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Thread: The Causation Argument

  1. Top | #191
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Designed objects look very clearly different from the natural world. Therefore the natural world is a designed object.

    That's Paley's argument in a nutshell. I wonder why he didn't wake up the next day, realise his error, and drop dead on the spot from embarrassment.

    That others, including Lion, continue to regard this as one of the best arguments for their gods, is all the evidence you need that they should be laughed off the stage.

  2. Top | #192
    Veteran Member Wiploc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    That others, including Lion, continue to regard this as one of the best arguments for their gods, is all the evidence you need that they should be laughed off the stage.
    Reading Paley is what made me content to be an atheist. Until I read Paley, I wanted to be a Christian.

  3. Top | #193
    Veteran Member Lion IRC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Designed objects look very clearly different from the natural world. Therefore the natural world is a designed object.

    That's Paley's argument in a nutshell. I wonder why he didn't wake up the next day, realise his error, and drop dead on the spot from embarrassment.

    That others, including Lion, continue to regard this as one of the best arguments for their gods, is all the evidence you need that they should be laughed off the stage.
    You didnt read what I wrote.

    I said its the CONSPICUOUS difference between a pattern and a non-pattern which proves that we arent imagining the existence of a (non-existent) pattern.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC
    Surely the difference between a sand dune and a sand sculpture is not imaginary.
    We can see patterns.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC
    More importantly we can see the absence of patterns
    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Copernicus View Post
    The problem with the Paley's Watchmaker metaphor is that it depends on one's ability to distinguish engineered from natural objects
    I'm sorry you find that a "problem"
    Paley would argue that it's precisely our ability to do so which leads to unavoidable why questions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post
    There's two stages to the argument from fine tuning.

    The first stage is to determine if there actually is any fine tuning (laws of physics, mathematics, etc.) Is fine tuning a mirage, a trompe l'oeil in the mind of pattern-seeking observers. Or is it a fundamental, brute fact aspect of reality.

    The second step, upon determining that there is some sort of fine tuning, is to decide whether it is the product of (a) chance, (b) necessity or
    (c) design/intent.

    The red coloured font section indicates the religiously neutral aspects of this question. Atheists can accept that the uni/multi/omni/megaverse is finely tuned, and the explanation of that fine tuning without conceding teleology.

    Where the pre-suppositional atheism-of-the-gaps bias gets in the way is when it sees the entire question of fine-tuning in terms of intelligent design.
    Here bilby - do yourself a favor. Go and immerse yourself in some 'apophenia'
    https://www.assessmentday.co.uk/apti...agrammatic.htm

  4. Top | #194
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post

    You didnt read what I wrote.

    I said its the CONSPICUOUS difference between a pattern and a non-pattern which proves that we arent imagining the existence of a (non-existent) pattern.




    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC
    More importantly we can see the absence of patterns
    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Copernicus View Post
    The problem with the Paley's Watchmaker metaphor is that it depends on one's ability to distinguish engineered from natural objects
    I'm sorry you find that a "problem"
    Paley would argue that it's precisely our ability to do so which leads to unavoidable why questions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post
    There's two stages to the argument from fine tuning.

    The first stage is to determine if there actually is any fine tuning (laws of physics, mathematics, etc.) Is fine tuning a mirage, a trompe l'oeil in the mind of pattern-seeking observers. Or is it a fundamental, brute fact aspect of reality.

    The second step, upon determining that there is some sort of fine tuning, is to decide whether it is the product of (a) chance, (b) necessity or
    (c) design/intent.

    The red coloured font section indicates the religiously neutral aspects of this question. Atheists can accept that the uni/multi/omni/megaverse is finely tuned, and the explanation of that fine tuning without conceding teleology.

    Where the pre-suppositional atheism-of-the-gaps bias gets in the way is when it sees the entire question of fine-tuning in terms of intelligent design.
    Here bilby - do yourself a favor. Go and immerse yourself in some 'apophenia'
    https://www.assessmentday.co.uk/apti...agrammatic.htm
    So, which parts of the natural world do you hold to be CONSPICUOUSLY not designed?

    You've mentioned sand dunes; Are you asserting that no gods or designers are necessary for those to arise?

    What about stars? Planets? Crystals? Viruses? Bacteria? Plants? Animals? It's obvious to me that there's a continuum of increasing complexity here, and that if you draw a sharp line and declare that it separates 'designed' from 'natural', you will have some grey areas.

  5. Top | #195
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post

    I said its the CONSPICUOUS difference between a pattern and a non-pattern which proves that we arent imagining the existence of a (non-existent) pattern.
    Who told you sand dunes don't arrange themselves in patterns? Do you understand what the word "pattern" means?

    Does the presence of a pattern necessarily imply teleological causation? If you saw a cloud that looked like a duck, would you then have to infer that the cloud is the product of an intelligent mind? Is that what you are trying to say?

    Why are you so fucking reluctant to state your argument and explain how it works? Is it because you already know that the argument is flawed and feel ashamed at having to publicly defend a flawed argument?

  6. Top | #196
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post

    You didnt read what I wrote.

    I said its the CONSPICUOUS difference between a pattern and a non-pattern which proves that we arent imagining the existence of a (non-existent) pattern.






