existence of life, kindness (morality), human brains, etc. You have not shown otherwise. This is all I’ve been saying: the case for God has not been made.
            I’ve been looking at the evidence for the last 25 years. If you know of good evidence, offer it. But please also listen to the responses you get: it looks like much of the time you don’t hear when people show you that many of your arguments fail to do what you claim they do.

          • TVZ says:

            I think all I’m really interested in is other theories to refute God. I’m not getting that from you (or anyone else). KR gives it the best try because he knows the other hypotheses that try to give other explanations for how something can come from nothing, but none of those have yet to move into the theory stage because it they can’t be duplicated.
            God is the most reasonable explanation for how nothing becomes everything at this point. Not sure how that can be deniable or why it should be denied.

          • Mark Heavlin says:

            @BOB
            .
            “1 – Atheists, in general, do not believe a god exists because of the complete lack of evidence for the existence of a god.”
            .
            I would be worried if I were you. It appears your memory is beginning to slip as we just had this discussion only a few days ago.
            .
            Romans 1:19-21 19 For what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood from His workmanship, so that men are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking and darkened in their foolish hearts.

          • Mark Heavlin says:

            @JCB
            .
            “I’m not starting from nothing. I’m starting from the evidence that we have.”
            .
            In this assertion you are INCORRECT. The evidence is there you just REFUSE to accept it. That is called free will. but it in NO way changes the fact that the evidence exists.
            .
            Romans 1:19-21 19 For what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood from His workmanship, so that men are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking and darkened in their foolish hearts.

          • Bob says:

            mArK – I would be worried if I were you. It appears your memory is beginning to slip as we just had this discussion only a few days ago.
            And yet, odd as it may seem, I am not the slightest bit worried.
            .
            Actually mArK, you and I have never had a discussion. You, pasting bible verses does not constitute a “discussion”.

          • jcb says:

            TVZ,
            So you say, “all I’m really interested in is other theories to refute God.” Perhaps we can find common ground: you are interested in saying “my theory is better (more likely to be true?) than other theories. That may be the case. For it to be so, you would have to mention another theory, and then explain what makes it more likely to be true. What you won’t be able to do is list and discuss every possible theory. But you could possibly get to the point of saying, “my theory is more likely to be true than these 4 theories, based on evidence Z”. I don’t think you’ve done this, but I think you could do it, depending on what those 4 other theories were, and what evidence you offered.
            What all that avoids or omits is the question of probability. I keep talking about whether God is probable. You keep talking about whether God is “the best theory”. Even if your God is more likely than 4 other gods, that alone doesn’t make God probable.
            Thus I suggest we find common ground by saying:
            1. God is not probable. (We can’t say that God probably created the universe)
            2. God is more probable (“better”) than some other claims.
            So, “God is the most reasonable explanation for how nothing becomes everything at this point” is false, if you mean that God probably created the universe, but true, if you mean “God is a more reasonable explanation of what created the universe than are some other explanations, and the most reasonable explanation of the set of 5 I’ve looked at” (assuming you have the evidence to back that up).

          • TVZ says:

            “””So you say, “all I’m really interested in is other theories to refute God.” Perhaps we can find common ground: you are interested in saying “my theory is better (more likely to be true?) than other theories. That may be the case. For it to be so, you would have to mention another theory, and then explain what makes it more likely to be true.”””
            .
            I don’t think there are other theories yet. God is also a hypothesis, but in my opinion, everything in this universe coming from a state of nothingness (or even if I give you the singularity, which I won’t… everything coming from something the size of the head of a needle) points to a supernatural causation event. How do you think it happened? Why not something supernatural? Why not God? What makes that improbable? Do you realize humans 5,000 years ago were 5,000 years ahead of science when they claimed that the universe was nothing and then God created it? How?
            .
            “””Thus I suggest we find common ground by saying:
            1. God is not probable. (We can’t say that God probably created the universe).”””
            .
            I agree with you that we will have to find the alternative theories first. At this point, God probably did create the universe because there is no other explanation. If there is, which is the best for you? (Even the word “create” implies God, imo).
            .
            “””2. God is more probable (“better”) than some other claims.”””
            .
            There are no other claims. Hawking said “the law of gravity” could have done it, but that’s ridiculous.
            .
            “””So, “God is the most reasonable explanation for how nothing becomes everything at this point” is false.”””
            .
            You have made a truth claim here. You must provide evidence that God is not the most reasonable explanation. There must be something more reasonable to explain how nothing becomes everything for you to make that statement. You are not saying you are simply unconvinced that God created the universe, you are saying He didn’t. So what is the most reasonable explanation for how nothing becomes everything?

          • jcb says:

            You said: ” I don’t think there are other theories yet” (about what created the universe). You are mistaken. Almost all cultures have offered (poor) explanations for the creation of the universe. Some African cultures attribute the creation of the world to a God named Bumba vomiting.
            “God is also a hypothesis”. Exactly. It’s a guess, at this point. It is not probable, at this point.
            “in my opinion, everything in this universe coming from a state of nothingness.” Well yes, it came from nothing we know of. We don’t know that it actually came from pure nothingness, which is improbable, given that everything else we know of came from something rather than nothing.
            Yes, the (natural) universe itself was apparently caused by something other than itself, i.e., something “super-natural”. But we of any actual, particular, supernatural, existing things.
            How do I think the universe happened? I don’t know! Are you just asking for my guesses? I have a million guesses: unicorns, aliens, sea turtles, etc. But none of them do I think probably “happened”/”caused our universe to begin”.
            Why not God? Because we don’t know God to be probably. Yes! Possibly God! I am claiming that you, nor anyone, has shown it to be probable. It’s the same for Zeus, Bumba, etc. None of them are known to be probable (probably the cause of the universe).
            Some humans 5000 years ago got some things right about reality. They did not get it right that God created the universe.
            I never said, “we will have to find the alternative theories first.” No, we don’t need alternative theories in order to say that God has not yet been proven to be probable. We do need an alternative theory to say that God is (or is not) more probable than some alternative theory.
            Again, I have no theory that is probable. In regard to which of the many possible theories is best, I have no interest in calculating which is 1%, and which is 1.2% likely, so that I can then say that one is better than the others, even though it is still highly unlikely. If you wish to do that, go for it. My only claim here has been that God has not been proven to be likely. As I said, if you wish to say, “but God is (x percentage points) more likely that (theory Z), go for it.
            It may be your opinion that “create” implies God, but it doesn’t. Feel free to show otherwise.
            “There are no other claims. Hawking said “the law of gravity” could have done it, but that’s ridiculous.” You just contradicted yourself. You just said there are no other claims, then you mentioned Hawking’s claim!
            I said it might be true that “God is the most reasonable claim” if you made it in relation to some other claims. You haven’t done that. While I think you could do that, you haven’t, and it wouldn’t show that God is probable. But if you do that, I’m fine with that. Begin by showing that a perfect in all ways being (God) is more probable than Zeus. You might succeed in that, but it won’t show that God is probable.
            As to the how our universe came to be, there is as of yet no explanation that is probable. There’s virtually no data about the cause.

