Archbishop Rowan Williams

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  • Archbishop Rowan Williams
  • bazzer
    Member

    My argument/irritation with the ‘Prove it’ brigade, is unless you can prove it without a shadow of a doubt, then it doesn’t exist. Which is stupid as we know about lots of things that we cannot prove (yet)

    Thats really not true most rational people realise that we don’t know every thing. We use evidence to to home in on the truth at the moment that truth is changing all the time. The idea is to build up evidence and get closer to the truth.

    What rational people don’t do is decide something is true because of a “feeling” or because they like the sound of it. There is no verifiable evidence of the existence of a god NONE. In the whole history of mankind no one has been able to provide a shred of verifiable evidence. That is why rational people dismiss god. On the other hand we may be way off with the big bang theory but at least there is some verifiable evidence that supports it (galaxy’s moving away from each other for one) in the future evidence my refute it then we will use that to come up with another theory and if that theory says god created the universe then I will kneel in the pew on Sunday with the rest of the congregation. Until then I will ride my bike 🙂

    nickf
    Member

    Christianity still thinks the Old testament is important but that the new testament has replaced it.

    That’s one of the more sweeping statements I’ve heard. And there are many millions of Christians who’d completely disagree with your assertion.

    Premier Icon binners
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    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvvwNR3vF44[/video]

    Mr Woppit
    Member

    Hi. Sorry I’m late. I wasn’t going to join in, but people are still saying things like:

    if we are just a random occurrence as Atheists think

    which is untrue twice.

    1: Evolution is not “random”.

    2: Atheists do not think that it is.

    And, let’s not pick on xtianity, that’s just bullying.

    We should remember that ALL religions are equally ridiculous. 🙂

    scu98rkr
    Member

    The only two answers to that question that I’ve come across are “they always existed” (a cop out) or the equivalent of “turtles all the way down” which is nonsensical

    I agree with this, but the same argument seems to make sense for a non-thestic view to me.

    Not to sure what the latest thinking is on the start of everything but I remember reading something in this book ->

    click here

    About the reason that there is something rather than nothing is because it is because given infintite time(except there was no time before the big band obviously) and fluctuations in an empty void it is likely that is more energetically stable to have something rather than nothing hence something becomes into existences.

    But it just seems to be the same arugment to me.

    What was their before the world ? An empty space slow collecting enough material in the solar system to form a planet. What was there before the solar system ? A high density glump of matter left over from the irregularities of the big band. What was there before the big bang ? A possibly another big bang possibly an empty void with random fluctuations that meant that something must exist. What was there before the void, hmm we dont know yet but its stuff all the way back.

    At the moment I just cant comprehend this stuff and frankly a god is a good as explanation as any. In that I cant understand it.

    Mr Woppit
    Member

    At the moment I just cant comprehend this stuff and frankly a god is a good as explanation as any

    “We do not know what existed, if anything, before the big bang”.

    “Complexity is evolved from simplicity”.

    You find these things hard to understand? So hard, it seems, that you prefer to ascribe the actions of a mysterious invisible fairy to it…

    Mr Woppit
    Member

    Whilst I think of it, and as a resource to help any struggling like “scu98rkr”, I offer the following encouragement – atheism has become globally represented…

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Atheist-Alliance-International/316727030603

    richc
    Member

    Perhaps to some people that we are here, that is proof enough that there is something else.

    Science doesn’t know how we are here, and if we are random (evolution isn’t random, the creation of DNA might have been) why it hasn’t happened elsewhere that we can detect.

    Also as far as rationality, the world isn’t rational so why do you think that dealing with it in a rational way, would make it make any sense? Have you read into quantum physics? if not have a quick read about quantum tunnelling and the zeno effect, that’s not rational or possible according to classic physics but it happens and we don’t know why.

    nickf
    Member

    And, let’s not pick on xtianity, that’s just bullying.

    We should remember that ALL religions are equally ridiculous

    I completely agree – I know only one religion, however, so I can only comment on theat one. And I reserve the same level of scepticism for those who worship at the shrine of moly-coagulated uni-striped oxyacetylene-coated speaker cable as I do for any other religion.

    Mr Woppit
    Member

    I suppose I”ll have to say it again, for the hard of reading:

    Evolution is not random. It is also a demonstrable fact.

    Perhaps to some people that we are here, that is proof enough that there is something else.

    I see. A teapot is proof that there are uncorns. Genius.

    Science doesn’t know how we are here

    Yes it does. See above.

    gonefishin
    Member

    (DNA shouldn’t have been able to exist, in the conditions it did),

    Why not? See there is me asking for proof about a statement you’ve made. What conditions did DNA exist in that it shouldn’t have?

    Also as far as rationality, the world isn’t rational so why do you think that dealing with it in a rational way, would make it make any sense?

    The macroscopic world is very very rational. I’ll accept that human being aren’t though.

