Science cannot replace God

If God exists, then science cannot replace God. Science exists because God exists. Where we got the notion that scientific advancement somehow replaces God comes from pagan idea of God that’s called the “god of the gaps.” I mentioned this in “Deconstructing the God of the gaps.” I will further elaborate here with the help of philosopher and theologian, David Bentley Hart. 

According to Christian theology, God is not a “god of the gaps.” He’s not a placeholder we use to explain what we don’t know about reality. He’s the God of both what do know as well as what we don’t know. What we’re saying is that if God did not exist, nothing whatsoever would exist. Not science, not matter, not quantum vacuums, not the cosmos, nor anything in it. Actually, we could not even be having this conversation because we would not exist.

Of course, naturalists and materialists will object and ask for evidence. But, as David Bentley Hart puts it, asking such a thing only points out their dilemma:

“The one thing of which it [Naturalism] can give no account, and which its most fundamental principles make it entirely impossible to explain at all, is nature’s very existence. For existence is most definitely not a natural phenomenon; it is logically prior to any physical cause whatsoever; and anyone who imagines that it is susceptible of a natural explanation simply has no grasp of what the question of existence really is. (“The Experience of God,” p.18, emphasis added)

As Hart mentions in the video below about God and cosmology, from a Christian theological perspective, this is why such discussions amount to nothing more than a fallacious category error.

“The question of cosmology is an etiological question, it’s a question about physical states….The question of creation is ontological. It is the modal plausibility of the existence of any physical state at all.”

“We might be able to explain the entirety of the universe, but that doesn’t mean we can explain its existence.

So whatever we can know about the causal state of universe has nothing to do with the question of creation. As Thomas Aquinas explicitly said, the issue of creation is unrelated to whether the universe is an eternal succession of physical states or not. Even if the universe existed without beginning, still this question would need to be answered.” (Emphasis added)

He says a lot more about God and cosmology on the clip. Here’s the discussion on Robert Kuhn’s “Closer to Truth”:

Science gives us the goods in understanding nature, but it cannot prove or disprove God.  To try to make it explain all knowledge is the religion of scientism, which is a self-refuting worldview.

To give a simplistic explanation for God, here’s what Hart says about this category error:

“God is not a contingent being, entirely unconditioned, not composite, dissolvable into parts upon which it’s dependent, not a being among beings and, therefore, not dependent upon some larger sphere of actuality, not temporal.

“Laws and quantum events exist within realities that are, by the same logical calculus, are contingent. Quantum events don’t happen in nothingness in the ontological sense. It just means you’re dealing with a prior physical state that is a yet unarticulated, but that physical state is not a logically necessary reality, and certainly not a reality that could be described in a way that would make it coherent to say that it is an absolute.”

Hart says a lot more about what we mean by “the being of God” on the clip below. Here’s that conversation…

16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Col.1:16-17 NASB)

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About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 38 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
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471 Responses to Science cannot replace God

  1. KIA says:

    Brother Mel, your post starts with an ‘If’ and a general ‘god’.
    I know that you mean the specific God of the bible, so please found that If by demostrating the actual existence of the God of the bible with evidence for such, not just arguments from philosophy. Thx

    • Mel Wild says:

      I’m not arguing for the God of the Bible in this post. It is a philosophical argument here.

      • KIA says:

        No… I know you don’t accept some general God. You’ve started off your post dishinestly

        • Mel Wild says:

          How was it dishonest? I am simply making a philosophical argument for the existence of God. You are trying to make it something else.

        • KIA says:

          No worries. I’ll bow out then

        • KIA says:

          One wonders though why a Christian who believes in a specific God of the bible would need to ‘argue’ towards the existence of a general God, when all he has to do is present ‘evidence’ for his existence rather that use philosophy.. but, it’s your post. Not mine.

        • Mel Wild says:

          That’s fairly straight-forward. Because this post is about the fallacious notion that God is replaced by science. This is a category error.

          And this also seems to be a problem why atheists can never stay on topic. At least, that’s been my experience here. They don’t seem even understand the philosophical arguments for God, but prefer to mock a particular straw man version that can easily be knocked down without much thought. But they miss the proverbial forest for the trees, as it were.

        • KIA says:

          I’m not sure I would say that science has replaced God. I agree with you. Neither have i heard such claimed by atheists, not being one of course, just a former christian. The more correct phrasing of what I do hear is that science, the scientific method and the scientific discoveries made by it, are replacing our need for “God did it” answers based on arguments from ignorance and superstition. Ie. It’s always better to Know something than to simply Believe it to be True. On this I think we could agree.

        • Mel Wild says:

          If you’re not actually an atheist, I can understand your point. But people like Krause and Hawkings have recently made this precise argument, but it only shows they don’t understand the argument.

          I agree with you about arguments from superstition. But it could be argued that materialist ontology is more superstitious than a theist one (I won’t make that argument here). Nonetheless, there’s no reason to doubt true science (not scientism that often gets passed off as science). I actually don’t think science is in conflict with belief in God. It’s in conflict with bad theology.

        • Kelwyn says:

          Wonderful reply. Wisely said … !

        • Kelwyn says:

          Dan Brown openly said that Science will bury God.

        • Encefalos 1 says:

          Dr. Zakir Naik said “shallow knowledge about science makes you an atheist, in depth knowledge about science makes you a believer”

        • Encefalos 1 says:

          “When you eliminate all possibilities, the only thing left, no matter how improbable is the truth”

        • KIA says:

          Not an especially efficient way of determining truth. It works from ignorance and leads to possibly accepting ideas that have no other demonstrable evidence than that we cannot imagine or find other options. Your quote still leads to an argument from ignorance and incredulity and begs the question “what else could it be?”
          Sorry, not good enough to actually determine truth.

        • Encefalos 1 says:

          You are missing the point. Science never determine something with certainty. Instead it takes a probabilistic approach. Isaac Newton got things wrong that Albert Einstein corrected. However, Newton’s law was a working model (but not the truth).

        • KIA says:

          No sir. I understood. You may have missed my point though. My point was that your quote wrongly assumes, or at least infers, that the disqualification of other options lends automatic credence to the one remaining, regardless of reasonableness, rationality or evidence to support it. I was correcting your understanding.
          All ideas must be supported on their own merits.

        • Encefalos 1 says:

          Of course there must be good reason for proposition. But in science they have falsification tests and we reach a working model

        • Encefalos 1 says:

          I didn’t say they are not supported but logically and reasonably eliminating options. It could be 1,2,3. If it’s not 1&2 then it’s 3. Let me be specific, was Prophet Muhammed peace be upon him (1.telling the truth, 2.crazy, 3.deceived, 4.liar)

        • KIA says:

          How about option 4. He was mistaken. Just like many Christians when they offer CS Lewis’s limited options for Jesus as Lunatic, Liar or Lord.
          You see, the desire to present only the options you think available, then narrow down to the ‘only remaining’ as obvious truth is misguided and intellectually dishonest.
          In the case of the Jesus of the New Testament, Literary Creation is a much more likely scenario than any of Lewis’s options.

        • Encefalos 1 says:

          What do you mean by mistaken? He lived till he is 40 years old, was knows as the honest the truthful. Then god revealed the Quran to him by angel Gabriel. And he comes with the message of worshiping one god alone and not making association or partners with him. The same message of Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus (peace be upon them all). That he is the last and seal of the prophets and that the message is complete as he was sent for all mankind by god to guide us. That man in the desert 1400 years ago produced something that is followed by around 1.8 billion Muslims today. With respect to the Quran never changing, and maintains its position for more than 1400 years. Science at time was against the Quran. Like how people believed the earth was the center of the universe or that the sun goes around earth. However, in the 21st century science align and comparable with Quran. Elaborate what you mean by mistaken? Was he telling the truth? Was he lying? Was he crazy (deluded)? How mistaken? We use our intellect and reason to reach conclusions. So, define mistaken?

        • KIA says:

          Mistaken means he was wrong. Not necessarily lying or crazy or deluded. Simple definition. My point was that there wasnt just the three options you gave. But im not going to argue Islam with you on someone else’s Christian blog. Have a great day.

        • Encefalos 1 says:

          Don’t argue but tell me how was he wrong? Why wasn’t he right? You are being dishonest and running from answering

        • KIA says:

          If I thought he was right, I’d be Muslim like you. Sorry. Not going to argue to debate Islam with you in someone else’s Christian blog.

        • Encefalos 1 says:

          Mistaken means misguided which is one of the things I mentioned. I don’t want to argue anything. Just read the Quran and the Prophet Muhammed bio with no confirmation bias and away from BBC and Fox News

        • KIA says:

          No… Mistaken simply means wrong. Have a wonderful day

      • Encefalos 1 says:

        I agree with you. If god doesn’t exist? Trusting your brain would not be possible and hence, science wouldn’t be possible. Hope wouldn’t exist! Definition of god I’m referring to is a creator, therefore all other things are creation. All knowing, all powerful, No beginning and no end, self sufficient.

  2. jim- says:

    If this god you speak of has revealed himself, why never the same god twice? Sounds like a human construct based on cultures and superstitions of the times.

    • Mel Wild says:

      I genuinely have no idea of what you’re talking about. Besides, what does this have to do with the philosophical argument made here?

      • jim- says:

        Well you claim science can’t replace god, so when this particular god construct has claimed through special men a creation scenario that is very flawed and out of order, I think science has done quite well, when all your side has is belief and Nonfacts that incorporate nothing of the obvious. So why this god and not others? He is no more convincing than any other that has passed through history.

        • Mel Wild says:

          How does science replace God? You seem to be arguing against bad theology, but that’s not the point here.

          In other words, why does nature exist?

        • KIA says:

          “Why does nature exist?…” see, arguments from ignorance. “I don’t know” therefore God.

        • Mel Wild says:

          No. That’s not our argument. We are making a philosophical argument to the best explanation. To say “I don’t know therefore God” is a vacuous straw man that is nothing more than dismissive and possibly ignorant of the rich and robust classical tradition of theological ontology.

          But if you have no counter-argument, then you have no dog in the fight. You are still not dealing with why there is nature, which is probably the most important question we could ever ask.

        • KIA says:

          So, do you know why nature exists? Not Believe, but Know by evidence and demostration?

        • Mel Wild says:

          What do you mean by evidence?

        • KIA says:

          Whatcha got? And arguments are not evidence. It’s not my job to tell you what you should present for evidence any more than it’s you job to presume what ‘evidence’ I would automatically reject.
          Whatcha got?

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, you have to define what kind of evidence you are asking for. Otherwise, we are wasting our time. For instance, how would I show why nature exists from anything in nature, meaning, anything that can be observed by scientific inquiry? That’s an incoherent argument.

        • KIA says:

          No… It’s not my job to tell you what you have to offer. If you have it, offer up and stop trying to shift the burden. That’s dishonest too

        • Mel Wild says:

          What type of evidence? And how is it dishonest to ask you to define “evidence?” This is a totally baseless accusation.

        • KIA says:

          But again, you as a Christian are responsible to provide it for not just any generic God, but your God of the bible. Otherwise you’re trying to do a bait and switch, as well as misrepresenting your position as a mere theist/deist.

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, I am trying to have a cogent discussion about the existence of God.

        • KIA says:

          And your evidence is…

        • Mel Wild says:

          That we exist. We’ll start there.

        • KIA says:

          That’s evidence for us.. not for a god

        • Mel Wild says:

          But why is there “us?”

        • KIA says:

          I don’t Know… and we’re back to the arguments from ignorance

        • Mel Wild says:

          But if you don’t have an answer, then you have no right to say we are wrong. You must provide a better explanation that provides explanatory scope and power for all the data. You can’t just say you don’t know but we’re wrong. That’s nonsensical.

        • KIA says:

          Not true… I don’t know doesn’t mean you get a pass on what ever you assert to be True. That’s not honest either

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, that is just not true. This is why these arguments become a waste of time. They lack any philosophical merit.

        • KIA says:

          That’s why arguments and philosophy will never be evidence for the reality of the existence of God. Pointless and very prone to the presuppositions bias of the person making the arguments to support a position they already hold.
          Evidence please…

        • Mel Wild says:

          What kind of evidence are you asking for? I’m wondering what biases and presuppositions are behind your question.

        • KIA says:

          Told you before. It’s dishonest to keep trying shift the burden. I don’t tell you what evidence, you present. Whatcha got?

        • KIA says:

          And it’s dishonest to presume my biases to determine whether you will present your evidence. Just present your evidence. Whatcha got?

        • Mel Wild says:

          It’s funny how you can accuse me of bias and presupposition but then object when I’m trying to determine what bias and presuppositions are in your question. Unless you can tell me how you define evidence, I doubt we’ll be talking about the same things.

          I was trying to avoid wasting my time, but it appears that’s not possible. No offense meant here, but let me know when you do know something.

        • KIA says:

          What’s the square root of 43,435? I don’t know… you say it 12. Doesn’t mean it’s correct just because I don’t know

        • Mel Wild says:

          It’s 208.410652

        • KIA says:

          Truth is… you don’t Know either. You just Believe, which is not the same at all.

        • Mel Wild says:

          And you have faith that there is no god, or whatever it is you believe.

        • KIA says:

          No… I don’t have faith that there is no God. That’s not even what atheist ‘believe’. Though I’m not one, atheist reject the claim that there is a God. They do not claim that there is no God. There is a big difference there and you should stop misrepresenting them. That’s dishonest too.

        • Mel Wild says:

          If you don’t have faith, how do you know there is no God? And we’re back to, why do we exist then? You said you don’t know. So, that means you’re agnostic. But, still, what evidence would cause you to believe?

        • KIA says:

          I’m not presuming there isn’t. It’s not the defualt position either way, there is… There isn’t.
          I don’t know is always an acceptable and honest answer when you don’t actually Know. Even if you still believe or don’t believe

        • KIA says:

          I’m simply asking you to present your evidence.

        • Mel Wild says:

          I said, we’ll start with, we exist. There is a universe. We’re having this conversation. There is consciousness. We intuitively know that nature cannot create itself (nor can we prove or disprove God in nature). I could give a lot more reasons, but that’s not the point of this post, so I’m not going to go down that rabbit trail.

        • KIA says:

          That’s all evidence for us… Not god. And I’m glad you finally admit you cant prove God exists from the evidence in nature (or disprove, which is not what either I or atheists say).
          The first line of the post said “if God exists…” The rest of your post rests on that If. Or it’s all just pointless arguments, ‘intuition’, suppositions and philosophy, without… As you freely admitted… Any actual evidence to demonstrate the premise on which those arguments rest. I’d think that would be very relevant to the post and I would hope you’re able to appreciate that, even if your cognitive bias doesn’t allow you to accept it

        • Mel Wild says:

          Yes, but why “us?” That’s the stubborn fact. We exist.

          Let me say this. What you’re asking is a fair question, it’s just not the point of this post and not necessary to make the argument I’m making here. In fact, by saying “if God exists” I am putting that aside to make the point. If He exist, then what I am saying is true.

          Furthermore, I can cover “evidence” another time, but if you cannot tell me what “evidence” is, there is no point talking to you. We have no basis or grounds for a coherent discussion.

        • KIA says:

          You don’t ‘know’ the answer to that question anymore than I do. You just believe that you do.
          They are not the same. Have a great day

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, of course, I can’t prove the answer. But I do have an answer. Yes, it’s faith, which any position on the subject will be faith-based, whether someone believes there is a God or not. But if someone says “I don’t know but you’re wrong” that is incoherence.

        • KIA says:

          In short, if you don’t “know” that God exists, from not being able to give evidence for him from nature as you said, you can’t “know” that he is the reason for our existence. You only believe you do. Your own words and If statement just ruined the point you were trying to make. Congratulations.

        • Mel Wild says:

          In short, if you don’t “know” that God exists, from not being able to give evidence for him from nature…

          That would only seem true if you’re a naturalist or materialist. This is what I mean by bias and prejudice built into the question, which is why I asked you what you mean by “evidence.” By your question, you are assuming naturalism is true. You cannot prove that, so I disagree with your premise.

        • KIA says:

          Really?they’re your words… But I haven’t said anything about my beliefs regarding the supernatural. I’m sure I don’t “know” that such a real exists anymore than you or I “know” or can prove that a god exists. It’s pure belief. Unverifiable by Natural means just as you said.
          Your words Mel, not mine or my premise.

        • Mel Wild says:

          If you say things like, “…not being able to give evidence for him from nature…” you are implying a naturalist ontology. In other words, “evidence” is what can be demonstrated in nature. But you could not use this kind of evidence to prove something outside of nature. You can only infer to the best explanation. This is why science is not capable of answering the question. You must look to metaphysics and philosophy to discuss this.

        • KIA says:

          To propose that it is is also dishonest

        • Mel Wild says:

          You still haven’t said why this is dishonest. But never mind. This argument is getting ridiculous.

        • KIA says:

          On any other subject you would immediately agree

        • KIA says:

          Do you remember abbot and costello… I just heard “third base!”

        • KIA says:

          And that would truly be dishonest

        • Encefalos 1 says:

          Science contradicted the Quran in the 19th century but changed position as it’s always changing in the 21st century to align with the Quran. With respect to the Quran passing the test of time and keeping its position for more than 1400 years. Nothing added, nothing subtracted.

        • jim- says:

          Give me some examples of how the Quran is leading science in authority. I would truly like to see that.

        • Encefalos 1 says:

          Quran is a religious book but the claim is that the author is the creator and it’s the word of god. How can 7th century knowledge know the following, I will give three examples.
          1- Creation of the universe: “Do the disbelievers not see that the heavens and the earth were joined together, then I split them apart?” (Quran 21:30)
          2- Mountains: “have we not made the earth an expanse and the mountains stakes” (Quran 78:6-7)
          3- Aquatic origin: “And I created every living thing out of water” (Quran 21:30)

          As well as many other examples that haven’t been confirmed with science. QURAN maintains the same position for more than 1400 years. How can it speak about Big Bang and mountain that are driven into the ground which are the deep foundations of geological folds. Moreover, about how the laws governing the celestial systems. A man in the desert could not have known this, with respect to him never claiming to be the author. I advice you read the Quran for yourself and check the claim. We can send you a free copy if you like.

