Science and The Ontological Argument

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31 Responses to Science and The Ontological Argument

  1. polihronu says:

    I’m always delighted when believers and religious leaders show a bit of common sense. Edi is a rare breed of pastor – the reading type. Dan is a believer who does science and cares little about religion. Amens all around. But, beyond that, I used to have this kind of conversations every Saturday evening, in the church courtyard, when I was 13 or 14, with my best friend of the time (and of the same age). Grow up, guys!

  2. Iteresant. Dan ca om de stiinta este credincios.

    -Ianis si polihronu, pasionati de stiinta din copilarie si-au dat seama ca stiinta este falsa si este de la Satana. Au terminat instltul la Cernica, cu dorinta sincera de a conduce pe credinciosi la Dumnezeu !!! si ai ferii de invataturile stiintei! Nu stiu ce au invatat acolo, dar acum au revenit la dragostea dintai; stiinta.

    -Nu stiu ce sa cred: cunoasterea si cercetarea te conduce la Dumnezeu? (cazul Dan) s-au cautarea lui Dumnezeu te duce la stiinta (ianis si poli).Este cumva un cerc din care nu se poate iesi decat daca alegi sa nu mai crezi?

  3. polihronu says:

    DI, nu-s lucrurile atit de simetrice 🙂 Dan era credincios inca inainte sa fie om de stiinta si in niciun caz nu este credincios pentru ca a fost mai intii om de stiinta. Nu stiu de ianis, dar eu n-am tras nicio concluzie la virsta minoratului despre presupuse origini diabolice ale stiintei. Am crescut pur si simplu intr-un mediu puternic religios, in care stiinta era buna pina cind contrazicea interpretari destul de literaliste ale Bibliei, si in care evolutionismul era de la comunisti. Am studiat teologie pentru ca eram umanist, si nu e domeniu academic mai prielnic pentru pasiuni atit de diverse precum limbi moarte, istorie, filosofie, psihologie, interpretare de text etc. N-am avut niciodata porniri evanghelistice, nici obscurantiste.

    Daca intrebarile tale din final nu sint retorice, da-mi voie sa-ti spun ca, in opinia mea, nimic nu face un om mai putin religios si credincios decit maturizarea emotionala. Cind iti dai seama ca biserica te infantilizeaza, iar tu ai depasit virsta povestilor pentru adormit simturi, nu poti decit sa lasi in urma tot ce tine de traditie si zei. Exista berechet loc de mirare, entuziasm, profunzime intr-o lume in care ai scos pe tusa scripturile si predicatorii.

    In fine, Dan e mai ateu decit pare, iar eu sint mai spiritual decit el 😉

  4. Ianis says:

    DI

    cunoasterea si cercetarea te conduce la Dumnezeu? (cazul Dan) s-au cautarea lui Dumnezeu te duce la stiinta (ianis si poli).

    Nici, nici 🙂

    Cei care sustin ca au ajuns la Dumnezeu prin cercetare si cunoastere stiintifica au ajuns unde vroiau sa ajunga. Sau unde erau deja de mult.
    Mitul „conducerii la Dumnezeu prin stiinta” are niste explicatii perfect psihologice. Orice om rational, constient de disonantele cognitive personale (credinta) va cauta explicatii miraculoase. Vine insa o varsta (tot psihologica) cand miracolele devin inutile.

    Pe partea cealalta, cautarea lui Dumnezeu nu poate duce decat la gasirea lui (gasesti ceea ce vrei sa gasesti) sau la pierderea definitiva a lui. „Cautarea lui Dumnezeu te poate duce la stiinta” indirect, in sensul ca, renuntand la traditii si zei, esti un teren mai prielnic pentru a asimila realitatea (stiinta).
    Ca sa concluzionez: cautarea lui Dumnezeu te poate duce la stiinta abia dupa ce l-ai cautat, nu l-ai gasit si esti disponibil pentru cautari de alta natura

    P.S.
    Scenariul tau cu privire la copilarie si restul nu mi se potriveste. Dar, ca ilustratie pentru o predica, merge 😛

  5. pe amandoi va am la inima.