    Have you read into quantum physics? if not have a quick read about quantum tunnelling and the zeno effect, that’s not rational or possible according to classic physics but it happens and we don’t know why.

    Now that’s just a massimve physics fail right there. Quantum rules do not apply to the macorscopic scale. Just because we don’t understand it now, and we really really don’t in this case, doesn’t mean we won’t at some point in the future. There still isn’t a need to invoke a deity.

    Mr Woppit
    Member

    nickf – Member

    And, let’s not pick on xtianity, that’s just bullying.

    We should remember that ALL religions are equally ridiculous

    I completely agree – I know only one religion, however, so I can only comment on theat one. And I reserve the same level of scepticism for those who worship at the shrine of moly-coagulated uni-striped oxyacetylene-coated speaker cable as I do for any other religion.

    Indeed. That would just be silly.

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    What rational people don’t do is decide something is true because of a “feeling” or because they like the sound of it

    What’s wrong with that?

    Rational people seem to think that truth is far more important than anything else. Fine, but not everyone feels that way.

    have a quick read about quantum tunnelling and the zeno effect, that’s not rational or possible according to classic physics but it happens and we don’t know why

    Hehe.. have nothing but a quick read and you’ll understand it as poorly as you seem to 🙂

    richc
    Member

    So you are in the camp that thinks that the macroscopic and microscopic worlds don’t operate in the same way, because the measurement tools are still being developed. How quaint.

    As for evolution not being random …. so you don’t believe that mutations (a random event, influenced by environment) give one generation an advantage over another, hence allowing them to be more successful at reproducing? How do you think it works then?

    and finally to answer

    Why not? See there is me asking for proof about a statement you’ve made. What conditions did DNA exist in that it shouldn’t have?

    I will quote Dawkin’s, on the origin of life when Earth was a Rock covered in a chemical soup

    The ‘Catch-22’ of the origin of life is this. DNA can replicate, but it needs enzymes in order to catalyse the process. Proteins can catalyse DNA formation, but they need DNA to specify the correct sequence of amino acids. How could the molecules of the Early Earth break out of this bind and allow natural selection to get started?

    j_me
    Member

    As for evolution not being random …. so you don’t believe that mutations (a random event, influenced by environment) give one generation an advantage over another, hence allowing them to be more successful at reproducing? How do you think it works then?

    Mutations may well be random but the forces of natural selection acting on the population are not. And usually the forces of natural selection act upon the individuals and not generations.

    ………… bugger 😳

    richc
    Member

    Mutations may well be random but the forces of natural selection acting on the population are not. And usually the forces of natural selection act upon the individuals and not generations.

    So you are saying that a random event that may give a species a better chance of survival, does not infer that evolution has a random element to it?

    gonefishin
    Member

    So you are in the camp that thinks that the macroscopic and microscopic worlds don’t operate in the same way, because the measurement tools are still being developed. How quaint.

    Yup, that’s me and the rest of the scientific community that think this way. The fact that a single photon can apparently be to travel by two different paths at the same time, which is impossible for say a car, would appear to be evidence of that. Then there are things like quantum entanglement which simply make my brain hurt. It may well be that at some point in the future we will come up with a explanation as to why both these worlds seem to operate in different ways or perhaps we’ll find a different explanation that will include both. I’ll leave that for brighter minds than mine. If you have an explanation I’m all ears.

    What Dawkins book is that exerpt from? Sounds like an interesting read, although I’d be curious as what the following paragraphs are. Does he leave it at that or does he posit so kind of explanation?

    j_me
    Member

    So you are saying that a random event that may give a species a better chance of survival, does not infer that evolution has a random element to it?

    No, I’m saying the process of evolution is not random. Which is very different.
    The dealing of poker hand is random, who wins the poker game isn’t.

    Mr Woppit
    Member

    How evolution works.

    The majority of African elephants now have much smaller tusks than formerly. This is because poachers do not shoot them for their small tusks, there not being enough of a return on the investment.

    There are, therefore, more “short-tusked” genes being propagated than “long-tusked” ones.

    The “short-tusked” genes are more fitted to survive in an environment that includes a “poaching predator” that kills off the “long-tusked” gene…

    Simples.

    Premier Icon binners
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    yeah…. but…. will there ever be a boy born who can swim as fast as a shark?

    nickf
    Member

    yeah…. but…. will there ever be a boy born who can swim as fast as a shark?

    Marine Boy?

    scu98rkr
    Member

    “Complexity is evolved from simplicity”

    are you lot joking ? Are you suggesting I dont understand evolution or how complex systems can develop from the repetition of simple actions ?

    This is nt what I said at all. What I suggested is that currently a non-theistic explanation of existence has the same problem as a theistic explanation of existence.

    Ie What was there before god ?

    What was their before the big bang/void etc etc and dont bother giving me the there is no time before the big band I understand that but their presumably must be a cause and effect.