        • jim- says:

          Joseph smith of the Mormons also guessed right at some wording regarding the cosmos and creation. Is the Mormon faith the true faith then? The scripture you quoted is highly ambiguous and can be interpreted multiple ways. You want it to confirm your belief so it does. Sheepherders are pretty intelligent observationist. I too am a very observant person, and I see all religions show you the good stuff and dismiss the bad. Once you look under the surface it is a garbage dump covered with beautiful grass. Abrahamic religion is no different than the great apes. All the premise is to control food, territory, and sex. They promise big things but deliver only misery to the inhabitants of the earth. 2000 years of sugar coating the obvious failures. No prayer is ever answered, god is not love, he is capricious and vengeful and filled with surveillance and threats. Islam preaches peace and delivers blows and beheadings and oppresses women. The realities never match the words you speak.

        • Encefalos 1 says:

          God gave us free will. If he didn’t allow evil where is the freedom? The Author of the Quran claim is that you can’t find contradictions in it, not one. And I’m not talking about getting some things right or confirmation bias. Rather how did a man in the dessert come to know all this? Like two seas that don’t mix? Which is a phenomena observed in Alaska. God asks us to think and reflect. Externally like the universe and internally within ourselves. You existing as an atheist is enough evidence that god is most merciful. He gave you free will.

        • jim- says:

          He has given me nothing. Out of all the gods that ever existed, I just believe in one less god than you. Free will is a copout to the non existence of god. God is merciful? Where. The Sudan? Burundi? Juvenile death row in Iran? Where. Nowhere! It is up to us to be merciful and Islam has the least of anyone. At least I can live in the US in peace since god has chosen not to speak to me.

        • Encefalos 1 says:

          First I respect your way of responding. And sincerity. Secondly, you said it, evil is the result of human beings going against god. Question, what would happen to those who were unjust? For example, does Martin L. king and Adolf hitler deserve the same end? Death? Does a person who killed and a person who saved get the same ending?

        • jim- says:

          Doesn’t really matter. The threat of hell is a hoax and morality is self governed by negative and positive input and our ability to process it. More neurons equal a greater ability to interpret it. Countless studies across numerous species have bore this out. It’s not complicated, and no, they don’t deserve the same thing but that’s the way it is. Society self governs without gods at all, and many indigenous accounts prove this. We got rid of hitler just like we eventually get rid of all the harmful seeds. Every society and religion has them and so do other species. But in the end survival plays out in favor of the species.

        • Encefalos 1 says:

          But if it’s just survival why would people die for a cause like freedom and liberty and equality? That if it’s just about survival and reproduction. Are you saying that a girl born in a third world country to a poor family, live and dies poor has the same outcome as a person who was born in more developed countries and rich? What about people who are born blind and deaf? Is there no ultimate justice? Lsn, there is a story about atheism and god, it says atheists said to god that we took you out of the equation. You don’t exist anymore? So god replies how did you do that? They answer, first cosmic dust… and god says wait wait, get your own dust. You talk about neurons, how did such complexity come to b?

        • jim- says:

          That is just a story btw. Nice try but just because I don’t have all the answers yet, doesn’t mean god did it. The notion of god has been played around to explain he unexplained, but answers are coming and god is getting smaller. The fact that there is injustice only solidifies there either is no god, or there is and he’s a tyrant. He has done not one thing to help those he loves. People die for unjust causes other than yours. It doesn’t make them right, nor you. Psychology has shown over and over the brain is manipulated very easily and religious belief plays on human emotion. Nothing more.

        • Encefalos 1 says:

          With or without religious belief mind gets manipulated. The more you know the bigger god gets because knowing about the creation can only increase knowing about the creator. Human beings are tested in this earth and to god belongs everything. I respect you for thinking. Think about why do you want god to eliminate injustice? It’s human beings responsible and not god. Every sunrise is mercy from god and chance to be just and good. I believe in an ultimate justice where people will get according to what they did in heir lifetime. It’s up to us to establish justice and eliminate evil and not god. Be consistent. I believe our enemy is ourselves and the devil. Things like (greed, ego, and thinking we know it all) You not knowing about a tree that fell in the forest doesn’t make it falling any less true. Quran came as a warning

        • jim- says:

          I think it’s all you know therefor you think it’s true. There are 7 billion people that disagree with you. Statistically if Muslims didn’t have so many children the religion would be shrinking. Because of where you were born, you are a Muslim. If you had been born elsewhere you would be passionate about that religion as well. It’s a type of personality that has always been with us. It’s a big world with a lot of ideas. Just because I may want a god to deliver justice, he never does. Religion is appealing to the poor and oppressed because of this eventual promise of vengeance. I hold no malice for anyone. Therefore I am in a much better place than you hoping for vengeance on your enemies. That is a core problem with monotheistic religion. Christians think all the bad guys will get their burning. It’s just a psychological trick causing division, hate, and bigotry. Religion is the problem. It says it’s the solution but has failed to deliver at every level.

        • Encefalos 1 says:

          I think you are very dishonest confusing justice with vengeance. Perception is reality and yes you are a product of your social conditioning but %80 of Muslims are from non Arab countries and it is currently the fastest growing religion, with respect to it being the most attacked. Being servant to the creator brings peace rather than being slave of own desires, whims, appetites, money, fame, social status .. etc. worship god alone and submit your will to him and take guidance from him. What is your moral anchor? What is your criteria? What better lifestyle and guidance than Islam that prevent from today’s poisons like alcohol, gambling, dealing with interest, and sexual immorality? How many drunk drivers if there is no alcohol? Your creator sent prophets to guide you to him. To have freedom and inner peace and purpose. This 60-70-80-90-100 years on Earth is just a test. Your view is sad that there is no justice and no after life. Then hope doesn’t exist. Reality is subjective, nobody will really ever understand you. However Quran claim, god is the author, he is talking to you. He knows what’s inside your heart he was always there. True victory is meeting god and be pleased with you. How can you face god if you kill, oppress, steal, lie, or deny his existence and disbelieve in him. Prophet Muhammed Peace be upon him and the Quran are strong argument against you. It is a warning as well as a blessing. The good and the bad can’t be equal. Something can’t come from nothing, order can’t come from chaos, and ignorance can’t beget knowledge. We only know what god has reviled about himself to us. Leave the confirmation bias and social conditioning and read the Quran with tafseer which is scholars explaining what verses mean even if you know Arabic. The context will explain the text and the claim is coherent and intellectual.

        • jim- says:

          There is no hope without god? That is laughable. You have the argument of zero evidence for god. There is no unchanging moral compass or high ground from religion, especially yours that sucks the freedom from life using fear. I’m not buying it. There are better explanations for our existence than yours, maybe you should read outside the quran a little bit. Your mind is not your own. The moment people leave abrahamic religion they are enlightened and decent. All the hate and fear talk goes away. You’re desperation is showing. You won’t get validation from me. Most of the world has been duped by their own physiology. All your religious feeling and emotion can be duplicated in a lab. You are so brainwashed you don’t even know it. You and your faith have a lot of explanations. Even your scripture requires explanation. That means it’s BS. Cover it up with sweet convincing rhetoric. Religion is the disease of the earth

        • Encefalos 1 says:

          Perception is reality and Muslim are the ones who translated Plato and Aristotle and are the ones who brought algebra. Even the first scientist was a Muslim Ibn-al-Haytham. Religion and science align and it is coherent and intellectual. The religion of all prophets was Islam as it is submitting your will to god. And all other religions but Islam got corrupted. Judgement day is coming and eternity. This is but a test.

        • jim- says:

          Even pastor Mel should appreciate you condemning his corrupt religion. Everyone has their axe to grind, I just don’t believe any of them. Mel thinks Islam is the most correct religion too it appears

        • Mel Wild says:

          Religion is appealing to the poor and oppressed because of this eventual promise of vengeance. I hold no malice for anyone. Therefore I am in a much better place than you hoping for vengeance on your enemies. That is a core problem with monotheistic religion. Christians think all the bad guys will get their burning.

          Okay, I’ve been reading your dialogue with our Islamic friend here and need to comment. I’m sorry but your stereotypical straw man is just a bunch of prejudicial nonsense. Honestly, it’s about the stupidest thing I’ve heard here. Let’s just take the worst and most extreme human representation of religions and then paint everyone with that same brush. I suppose all black people are criminals, too, right? It’s about the same level of ignorant prejudice. If you seriously believe this, you only prove you don’t know what you’re talking about.

        • jim- says:

          Mel that’s crap. He’s trying to convert me to his faith and lying about it in the process. First, the Quran is laden with contradictions. Google it. Read it. He says there are none. Second, he never answered a question. Always an apologetic bypass to another. You think Islamic women are equal to men?

        • Mel Wild says:

          I am only replying to your comment I quoted from you about religion and Christianity. THAT was crap.

        • jim- says:

          Well the Christian part in that quote is true. Everyone wants vengeance, and I’ve heard it from Christianity my entire life. The wicked will be burned as stubble. Your jumping in to defend what your believers preach every Sunday. “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.”
          ‭‭Malachi‬ ‭4:1‬ ‭KJV‬‬
          Don’t try this sleight of hand garbage.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Everyone in Christianity wants vengeance? LOL! You’re only making my point here.

        • jim- says:

          I’m not making your point. You are reading beyond intent again. I guess you can separate the Christian from the Christianity. I forgot you don’t believe the Bible. If you read his comments you must’ve seen the selling points on vengeance. He was a little perplexed that I don’t expect gradation punishments after death. I know it may not be fair, but that’s the way it is. He is expecting everyone but a believer in his creator to be punished. The threat of hell is slightly different in Christianity (sorry if I came across with a generalization) but a mainstay in many sects is the threat of hell, damnation, and eternal burning. It is also in the scripture. So we are at another impasse. If the Bible is true, Four Square is misrepresenting the core of the faith. I tended to lean your way and I never believed in hell torment. Islam is exacting it in the afterlife, and much if the religion is exacting hell on earth in this life. He is promoting his faith with it, so how is that bs? Your aim at political correctness has aligned you with Allah by agreeing with his “only true faith” comments. It also makes you a hypocrite. You are a Muslim in pastors clothing. Why is so much of the bible and Quran to do with battle plans and murder? Oh, because it’s a peaceful religion based on fear (love according to him) death, control, and misery.

        • Mel Wild says:

          I forgot you don’t believe the Bible.

          Jim, now you’re just making stuff up (KIA would call it “lying”). It’s really hard to take you seriously when you make such vacuous statements. What I don’t believe in is the fallacious straw man you’re trying to prop up here. You’re trying to make “believing the Bible” mean having some wooden literal angry fundamentalist distortion of it (which most Christians would not agree with either).

          You said all Christians want revenge. To want revenge is the very OPPOSITE of Christ’s teachings. You might be talking about the Westboro Baptist nut-jobs or somebody like that, but you’re certainly not talking about 90% (or more) of Christianity. These are just slanderous distortions. Again, only proving your ignorant prejudice.

          Frankly, you’re as bad as your other anti-theist pals with your fallacious accusations, making up stuff about my views or what I agree with or don’t agree with (in the other comments here) when I was responding to one point. How typical.

          But, again, you’re only making my point. The fact that you don’t see this is interesting, though. So, do continue with your fallacious distortions if you wish. You’re only digging yourself in deeper. I have better things to do.

        • jim- says:

          Send me a copy. I’ll read it.

        • Encefalos 1 says:

          Aside from the Quran, Prophet Muhammed PBUH was sent as mercy to mankind. Black and white, Arab and non Arab, male and female. Read his biography, read what scholars and thinkers said about him. Indonesia is a Muslim country of around 160 million people following Islam, with no war or violence or anything ever. This is a website that offers a free Quran translation: https://quran.com/?local=en

        • john zande says:

          Indo invaded East Timor in 1975, murdering 100,000 locals.

        • Encefalos 1 says:

          World War I, World War II, Vietnam, Hiroshima!!??? Are they religious

        • john zande says:

          You said: Indonesia is a Muslim country of around 160 million people following Islam, with no war or violence or anything ever.

          That is a straight up lie.

        • Encefalos 1 says:

          Was it religious? NO, it was for anti-colonial rule (Portuguese and Dutch) like the Ferdinand Magellan invasion of Philippine which is the only Christian country in Asia. Also, I’m talking about 160 million people who are Muslim today. All Muslim countries together are not even close to what United States does and did. Get your facts straight and don’t listen to Fox News and BBC

        • john zande says:

          You’re burning churches in Aceh, still conducting war in PNG, and the Maluku situation is strictly religious.

          The Setara Institute, a Jakarta-based organization that monitors religious freedom, reported an increase in acts of religious intolerance from 236 in 2015 to 270 in 2016, while religious freedom violations rose from 197 to 208.

          Stop lying, you twat. I’m Australian, I know you.

        • Encefalos 1 says:

          You know this is slander. Who is we? We Muslims are burning? Islam and Muslims prohibit and are against killing. In Quran, if you kill you go to hell and if you save you go to heaven.

        • john zande says:

          You want to talk about the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), or the thugs in the Islam Defenders Front (FPI)?

        • Encefalos 1 says:

          I want to talk about the KKK, are they Christian? Do they represent Christianity? Not to forget they do things in the name of religion and their logo is a cross.

        • john zande says:

          So you admit you lied.

          Advice for the future: don’t lie.

          Goodbye.

        • Encefalos 1 says:

          How can a question be a admitting to lie!? You are just throwing red harings

        • jim- says:

          Indonesian atheists have to hide. I have some here following. You are not being completely honest, not can you be and get converts. The dirty is buried under sophistry and facades

        • Encefalos 1 says:

          They don’t have to hide, them hiding is their choice. What someone does in private is their business. Can we look at a bigger picture and not view a segment rather what the scripture deals with and claims. One god, one massage, many prophets (worship one god). Muhammed PBUH is the last prophet. unlike previous prophets he came for all mankind and not specific ppl or place. Muslims have lived in peace with diff religions and Muslim scholars debated atheists for more than 1400 years. Look at the Golden age of Islam.

        • jim- says:

          Can I stand at the city center of your town with an atheist booth promoting atheism? No problem?

        • Encefalos 1 says:

          I told you, your belief is up to your and what you do to your in private is your business. However, in Islam we protect the individual from the community and the community from the individual. It’s a unified community religion with guidelines that you have to respect. If you go to Japan your respect the law of the land, if I come to your county I am supposed to respect the law of the land. In a Muslim country you have to respect the law of the land. There are platform specialized for debating and discussing these topics. But not whoever can come and start misguiding people. In the age of information and where everything is global are you really asking this question. I want to say that In my opinion, believing in no god requires a bigger leap of faith than to say there is a god. If you say I do god of the gaps then you my friend are doing energy of the gaps.

        • jim- says:

          You have no idea what I’m doing. The laws of Islam oppress human thought and freedom. I learned a while back to go the other way from what everyone else is doing. Religions are acting like sheep and follow along because of the dogs. I am not afraid to pick my own path. I am a follower of no religious ideology. Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I took the one less traveled by. Just because the majority claim a religion, matters not to me. I observe things as they are and abrahamic tradition and religion is a scam of massive control by a few. Nothing in religion is as they say. Nothing at all. It is all excuses and propped up catch frases that don’t match reality.

        • Encefalos 1 says:

          You keep committing logical fallacies. Drop your ego, saying everyone is brainwashed and you are taking the less traveled road. No sympathy from me and you are wrong, atheism is not a new idea and it in depth has no foundation wether naturalist or atheist. What is the purpose of your life?

        • jim- says:

          I didn’t say it was a new idea. I said it was less traveled. I am not wrong to distance myself from something I don’t believe. That is integrity.

        • jim- says:

          The purpose of life is not to appease a myth out of fear. Not my style

        • Encefalos 1 says:

          Why you see it as fear? I see it as love.

    • Encefalos 1 says:

      Read the Quran which is the scripture of the Muslims and check the claim made. God is one and only, all powerful, doesn’t beget nor begotten. Unique unlike anything. Therefore, The claim is Quran is from god so there is not one contradiction in it.

      • jim- says:

        If it is so true,why do predominantly Muslim countries have to force compliance? That is no god but control freak men

        • Encefalos 1 says:

          If you want to judge a religion, check their scripture. Read the biography of prophet Muhammed PBUH. Can you give me an example of forced compliance? There are around 20 million Christians in Egypt, a Muslim country. Moreover, Indonesia around 150 million people, Muslim country. Without any wars or other Fox News claims

        • jim- says:

          Atheism is illegal. The fact that they tolerate each other’s presence is far from acceptance. Egypt is no trying to make atheism a capital crime as we speak. You can’t force someone to believe in supernatural. They either do or don’t. Forcing one to claim allegiance over their life is routine in 13 countries. That’s bs. I do not believe in any gods, and I would never align myself with someone who defends violence and genocide in the name of god. All the catch frases in abrahamic religion are false. Islam is not a religion of peace. Only at the tip of a sword. That is your 1400 year history

        • Encefalos 1 says:

          Have you read the Islamic history yourself? In the Jewish chronicles it says that Jews flourished under Islamic rule. What you do in your own home is up to you but you what you do in public is not totally up to (because of the greater god) you protect society from an individual and you protect individual from society. Islam condemn violence and Muslims were liberators. Read!!!

        • jim- says:

          The same could be said for Christianity at present. Although I believe they are wrong and have the least amount of claim to Israel of anybody, the history of the west will be Christians trying to make peace, and from the east it will be Muslims trying to make peace. I do read, and nothing in the world is objective. It is all perspective with agenda while hiding the dirty deeds. Women are oppressed and bacha bazi are fair game and condoned secretly in much of the Islamic world. That’s just the top of it. Arranged marriage and oppression of anyone who doesn’t believe.

        • Encefalos 1 says:

          Don’t mix culture and tradition with religion. The west had a different experience with religion and the same lens should not be applied and imposed on the Muslims. The Quran and the prophet is the two authority Muslim have. If there are some black sheep (lost or misguided Muslims) that doesn’t represent or reflect what the book teaches and what the prophet said and did. If you do read about history, where did legislating ourselves take us? What is correct now may not be correct 100 years from now or a 1000 years from now and vice verse.