  6. Dan Livis says:

    Some people say they found God doing science (Collins, Ross, Polkinghorne and others). I actually would say the same for myself. The „god” that I found in the church is a totally different god than the God I found while doing science so in a way I understand what the above may have „experienced”, although each individual has his own experience and understanding. Initially when I decided to do science I really wanted to get rid of the god I was presented with in church for good. I did, but while doing so, I found a God that Paul, Luther and many others that were liberated from their chains put on by the church or a religious group also did. This is a God that is inclusive and doesn’t discriminate. A God that loves science and philosophy among other things. It is why I think that believers like Collins, Poliknghorne and I can do science with agnostics and atheists and learn from each other and hope to make the world a better place. We do not discriminate against what conclusions science guides any of us to along with our misconceptions and still limited understanding of complex life and the universe in terms of „God”. I never use „God” as an excuse for anything I don’t understand or have no answer to. If I refer to „God” in any way is because I can relate to whatever it is about Him through things I understand through science and technology and can rationalize about. Of course I think God is so much more than that, but I prefer not to worry about things I do not know and understand about God.
    I prefer to think that a human existence is meant for a lot more than this planet in a sense that a fetus is meant for a lot more than the placenta. At some point the fetus will be born because the placenta, although perfectly suitable for a comfortable existence for the fetus, can no longer allow growth and comfort at the same time. Likewise, earth although perfectly suitable for humans to grow, explore and learn at this point, will no longer allow any possible growth, learning and comfort in the not so distant future. Then we will be „born” into a new stage of existence perhaps „naturally” at that point but certainly looking supernatural at this point!
    I may ad, if I am willing to offer my child the world once she grows up and can enjoy it on her own, I think God can do a lot more than offer us the universe once we „grow up” and can enjoy it on our own…

  7. Dan Livis says:

    well, we do discriminate against religious fundamentalists, radicals and bigots because if we don’t, we cannot make the world a better place! As long as they’re not in the way of science and reason we do not discriminate against them, but when they are, we have no choice, as Hitchens well puts it!

  8. polihronu says:

    Nobody has found God doing science, not Collins (who found God through thinking about death, reading C.S. Lewis and walking about in nature), not Ross (I assume we’re talking about Hugh Ross, of whom his official bio says „he studied the world’s religions and „holy books” and found only one book that proved scientifically and historically accurate: the Bible”, which is at least ridiculous), not Polkinghorne (who has always been a Christian). Faith always starts, no matter who does the believing, with „I prefer to think”, never with „science shows”. And again, analogies teach us nothing. Babies are born and babies die. The God of nature has already shown us the way.

  9. Dan Livis says:

    poli
    since you need „translations” OK, here you are; doing science got us thinking about God more and on bigger levels. Is it correct enough for you? I’m sure God could use perfectionists like you on bigger and better things 😉

  10. polihronu says:

    That is not a translation. Shouldn’t a scientist be a bit more of a perfectionist? And why do you deride God using me to make you better? Is that such a trivial thing? 😛

  11. Dan Livis says:

    true, babies are born and babies die, but those that live, they grow, learn and evolve. who are we to put limits on growth, learning and evolution? if we just look at birth and death we miss the best part which you seem to do!

  12. polihronu says:

    „Doing science got us thinking about God more and on bigger levels”. Which is to say (I am quite good at „translations”), you had already „found” God. You just upgraded your faith with some scientific trinkets. Which only helps prove that no one has ever found God through science.

  13. Ianis says:

    Asa cum ziceam mai devreme: oamenii aia au ajuns unde vroiau sa ajunga sau unde erau deja.

    Francis Collins, de exemplu, vine dintr-o familie crestina si a ajuns, surprize-surprize, crestin evanghelic 🙂
    Ma intreb ce s-ar fi intamplat daca s-ar fi nascut hindus sau musulman.

    Afirmatia „credinta vine din stiinta” e stupida din punct de vedere logic. Credinta care se intemeiaza pe fapte stiintifice, nu mai e credinta, prin definitie. Daca e credinta atunci se bazeaza pe chestiuni irationale. Adica pe ne/anti/para-stiinta!

  14. polihronu says:

    Oh, man! Babies live (when they do), learn and „evolve”. And then die. Allahu akbar!