    As I said the last thing I read on this seemed to be suggesting that actually the existence of something is actually more energetically favourable than the non existence of everything.

    But still that seems to suggest there must have been something that caused the existence of something else I dont think we’ve got to the bottom of Why things exist and frankly I dont think science ever will.

    It will still be the same flawed same argument as religious types have ie “its just because thats the way it is”

    And frankly to me thats aa bad an explanation as because thats the way god made it to be honest its the same explanation in my mind.

    richc
    Member

    gonefishin, its from the ‘Greatest Show on Earth’ if you ignore the small ranty bits (like most of his books) its an interesting/good read

    MrW I agree with you about the outside influences not being random, however the bit that starts the whole process off which results in generation of a species an developing an advantage does appear to be random.

    scu98rkr
    Member

    Explanation of existence

    Q: Why does the world exist?
    Theist : God decided to create the universe and everything in somehow.
    Q: Why did god decide to do that and why does god exist ?
    Theist : Oh, I dont know its just that way

    Q: Why does the world exist?
    Atheist : Void-BigBang-Delveopment of Universe-Planetsform-evolution-societies develop
    Q: But what caused this to happen originally
    Atheist : There may have been an infinite number of universes and this is the only one in which the right conditions exist.
    Q : But what caused them universes to exist.
    Atheist : Oh they may have been created inside black holes or be the results of the big crunch of another universe or them may all exist as once separatley in some kind of plane we dont understand or every quantum event might result in a new universe being created.
    Q : But why did that process start ?
    ATheist : Oh, I dont know its just that way

    Q: Why does the world exist?
    Agonist : I dont know its just that way

    Result = same

    Mr Woppit
    Member

    Ie What was there before god

    What god is that, then?

    Mr Woppit
    Member

    Why did god decide to do that and why does god exist

    But why did that process start

    … are not the same question.

    And “I don’t know” is the atheist response, not “It just is that way”. Er, by the way…

    gonefishin
    Member

    Q: Why does the world exist?
    Theist : God decided to create the universe and everything in somehow.
    Q: Why did god decide to do that and why does god exist ?
    Theist : Oh, I dont know it just that way

    Q: Why does the world exist?
    Atheist : Void-BigBang-Delveopment of Universe-Planetsform-evolution-societies develop
    Q: But what caused this to happen originally
    Atheist : There may have been an infinite number of universes and this is the only one in which the right conditions exist.
    Q : But what caused them universes to exist.
    Atheist : Oh they may have been created inside black holes or be the results of the big crunch of another universe or them may all exist as once separatley in some kind of plane we dont understand or every quantum event might result in a new universe being created.
    Q : But why did that process start ?
    ATheist : Oh, I dont know it just that way

    Result = same

    As I’ve said before, please stop conflating athiest with rationalist. They are two different things.

    Personally I’d have stopped at question 2 with the answer “I do not know”. Not very satifying but then as a rationalist I can accept that there are many thing to which this is the best answer.

    scu98rkr
    Member

    Funny – I didn’t think any of the Rowans mentioned in this thread believe in fairies at the bottom of the garden.

    scu98rkr
    Member

    But no explanation gives a good account of existence which is what I’m looking for.

    Im just a bit annoyied at comments earlier suggesting I did n’t understand evolution

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    Q: Why does God exist?
    Religionist: Does it matter? God created us out of love, and he loves us, which makes me really happy. What’s the problem here?

    scu98rkr
    Member

    And “I don’t know” is the atheist response, not “It just is that way”. Er, by the way…

    Yes but the religious answer is I dont know as well.

    Mr Woppit
    Member

    molgrips – Member
    Q: Why does God exist?
    Religionist: Does it matter? God created us out of love, and he loves us, which makes me really happy.

    What god is that, then?

    scu98rkr
    Member

    Q: Why does God exist?
    Religionist: Does it matter? God created us out of love, and he loves us, which makes me really happy. What’s the problem here?

    I totally disagree with this. But it might be true some religious people think like this. But then surely many atheists just think I exist Im happy whats the problem ?

    Premier Icon kimbers
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    richc

    iirc the current theory on how DNA arose is that it evolved from RNA which is better at catalyzing reactions and capable of replicating itself
    im sure dawkins is well aware of that

    Mr Woppit
    Member

    Yes but the religious answer is I dont know as well.

    No. The atheist is saying “We don’t know how the universe was created before the big bang”.

    The theist is saying “I don’t know why god created the universe” (having already accepted that this god did, as a contrast to the atheist’s response).

    Different questions.

    richc
    Member

    What god is that, then?

    The one with the beard.

    RE: Dawkin’s is, and was sceptical (in the book, might not be now). RNA has other issues, I don’t have the book at hand and cannot remember what they were though.

    grum
    Member

    If god existed he would never let these debates happen.

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    I totally disagree with this

    You don’t think that religionists think that way?

    But then surely many atheists just think I exist Im happy whats the problem ?

    Exactly!

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