  3. Right. One can’t help but notice, that in the objection, that there seems to be a confusion between methodological naturalism and metaphysical naturalism. The former doesn’t entail the latter, although some philosophers, like Paul Draper, have argued that methodological naturalism is some evidence in favor of metaphysical naturalism.

  4. Interesting, Mel! I’d offer you a good counter argument, but as you already know, I’m kind of in complete agreement. 🙂

    Something that plays into my thinking, we people are actually unable to create something out of nothing. We can combine elements and come up with new forms of something but we can’t create new elements. We’re unable to invent new primary colors. Or, as the first law of thermodynamics goes,energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transfered, redirected. So “science” is actually the study of what has already been created, already provided. We can’t discover something “new,” we can only discover what is already there. The question of God is about “why” it is there, not whether it it there or not.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Exactly, IB. No matter what you point to in the causal universe you are still talking about contingency. Science can only tell us what’s inside the “fishbowl” (cosmos), not why it exists in the first place.

      • Jill Smith says:

        Clearly you would disagree with Martin Amis’s comment that we are about five Einsteins away from explaining why the universe exists! I have no trouble reconciling the Big Bang with an explosion in the mind of a creating God. But neither do I, on an academic level, have trouble understanding the concept that intense gravitational forces operating in a vacuum could produce matter of infinite density. But I assume you would argue that a purely natural explanation for the singularity would still leave your central question unanswered.

        I agree that the question “Why is there something rather than nothing?” can’t be satisfactorily answered by science, and I don’t know many scientists who would even attempt it as it is clearly a question for religion and philosophy. But I am not so sure that there is necessarily an answer, or that the answer necessarily involves positing the existence of a cause outside the cosmos. We have evolved brains that search for meaning, but that doesn’t prove that there is a meaning to be found. Or think of Spinoza’s belief that because there can be nothing other than God, God is nature and it is pointless to look for him elsewhere. We are so mutable and driven by entropy that, as David Vogner put it, ” Indeed, because all things, including humans, are only coherent as individual units on the most extremely compressed scales of time and space and even then are only transformations of substance according to Spinoza, it makes no sense to say that anything has any essential nature whatsoever. Everything’s most consistent characteristic (though there is nothing essential to it) is that it appears for a brief instance and then disappears through entropy. With these thoughts in mind, it also makes no sense to believe in an Other,”

        I am a believing Christian who finds no conflict between science and my faith. But, if I were not, I would find these apologetical formulations unconvincing. But thank you for an interesting article.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Clearly you would disagree with Martin Amis’s comment that we are about five Einsteins away from explaining why the universe exists!

          I do disagree. Explaining the universe is an etiological question; why the universe exists is an ontological one.

          We have evolved brains that search for meaning, but that doesn’t prove that there is a meaning to be found.

          I would say that we cannot prove meaning but it doesn’t mean we can’t find a greater purpose or meaning. It just won’t be found by science. Science is perfect for discovering the “how” in nature, but it cannot help us find meaning.

          I am a believing Christian who finds no conflict between science and my faith.

          I am, too, and see no conflict between science and faith either. The conflict is more between scientism and fundamentalist religion, or perhaps between materialism and idealism. Thanks for your comments, Jill.

  5. Ben says:

    I don’t think science can or will replace God (at least not in the near future) Having a god as part of life is important to billions of people so I doubt it’ll go away anytime soon, real or not. I also don’t think science can disprove God. Science can certainly explain what we see and how things work. What it can’t do is show how it all started. “God did it” or “it was one big cosmic accident” cannot be proven. Either way, we’re stuck because no one was there in the beginning. All we have is the aftermath of creation (either God-created or randomly created by chance) to debate.

    I’m caught somewhere between being a deist and an agnostic (formerly Christian) because even though God cannot be disproven, I don’t see evidence of him either. I’m not saying there is no possibility of a god being real. I see design (or at least the appearance of design) and what has the appearance of creation. What I don’t see, outside of the Bible, is the Christian God. There may be a god, and based on what can be observed in nature and the amazing way things work together, I am more than open to accepting that.

    When it comes to a specific God such as the Christian God or the Muslim Allah, there needs to be very specific evidence to back up those claims. Information contained within those books cannot be used to prove their authenticity. Outside of religious books, evidence is lacking. That’s why Christianity is now in my past. The Bible does explain the “why” of a lot of things. However, the Bible is flawed and has been changed (whether people want to admit it or not) and is therefore not trustworthy…at least to me. Others interpret it differently. Outside of religious books, all we have is the possibility of a god. Unfortunately the Bible has man’s fingerprints all over it. Trace back the physical documents back to the earliest known copies and note the changes along the way. There are more than just spelling errors or things out of order written down by sloppy scribes. There are complete stories added that weren’t there previously.

    • Mel Wild says:

      You are making a coherent argument. Thanks for your comments. We may even agree on some of those things. We can talk about the changes and the “sloppy scribes” another time. 🙂

  6. john zande says:

    Yes, but why “us?” That’s the stubborn fact. We exist.

    We do indeed exist. Our unique evolutionary branch reaches back seven million years to Sahelanthropus tchadensis, itself just one branch reaching back through mammals, amphibians, vertebrates, insects, flatworms, sponges, and eukaryotes.

    Your question would only be intriguing (indeed, valid) if “we” are the final product, and we are no longer evolving.

    Mel, do you believe we (homo sapiens) have stopped evolving?

    • Mel Wild says:

      Your question would only be intriguing (indeed, valid) if “we” are the final product, and we are no longer evolving.
      Mel, do you believe we (homo sapiens) have stopped evolving?

      Of course, we’re still evolving as human beings. But, as was said in the post, you are making an etiological point, not an ontological one. Causation, evolution, whatever…is still etiological. It’s still a causal chain within nature and does not deal with the question.

      • Let’s say I purchased some soda pop and went to the manufacturing plant to ask who made the bottle and put the soda inside and the man says: “That is carbon dioxide gas (CO2). Soft drink manufacturers add this tingling froth by forcing carbon dioxide and water into your soda at high pressures.” and I say, “Yes but who makes it?” and he explains to me how they add the flavor… this is how these discussions go.
        “Where did we all come from?” And the non thiest says “Well, we evolved, blah, blah.” and I’m thinking. “All you are doing is telling me your version of the fizz, that’s not what I asked.”

      • john zande says:

        Of course it’s etiological. That’s called reality, Mel. When you have evidence for anythig that might expand that field, let me know.

        So, in light that we’re still evolving, your question (Yes, but why “us?”) is entirely answered by random (meaning not goal orientated, not adaptively directed) evolutionary processes. “We” are now. We won’t be tomorrow. Just ask sahelanthropus tchadensis, homo habilis, homo erectus, Neanderthals, and Denisovans.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Yes, it’s etiological and still doesn’t answer the question. That’s the point. Going into further etiological explanation still doesn’t address the question.

          For example, navigators did fine under Ptolemaic Geocentricism for over a thousand years, but it was not based in reality. In the same way, evolution does not serve truth, only survival. This is why these kinds of metaphysical questions are important, and science cannot answer them. Otherwise, like Ptolemaic Geocentrism, we are living according to a myopic worldview.

        • john zande says:

          It not only addresses the question, it answers it.

          If you have evidence for something outside the evolutionary paradigm then by all means present it. Until you do, we are the “now” in an ongoing process. I’m sure homo habilis thought he was pretty special, too, Mel.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Again, what do you mean by “evidence?” You see, we’re back to some naturalistic assumption and not making an ontological argument.

          We exist,

        • john zande says:

          Yes, we do. Evolution.

          If you have some other explanation, then present it.

        • Mel Wild says:

          I have no idea what your point is here. Evolution does not address the question. It’s simply an etiological explanation.

        • john zande says:

          Do you have evidence for some other explantion beyond the evolutionary paradigm as to why human beings exist?

        • Mel Wild says:

          But evolutionary paradigm is not an ontological explanation. That’s my point. So, it cannot qualify as “another explanation,” It’s a category error.

        • john zande says:

          Your appeal to ‘ontology’ is an outlandish presupposition. Stop trying to say it has merit. It doesn’t.

          There is no ontological consideration until you can demonstrate why anyone should look at it as anything but a stream of pure imagination based not on a single solid piece of evidence, rather word games.

          If you wish to present some alternative to the evolutionary paradigm, then do so. Without an alternative your question is answered entirely by the evolutionary paradigm.

          You simply saying “But I think there’s more!!” is utterly meaningless.

          Demonstrate something.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Your appeal to ‘ontology’ is an outlandish presupposition. Stop trying to say it has merit. It doesn’t.

          Haha…how dogmatically fundamentalist of you. So, you’re smarter than all the philosophers throughout history. I should stop making a cogent philosophical argument. Sorry, it doesn’t work that way.

          For the last time, the evolutionary paradigm is an etiological claim, not an ontological one. I will not continue arguing apples and oranges with you.

          You simply saying “But I think there’s more!!” is utterly meaningless.

          To say there is nothing more is meaningless. So, why do we exist, John? Why is there an evolutionary process?

        • john zande says:

          Why is there an evolutionary process?

          Because matter organises itself. Take a bottle of water, oil, and sand. Shake it up, and then watch. Organisation.

          So, you’re smarter than all the philosophers throughout history.

          One of my three degrees is in philosophy. Do you have a degree in philosophy? Can you name a single truth ever revealed through philosophy?

          For the last time, the evolutionary paradigm is an etiological claim, not an ontological one.

          Of course, which is why it is the answer to your question. I’m sorry, but your whining doesn’t change this fact.

          The evolutionary paradigm is the only game in town, and it will remain so until you can produce something other than word games that rely entirely on outlandish presuppositions.

          Here, allow me to demonstrate advanced ontological reasoning to effortlessly conclude that The Owner of All Infernal Names exists. If, after all, one can imagine such a being—a being with whom no worse can be conceived—in one possible universe, then that being’s existence cannot be intelligibly denied in all possible universes. The conclusion follows:

          1. It is possible that a maximally wicked being exists.
          2. If it is possible that a maximally wicked being exists, then a maximally wicked being exists in some possible world.
          3. If a maximally wicked being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.
          4. If a maximally wicked being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world.
          5. Therefore, a maximally wicked being exists in the actual world.
          6. Therefore, a maximally wicked being exists.
          7. Therefore, the Omnimalevolent Creator exists.

          Et Viola!

          Let me guess, this ontological passage doesn’t convince you?

        • Matter doesn’t create itself… evolution explains nothing about why we exist, or matter exists. To say nothing of beauty and love and music or worship.

        • john zande says:

          Actually, it explains exactly why human beings exist.

        • Ok.. still waiting for the explanation.

        • john zande says:

          3.8 billion years of organic evolution.

        • Evolution of what? Kinda hard to evolve from nothing.

        • john zande says:

          There was never nothing.

        • Alrighty then. You just proved God exists.

        • john zande says:

          Why can’t the universe be aseitic?

  7. Talk about walking in circles…why do we exist? Seems the only answer the non theists have is “because we do.” I’ve always found it puzzling how much time atheists and agnostics devote to arguing with theists. Why bother if you truly don’t believe? I can’t remember ever having a heated discussion on why the Easter Bunny isn’t real.

    • john zande says:

      Do believers in the Easter Bunny try to meddle in the functioning of our secular societies?

      • Who is meddling? I see some one stating his opinion on why science works.

        • john zande says:

          Gay marriage, women’s right to choose, prayers in school, climate change, teaching creationism, embryonic stem cell research, contraception, sex education…

        • So secular thinking should be the only influence on society?

        • john zande says:

          Evidence-based thinking should be the only influence on our secular societies.

        • Mel Wild says:

          As long as the evidence is fairly given, from both sides, and not truncated by a materialist bias.

        • john zande says:

          You’re always free to present counterarguments if you have evidence.

        • Mel Wild says:

          I agree. As long as it’s not biased by either worldview, it’s fair game in the marketplace.

        • In a democracy? About 70% of people in this country identify as Christian. Why should a tiny minority of athiests rule on policy? What you see as evidence is another person’s nonsense.

        • john zande says:

          Theists can, and do, hold to secular ideals.

          Do you wish to live in a theocracy?

        • No, but that’s not what you’re talking about. You seem to think Christians shouldn’t have the right to express thier faith in how they stand on so called secular issues. Or that if they are against gay marriage or abortion ect, they are some how not rational.

        • john zande says:

          What’s rational about opposing two loving people getting married?

        • What’s rational about killing your offspring before they are born?

        • john zande says:

          Killing? Are you talking about terminating a pregnancy? How can you “kill” something that cannot die?

        • Its a living being with a heart beat. I have no idea what you are talking about.

        • john zande says:

          You used the word “killing.” The question was quite simple: How can you “kill” something that cannot die?

        • A baby certainly can die.

        • john zande says:

          A baby, yes, certainly. A baby is a human organism. Until week 25, a foetus is not a human organism. So the question remains: how can you “kill” something that cannot “die”?

        • Hogwash. A baby can be born at 20 weeks and survive.

        • john zande says:

          At 23 weeks the survival rate is only 17%… and that is only with full (artificial) support.

        • You just told me he wasn’t alive at 20 weeks. Make up your mind.

        • john zande says:

          I said nothing of the like. I asked how you can “kill” something that cannot “die”?

          At no stage does “life” magically appear in a zygote, a blastocyst, embryo, or foetus. Life began on earth 3.8 billion years ago and hasn’t been interrupted since. A foetus was never inorganic and suddenly becomes organic. The only way we have to measure the onset of a human organism is when the foetus’ brain starts to exhibit sustained brain activity, and that occurs at week 25. It is not, however, until week 28 before full bilateral synchronisation. Before that moment there is no human organism, just potential.

          To err on the side of caution, week 25 is a good marker. So, the question remains: Before week 25, how can you “kill” something that cannot “die”?

        • At no stage does life just magically begin on earth. Everything has a first cause.
          It is a human organism, it’s a baby and you are just trying to squirm around that fact to justify killing a child.

        • john zande says:

          At no stage does life just magically begin on earth.

          You are aware, aren’t you, that the earth is 4.5 billion years old?

        • So, now time is magic?

        • john zande says:

          I don’t even know what that’s supposed to mean.

        • Apparently you think time irons out the problem of life somehow appearing on earth without a first cause.

        • john zande says:

          Nope, that doesn’t make any sense at all.

        • You still haven’t explained to me where life came from originally and you’re going to lecture me on when life begins in the womb? I’m not seeing the logic here.

        • john zande says:

          That doesn’t surprise me.

        • john zande says:

          And as to your questi0n to abiogenesis, life is not remarkable. As the strikingly impressive 19th Century historian and philosopher, John Fiske, so prudently observed:

          “As soon as it became cool enough for oxygen and hydrogen to unite into a stable compound, they did unite to form vapour of water. As soon as it became cool enough for double salts to exist, then the mutual affinities of simple binary compounds and single salts, variously brought into juxtaposition sufficed to produce double salts. And so on throughout the inorganic world … Here we obtain a hint as to the origin of organic life upon the earth’s surface. In accordance with the modern dynamic theory of life, we are bound to admit that the higher and less stable aggregations of molecules which constitute protoplasm were built up in just the same way in which the lower and more stable aggregations of molecules which constitute a single or a double salt were built up. Dynamically, the only difference between carbonate of ammonia and protoplasm which can be called fundamental is the greater molecular complexity and consequent instability of the latter.”

          And as to manufacturing life, we’ve already done that, starting many decades ago by building the basic building blocks:

          In 1953, Stanley L. Miller and Harold C. Urey set out to test Alexander Oparin’s and J. B. S. Haldane’s hypothesis that conditions on the primitive Earth favoured “chemical reactions that synthesized organic compounds from inorganic precursors,” and through their experiments successfully cooked up the first manmade Amino Acids in the lab. Since then NASA’s Stardust probe triumphantly returned to earth in 2006 with Amino Acids it’d captured after intercepting the comet 81P/Wild (Wild-2) around Jupiter, proving that these fundamental building blocks of life occur naturally on earth and are found equally naturally in space.

          In 2009, Dr. Gerald Joyce of the Scripps Research Institute and his graduate student, Tracey Lincoln, pretty much nailed primitive ‘life’ – a progenitor of life if you like – when they developed a molecule composed of nothing but RNA enzymes in a test tube that replicated and evolved, swapping genes for just as long as the conditions were right to do so. Doing what molecules do it Xeroxed itself by using its own basic structure as a scaffolding from which to build new copies from pairs of smaller molecules. Incredibly, when incorrect copies were made mutations arose and the molecule quite happily passed on those changes to the proceeding generation, and so it slowly evolved.

          Also in 2009 John Sutherland of the University of Manchester went even further when he successfully cooked up two of the four ribonucleotides found in both RNA and DNA molecules and by doing so created the first stirrings of life on earth. Remarkably, with each passing phase the molecules became more and more complex and when phosphates were added in the very last stage Sutherland found himself staring at two ribonucleotides; half a naturally built RNA molecule.

          In 2012, researchers led by Phil Holliger at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge announced they’d successfully made the first synthetic RNA and DNA molecules which they called, XNA: xeno-nucleic acids. They achieved this mind-jarringly colossal leap in constructing artificial life by building synthetic versions of RNA and DNA’s nucleobase ladder rungs. By synthesizing enzymes (what they’ve called, polymerases) they could then bind the XNA molecules to DNA or reverse the process back to a single RNA strand; passing genetic information between the natural and synthetic molecules at will, leading MRC scientist, Victor Pinheiro, to observe “Thus heredity and evolution, two hallmarks of life, are not limited to DNA and RNA.”

          In 2010, Dr Craig Venter, actually created synthetic life (a man-made single celled organism) by manufacturing a new chromosome from artificial DNA in a test tube, then transferred it into an empty cell and watched it multiply… the very definition of being alive.

          In 2014, Floyd Romesberg, at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, also created synthetic life by producing completely new (alien) bases (X and Y) which bonded to DNA and were transferred in mitosis. Over time, though, the X and Y were lost, until in 2017 when the researchers simply created a new bacterium which would always retain the new bases. Alien life created.

