Elsewhere on the internet...

The League of Reason has some social media accounts! You can find us on Facebook or on Twitter for some interesting links and things.

Why I'm a Deist.

Post new topic Reply to topic  Page 1 of 20
 [ 395 posts ] 
Why I'm a Deist.
Author Message
tuxboxLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 1172Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:05 amLocation: Vero Beach Gender: Tree

Post Why I'm a Deist.

Why I'm a Deist

We get a few of Creationists in arguing for their God, but I've yet to see any Deists in this forum. I'm all alone here. (hehe) In the Before The Big Bang thread here: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=12314 I got a little side tracked with DNA and evolution. Inferno said he would be willing to discuss it in an other thread. So I thought about it and decided to do a Deist thread instead. It will include DNA and evolution, so I hope it will be fun. I know I will be bombarded with awesome questions and rebuttals, and I will try to address them as best I can.

Now on to Deism. I consider myself a Classical Deist. The one that Richard Dawkins describes here:

.

I'm agnostic as to Its attributes or motives or even whether It is a deity that deserves worship. (however I'm too lazy to worship anything). Here is another video that describes Deism in a nutshell here:


And here:



Well that is Deism for me and now I will move on as to why I'm a Deist.



I'm too ignorant (one might say I'm ignorant when it comes to DNA and evolution as well) to make an argument for Deism based on the beginning of the the universe, however, I'm taking the effort to learn, buy reading books and asking questions of knowledgeable people like hackenslash & surreptitious57.

Okay, let me start out with DNA. I will be talking about the central dogma of molecular biology
I will be borrowing from this website for some of the reason why I think DNA has design implications.

The Central Dogma: DNA Encodes RNA; RNA Encodes Protein




The genetic code is degenerate because 64 codons encode only 22 amino acids.
The genetic code is universal because it is the same among all organisms.
Replication is the process of copying a molecule of DNA.
Transcription is the process of converting a specific sequence of DNA into RNA.
Translation is the process where a ribosome decodes mRNA into a protein.


Source: Boundless. “The Central Dogma: DNA Encodes RNA; RNA Encodes Protein.” Boundless Biology. Boundless, 20 Jan. 2015. Retrieved 15 Apr. 2015 from
The above in my opinion is freakin awesome. That is what DNA does, it encodes over and over again in every organism know to humans.

Image


The genetic code for translating each nucleotide triplet (codon) in mRNA into an amino acid or a translation termination signal.

Here is a quote from the website:
Because the information stored in DNA is so central to cellular function, the cell keeps the DNA protected and copies it in the form of RNA. An enzyme adds one nucleotide to the mRNA strand for every nucleotide it reads in the DNA strand. The translation of this information to a protein is more complex because three mRNA nucleotides correspond to one amino acid in the polypeptide sequence.


This may be an argument from incredulity, but I find it hard to believe that DNA just formed from a primordial soup without some help from a higher power. It is the most amazing molecule. As the quote says, “Because the information stored in DNA...”. It seems to me that information has to come from a intelligent mind. While I do believe DNA and all life evolved by natural means, that does not mean it didn't have help. This image shows the awesomeness of DNA:

Image

Here the article talks about transcription and translation. Again, this takes on the appearance of design.

Transcription is the process of creating a complementary RNA copy of a sequence of DNA. Both RNA and DNA are nucleic acids, which use base pairs of nucleotides as a complementary language that enzymes can convert back and forth from DNA to RNA. During transcription, a DNA sequence is read by RNA polymerase, which produces a complementary, antiparallel RNA strand. Unlike DNA replication, transcription results in an RNA complement that substitutes the RNA uracil (U) in all instances where the DNA thymine (T) would have occurred. Transcription is the first step in gene expression. The stretch of DNA transcribed into an RNA molecule is called a transcript. Some transcripts are used as structural or regulatory RNAs, and others encode one or more proteins. If the transcribed gene encodes a protein, the result of transcription is messenger RNA (mRNA), which will then be used to create that protein in the process of translation.


This is my argument so far for DNA taking on the appearance of design. I do not believe that it is just a Teleonomic design, although Teleonomy played a big part in the appearance of life as we see it and the life that came before us. I'm a little tired right now and I will post my reasons for evolution to be designed as well at a later time. Have fun debunking my reasoning skills. hehe
"Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man." ~ Thomas Paine
Wed Apr 15, 2015 8:10 pm
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2204Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Why I'm a Deist.

