Textkit Logo

Was there a point in time in which there was no creation?

Philosophers and rhetoricians, Welcome!

Was there a point in time in which there was no creation?

Postby Ibn Taymiyyah » Sat Jul 02, 2005 4:08 am

Creation is one of God's attributes.
God attains His perfectness through His attributes.
God's perfectnedss in ultimate and is always present.

For God to always be ultimately perfect His attributes of perfectness have to always be in effect.

Therefore, God has always been creating and there was no point in time when there was no creation.

What do you think?
Ibn Taymiyyah
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 10:43 pm

Postby bellum paxque » Sat Jul 02, 2005 4:17 am

Fortunately for this argument, time is not one of God's characteristics. In fact, time is a result of creation. However, as time and creation are not simultaneous, we need not assume that time has coexisted with creation, which has coexisted with God, a presupposition that would return us to our original conundrum. Thus, the question is rendered moot.
bellum paxque
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 718
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2005 2:29 pm
Location: nanun Hanguge issoyo (in Korea sum)

Postby Cédric » Sat Jul 02, 2005 9:14 am

I have a little question for u :

Why do human ALWAYS have to look for something to justify his place on hearth? Why this something always have to be more powerful than we are (God, aliens - yes aliens, look at all the litterature and cinema history and u'll see that those small green beings are always smarter, wiser, more developped than we'll ever be) ?

Is it that we have such a poor idea of ourselves? Cant we too achieve great things without saying it's after God's blessing?

The link to ur thread? I'm completely in the topic. There was a creation, sure there was, i call it Big-Bang! Now is it the result of God's will? Why would it? Give me just one firm proof of it and i'll believe, otherwise, i'll go on thinking that the notion of God has been made up by a smart man to be able to rule over his fellow citizens taking advantage of their weakness, fears and cowardice.
phpbb
User avatar
Cédric
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Jul 01, 2004 10:03 am
Location: France

Postby Rhuiden » Sat Jul 02, 2005 12:33 pm

Cédric wrote:The link to ur thread? I'm completely in the topic. There was a creation, sure there was, i call it Big-Bang! Now is it the result of God's will? Why would it? Give me just one firm proof of it and i'll believe, otherwise, i'll go on thinking that the notion of God has been made up by a smart man to be able to rule over his fellow citizens taking advantage of their weakness, fears and cowardice.


A question for you....can you give one "firm proof" that the big-bang occurred. Last time I checked, it was still called the big-bang theory not the big-bang fact. Noone was there to observe it and it has not been reproduced in any experiment.

The origin of the universe has been debated many, many, many times and will continue to be debated. Scientists on both sides cite "scientific proof" to back up their belief. But in the end it comes down to "What do we wish to put our faith in"? Do we have faith that we are here purely by chance or accident or are we here because we were created by the God of the universe? If we are here by chance, then we have no moral absolutes but if we were created by God, then we are His and are subject to His will and His moral absolutes.

I, personally, cannot look at the preciseness of how our world works and see chance or accident. There must have been a Designer and He is much more powerfull than me.

Rhuiden
User avatar
Rhuiden
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 316
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2004 12:23 pm
Location: East Tennessee

Re: Was there a point in time in which there was no creation

Postby Rhuiden » Sat Jul 02, 2005 12:55 pm

Ibn Taymiyyah wrote:Therefore, God has always been creating and there was no point in time when there was no creation.


Genesis 1:1 says "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." This tells us that time began with creation. I would, therefor, agree with your statement:
there was no point in time when there was no creation
.

My disagreement falls with the first part of your statement. It seems to suggest that God came into existance with creation and is also bound by time. He is not bound by time because He created it. The Bible gives us no firm answer about the origin of God but simply teaches that he is.

Ibn Taymiyyah wrote:Creation is one of God's attributes.


When I think about God's attributes, I think of...love, patience, righteousness, jealousy, kindness, justness, etc. These are all personality traits. Creation is attributable to God in the sense that He did it but it is not a personality trait.

Rhuiden
User avatar
Rhuiden
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 316
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2004 12:23 pm
Location: East Tennessee

Postby Ibn Taymiyyah » Sat Jul 02, 2005 1:54 pm

bellum paxque: OK, let us take “time” out of the discussion: was there creation before creating time? I claim that there was always creation based on what I said above.