        • Created, constructed, manufacturing, developed, cooked up made…. notice the common theme here? Nothing happens without a creator deliberately causing it to happen.

        • john zande says:

          Did you miss the part where it says the fundamental building blocks of life occur naturally on earth and are found equally naturally in space? Given enough time and peace, life was always going to happen. It cannot help but happen. That’s what all these experiments demonstrate.

        • Like I said, time is your god. You think that given enough time anything can happen. Even if we walk around the elephant in the room, the fact that the elements cannot come to Exist by themselves, where is all this spontaneous life happening now? Only in comic books and movies. Spontaneous generation was disproven long ago. All they are doing is engineering with elements God already created.

          Besides it’s not life they created. It can’t be, it doesn’t have a functioning brain, lol. And if you leave it in the dish for 30 million years and it still won’t.

        • john zande says:

          Spontaneous generation was disproven long ago.

          Chuck Missler’s peanut butter experiment! You got me.

        • john zande says:

          Wildswanderer, you used the word “killing,” so I’m wondering if you can rationally justify that language?

          The question is: How can you “kill” something that cannot “die”?

        • Babys can and do survive abortions occasionally. Saying he is not alive or human is just nonsense…why would you even want to justify killing your offspring? You do realize that many women suffer depression, commit suicides and endless guilt over their abortions. A rational society should not justify murder for conveniences sake.

        • john zande says:

          This is precisely what I was talking about regarding “rational” (evidence-based) arguments. You are not presenting one. Your entire position is misinformed. You have contributed nothing.

          The question is: How can you “kill” something that cannot “die”?

          A human being can die. Here is the legal, scientific and medical definition of human death:

          In 1979, the Conference of the Medical Royal Colleges, “Diagnosis of death” declared: “brain death represents the stage at which a patient becomes truly dead.”

          This was updated in the 1980s and 1990s to state that brainstem death, as diagnosed by UK criteria, is the point at which “all functions of the brain have permanently and irreversibly ceased.”

          Further still updated in 1995 (to present), “It is suggested that ‘irreversible loss of the capacity for consciousness, combined with irreversible loss of the capacity to breathe’ should be regarded as the definition of death’

          This is mirrored in US law:

          U.S’s Uniform Determination of Death Act (§ 1, U.L.A. [1980]) states: “An individual who has sustained either (1) irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory function, or (2) irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem, is dead.”

          It is also mirrored in Australian law:

          The Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society (ANZICS) Statement on Death and Organ Donation define death as: a) Irreversible cessation of all function of the brain of the person; or b) Irreversible cessation of circulation of blood in the body of the person.

          Self-evidently, at week 25 (although it is technically week 28 at full bilateral synchronisation) a foetus can meet the legal, scientific, and medical definition of human death. Hence the question: Before week 25, how can you “kill” something that cannot “die”?

          Here is Professor Goldenring (a champion of the pro-forced-birth movement), writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, “Development of the Fetal Brain.”

          “When the coordinating and individuating function of a living brain is demonstrably present, the full human organism exists. Before full brain differentiation, only cells, organs, and organ systems exist, which may potentially be integrated into a full human organism if the brain develops. After brain death what is left of the organism is once again only a collection of organs, all available to us for use in transplantation, since the full human being no longer exists.”

          That last line again: “After brain death what is left of the organism is once again only a collection of organs … since the full human being no longer exists.”

          So, those are the facts. And again, I remind you, you used the word “killing,” and now you’ve even used the word “murder.” So, with the facts in hand, rationally justify your use of that language.

        • “When the coordinating and individuating function of a living brain is demonstrably present, the full human organism exists. Before full brain differentiation, only cells, organs, and organ systems exist, which may potentially be integrated into a full human organism if the brain develops. After brain death what is left of the organism is once again only a collection of organs, all available to us for use in transplantation, since the full human being no longer exists.”

          It’s a living being with function that dies. Your “facts” are biased, and irrelevant. If the baby is carried to term it would be a fully functional human. By killing this functioning organism, if that’s what you want to call it, you are depriving a human of existence, hence you are killing him.

        • john zande says:

          It is NOT a human organism. As Professor Goldenring wrote:

          “When the coordinating and individuating function of a living brain is demonstrably present, the full human organism exists. Before full brain differentiation, only cells, organs, and organ systems exist, which may potentially be integrated into a full human organism if the brain develops.

          If the brain develops. That is the critical element here. It is why brain death is the legal, medical and scientific definition of human death.

          To make this perfectly clear: as “life” NEVER magically appears in a zygote, a blastocyst, embryo, or foetus , then it is “death” that the legal, medical, and scientific worlds look to so as to define human life. Defined Human Life begins at the moment its twin, Death, also springs into existence. Without death there is no life. The former begets the latter. The latter assigns meaning to the former. One delineates the other, and the definition of death is not in dispute. Death is when electroencephalography (EEG) activity ceases. That’s it. That’s death. It follows quite naturally therefore that the onset of defined human life is when foetal brain activity begins to exhibit regular and sustained wave patterns, and that occurs consistently at around week 25, although it is not until 28 weeks till we see full bilateral synchronisation. That is when you may call the foetus “On,” and only after something is “On” can it be turned “Off,” meeting the legal, scientific and medical definitions of death. To argue anything to the contrary is patently absurd.

          If you wish to break this debate open to meaningful discussion you will have to demonstrate the existence of some previously unknown element (a soul, for example) in the human organism.

          Can you demonstrate that something like a soul exists? And please don’t say something silly like it’s the “spark of life.” All living reactions in a human organism are driven by adenosine triphosphate which is first broken down and then re-formed during respiration to release energy. That process is not happening independently inside the foetus.

        • john zande says:

          And here is the so-named “Father of the Anti-Abortion Movement,” Dr. Jack Willke, supporting exactly what I am saying:

          “Since all authorities accept that the end of an individual’s life is measured by the ending of his brain function (as measured by brain waves on the EEG), would it not be logical for them to at least agree that individual’s life began with the onset of that same human brain function as measured by brain waves recorded on that same instrument?” (Dr. Jack Willke, Abortion: Questions and Answers)

          This quote by Willke is really quite interesting. Willke based this statement on a factoid, a false piece of data that arose from a mistranslated Japanese research paper. So, what Willke has done here is shoot himself, and his movement, in the head. He has admitted (albeit accidently) that before week 25 nothing is being killed.

        • “HHS accomplishes its mission through programs and initiatives that cover a wide spectrum of activities, serving and protecting Americans at every stage of life, beginning at conception…””
          FacebookTwitterGoogle+EmailShare1,742
          In the current draft of its new strategic plan for 2018-2022, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) defines human life as beginning at conception. The Department’s old plan, under the Obama administration, made no reference to the accurate scientific beginning of human life. For decades, however, science and medicine have conclusively known that a new, unique, human life starts at the moment of conception (often called fertilization).

          “From at least 1968 to the present day, medical textbooks and scientists have been explaining that there is a specific, identifiable moment when every human being begins to exist: the moment of conception. The child’s heartbeat soon follows, 22 days later — and possibly as early as 16 days later. Brain waves can be measured at six weeks, and in the first trimester of pregnancy, the human baby learns to yawn, kick, curl her body up, and suck her thumb. She has unique fingerprints, and she is capable of attempting to swim away from abortion instruments when they invade her mother’s womb. If she survives the first trimester, this human baby will have all of her major organ systems in place: they will simply need time and nutrition to develop and grow. Yet her life did not begin when any of these milestones were reached. Her life began when she scientifically came into existence — at the moment of her conception.”

          You can find quotes saying life begins with brain function, I can find quotes saying it begins at conception. It’s all word games boiling down to what you want to believe. What we know is even if that baby is born without a brain, it’s a baby. It’s not a puppy or a giraffe.
          I apologize to Mel for taking this thread so far off topic.

        • john zande says:

          The Trump HHS can draw up as many ‘drafts’ as they like. A wish does not make something real. This anti-science, climate change denying, alternative facts administration is an absolute joke.

          The child’s heartbeat soon follows, 22 days later

          The heart is a muscle. Theoretically, I can remove the heart from an adult human, and for just as long as I keep blood flowing, that person will remain being a living person because their brain is still functioning naturally. You CANNOT do the reverse of this experiment.

          The heart, a muscle, performs a task. It is not a human being. Nerve cells in the leg start functioning quite early, much like the heart. These are action potentials. They react. Reaction is a task. What you have to bear in mind here is that the foetus does not (until fill bilateral synchronisation) have any means in place to recognise and process that reaction. There is no information flow. The neurons, dendrites and axons with synapses between them are simply not formed in the human cortex before 20-24 weeks of gestation. Have you ever seen the experiment where electrodes are hooked up to a dead frog’s legs and electricity passed through? The leg muscles expand and contract and the leg moves. That is exactly what is happening in a foetus.

          There’s a very good reason why the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the U.S. National Library of Medicine call natural abortion after week 20 “preterm deliveries,” while before that date it is labeled “miscarriages.” There is a line demarking the onset of a human organism.

          And as I already said: All living reactions in a human organism are driven by adenosine triphosphate which is first broken down and then re-formed during respiration to release energy. That process is not happening independently inside the foetus. It is not running on its own power because it is not a human organism.

          You can find quotes saying life begins with brain function

          It’s not quotes that matter, although the speed in which you dismiss the information is quite telling. What matters are the facts, and my position is informed by the facts. And no, you cannot find anything to say “life” begins at conception. Life began on earth 3.8 billion years ago and has not been interrupted since. The egg and the sperm are already parts of the living system; a system that began 3.8 billion years ago. A foetus was never inorganic and suddenly becomes organic.

          I gave you the legal, medical, and scientific definitions of death as stated in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. From that, answer the question: How can you “kill” something that cannot “die”?

          If you cannot answer that question then your position is pure nonsense, and the language you use ridiculous.

          It’s all word games boiling down to what you want to believe.

          My position is based on facts, yours is not, and for that reason I can see this isn’t going anywhere.

          Thank you, though, for being such an outstanding example on this subject for why religiously-informed positions should not play a part in the formation of laws for our secular (evidence-based, rational) societies.

        • john zande says:

          And just to remind you, Wildswanderer, you still haven’t told me what’s “rational” about opposing two loving people getting married.

        • It’s not even biologically logical. Two people of the same sex can not propagate the species.

        • john zande says:

          Marriage has nothing to do with child rearing. On a personal level, it has everything to do with a formal commitment. On a legal level, it has everything to do with rights afforded to all other couples.

          So, please address the question: What is rational about opposing two loving people getting married?

        • First answer me this: Why are you endorsing a religious idea like marriage? According the evolutionary logic, it should not even exist.

        • john zande says:

          Who says it’s a religious idea?

          Please answer the question.

        • You, who are the result of the universe randomly passing gas Three something billions years ago, have no basis for telling anyone love or marriage should exist. The ONLY reason for your existence is propagation of the species. You are just fizz in the bottle of a universe, and you have no explanation for it’s existence other then a cosmic accident. Please tell the the story of how a pencil point of pure energy with infinite mass exploded and created galaxies and stars and light and dark and flowers and love and poetry from nothing for no reason. I like fairy tales. Love has no place in your world. It is, as best a hormonal urge meant only to create offspring. You come from nothing, are going nowhere but to the dirt and you want to tell me about love and marriage? An amoeba knows as much about those topics, as someone convinced of a Godless universe.

        • john zande says:

          What a strange comment, but thank you, once again, for demonstrating your inability to present a rational, evidence-based argument. You’re making my point for me. And I see you’re not denying now that you do indeed try to meddle in the operation of our secular societies.

          Why did you pretend otherwise?

          And for your information, many animals mate for life, including, beavers, gibbons, wolves, angelfish, skinks, swans, albatrosses, penguins, owls, and even eagles.

        • Did you ever consider maybe you’re the one meddling? Being in the minority view of what the world is and how it came to be, and having no god but reason, which is highly suspect wouldn’t you agree, when there is no designer? Why should any of us take your opinion seriously? Would I listen to the ramblings of of a computer made by randomly throwing Parts together? I would just assume that anything that comes out must be gibberish. I have extensive knowledge about animals, btw, and I surely would not rely on them for my moral compass.

        • john zande says:

          Ah, so it’s Intelligent Design now? You’re a Creationist. I see.

          Curious, was the Great Oxygen Catastrophe 2.5 billion years ago Yhwh’s work?

        • You’re assuming I agree that researchers interpretation of the evidence is correct. I don’t. Anyone who tells you they know what was going on billions of years ago is lying. They have a guess based on their model of how creation happened. It’s like a row of dominoes, if they have one thing wrong, nothing works. Don’t worry, thier theory will change in a week or two.

        • john zande says:

          You’re assuming I agree that researchers interpretation of the evidence is correct. I don’t.

          Yes, I’m sure the geological, isotopic and chemical footprints are all part of a staggeringly complex global conspiracy started over 200 years ago just to fool evangelicals.

          Good luck with that.

        • I said nothing about any Global conspiracy. Now you’re just making stuff up. I’ve found you can’t even trust history books on the last couple hundred years to get a lot of details right. And you expect me to believe that they are right about what happened billions of years ago? Sorry I just don’t have that much faith in humans.

        • john zande says:

          Oh no, I’m sure you’re right.

          It’s precisely why no one is allowed to enter any university on the planet and study the topic, use the equipment, invent new equipment, do analysis of past findings, and conduct independent experiments for themselves to verify the data. Geology and chemistry and radiometry is just one giant global sham.

          Carry on.

        • You might have noticed that the theories are always changing. It’s nice that you have faith in the theories. But that’s what it is, faith. Besides, which, none of it gets to the real question a man’s soul, why are we here? What is our purpose? If we just crawled out of the Slime by ourselves, the only purpose I can see is survival. Perhaps others can look around at at trees and birds and life and beauty, and say this is all a cosmic accident. But I’ve experienced God, so that is not an option.

        • john zande says:

          Seriously, I believe you. Hundreds of years ago a quorum of powerful anti-theists got together and invented not only science, but the modern university system. They built buildings and entire campuses across the planet (thousands of them) which have never actually seen a single student, and simply invent all these sciences just to produce data designed to fool evangelicals like yourself.

          It’s diabolical, but I’m glad you’re onto it.

        • I thought you wanted a serious discussion. Guess not. I am not anti science, but if that idea makes you happy, go with it. How many theories of origins are there? Which one is right? Where’s the consensus? Does it even matter? Kids aren’t committing suicide in record numbers solely because of those questions.

          “Why can I never get an answer when I’m knocking on the door with a thousand million questions about hate and death and War?” (Moody Blues)
          But the question of whether there is some One behind it all is the all important one.

        • john zande says:

          No, really honestly truly, I believe you.

          The Grand Global Science Conspiracy has been uncovered. The earth is 4,000 years old.

        • jim- says:

          As the theories change we edge closer to the bottom line. Much more reliable than a belief and a book that doesn’t say creation out of nothing. That was a 2nd century add on to confront the Greek metaphysical construct and the fathers felt they had to do something. The Jews didn’t teach it. Your guys just made it up.

        • Yeah, eternal matter makes perfect sense. If that is the new theory, I’d say they have a long way to go.
          When they finally get it all figured out in a couple billion years, they will find a group of theologians were already there centuries ago.

        • jim- says:

          Lol. Thanks for the comment. Personally, I think it will never be explained in any concrete way by religion, especially Christianity as it is on its was down, as I have shown so skillfully in my post today. But we’ll see.

        • Christianity is actually growing. It’s only on it’s way down in America and Europe. Wishful thinking on your part? The world is becoming more religious, not less.

        • jim- says:

          Only growing in impoverished nations. Typical rally cries of hope to unite the poor while continuing to control and funnel the stream of knowledge, but once they have all the info under the surface it won’t last too long. I have time, but as you can see, all things will end.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Only growing in impoverished nations. Typical rally cries of hope to unite the poor while continuing to control and funnel the stream of knowledge, but once they have all the info under the surface it won’t last too long. I have time, but as you can see, all things will end.

          Jim, that’s a popular myth. Cherry-picking and wishful thinking spread around the Internet by atheists and secular humanists. According to the same Pew Research usually cited, Christianity is mainly losing in mainline denominations among nominal (cultural) Christians who longer have to put up the pretense anymore in a post-Christendom Western culture, while evangelicalism is growing, even in the U.S. Christianity will keep pace with world population (35%) by 2050, while the secular segment (which atheists are only a small percentage) will decline from 16% to 13% over the same period as a percentage of world population. I debunked this myth in my post, “Are we becoming more secular?

          So, prepare for disappointment.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Another thing about your comment that is just wrong. You insult the intelligence of so-called “impoverished nations” and assume that intelligence means that people will adopt your materialist/naturalist worldview. But that is a uniquely Western mindset. I would argue that this is not intelligent at all considering that the myopia of materialism and naturalism is becoming more and more untenable in the light of quantum science. But these other parts of the world have not been saturated with the closed mechanized universe of Enlightenment thinking for the last 400 years, which is becoming more and more bankrupt as a worldview even in the West. Don’t expect them to follow suit.

        • jim- says:

          I’ll try Mel. Thanks for the comment. I see the UN data is a little different than yours, but always a pleasure to see you. Thanks

        • They certainly will end, with the coming of the King of Kings! You have time? You have, at best, maybe 90 years. The King has forever. The more info I receive from science about the complexity of life and the vastness of the universe, the more reason I have to believe in a loving Creator. The lack on interest in Religion here is a result of being too comfortable, too self assured, too materialistic. But that is changing too, there is a ground swell of young people rejecting materialism and returning to a more simple life which at least includes spirituality. I expect that it will also result in a return to a simple Christian faith for many.

        • jim- says:

          Possibly so, but I spent 50 years in it, and nothing worked as it was presented. A lot of explanations on top of hairsplitting points and endless conjecture. Interesting though, that as virtually all Christians pick and choose what to believe and who, none are practicing and believe the others have it wrong. Even within each specific group. The disconnect from the source has already happened, and when he doesn’t return soon, panpsychism or some other type will fill an easy route to hold some sort of pacifying belief.

