1. Felicific Forest
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    02 Jan '07 00:251 edit
    "On the existence of God

    Polkinghorne considers that "the question of the existence of God is the single most important question we face about the nature of reality" [1] and quotes with approval Anthony Kenny: "After all, if there is no God, then God is incalculably the greatest single creation of the human imagination." He addresses the questions of "Does the concept of God make sense? If so, do we have reason for believing in such a thing?"

    Polkinghorne is "cautious about our powers to assess coherence," pointing out that in 1900 a "competent ... undergraduate could have demonstrated the 'incoherence'" of quantum ideas. He suggests that "the nearest analogy in the physical world [to God] would be ... the Quantum Vacuum."

    He suggests that God is the ultimate answer to Liebniz's great question "why is there something rather than nothing?" The atheist's "plain assertion of the world's existence" is a "grossly impoverished view of reality," he says, arguing that "theism explains more than a reductionist atheism can ever address." He is very doubtful about St Anselm's "breathtaking" Ontological Argument. "If we cannot prove the consistency of arithmetic[2] it seems a bit much to hope that God's existence is easier to deal with," concluding that God is "ontologically necessary, but not logically necessary."

    He "does not assert that God's existence can be demonstrated in a logically coercive way (any more than God's non-existence can) but that theism makes more sense of the world, and of human experience, than does atheism" [3]. He cites in particular:

    The intelligibility of the universe One would anticipate that evolutionary selection would produce hominid minds apt for coping with everyday experience, but that these minds should also be able to understand the subatomic world and general relativity goes far beyond anything of relevance to survival fitness. The mystery deepens when one recognises the proven fruitfulness of mathematical beauty as a guide to successful theory choice.[4]
    The anthropic fine tuning of the universe. He quotes with approval Freeman Dyson, who said "the more I examine the universe and the details of its architecture, the more evidence I find that the universe in some sense must have known we were coming" [5] and notes the wide consensus amongst physicists that either there are a very large number of other universes in the Multiverse or that "there is just one universe which is the way it is in its anthropic fruitfulness because it is the expression of the purposive design of a Creator, who has endowed it with the finely tuned potentialty for life. [6]
    A wider humane reality . He considers that theism offers a more persuasive account of ethical and aesthetic perceptions. He argues that it is difficult to accommodate the idea that "we have real moral knowledge" and that "statements such as 'torturing children is wrong' are more than "simply social conventions of the societies within which they are uttered" within an atheistic or naturalistic worldview. He also believes such a world-view finds it hard to explain how "Something of lasting significance is glimpsed in the beauty of the natural world and the beauty of the fruits of human creativity" [7]

    Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion. p. 99) said of Polkinghorne that he is one of a number of "good scientists who are sincerely religious", but says "I remain baffled . . . by their belief in the details of the Christian religion"[8]"


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Polkinghorne
  2. Joined
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    02 Jan '07 06:42
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    "On the existence of God

    Polkinghorne considers that "the question of the existence of God is the single most important question we face about the nature of reality" [1] and quotes with approval Anthony Kenny: "After all, if there is no God, then God is incalculably the greatest single creation of the human imagination." He addresses the questions of "Doe ...[text shortened]... //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Polkinghorne
    if there is proof and there probably is that god dose not exist, it is better to be kept a secret
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    03 Jan '07 04:04
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    "On the existence of God

    Polkinghorne considers that "the question of the existence of God is the single most important question we face about the nature of reality" [1] and quotes with approval Anthony Kenny: "After all, if there is no God, then God is incalculably the greatest single creation of the human imagination." He addresses the questions of "Doe ...[text shortened]... //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Polkinghorne
    I'm not sure I agree with even one idea in there. What do you think about it, ivanhoe?
  4. Standard memberscottishinnz
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    03 Jan '07 05:091 edit
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    "On the existence of God

    Polkinghorne considers that "the question of the existence of God is the single most important question we face about the nature of reality" [1] and quotes with approval Anthony Kenny: "After all, if there is no God, then God is incalculably the greatest single creation of the human imagination." He addresses the questions of "Doe //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Polkinghorne
    This is just anthropic reasoning over and over again - literally, "we exist therefore God must". This is clearly a fallacious argument, since our existence only proves that we exist.