Before I get on with addressing some of your misunderstandings, I just wanted to point out that, if you think that DNA (or indeed anything else) required the input of a higher power, you most definitely aren't a deist.

tuxbox wrote:This may be an argument from incredulity, but I find it hard to believe that DNA just formed from a primordial soup without some help from a higher power. It is the most amazing molecule. As the quote says, “Because the information stored in DNA...”. It seems to me that information has to come from a intelligent mind.


This seems to be the foundation, so let's just deal with information:

Here, we require a definition of information that is robust. Now, there are two robust formulations of information theory, and both of them need to be considered. The first is that of Claude Shannon and, while this is the formulation that most of them will cite, largely due to apologist screeds erecting various claims about information having to contain some sort of message and therefore requiring somebody to formulate the message, it doesn't robustly apply to DNA, because it's the wrong treatment of information. Indeed, when dealing with complexity in information, you MUST use Kolmogorov, because that's the one that deals with complexity.

So just what is information? Well, in Shannon theory, information can be defined as 'reduction in uncertainty'. Shannon theory deals with fidelity in signal transmission and reception, since Shannon worked in communications. Now, given this, we have a maximum information content, defined as the lowest possible uncertainty. Now, if we have a signal, say a TV station, and your TV is perfectly tuned, and there is no noise added between transmission and reception of the TV signal, then you receive the channel cleanly and the information content is maximal. If, however, the TV is tuned slightly off the channel, or your reception is in some other respect less than brilliant, you get noise in the channel. The older ones of you will remember pre-digital television in which this was manifest in the form of 'bees' in the picture, and crackling and noise in the audio. Nowadays, you tend to get breaks in the audio, and pixelated blocks in the picture. They amount to the same thing, namely noise, or 'an increase in uncertainty'. It tells us that any deviation from the maximal information content, which is a fixed quantity, constitutes degradation of the information source, or 'Shannon entropy' (Shannon actually chose this term because the equation describing his 'information entropy' is almost identical to the Boltzmann equation for statistical entropy, as used in statistical mechanics.

This seems to gel well with the creationist claims, and is the source of all their nonsense about 'no new information in DNA'. Of course, there are several major failings in this treatment.

The first comes from Shannon himself, from the book that he wrote with Warren Weaver on the topic:

Shannon & Weaver wrote:The semantic aspects of communication are irrelevant to the engineering aspects


And

The word information, in this theory, is used in a special sense that must not be confused with its ordinary usage. In particular, information must not be confused with meaning. In fact, two messages, one of which is heavily loaded with meaning and the other of which is pure nonsense, can be exactly equivalent, from the present viewpoint, as regards information.


So we see that Shannon himself doesn't actually agree with this treatment of information relied on so heavily by the creationists.

The second is that Shannon's is not the only rigorous formulation of information theory. The other comes from Andrey Kolmogorov, whose theory deals with information storage. The information content in Kolmogorov theory is a feature of complexity or, better still, can be defined as the amount of compression that can be applied to it. This latter can be formulated in terms of the shortest algorithm that can be written to represent the information.

Returning to our TV channel, we see a certain incongruence between the two formulations, because in Kolmogorov theory, the noise that you encounter when the TV is slightly off-station actually represents an increase in information, where in Shannon theory, it represents a decrease! How is this so? Well, it can be quite easily summed up, and the summation highlights the distinction between the two theories, both of which are perfectly robust and valid.

Let's take an example of a message, say a string of 100 1s. In it's basic form, that would look like this:

1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111

Now, there are many ways we could compress this. The first has already been given above, namely 'a string of 100 1s'.

Now, if we make a change in that string,

1111111110111111111011111111101111111110111111111011111111101111111110111111111011111111101111111110

We now have a string of 9 1s followed by a zero, repeated 9 times. We now clearly have an increase in information content, even though the number of digits is exactly the same. However, there is a periodicity to it, so a simple compression algorithm can still be applied.

Let's try a different one:

1110011110001111110111110001111111111100110011001111000111111111110111110000111111000111111110011101

Now, clearly, we have something that approaches an entirely random pattern. The more random a pattern is, the longer the algorithm required to describe it, and the higher the information content.

Returning once again to our TV station, the further you get away from the station, the more random the pattern becomes, and the longer the algorithm required to reproduce it, until you reach a point in which the shortest representation of the signal is the thing itself. In other words, no compression can be applied.