          • TVZ says:

            I’ll propose this as probability. Let me know if it’s not logical: If there were a creator of the universe, would he want himself to be known by the creation? As of 2018, 78% of humans believe the universe was created by a god or gods (if Hindus believe this, I’m not sure if they do). Among those who believe in a creator, 70% believe it was the God of Abraham (this is a higher number if Hindus don’t believe the universe was created). Based on these numbers it is more probable there is a god and more probable that the god is the God of Abraham.

          • jcb says:

            Questions are not probabilities. What you seem to have wanted to assert is, “if there was a creator of the universe, it would be a he, and he would want himself to be known by (some? all? of) his creation.” But if you are asserting that, you have to show that it is probable. You haven’t done that. No, I don’t see any reason to conclude that your assertion is probable. Make the case. Provide evidence for your assertion.
            Yes, many people think the universe was created by God, a god, etc. No, those numbers don’t make it probable that there is a God. You haven’t shown that it does. Make the case. Explain what the #s of people have to do with making that particular claim likely/probable.

          • jcb says:

            So I said: please show how you know that “God is probable”. You respond by saying “There must be no probabilities I could advance that you would disregard.”. You seem to be saying that, because I asked your for evidence, any evidence that you give would be disregarded by me. That’s false, and unsubstantiated. Clearly, you are just dodging the question, and failing to make the case for (a probable) God.
            (If you “advanced” the probability that the sun will rise tomorrow, based on our past experiences, I would not “disregard” it: I would agree that the evidence makes that probable.)

          • TVZ says:

            I’m not dodging a question. You say it’s not probable that God created a perfectly ordered universe, re-producing life, and consciousness despite having no other hypotheses.That’s about as far as we can go. At this point it’s up to you to start showing why the evidence points to anything else but God.

        • Brent Hurst says:

          JBC,
          .
          “””””””””I am making claims. You say I have no knowledge of what I’m claiming. You failed to specify which of my claims you are talking about, and you failed to show that I have no knowledge of that which I claimed to know. Thus, nothing you said showed that anything I said was false.”””””””””
          .
          OK, I’m going to quote you again, and read very closely what you
          .
          “””””“”””””Spoiler alert: atheists don’t have all the answers, but spoiler alert 2: no one does!”””””””
          .
          You ever place a “2” in front of it to emphasis it as an absolute truth. You have already claimed your ignorance, why would you think such ignorance automatically applies to the whole of humanity. I don’t have to prove you to be false when you base a positive assertion on a lack of knowledge (ignorance)
          .
          “”””””””””Thus I’m claiming that so far my investigation of arguments for god have all been lacking. If you have investigated, and know of an argument that succeeds, offer it. Until then, it looks like there is no god, and no good arguments for god. Feel free to show otherwise.”””””””””
          .
          In this we have a dilemma, PERHAPS you are seeking a true argument, or perhaps you constantly demanding unrealistic expectation from people so you can feel something about yourself or simply entertain yourself. If you wanted knowledge, you could just be asking people why they believe in God, what drives them, etc… as this “belief” is a very subjective experience. BUT, you seem to be demanding objective proof.
          .
          So my question is usually “what qualifies as proof”, what if I have seen and heard things you have not, my witness as with every other witness could be considered subjective. Its unrealistic to think I could open your eyes to see the Spiritual world in the same way it is unrealistic that a two year old might understand the size of Jupiter.
          .
          So I will address it from pure mathematical logic,
          .
          Everything in this universe is finite, even the universe itself.
          .
          So God, as a creator, must transcend this universe. This takes us back to the “Big Bang” for lac of a better phraseology.
          .
          But before we get to the Bang, lets consider the context, the FINITE is temporal by nature, but temporal could not exist were there not an Infinite context. In OTWs, if Infinity did not exist, even a temporal space could not exist.
          .
          So we have Finite, and the Infinite, and these two do not exist within the same realm of Being. If we are in the temporal, then Infinite is outside of our reach, it appears only as a “Potential” reality. But if we where existing in the Infinite, in which case we would be ONE even as a singularity, then all of Finitude would be simply a potential reality.
          .
          Now, of these two, the finite and the Infinite, which one would actually be the true reality,
          .
          And I hope you come to the conclusion the Infinite as finitude must by its very definition manifest a beginning and an end.
          .
          So, beyond the Big Bang there is Infinity, and if there were a God, He would have to be the sum and substance of Infinity itself. Hence all the “Omni”s associated with Him.
          .
          So, beyond the Big Bang, there is either an “Impersonal force” as in multiverses that interact somehow to generate the Big Bang or universal expansion, and this is what science currently clings to.
          .
          Or there is a Creator, with a personal Will, who instigates Creation.
          .
          So logic brings us back to the question as to whether impetus for Creation is impersonal or personal. Other universes interacting, or a specific determination.
          .
          Now do you know how when the discussion about how life began on Earth some might say it was seeded here from elsewhere In the universe, and how this is just pushing the problem back since it does not truly explain anything. The same reasoning happens here with multiverses, because as universes, they themselves are finite creations.
          .
          And the Infinite itself is never actually addressed. All science can really say is “Something caused it”, if there were other universes, something must have caused them.
          .
          Now jump back into the Infinite itself, it had to have been the first cause, and if it were impersonal, it would not move but simply BE, BUT it MOVED, and that Motion denotes WILL, a DESIRE, Hence, personal, and that motion brought forth an effect, the big bang, or multiply big bangs which are not interacting and helping to structure each universe with their laws of physics, etc…
          .
          Now I get it, the Infinite, actually Personal, that Infinity itself actually possesses a Will, that’s a difficult concept because as we look at the “forces” in the universe around us we know they are not persons, Thor, Indra, Zeus, there are obviously our personifications.
          .
          But the Infinite, is something altogether different as it is a singularity. So heres my final contrast, if the finite can be seen a partials being by nature incomplete, and the Infinite can be seen as a whole as it is by nature complete, and within the partiality of the finite we experience consciousness and personal will, how then can the Infinite, which is wholeness by nature, lack something which is still found in partiality.
          .
          All the finite can manifest that the Infinite could not would be limitations, not something more complex.