Cédric: off coarse the discussion is based on believing in the existance of God to begin with. I can logically prove that God exists but in a different thread perhaps.

Rhuiden:

1) creation did not start with creating the heavens and earth. God was always there, he was always the creator, therefore, He had to always create!

2) Take “time” out of it as I requested bellum paxque to do. Time also does not have to be the first creature.

3) The fact that God in the creator is a personality train. The act of creation itself is not. Humans are talkers, this is a personality trait. The act of talking is a different trait.

Another way to look at it: God’s act of creation is perfect, and God has to always be ultimately perfect, so He has to always create. Right?
Ibn Taymiyyah
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 10:43 pm

Postby swiftnicholas » Sat Jul 02, 2005 2:05 pm

Rhuiden wrote:A question for you....can you give one "firm proof" that the big-bang occurred. Last time I checked, it was still called the big-bang theory not the big-bang fact. Noone was there to observe it and it has not been reproduced in any experiment.


You're absolutely correct, and probably no serious scientist would argue with you. There is a widespread misunderstanding that scientists claim to have explained the origins of the universe with the big-bang theory. This is from Brian Greene's book The Fabric of the Cosmos:

A common misconception is that the big bang provides a theory of cosmic origins. It doesn't. The big bang is a theory, partly described in the last two chapters, that delineates cosmic evolution from a split second after whatever happened to bring the universe into existence, but it says nothing at all about time zero itself. And since, according to the big bang theory, the bang is what is supposed to have happened at the beginning, the big bang leaves out the bang. It tells us nothing about what banged, why it banged, how it banged, or, frankly, whether it ever really banged at all.


He goes on to say this about the current paths of investigation:

In fact, if you think about it for a moment, you'll realize that the big bang presents us with quite a puzzle. At the huge densities of matter and energy characteristic of the universe's earliest moments, gravity was by far the dominant force. But gravity is an attractive force. It impels things to come together. So what could possibly be responsible for the outward force that drove space to expand? It would seem that some kind of powerful repulsive force must have played a critical role at the time of the bang, but which of nature's forces could that possibly be?

For many decades this most basic of all cosmological questions went unanswered. Then, in the 1980s, an old observation of Einstein's was resurrected in a sparkling new form, giving rise to what has become known as inflationary cosmology. And with this discovery, credit for the bang could finally be bestowed on the deserving force: gravity. It's surprising, but physicists realized that in just the right environment gravity can be repulsive, and, according to the theory, the necessary conditions prevailed during the earliest moments of cosmic history. For a time interval that would make a nanosecond seem an eternity, the early universe provided an arena in which gravity exerted its repulsive side with a vengeance, driving every region of space away from every other with unrelenting ferocity. So powerful was the repulsive push of gravity that not only was the bang identified, it was revealed to be bigger--much bigger--than anyone had previously imagined. In the inflationary framework, the early universe expanded by an astonishingly huge factor compared with what is predicted by the standard big bang theory, enlarging our cosmological vista to a degree that dwarfed last century's realization that ours is but one galaxy among hundreds of billions.

In this and the next chapter, we discuss inflationary cosmology. We will see that it provides a "front end" for the standard big bang model, offering critical modifications to the standard theory's claims about events during the universe's earliest moments. In doing so, inflationary cosmology resolves key issues that are beyond the reach of the standard big bang, makes a number of predictions that have been and in the near future will continue to be experimentally tested, and, perhaps most strikingly, shows how quantum processes can, through cosmological expansion, iron tiny wrinkles into the fabric of space that leave a visible imprint on the night sky. And beyond these achievements, inflationary cosmology gives significant insight into how the early universe may have acquired its exceedingly low entropy, taking us closer than ever to an explanation of the arrow of time.


:shock:
:?

~Nicholas
swiftnicholas
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 383
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2005 4:04 pm
Location: New York

Postby Rhuiden » Sat Jul 02, 2005 2:39 pm

Ibn Taymiyyah wrote: creation did not start with creating the heavens and earth. God was always there, he was always the creator, therefore, He had to always create!

Another way to look at it: God’s act of creation is perfect, and God has to always be ultimately perfect, so He has to always create. Right?


