http://www.everystudent.com/features/isthere.html

this is a webpage that i found the other day and I was wondering what other atheists thought about it. I'm not the most knowledgeable person when it comes to science, most of my criticism is just human nature.

 

Please take the time to reply to some of these arguments.

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I've seen many compelling arguments for an almighty creator. None are on that page.
And what are these arguments that you consider so compelling?  I am aware of none.

But first consider this. If a person opposes even the possibility of there being a God, then any evidence can be rationalized or explained away.

This is true, but can also be applied to theists. If they are closed to the possibility that they could be wrong, they will never consider any proof or argument show to them. But I feel this is likely an attempt  to frame Atheists as close-minded. An Atheist is someone who simply lacks a god belief, not the denial of the very possibility of one. Some Atheists hold that stance, but the vast majority seem to be open to whatever the evidence reveals... whether it conflict with current opinions or not. As for quoting the Bible about belief... Every group makes the same claims.

 

The Earth

The fact that the Earth has the chemical makeup it does is hardly surprising, given that our planet, atmosphere and our very bodies are made up the most common elements in the universe. The fact that we have an atmosphere as we do does not prove that it was made to fit life as we know it. That is putting the cart before the horse. Life as we know it is 'as we know it' because of the conditions it arose under. Had conditions been different, life would be different (if possible at all). Our orbit is not unchangeably perfect. We are in the habitable zone, but Mars could possibly be within the outer edge of the zone. Also, the sun's gravity actually causes the near planets orbits to 'drift' closer to the sun. Although this is a very very very slow process and unimportant for the time scales we're discussing here. Also because of where our orbit is, life on Earth will inevitably come to an end when the sun eventually swells. Interestingly, distance from the sun isn't the only way a planet could support life. If a planets gravity has expels enough force on one of it's moons, it can literally warm it from the inside out due to the friction alone. The Earth isn't even perfect for life. On the majority of the Earths surface, we will quickly perish. Yet there are forms of life that can survive where we can't.  Conditions that could be found elsewhere in the cosmos, that we couldn't live. Plus 99% of the species ever to have existed on Earth are extinct. It is obvious that Earth is not fine-tuned for us or perfect for life.

 

Water

No living thing can survive without it. Well, life as we know it at least. Plus the majority of our bodies (an those of other creatures) are composed of water. But is this surprising at all? No. Again, we are made of the most common elements in the cosmos. Plus, seeing as water is so prevalent on our planet, there is no surprise that we should require it when you think from both a chemical and evolutionary perspective. Water doesn't consciously freeze from the top down and float for the survival of fish. The surface temperature is colder in the Winter, so the top freezes first. It floats because tiny air pockets are trapped in the ice. If the entire process of the water cycle were suited for us, there would be no need for the oceans to be salt water that needed to be 'purified' through evaporation. In fact, the water cycle is simple psychs. The water cycle is as it is due to the chemistry of water, and is present in partial phases throughout the universe, and the entire water cycle is likely present on still undiscovered planets. Heck, some planets have atmospheres with a hearty composition of methane, methane rain, liquid methane on the surface and even frozen methane.

 

The Brain

Yes the brain is amazing, but it isn't perfect. It is undoubtedly complex, but in light of evolution it is easy to understand why.

 

The Eye

Complexity again? Yes the eye is amazing and intricate. But it is far from perfect. We are actually quite blind when you consider that full spectrum of light. Many creatures can see in spectrums we are blind to and others have much more powerful vision than ours. All of this is easily understood through evolution.

 

The Universe had a Start

While it may be true that science does not know for sure how the universe came to be, it is also important to note that the theist don't actually KNOW how it happened either. At first blush, science and religion may seem to be equal in their hypothesis. But that is nowhere near the case. Religion says, this is how it happened, end of story, no investigation needed. Science however, studies the present data and evidence and forms a theory from that data. So while we may not know for certain, the data tells us that we have a VERY good idea. Plus not knowing now, doesn't mean we will never know.

 

Laws of Nature

Quite simply, it's all down to physics. Are the laws of physics perfectly in tune to us? No. There are many times where a simple immunity to gravity would benefit us greatly, or where a lack or increase in friction would behoove us. These very laws make the inner solar system a shooting gallery and will cause our Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies to one day collide. The universe my follow the laws of physics, but it is far from perfectly fine tuned for life or otherwise.

 

DNA

DNA actually proves evolution, not a creator. It explains why children tend to look like their parents, and shows that the apes are our closest living cousins. How did DNA come about? Science has well supported hypothesis for this as well. RNA isn't as complex, but is still amazing. Science continues to get closer and closer to answering these riddles. They work with and are supported by evidence. Claiming "God did it", without any consideration of real data is a non answer and begs the question of who 'did' God.

