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Richard Dawkins: I can't be sure God does not exist

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posted on Feb, 28 2012 @ 03:51 PM
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Originally posted by reaxi0n

Originally posted by Cataclysm

Abiogensis (spontaneous generation of life from inorganic matter) requires a level of faith because there is no proven scientific basis for such a belief. Personally, I think that requires more faith than the faith required to believe in an intelligent designer and/or a god.




Well when it's done, I guess your belief goes out the window.


You are correct. Beliefs are formed based upon the available information. If new information becomes available, I definitely will reexamine my beliefs. Isn't that what "seekers of truth" do?




posted on Mar, 1 2012 @ 11:59 AM
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Dawkins is just realizing that atheism is illogical. It's a belief system that tries to masquerade as not being a belief system. Absent belief, atheism is very illogical.



posted on Mar, 1 2012 @ 12:26 PM
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Instant credibility loss!

Maybe he got a message from Christopher Hitchens in the after-life who told him,
"Dude, we were wrong"



posted on Mar, 2 2012 @ 01:45 AM
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reply to post by Cataclysm
 


I didn't mean anyone on here why would you even think that



posted on Mar, 2 2012 @ 02:05 PM
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Just Ask, just ask.... did I say: 'Just Ask'?

God will not force Himself on anyone.... He is a gentleman. But if you're curious... you can know. If you're really not curious.... what can I say?

By the way... believing in God is only the start. To put it another way: belief in God is a good start, but actually buys you very little:



19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!
James 2:19

...If you want to follow God... Asking is the first step. Then go to an Assembly of God church in your area. They can help you from here.



posted on Mar, 3 2012 @ 07:48 AM
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Originally posted by neoholographic
Dawkins is just realizing that atheism is illogical. It's a belief system that tries to masquerade as not being a belief system. Absent belief, atheism is very illogical.


I can't agree more. Atheism is a belief system, as much as any other. If I think something important is possible, but I'm not sure, I will make provision for it in case it's true. Dawkins' argument suggests he has got to the point of thinking this but has not taken the action, where it would be logical to move beyond the intellectual arguments - which I agree with him, do present a number of real barriers, especially the "problem of pain" with a good God - and accept the ineffable.



posted on Mar, 3 2012 @ 08:06 AM
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Fact, people don't read before posting.

2nd line.



posted on Mar, 3 2012 @ 08:13 AM
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Originally posted by blackcube
Fact, people don't read before posting.

2nd line.


Sorry Blackcube, I don't understand what you mean.



posted on Mar, 4 2012 @ 10:47 AM
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Originally posted by silent thunder
Note that he is not claiming some sea-change in his belief...he is simply admitting uncertainty. This is noteworthy even so, because he had never done so before, and also because he had embraced the "athiest" label with relish. Now he wants to be considered an agnostic. That is a huge shift.



Hmmm, I'm wondering just how much money he'd make if he wrote a book saying there IS a god? KA-CHING!



posted on Mar, 4 2012 @ 01:28 PM
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Originally posted by Anthony2

Originally posted by neoholographic
Dawkins is just realizing that atheism is illogical. It's a belief system that tries to masquerade as not being a belief system. Absent belief, atheism is very illogical.


I can't agree more. Atheism is a belief system, as much as any other. If I think something important is possible, but I'm not sure, I will make provision for it in case it's true.


A valid point but I would think a theist requires vastly more blind faith and intricately constructed stories than an athiest or other of the four options.



posted on Mar, 5 2012 @ 10:28 PM
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Originally posted by Garfee

Originally posted by Anthony2

Originally posted by neoholographic
Dawkins is just realizing that atheism is illogical. It's a belief system that tries to masquerade as not being a belief system. Absent belief, atheism is very illogical.


I can't agree more. Atheism is a belief system, as much as any other. If I think something important is possible, but I'm not sure, I will make provision for it in case it's true.


A valid point but I would think a theist requires vastly more blind faith and intricately constructed stories than an athiest or other of the four options.


In terms of which group requires the LEAST amount of faith, the agnostics win hands-down... "... don't ask me, I don't know, nobody knows, it's unknowable".

Let's look at the faith required by the evolutionists. The cornerstone of evolutionist theory is that unseen, spiritual forces CANNOT be tested, so are outside the realm of science and, thus, God cannot be taken into account when explaining the origin of the universe.

Yet, evolutionists insist upon unseen forces which control evolution. On each of the three points (below), evolutionists are quoted.