    [edit; this argument boils down to "I assume that God exists therefore He does".]
  5. Standard membereagleeye222001
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    03 Jan '07 06:45
    Where did we come from if God doesn't exist?
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    03 Jan '07 07:14
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    "On the existence of God

    Polkinghorne considers that "the question of the existence of God is the single most important question we face about the nature of reality" [1] and quotes with approval Anthony Kenny: "After all, if there is no God, then God is incalculably the greatest single creation of the human imagination." He addresses the questions of "Doe ...[text shortened]... //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Polkinghorne
    ivanhoe, im one of the few that supported you back in the day. and i bet that if i asked u back then what my religious beliefs actually were (they are still the same now), you might've been surprised; that being said, everytime that i stop by this forum, i see similar quoted threads with no thoughts of your own. why quote so much with no comments of your own? it becomes not only tiresome and boring after awhile, but to some might even lower your credibility (if for nothing else then for the reason that it seems you are avoiding giving your own position on the subject. should we just assume that you agree with absolutely everything the article says?) anyway, not trying to come down on you in former "pack" style (hope you at least see that), just telling you cause im really beginning to think that these types of posts are probably now more detrimental than beneficial to your cause.

    p.s. --- i actually like some of your posts, though i may not agree with everything that the majority of them say. but if you're going to start new posts, you should at least say what you're trying to address with them.
  7. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    03 Jan '07 07:27
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    I'm not sure I agree with even one idea in there. What do you think about it, ivanhoe?
    God is "ontologically necessary, but not logically necessary."

    Could you put that in plain speech for me? I have looked up what ontology means about a thousand times, but it's too uh abstract to get under my skin.
  8. Standard memberscottishinnz
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    03 Jan '07 07:56
    Originally posted by eagleeye222001
    Where did we come from if God doesn't exist?
    Well, personally, I'd say that we (if by "we" you mean humans) evolved in Africa, around 3 million years ago. If by "we" you mean life, I'd say we evolved around 4 billion years ago. Certainly in the oceans, but I couldn't say where (of course the continents were organised a different way, so it may not even be a sensible question). If by "we", you mean all the matter in the universe, I'd say 'I don't know - it may not even be a sensible question'. Even if I, or anyone else, never ever knows where matter came from, that still doesn't mean that it must have been God - it just means we don't know.
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    03 Jan '07 07:57
    Originally posted by eagleeye222001
    Where did we come from if God doesn't exist?
    where did god came from is the question?
  10. Melbourne, Australia
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    03 Jan '07 08:13
    Originally posted by eagleeye222001
    Where did we come from if God doesn't exist?
    Oh no.
    Here we go again.

    Is it possible for people to accept that there are some of us humans who think we need a God, and there are some of us who don't? If it isn't possible, then we're screwed ...
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    03 Jan '07 18:49
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    [b]God is "ontologically necessary, but not logically necessary."

    Could you put that in plain speech for me? I have looked up what ontology means about a thousand times, but it's too uh abstract to get under my skin.[/b]
    Just by itself, I would probably interpret that as something like the following: God would exist in any and every possible world, but there is nothing self-contradictory about the assertion that God doesn't exist.

    Within the context of the article, the author is trying to underscore that P thinks the existence of God cannot be shown compellingly through only the a priori (such as in the Ontological Argument); but also that P thinks that it can be shown compellingly if we're armed with some basic a posteriori observations (such as in the Cosmological Argument).
  12. Felicific Forest
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    03 Jan '07 20:57
    Originally posted by lioyank
    ivanhoe, im one of the few that supported you back in the day. and i bet that if i asked u back then what my religious beliefs actually were (they are still the same now), you might've been surprised; that being said, everytime that i stop by this forum, i see similar quoted threads with no thoughts of your own. why quote so much with no comments of your own ...[text shortened]... going to start new posts, you should at least say what you're trying to address with them.
    The post is a form of antidote against all the Dawkins rubbish being parrotted on this forum.
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    03 Jan '07 21:03
    Originally posted by amannion
    Oh no.
    Here we go again.

    Is it possible for people to accept that there are some of us humans who think we need a God, and there are some of us who don't? If it isn't possible, then we're screwed ...
    mmmmm let me think.

    By people do you mean 'all people'? Ooops. We've had it.

    But you knew that already didn't you?
  14. Melbourne, Australia
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    03 Jan '07 21:10
    Originally posted by snowinscotland
    mmmmm let me think.

    By people do you mean 'all people'? Ooops. We've had it.

    But you knew that already didn't you?
    What the?
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