          .
          I know, there is a good chance you might not understand what I have said, yet even at this stage, if we determine the Infinite is a personal Creator exercising His will, we still have to determine if the Bible actually is reflecting that Infinite, that os a whole new question.

          Reply
          • jcb says:

            I re-read what you asked. You didn’t say why you wanted me to do that. I said no one has all the answers. That’s still true, and you didn’t do anything do show otherwise. I don’t see the problem (and you don’t identify a problem).
            You then say: “You ever place a “2” in front of it to emphasis it as an absolute truth.” The poor grammar there makes it hard to fully understand what you are trying to say, but it is false that I put a 2 there to claim it to be an absolute truth. I’m claiming it to be a truth. Perhaps you mean, I’m making an absolute assertion in that I’m saying there is no known being who does know everything. Yes, I’m making that “absolute” claim, but my claim is true, and nothing you’ve said shows it to be false.
            The evidence we have (talking to people, learning about babies, etc), clearly shows that what I said “applies to the whole of humanity” probably: everyone you talk to seems to not know everything. They seem to acquire some information based on who they talked to, what school they went to, what books they read, etc. The evidence we have shows that all people, as far as we know, don’t know everything. If you know of someone that does, please prove it.
            I asked for you to prove that God exists. Of course you didn’t even try.
            Arguments aren’t true or false. Statements are true or false.
            I am not demanding anything realistic. You haven’t shown that I am.
            I have asked many people why they believe in God. I have asked many people for evidence of God.
            I am asking for (not demanding) evidence. I keep finding theists who don’t have evidence that makes
            God probable.

            What do you think qualifies as proof?
            Generally, science is the best way of determining what is real/what is likely to happen in the future, etc.
            If you have seen things I have not, then offer the evidence for them. We might find that you do have good evidence for things I am unaware of.
            If you only appeal to your personal internal account, then it doesn’t look like that makes it probable that there is a perfect, supernatural being who loves us and hates gays, etc.
            So you intimate that you have knowledge of God. What is that knowledge? If it is only that you internally feel that there is such a being, that doesn’t make it probable any more than a person who internally feels that Zeus exist makes it probable.
            .The universe is finite. It doesn’t follow that God exists, nor that he is the creator of the universe, etc.
            The thing that created our universe transcends our universe. That’s true.
            The infinite is not a thing.
            Finite humans exist: that’s reality.
            The infinite, by definition, doesn’t have an end.
            We don’t know what is beyond/before the Big Bang.
            No, the thing that created the universe isn’t thereby probable an Omni: all good, all knowing.
            The cause of the Big bang might be impersonal or not. We don’t know of any persons existing at that point, so we can’t say it probably is a personal force that created the universe.
            “All science can really say is “Something caused it””. Exactly!

            Movement does not always denote desire. There is often movement unrelated to desire.
            We have not determined that there is “a personal Creator exercising His will”.
            But yes! We have not determined that the Bible makes any accurate statements (although it does: Jerusalem exists, etc.)

        • Andy Ryan says:

          “for how something can come from nothing”.
          .
          If matter can neither be created nor destroyed it suggests there was never ‘nothing’ in the sense you mean. We don’t know if such a state is even possible.

          Reply
          • TVZ says:

            Unless it was created by a source outside the universe. We will never know if that is possible because we are limited to or confined within the universe.

          • TVZ says:

            I’m interested in that statement though. Is matter created when a woman becomes pregnant?

          • TGM says:

            No, matter is rearranged through chemistry. Why would you think it was created?? But the thing that goes from gamete to embryo to fetus to infant is an addition/subtraction & rearrangement process. It’s simply convenient to attach a label to keep communication simple.

          • Andy Ryan says:

            “Is matter created when a woman becomes pregnant?”
            Of course not. It’s combining existing matter from the mother and father’s bodies. Then the woman eats and the baby grows by taking on matter from that.

          • Brent Hurst says:

            Andy,
            .
            I’m not sure of the “we” you are referring to. Quantum Theories point to the fact that everything in this universe arose from nothing, that is the whole reason they need multiple universes beyond this one to try to find the catalyst for our own universe. “Matter” is a condensation of light, E=Mc2, and light is the founding principle of Creation, which says something for the bible as thousands of years before Einstein, before modern science, the scriptures pose that light was the first thing God created.
            .
            But let me speak to “something coming from nothing”, what makes you think we are actually something. The whole idea of “IDENTITY” is based upon a fragmentation. Consider a bike, add a million years to it before and after, not what is a bike, it is merely a name that describes a mere static moment, separated from the whole of time. Energy, basically light, is in motion, it is in flux.
            .
            So where is REALity in this mess, a cloud folds over itself in the sky and for a moment you think you see a duck, but a few moments later it is gone, how REAL is that.
            .
            The only thing that can be considered truly REAL is the transcendent state of Infinity. And Infinity does not exists anywhere within this Creation but it has to exist beyond it, otherwise even this Finite universe could not exist.
            .
            Nothing comes from nothing, BUT something is making that Nothing APPEAR as if it is something. And not only is nothing appearing to be something, but within that nothingness is consciousness, and that consciousness works like a mirror as we can reflect upon our own nothingness.
            .
            Am I getting to far ahead of you, most humans spend their lives rooting around like a dog playing in the leaves in autumn and does really possessed a mind fine tuned enough to know those leaves come from the tree above them. You guys claim to be scientifically oriented, to see the world objectively, so come up here with me and sit upon the cusp of Creation, of the universe itself.
            .
            See the flow of the energy flowing into patterns and then dispersing in the rivers of time. See the consciousness popping in and out of existence. All these minds dreaming they are real, now try to turn around and see the Infinite, the true reality and infinite consciousness that is having the dream we call Creation.
            .
            You promote reason and logic, then travel all the way down the road. What is evolution, it is simply death evolving into death. It is all vanity, emptiness, chasing after the wind. We are the dream, who then is the dreamer?