1. Time:
Nobel prize winner, George Wald (The Physics and Chemistry of Life, p.12),


"The important point is that since the origin of life belongs in the category of at-least-once phenomena, time is on its side. However improbable we regard this event, or any of the steps which it involves, given enough time it will almost certainly happen at least once. . . . Time is in fact the hero of the plot. The time with which we have to deal is of the order of two billion years. What we regard as impossible on the basis of human experience [or scientific observation and experiments] is meaningless here. Given so much time, the "impossible" becomes possible, the possible probable, and the probable virtually certain. One has only to wait: time itself performs the miracles."

Wald ascribed to "Time" miraculous power possessed only by divinity. Wald, and other evolutionists, simply exchange the Creator for another unseen force.

2. Chance (Mutations):
(Curt Stern, The Scientific Monthly, 10/l/53, p.196)


To the geneticist the majestic flow of evolution represents the outward calm of an unceasingly stirring world. Everywhere he discovers chance: chance in the origin of mutations, chance in their consequences upon development, chance in their shuffling into innumerable combinations. Indeed, the realm of chance is awe inspiring."
But, how "physical" is chance? It isn't. It is an unseen, imaginary "spiritual" force that evolutionists are convinced has some control over evolution.

3. Natural Selection:
Stephen J. Gould (Natural History, 6-7/77, p.28)



The essence of Darwinism lies in a single phrase: natural selection is the creative force of evolutionary change. No one denies that natural selection will play a negative role in eliminating the unfit. Darwinian theories require that it create the fit as well."
When Gould speaks of a "creative force", he could not be closer to speaking of God without mentioning Him. Yet, he ascribed the power to some natural "force". He made a god of a "force of nature".



posted on Mar, 5 2012 @ 10:58 PM
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Originally posted by Cataclysm
3. Natural Selection:
Stephen J. Gould (Natural History, 6-7/77, p.28)



The essence of Darwinism lies in a single phrase: natural selection is the creative force of evolutionary change. No one denies that natural selection will play a negative role in eliminating the unfit. Darwinian theories require that it create the fit as well."
When Gould speaks of a "creative force", he could not be closer to speaking of God without mentioning Him. Yet, he ascribed the power to some natural "force". He made a god of a "force of nature".


Except Gould doesn't fill in the blank space with 'God', and is yet to build a church based on the force of nature?

I don't understand the requirement to put words/false interpretations on people's points of view to try to twist it into something else. It's pretty clear what Gould means here and it isn't theological, and it's pretty clear that Richard Dawkins isn't exactly reaching for the Gideon's bible any time soon.

I don't comprehend why this thread is so large about a single person's off the cuff opinion or comment. Even if Dawkins has some experience that makes him recant his atheism I'm afraid it won't change reality or atheists one bit. He would end up being no different from the myriad of ministers that have lost faith, and from the large amounts of people that have found it.

Just seems like such a large non-starter to me.



posted on Mar, 6 2012 @ 04:22 PM
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Originally posted by Pinke

Originally posted by Cataclysm
3. Natural Selection:
Stephen J. Gould (Natural History, 6-7/77, p.28)



The essence of Darwinism lies in a single phrase: natural selection is the creative force of evolutionary change. No one denies that natural selection will play a negative role in eliminating the unfit. Darwinian theories require that it create the fit as well."
When Gould speaks of a "creative force", he could not be closer to speaking of God without mentioning Him. Yet, he ascribed the power to some natural "force". He made a god of a "force of nature".


Except Gould doesn't fill in the blank space with 'God'....


No, he doesn't use the word "God", but he uses the phrase "creative force". Keep in mind, Gould is a devote evolutionist and the use of this phrase ("creative force") is in the lexicon of most evolutionists we encounter.

What is this "creative force"? Is it physical? Is it energy? We need to hear from those who use the phrase to explain evolution, so, come on evolutionists, help us out here. What is "creative force"?




I don't comprehend why this thread is so large about a single person's off the cuff opinion or comment.


The reason this thread has legs is that Dawkins has been one of the most prominent mouthpieces for evolutionists for more than 30 years. Dawkins is the guy who once said, "Evolution is a fact, as securely established as any in science, and he who denies it betrays woeful ignorance and lack of education...".

Now, Dawkins is waffling... yes, that's news.

Does this change anything in the 'big picture of life"? Probably not, just like most other subjects on ATS



posted on Mar, 6 2012 @ 06:35 PM
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Ok, this topic is Actually Verry simple, and shouldn't require the amount of debate that I am seeing here... So, let's start off at the beginning with a breif introduction on the lessons and logic of Semantics, Shall we?

Yes....

Let's Begin.

Now, first off, we shall make the distinction between Belief and Knowledge.


Belief: An acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.


One can believe *ANYTHING*, and one can *DISBELIEVE* anything.

To Believe in the existence of God is not a terribly difficult feat, because belief requires absolutely nothing tangible to back up the belief.

Ok, now....