I agree that God has alway been. I agree that God's act of creation was perfect (too bad man had to spoil it). I agree that God has to always be perfect, it is His nature, He can be nothing else.

I do not follow your logic, though, on God always creating. I guess I am thrown by your statement that creation did not start with the heavens and earth. Just because God always is/was and He is/was always the creator, it does not automatically follow that He is/was always creating.

Or, maybe I am just missing your point completely...I have been known to do that from time to time.

Rhuiden
User avatar
Rhuiden
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 316
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2004 12:23 pm
Location: East Tennessee

Postby Emma_85 » Sat Jul 02, 2005 10:44 pm

Rhuiden wrote:
Cédric wrote:The link to ur thread? I'm completely in the topic. There was a creation, sure there was, i call it Big-Bang! Now is it the result of God's will? Why would it? Give me just one firm proof of it and i'll believe, otherwise, i'll go on thinking that the notion of God has been made up by a smart man to be able to rule over his fellow citizens taking advantage of their weakness, fears and cowardice.


A question for you....can you give one "firm proof" that the big-bang occurred. Last time I checked, it was still called the big-bang theory not the big-bang fact. Noone was there to observe it and it has not been reproduced in any experiment.

The origin of the universe has been debated many, many, many times and will continue to be debated. Scientists on both sides cite "scientific proof" to back up their belief. But in the end it comes down to "What do we wish to put our faith in"? Do we have faith that we are here purely by chance or accident or are we here because we were created by the God of the universe? If we are here by chance, then we have no moral absolutes but if we were created by God, then we are His and are subject to His will and His moral absolutes.
There must have been a Designer and He is much more powerfull than me.


As you say yourself, it's purely down to belief - the big bang is a very likely scenario from the current scientific point of view with much evidence to support it found - but there is no irrefutable evidence because no one has witnessed the big bang - the same is true for a creator, I consider the evidence most people cite in favour of their being one as invalid, but that aside, there is no definite proof of that either.
So you say, it's just that you wish to believe in God, because you are more at peace of mind with the thought of their being absolute moral values and an orderly world of sorts, where at least you can be sure there is something that is 'right'.
After all you said about it just being down to what we want to believe in the end you then go and say 'must' ... tut tut tut... you should be more consequent :wink:

Creation is one of God's attributes.
God attains His perfectness through His attributes.
God's perfectnedss in ultimate and is always present.

For God to always be ultimately perfect His attributes of perfectness have to always be in effect.

Therefore, God has always been creating and there was no point in time when there was no creation.


Why is creation an attribute of God? It can be attributed to him, if you believe that there was something there that created the universe. I wouldn't call it an attribute of God.

anyway, 'creation is attribute of God' is your axiom.

he attains his perfectness through he attributes, does he now? Well, if God is perfect, that is another axiom, but basically what you're saying is God is perfect because everything about him is perfect? Now because you said before that an creation is an attribute of God you say that because God is perfect creation is perfect basically.
Well, all I can say is that if you start of with those axioms yeah, that's logical, but I don't think there is much logic in staring with that supposition, unless you can explain that to me in more detail that is...
phpbb
User avatar
Emma_85
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 1564
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 8:01 pm
Location: London

Postby Emma_85 » Sat Jul 02, 2005 11:10 pm

Greene wrote: And beyond these achievements, inflationary cosmology gives significant insight into how the early universe may have acquired its exceedingly low entropy, taking us closer than ever to an explanation of the arrow of time.