        • Mel Wild says:

          That’s true, Jim. The problem that plagues Christianity is what plagues most organized things. It includes humans. 🙂

          Whether the “end” is soon or not, panpsychism is also plagued with problems, which I addressed before, but that’s another subject.

        • jim- says:

          I’m not pulling for anything. Just observing. You see my post yesterday? Curious your thoughts.

        • Mel Wild says:

          No I didn’t. Will look when I get a chance. On my way out the door now.

        • Mel Wild says:

          That’s not surprising. It goes along with what I had said.

        • I don’t really understand what you mean by none are practicing? Of course, we all have differences in opinions on some of the details. By and large, we agree on the main points.

        • jim- says:

          42,000 sects and no cohesion that the casual observer like myself can see. I have many religious friends as well, and every single one is on their own belief, even inside the denomination. The pick and choose what works for you is an obvious disconnect from the source, like lost electrons wandering about looking for something to bond with. It’s even scriptural. Looks like an easy prediction to me. “And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it.”
          ‭‭Amos‬ ‭8:12‬ ‭KJV‬‬

        • Don’t you think Amos is talking about Israel there?

        • jim- says:

          Apostasy or a falling away that happened to Israel, but as most things it plays out again. Most biblical passages have played out several times as the natural world and human nature is predictable. Just showing what’s possible. It gives me a little pause to read these without a mile if apologetic hairsplitting to cover it up. I don’t believe the Bible at all, but it does point out trends in human nature that continually play out over time. I’ve enjoyed your answers. Great dialog. Do you have a site as well?

        • Yeah, just click on my picture. (I’m doing a post on hell soon-shameless plug, lol) I think your comment on the Bible is a little confusing. Seems like you are least still respect the lessons, if not believing in the history. Funny, I went to a meeting last night with a Weslyan, a Pentecostal and a Catholic and me (I don’t know that I have a designation.) Sounds like the start of a joke, but ya know, we all disagree on some things politically and religiously but we all worship the same version of God, so we can lay aside our differences and have a good time together. I have always enjoyed talking with agnostics and such as long as everyone stays cool. Have a good evening.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Gay marriage, women’s right to choose, prayers in school, climate change, teaching creationism, embryonic stem cell research, contraception, sex education…

          Most of those are cultural issues where people have differences of opinion, not meddling, unless you think forcing your particular morality is okay, but it’s not okay for anyone to have a dissenting opinion. What it seems you want is a totalitarian state, not a democracy.

        • john zande says:

          Differences of opinion are always welcomed. Ours is a marketplace of ideas. If your opinion is rational and can be supported with evidence, then your opinion should ride a wave of earned success.

        • Mel Wild says:

          You seem to live under some illusion that you are all evidence-based and we are all faith-based. But some of your “evidence” is biased and truncated by a materialist prejudice, just like ours would be, theologically. And a lot of your materialist worldview is just as much based on faith as ours.

          And, btw, I am not against of lot of those things you listed, culturally speaking. I’m under no illusion that we live in a Christian-based culture, but we still have a right to be heard and have some influence. That’s the only point I’m trying to make here.

        • john zande says:

          If the argument is rational, of course it should be heard.

  8. Jill Smith says:

    I think that Christians have a right to be heard and to have input on policy decisions, and often that input will be informed by faith-driven values. But, in a secular society, no one can expect public policy to be based on the commandments and dictates of a religion in which not everyone believes. If, for example, a strong secular case can be made against gay marriage or whatever, that case should be heard. But “The God in whom I believe condemns it” is not an argument that should be imposed on those who do not believe in God or on those who believe that God does not condemn it. As a Catholic, I have views on remarriage after divorce. I have zero right to expect non-Catholics to accept my views, let alone live by them. I can try to persuade people that I am right, but if I want public policy to discourage divorce, I need to come up with excellent non-religious reasons–reasons that everyone, regardless of belief or non-belief, will accept as rational and in society’s best interest. The alternative is to go live in a state ruled by Catholic theology. Not that there are very many around these days.

  9. Interesting post Mel. This assumes of course that there is some sort of “God.” 😉

    And if there is a God… how exactly does he communicate with us? ❤

  10. “If the argument is rational, of course it should be heard.”

    That is indeed one problem with atheism. They tend to worship at the altar of human reason and to define morality as, “things that are rational.” I wrote a post that touches on some of those issues.

    https://insanitybytes2.wordpress.com/2018/03/11/we-believe/

  11. No one can replace or even disprove God … God is real … And if anyone is trying to disprove God he’s also disproving reality

    • Mel Wild says:

      Thanks for your comment, Patrick. I totally agree, of course. If you read my post, “God is not a god” I show, according to classical theism, that what atheists are arguing against is their own continuing existence!

      • It’s sad to see how much time atheists are exerting to disproved God existence using man made knowledge .. Well in fact God existence is outside of the realms of physics and other sciences . atheism isn’t all about rational aspects .. Sometimes it’s all about existential crisis

        • Mel Wild says:

          “Well in fact God existence is outside of the realms of physics and other sciences.”

          I agree. Trying to prove or disprove God with science is a category mistake. But I would argue that the atheist’s position is not even rational. Their disbelief is based on a myopic worldview (scientism, naturalism) that is both self-refuting and unprovable.

          “Sometimes it’s all about existential crisis.”

          Exactly. Good point!

  12. Mankind’s greatest mistake will be “God does not exist”.Have atheists been to every part of this universe?. The truth is,there is a creator of this universe. God is real. http://africanparadiseworld.com/2017/11/12/god-exist/

    • Mel Wild says:

      I agree. And they are ignoring the question, why do we exist at all?

      • john zande says:

        BS.

        Answer: Matter orgnises itself. Take a bottle of water, oil, and sand. Shake it up, and then watch. Organisation.

        Just because you, Mel, don’t “like” the answer doesn’t give you the right lie about it not being addressed.

        • Mel Wild says:

          But why is there matter? What organizes its existence in the first place?

        • john zande says:

          The only thing that could make that an intelligible question is if there was once nothing.

          There was never nothing.

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, it’s irrelevant if there was never nothing. The question is what is the necessary cause of your self-organizing matter? Matter itself, or even a quantum vacuum underlying the act of matter, cannot bring itself into existence. It’s a logical question. However, it is illogical to appeal to infinite regress.

        • john zande says:

          No, it’s irrelevant if there was never nothing.

          Exactly. That’s what I said.

          There was never nothing. Your question is irrelevant.

        • Mel Wild says:

          You didn’t address my question at all, you simply appealed to infinite regress which is logically incoherent.

        • john zande says:

          No, I didn’t appeal to an infinite regress. Don’t make things up.

          There was never nothing. Your question is irrelevant.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Then answer my question. What is the necessary cause of your self-organizing matter? Matter itself, or even a quantum vacuum underlying the formation of matter, cannot bring itself into existence. That’s incoherent.

        • john zande says:

          Matter itself, or even a quantum vacuum underlying the formation of matter, cannot bring itself into existence.

          Exactly.

          There was never nothing. Your question is irrelevant.

          Which part of that are you having trouble understanding?

        • Mel Wild says:

          I’m having trouble with this explanation because you are not addressing the question. Simply hand-waving it away by saying it always existed (which you cannot prove) is a faith statement, not an empirically proven one. Why does this alleged eternal cosmos exist at all? Why is there a cosmos instead of there not being one?

          Furthermore, everything in the cosmos that is subject to change (like matter) has a fundamentally (not temporal) prior cause. But you have not demonstrated the fundamental cause underlying this ever-changing quantum vacuum. What is its cause? So, logically, all you’ve done is created an infinite regress. If you wish to be in denial of this, there’s no point in going further with this nonsensical conversation.

        • john zande says:

          Mel, was there ever nothing?

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, there was never nothing. That implies time and space which is temporal and contingent. But at the bottom of this causal chain there logically must be a “Fundamental Member,” and it cannot be like the others in which essence (what a thing is) is distinct from existence (that a thing is). This is what is meant by Subsistent Existence Itself (Ipsum Esse Subsistens – Aristotle, Aquinas). A fluctuating quantum vacuum does not qualify. And since this is fundamental and not temporal, Big Bang cosmology (whether there was a temporal beginning or not) is not relevant to the argument.

          So, the question remains… Why does this alleged eternal cosmos exist at all? Why is there a cosmos instead of there not being one?

        • john zande says:

          No, there was never nothing.

          Exactly, and I agree.

          Why is there a cosmos instead of there not being one?

          Because there was never nothing.

          Why are you having trouble with this?

        • Mel Wild says:

          But you are simply making a temporal statement (in time and space) not an ontologically fundamental one. You are not addressing the question.

          Why does this alleged eternal cosmos exist at all? Why is there a cosmos instead of there not being one?

        • john zande says:

          It has always existed.

        • Mel Wild says:

          It has always existed because it has always existed. Right. Whatever…

        • john zande says:

          Are you saying you DON’T believe there was never nothing?

        • Mel Wild says:

          No. Of course not. Don’t you read my answers? To summarize, there must be a Fundamental Member…”Subsistent Existence Itself.” The cosmos has only demonstrated itself to be contingent. This has nothing to do with when time and space began.

        • john zande says:

          Who says the universe is contingent?

          That is a theological presupposition presented as fact. It’s not.

        • john zande says:

          Mel,

          Who says the universe is contingent?

        • jim- says:

          Creatio ex nihilo is a second century construct. Jews didn’t teach it. Only added to confront the Greek metaphysical problem and the fathers made it up.

        • john zande says:

          Mel, why are you having trouble with this?

          You yourself have said there was never nothing, so where is the confusion?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Mel, why are you having trouble with this?

          Because it’s circular and logically incoherent. You are simply saying there was never nothing because there was never nothing. This is not an answer.

          You yourself have said there was never nothing, so where is the confusion?

          It’s not logically coherent because you are either appealing to infinite regress (endless causal chain of causal events) or giving no explanation at all (hand-waving). So, I don’t agree with you because that is not my position. Again, at the bottom of this causal chain there logically must be a “Fundamental Member,” and it cannot be like the others in which essence (what a thing is) is distinct from existence (that a thing is). This is what is meant by Subsistent Existence Itself (Ipsum Esse Subsistens – Aristotle, Aquinas). A fluctuating quantum vacuum does not qualify. And since this is fundamental and not temporal, Big Bang cosmology (whether there was a temporal beginning or not) is not relevant to the argument. My argument is over 2,500 years old and is logically consistent.

          So, the question remains… Why does this alleged eternal cosmos exist at all? Why is there a cosmos instead of there not being one?

          If you don’t get this, we’ll just have to leave it there. I don’t want to keep repeating myself. Let me know when you have a coherent answer.

        • john zande says:

          This is not an answer.

          Yes, it is, so please stop asking a question you know to be meaningless.

          As I said earlier: the only thing that could make your question intelligible is if there was once nothing.

          You, Mel, have said there was never nothing.

          I agree.

          It’s not logically coherent because you are either appealing to infinite regress (endless causal chain of causal events) or giving no explanation at all (hand-waving).

          No, no infinite regress. Please stop making stuff up.

          The cosmos has always existed. It is aseitic. It contains the reasons and mechanisms for its own existence.

        • Mel Wild says:

          LOL! And your proof is? Let me know when you can answer my question. Talk to you later.

        • john zande says:

          Proof? An apologist bemoaning proof? Well, that’s certainly rich.

          My “proof” is the universe itself.

          It’s really very simple. I can summarise it in three points.

          1) You concede there was never nothing, there was always something. I agree, and that means something is aseitic.

          2) As we find ourselves in a thoroughly material universe with no hint whatsoever of the supernatural, then it is staggeringly more rational (logical) to assume that this thoroughly material universe contains the reasons and mechanisms for its existence… Which is to say, the universe is aseitic.

          3) To propose magic (as the theist proposes), when no evidence of magic exists anywhere, at any time, is a massive violation of Occam’s razor, and overkill as a fundamental basis of reality. It is, therefore, not only hopelessly illogical, but comprehensibly irrational.

          So, as we have evidence the universe exists, and as you admit there was never nothing, my position (the universe is more than likely aseitic) is intrinsically rational. As we have no evidence the supernatural exists, your position is not only intrinsically irrational, but irredeemably preposterous.

          With these facts in mind, the onus is entirely on you, Mel, to demonstrate why anyone should not expect anything but a perfectly material answer, and instead take you, and your claim of magic, seriously?

          That’s a serious question, and a serious answer should not rely on lounge chair ‘metaphysical’ abracadabra.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Nice hand-waving. So, why does this alleged eternal cosmos exist at all? Why is there a cosmos instead of there not being one?

          You have not given a logical argument, but simply made a “just so” assertion.

        • john zande says:

          Again, rich coming from the hand-waving champion himself.

          There has always been something. The cosmos is aseitic.

          I asked you a question. Will you address it?

        • Mel Wild says:

          And that’s rich coming from someone who thinks he has reason on his side making a logically incoherent statement based on BLIND FAITH.

          So, are you going to answer the question or not? Why does this alleged eternal cosmos exist at all? Why is there a cosmos instead of there not being one?

        • john zande says:

          Why does this alleged eternal cosmos exist at all? Why is there a cosmos instead of there not being one?

          Eternal is the wrong word.

          And for the last time. There was never nothing. As this is your position too, Mel, then you know your question is absurd.

          That is your position, isn’t it?

          So, are you going to address my question?

        • Mel Wild says:

          What’s ironic is that yours is the metaphysical abracadabra. Still waiting on a coherent explanation.

        • john zande says:

          What’s metaphysical about the material universe?

        • Mel Wild says:

          You are confusing essence with existence. The argument for an alleged eternal universe is a metaphysical one (its essence), not the material universe itself (its existence).

        • john zande says:

          Show me something not material, then we can talk.

          I’m starting a new thread. Give me a second

        • john zande says:

          Mel,

          What’s metaphysical about the material universe?

        • john zande says:

          Mel,

          Do you believe there ever nothing?

          It’s a simple Yes or No question…

        • Encefalos 1 says:

          How? When The universe has a beginning?? Hence, everything that begins to exist requires a cause.

  13. john zande says:

    Wait up… Let’s start a new thread. I will lead away so we can gather ourselves, OK?
    Give me a second

    • Mel Wild says:

      I really don’t want to waste my time here. You are simply confusing essence with existence, as I already explained. Again, cosmology is an etiological question; I am asking you an ontological question.

      Why does this alleged eternal cosmos exist at all? Why is there a cosmos instead of there not being one?

      Don’t waste yours or my time until you can actually address the question properly. Talk to you later.

      • john zande says:

        Essence is a made up thing, Mel. It’s in your “imagination.”

        • Mel Wild says:

          Right, and you’re smarter than Plato and all the philosophers after him. The universe is not contingent because it’s not contingent. Haha! David Bentley Hart already refuted everything you said already in the clip above. I want to repeat it here and I don’t want to waste my time if you don’t care to understand the argument.

        • john zande says:

          Name a single truth revealed through philosophy….

        • john zande says:

          Name one… I’ll wait…

        • Mel Wild says:

          As soon as you can give me a logically coherent answer to why this alleged eternal cosmos exist at all? Why is there a cosmos instead of there not being one?

          I’ll won’t hold my breath. Gotto go…

        • john zande says:

          See, you can’t name one truth revealed by philosophy.

        • john zande says:

          Your question is: Why is there something? This is an absurd question as you have already conceded that there was NEVER nothing.

          If there was never nothing, always something, then it is not a question of why is there something rather than nothing, that is thoroughly meaningless, but rather what is aseitic: an unseen supernatural creator, or the universe itself?

          Even if we don’t presently know the ‘how,’ and considering we have an unbroken line of material explanations answering our questions, why is it less reasonable to assume the universe itself is aseitic, and more reasonable, in your opinion, to expect magic to spontaneously provide an explanation?

          Indeed, has magic ever explained anything, at any time? Has a supernatural explanation ever supplanted a natural one, at anytime, anywhere?

          What is your rational objection to the universe itself being aseitic (or as you probably want to say, ‘necessary’)?

          As that is essentially the question being asked below, you can answer this in the new thread so we keep the line of thought intact.

          So, I hold up the cosmos as evidence… a thing we know exists, yet only currently understand a measly 4.6% of.

          What do you present, Mel? What evidence do you bring to the table? Why should any rational person listen to you?

        • Mel Wild says:

          You know, you can blather on all you want, John. You’re still not addressing the question. If you didn’t ignorantly dismiss philosophy, you might be able to give a logically coherent answer to my question.

          Here’s an empirical truth for you: the cosmos exists.

          Ontological questions: Why does the cosmos exist? Why is there a cosmos instead of there not being one?

          Until you can answer these questions ontologically, you’re wasting your time.

        • john zande says:

          Ignorantly dismiss philosophy? One of my three degrees is in philosophy. Do you have a degree in philosophy, from a real university, Mel?

          I’ve already demonstrated to you the silliness of ‘ontology.’

          How about we, meaning YOU, deal with something real?

          What is your rational objection to the universe itself being aseitic (or as you probably want to say, ‘necessary’)?

          What do you present, Mel? What evidence do you bring to the table? Why should any rational person listen to you?

          You can answer below in the new thread.

        • Mel Wild says:

          If you’re so smart then answer my question. Otherwise, go away.

        • john zande says:

          Mel,

          Please stop deflecting.

          What is your rational objection to the universe itself being aseitic?

        • Mel Wild says:

          I asked you first. You’re the one deflecting (as usual). If you can’t answer the question, then say so. We can move on. Otherwise, you’re forever stuck right here.

        • john zande says:

          Answered at least ten times already.

          Now please address my question without further deflection.

          Mel, what is your rational objection to the universe itself being aseitic?

        • Mel Wild says:

          No you didn’t even address the question. To say you did either means you’re incapable of understanding the question or too stubborn to admit you don’t know. What you’ve done is continuously made circular arguments.

          We know already that the cosmos exists. I didn’t ask if the cosmos exists, I asked you WHY it exists. And why is there a cosmos instead of there not being one?

        • john zande says:

          Why it exists is because it has ALWAYS existed. Isn’t this your answer to questions of your god’s origin?

          What, you suddenly don’t like that answer?

          We have evidence the universe exists. Can you say the same about your god, Mel?