  15. Dan Livis says:

    using „you” to make me better? that’s a good one! i’m a perfectionist when it comes to science and my work in the lab. must i do that on my leisure time when you are being derogatory? i don’t think that’s going to make this comment section a better one, let alone make the world a better place 😉

  16. polihronu says:

    It surely IS a good one. I’m being derogatory precisely because you’re a perfectionist „only when it comes to science”. Why should I respect your lazy ass bullshitting outside the lab? Are you making the world a better place? I’ve already been specific enough: go back to the lab. And when you come out, have the decency to remain a scientist and not waste our time. Thus says the Lord!

  17. polihronu says:

    Seriously now, I’m hardly being a perfectionist when I call you out on some piece of egregious craziness. An apology would be more appropriate on you part. But, I assure you, I can live without it.

  18. Dan Livis says:

    yes, you are right.. unless God reveals Himself to us, it’s impossible to find Him on our own without Him coming down to our level! so you and I both admit science on its own cannot find God for us because it cannot bring us to God’s level or to a complete understanding of God. as i said earlier, it might, but we would need to hold at least 20 PhDs in major disciplines and perhaps a lot more minor disciplines in order to know and understand science to a level to which it might help us know and understand a bit about God. however, God can reveal Himself to us through science and technology if He so chooses. of course only if you’re a deluded atheist you will go further and say „i can’t do science with someone that has this kind of an opinion”. however, atheists and agnostics do science with me and others that hold a certain opinion or belief about God and they do just fine. but they’re not deluded atheists or deluded agnostics, they’re open minded people which understand their own limits and can appreciate others that are different or can think differently. i can’t seem to notice you appreciate anything or anyone that’s different or that doesn’t agree with you. i on the contrary can appreciate the way you think even i don’t necessarily agree with you on all points!

  19. Dan Livis says:

    seems you are only „working hard” on this forum and nowhere else, which proves my point about who’s trying to make the world a better place. now since you have such a „nice” vocabulary which definitely says a lot about your maturity level, i’m done talking to deluded atheists which think they know everything and are working „hard” to prove something only with words but no action. you’re just as the Indians described certain clouds „lots of thunder but no rain”. enjoy your thunder, that’s about all you can do. however, rain is much more important and your „clouds” lack it badly!
    waste your time? u’re wasting your own time. why are you accusing me for whatever it is you decide to do with your time? I’m here for people that have manners and can respect others opinions not for deluded atheists or whatever you consider yourself. you came to your conclusions based on however you chose to waste your time with, you can’t blame me for that.

  20. Dan Livis says:

    ianis
    I respect your opinion and hard-earned progress which you got by studying science and I enjoy your points and discussion. but trust me on this one, exactly how you think something is stupid, others think the same about your statements or something you may find plausible. I try not to be judgmental, I work with all, believers, atheists and agnostics in the lab. And to tell you the truth, I doubt we would make as much progress if all of us were atheists or all believers. The fact is, we make progress because we are all different and we can all contribute differently. that’s why it’s a good thing to do what Jesus said for once, „do unto others as you like to be done unto you!” In other words, respect everyone for either being smart or not always smart, because let’s face it, how much of a 24 hour period you consider yourself being „smart”? a few minutes on this forum?

  21. polihronu says:

    No kidding, now you admit that „science… cannot find God for us”. But, wait, in the very next sentence you reiterate the belief that, under certain conditions, science „might” „bring us to a complete understanding of God”. My dear friend, I, the atheist, pray that you really apply more reason in your research. ‘Cause the lack thereof you display here is ever more laughable.

    I never said „I can’t do science with someone” who’s not an atheist. No idea who you’re talking to. And you certainly know too little about me to make generalisations such as „you [can’t] appreciate anything or anyone that’s different or that doesn’t agree with you”. Doesn’t your scientific training teach you to properly gather data before attempting to draw conclusions?

    The same goes for your evaluation of my contribution to „making the world a better place”. And, by the way, do scientists have a monopoly on „making the world a better place”? Can a musician contribute? A writer? Or he/she is „just words, no action”. How’s your buddy Edi „making the world a better place”?

    I am part of the core group that has long contributed to this website. I read and watch most everything that is published here. Yes, it is a choice I made. But I have no control over what is published. I can only tell people to fuck off when they turn out to be stultifying. Which I do gladly.