 

God pursues us

The author may think so, but is deluded. In my time as a Catholic, I can't think of a time that I felt anything that felt like a god connecting with me/talking to me/pursuing me/etc. They feel their god is in contact with them, but so does the follower of every religion. Their god is in contact with them too. Yet you both claim that the other god is false. Obviously one of you is wrong, and it is likely that you both are.

 

Jesus, the clearest god

Why, because he's a more recent one? What of the fact that the Jesus story is completely unoriginal? This belief system had the benefit of learning from the mistakes of failed systems. But still, how is it clear. The Bible is greatly unbelievable, inaccurate, and contradictory that it takes a preconceived notion of it being true to even begin to rationalize it. Jesus and miracles? First of all, his miracles are undocumented and paltry when compared to his father's miracles (which are also undocumented). Jesus was a far shot better than other Biblical teachers in the morals department. But he still wasn't perfect, nor documented to be the divine son of a god.Remember, no more proof exists for Christianity than does for belief in Horus.

 

It is obvious that this writer is quite wanting in regards to biology, chemistry, physics and astronomy. Either that, or they are willingly ignorant or purposely misleading.

 

 

Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

Videos About Nonbelief

*Coffee with Bernie is a good dialog describing the nontheist point of view.

*Science Saved My Soul is something that I personally find emotionally moving.

*Carl Sagan: A Universe Not Made For Us excellent excerpts from Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space.

*Evolution of the Eye This video is the best.

 

I hope these videos may help you.

1. Complexity does not equal design. You will never see a creationist pick up a handful of sand to demonstrate how the particular molecular arrangement, consisting of billions of individual atoms, of each grain is unique. How the unimaginably small probability of one particular molecular arrangement in one particular grain is proof that each individual grain was designed for a specific, and presumably unique, 'purpose'. You will however often hear the 'watch on the beach' argument, but this story falls apart if, indeed the whole universe was in fact designed. How could you, for example, distinguish a designed watch from the surrounding 'designed' grains of sand? What you are actually doing is identifying the watch as distinct from nature because we have a great deal of experience and innumerable examples of man-made objects.

All but "proof" 5 and 6 are answered quite thoroughly in many atheist books, notably Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion", and Christopher Hitchens' "God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything". These books answer the first four questions better than I ever could, but I'll take a crack at the last two.

5. Does God exist? We know God exists because he pursues us. He is constantly initiating and seeking for us to come to him.

The first sentence begins with, "I was an atheist at one time." Yeah. If this is true, then you weren't a very thought out Atheist. If you've been converted back to theism, no mater which sect of belief, then you've put aside your critical thinking skills. Every word of the bible can be easily defeated with simple deductive reasoning, except for the parts that actually make sense, which can all be found in other religions and moral systems.

Examples include the Golden Rule, the Eye for an Eye doctrine, and the idea of being nice to people. These are found in nearly all religions, and are based entirely on the fact that the human species is a social species. We live in communities, and are virtually incapable of existing without interaction with others of our species on a regular basis. There are of course rare instances of people living for years on end without human contact of any kind, but these are exceptions, and hardly prove the rule.

It is hard to believe that anyone can truly believe that a supreme, omniscient being could possibly be aware of oneself, on the personal level, much less have a "plan" for you as well. Any being who would be capable of that, and would also allow children in Africa to starve to death, and allow female genocide to occur in china, as well any other type of genocide is not someone you want give your life to.

Of course this doesn't disprove the idea of a personal god, but Number 5 didn't prove it either, it merely implied the existence of a god, and most instances of a god are far from affable role models in the first place.

6. Does God exist? Unlike any other revelation of God, Jesus Christ is the clearest, most specific picture of God revealing himself to us.

Please. Jesus is far from a perfect being. He breaks the 5th commandment when he tells all his followers to hate their families:

Luke 14:26 (KJV)

26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

He also tends to be a shameless warmonger, telling his followers to sell their cloths to buy weaponry:

Luke 22:36 (KJV)

36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

And also seems to encourage domestic disputes as well:

Luke 12:34-36 (KJV)

34Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.

Right... Jesus really is a swell guy. And if this is "the clearest, most specific picture of God revealing himself to us." then I'd say we're pretty much better without god all together.

Of course, this isn't a proof against the existence of god, but merely a very good reason to shun him and those who thing this sort of behavior is alright. The hypothesis of god is a very poor one. It is designed in such a way that it cannot be proven or disproven. This is called a unfalsifiable hypothesis. These are specifically avoided in science because they don't do anything constructive, and tend to disregard scientific reasoning.  It is no surprise that in order to believe in god, you have to basically fall for the friend-of-a-friend-of-a-brother's-ex-roommate's-nephew's-imaginary-friend-told-me-so form of evidence.

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