Need help with answers! Creationut is haunting my local Forum.

Hello all. I need a hand dissecting this chunk of 'arguments' from a local fundie. Get ready, it's all over the map.....Hurts my head.

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Once you're ready to ask the question, "does God exist?" here are a few observations to consider as you begin your search for an objective answer:

Discoveries in astronomy have shown beyond a reasonable doubt that the universe did, in fact, have a beginning. There was a single moment of creation.




Advances in molecular biology have revealed vast amounts of information encoded in each and every living cell, and molecular biologists have discovered thousands upon thousands of exquisitely designed machines at the molecular level. Information requires intelligence and design requires a designer.


Biochemists and mathematicians have calculated the odds against life arising from non-life naturally via unintelligent processes. The odds are astronomical. In fact, scientists aren't even sure if life could have evolved naturally via unintelligent processes. If life did not arise by chance, how did it arise?



The universe is ordered by natural laws. Where did these laws come from and what purpose do they serve?



Philosophers agree that a transcendent Law Giver is the only plausible explanation for an objective moral standard. So, ask yourself if you believe in right and wrong and then ask yourself why. Who gave you your conscience? Why does it exist?



People of every race, creed, color, and culture, both men and women, young and old, wise and foolish, from the educated to the ignorant, claim to have personally experienced something of the supernatural. So what are we supposed to do with these prodigious accounts of divine healing, prophetic revelation, answered prayer, and other miraculous phenomena? Ignorance and imagination may have played a part to be sure, but is there something more?


Peace and thank-you.

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You ca look at it by saying all the natural laws and constants are the way they are because if they were n't then the universe would look very different and quite possibly wouldn't work. There is no reason to suppose that the laws and constants in our local area of the universe are the same as in other areas so it may be that there are places in the universe where life isnt possible because stars havent formed because the gravitational constant is 30 meters per second per second or whatever.Its also possible that there have been other universes where the constants where different and stars,planets and life never arose in them.
One theory has each universe going through the big bang and big crunch cycle endlessly each time with different constants, we just happen to be in one such cycle which works for life.
"The universe is ordered by natural laws. Where did these laws come from and what purpose do they serve?"

No, it isn't. The universe simply is but we evolved to see patterns. The "natural laws" fundies are so fond of are nothing but our own mathematical descriptions of the patterns we observe. They are products of our mind, nothing more. They are a descriptive map of what we see, not the cause of what is.
well i can certainly help you with a few:

1) concerning the single moment of creation, this does not give ANY evidence for god. please, simply saying that there is a single moment of creation is a non sequitur. perhaps if it could be proven that the judeo christian is only thing that could possible cause this, you'd have an argument, but at the present, all it is a fact: the universe had a beginning. all it proves is exactly that: the universe had a single moment of creation, no more, no less. certainly no god.

2)despite the "odds" against evolution happening, it happened. the evidence for it happening outweighs the improbability by quite a load. i dont have enough room to give it to you hear, but there are literally hundreds of books on the matter. you shouldnt have a hard time finding one.

3) since when do natural laws come from places? i mean seriously, wtf? such a bad argument. first, prove laws need a "law maker", and we're talking about physical laws. and then realize how incredibly inhospitable the universe is to life. it really is: open, dark, empty, cold space for the most part.

4) transcendent law giver argument is also laughable. morals are perfectly explained through natural selection and evolution. much better than prescribing a divine law giver. there's no I in team, and that works for communal animals too. one needs to work with others in order to attain an otherwise unattainable goal. morals allow them to get along and not kill each other or hurt each other etc. ask your fundie friend: does right make right? he'll probably say no! everyone has an innate moral code regardless of power or circumstances. ask him then, why might makes right in gods case. why anything *god* says is right, but that kind of relative morality does not exist on earth.

5) divine healing: have never seen any credible evidence
answered prayer: does unanswered prayer mean god *doesnt* exist? cause ive had quite a few of those. there is no trend towards prayers being answered or unanswered, aside from how the trend would look on pure, random chance, with no god answering or even hearing prayers.
miraculous phenomena: specifics please?

hope this helped.
A common flaw of human thinking is to attach a humanoid will on events. A rock rolls down a hill. Our gut instinct is not to ask 'what' caused the rock to fall, but 'who.' Combine that with Fundie's twisting of language to suit this purpose of a 'who' versus a 'what' and my answers to the above:

1) "Universe has a beginning" rephrased as "Moment of creation." Do not confuse the two. Because something has a start/beginning/first cause even, in and of itself tells us nothing about the nature of that cause and whether or not that cause is sentient/conscience/alive in the sense we think of as 'alive.'