    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Copernicus View Post
    The problem with the Paley's Watchmaker metaphor is that it depends on one's ability to distinguish engineered from natural objects
    I'm sorry you find that a "problem"
    Paley would argue that it's precisely our ability to do so which leads to unavoidable why questions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post
    There's two stages to the argument from fine tuning.

    The first stage is to determine if there actually is any fine tuning (laws of physics, mathematics, etc.) Is fine tuning a mirage, a trompe l'oeil in the mind of pattern-seeking observers. Or is it a fundamental, brute fact aspect of reality.

    The second step, upon determining that there is some sort of fine tuning, is to decide whether it is the product of (a) chance, (b) necessity or
    (c) design/intent.

    The red coloured font section indicates the religiously neutral aspects of this question. Atheists can accept that the uni/multi/omni/megaverse is finely tuned, and the explanation of that fine tuning without conceding teleology.

    Where the pre-suppositional atheism-of-the-gaps bias gets in the way is when it sees the entire question of fine-tuning in terms of intelligent design.
    Here bilby - do yourself a favor. Go and immerse yourself in some 'apophenia'
    https://www.assessmentday.co.uk/apti...agrammatic.htm
    So, which parts of the natural world do you hold to be CONSPICUOUSLY not designed?

    You've mentioned sand dunes; Are you asserting that no gods or designers are necessary for those to arise?

    What about stars? Planets? Crystals? Viruses? Bacteria? Plants? Animals? It's obvious to me that there's a continuum of increasing complexity here, and that if you draw a sharp line and declare that it separates 'designed' from 'natural', you will have some grey areas.
    He's playing coy because he doesn't want to get nailed down. Good luck getting any meaningful responses from him.

  7. Top | #197
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post
    There's two stages to the argument from fine tuning.

    The first stage is to determine if there actually is any fine tuning (laws of physics.) Is fine tuning a mirage, a trompe l'oeil in the mind of pattern-seeking observers. Or is it a fundamental, brute fact aspect of reality.

    The second step, upon determining that there is some sort of fine tuning, is to decide whether it is the product of (a) chance, (b) necessity or
    (c) design/intent.

    The red coloured font section indicates the religiously neutral aspects of this question. Atheists can accept that the uni/multi/omni/megaverse is finely tuned, and the explanation of that fine tuning without conceding teleology.

    Where the pre-suppositional atheism-of-the-gaps bias gets in the way is when it sees the entire question of fine-tuning in terms of intelligent design.
    Your argument is circular. Before we move on to a discussion of the evidence for fine tuning, we have to first establish what this fine tuning is supposed to achieve. So can you answer these questions please:

    Why should we assume that the universe is fine tuned for anything?
    What is this fine tuning intended to achieve, and how can we verify such an intent?

  8. Top | #198
    Formerly Joedad
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    Quote Originally Posted by atrib View Post
    Why should we assume that the universe is fine tuned for anything?
    What is this fine tuning intended to achieve, and how can we verify such an intent?
    Boiled down to it's most basic elements I think the answer goes as follows:

    I have been told a story. The story goes that there is a thing called a god and it is a story that I have come to believe. But lots of people don't believe stories about gods and this makes me uncomfortable. It makes me uncomfortable, perhaps even afraid and angry, because if there is no god then I feel my life is pointless. This fear drives me to find "proof" that my god is something real, not just another spooky, ghost story.

    The fine tuning argument that I have been told is a device I use to prove that my god is real, which keeps my life meaningful. Generally speaking, my god is a super powerful, invisible human man living in the sky that dispenses judgement on human souls after we are dead. The story about a finely tuned universe bolsters my belief that this powerful invisible human can be real.

    Please understand that I am convinced that if my god is not real, my life has no meaning, no purpose and no value.

    End.

  9. Top | #199
    Contributor skepticalbip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atrib View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post
    There's two stages to the argument from fine tuning.

    The first stage is to determine if there actually is any fine tuning (laws of physics.) Is fine tuning a mirage, a trompe l'oeil in the mind of pattern-seeking observers. Or is it a fundamental, brute fact aspect of reality.

    The second step, upon determining that there is some sort of fine tuning, is to decide whether it is the product of (a) chance, (b) necessity or
    (c) design/intent.

    The red coloured font section indicates the religiously neutral aspects of this question. Atheists can accept that the uni/multi/omni/megaverse is finely tuned, and the explanation of that fine tuning without conceding teleology.

    Where the pre-suppositional atheism-of-the-gaps bias gets in the way is when it sees the entire question of fine-tuning in terms of intelligent design.
    Your argument is circular. Before we move on to a discussion of the evidence for fine tuning, we have to first establish what this fine tuning is supposed to achieve. So can you answer these questions please:

    Why should we assume that the universe is fine tuned for anything?
    What is this fine tuning intended to achieve, and how can we verify such an intent?
    It is yet another 'god of the gaps' argument. It is not known how some physical constants are precisely what they are. Science does not know (yet) therefore god.

  10. Top | #200
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    I'm curious about the claim "life would be impossible" if the physical constants were "too far off". If the basic elements were different, how would know that'd make the evolution of life impossible? Does the claim assume that life must be carbon-based?

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