          • toby says:

            “Matter” is a condensation of light, E=Mc2, and light is the founding principle of Creation, which says something for the bible as thousands of years before Einstein, before modern science, the scriptures pose that light was the first thing God created.
            Honk, honk! Wrong police, pull over. The best you can say is that matter is condensed energy, not light. Nice of you to try to fit it in with your “let there be light” mentality, but, sorry, wrong.
            .
            Nothing comes from nothing, BUT something is making that Nothing APPEAR as if it is something. And not only is nothing appearing to be something, but within that nothingness is consciousness, and that consciousness works like a mirror as we can reflect upon our own nothingness.
            Andy, he’s gone down the Chopra road. There’s no help for this one.

      • bob says:

        In trying to sound intelligent, you are proving the contrary
        Now Mark…I mean, now Brent…no…I mean Mark…no…Susan…? I forget who I am responding to because they are different, yet, so much alike.

        Reply
        • Susan says:

          I would take that as a backhanded compliment TVZ. He must have spotted the family of God resemblance in spite of himself and now makes light of it.

          Reply
  4. staircaseghost says:

    You do realize that an orderly universe means three-day-old corpses don’t come back to life, right?

    “Only the existence of a miracle-working god could possibly justify the belief that miracles never occur.”

    And people wonder why the mean old meany-headed elitists in science and philosophy don’t take apologetics seriously…

    Reply
    • jcb says:

      “Only the existence of a miracle-working god could possibly justify the belief that miracles never occur.” That’s one crazy sentence.
      That’s like saying “only the existence of unicorns could possibly justify the belief that unicorns don’t exist”.

      Reply
    • Andy Ryan says:

      I pointed this out the other day – miracles, where the natural laws of the universe are suspended – are counted as evidence of God. But also, the fact that our universe has unchanging natural laws is ALSO used as evidence of God. They’re trying to have it both ways.

      Reply
  5. bob says:

    Has anyone noticed that all the Christians that are prolific posters / responders on this blog, Mark, Susan, Brent, TVZ, (perhaps others that have escaped my notice), all of them disagree with each other. Almost every response a Christian posts is met with disagreement by another Christian. Isn’t God wonderful!
    .
    And yet, us atheists pretty much agree with each other. Mater of fact, just try to find a post where an atheist is responding to what another atheist has posted, and disagrees…go ahead and try.
    .
    I am sure this is evidence of something, just not sure what exactly 🙂

    Reply
        • TVZ says:

          Not sure what that means. You and the monkeys can’t go deeper than eat, sex, die. That’s not a hard hypothesis to agree upon if you put no thought into it.

          Reply
          • Andy Ryan says:

            “You and the monkeys can’t go deeper than eat, sex, die”
            Speak for yourself, TVZ. I sometimes go hours without either eating or having sex, and I do lots of other stuff in between.

      • Andy Ryan says:

        “fish and bacteria agree with you”
        .
        TVZ, what on earth are you talking about? That genuinely makes no sense to me at all. Did you just try to come up with a response that sounded smart without thinking through what it was actually supposed to mean?

        Reply
        • TVZ says:

          I was addressing the one-mindedness of atheists. Unconscious organisms are as aware of God as conscious atheists are. Its no great achievement to be like-minded in a stupor.

          Reply
          • Bob says:

            Does Jesus know you talk like that?
            You have been transformed TVZ. When I first encountered you, you were rather pleasant – wrong – but pleasant.
            But now you have crawled right down into the gutter with me. What happened? Perhaps you need to check in with the Lord, ’cause I doubt he would approve of this currant display of hatefulness and condescension.

          • Andy Ryan says:

            “Its no great achievement to be like-minded in a stupor”
            .
            If we’re just patronising each other now, I’ll point out that you missed the apostrophe off ‘its’. Does this mean you’ve given up on making arguments now and are just saying we’re as dumb as fish? If so, that’s a shame, but I understand why you feel that’s all you’ve got left.

          • Bob says:

            TVZ – True Bob. Will you guys forgive my lack of empathy and condescension?
            Of course.
            .
            …but – In my younger days I held a grudge – now, in my old age I am like a water buffalo – with no emotion I simply track you down and gore you from behind.
            .
            I long for meaningful dialogue but fear there is no hope…so…this is all I have left…thanks a lot Frank!

          • Andy Ryan says:

            I’m not fussed about empathy or lack of it. I just want to hear some decent arguments. Feel free to earn being condescending if you have a good one.
            .
            Hey Bob, I’ll give you a disagreement – I don’t necessarily think it’s a good sign when all atheists agree on everything.

          • toby says:

            I don’t necessarily think it’s a good sign when all atheists agree on everything.
            Highly disagreeable.

        • Brent Hurst says:

          Wow Bob,
          .
          “””””””2 (two)””””””
          .
          That would be a multiple
          .
          “””””just address the freezing post you dolt.”””””
          .
          “Dolt”? A simpleton? Really? From a guy who rarely writes more than 3 sentences, and of whom the extent of his wittiness can only come up with the word dolt?
          .
          I can see why you would thank me for my insults, I am sorry I cannot return the favor.

          Reply
          • bob says:

            You are welcome anyway. Now, care to address my post, or just complain that I posted it in two different threads. BTW, my post was more than three sentences.

        • Brent Hurst says:

          Bob,
          .
          Should I assume you mean the one we are speaking of, sure
          .

