1. Felicific Forest
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    02 Oct '07 13:40
    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"[12] 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 Leibniz'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[13] 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."[14] 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.[15]
    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"[16] and suggests there is a 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. [17] Others, such as Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion and Paul Davies in The Goldilocks Enigma, suggest that there is no such consensus and that there are several other possibilities.
    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 world view. 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."[18]


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Polkinghorne


    **************************************************************************************

    So, why is there something rather than nothing ?
  2. Joined
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    02 Oct '07 14:00
    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"[12] 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 "Do ...[text shortened]... o, why is there something rather than nothing ?
    The role of science is not explain the "why".
    We leave that to philosophers or theists.
    We only want to know how it works, and we've made a damn good job, in only a few centuries of free thinking.
    For me, I believe we are here by pure chance, and we have no purpose besides the one we want to pursue. But that's my belief, my opinion of the world, therefore it's subjective. For the "why" there is no answer. Theist have theirs, I'm ok with that, although I think it doesn't make sense.
    Now when theists start interfering on "HOW" the world works, then I oppose them.
  3. Subscribermdhall
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    02 Oct '07 14:10
    Why does it matter at all?

    The desperate need for temporal entities to cling to life through either the concept of an afterlife or through family building is a useless gesture.
    Why let yourself be so controlled by impossible desires.

    Whether the world is an illusion or if it's truly a mythical battleground for the gods, what difference does that make on your present existence?

    Questions that should matter a lot more:
    Who are you?
    Why are you the way you are?
    What are you afraid of?
    What brings you great joy?

    Science has done very well since the breakdown between church and education. But truly the goal of science is one of true objectivity so theories and conclusions will not be tainted by our insecurities and fears.

    If you need a guiding hand, simply ask yourself, is what you are doing good for the Universe?
  4. Cape Town
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    02 Oct '07 14:27
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    So, why is there something rather than nothing ?
    That question itself is incoherent.
  5. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    02 Oct '07 16:511 edit
    Originally posted by ivanhoe

    So, why is there something rather than nothing ?
    Cuz
  6. Territories Unknown
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    02 Oct '07 16:57
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    That question itself is incoherent.
    Essplain.
  7. Standard memberNemesio
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    02 Oct '07 16:58
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    So, why is there something rather than nothing ?
    I have a better question:

    Why have you never had an original thought?

    Nemesio
  8. Territories Unknown
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    02 Oct '07 17:06
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    I have a better question:

    Why have you never had an original thought?

    Nemesio
    Like any of us have!
  9. Joined
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    02 Oct '07 17:56
    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"[12] 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 "Do ...[text shortened]... o, why is there something rather than nothing ?
    Thread 59417

    You posted this before already. At the time, you didn't seem interested in lending your own thoughts on the excerpt. Is that still the case?
  10. Hmmm . . .
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    02 Oct '07 18:12
    Interesting quote by Kenny (who I know only as a translator of Wittgenstein). He is an excommunicated former priest who describes himself as agnostic.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Kenny--

    Although deeply interested in traditional Catholic teaching, Kenny now explicitly defines his position as an Agnostic, explaining in his What I believe both why he is not a theist and why he is not an atheist. His 2006 book What I believe has (as Ch 3) "Why I am Not an Atheist" which begins: "Many different definitions may be offered of the word 'God'. Given this fact, atheism makes a much stronger claim than theism does. The atheist says that no matter what definition you choose, 'God exists' is always false. The theist only claims that there is some definition which will make 'God exists' true. In my view, neither the stronger nor the weaker claim has been convincingly established". He goes on "the true default position is neither theism nor atheism, but agnosticism ... a claim to knowledge needs to be substantiated; ignorance need only be confessed.”

    I disagree with his claim about atheism; there are Advaita Vedantists and even Buddhists, for example, who use the “G-word”, but who would claim atheism in terms of any concept of a supernatural being. The confusion often leads me to use the term “non-theist.”
  11. Standard membershavixmir
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    02 Oct '07 18:18
    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"[12] 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 "Do ...[text shortened]... o, why is there something rather than nothing ?
    Which God are you talking about?
    Or do you mean the tooth fairy?

    Basically "God" has to have been created as well, doesn't he?
  12. DonationPawnokeyhole
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    02 Oct '07 18:34
    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"[12] 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 "Do ...[text shortened]... o, why is there something rather than nothing ?
    Why shouldn't there be?
  13. DonationPawnokeyhole
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    02 Oct '07 18:36
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    That question itself is incoherent.
    Couldn't there have been nothing, ever?
  14. Standard membershavixmir
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    02 Oct '07 18:56
    The answer lies within the complexity of god.
    God has to be complex, which means there had to be something before him, which blows the whole: "God made everything" argument out of the water.
  15. Standard memberknightmeister
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    02 Oct '07 20:59
    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"[12] 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 "Do ...[text shortened]... o, why is there something rather than nothing ?
    I think the more interesting question is if there really ever was nothing then would not nothing just continue to be ......nothing?
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