I must totally agree with Greene too, the big bang theory remains the current model though. It is evident from many observations that over 13 billion year ago the universe was concentrated in one very dense point, that was very hot and very dense, which is called the big bang. I am convinced that we cannot hope to explain what happened there or before that (if that is even possible) exactly if we don't really understand what is behind Quantum Mechanics – Schrödinger's equations are based on observation – the world of quantum is so weird that we just can't get our head round it and can't try to think of it in terms of analogies as those would most certainly be wrong. The fundamental particles of the universe are neither waves nor particles, they just 'are' what they 'are' – and that's about all we can really say about them. If we can ever work out what is behind all this and why the maths works we might be able to understand the big bang, or what came before it better, but I doubt that any normal rules will apply in that one instance... but what is interesting i think is to note that in quantum mechanics you do have an arrow of time – so at least that helps.
The big bang theory the cosmologist have at the moment is quite lacking apparently though, they are trying to patch it up and rework it. While, as I already said, we have the evidence that the universe once was a tiny speck and then expanded, I've heard claims that the current version of the theory is quite lacking:
New Scientist 02 July 2005 wrote:"Look at the facts," says Riccardo Scarpa of the European Southern Observatory in Santiago, Chile. "The basic big bang model fails to predict what we observe in the universe in three major ways." The temperature of today's universe, the expansion of the cosmos, and even the presence of galaxies, have all had cosmologists scrambling for fixes. "Every time the basic big bang model has failed to predict what we see, the solution has been to bolt on something new - inflation, dark matter and dark energy," Scarpa says.
For Scarpa and his fellow dissidents, the tinkering has reached an unacceptable level. All for the sake of saving the notion that the universe flickered into being as a hot, dense state. "This isn't science," says Eric Lerner who is president of Lawrenceville Plasma Physics in West Orange, New Jersey, and one of the conference organisers. "Big bang predictions are consistently wrong and are being fixed after the event." So much so, that today's "standard model" of cosmology has become an ugly mishmash comprising the basic big bang theory, inflation and a generous helping of dark matter and dark energy.


This is reminiscent of the Bohr model of the atom – which had to be patched up a lot until it was a very good approximation but well, basically the Schrödiger equations are better...
Bohr's model did describe the atom very well though and so it is still used today in some areas even though it's not correct, because it's a good enough to describe to us how atoms interact in most cases and lets us calculate how chemicals will interact with each other. Although Bohr was wrong, the atom still has what can be called electrons, neutrons and protons and although it doesn't have shells, it does have places in which it is very probably that an electron will be. Basically disproving the shell model of the atom did not disprove the atom is what I'm saying.
As the current model of the big bang is patched up more and more it seems that it really isn't quite using the right approach to the problem, but that doesn't mean that the big bang did not occur.
phpbb
User avatar
Emma_85
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 1564
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 8:01 pm
Location: London

Postby Rhuiden » Sun Jul 03, 2005 3:55 am

Emma_85 wrote:After all you said about it just being down to what we want to believe in the end you then go and say 'must' ... tut tut tut... you should be more consequent :wink:


A creation is evidence that there was a creator. We are here....so something (God) created us.

Rhuiden
User avatar
Rhuiden
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 316
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2004 12:23 pm
Location: East Tennessee

Postby Ibn Taymiyyah » Sun Jul 03, 2005 12:06 pm

Rhuiden wrote:I do not follow your logic, though, on God always creating. I guess I am thrown by your statement that creation did not start with the heavens and earth. Just because God always is/was and He is/was always the creator, it does not automatically follow that He is/was always creating.


There is a defference between: creating and having the ability to create.

God not only has the ability to create, He also creates.

Creating is an act of perfectness which has to be in effect for God to maintain His ultimate perfectness. God is perfect through His attributes and actions.

Secondly: If there was a point at which there was no creation, then God would have not been able to apply the attributes you mentioned: love, patience, righteousness, jealousy, kindness, justness, etc. He would not have been creating, giving life, taking life, loving or applying His wisdom.

He would have been a mute God ... a dead God!
Ibn Taymiyyah
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 10:43 pm

Postby Emma_85 » Sun Jul 03, 2005 1:12 pm

Rhuiden wrote:
Emma_85 wrote:After all you said about it just being down to what we want to believe in the end you then go and say 'must' ... tut tut tut... you should be more consequent :wink:


A creation is evidence that there was a creator. We are here....so something (God) created us.

Rhuiden


that is reasoning in circles. you cannot base an argument on a conclusion - well, you can, but it's not a very good argument that will convince anyone if you do so :P .
phpbb
User avatar
Emma_85
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 1564
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 8:01 pm
Location: London

Postby Emma_85 » Sun Jul 03, 2005 1:14 pm

Ibn Taymiyyah wrote:
Rhuiden wrote:I do not follow your logic, though, on God always creating. I guess I am thrown by your statement that creation did not start with the heavens and earth. Just because God always is/was and He is/was always the creator, it does not automatically follow that He is/was always creating.


There is a defference between: creating and having the ability to create.

God not only has the ability to create, He also creates.