This is actually how compression works when you compress images for storage in your computer using the algorithms that pertain to Jpeg, etc. The uncompressed bitmap is the uncompressed file, while the Jpeg compression algorithm, roughly, stores it as '100 pixels of x shade of blue followed by 300 pixels of black', etc. Thus, the more complicated an image is in terms of periodicity and pattern, the less it can be compressed and the larger the output file will be.

What the above does is comprehensively demolish any and all creationist claims concerning information.

Information?
Image
From sand dunes, we can learn about prevailing wind directions over time and, in many cases, the underlying terrain just from the shape and direction

Information?
Image
Theropod";p="1721437 wrote:Dogshit. The dogshit can tell us what the dog ate, how much of it ate, how big the dogs anus is, how long ago the dog shat on your lawn, the digestive health of the dog, whether there are parasite eggs in the shit and contain traces of the dog's DNA we can sequence to identify the individual dog. Seems like a lot of information to me. It also seems like more than enough information is present to shoot your assertion down


Information?
Image
DNA is information in the sense that it informs us about the system, not that it contains a message. It is not a code, more something akin to a cipher, in which the chemical bases are treated as the letters of the language. There is nobody trying to tell us anything here, and yet we can be informed by it.

Information?
Image
About 1% of the interference pattern on an off-channel television screen is caused by the cosmic microwave background.

Information?
Image
This is information in the sense that the squiggles represent more data than would be contained on a blank piece of paper, although even a blank piece of paper is information. In this example, information is defined as the number of bits it would take to represent it in a storage system. This is pure kolmogorov information.

Information?
Image
Of all the information sources in this post, this is the only one that actually contains a message, and is therefore the only one to which Shannon information theory can be applied, as it is the only one that could actually decrease in terms of signal integrity.

Which of the above are information?

Answer: All of them. They are just different kinds of information. ;)

More here by the Blue Flutterby:
http://www.rationalskepticism.org/viewt ... 1#p1934111
Wed Apr 15, 2015 8:36 pm
LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2948Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Why I'm a Deist.

Do you postulate that something intervened within the already existing universe to create DNA?

If so does that kind of intervention not go against the non-interventionist God of Deism? Or can a Deistic God be interventionist?
Like the League of Reason on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Shameless Self-Promotion
Listen to my music on Soundcloud
Like my music page on Facebook
Wed Apr 15, 2015 8:39 pm
tuxboxLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 1172Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:05 amLocation: Vero Beach Gender: Tree

Post Re: Why I'm a Deist.

hackenslash wrote:Before I get on with addressing some of your misunderstandings, I just wanted to point out that, if you think that DNA (or indeed anything else) required the input of a higher power, you most definitely aren't a deist.


How do you figure? Thomas Paine, probably one of the most famous Deist believed in one God and even created a church in France and believed we should “worship God's wisdom and benevolence and imitate those divine attributes as much as possible”(Wikipedia, The Age of Reason). I don't believe in revelation, miracle, and I don't believe in divine intervention. I believe through reason and observation of nature and the universe that one can conclude that a Creator exists. That's Deism,is it not?

hackenslash wrote: Which of the above are information?

Answer: All of them. They are just different kinds of information. ;)

More here by the Blue Flutterby:
http://www.rationalskepticism.org/viewt ... 1#p1934111


All the information you posted, with the exception of the sand dune, the cosmic microwave background, and possibly the dog shite (lol by the way ;) ) came from an intelligent mind. Also, DNA creates life over and over again. Without it, this planet would be nothing but dirt and water. This molecule is amazing and it came from non-life. If there is a Creator, DNA is the product of Its creation.
Why did It create? Not sure and don't care, but I think that is reasonable to conclude that DNA is evidence that It did create this universe and within that universe life appeared on this planet.
"Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man." ~ Thomas Paine
Wed Apr 15, 2015 9:39 pm
tuxboxLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 1172Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:05 amLocation: Vero Beach Gender: Tree

Post Re: Why I'm a Deist.

Laurens wrote:Do you postulate that something intervened within the already existing universe to create DNA?


No, life is a byproduct of creation. The only intervention was the creation of the universe.

Laurens wrote:If so does that kind of intervention not go against the non-interventionist God of Deism? Or can a Deistic God be interventionist?


I think it is pretty clear that the Creator has nothing to do with us and does not intervene with life on this planet. That is my opinion on a Deistic God. Though I prefer to use the term Creator.
"Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man." ~ Thomas Paine
Wed Apr 15, 2015 9:44 pm
InfernoContributorUser avatarPosts: 2298Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:36 pmLocation: Vienna, Austria Gender: Cake

Post Re: Why I'm a Deist.

tuxbox wrote:This may be an argument from incredulity, but I find it hard to believe that DNA just formed from a primordial soup without some help from a higher power.