          “”””””””Has anyone noticed that all the Christians that are prolific posters / responders on this blog, Mark, Susan, Brent, TVZ, (perhaps others that have escaped my notice), all of them disagree with each other.”””””””
          .
          Well, this is a gross oversimplification. Yes, we often focus on the points we disagree about, but that what makes a discussion, otherwise we would be a bunch of bobble heads sitting around bobbling. The main focus of our disagreement tends towards the nature of the final fate of the universe and those who are not saved. Since this is a future prophetic event in Christianity, so it is open for interpretation. But for the most part we are all still Christians inasmuch as we reverence Jesus as being the Son of God that was sent for our salvation.
          .
          There as been a bit of debate on how that salvation is accomplished.
          .
          “”””””” Almost every response a Christian posts is met with disagreement by another Christian. Isn’t God wonderful!””””””””
          .
          Well apparently we are using our minds, since this is an internet blog, so Christians from different denominations come together also. Your last comment there is simply a form of childish mocking.
          .
          “””””And yet, us atheists pretty much agree with each other. Mater of fact, just try to find a post where an atheist is responding to what another atheist has posted, and disagrees…go ahead and try.”””””””
          .
          Another gross over simplification, most of the atheists posting here are not truly seeking knowledge or a true argument as to why God MIGHT exist, they are trolls like you who have come here to entertain themselves and release some of their emotional immaturity. This final comment as a challenge continues such mocking as you did above.
          .
          It would appear you are seeking to create a juxtaposition as if Christians are all divided and Atheists are all agreeable or in agreement. Like a mob you trolls have come together to mock and belittle so yes, most of you are here in agreement, but if you are trying to expand this as if it is the social average, that would be just plain nonsense. Atheists are people and they disagree about many other issues.
          .
          They often come forth complaining about the Salem trail or the Crusades as if Christianity is responsible for all the wars throughout history. Meanwhile they ignore the hundreds of millions killed by atheistic regimes. Wars in general come about for power or resources, and many times those in power USED religion as a motivating factor,
          .
          You have simply presented a false dichotomy, are you suggesting Atheists don’t steal, murder, and rape, these are human traits. AT LEAST with those who are religious they might have some fear of punishment and thus modify or restrict their behavior and perhaps maybe commit LESS atrocities.
          .
          I am afraid your point that somehow Christians are more divisive that Atheists just does not stand, besides, you have only mentioned 4 posters, Mark and Susan seem pretty emotional in their debate, hence my “dance” comment, but TZV and myself have not butted heads, neither have we fallen to the into the dance category even with Mark and Susan.
          .
          The vast majority of Christians are home or at work, raising kids, going to church, trying to get along in life even with their atheistic neighbors. Forums tend to draw a certain crowd, often some with very PASSIONATE views, and so discussions can be heated.
          .
          Furthermore it is as unreasonable as it is unscientific to take such a small sample and try to present that as an overall judgement against Christianity as if we are responsible for all the arguing in life.
          .
          “””””I am sure this is evidence of something, just not sure what exactly 🙂”””””
          .
          Yes, we are all human beings with an emotional nature that sometimes gets the best of us. Just as what you are trying to do speaks volumes about your own intellectual and emotional immaturity.
          .
          So Bob, that is my answer

          Reply
          • bob says:

            …most of the atheists posting here are not truly seeking knowledge or a true argument as to why God MIGHT exist, they are trolls like you…
            .
            Like a mob you trolls have come together to mock and belittle…
            .
            …what you are trying to do speaks volumes about your own intellectual and emotional immaturity.
            .
            Meanwhile they ignore the hundreds of millions killed by atheistic regimes.
            .
            AT LEAST with those who are religious they might have some fear of punishment and thus modify or restrict their behavior and perhaps maybe commit LESS atrocities.
            .
            WOW! Actually, now I am sorry I asked.
            Brent, you really seem to be a mixture:
            Like Susan, you have a tendency to come unhinged with almost no provocation.
            Like Mark, you seem to derive an unhealthy amount of pleasure from every insult you hurl.
            Like TVZ, you are quite unpredictable, kind of like a person one would really not want to have as a friend.
            I would say that you are a fine example of a Christian, but you just might take that as a compliment. It is actually people like you that make me so glad I got out when I did.
            You sir, are quite frighting – congratulations.
            .
            note – this is not a criticism of what you believe, but a criticism of what your beliefs have made you.

          • jcb says:

            Thanks to Bob for highlighting this line from Brent:
            “most of the atheists posting here are not truly seeking knowledge or a true argument as to why God MIGHT exist, they are trolls like you who have come here to entertain themselves and release some of their emotional immaturity. ”
            To Brent:
            1. You aren’t a mind-reader. You don’t know why most atheists are posting here. But if your read our posts, most of us are engaging in respectful dialogue, offering evidence, pointing out flaws in arguments, etc. That is, we are seeking knowledge, despite your claims to the contrary.
            2. You are right! God “Might” exist, and anyone who says otherwise is wrong. But that’s the end of theists being right (for the most part): We don’t know that God probably exists, only that he might. If you keep saying that, I’ll keep agreeing with you.
            (I hope you don’t flip on this issue, and then say, “well, er, of course God might exist, but I meant to say God Does Probably exist!)

  6. Brent Hurst says:

    Miracles,
    .
    “Suspension” as in suspending natural law, is not truly a good word, atheists, like many Christians, still do not understand the transcendence of a Creator, so they speak as if the Creation is part and parcel of His Creation.
    .
    The whole of the Creation is FINITE, The Creator is the whole of the INFINITE, these two things do not exist within the same realm of existence. And anyone with any basis in science should be able to understand the Math. Within the FINITE, it only APPEARS as if you could count forever, yet you can never ever reach INFINITY, the LIMITS of finitude would not allow it, and yet Infinity must exist for the Finite to ever come into Being in the first place.
    .
    The Big Bang is a miracle, INFORMATION from without was infused into the system and that Information structures the universal laws of this universe. Religion sees God as the source, presently science is offering multiply universes as the source. But this does not change the fact that this system is closed, and information from without was added.
    .
    A Miracle, where God supposedly suspends the laws of this universe, or even speaking of the resurrection,
    .
    And really try to hear this
    .
    Is an influx of NEW information into the system,
    .
    Perhaps the multiverses are still slapping into this Creation, or God continues to speak above the void,
    .
    You cannot use the laws present in this Creation to RESTRICT or constrain that infinite space from which the very laws of the Creation come from. Universal laws only apply within this Creation. God is not PART of this Creation, He, as the sum and substance of Infinite reality, exists transcendent to it.
    .
    Perhaps “overwriting” might be a better concept. If you do not take another breath, your body would quickly be descending into death, but you breath and new oxygen floods in and revives you, staying off death for another day, no matter is destroyed in the exchange as the closed system of your body receives something from without. Every breath, every meal, is a microcosmic miracle.
    .
    As for the atheists that are swarming about like birds to a phone booth on the set of an Alfred Hitchcock thriller, your very concept of God is Idolatrous to begin with, you do not even understand the nature of attributes that would qualify as a Creator, its like your stuck in the immature version of an old man sitting on a throne, and yet you claim to be speaking with reason and logic, as if science were on your side. Now I know in reality most of you are trolls, spitting spit balls from the back of the classroom, But hopefully not all of you
    .
    Any LAW in Creation can be overridden by another force, gravity pulls everything down to Earth and yet we still put men on the Moon. A man is dying from a tumor and a surgeon, a force of information from without the man’s body, cuts in and removes the tumor, if the cells within that man’s body where conscious, then a law superior to the natural rules of that body has performed a miracle.
    .
    So when you say “Miracles cannot happen”, you are demonstrating your scientific ignorance and revealing the narrow limitations of your own intelligence as you appear to be medieval and superstitious in your concepts of this Creation. So keep arguing that your old man on a throne does not exists, there is after all no more grand straw man argument than that.