Knowledge: True, justified belief; certain understanding, as opposed to opinion.


Knowledge is information or facts that can be Justified through the presentation of evidence.


Now, let's look at GOD.


God: A superhuman being or spirit worshiped as having power over nature or human fortunes; a deity


Now, this definition of God is pretty much standard, despite which particular flavor of religious sect you happen to follow, as are these various qualities:

1. Created the Universe

2. Omnipotent (All Powerful)

3. Omniscient (All Knowing)

And these attributes are fairly common in most all religions, so these are the ones that I shall use in my example, more specifically, Omniscience.


Now, in order to prove that something has a specific quality or attribute, one must *TEST* for this attribute.

If you believe that a Bird can fly, You can test the birds ability to fly by watching it as you drop it from a building...


If the bird stops falling, and starts rising through the air, then it appears that it is flying....



Ok, How do you test for omniscience?

How do you test whether or not something or someone KNOWS EVERYTHING?

Simple, it's the same as if you were trying to find out if someone knows a specific thing.... you ask them something that you already know, and if they answer correctly, then you HAVE PROVEN that they KNOW that thing.

So.... How do you prove that something knows EVERYTHING?

In order to do this, you, yourself would ALSO have to know *EVERYTHING*, in order to test their Knowledge of all things....

And then you ask them *EVERYTHING*, which would probably take a very long time... maybe...


And they would have to get every question right.

Basically, what it all boils down to, is that Knowledge of A God that has this attribute is impossible for a human being to ever truly know, because we have physical limits to what we CAN know.

Therefore, we cannot PROVE that god exists, or doesn't exist, because it is Physically impossible to construct tests for any potential gods.

And this is the problem with people claiming that they KNOW that god exists or doesn't exist.... Because Knowledge IMPLIES Objective Evidence of the facts that the knowledge claims.

And it is impossible to have objective evidence of Omniscience, unless YOU are omniscient yourself.



posted on Mar, 7 2012 @ 12:02 PM
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Originally posted by ErtaiNaGia
And it is impossible to have objective evidence of Omniscience, unless YOU are omniscient yourself.


What would happen if the information was inherently contained within the observed phenomena?

Meaning that the "pattern" is consistent, of course.

This would mean the information for the universe is contained within itself. We could apply our methods of science to this, in that we couldnt test everything, but we could come up with something that would indeed systematically include such things. This would inevitably mean this thing is present everywhere it is. For our perspective, this indicates the omnipresence of ourselves and everything we can perceive.

So, if everything we know and can perceive (omnipresence) contains inherent patterns and information for its form and propagation, then where does that leave us? By containing these inherent patterns, we would definitely see some sort of "limit" where relativity starts to even out (which we see with the speed of light). Nothing would exceed this, giving omnipotence.

In this, these inherent patterns and information would be consistent. Allowing us to explore them in what perceive as a "scientific" manner that has any form of legitimacy (if they werent consistent, our theories wouldnt be either). Oddly, this comes to a conundrum where in we can "point to" something which is omnipotent and omnipresent, using science itself as the finger.

Could it be that the consistency between all of the cultures points to the exact same universe as we do with science? A bit of a rhetorical question..

I agree with you, in spirit (pun intended
). We should make this a little less of the "typical" debate.



posted on Mar, 7 2012 @ 12:32 PM
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I am actually studying about Dawkins, and Hitchins. I do believe this thread will help the validity of what I am about to post.

Has anyone ever heard of William Lane Craig? If not he has had debates in the past with Dawkins, and Hitchins, and Craig breaks it down into the moral argument that goes like this:

1) If GOD does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.
2) Objective moral values and duties do exist.
3) Therefore, GOD exists.

He has trumped atheist to the point where they don't believe in what they believed before, they just become unsure about the things that they were so certain about before. I advise looking into more of Craigs work.



posted on Mar, 7 2012 @ 01:54 PM
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reply to post by KonquestAbySS
 


2. No it does not.

The rest of your argument falls flat.



posted on Mar, 7 2012 @ 02:15 PM
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reply to post by KonquestAbySS
 


Dr. Craig is great. Star.



posted on Mar, 7 2012 @ 02:20 PM
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Originally posted by Furbs
reply to post by KonquestAbySS
 


2. No it does not.

The rest of your argument falls flat.


It's not his argument for one, and for two, morality had better be objective or the world would be absurd to live in.

You'd have murder morally wrong in one country and morally good in another one.



posted on Mar, 7 2012 @ 02:23 PM
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Everyone isn't sure if god does or doesn't exist. I'm an aethiest but I'm not sure if "it" doesn't exist.

What I will say though, there is no proof of "its" existance what so ever, so in essence perhaps thats proof "it" doesn't exist?



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