Comment #2707

Forum: God
Abbx
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Abbx 22 Pakistan SanguineMelancholic ENFJ 3w4 573C
The infinite monkey theorem states that something that has a possibility of occuring, even if it was as remote as monkeys writing Shakespeare. The chance for a monkey writing 'banana' is as remote as 1/15 625 000 000. However, consider this: something like that would need an infinite amount of time. Supporting the idea that there exists a God, even if he was just testing things out before he found the right mix.
Btw, did you hear that once this idea was tested out and a large group of 100 or so monkeys produced sheets upon sheets of the letter, 's?'

Mother Nature can hardly be characterized as chaotic. Sure, things like these occur, but consider how Nature has helped man. I recently heard a documentary on National Geographic on trees. It said that if the total benefit that trees gave man was calculated in monetary terms, it would exceed how much the world produced in terms of goods and services up to three times. If 3 years were used up, we'd be able to do as much as the depleted range of trees do in a year. Sometimes, I believe Mother Nature is just God's way to punish man.

Like I said before (or have I not mentioned this? O_o) God created the world so as to be able to regenerate and survive, without going stagnant and dying. The world in itself is perfect, as it will exist forever, and it is just us that are imperfect because of free will. We sin, and so we create chaos. Do you think humans would be where they are with giant, carnivorous dinosaurs the size of skyscrapers roaming the planet?
yeroc
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On monkeys: Actually, some scientists do believe the universe could simply have existed forever in a completely atheistic manner. If being infinite can be an intrinsic property of God, I don't see why it can't be an intrinsic property of the universe. As for the monkeys hitting 's' a bunch of times, well... on the watch metaphor, didn't you say it was just an example and not to scrutinize such metaphors carefully? The same thing applies here, especially with the previously mentioned points about evolution and such.

I find the point about nature helping man unconvincing. What is mother nature helping us do? Survive? Why is it so hard to survive? As for mother nature being God's tool to punish man, I'm assuming you believe in some sort of omnibenevolent God (or maybe you don't, in which case my entire argument is moot), so I'd ask you this: Has a good person ever been harmed by a random act of nature? If God was omnibenevolent, I can accept that God would punish the wicked. But grouping humanity into a giant category and punishing random people because some of them are bad is not omnibenevolence. It's no better than racism, and the only way it's different from genocide is because it's not systematic or organized.

I do believe you did not make the point about God making man to regenerate and survive in this thread. Well, claiming that the world is perfect but not humans is like saying, "Mardek 3 is a perfect game, but the exploration bits are imperfect." They're a part of the game, and humans are part of the Earth. If we're imperfect, we bring the world down with us.

I also get the impression that we're talking about different kinds of chaos. I still hold that natural evils create more chaos than man; our actions have spared us from chaos such as carnivorous beasts (meaning we created order), while things like hurricanes and tornadoes run rampant (and create chaos). You seem to hold that man has created chaos. Some of us are murderers, yes, and we occasionally go to war, but what percentage of the human population died from natural evils in our caveman years as a result of natural evils as compared to the percentage of people who die now because of man-made evils? Obviously, there's no way to count. We have no written records of humanity's early days (though I once heard that we almost went extinct, and I'm pretty sure that's not because we had high murder rates), but I'm willing to wager our society has created a certain order that has saved lives.

And no, we could not have survived if dinosaurs existed, so why did God create them in the first place? Is he not omnipotent and omniscient? And why are the things that killed the dinosaurs still around? Doomsday scenarios still exist today.

Hmm, I realize I forgot to mention in my first post that I do agree with one of your points: that belief in a God holds society together. I suppose you are going a bit far in one direction, but I see it in a similar light to the ancient Chinese legalists: If I'm a craftsman and I want straight wood, do I wander around the forest until I have found wood that is naturally straight, enough for whatever I'm building? No, I'm a craftsman. My job is to make the wood straight. Essentially, I think some people would be good without God, just not enough. So, am I making the world a worse place by arguing against the existence of God? Perhaps. Or perhaps Mr. Mill is right and these beliefs are stronger when you have to deal with devil's advocates. I'm also a bit torn about whether or not the truth should be withheld in the name of pragmatism; that almost has a tyrannical ring to it. Oh, well.
Abbx
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Abbx 22 Pakistan SanguineMelancholic ENFJ 3w4 573C
My internet's acting on me. I spent a long time writing a reply.

Before anything worse happens, I'll just explain one thing, and I'll do the rest tomorrow (If God-willing, my mom lets me!)

Natural Evils have a purpose. They can kill evil, like I previously suggested, show God's power, or maybe even encourage moral growth by encouraging sympathy and allowing others to donate and help.

Hurricanes are important. The main advantage, indeed the function, of a hurricane is to transfer large amounts of excessive heat energy from the ocean into the atmosphere. Thus they serve to cool the tropical regions and limit global warming. In some cases they have been great drought-busters.

Floods bring silt and minerals needed for farming.

Earthquakes are needed to stop the land mass on the sea from sinking via erosion. Why can't He stop erosion? Because we need water. Also, for earthquakes to happen, we need the mantle, which produces a Will-Allen shield or whatever that stops radiation or something.

I read up some statistics on how many people died of Natural Evil in a year: 3.2%.