Disregarding that this is a Theist position, not a Deist one (direct intervention is Theistic), this is as you correctly state an argument from incredulity.

When talking about all this, you need to remember that

1) we don't exactly know how DNA arose.

2) we've made some incredible advances in the last few years. I'll link them tomorrow.

3) that's not an argument. You're not positively indicating design, you're negatively inferring that it couldn't have been without design.

Anyway, sleep for now, arguments for tomorrow.
"Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed." ― Friedrich Nietzsche

"I shall achieve my objectives through the power... of Science!" --LessWrong
Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:24 pm
tuxboxLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 1172Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:05 amLocation: Vero Beach Gender: Tree

Post Re: Why I'm a Deist.

Inferno wrote:
Disregarding that this is a Theist position, not a Deist one (direct intervention is Theistic)


Deist believe that a Creator created the universe and DNA and evolution are part of that creation. How is that Theistic?


Inferno wrote:, this is as you correctly state an argument from incredulity.


Bummer!

Inferno wrote:When talking about all this, you need to remember that

1) we don't exactly know how DNA arose.

2) we've made some incredible advances in the last few years. I'll link them tomorrow.

3) that's not an argument. You're not positively indicating design, you're negatively inferring that it couldn't have been without design.

Anyway, sleep for now, arguments for tomorrow.



1) I agree that it is not a good idea fill in the blanks with a deity, but there are more tell tell signs that a Creator was involved.

2) Awesome, I can't wait to read them. :)

3) You lost me on this.

Have a good sleep.
"Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man." ~ Thomas Paine
Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:49 pm
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3164Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: Why I'm a Deist.

tuxbox wrote:This may be an argument from incredulity, but I find it hard to believe that DNA just formed from a primordial soup without some help from a higher power. It is the most amazing molecule. As the quote says, “Because the information stored in DNA...”. It seems to me that information has to come from a intelligent mind. While I do believe DNA and all life evolved by natural means, that does not mean it didn't have help. This image shows the awesomeness of DNA:


tuxbox wrote:
Laurens wrote:Do you postulate that something intervened within the already existing universe to create DNA?


No, life is a byproduct of creation. The only intervention was the creation of the universe.


Those are two contradictory statements. You cannot have a god(s) interfere with creating DNA while only intervening to create the universe.

However, to get to your more general point of there being a creator; why assume that the universe/life/DNA was created in the first place? As Inferno pointed out, you are claiming that design in nature means there is a designer when we know that is patently false. There are several examples (evolution just being one of them) that there are bottom up designs in nature. I believe your problem is that in our modern world we are so used to top down designing (buildings, cars, and such) being ubiquitous that we think it is commonplace, thus a design for everything else would make sense. However, crystals, galaxies, and life itself all point to bottom up formation through natural laws.

Think of it this way, we, as humans, are much more complex than the things we design and build. Just imagine how much more complex a deity would have to be that designed the universe/life. If something like that existed, one would expect so much more evidence for it than trying to infer it from things (life and the universe) that are better explained with natural laws. Do not go looking for ghosts in the machine when oil and springs explain the thing.
_BONES AND FOSSILS = LOVE_
(_'--------------------'_)
(_.--------------------._)
Wed Apr 15, 2015 11:15 pm
YIM WWW
tuxboxLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 1172Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:05 amLocation: Vero Beach Gender: Tree

Post Re: Why I'm a Deist.

he_who_is_nobody wrote:
Those are two contradictory statements. You cannot have a god(s) interfere with creating DNA while only intervening to create the universe.


How do you figure? If the Creator created the universe, that is intervening. DNA is no different than the creation of a galaxy.

he_who_is_nobody wrote:However, to get to your more general point of there being a creator; why assume that the universe/life/DNA was created in the first place? As Inferno pointed out, you are claiming that design in nature means there is a designer when we know that is patently false.


If we have not figured out how life began, then how can you say "that is patently false" That fact is this, we (that includes me) don't know for sure.

he_who_is_nobody wrote: There are several examples (evolution just being one of them) that there are bottom up designs in nature. I believe your problem is that in our modern world we are so used to top down designing (buildings, cars, and such) being ubiquitous that we think it is commonplace, thus a design for everything else would make sense. However, crystals, galaxies, and life itself all point to bottom up formation through natural laws.