    Reply
    • Andy Ryan says:

      ‘So when you say “Miracles cannot happen”’
      .
      Who here said that? Actually, who were you addressing that rant to? It didn’t seem to address anything anyone posting here has actually said.

      Reply
      • jcb says:

        LOL. Andy, I was wondering about that as well. I never said “Miracles cannot happen”. So I wondered (and still do) who MH was talking to/about. It looks like a Straw Person argument.

        Reply
      • Brent Hurst says:

        Andy,
        .
        “””””””‘So when you say “Miracles cannot happen”’
        .
        Who here said that? Actually, who were you addressing that rant to? It didn’t seem to address anything anyone posting here has actually said.”””””””
        .
        Oh, my apologies, then you do believe someone can come back to life after three days of being dead, and that Moses could part the waters of a sea, and the a man could feed 5000 people with a few fish and a few loafs, and that God could create a universe and then pull some of the creatures of His creation out and supply them with never ending consciousness and life. But just in case I am mistaken again lets me make it easier cause sometimes I can be a bit slow,
        .
        1 Miracle can happen
        .
        2 Miracles cannot happen
        .
        Would you mind telling me just what version of reality to ascribe to?
        .
        PS, just in case you miss it, farther above in the thread I posted an arguments for you since you have asked for one, but to be truthful I think you will just repeat what you have done here and not actually respond to anything in particular other than throw out some all inclusive dismissive. But I’ll wait and see if you continue to respond with nothingness or perhaps you might find something in your brain besides.

        Reply
        • TGM says:

          Brent, I hate to intrude on your comment to Andy, but miracles…
          .
          From your rant, it seems that miracles are woven into existence, through “Every breath, every meal…”
          .
          Making miracles the natural state renders the word meaningless since you can just say “natural”. But I don’t want to commit the crime of straw man, so could you re-explain, perhaps with less poetry, such that I might understand better…
          .
          A) How do I differentiate what is not a miracle from what is? All I have are my five senses, mathematics, which seems to be universal, and logic, which also seems to be universal. Once I understand “miracle”, I can address whether I believe #1 or #2 above.

          Reply
          • Brent Hurst says:

            TGM,
            .
            “””””””Making miracles the natural state renders the word meaningless””””””””””
            .
            Really dude or gal, try to keep up. “Natural” generally refers to the universal laws of this Creation as a closed system, or maybe more accurately an Isolated system.
            .
            “Miracles” tends to refer to events that seem to contradict such natural laws. I really thought everybody knew this.
            .
            You also don’t appear to understand the use of the word “information” as it is used in the scientific sense as it regards closed or isolated systems. Maybe when you graduate High School and start college you will become more familiar with such terms.
            .
            “”””A)””””
            .
            Not sure what this is for since I could not find a B), Perhaps you lost your train of thought
            .
            “”””” How do I differentiate what is not a miracle from what is?””””
            .
            Ahhhh! I see you do not even understand the basics, well, stay in school and apply yourself to your studies, perhaps you can find a study buddy to help you, although I would not suggest any of the cronies from around here. Good luck to you

          • TGM says:

            I was seeking further clarification on “miracle” to avoid wasting time with a strawman. I see that my thoughtfulness has been wasted.
            .
            ““Miracles” tends to refer to events that seem to contradict such natural laws. I really thought everybody knew this.”
            Well, I think many would disagree with your characterization. Again, my desire to treat your view accurately has not gone unpunished. But if events “seem to contradict” such natural laws, then by implication, they are not actually contradicting natural laws. Therefore no miracles. Thanks for that admission. I choose answer #2 above, with respect to your definition of “miracle.”

        • Andy Ryan says:

          “Oh, my apologies, then you do believe someone can come back to life after three days of being dead”
          .
          I just asked you who said it. No answer?
          .
          Hey, were you the one who falsely claimed on another thread that the Bible said the world was spherical? Apologies if that was someone else. What a mistake from a Christian who claims to know their Bible.

          Reply
          • Brent Hurst says:

            Dear, dear Andy,
            .
            Are playground retorts the best you can do, I thought you would looking for reasonable arguments, well, you can’t have a reasonable argument if you can’t make reasonable conversation.
            .
            Hey, by any chance do you go to school with TGM, apparently he can’t really understand the basics of miracles and since you seem unable to respond I thought you guys might study together.
            .
            “”””””Hey, were you the one who falsely claimed on another thread that the Bible said the world was spherical? Apologies if that was someone else. What a mistake from a Christian who claims to know their Bible.”””””
            .
            Nope, wasn’t me, I believe this comes from the book of Job which is said to be older than even the new testament. Let me go check…………..
            .
            OK Job 26:10 “He marks out the horizon on the face of the waters for a boundary between light and darkness.” This may be a bit disorienting but we should remember that in Hebrew there is no word for sphere.
            .
            But there is also,
            .
            Job 26:7 New International Version (NIV)
            7
            He spreads out the northern skies over empty space;
            he suspends the earth over nothing.
            .
            and
            .
            “””Isaiah 40:21-22 New International Version (NIV)
            21
            Do you not know?
            Have you not heard?
            Has it not been told you from the beginning?
            Have you not understood since the earth was founded?
            22
            He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth,
            and its people are like grasshoppers.
            He stretches out the heavens like a canopy,
            and spreads them out like a tent to live in.
            .
            But this is an old argument, “perspective” can account for many things, its a good thing though there was a Christian that could point out that the world is round since the atheists of the time didn’t have a clue. Good luck in your studies

          • Andy Ryan says:

            “playground retorts”
            .
            Are you confusing me with someone else? You said: ‘So when you say “Miracles cannot happen”’ and I asked you who said that. Pretty simple question, which you can’t seem to answer. You didn’t say “IF you claim miracles can’t happen”, you said “When you say…”
            .
            So who are you referring to? Or did you make it up? No playground retorts here (I’ll leave that to you, with your silly ‘did you study together’ jibe), just a simple question.