Creating is an act of perfectness which has to be in effect for God to maintain His ultimate perfectness. God is perfect through His attributes and actions.

Secondly: If there was a point at which there was no creation, then God would have not been able to apply the attributes you mentioned: love, patience, righteousness, jealousy, kindness, justness, etc. He would not have been creating, giving life, taking life, loving or applying His wisdom.

He would have been a mute God ... a dead God!


What does he create? The totally mass of the universe is not expanding, so what ever he's creating is mass-less and without substance... :roll:
phpbb
User avatar
Emma_85
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 1564
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 8:01 pm
Location: London

Postby Democritus » Sun Jul 03, 2005 3:02 pm

Rhuiden wrote:The origin of the universe has been debated many, many, many times and will continue to be debated. Scientists on both sides cite "scientific proof" to back up their belief. But in the end it comes down to "What do we wish to put our faith in"? Do we have faith that we are here purely by chance or accident or are we here because we were created by the God of the universe? If we are here by chance, then we have no moral absolutes but if we were created by God, then we are His and are subject to His will and His moral absolutes.


The big bang theory says nothing about accident or chance. Nothing in current cosmological theory rules out the existence of God.

Cosmological theories contradict the facts of the creation story in Genesis. But that does not rule out divinity altogether. I think you are confusing a rejection in fundamentalist christianity with pure out-and-out atheism. Many scientists (most?) are not atheists. And there are major branches of Christianity (including Catholics) who see no contradiction whatsoever between the big bang theory and Christian beliefs.

If you choose to interpret the big bang theory as an atheist idea, that's your business, but you are speaking for a minority of Christians, not the majority. Most Christians do not agree with you. In principle, there is no great conflict between science and faith. If you see one, that's your business, but I claim that it just isn't there. Scientists are not in the business of looking for God, they are looking for physical causes -- but that enterprise is not the same thing as atheism.
Democritus
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 331
Joined: Fri May 07, 2004 12:14 am
Location: California

Re: Was there a point in time in which there was no creation

Postby Democritus » Sun Jul 03, 2005 3:18 pm

Ibn Taymiyyah wrote:For God to always be ultimately perfect His attributes of perfectness have to always be in effect.


Why? Why can't this assertion be false? In fact I am quite sure it is false.


Ibn Taymiyyah wrote:Therefore, God has always been creating and there was no point in time when there was no creation.


Only God knows if this is true or false, but I don't agree with the logic you used to arrive at this conclusion.

If the attribute of a great surgeon is that he performs great surgery, does that mean he always must be in surgery? Well, no -- all surgeons must sleep, eight hours of every day. That means that great surgeons spend as much as one-third of their lives comatose. And they are not doing surgery when they are comatose.

I think this whole notion of "absolute perfection" is not useful, even for theologians. I don't think it leads to any good insights. It's the same story with "absolute omnipotence." It's easy to find logical contradictons that arise from it, and the only way to maintain belief in the concept is to somehow get yourself to ignore all the logical contradictions, and that's not a good idea.

Imagine this: Imagine that God is not "absolutely perfect" nor "absolutely omnipotent." If that were true, would it really bug you so much? Why?

As for continuing creation -- this is one of the subtle ways that science actually jives with Christian religion. Christians believe that the act of creation happened (mostly) over a finite time at some point in the past. Scientists observe something similar, namely in the conservation of matter an energy. Things don't just get created out of nothing, at least, we don't observe that happening.

If you think that creation is taking place all the time, then you don't need to theorize about it, just go an find an example of it happening. If you see it happening, then you don't need to deduce it via logic.
Democritus
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 331
Joined: Fri May 07, 2004 12:14 am
Location: California

Postby Misopogon » Sun Jul 03, 2005 6:12 pm

Democritus wrote:Many scientists (most?) are not atheists.


That is often said, especially by religious people, but the facts are different.
According a research carried on in 1989 in Italy only 36,1 % of Italian scientiists believe in God (it seems that in the US the percent was slightly higher 39,6% in 1997, according to Nature). The target of this poll were the researchers, while scientists with just a University degree in science disciplines believe in God at rate of 75,6%, in any case below the average people.
Regards
Misopogon
Misopogon
Textkit Member
 
Posts: 121
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 11:05 am
Location: Treviso, Italy

Postby Ibn Taymiyyah » Sun Jul 03, 2005 7:37 pm

Democritus wrote:If the attribute of a great surgeon is that he performs great surgery, does that mean he always must be in surgery?Well, no -- all surgeons must sleep, eight hours of every day. That means that great surgeons spend as much as one-third of their lives comatose. And they are not doing surgery when they are comatose.