          Okay, so it’s clear you cannot think of any rational reason at all for the universe itself not being aseitic.

          Meditate on that revelation.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Why it exists is because it has ALWAYS existed.

          Haha. You’re funny. That is classic circular reasoning, not a coherent answer.

          Isn’t this your answer to questions of your god’s origin?

          No, that’s not my answer at all. It’s based on a deductive argument from our everyday experience. And if you understood the argument from my post, “God is not a god,” you would understand the irrationality of your point. And appealing to the bankrupt notion of logical positivism (“show me the empirical evidence”) when there’s absolutely no empirical evidence for your claim isn’t going to bail you out. It just makes you look silly.

          Meditate on that revelation.

        • john zande says:

          No, that’s not my answer at all.

          Yes, it is.

          That is your answer to the origin of your god. He has no origin. He has ALWAYS existed. He is non-contingent. He contains the reasons (and mechanisms) for his own existence. He is aseitic.

          How fascinating that you reject this very answer now that you’re on the receiving end of it. Suddenly it’s “circular.” Suddenly its “incoherent.” Suddenly it’s not… convincing to you.

          Well Mel, as we have evidence the universe exists, it is the rational answer, and until you can answer my question, your position is irrational.

          What is your rational objection to the universe itself being aseitic?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Yes, but my answer is not circular like yours. It’s based on a 2,500 year old logically deductive argument. The following is the Thomistic version from essence and existence:

          So, why does the cosmos exist, John? And why is there a cosmos instead of there not being one?

        • john zande says:

          Answer the question.

          What is your rational objection to the universe itself being aseitic?

          I’ll review it in the morning.

        • Mel Wild says:

          You haven’t given me a coherent reason to believe it is. Where is your proof?

        • john zande says:

          Why am I not surprised that you have again evaded answering like an adult. Do you honestly think asking me to repeat answers given at least twenty times already will somehow make those questions miraculously valid again?

          Thank you, though, for demonstrating so perfectly—once again—just how comprehensively disingenuous you are… Not least of all by rejecting the very answer YOU give to explain the origins of your god. That says it all.

          Truly, it gives me no pleasure saying this, but you are a miserable and pathetic little man holding a box of absolutely nothing. You are exactly the person Hans Christian Andersen imagined when writing the con-men weavers.

        • Mel Wild says:

          You know, not answering my question twenty times doesn’t make your non-answer valid or any less fallacious and vacuous.

          Here’s what you did. Anyone can read the comments to see that this is true. I asked you, why does the cosmos exist? And why is there a cosmos instead of there not being one? Your circular answer was, “Why it exists is because it has ALWAYS existed,” which is not only circular but doesn’t even address the question (which apparently you don’t understand). Then you try to get me to answer your own assertion by asking me why the universe can’t be aseitic! You are a piece of work!

          No, John, it doesn’t work that way where people have a coherent position to argue. You can’t get away with giving me your circular reasoning and then tell me you answered the question. That is a counterfeit argument. And so you are only one diverting here, which is your M.O. You do this every single time. Then, after your diversionary tactic, you accuse me of not answering your question! But I am not going to make your argument for you. You have to be a grown-up and back up your claim with a logical argument.

          And I was wondering when we would finally get to where you call me “disingenuous.” Haha, how hypocritical of you. You do this every time you don’t get your way. And calling me names doesn’t change the facts here.

          I don’t know why I have to explain this to you. You certainly are not open to any criticism. But I’m glad we’re done wasting our time here.
          So…have a nice day.

        • john zande says:

          OK Mel, here you go. Answer this question without any diversion or deflection.

          Why does Yhwh exist?

          Please answer that question directly.

        • Mel Wild says:

          So, now you avoid my questions by asking more questions. How typical. Please answer my questions directly or go away.

        • john zande says:

          I’ve given you my answer, repeatedly.

          Mel,

          WHY does Yhwh exist?

          Please answer the question.

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, you haven’t…repeatedly. You just keep making circular assertions then expect me to make your argument for you for the universe’s alleged aseity. No, YOU must make your own argument.

          You can’t answer the question. We’ll just leave it at that. Good-bye.

        • john zande says:

          Mel,

          If you believe the “why” question is so utterly essential to solidifying a position on origin, then it’s time for you to put up, or shut up. I’ve given you my answer; The universe is aseitic. In one shape, form, or another, it has always existed. Matter is neither created nor destroyed. It is timeless.

          Let’s hear your answer:

          Mel, WHY does Yhwh exist?

        • john zande says:

          Mel, people are watching this, reading it. They see I’ve answered. They see you haven’t. They’re wondering you haven’t.

          Mel, WHY does Yhwh exist?

        • john zande says:

          Mel,

          WHY does Yhwh exist?

        • john zande says:

          Okay, so it appears I can answer your allegedly All-So-Frightfully-Important-WHY-Question, but you can’t.

          That’s really quite interesting, although it does leave me baffled as to why on earth you placed so much importance in others answering the question when you couldn’t.

          Mel: WHY does Yhwh exist?

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, you haven’t even touched the “Why” question at all. You simply made a “just so” statement.

          I will be out of town. If you care to give a coherent argument for your statement then we can talk about it.

        • john zande says:

          Answered, multiple times. The universe is aseitic.

          Mel:

          WHY does Yhwh exist?

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, it’s not. It’s contingent. Try again…

        • john zande says:

          The contingency of the universe is a religious presupposition.

          You are aware of this word, are you not?

          Mel:

          WHY does Yhwh exist?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Haha! Shows what you know. No, what we mean by contingent is not a religious preposition. It’s a metaphysical position that goes back to Plato (or before). You cannot prove that the universe is aseitic. THAT is incoherent proposition that cannot be defended logically.

          I have to go. Will have to talk later. But your “just so” argument doesn’t fly. You can try to give me your coherent argument for an aseitic universe. That ought to be fun. No quotes though. I want your explanation.

          Talk to you later…

        • john zande says:

          Your “why” question is meaningless as there has ALWAYS been something. You concede this point. There was NEVER nothing.

          There is no rational reason at all for me to suspect this is an artificial world.

          There is every reason to believe the universe is non-contingent.

          There is every reason for me to believe the universe is, therefore, aseitic.

          Which leaves us here at the question you don’t seem able to answer, yet outwardly place so much importance in:

          Mel:

          WHY does Yhwh exist?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Yes, but whether there has always been something or not has nothing whatsoever to do with the universe being self-existent. You cannot prove or even logically argue that the universe is subsistent existence itself, or the ground of being.

        • john zande says:

          The fact that the universe exists indicates that it is aseitic. The fact that matter is neither created nor destroyed indicates the aseity of the universe. The fact that we presently only understand just 4.6% of the universe gives me plenty of confidence in the proposition.

          Conversely, there is absolutely NOTHING in this universe that might lead me to suspect that it is artificial. Following, there is absolutely NOTHING that that might lead me to suspect that the universe is contingent. That is a presupposition. Unless you can point to something that might support the idea, it is worthless.

          My position is rational. It is justified.

          So, Mel:

          WHY does Yhwh exist?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Sorry, that’s total nonsense. It doesn’t explain anything. This is my last response for now. Got to go. Let me know when you have a coherent answer.

        • john zande says:

          Mel:

          WHY does Yhwh exist?

        • john zande says:

          It doesn’t explain anything.

          It explains everything.

          You, however, are looking utterly ridiculous.

          How do you think Plato would have thought if he knew what we knew today, such as the interchangeability of matter and energy, and the fact that matter is neither created nor destroyed? What about knowing that there were anywhere from 11 to 26 dimensions?

          Mel: WHY does Yhwh exist?

        • john zande says:

          Mel, everyone reading this gets it: you don’t like my answer. We understand. The universe is aseitic, it has always existed isn’t up to your explanatory standards.

          Fair enough.

          Again, we get it.

          The question, though, has been answered.

          And that leaves you standing on the stage, under the spotlight.

          The question to you, repeated at least twenty times already is:

          Mel:

          WHY does Yhwh exist?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Mel, everyone reading this gets it: you don’t like my answer. We understand. The universe is aseitic, it has always existed isn’t up to your explanatory standards.

          So what, John? First, you can’t prove your “just so” statement that the cosmos always existed, but more importantly, that’s still beside the point! It doesn’t matter if the universe always existed or if it has one million dimensions. It has no ontological explanation. You are simply addressing the etiological question, which is not what I’m asking at all.

          For instance, even with quantum flux or inflation, it just means you’re dealing with a prior physical state that is as of yet unarticulated. And you’re certainly still talking about something that is changing (which requires an external cause). These are still a derivative in the causal chain required for their continuing existence. They cannot be the fundamental first cause (not talking temporal, back in time, but fundamentally) because anything that changes states (like quantum energy, etc.) must have something more fundamental to itself causing the motive force.

          What we’re left with is an infinite regress of things deriving their power from something more fundamental to themselves, which is an absurdity because you’re saying that things possess motive power derivatively but ultimately derive such a power from nothing at all

          The cosmos has no explanation for its own existence. It cannot answer its own question of “being” (essence). So, no, you have not even addressed the question yet.

          So, it’s you, standing under the spotlight, with your incoherent non-answer. And giving the same answer a million times still does not come any closer to addressing it.

        • john zande says:

          They cannot be the fundamental first cause

          Why are you hyping on about ‘causes’ when we’ve already established quite clearly that there was ALWAYS something, therefore causeless?

          You are simply creating an argument I AM NOT MAKING and then saying it is impossible. I have repeatedly said the universe is non-contingent, yet here you are once again arguing as if I have said the universe is, in fact, contingent.

          But OK, as this is about the tenth time you’ve simply ignored my actual position and have gone off on your merry way I think we can both safely say that this pattern will continue.

          So, you’re absolutely right, Mel. It is impossible for a contingent universe to be aseitic. I absolutely concede this point. You are right.

          So, now that we’ve established you’re right, can you please answer the question now asked fifteen times:

          Mel: WHY does Yhwh exist?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Why are you hyping on about ‘causes’ when we’ve already established quite clearly that there was ALWAYS something, therefore causeless?

          Because you obviously don’t even understand the question. You are simply referring to something called in metaphysics “accidently ordered” instead of “essentially ordered.” You’re not even addressing the same thing I’m talking about. Accidently ordered is simply a chain of linear motion (change from potential to actual) extending backward in time (or infinity, it doesn’t matter). But for it to be essentially ordered requires actualization from more fundamental members of the series, and getting rid of more fundamental members would halt the actualization of more distal members (it would cease to exist).

          Deductively, because each member (including quantum gravity) must derive its mode of power from a more fundamental member and does not possess motive power in their absence, such is a series of movers ordered essentially in the cosmos would require an outside source that is fully actualized in every way possible in order for them to exist in the here and now. Otherwise, you have the absurdity I mentioned. A causal chain infinitely regressing, which means it cannot exist at all (there is no fully-actualized fundamental source).

          So, your harping about temporal issues (like the universe always existed) does not address the question because you have no fundamental first cause for its continuing existence.

        • john zande says:

          Mel, I admit you are absolutely, categorically, definitively correct: a contingent universe cannot be aseitic.

          You. Are. Right.

          Now, can you please, please, PLEASE answer the question. This is the >SIXTEENTH time it has been asked:

          Mel: WHY does Yhwh exist?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Mel, I admit you are absolutely, categorically, definitively correct: a contingent universe cannot be aseitic.

          Haha. Yeah, right. So, you cannot answer my question. But for the sake of ending this absurd argument, God exists, first and foremost, as the Ground of Being. Ontologically, He is infinitely-actualized Existence Itself (“I am that I am”). As has been known since pre-Socratic thought, “In Him we live and move and have our being.” As Paul said, in Him all things consist and are held together. If He, Subsistent Existence Itself, were to withhold this causal power at any moment, we would cease to exist. The whole causal chain (essentially ordered) would disappear and the cosmos would be no more.

        • john zande says:

          That is classic circular reasoning, not a coherent answer.

          You have not addressed the why.

          Mel, WHY does Yhwh exist?

        • Mel Wild says:

          How is it circular?

        • john zande says:

          It doesn’t address WHY Yhwh exists, just the causal residue.

          Mel, WHY does Yhwh exist?

        • Mel Wild says:

          You still haven’t told me how it’s circular. Deductive reasoning demands that there must be a “First Mover” or source of an essentially ordered causal chain. Otherwise, you have a logical absurdity. If you cannot explain that, you have no existence whatsoever.

        • john zande says:

          You haven’t even touched the “Why” question at all. You simply made a “just so” statement.

          Mel, WHY does Yhwh exist?

        • Mel Wild says:

          And you haven’t explained existence itself, so we’re still stuck here. Your question is irrelevant if you cannot even explain existence itself.

        • john zande says:

          Again, you’ve simply made a “just so” statement. That will not fly. WHY, Mel, does Yhwh exist?

          Can you answer this in a coherent manner?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Haha. You just repeat what I say and pretend you’ve refuted my argument. No, John, yours is the incoherent “just so” statement. All you’ve said is that the universe always existed. That is NOT an argument. It’s a “just so” statement. And, again, you are not addressing the question at all.

          What I have given you is simple deductive reasoning for the requirement for distal things to continue to exist. All you have given me is an incoherent statement about quantum fields and dimensions, which is not addressing the question. What you have are essentially ordered things that have no fundamental source to terminate the chain, which means things in the cause chain that derive their power from outside themselves infinitely, which never terminated to an intitial “mover” in the fundamental chain. That is an absurdity.

          So, your question “why does YHWH exist?” has been answered ontologically, and if you cannot answer why we continue to exist, all of your questions are irrelevant and nonsensical.

        • john zande says:

          No, it hasn’t been answered. All you’ve said is Yhwh exists because Yhwh exists. What you have described is nothing but secondary effects of that existence.

          That does not address the WHY.

          Mel, WHY does Yhwh exist in the first place?

        • john zande says:

          Your “just so” statement says Yhwh exists because Yhwh exists. That is circular. It doesn’t even begin to touch on WHY Yhwh exists. All you’ve done is describe the effects of Yhwh’s existence, not WHY he exists in the first place.

          Mel, WHY does Yhwh exist?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Your “just so” statement says Yhwh exists because Yhwh exists. That is circular. It doesn’t even begin to touch on WHY Yhwh exists.

          No, that’s not the argument at all. It is built on deductive reasoning that goes back 2,500 years. Here it in brief (without describing why each must be so, but there is a logical reason for each):

          The Prime Mover (or Ground of Being) must be:
          – Pure Act (actus purus)/ unactualized actualizer
          – Immutable (unchangeable)
          – Eternal (transcends time and space)
          – Immaterial and incorporeal
          – One, not many: the singular, ultimate source of all motion (from potential to actual).

          And since you cannot even show, logically or otherwise, why we exist, why would your question even be relevant? It’s just a nonsensical waste of time that you do to divert the issue because you cannot answer my question.

        • john zande says:

          We learned in the 18th Century that matter is neither created nor destroyed. Your reasoning is rooted in a faulty understanding of the world.

          Mel, WHY does Yhwh exist in the first place?

        • Mel Wild says:

          But, again, John, that is still irrelevant. Matter is still being moved by an external force, otherwise it could not continue to exist in actuality. In other words, anything that moves from potential to actuality CANNOT be the prime mover. There must be a more fundamental force that keeps it existing.

          Again, you are simply addressing an etiological question instead of an ontological question.

        • john zande says:

          No, it’s not irrelevant. It’s actually quite pertinent. Your 2,500 year old thought experiment (which begins with a presupposition of contingency) was proved worthless in the 18th Century.

          You still haven’t addressed the WHY question.

          WHY does Yhwh exist in the first place?

        • john zande says:

          I’m not interested in the effects of Yhwh’s existence. I want you to tell me WHY Yhwh exists.

        • Mel Wild says:

          That is a nonsensical question. And I’m not interested in wasting my time with nonsense. If you cannot answer my question, we’ll leave it there. I have better things to do with my time.

        • john zande says:

          Mel, you have not answered the “why” question.

          Can you answer it? If you can’t, just tell me. If you think it’s meaningless for some reason, then tell me.

          Mel, WHY does Yhwh exist in the first place.

          Don’t point to secondary effects because they DO NOT answer the “why”

        • john zande says:

          Mel, WHY does Yhwh exist in the first place?

        • Mel Wild says:

          LOL. Avoiding the question with a nonsensical one doesn’t do anything for your argument. I can see this is a massive waste of time.

          I’ll let you talk to yourself now until you can answer the actual question I was asking.

        • john zande says:

          That is a nonsensical question.

          Is it?

          Is it really?

          You know what, I agree. When it comes to something non-contingent it is indeed nonsensical.

          So, what you’re saying is, Yhwh has always existed. Yhwh is aseitic. Yhwh is timeless and non-contingent. He is. He always has been. He will always be. You cannot ask “why” because that would presuppose a time in which Yhwh didn’t exist.

          Mmmm, that all sounds terribly, terribly familiar. Where did I hear that before?

          I remember: that was MY answer… which you called “circular” and “incoherent.”

          Isn’t that interesting.

        • Mel Wild says:

          So, what you’re saying is, Yhwh has always existed. Yhwh is aseitic. Yhwh is timeless and non-contingent. He is. He always has been. He will always be. You cannot ask “why” because that would presuppose a time in which Yhwh didn’t exist.

          No, that’s not what I’m saying. And you just proved you don’t understand the argument. My position has absolutely nothing to do with time or chronological sequence of any kind. My argument is why things continue to exist. Again, you are simply arguing accidently ordered things and not addressing essentially ordered things. THIS is why your answer is irrelevant. You are simply giving etiological answers to an ontological question.

          If you don’t get this, we’re done here. I’ve tried to explain it to you several times now, but you’re either incapable of understanding or refuse to understand (the latter is probably the case). Have a good weekend.

        • john zande says:

          My position has absolutely nothing to do with time or chronological sequence of any kind.

          Neither does mine.

        • Mel Wild says:

          But you are appealing to accidently ordered things and not essentially ordered things. This is why you cannot explain the universe’s continued existence. You can only explain etiological properties. You cannot explain its being.