2) "Exquisitely designed machines at the molecular level." Again, a trick of language. 'Machine' is indeed often used to describe natural processes. The human body is an amazing machine. But the word carries an implication of sentient, purposeful design. Play on words aside, show me the wires and tap screws that Fundie's biologists are speaking of. If by 'information' we are talking about, say, a DNA strand, what evidence is there that it requires intelligence? That DNA strand is yet another collection of atoms and molecules behaving in a particular way, affecting the next set of molecules, which affect the next set, and so on. "Design requires a designer" is also a flawed assumption. I spill a bucket of paint and the spill makes a pretty pattern. Did I plan it that way? No.

3) Astronomical odds against life occurring naturally: As has been pointed out by others, if the chances are one in several billion, that still leaves several billion or trillion chances for life to develop in this vast universe with its vast combinations of matter.

4) Again uses the word 'law' in the human-formed sense and attempts to sneak a will onto something that does not require a will. Is Fundie seriously suggesting that, say, gravity has to have been made up by a sentient-something? I'm not even sure how to dumb myself down enough to explain the outrageousness in this flawed (non)thinking. Much less to move on to what purpose does natural law serve. Why must everything have a purpose?

5) Which philosophers agree that a law-giver is the only plausible explanation? None that I've read. "Who" gave me my conscience again assumes a "Who" when the explanation could (and more likely) be a 'What."

6) Divine experiences: Explained over and over again through the phenomena of wishful thinking, self-fulfilling prophecy, skewed perception, ego, environmental influence and bias.

All in all, the head-banging frustration in dealing with Fundies is not just dismantling their arguments, but dismantling the givens/assumptions upon which those arguments are based.
1.) "There was a single moment of creation." Nope. Matter / energy was already present at the big expansion. "Big Bang" is a metaphor that describes that expansion. And besides, what do we call the place where the matter existed before the big bang? Answer: Universe. Or put another way, where did god exist before the creation of the universe (to succumb to the fundy false terminology of events)? Answer: Universe. Universe is the term used to describe the location of everything that exists. By definition it cannot be created lest there be nothing (including god). In other words, if god had existence... where? Answer: Universe.

2.) "Advances in molecular biology have revealed vast amounts of information encoded in each and every living cell, and molecular biologists have discovered thousands upon thousands of exquisitely designed machines at the molecular level. Information requires intelligence and design requires a designer."

Vast amounts of "information"? "Exquisitely designed?" Information "requires" intelligence? And design "requires" a designer? All of these are preconceived conclusions with the outcome already subtly embedded in the question or statement.

A puddle of rainwater remarks, "Wow, this hole perfectly matches my contour with exacting precision even into the most remote areas of my being. It is impossible for such a hole to match my conformity to such perfection unless it was "designed" by a higher power. There must therefore be a designer, a god."

3.) "Biochemists and mathematicians have calculated the odds against life arising from non-life naturally via unintelligent processes. The odds are astronomical. In fact, scientists aren't even sure if life could have evolved naturally via unintelligent processes. If life did not arise by chance, how did it arise?"

First, the "odds" are wrong! There is nothing to which such "odds" could be compared against. The chances of getting a 1 with the roll of a six-sided die is 1-to-6. If Life is to 1, what exactly is the 6 to? Death? It's a phony calculation.

Second, if the "odds" are so astronomical for life arising from an unintelligent process, imagine how much more astronomical such a process would take for the life of a super-duper being! By the fundy's own reasoning, the chances of the existence of a god would have to be just that much more astronomical! So if life requires an intelligent creator to exist, it would take an even greater life form to create the creator. How astronomical is that?

4.) "The universe is ordered by natural laws. Where did these laws come from and what purpose do they serve?" The presupposition here is that the existence of natural laws requires a purpose. They do not.

5.) "Philosophers agree that a transcendent Law Giver is the only plausible explanation for an objective moral standard. So, ask yourself if you believe in right and wrong and then ask yourself why. Who gave you your conscience? Why does it exist?"

Philosophers agree? Uh, no. A transcendent law giver? Uh, no. Only plausible "explanation" for an "objective" moral standard? Uh, no. All these are false presuppositions. And there is no such thing as an objective moral standard.

Do I believe in right and wrong? Yes, in relative terms. Why? Because I can feel pain and care for others. "Who gave me my conscious?" Doesn't this presuppose a giver? If I accept a "giver" it would have to be Mom and Dad, wouldn't it. And "Why does it exist?" Good question. If say I don't know, would it automatically imply that I "do" know; that Xenu gave it to me?

5.) "So what are we supposed to do with these prodigious accounts of divine healing, prophetic revelation, answered prayer, and other miraculous phenomena? Ignorance and imagination may have played a part to be sure, but is there something more?"

Nothing that can be objectively substantiated. A great part of why we are intelligent is due to our ability to imagine.

Peace,
You're welcome.
AcesLucky; you said it even better than I.

Love the puddle of rainwater musing on its surroundings!
Your remarks are spot on. They are called "agency".

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