Bad example! The superior surgical abilities of a great surgeon do him no good while he is asleep. He is just as good as a bad surgeon or a plumber during those eight hours. The fact that a great surgeon needs to stop practicing great surgery for eight hours a day is a defect in his greatness as a surgeon. One way that God is different than us is that His perfectness is ultimate and continues. His attributes continuously contribute to His ultimate perfectness.

Try again!

Democritus wrote:It's easy to find logical contradictons that arise from it, and the only way to maintain belief in the concept is to somehow get yourself to ignore all the logical contradictions, and that's not a good idea.


Present one of these logical contradictions. Let us see how logical they are.

Emma_85 wrote:Well, all I can say is that if you start of with those axioms yeah, that's logical


Excellent, this is all I am looking for for now. Proving my axioms logically is not too difficult, but this is a topic for a different thread.
Ibn Taymiyyah
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 10:43 pm

Postby Rhuiden » Sun Jul 03, 2005 7:45 pm

Democritus wrote:And there are major branches of Christianity (including Catholics) who see no contradiction whatsoever between the big bang theory and Christian beliefs.


This is what saddens me. So many Christians are misinformed, misled, or just not interested in learning the truth. The truth is that the evolutionary theory (I am including the big bang in this broad category) is completely incompatable with the teachings of the Bible.

Democritus wrote:If you choose to interpret the big bang theory as an atheist idea


I do not interpret as a solely athiest idea, just an anti-Christian one.

Democritus wrote:Imagine this: Imagine that God is not "absolutely perfect" nor "absolutely omnipotent."


If this were possible then the being in question could not and would not be God.

Rhuiden
User avatar
Rhuiden
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 316
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2004 12:23 pm
Location: East Tennessee

Postby Emma_85 » Sun Jul 03, 2005 8:05 pm

Democritus wrote:
Many scientists (most?) are not atheists.


That is often said, especially by religious people, but the facts are different.
According a research carried on in 1989 in Italy only 36,1 % of Italian scientiists believe in God (it seems that in the US the percent was slightly higher 39,6% in 1997, according to Nature). The target of this poll were the researchers, while scientists with just a University degree in science disciplines believe in God at rate of 75,6%, in any case below the average people.
Regards
Misopogon


I guess that this is different for every country though... in the UK for example only around 60% believe in God anyway (and only 18% say they are a practicing member of an organised religion), so if we took those figures from Italy that would make it seem as if scientists were more religious than the rest.
In America more people believe in God than in most European countries I think, so it is quite likely that for America at least Democritus is right - I guess the percentage of people who believe in creationism drops the higher the level of education (I saw some figures in the Scientific American some time ago on this), but that doesn't mean that those people don't still believe in God. America seems to be a very Chrisitan country, much more so than Italy or the UK.

It would be good to see some real survey data on this though. What the general poplation believes in and what scientists believe in - so that we can compare. I've done a seach on the New Scientists archives, but didn't find anything there - I'm not a subscriber of the Scientific American I'm afraid, but if anyone is, that might be a good place to look.
phpbb
User avatar
Emma_85
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 1564
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 8:01 pm
Location: London

Postby Misopogon » Sun Jul 03, 2005 8:43 pm

Emma_85 wrote:
Democritus wrote:
Many scientists (most?) are not atheists.


That is often said, especially by religious people, but the facts are different.
According a research carried on in 1989 in Italy only 36,1 % of Italian scientiists believe in God (it seems that in the US the percent was slightly higher 39,6% in 1997, according to Nature). The target of this poll were the researchers, while scientists with just a University degree in science disciplines believe in God at rate of 75,6%, in any case below the average people.
Regards
Misopogon


I guess that this is different for every country though...