Think of it this way, we, as humans, are much more complex than the things we design and build. Just imagine how much more complex a deity would have to be that designed the universe/life. If something like that existed, one would expect so much more evidence for it than trying to infer it from things (life and the universe) that are better explained with natural laws. Do not go looking for ghosts in the machine when oil and springs explain the thing.



You are talking about Teleonomic design vs Teleological design, are you not? If so, I get that, but why can't it be both?
"Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man." ~ Thomas Paine
Wed Apr 15, 2015 11:44 pm
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3164Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: Why I'm a Deist.

tuxbox wrote:
he_who_is_nobody wrote:
Those are two contradictory statements. You cannot have a god(s) interfere with creating DNA while only intervening to create the universe.


How do you figure? If the Creator created the universe, that is intervening. DNA is no different than the creation of a galaxy.


Yes, but you claimed “… life is a byproduct of creation. The Only intervention was the creation of the universe.” By stating that the only intervention was at the beginning of the universe, you cannot have a deity later coming in and creating anything else (whether it is harder or easier to create). That is where your contradiction lies, not in the difference between the creation of the universe and DNA.

tuxbox wrote:
he_who_is_nobody wrote:However, to get to your more general point of there being a creator; why assume that the universe/life/DNA was created in the first place? As Inferno pointed out, you are claiming that design in nature means there is a designer when we know that is patently false.


If we have not figured out how life began, then how can you say "that is patently false" That fact is this, we (that includes me) don't know for sure.


Again, your assumption is that you see design; therefore, a designer must be involved. That is what is patently false. In nature we find countless examples of things that are naturally design, thus the assumption that a design needs a designer is false. That does not rule out a designer, it just means that you cannot infer a designer based on design seen in nature. Furthermore, asking if something is design is only begging the question. In order to infer a designer, you need to show evidence for a designer and the design in nature cannot be it since it can be explained without a designer.

tuxbox wrote:
he_who_is_nobody wrote: There are several examples (evolution just being one of them) that there are bottom up designs in nature. I believe your problem is that in our modern world we are so used to top down designing (buildings, cars, and such) being ubiquitous that we think it is commonplace, thus a design for everything else would make sense. However, crystals, galaxies, and life itself all point to bottom up formation through natural laws.

Think of it this way, we, as humans, are much more complex than the things we design and build. Just imagine how much more complex a deity would have to be that designed the universe/life. If something like that existed, one would expect so much more evidence for it than trying to infer it from things (life and the universe) that are better explained with natural laws. Do not go looking for ghosts in the machine when oil and springs explain the thing.



You are talking about Teleonomic design vs Teleological design, are you not? If so, I get that, but why can't it be both?


Because of parsimony. As hackenslash already said:

hackenslash wrote:H1. The automobile operates via the internal combustion engine and a series of gears.

H2. The automobile operates via the internal combustion engine, a series of gears., and a group of pixies pushing from behind.

The shaving implement of the late, lamented cleric of Surrey tells us that we should strip away the pixies, because we have no evidence for them and they appear to be unnecessary. This is not to say that there are no pixies pushing your car from behind, because there might well be but, for the purpose of the application of this tool, we should do away with them.


You are multiplying entities to explain a problem that is already sufficiently explained. Again, it does not mean ghosts/gods/pixies are not behind it, but why assume they are there when they are not needed to make the machine/life/car work?
_BONES AND FOSSILS = LOVE_
(_'--------------------'_)
(_.--------------------._)
Thu Apr 16, 2015 12:20 am
YIM WWW
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 2799Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Why I'm a Deist.

Greetings,

If you're saying that a creator caused the universe to come into being but DNA is the result of the laws of Nature, that's deism.

If you're saying that a creator caused the universe to come into being and then caused DNA to come into being (through divine intervention), that's theism.

Kindest regards,

James
Image
"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Thu Apr 16, 2015 12:22 am
tuxboxLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 1172Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:05 amLocation: Vero Beach Gender: Tree

Post Re: Why I'm a Deist.

he_who_is_nobody wrote:
Yes, but you claimed “… life is a byproduct of creation. The Only intervention was the creation of the universe.” By stating that the only intervention was at the beginning of the universe, you cannot have a deity later coming in and creating anything else (whether it is harder or easier to create). That is where your contradiction lies, not in the difference between the creation of the universe and DNA.


If a creator created the universe and the laws of nature, then life is a byproduct of creation. I don't remember saying that a deity came in later and created DNA.