  22. Ianis says:

    Dan
    Nu inteleg schema asta a ta cu „trying to make the world a better place”. Asta iti da un certificat in alb pentru „bullshitting all around” asteptant publicul sa inghita tot ce zboara „for granted”?
    Ti se pare OK sa inchei o dezbatere justificandu-te cu eforturile personale intru imbunatatirea omenirii, cu rugaciunile pentru pacea globala si post negru pentru „ingrasarea” stratului de ozon?
    Mie mi se pare ca asta e o noua forma de predicare (merge cu evanghelia stiintifica). Totusi nu suntem la concursul miss Univers asa ca, la modul real, nimanui nu-i pasa de „salvarea planetei”. In definitiv, lumea asta s-a descurcat cateva miliarde de ani si fara noi, cu siguranta se va descurca si pe mai departe, fara ajutorul microscopic venit din laboratorul tau 🙂

    Spune-mi, te rog, cu ce te deosebesti de nenea asta de aici, inventator si profesor universitar in Domnu’? Te-ar deranja daca ti-as spune ca acela esti tu peste 30 de ani? Iti place perspectiva asta?
    Asa se intampla cand joci la doua capete.

  23. polihronu says:

    And no, emotional maturity is not being 100% likeable, or perfect, or infallible. Gauging one’s emotional maturity according to one’s use of language is laughable methodology. Again, grow up.

  24. As dorii sa se scrie in romaneste chiar daca pe Dan al costa efortul. Pe noi, cititorii simpli ne costa mai mult sa intelegem ce se scrie cu traducerea pe care o face google.

    -Inteleg totusi ca stiinta nu la gasit si nici nu-l va gasi pe Dumnezeu cel prezentat de Biblie. Fundamentalismul, crede si nu cerceta, este religia bibliei si nu stiinta,cunoasterea s-au cercetarea. Dumnezeul gasit de Dan si Edi nu este cel biblic, oricat l-ar actualiza. Dumnezeul propus de voi nu are loc in biserica mica si ne-incapatoare pe care o cunoastem. Da-tii un nume propriu, care sa-l defineasca ca arhitect al universului pentru ca nu vorbiti de creatorul prezentat de geneza, care acreat totul in sase zile de 24 h fiecare. Sa-l lasa-ti pe acest Dumnezeu pentru biserica iara pe oxigen va asteptam cu noutati.

  25. Capu-Varzã says:

    „O observatie totusi se impune: stiinta nici macar nu se ocupa cu “cautarea lui Dumnezeu”;”

    Chiar daca rezultatul imediat al decoperirilor stintei este imbunatatirea vietii actuale, scopul sau cautarea finala a stintei este de a raspunde intrebariilor: ce scop avem si unde vom ajunge? Altfel studiul astronomiei ar fi o pierdere (aproape) inutila de resurse.
    Chiar daca stiinta nu va descoperii niciodata pe D-zeul bibliei (care poate nici nu e real, e doar o intelegere subiectiva, conditionata cultural, a scriitorilor ei), totusi un fel de „D-zeu” tot cauta. Si chiar daca momentan, evidenta pe care metodele stintifice o permite, este neconclusiva (sau pentru unii concluzia este ateismul), asta nu inseamna ca aceasta este rezultatul final, definitiv a studiilor stintifice.