          • Andy Ryan says:

            Yes, it was J Thomas, not you, who claimed that the Bible referred to the earth as a sphere. Incidentally, the Old Testament describes the Earth with the word ‘chug’, which elsewhere in the Bible is used to refer to circles or compasses (as in the instrument used to make 2D circles, not spheres). You say there was no word for sphere then but The Bible COULD have used the Hebrew word ‘kadur’ but didn’t. In fact, Isaiah uses the word ‘dur’ to mean ball in 22:18a, so the author did know the difference.
            .
            “its a good thing though there was a Christian that could point out that the world is round”
            Plates are round, so are beer mats and disks – they’re not spheres. The ‘flat disk’ notion of the earth goes back a LONG way, and there’s nothing from the Bible that suggests its authors believed in anything different.
            .
            “atheists didn’t have a clue”
            Well non-Christians certainly did. Greeks referred to a spherical earth as far back as 6th century BC and it was firmly accepted by 3rd century BC. How many of those adherents were atheist, I couldn’t tell you.
            .
            Hope this helps your ‘studies’, Brent.

        • jcb says:

          Brent,
          Like I said in my last post: God “might” exist, and likewise Miracles (Improbable things like walking on water, etc.) “can” happen. They just usually don’t, and some possible miracles have never happened, as far as we know, like coming back from the dead after cremation.
          You seem to lower the bar which is fine as long as you don’t then move the goalposts. That is, if your goal is to say “miracles might/can happen”, I agree. But if you then claim that a miracle like Jesus turning 1 fish into 5000 probably happened, that’s false.

          Reply
  7. Brent Hurst says:

    JBC,
    .
    “”””Like I said in my last post: God “might” exist, and likewise Miracles (Improbable things like walking on water, etc.) “can” happen. They just usually don’t, and some possible miracles have never happened, as far as we know, like coming back from the dead after cremation.”””””
    .
    “Miracle can, usually don’t, possible miracles have never, 1 fish to 5000-thats false”, and then you want to accuse me of lowering or moving the goal posts. Dude, chick, whatever you are, and I hope your a chick cause straddling the fence like you are is going to lower your chances of ever having children.
    .
    BTW, I realize you might have never even read the bible so here’s a clue, Jesus didn’t turn 1 fish into 5000, rather with 5 small barley loafs and 2 fish He fed 5000, and then filled 12 baskets with the left overs.
    .
    I agree that to anyone’s knowledge Jesus did not turn 1 fish into 5000, so you are right, as far as we know that is false. But then again you said miracles CAN happen, but then you said they usually DON’T, and then you said some possible miracles have never happened, but then you agree miracles might/can happen.
    .
    Up, down, up, down, talking to you is like talking to a bobble head on the dash of a car. When you make up your mind as to whether there is a Divine power and if that Divine power is capable of overwriting the same laws it created, let me know. And as far as straw man arguments, none of you guys have come close to the meat of my point, you are so focused on finding some minutiae to blather about this is why I feel I’m talking to teens, and not very smart ones at that. If you are teens then I can excuse some of what you say, if you are over twenty, then you are not never Trolls, definitely.

    Reply
    • Andy Ryan says:

      Brent, please learn how to use an apostrophe.
      .
      “I hope your a chick”
      Here you want ‘you’re a chick’ – it’s an abbreviation of ‘you are’. If you write ‘your’ then it means ‘belonging to or associated with’
      .
      “Its unrealistic to think I could open your eyes”
      Here you want ‘It’s’ – which is short for ‘It is’. Without the apostrophe it is the possessive form of the pronoun it. In other words, something that belongs to it. Even if making decent arguments is beyond you, at least learn to write them out properly.
      .
      That aside, JCB’s point isn’t that complicated, and it isn’t straddling a fence. He’s not ruling out the occurrence of miracles but doesn’t see any evidence that they happen. As far as we know, cremated people don’t come back from the dead. Can we say it’s impossible? No – it’s hard to prove a negative
      .
      “And as far as straw man arguments, none of you guys have come close to the meat of my point”
      If you want people to focus better on your point (whatever it is) perhaps try dropping the pointless rhetoric about chicks straddling fences and bobble heads – it doesn’t help your argument.

      Reply
  8. Brent Hurst says:

    Like I said, Trolls, parlaying minutiae like apostrophes and typos rather than addressing any direct arguments. It’s not an intellectual issue, just an emotional one.
    .
    BTW, my “pointless rhetoric” is not to entertain you guys, that would be pointless rhetoric, its meant for the entertainment of others who have to endure your trolling. And to be truthful I get a kick out of it too, you guys work so hard trying to rile me in some way, as if criticisms about apostrophes would irritate or upset me, I’m joining in the fun.
    .
    You see, wit, often follows intelligence, between my bobble heads, straddling, and schoolyard funnies, and your apostrophes, typos, rants and tirades, it’s easy for others to see how far down the intelligence scale you guys really are. Hope your listening bobby, I don’t want you to feel left out.
    .
    Seriously, you guys might be able to rile some of the more passionate posters, but I can only peg you as clowns. Apostrophes, really? I am just stunned by your lack of, well, anything really.

    Reply
    • Andy Ryan says:

      Well you kept snarking about us needing to go back to school and study, so it’s amusing to see that juxtaposed with your inability to master basic grammar.
      .
      “its meant for the entertainment of others”
      I’m guess that’s a swing and a miss, Brent. And that should be “it’s”. Your accusations of others trolling is pure transference too.
      .
      “You see, wit, often follows intelligence”
      My nine-year-old daughter’s jokes show more wit and maturity than yours.
      .
      “Hope your listening bobby”
      You’re, Brent, you’re. Again, hope this helps you with your studying.

      Reply
    • bob says:

      Hope your listening bobby, I don’t want you to feel left out.
      (Yawn) I’m sorry, I wasn’t paying attention…did someone say my name?