Again, your assumption is that you see design; therefore, a designer must be involved. That is what is patently false. In nature we find countless examples of things that are naturally design, thus the assumption that a design needs a designer is false. That does not rule out a designer, it just means that you cannot infer a designer based on design seen in nature. Furthermore, asking if something is design is only begging the question. In order to infer a designer, you need to show evidence for a designer and the design in nature cannot be it since it can be explained without a designer.


My assumptions are based on the observations of nature. I'm using inductive reasoning here, and I see design. That does not mean "a designer must be involved." I have my doubts as well. As for the rest of your statement I agree. Design does not necessitate a designer. I just believe there was a designer based on my current knowledge of DNA and evolution.

he_who_is_nobody wrote: There are several examples (evolution just being one of them) that there are bottom up designs in nature. I believe your problem is that in our modern world we are so used to top down designing (buildings, cars, and such) being ubiquitous that we think it is commonplace, thus a design for everything else would make sense. However, crystals, galaxies, and life itself all point to bottom up formation through natural laws.

Think of it this way, we, as humans, are much more complex than the things we design and build. Just imagine how much more complex a deity would have to be that designed the universe/life. If something like that existed, one would expect so much more evidence for it than trying to infer it from things (life and the universe) that are better explained with natural laws. Do not go looking for ghosts in the machine when oil and springs explain the thing.


Natural laws and the laws that govern the universe had to come from somewhere, unless someone has proven that they have always existed. That said, why would you expect to have more evidence of a creator? The fact that we are here and having this conversation could be counted as evidence.

he_who_is_nobody wrote:Because of parsimony. As hackenslash already said:

hackenslash wrote:H1. The automobile operates via the internal combustion engine and a series of gears.

H2. The automobile operates via the internal combustion engine, a series of gears., and a group of pixies pushing from behind.

The shaving implement of the late, lamented cleric of Surrey tells us that we should strip away the pixies, because we have no evidence for them and they appear to be unnecessary. This is not to say that there are no pixies pushing your car from behind, because there might well be but, for the purpose of the application of this tool, we should do away with them.


You are multiplying entities to explain a problem that is already sufficiently explained. Again, it does not mean ghosts/gods/pixies are not behind it, but why assume they are there when they are not needed to make the machine/life/car work?


The problem as I see it, at least in this context, is that you are assuming there must be more evidence for a creator and since you do not see it, it must be waved away as nonsense. You believe that what we have learned in evolutionary biology and cosmology is sufficient to explain everything. The problem with that thinking is that we don't know everything and to assume a creator must not be involved when we lack the knowledge to even know how life and the universe began is a little shortsighted, in my opinion.
"Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man." ~ Thomas Paine
Thu Apr 16, 2015 1:01 am
tuxboxLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 1172Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:05 amLocation: Vero Beach Gender: Tree

Post Re: Why I'm a Deist.

Dragan Glas wrote:Greetings,

If you're saying that a creator caused the universe to come into being but DNA is the result of the laws of Nature, that's deism.

If you're saying that a creator caused the universe to come into being and then caused DNA to come into being (through divine intervention), that's theism.

Kindest regards,

James


I thought I was arguing the first one. Evidently I am not very good at getting my point across. ;)
"Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man." ~ Thomas Paine
Thu Apr 16, 2015 1:03 am
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2204Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Why I'm a Deist.

tuxbox wrote:How do you figure?


Because Deism is the proposition that some entity set the universe running and hasn't been seen or heard form since. You're positing one that created DNA after the fact. That's theism, not deism.

Thomas Paine, probably one of the most famous Deist believed in one God and even created a church in France and believed we should “worship God's wisdom and benevolence and imitate those divine attributes as much as possible”(Wikipedia, The Age of Reason). I don't believe in revelation, miracle, and I don't believe in divine intervention. I believe through reason and observation of nature and the universe that one can conclude that a Creator exists. That's Deism,is it not?


Except you're advocating divine intervention, in the creation of DNA (where it's entirely unwarranted, I might add).

All the information you posted, with the exception of the sand dune, the cosmic microwave background, and possibly the dog shite (lol by the way ;) ) came from an intelligent mind.


Wrong. Only one of those required intelligence, namely the Zodiac cipher. None of the rest did, including DNA.

Also, DNA creates life over and over again. Without it, this planet would be nothing but dirt and water. This molecule is amazing and it came from non-life. If there is a Creator, DNA is the product of Its creation.


Textbook argument from personal incredulity.