        • john zande says:

          No, I’m not appealing to anything of the sort.

          The universe is aseitic. It is non-contingent.

        • john zande says:

          You position is raised up on presuppositions repeated so often that you’ve forgotten they’re presuppositions.

          Why should I believe your PRESUPPOSITION that the universe is artificial? What evidence do you have for this? Present it. Put up, or shut up.

          We have evidence the universe exists.

          Curious, where are you at with regards to evidence for the Middle Eastern god of the Pentateuch, Yhwh? Demonstrably wrong 2,000 year old thought experiments?

          riddled with presuppositions repeated so often that you’ve forgotten they’re presuppositions?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Another diversion. Talk to you later.

        • john zande says:

          So you can’t answer Why Yhwh exists.

        • Mel Wild says:

          So you can’t answer why anything exists.

        • john zande says:

          The FACT that matter is neither created nor destroyed indicates the non-contingency of the universe. It is actual evidence for it.

          What ‘evidence’ do you have, Mel? Demonstrably wrong 2,000 year old thought experiments?

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, it doesn’t even address the question of essentially ordered things. Why don’t you get this?
          Changing matter (destroyed, created) actually proves that it’s contingent on some more fundamental cause to change it from one mode to another. It’s still irrelevant to my question

          Your points show you don’t have any understanding of these logically deductive arguments.

        • john zande says:

          LOL! And around and around Mel goes… Creating strawmen and presenting religious presuppositions as fact because he has forgotten (or was simply never told) they’re nothing but presuppositions.

          Carry on.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Haha. Look in the mirror. You’ll just say anything won’t you. You’re only showing your ignorance and stubborn pride. Good bye.

        • john zande says:

          Ignorance and pride?

          That’s interesting, considering my answer is EXACTLY your answer.

          The only difference is this: we have evidence the universe exists, and NO REASON AT ALL to suspect it’s artificial. The ONLY thing you have to present is demonstrably wrong 2,000 year old thought experiments.

          Compelling, Mel. Highly compelling stuff.

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, your answer is nothing like my answer, which shows your ignorance, even though I showed the infinite difference to you several times now. Your stubborn pride doesn’t allow you to see. You just vacuously fire off comments as if you’re addressing the issue. You obviously have no clue that the alleged “2,000 year old thought experiments” actually addressed, which is just more ignorance. Of course, none of your ilk do either, so it’s understandable.

        • john zande says:

          Your answer is: Yhwh has always existed. There was never nothing. There was always Yhwh. Yhwh is aseitic. Yhwh is timeless and non-contingent. Yhwh is. Yhwh always has been. Yhwh will always be.

          My answer is: the universe has always existed. There was never nothing. There was always something. The universe (of which we presently only understand 4.6% of) is aseitic. It is timeless and non-contingent. It is. It always has been. It will always be.

          And I might add, your demonstrably wrong 2,000 year old thought experiments are nothing but the antiquated musings of primitive minds terrified of disassembly because they did not understand the reality (inevitability) of reassembly.

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, again, that’s not my answer! Again, you miss the whole point! It’s not about whether something always existed. If you don’t wish to understand my position, you’re just wasting my time.

        • john zande says:

          Not your answer?

          OK:

          Mel, WHY does Yhwh exist?

          Don’t give me the effects of Yhwh’s existence, that is circular and incoherent. I want to know WHY Yhwh exists in the first place?

          What is your answer?

        • john zande says:

          Mel, you said that WASN’T your answer.

          Fair enough.

          So, what is it?

          Mel, WHY does Yhwh exist in the first place?

        • Mel Wild says:

          I already told you. You just don’t bother to try to understand. You just keep repeating yourself, making irrelevant points. We are talking about “being” or essence, which is about essentially ordered things, not accidently ordered (chronologically or spatially ordered). To say that something “always existed” does not answer the question because it does not address why it fundamentally continues to exist instead of not exist. That was the point of my question.

        • john zande says:

          That, Mel, DOESN’T answer the “why” question. Essentially ordered/accidentally ordered… these are nonsense terms, mental fluff based on NOTHING but your own imagination. They are justified by NOTHING. They are supported by NOTHING. They can be demonstrated by NOTHING.

          In other words, you have NOTHING.

          But that’s not even the point. You still haven’t even touched the “why” question.

          WHY does Yhwh exist in the first place?

        • Mel Wild says:

          You just continue to show your ignorance. Carry on, though.

        • john zande says:

          Mel, WHY does Yhwh exist in the first place?

        • john zande says:

          That’s all you have, huh?

          Interesting.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Now you’re just being puerile because of your mulish obstinance. You can go away now.

        • john zande says:

          Well, that is what you have, isn’t it? Your position begins with the presupposition of contingency, and at no point after that does it ever touch reality. You really can’t demonstrate anything, and the fact that matter is neither created nor destroyed renders that starting presupposition patently absurd. Seriously Mel, can you demonstrate anything that suggests this universe is artificial? If you can’t demonstrate that, then every single thing connected to this baseless ‘foundation’ is pure vapour.

          Essentially ordered/accidentally ordered… these are word games. Nothing more. Nothing less. And worse, they are words games raised up on a preposterous presupposition.

          You don’t seem to get this, do you? It’s why I noted earlier that you’ve repeated these presuppositions so often that you’ve forgotten they’re presuppositions. Or is it more the case that your bible school teachers never actually told you that, for example, the contingency of the universe was a presupposition?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Your position begins with the presupposition of contingency, and at no point after that does it ever touch reality.

          Sigh…no, quite the opposite, John! This is actually a silly statement because what could be more evident than that some things are changing. The argument is hard to refute unless you want to also refute empirical science. It rests on deductive reasoning based on what we can know in the here and now. We’re not talking about the distant past, or the Big Bang, or your speculative quantum fluxuations or multi-verse hypotheses which have no empirical basis. We’re talking about the potential and actualization of all things that we can know by observation. It’s deductively provable, much like a mathematical theorem is deductively provable.

          Essentially ordered/accidentally ordered… these are word games.

          Okay, this is just getting embarrassing now. Your dismissal is just pure vacuous ignorance of metaphysical terms. Words have meaning, John. Everything I stated has a detailed logical argument to back it up.

          Yours is an incoherent “just so” scheme where we’re left with the absurdity that things possess motive power derivatively but ultimately derive such a power from nothing at all. Good luck with that! LOL!

        • john zande says:

          It rests on deductive reasoning based on what we can know in the here and now.

          It is a thought exercise devised by primitive minds who didn’t know that matter is neither created nor destroyed, that didn’t know matter and energy are interchangeable, that didn’t know there was anything outside the solar system, that didn’t know there were anywhere from 11 to 26 dimensions, that didn’t know time was not an arrow, that didn’t know cosmic evolution, that didn’t know quantum entanglement, that didn’t know…

          And Mel, what we “know” is just 4.6%. You’re confident to make a definitive statement about something which you DO NOT KNOW 95.4% of?

          Can you spell hubris?

          It’s deductively provable

          But not evidential.

          And it’s not “provable,” only plausible, and only so if you start with a presupposition.

          Mel, hate to break this to you, but “defining” something into existence does make it real.

          Just saying.

          Your dismissal is just pure vacuous ignorance of metaphysical terms.

          I’m not kidding, that has to be one of the funniest sentences i have ever read. Brilliant!

          Everything I stated has a detailed logical argument to back it up.

          Sure, if you start with a fanciful presupposition anything is possible to define into existence. Allow me to demonstrate:

          1. It is possible that a maximally wicked being exists.
          2. If it is possible that a maximally wicked being exists, then a maximally wicked being exists in some possible world.
          3. If a maximally wicked being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.
          4. If a maximally wicked being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world.
          5. Therefore, a maximally wicked being exists in the actual world.
          6. Therefore, a maximally wicked being exists.
          7. Therefore, the Omnimalevolent Creator exists.

          Et Voila!

          Yours is an incoherent “just so” scheme…

          Says the man who claims he lives in an artificial world (for which there is not a single shred of evidence) created by an invisible being (for which there is not a single shred of evidence).

        • Mel Wild says:

          It is a thought exercise devised by primitive minds who didn’t know that matter is neither created nor destroyed, that didn’t know matter and energy are interchangeable…(blah, blah, blah)…

          Talk about hubris and sheer stupidity! Again, you show that you don’t even know the argument at all. One last time. Whether matter is created or destroyed, or how much we know about the universe, or how many dimensions there are…is still totally irrelevant to the argument! You are not even addressing the argument. You are simply making bad, infinitely irrelevant etiological arguments that have no bearing on what I said.

          And your idiotic “maximally wicked” straw man caricature just makes you look like a dunce. This was not my argument at all. This also proves beyond a shadow of doubt you have no idea (or don’t care to know) what I’m talking about. You sound ridiculous.

          Look, you’ve tried my patience long enough. You’re obviously too stubborn to stop blathering on. Believe whatever incoherent fairy tale you want.

        • john zande says:

          Yes, an etiological argument… Otherwise known as presenting facts.

          Mel, I really don’t know how to make this point any clearer.

          Your ‘belief’ begins with a quaint but antiquated, evidence-less PRESUPPOSITION as to the contingency of the universe.

          Given your entire position rests on a presupposition, you have absolutely nothing but words in a thought bubble.

          You can “define” anything you like into existence, it’s the simplest thing in the world to do, but you can demonstrate nothing.

          Given this unignorable truism, your combative pretension is as baffling as it is comical.

        • Mel Wild says:

          You cannot “demonstrate” that the universe is ontologically the Ground of Being, so your assertion is ridiculous. Again, you’re not addressing the issue.

        • john zande says:

          As you’re so clearly having trouble grasping this fact, let me spell it out for you.

          You, Mel, believe the universe is contingent. This is a presupposition. It is a presupposition you have repeated so often that you’ve forgotten it’s a presupposition, and that’s where your problems are arising.

          You see, this presupposition is so ingrained into your thought processes that you are now simply INCAPABLE of dealing with the fact that I flatly reject this evidence-less presupposition.

          This is why you keep trying to argue that my position is founded in a contingent universe. It’s not. That’s YOUR position which you have repeatedly tried to stain me with, assigning to me terms like ‘infinite regress’… and when I point out to you that is not a problem in a non-contingent universe, you experience a cognitive aneurism.

          Why? Because your thinking is hopelessly lost in the presupposition.

          My position is rational, logical, and supported by evidence. After all, as you keep pointing out, your presupposition was dreamed-up some 2,500 years ago. This is true, and you know what else is true? In all those 2,500 years since, not a single gram of supporting evidence has been presented to move this presupposition out of the “presupposition file.”

          In fact, the ONLY progress made in these 2,500 years is that from time to time people have rearranged the words in the thought exercise.

          That’s it.

          Conversely, the evidence accumulated in this time—and especially the evidence accumulated in just the last 200 years—has rendered this antiquated presupposition increasingly absurd.

          In short: It’s well past time for you and your merry band of apologists to come up with some new arguments for the existence of the Middle Eastern god of the Pentateuch, Yhwh.

        • Mel Wild says:

          And let me spell it out for you. Repeating this over and over doesn’t make your argument any more relevant.

        • john zande says:

          So you’re admitting your mind is closed.

          Fair enough.

        • john zande says:

          And Mel, my “idiotic “maximally wicked” straw man caricature just makes me look like a dunce” is a word-for-word copy of William Lane Craig’s ontological argument for the existence of God… an argument he claims is the most convincing argument in all of Christian philosophy.

          All I’ve done is change the name of the god.

          Curious then how you dismiss it so easily, and call it idiotic.

        • Mel Wild says:

          And I’m not using William Lane Craig’s argument. I agree with you that this particular argument is a poor one. It’s describing a demiurge, or a god, more than what classic theists would call “God.” It has nothing to do with what I’ve been arguing.

        • john zande says:

          I didn’t say it was. I was demonstrating the silliness of ontology.

        • Mel Wild says:

          And that’s precisely your problem. You have no coherent ontology so you have no Ground of Being. Your argument has no foundation.

        • john zande says:

          Um, yes, it does. In fact, it’s raised up on the very foundation of reality… The complete opposite of your position, which begins in imagination and never leaves it.

          But again, as you’re so hopelessly lost in the presupposition that the universe is contingent you are simply incapable of handling this position with any intellectual vigour.

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, it doesn’t. Your worldview is logically and intellectually incoherent. The universe cannot fail to be contingent for a host of reasons. Science has no ability to explain its own existence. So your ontology literally stands on nothing at all. So, you can say whatever you want, there’s absolutely no way around this fact.

        • john zande says:

          Logically and intellectually incoherent ONLY if you start with the PRESUPPOSITION that the universe is contingent.

          You keep making this mistake, Mel.

          I suggest you try and move that presupposition from the “Presupposition File” into the “Factually Demonstrable File” before continuing with your comical combative pretension.

          But let me phrase this all a little differently:

          Imagine, if you will, a bright young chap proposing an intriguing hypothesis for something. It doesn’t really matter what. What’s important is that it was a hypothesis that, at least on paper, sounded quite compelling.

          So, an Abstract was written, and following the Abstract some justifications for the probable truth of the Abstract were published… and with that, efforts to prove this hypothesis began in earnest.

          Now imagine 2,500 years elapsing since the proposal was first suggested, and in those 2,500 years absolutely NOTHING was discovered to even remotely suggest the hypothesis was, in fact, true.

          This is not to say the hypothesis had lain dormant. It hadn’t. Generation after generation of bright people embraced the hypothesis and dedicated their entire lives to proving it true.

          However, despite every effort, after 2,500 years the only progress that could be shown was that from time to time someone had reviewed the Abstract and had changed the odd word or two here and there.

          100 generations of work, millions of man-hours, and the needle was not moved a single millimetre.

          Given this, why after 2,500 years of complete failure should anyone still suspect the hypothesis held merit?

        • john zande says:

          And Mel, your essence-existence “logic” is simply factually wrong.

          It wasn’t his fault, but Aquinas (a 2 meter tall statue of whom was in my school) was disastrously ignorant. This particular word game presupposes that essence precedes existence, which is pure nonsense. Existence precedes essence. Self-evidently, we are born into a word with no pre-set template, and we define ourselves by our choices. Evolution has no template, mutations are random (meaning not goal-orientated, not adaptively directed). Fitness and selection is ultimately determined by environment, NOT the genome.

          To Aquinas’s mind, the idea might have seemed compelling, but he would never have arrived at that thought if he had been born in 1979, not 1225.

        • Mel Wild says:

          You obviously don’t understand the Thomistic argument, but thanks.

        • john zande says:

          I understand it perfectly. It’s factually wrong. Where is the essence preceding existence when fitness and selection is ultimately determined by environment, NOT the genome? An organism perfectly suited for temperate forest living would face extinction in a matter of generations in an ice age if it did not adapt, and adapt quickly. Aquinas had it backwards. It wasn’t his fault, though. He was a product of an age of extreme ignorance.

        • Mel Wild says:

          You obviously don’t even understand Aquinas because everything you said here is irrelevant to his argument. It has nothing to do with adaptation.

          Your dismissal only shows your ignorance of his position. You sound like Dawkins, who had no clue what he meant. His book GD was embarrassing in that regard.

        • john zande says:

          Of course he doesn’t talk about adaptation/evolution… He didn’t know the first thing about it. If he did, his thought processes would have been very, very different. Of that I assure you. Mel, an organism has to change its “essence” because “existence” changes around it. Aquinas had it backwards. Your logic bomb is a dud.

        • Mel Wild says:

          No it wouldn’t! Not in the least bit! Why do you continue with this inane argument. Adaption/evolution is irrelevant to his argument. The fact that it changes, regardless of what it is or how it does this, means there’s a more fundamental source in the causal chain. It doesn’t matter what we discover in the future, his point is still valid.

        • john zande says:

          You can say “irrelevant” as many times as you like, Mel. It doesn’t change the fact that Aquinas had it all backwards. We KNOW through Evolutionary theory that existence (if we want to keep using Aquinas’s terms) precedes essence. Essence MUST change as existence does, and existence is completely and utterly oblivious to essence. Add into this mix the fact that mutations are NOT adaptively directed and we see that the “logic bomb” you’re suggesting supports the Kalam is simply factually wrong.

          Why you’re even using this argument when it died so completely 159 years ago is beyond baffling.

        • Mel Wild says:

          I can say because it is irrelevant. The fact that you don’t know this shows you don’t understand the argument.

        • john zande says:

          Oh, OK, so no new information—no matter how relevant—can be introduced to an idea you’re presenting because that… well… because that new information buggers up with your Medieval ontological word games.

          Got it.

          Enjoy the 13th Century, Mel. Be careful of dysentery and bubonic plague. The people around you, including Aquinas, believe they’re both caused by demons.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Another idiotic statement based on ignorance. Enjoy your un-Enlightened 17th century scientistic religion of materialism.

        • john zande says:

          Please just answer the question:

          WHY does Yhwh exist?

        • john zande says:

          I’m heading out, but I do look forward to your answer.

          If you’re just going to deflect once again, for the hundredth time, don’t bother replying.

          Really, don’t bother. It’s pathetic having to chase you as you run around.

  14. john zande says:

    New thread.

    First up, you have a number of outstanding questions. One is very important: contingency.

    Who says the universe is contingent?

    Of course, you are implying here ‘necessity’, and it’s critical we get this out of thee way.

    ‘Necessity’ is a stained word. It comes with a colossal amount theological baggage, such as the contingency of the universe. The universe being contingent is a theological presupposition presented as fact. It’s not. For this reason, I take the word ‘necessity’ to simply mean ‘aseitic.’

    The cosmos is non-contingent.

    Presently, we’re observing this cosmos from the perspective of (flawed) Newtonian physics, and that models the baryonic world, which comprises a grand total of just 4.6% of this particular universe, interacting with just 3 of anywhere from 11 to 26 dimensions.

    As we presently only really understand 4.6% of the workings of this particular universe, it takes an astonishing degree of intellectual recklessness (hubris) to even think you could make a statement on the capacity, and capacities, of this particular universe. With that in mind, I’m perfectly happy to say I do not know the how, but maintain that the universe itself contains the reasons and mechanisms for its own existence.