      Reply
  9. Brent Hurst says:

    Andy,
    .
    “””””””””Incidentally, the Old Testament describes the Earth with the word ‘chug’, which elsewhere in the Bible is used to refer to circles or compasses (as in the instrument used to make 2D circles, not spheres). You say there was no word for sphere then but The Bible COULD have used the Hebrew word ‘kadur’ but didn’t. In fact, Isaiah uses the word ‘dur’ to mean ball in 22:18a, so the author did know the difference.”””””””””
    .
    Incidentally, this is backwards logic or hindsight, “Kadur” can and does refer to many different geometric shapes, as you might have read on line. The use of this word could point to a bullet shape as well as a pill shape, in hindsight you can say it could refer to a sphere, but that is only a “could”.
    .
    So in short, Hebrew has no word for sphere, but ROUND is always ROUND. This will get more interesting…
    .
    “””””””“its a good thing though there was a Christian that could point out that the world is round”
    Plates are round, so are beer mats and disks – they’re not spheres. The ‘flat disk’ notion of the earth goes back a LONG way, and there’s nothing from the Bible that suggests its authors believed in anything different.””””””””
    .
    First off we can throw the “Christian verses Pagan/Atheist” thing aside, I respect many of the great thinkers from different religions and different cultures, all of which can be stuck in traditional thinking as well as providing the world with great intellects. But lets return to the Hebrew as Genesis dates back long before the 6th century BCE.
    .
    When Genesis is read , even by people today whether Atheist or Christian, there exists still a type of geocentric thinking, as if it is merely the Earth that is in question, even as the word Cosmos in Greek is often translated Earth. Genesis begins with the Spirit (God) hovering above SURFACE of the waters, and these waters are defined as “formless and void (empty)”. Now here’s the hard part, you have to think in context so you can see past the symbolism.
    .
    God is Himself, He does not create out of the substance of Himself but out of these “waters”, in this there is a distinction between God’s infinite nature as a creator, and the finite nature of what He is about to create. Infinite and the finite do not mix
    .
    Next, God is NOT creating a planet, this is where geocentric thinking comes into play, but He is creating the universe, time, space, gravity, those underlying laws upon which matter later will stand. This whole picture is from the Infinite’s POV, not from a POV within the creation.
    .
    “Waters” are used symbolically as there is a fluidity, a formlessness which is shared with that which they are to symbolize which is “Nothingness”, hence “Void”, so are we keeping up, God is creating the universe from nothing, but each factor is represented by a symbolic representation.
    .
    Furthermore there is an emphasis on the “surface”, a 2 dimensional plane, depth might be implied in a sense but since God is all there IS, “nothing” cannot take up any space. So there is as it were, God, and NOT God, which is nothingness. True nothingness can be a hard prospect to wrap our brains around but give it a try.
    .
    So God is above this surface, and He “speaks”, now lets transfer this symbolic metaphor down to our physical experience, if you speak over the surface of a bowl of water, compression waves are projected from as you will yourself to speak, those waves impact the surface of the water and the water resonates, waves, forms, and patterns are produced. This has been seen graphically when a plate of thick fluid is placed on top of a speaker and the fluid will not only take a shape, it can even stand up in a 3 dimensional way.
    .
    All this is presented in the ancient scriptures of the Bible, God, hovering above the surface of the void and speaking, the result being the creation of patterns (laws) and form (matter).
    .
    And so Nothing comes to APPEAR as Something, at least as long as God’s voice continues to impact that Nothing, but the foundation of that Something, this universe, is always still NOTHING.
    .
    Now where are we in Physics today, Time and space were created at the Big Bang, Matter most likely the production of wave interference, and what of this surface, this two dimensional disk.
    .
    How many of you are aware that quantum physics has taken us to a place of understand that the UNIVERSE is flat. And the this 2 dimensional surface can hold all the information required for our 3 dimensional reality. This should not be that difficult, we see this everyday as people are absorbs in 3D realities on a 2 dimensional screen driven by a binary code.
    .
    If God, in the beginning of Genesis is creating the Universe, why would He be creating a sphere, the universe is not spherical although it might appear that way to our geocentric mindset as we have yet to come to understand the true nature of the universe. And those multiverses shown as other 2 dimensional planes impacting ours to generate the universal laws as we know them, could just as easily be the vibrational impact of God’s will as He is speaking to both create and maintain this Creation.
    .
    Creation is not a PAST event, it is ongoing, and I realize I might be wasting by time revealing to you guys these mysteries, as hard as you try to make me appear stupid, dumb, of ignorant, and to be fair I still do stupid things from time to time, but you’ve got a long way to go to even come close to understanding what I see. I actually wish you could see the big picture but you’re too busy counting apostrophes and typos, and I truly find that sad.

    Reply
    • Andy Ryan says:

      “First off we can throw the “Christian verses Pagan/Atheist” thing aside”.
      .
      It was you who brought it up in the first place with your “atheists didn’t know that” thing.
      .
      “You’re too busy counting apostrophes”
      I obviously touched a nerve. You should be thanking my for teaching you something. I doubt it happens that often. That aside, don’t pretend to take the moral high ground after I pricked your snarky pomposity. Work out what you’re trying to do: troll people with lame schoolboy jokes or impress us with your cosmic vision. You’re swerving so quickly from one to the other I’m surprised your bobble head is still attached.

      Reply
      • Brent Hurst says:

        Andy,
        .
        Me is spelled M E, not with an Y,
        .
        “””Work out what you’re trying to do””””
        .
        You got the “you’re” right, but you know, there still seems to be something missing.
        .
        “””You’re swerving so quickly from one to the other I’m surprised your bobble head is still attached.”””
        .
        Bobble heads tend to bobble, “swerving” just doesn’t seem to fit the analogy, maybe you’re just a bit upset. Perhaps, and believe it or not this is straight from dictionary.com,
        .
        “2.
        North American
        mishandle (a ball).
        “Andy bobbled the ball, so his throw home was too late”
        .
        Now see, that makes more sense.
        .
        And yes, I know, my vision is a bit over your head, don’t feel bad, I’m sure there are some things you might be better at than me. Whining, Avoidance, Trolling. See, you’ve got talents even if they aren’t intellectual. Buck up buddy, I’m rooting for ya!

        Reply
        • jcb says:

          “And yes, I know, my vision is a bit over your head, don’t feel bad, I’m sure there are some things you might be better at than me. Whining, Avoidance, Trolling. See, you’ve got talents even if they aren’t intellectual. Buck up buddy, I’m rooting for ya!”
          Stay Classy, Brent.
          Under His Eye!

          Reply
          • Brent Hurst says:

            JCB,
            .
            We can’t all be singing in the pew, somebody has to scrub the toilet.
            .
            P.S. Thanks for the blessing

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