Why did It create? Not sure and don't care, but I think that is reasonable to conclude that DNA is evidence that It did create this universe and within that universe life appeared on this planet.


Then you don't understand what the word 'reasonable' means, because what it most definitely does not mean is 'based on a glaring logical fallacy', which is the only tenuous link you have between premises and conclusion.

DNA is simply chemistry. There's no mystery there, and certainly none that requires magic.
Thu Apr 16, 2015 2:45 am
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2204Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Why I'm a Deist.

tuxbox wrote:If a creator created the universe and the laws of nature, then life is a byproduct of creation. I don't remember saying that a deity came in later and created DNA.


You don't have to be specifically saying it. There was no DNA in the early universe. If you're advocating a creator based on the fact that intelligence was required to create DNA, then you're advocating divine intervention after the fact.

My assumptions are based on the observations of nature. I'm using inductive reasoning here, and I see design.


Do you even know what would be required to support a design argument?

That does not mean "a designer must be involved." I have my doubts as well. As for the rest of your statement I agree. Design does not necessitate a designer. I just believe there was a designer based on my current knowledge of DNA and evolution.


Then you're definitely not a deist, because a deist wouldn't posit design.

Natural laws and the laws that govern the universe had to come from somewhere, unless someone has proven that they have always existed.


Why? Show your working out. See, I think I've demonstrated by now that I have a pretty firm grasp on natural laws (natural laws don't govern anything, by the way; they're descriptive, not prescriptive), so why is it that I don't conclude a creator?

That said, why would you expect to have more evidence of a creator?


I'll settle for any evidence at all.

The fact that we are here and having this conversation could be counted as evidence.


Only by somebody with no idea of what evidence is or how it works. At the risk of committing a tautology, evidence is 'that which makes evident'. How can our existence bee deemed 'that which makes a creator evident'? The answer is that it can't, and only circular reasoning could get you there.

The problem as I see it, at least in this context, is that you are assuming there must be more evidence for a creator and since you do not see it, it must be waved away as nonsense.


Actually, no. It's not being waved away as nonsense, it's being dismissed as lacking even a tiny crumb of anything resembling support. There's simply no evidence.

You believe that what we have learned in evolutionary biology and cosmology is sufficient to explain everything. The problem with that thinking is that we don't know everything and to assume a creator must not be involved when we lack the knowledge to even know how life and the universe began is a little shortsighted, in my opinion.


Your opinion is useless. Moreover, nobody here believes that we have all the answers, but what we do have is vast swathes of phenomena having been explained without recourse to magical entities, including phenomena that the inventors of deities were incapable of even fantasising about.

Concluding a creator on the basis of the tiny bit of understanding you have is naïve in the extreme.

Edit: Tags.
Last edited by hackenslash on Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
Thu Apr 16, 2015 3:01 am
LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2948Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Why I'm a Deist.

tuxbox wrote:
Laurens wrote:Do you postulate that something intervened within the already existing universe to create DNA?


No, life is a byproduct of creation. The only intervention was the creation of the universe.

Laurens wrote:If so does that kind of intervention not go against the non-interventionist God of Deism? Or can a Deistic God be interventionist?


I think it is pretty clear that the Creator has nothing to do with us and does not intervene with life on this planet. That is my opinion on a Deistic God. Though I prefer to use the term Creator.


Okay thanks for clearing that up.

So you postulate that the creator set the universe up in order that DNA could form naturally from it's laws.

Does that mean the creator intended for us to exist? I know that this would be unknowable, but do you ever speculate as to why?
Like the League of Reason on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Shameless Self-Promotion
Listen to my music on Soundcloud
Like my music page on Facebook
Thu Apr 16, 2015 6:33 am
tuxboxLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 1172Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:05 amLocation: Vero Beach Gender: Tree

Post Re: Why I'm a Deist.

hackenslash wrote:Because Deism is the proposition that some entity set the universe running and hasn't been seen or heard form since. You're positing one that created DNA after the fact. That's theism, not deism.


No, I'm positing that DNA is a byproduct of that creation, but one can still see design.


hackenslash wrote:Except you're advocating divine intervention, in the creation of DNA (where it's entirely unwarranted, I might add).


Only in the sense that it was a byproduct of the creation of the universe. I'm not saying that DNA was part of a second creation by the Creator or that it was intended.

hackenslash wrote:Wrong. Only one of those required intelligence, namely the Zodiac cipher. None of the rest did, including DNA.