In the end, these Natural Evils support the way God works, i.e. they support mankind's survival, and tie in with the critical laws of physics that God doesn't bend. Thus depicting how planned-out everything was.
yeroc
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(Hmm, it feels rather awkward responding to a post when someone starts it by saying they didn't get their full argument out due to technical constraints. Oh, well)

Ahem! First off, on the percentage of people who die from natural evils... yes. That's my point. I'm arguing that human society has brought down the percentage of people who die from natural evils. I assure you, more than 3.2% of people were eaten alive by lions or died in some sort of storm in our caveman years. That just proves that human actions are more orderly than the actions of nature.

I'm not sure how many times I have to mention that nature helping us survive is irrelevant. Nature is the force we have to survive against. What you're essentially saying is that if someone tries to kill you, but throws you a knife so you can defend yourself, he's helping you survive. I suppose he technically is, but if this person were of a different nature you wouldn't need the help to survive. If God does exist, he had no reason to create nature in such a way that hurricanes, floods, etc, were necessary for the Earth to be a survivable place. God is omnipotent. Otherwise, he wouldn't be God. He can do anything. God can transfer excessive heat energy without hurricanes. God can give us farming minerals without floods. God can design nature so that this all happens automatically without catastrophes. That's what being omnipotent means.

You also mentioned that nature can evoke sympathy. As some have said, God could simply have designed us so that we were sympathetic by default; he had no reason to make us tabula rasa humans that need to watch other people die before we can become good people. Yes, I've heard the free will argument, but affecting our dispositions doesn't interfere with free will, especially if it's only done at birth. If dispositions are all there is to freedom, then given the massive number of dispositions that have been proven to be genetic, we wouldn't have free will anyways.

I'd also like you to explain why sympathy would be important in a world where we can't die. The reason sympathy's important in this world is because it's an excellent survival mechanism. Let us survive without sympathy, and it becomes an empty and hollow value.
Abbx
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Abbx 22 Pakistan SanguineMelancholic ENFJ 3w4 573C
I fail to get my point across.

I am really annoyed because I can't get to communicating the way I'm feeling towards others in the community :(

Anyway, things can't happen the way like you say, i.e. Nature would not be necessary for survival, and there should be no evil (random, natural or human) to evoke sympathy and regret, and we'd all be living perfectly happy lives in our corners of the world because God is great.

Would you rather we float in an empty black space or eternal void of nothingness, surviving and living happy lives? Because I bet if God had wanted to do that, He could've...
We'd have been perfectly happy without needing to be, I bet.
yeroc
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I do not mean to say that humans, as they are created, would be better off in some hedonistic paradise or some blank void in space where happiness is the only thing that exists (undoubtedly, some people would think that, but I'm not one of them). My point is that God made life, and, according to you, God designed things so that they would be orderly. If God designed things, he could've designed us in such a way that our lives could have meaning without the levels of suffering that are present in our universe (it is my opinion that life have meaning is a psychological rather than a metaphysical phenomena. I believe that this is consistent with your views, as any metaphysical meaning to life would be highly objective and we would undoubtedly be able to obtain it without the existence of suffering). I do believe that suffering has its role, but in an entirely Nietzschean sense: We are human, and, unlike God, we cannot do anything about that. Since it is our nature to "benefit" from suffering, we may as well accept this. The problem only occurs when one believes that our nature was designed, in which case we have reason to be resentful of the designer, implying a lack of benevolence in that being who created us.
Ribbit
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Ribbit 27 Germany MelancholicCholeric ISTJ 1127C
I already tried once to express what I'm now trying to express again: We are here because of (now for your current example) the trees (among other things). If there wouldn't be trees but, uh let's call them drangels, then there would be life perfectly supported by these drangels. And that's for every aspect: If there were no oxygen, we (or rather the Tarpents because we wouldn't exist) wouldn't need oxygen. There surely are circumstances where no life could evolve but there are a lot where it possibly can.

So I'm just saying that the matter that everything here seems so perfectly made for us to live is no evidence for a planned creation. It can perfectly and reasonable be explained by scientific methods.

(By the way: The earth is no paradise, we're just living in a rather comforting era, every 5 Million years or so it's turning into a gigantic snowball, the mass extinction of the dinosaurs is just the most famous of all extinction events on the earth. All failed creations? Maybe, if you're optimistic)
Abbx
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Abbx 22 Pakistan SanguineMelancholic ENFJ 3w4 573C
That... is rather unconvincing. Sorry.

Look at all the other planets. Surely a planet in our solar system with no life or water would have aliens, because, like you said, evolution happens that way. Even Mars, which has ice, has no life. If something could survive in everything, we'd be having aliens on Earth, and it'd be BEN 10 all around us. Things aren't that easy, I think. And I bet you think that scientifically it's all possible, but in actuality, it's really remote, even though possible.
Ribbit
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Ribbit 27 Germany MelancholicCholeric ISTJ 1127C
Oh, did I sound like I wanted to say that live could be simply anywhere in the universe? Of course not. But maybe I exaggerated a little too much.

But anyhow, the evolution still is no one-rail train. It is not orderly, it just tends to form similar patterns under similar circumstances. And it still is true that when the circumstances were different just something different would've evolved (or nothing under more extrem circumstances) And this something would've been perfectly adapted too the environment like we are to the environment the earth offered us the last few 100 000 vears.

I do not say that this is evidence against a god but the fact that our world seemingly fits so perfect for us to be living in surely is not an argument for the existence of a god either, because it can perfectly be explained by the theory of evolution without the regard of a higher power.