    So, to repeat my earlier comment:

    My “proof” is the universe itself.

    I can summarise it in three points.

    1) You concede there was never nothing, there was always something. I agree, and that means something is aseitic.

    2) As we find ourselves in a thoroughly material universe with no hint whatsoever of the supernatural, then it is staggeringly more rational (logical) to assume that this thoroughly material universe contains the reasons and mechanisms for its existence… Which is to say, the universe is aseitic.

    3) To propose magic (as the theist proposes), when no evidence of magic exists anywhere, at any time, is a massive violation of Occam’s razor, and overkill as a fundamental basis of reality. It is, therefore, not only hopelessly illogical, but comprehensibly irrational.

    So, as we have evidence the universe exists, and as you admit there was never nothing, my position (the universe is more than likely aseitic) is intrinsically rational. As we have no evidence the supernatural exists, your position is not only intrinsically irrational, but irredeemably preposterous.

    With these facts in mind, the onus is entirely on you, Mel, to demonstrate why anyone should not expect anything but a perfectly material answer, and instead take you, and your claim of magic, seriously?

    That’s a serious question, and a serious answer should not rely on lounge chair ‘metaphysical’ abracadabra.

  15. aaryaman1108 says:

    Science doesn’t even want to replace itself from something which is just based on beliefs rather than evidences. Imagine a scientist coming out with no study,zero calculations ,no evidences saying earth is rectangular and people start believing. Religion works in same way.

  16. Yes Sir, you are right. We, so-called scientists, Engineers, Doctors or science student should feel proud always to hold such an amazing concept, even when religious fellows fail to do so!!!. It’s quite okay with developing or under-developed nations and we deserve that- but how this concept gets still popularity in developed nations is out of my horizon to think! With due respect Sir, I really want to know your version about Science. I mean, according to you- what we should think about science? What does that word mean? If there are few matching words like- fact, evidence, magic, belief and tradition to match with Science and God- how you are going to execute this? Until I know your thought on Science, I can’t move further. I will be glad to catch a reaction. Thanks for giving the opportunity to comment here.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Simply put, science is a methodology we use to observe and test regularities in nature. I will add, it does so remarkably well. I’m all for scientific discovery and advancement. But, by definition, science would not be able to be used for anything outside of nature. And, if God exists, His existence would transcend the natural realm, so science cannot test for God, or replace Him, or even explain Him. To do so would be a category error.

      • Nice to get your input. Spoiler alert- I am not good in English, so will use simple words for better sync, please bear me. But I must add few things here. When you say, “outside of nature”- what exactly you want to mean. Even I say, science carries many limitations to not have all answers to our many general queries too, as we have limited resources- but still it’s easy to value Science over god as whatever it(science) says, based on evidence only. But, god?-it’s totally hypothetical word! Not sure, how it got started and by whom, religious people just follows that ideology thereafter- where fact/evidence are meaningless words. I experience many versions, like people says- truth is god, people is god, trees are god, kids are god,,endless. I wonder, why it needs to exist and needs to be mapped to everywhere? What, if it is not there? I do experience another theory- if science fails to explain one creation, people chooses one and only one alternative creator as god. Look the difference in both. When Science fails, it means what- simply it can’t say because of many missing links to come to any concrete conclusion, which is so logical to follow. And in other hand, we get other people to say- we know who has created, it’s god. If we ask them, how you can say so? We don’t get any answer. Why so? I would like to listen your view on religion too, in other side. Is religion related to god? Then, do we need religion at all? I wish, I should not extend more, as our focus can get diverted. Thanks.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Thanks. I would say science is good for what it can test and observe. But you cannot go beyond that with science. In other words, science cannot go outside of its own boundaries.

          You say that we have no evidence for God. What kind of evidence do you mean? If God is not natural, to ask for natural evidence is a category mistake (a fallacious argument). But we must ask, what is the explanation for our existence? Can you explain why we are here at all? The problem with atheism, or saying there is no God, is that it’s ontologically (study of being) incoherent. It has no explanation for itself. This is why you cannot dismiss God with science.

          And until you have the ontological question answered, you cannot go beyond that to religion.

  17. I must answer by taking help of one question itself you asked-“What kind of evidence do you mean”, what kind of evidence you think will be enough for proving its existence? Or don’t we need to have any proof of its existence? Or it’s such a thing, one must not need any proof?
    Next, “Can you explain why we are here at all?”
    -looks like you are pre-occupied and so have missed few relevant things from my earlier reply, so re-calling again here,
    “Even I say, science carries many limitations to not have all answers to our many general queries too, as we have limited resources- but still it’s easy to value Science over god as whatever it(science) says, based on evidence only”.
    “I do experience another theory- if science fails to explain one creation, people chooses one and only one alternative creator as god”.
    It looks like bottom line is- when we say God is not there- we must provide an explanation, but ironically when you say God is there, you don’t need to provide any sort of explanation. Am I correct, Sir?

    • Mel Wild says:

      I must answer by taking help of one question itself you asked-“What kind of evidence do you mean”

      I am asking what do you mean by evidence because it seems you are asking for scientific evidence, which is only one kind of evidence. I would further say that asking for scientific evidence for the existence of God is fallacious because it’s a category error. God is not part of nature. I would be like asking Hamlet to prove Shakespeare’s existence. But there are other types of evidence that are just as valid. For instance, logical evidence. This is what mathematics is based on so it’s a legitimate form of evidence.

      It looks like bottom line is- when we say God is not there- we must provide an explanation, but ironically when you say God is there, you don’t need to provide any sort of explanation. Am I correct, Sir?

      You are correct about the first part. You do need to provide an explanation for our existence. You are not correct about the second part. We do have 2,300 years of robust ontological explanations for God. We also have the cosmos, and everything in it, which needs an explanation for its existence. Science cannot answer these questions.

      • john zande says:

        I’ve already shown you how Hamlet can prove Shakespears existence. He simply has to stop, then watch the play proceed around him… out of context.

        Why do you keep repeating this failed argument?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Why do you keep repeating this failed answer? That doesn’t explain Shakespeare at all! It only explains that Hamlet is part of a script. You still have to explain the existence of Hamlet and the script. What is the fundamental cause of the script? None of these questions can be answered by any scientific advancement in Hamlet’s world (or ours).

        • john zande says:

          True, Hamlet would not be able to name Shakespear, but he could easily determine he’s inside a play, thus falsifying your silly analogy.

          I suggest you stop using it, or i’ll just have to keep correcting you.

        • john zande says:

          And to remind you Mel, you said: I [sic] would be like asking Hamlet to prove Shakespeare’s existence.

          Hamlet sitting quietly down, watching the beginning, the middle, and end of the play come and go ten times, in the exact same sequence every time, with the exact same dialogue every time, would confirm he’s inside a story. The nature of the story would reveal quite a lot of the author’s world, and therefore of the author himself. True, Hamlet would not be able to *name* Shakespeare, but that is NOT what you asked. Hamlet COULD EASILY determine the author exists…. which is what you asked.

          So, drop this silly analogy. It’s ridiculous.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Hamlet sitting quietly down, watching the beginning, the middle, and end of the play come and go ten times, in the exact same sequence every time, with the exact same dialogue every time, would confirm he’s inside a story.

          Again, John, that’s irrelevant and not the point at all. I didn’t ask how Hamlet would discover that he’s in a play. The point is observing anything in his world would not prove that Shakespeare exists. And it’s also not about being able to name God. It’s about explaining his (or your) existence. How does Hamlet explain his own existence?

          And even if your point was valid (it’s not, it’s irrelevant), then why don’t you recognize the author of this world? You seem to be arguing against yourself. You are the one with an incoherent explanation for being.

          The fact that you don’t even get this is interesting.

        • john zande says:

          Don’t try and shift the goal posts.

          You said: I [sic] would be like asking Hamlet to prove Shakespeare’s existence.

          Hamlet could EASILY prove the author’s existence. In fact, Hamlet could EASILY accumulate a vast library of hard evidence for his existence, including exact number of words he used (29,551), number of acts (5), number of scenes (20), duration of play, and the composition of every set.

          Your analogy fails miserably.

          And I remind you, you believe in miracles, and those affect the natural world… so your god exists in the natural world, and therefore it can be detected. Indeed, we even have two instances where Yhwh physically writes, in human words:

          Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall, near the lampstand in the royal palace. The king watched the hand as it wrote. — Daniel 5:5

          The Lord said to Moses, “Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones, and I will write on them the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke.” — Exodus 34:1

          If it can physically write on a wall, Mel, interacting with matter, it can be detected.

          So, sorry to say, but your ‘hiddenness’ excuse fails, too.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Then why don’t you believe in God? You are just arguing against yourself now. Obviously, if Hamlet could prove he is in a play then you should be able to explain your own continuing existence.

          This verse describes you to a tee:

          For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse (Rom.1:20)

        • john zande says:

          Citing the bible to prove the bible. Nice circular argument there, Mel.

          Mel Wild Apologetics: Yhwh is undetectable when being undetectable suits the conversation (ie. when evidence is being discussed)/Yhwh physically interacts with the world when physical interaction with the world suits the conversation (ie. miracles/meddling in evolution).

          Use either/or liberally and as required, and accuse anyone identifying the contradiction as being either 1) incoherent, 2) not addressing the subject, or 3) committing a category error.

          Wave hands about, rinse and repeat.

        • Mel Wild says:

          LOL! I used the Bible to show how relevant is for you, John. It nailed you to a tee! Wow! You’ve just proven how relevant it is for today! Isn’t that interesting. YOU are described in the Bible! Maybe there should be a picture of you next to that verse. 🙂

          Please get this once and for all. God is not a thing that can be discovered in nature; He’s not a creature, some supreme being among beings, or god among gods. You will not find God in the universe any more than Hamlet will find Shakespeare in the play. BUT, as you have shown, and I agree, you can find His handiwork everywhere. So, thank you for showing the only evidence we can find. You have successfully refuted yourself by proving you’re in denial of His attributes in creation. Congratulations!

          So, go on living in your ontological incoherence if you want. It is kind of funny, though.

        • john zande says:

          Ah, OK, so your god physically writing on a wall, in words, isn’t actually interacting with matter…

          Got it. Thanks.

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, you don’t even begin to get it. You never have since we’ve started this conversation.

          I didn’t say God cannot interact with matter. If He created it He could certainly interact with it. I said God Himself is not material or part of the universe. Just like you don’t discover the builder of a house in the walls or fireplace of the house. But the builder could certainly interact with the construction of the house and change it if he so desired.

          And supernatural anomalies aside, John, you cannot even explain your own continuing existence, let alone talk about handwriting on a wall.

        • john zande says:

          No, no, I understood you the first time. Yhwh is perfectly undetectable, but Yhwh can and does interact with matter… except we can’t measure that interaction… even though the matter has been altered… because Yhwh can’t be detected… even though he can interact with matter… so the matter is a sort of Schrodinger’s matter… it has been changed, but it hasn’t, but it has…

          Persuasive.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Haha…now you’re just being imbecilic. So why don’t you go down to the nearest construction site near you and look for the builder inside the walls or concrete and tell me your point again. Otherwise, stop wasting my time. Bye…

        • john zande says:

          Um, all construction sites I know of are crawling with builders, building. That’s kind of why they’re called “[hard hat] construction sites.” If you hang around long enough, you’ll also be able to meet the architect and the engineers.

        • Mel Wild says:

          What??? So, you’re saying you saw these builders in the construction materials? In the walls, the glass, wood, and concrete? No, John, no matter how long you hang around the site you will not find the builders in the cement or building materials!

        • john zande says:

          Have you been drinking?

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, have you?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Maybe you haven’t been drinking but you certainly completely missed my point.

        • john zande says:

          Oh, I got your point: Yhwh is completely undetectable in the material world, but Yhwh can actually change the material world, writing on walls for example, although that is, apparently, undetectable.

          Makes perfect sense.

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, again, you don’t get my point at all!

          To use my simplistic “builder” analogy that you totally missed. The builder of the house is not in the building materials. The builder is separate and outside of the materials he builds with. And he has the power to do whatever he wants with the house made of these materials. So, sure, we can see the builder at the site from our perspective because we also exist outside of the materials, but as far as the building itself is concerned, the builder is invisible, so to speak, because the builder exists outside of the concrete, wood, and glass. Get it so far? Like all analogies, you can’t take it too far but the main point is valid.

          Therefore, if God is the “Builder” and sustainer of the cosmos, and He wanted to interact with matter, He certainly could since He created it in the first place. But you won’t find Him in the matter or cosmos itself, just like you won’t find the builder of a house in the concrete, wood, and glass of that house.

        • john zande says:

          He certainly could since He created it in the first place

          So we can detect it? It is observable and it is measurable?

          I thought you said it was a “category error” to think we could detect Yhwh in the material world?

        • john zande says:

          He certainly could since He created it in the first place

          So we can detect it, the influence? It is observable and it is measurable?

          I thought you said it was a “category error” to think we could detect Yhwh in the material world?

        • Mel Wild says:

          So we can detect it, the influence? It is observable and it is measurable?

          Yes, of course. You can detect His workings every moment of every day. The most evident is that we exist. There is a continuing cosmos. Things are continuously changing from one state to another, which means that they are inherently distal and contingent. And this is where we have to leave the building analogy because this continuous existence requires an explanation–a fundamental subsistent ground of being, because nature cannot explain its own existence.

        • Mel Wild says:

          I thought you said it was a “category error” to think we could detect Yhwh in the material world?

          Again, what I said before is that you won’t find God Himself in the material world. That is the category error. You certainly can find His workings in the world He created and continues to sustain.

        • john zande says:

          And science can measure that… so, no category error.

        • Mel Wild says:

          And science can measure that… so, no category error.

          Still wrong because you’re not measuring God at all! All you are doing is measuring phenomenon in the natural world. In other words, science can measure everything that God sustains in the cosmos right now. It doesn’t even have to be a miracle; it’s everything that continues to exist. But that still doesn’t mean they found God Himself. All they’ve discovered is His invisible workings with the material world. It doesn’t address the existence of God at all, but we still must have an explanation for our continuing existence. And science cannot help us there. Simply describing the phenomenon does not explain its being. That’s where the question of God begins.

        • john zande says:

          Oh, so science can’t measure an observable change in matter?

          Interesting.

        • john zande says:

          The writing on the wall, it could be observed, yes… the words could be read?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Probably, I don’t see why not but I have no idea. That has nothing to do with my point. The writing is not God.

        • john zande says:

          Right, so Yhwh (or at the very least, the influence of Yhwh) is, in fact, detectable and measurable.

          So, your talk of “no evidence is possible” is self-acknowledged nonsense.

          In case you’ve forgotten your routine, This is where you call me a name and dismiss everything with a hand wave.

        • Mel Wild says:

          So, your talk of “no evidence is possible”…

          No!!! Sheesh! This is the part where I have to repeat myself over and over because you either don’t care to listen or you are incapable of understanding. My point was that you will not find evidence for God Himself in the cosmos. THAT is the category mistake. Get it now? We find evidence of His workings every moment of every day we exist.

        • john zande says:

          I said the ‘influence’ (at the very least) would be detectable and measurable.

          If it’s detectable, observable, and measurable then we can detect it, observe it, and measure it.

          That would be called “evidence.”

        • Mel Wild says:

          Good. I’m glad you finally admit that God exists.

        • john zande says:

          My mind’s open. Show me the evidence.

          The Middle Eastern god of the Pentateuch, Yhwh, writes on a wall, in human words that can be seen by human eyes and read. As matter has been rearranged (forming words on a wall), that event is measurable. Science measures and describes changes in matter and energy. What are the letters made of, what caused them? Something, after all, caused matter and energy to rearrange itself into human words written on a wall that could be seen by human eyes and read.

          Self-evidently, evidence is not only possible, but available.

          Show me the evidence.

      • It’s an honor by spending time with you, though not sure, how far I can go, still let me try for a while. It looks like you are about to say, scientific evidences are illogical evidence, while you are holding logical evidence/s for the existence of god! May I know what is that logical evidence/s in simple English words.
        And in other part of your reply, we discover a huge claim of you as “We do have 2,300 years of robust ontological explanations for God” which does need more elaboration.
        Again your last sentence “Science cannot answer these questions.” is not making me comfortable, as it seems you are always in hurry to reply before reading&understanding of my comment.

  18. aaryaman1108 says:

    Gospel says god made light then he made sun. (Its just a small example) what else you need.

  19. Friends, take a look- below are a group of simple English words.
    In a class, teacher X asks one odd question to student A and student B. A says- I don’t know the answer. X asks- why? A says- I’m completely unaware of (or not familiar from) these terms from the knowledge I own. B says- I know the answer and here it is. X asks him, how do you know? B says- I don’t know how I know, but I know this is the correct answer. Now, little pause. In other side, there can be another 02 possibilities from Teacher’s perspective. While asking odd question to students, teacher might have correct answer with him or might not have. 1) If X knows correct answer in prior, can determine B’s answer is correct or not. 2) If X doesn’t know correct answer in prior, should he consider B’s answer is correct? Again 1 a) If B’s answer is found as correct, should we ignore his statement behind of this answer like “I don’t know how I know, but I know this is the correct answer”. In my view, I will prefer A though not having answer over B who is having correct/incorrect answer but not knowing how he knows the answer.
    Can we relate this example to this blog in any way?

    • Mel Wild says:

      I would probably prefer “A”, too. But that is not my position. I have a solid and logically deductive ontological argument for the existence of God (or Ground of Being, if you will). This does not prove the Christian God, but it does prove that there must be a self-existent entity that theists have called “God.” Otherwise, you have ontological incoherency. And from there, we can talk about a particular theology.

  20. Nan says:

    I hope you will not ignore/bypass the comments/questions from simplification2017. I would be interested in your responses.

    • Mel Wild says:

      I didn’t see it (that post has almost 400 comments!). I will look when I get a chance. I am posting from the comments, not the blog post itself.

  21. YES! I always say this. God created all the complexities that scientists study- it doesn’t disprove God in any way, it’s just us humans discovering what God created! No one can explain the ORIGIN of life! It was God!

  22. Pingback: How human beings poison everything | In My Father's House

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