The piece of paper with the squiggly lines or even a blank piece of paper are created by an intelligent minds, not to mention the TV that picked up the CMB.

hackenslash wrote:Textbook argument from personal incredulity.


As I said in a previous post when talking with ACB, it is impossible to argue God without running into logical fallacies. I recognize this problem.

hackenslash wrote:Then you don't understand what the word 'reasonable' means, because what it most definitely does not mean is 'based on a glaring logical fallacy', which is the only tenuous link you have between premises and conclusion.

DNA is simply chemistry. There's no mystery there, and certainly none that requires magic.


I agree that I'm running into logical fallacies here and I agree that DNA is chemistry, but I disagree that there is no mystery. As for the magic (lol), I'm not arguing for magic.
"Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man." ~ Thomas Paine
Thu Apr 16, 2015 3:20 pm
tuxboxLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 1172Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:05 amLocation: Vero Beach Gender: Tree

Post Re: Why I'm a Deist.

hackenslash wrote:You don't have to be specifically saying it. There was no DNA in the early universe. If you're advocating a creator based on the fact that intelligence was required to create DNA, then you're advocating divine intervention after the fact.


I've said many times in this conversation that DNA is a byproduct of creation. If that is true (I know you do not believe that), then a intelligent mind was in part responsible for DNA.

hackenslash wrote:Do you even know what would be required to support a design argument?


I'm not sure where you are going with this, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that you believe that I should be giving evidence for a designer, correct?

hackenslash wrote:Then you're definitely not a deist, because a deist wouldn't posit design.


Where in the Deist rule book does it say that? I'm not going to repeat myself here. I've explained my position here. Every Deist I've read, or talked with on the net posit design.

hackenslash wrote:Why? Show your working out. See, I think I've demonstrated by now that I have a pretty firm grasp on natural laws (natural laws don't govern anything, by the way; they're descriptive, not prescriptive), so why is it that I don't conclude a creator?


We see things differently and yes you have a very awesome grasp on natural laws, but most of them are theoretical and based on “maybe's”. Furthermore, I see no reason why, if true, that the naturals laws that you are very knowledgeable in, conflict with a creator of the universe.

hackenslash wrote:lol, I can't can't give you an deducible evidence. ;)


hackenslash wrote:Only by somebody with no idea of what evidence is or how it works. At the risk of committing a tautology, evidence is 'that which makes evident'. How can our existence bee deemed 'that which makes a creator evident'? The answer is that it can't, and only circular reasoning could get you there.


Perhaps

hackenslash wrote:Actually, no. It's not being waved away as nonsense, it's being dismissed as lacking even a tiny crumb of anything resembling support. There's simply no evidence.


No deducible evidence, or inductive?

hackenslash wrote:Your opinion is useless. Moreover, nobody here believes that we have all the answers, but what we do have is vast swathes of phenomena having been explained without recourse to magical entities, including phenomena that the inventors of deities were incapable of even fantasising about.

Concluding a creator on the basis of the tiny bit of understanding you have is naïve in the extreme.


Again, perhaps.
"Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man." ~ Thomas Paine
Thu Apr 16, 2015 3:53 pm
tuxboxLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 1172Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:05 amLocation: Vero Beach Gender: Tree

Post Re: Why I'm a Deist.

Laurens wrote:
Okay thanks for clearing that up.


You're welcome

Laurens wrote:So you postulate that the creator set the universe up in order that DNA could form naturally from it's laws.


No. I can't even be sure that the Creator even knows that we are here.

Laurens wrote:Does that mean the creator intended for us to exist? I know that this would be unknowable, but do you ever speculate as to why?


No personally don't think so, but I've heard of other Deists claim god created everything in order for us just to experience life. I personally do not prescribe to that idea.
"Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man." ~ Thomas Paine
Thu Apr 16, 2015 3:57 pm
LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2948Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Why I'm a Deist.

tuxbox wrote:No personally don't think so, but I've heard of other Deists claim god created everything in order for us just to experience life. I personally do not prescribe to that idea.


Okay. Sorry to ask loads of questions I'm just looking to get a clearer picture of your position.

Perhaps I worded my question wrongly, when I said "us" I probably should have said "life". Does your answer change bearing that in mind?
Like the League of Reason on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Shameless Self-Promotion
Listen to my music on Soundcloud
Like my music page on Facebook
Thu Apr 16, 2015 4:02 pm
Next
Post new topic Reply to topic  Page 1 of 20
 [ 395 posts ] 
Return to Religion & Irreligion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], ldmitruk and 3 guests