  26. Dan Livis says:

    To respond to why I’m commenting in English for which I apologize to some of the readers that do not speak English. We decided to do some presentations in English for our many acquaintances, friends and others interested in following us that don’t speak Romanian. So forgive me for commenting in English on the presentations we had in English and I do appreciate those which contribute to maintaining the debates on this site, making things interesting and keeping reality in check. However, I do not find „working hard” an excuse for name calling and immaturity and if some of you think that this is your job to keep up this website, do it with respect to yourself and others that also put effort and try to do their best.
    No one knows everything, if anything we can learn from each other.
    So, let me back up a bit. I do not think at the level we know science and use technology presently we can find God. We may do so in the future as our mastering of science and increase of technology. But certainly science can tell us complex life is special and unique in the universe. Science also tells us, especially the new branches of sciences that arresting and amplifying of evolution did occur which nature could not have done on its own for us to get here in 13.7 billion years. There are many other details science points out to us which may lead us to rationalize that as we control steps and procedures in experiments and manipulate physical laws naturally there are various occurrences that needed to be manipulated (I believe naturally) in order for much of what we see today and unfortunately never got to see to take place. So, in a sense science points to something and we need to keep going. Of course, we as humans try to connect this „something” to the God of the Bible, Allah, Zeus and others. Even Dawkins does. So far, to me the highest probability goes to the God of the Bible (certainly not as He is understood by various generations of OT personalities) when trying to connect all the information we have available historically and whatever leads we get from science.
    Therefore, overall science and technology helped me to find a God that is far different than the one presented to me by the fundamentalist church I grew in, yet, connected to Jesus and Christianity much more than to other gods or creators.
    Sure Francis Collins may have been influenced by his sick patients in thinking about God, but it was science not the Bible that shaped his beliefs in God overall. I’m sure Collins felt that when putting the puzzle together, Jesus ranked higher on the probability scale than the other options we get from other beliefs or religions. However, has it been the Bible only, Collins would have been a young earth creationist like Jason Lisle (Answers in Genesis) who has a pretty solid background in astrophysics but takes the Bible literally. (I don’t agree with Jason Lisle’s ideas, I use him as an example here; but for those of you interested, his videos are on youtube). Obviously Collins can separate one from the other and lets scientific reasoning and logic lead the way unlike Lisle.
    My opinion is that God will reveal Himself through science and technology when we will eventually mature and master them. So that is where perhaps I made the earlier confusion. Science and technology are not going to find God for us, but certainly they’re opening up new ways of understanding a purpose and point to life and are probably the best tools for the post-modern man to explore and discover new truths. Therefore they can be the tools or means God will reveal Himself in ways that post-modern man can make sense of. We even get glimpses of what an afterlife in a non-physical body might be like with the aid of virtual labs and bioinformatics. But to me, it is a far different view than the one some of us learned in the kids class at church and stayed the same over the years.

  27. Dan Livis says:

    I may ad that, if there is an afterlife or another stage of existence, I would like to know and understand more about than the simple analogy Jesus made at the time, of course, for the simple reason that there was no way a person in that generation could possibly understand a different type of existence other than a physical one. The other side of it is, seeing some of Jesus’s miracles and Him alive after being killed was good enough for many people to believe everything Jesus said about afterlife. However, for the post-modern man simply ‘believing” what others saw without seeing the same things himself stopped working a long time ago, so of course I’m skeptical. I’m open to the idea of an afterlife based on what I see in the virtual lab and what we can do through science which will get bigger and better. But still, I think God needs to show me some details first or reveal to me in a way I can understand things today, not the way people did 2,000 years ago.
    I don’t see why God wouldn’t reveal Himself in a way we can understand Him at the time of His revelation; after all God’s revelations are to let us know who He is and what He’s like, regardless of whether He fits our agenda and purpose or not. Most Jews obviously didn’t like what He’s like when Jesus revealed God because they couldn’t possibly see Rome conquered with Him. I’m curious how much or how little we will like God in His next revelation because of what we can or cannot see based on whatever means He may use and what He will do…

  28. Dan Livis says:

    Ianis
    I agree with Carlin and I often laugh at how we try to make the world a better place.. we spend tons of money trying to find various treatments for heart failure, cancers, genetic diseases and so forth. Daca gaseam ceva metode mai bune, Carlin poate ne mai facea sa radem si astazi. Many of the problems are related to self-control and our refusal to do what evolution design us to do (work physically). If those of us that eat too much would give to those that don’t have enough to eat, many problems would be solved. Usually when I say „making the world a better place” I think of all the things we could do to other humans that have less than many of us or have no food to eat. Although it’s nice to save the wales, I agree with Carlin mostly, however, when it comes to people Hitchens has a good point (listen to his speech about donating blood). Regarding me being this guy in 30 years, you’re entitled to your opinion but I’ll try to surprise you! 😉

  29. Dan Livis says:

    DI
    ami cer scuze pt. ca am scris in engleza. nu este vorba de efort, ci unele emisiuni le-am facut special pt. ascultatori care nu vorbesc romana si pt. ei scrim in engleza. dar bineinteles ca putem discuta si pe romana.

  30. Dan Livis says:

    poli
    sti ca pavel a zis un lucuru mare „cine acuza pe altii sunt vinovati de acelasi lucru” asa ca creste tu antai ca sa am si eu role model. 😉

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