True

in the UK for example only around 60% believe in God anyway (and only 18% say they are a practicing member of an organised religion), so if we took those figures from Italy that would make it seem as if scientists were more religious than the rest.
In America more people believe in God than in most European countries I think, so it is quite likely that for America at least Democritus is right - I guess the percentage of people who believe in creationism drops the higher the level of education (I saw some figures in the Scientific American some time ago on this), but that doesn't mean that those people don't still believe in God. America seems to be a very Chrisitan country, much more so than Italy or the UK.

It would be good to see some real survey data on this though. What the general poplation believes in and what scientists believe in - so that we can compare. I've done a seach on the New Scientists archives, but didn't find anything there - I'm not a subscriber of the Scientific American I'm afraid, but if anyone is, that might be a good place to look.


The research I cited is pretty old and I have read only a summary of that. Anyway I think it is interesting to point out that the percent of atheist among the scientists-researchers (I mean PhD and above) was very similar both in Italy and in USA and that the higher the level, more common the atheists. I think that in Italy the number of "believers" are higher than in average Europe. Some writer claims that Italy is the only place in Europe where religion is fighting back: if you look at the attitude of Catholic Spain and Catholic Italy in the last few month, you can understand what I mean. I am looking for updated and reliable data on the matter as well, if I find something I will send you the link. Please do the same, if you don't mind.
Misopogon
Textkit Member
 
Posts: 121
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 11:05 am
Location: Treviso, Italy

Postby Emma_85 » Sun Jul 03, 2005 8:52 pm

I'm currently searching for some data, I'll post whatever I can find :) .

so far I only have this:
In religious belief individual scientists vary from born-again Christians, admittedly rare, to hard-core atheists, very common. Few are philosophers. Most are intellectual journeymen, exploring locally, hoping for a strike, living for the present. They are content to work at discovery, often teaching science at the college level, pleased to be relatively well-paid members of one of the least conspiratorial of professions.

http://www.americanscientist.org/templa ... gQBnw3u2Qt
phpbb
User avatar
Emma_85
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 1564
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 8:01 pm
Location: London

Postby Rhuiden » Mon Jul 04, 2005 12:32 am

Emma_85 wrote:In America more people believe in God than in most European countries


The last statistics I heard were:

>80% of Americans claim to be Christian
Only 40-45% attend Church regularly (defined as at least once per month)

I don't remember where this came from but as you can see the US has the appearance of a Christian nation but unfortunately, it is slowly slipping away. This is so saddening to me.

Rhuiden
User avatar
Rhuiden
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 316
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2004 12:23 pm
Location: East Tennessee

Postby Democritus » Mon Jul 04, 2005 9:59 pm

Ibn Taymiyyah wrote:
Democritus wrote:It's easy to find logical contradictons that arise from it, and the only way to maintain belief in the concept is to somehow get yourself to ignore all the logical contradictions, and that's not a good idea.


Present one of these logical contradictions. Let us see how logical they are.


But you mentioned one yourself. If God is omnipotent, then why can't He create a rock that He can't lift? But if He can create it, then doesn't that mean He is not omnipotent? (Did you forget this one already?) :)

There is no sensible resolution to this dilemma. But this contradiction does not lie with the divinity, it lies inside the concept of "omnipotence" itself.

Ibn Taymiyyah wrote:
Democritus wrote:If the attribute of a great surgeon is that he performs great surgery, does that mean he always must be in surgery?Well, no -- all surgeons must sleep, eight hours of every day. That means that great surgeons spend as much as one-third of their lives comatose. And they are not doing surgery when they are comatose.


Bad example! .... One way that God is different than us is that His perfectness is ultimate and continues. His attributes continuously contribute to His ultimate perfectness.


This is just what I am taking issue with. Who made up this requirement, that the perfection of God is ultimate and continuous? Did you lay down this requirement? Will you enforce it? :)

You seem to be saying that perfection must be changeless, so that if God creates, then God must create continuously. I don't agree with this... but let's pretend you are right. So then let's think about this:

Shouldn't it also mean that God also creates in exactly the same amount, all the time? Because any variation in quantity or speed would break the continuity, right?

But how shall we measure the rate of creation? By mass or by volume? Is it one galaxy per day? Two galaxies per day? What if God declares a holiday and suddenly decides to create a dozen galaxies -- does that break the continuity, and make Him less than perfect?

Actually, I see no basis for making this claim, that the divine perfection requires divine changelessness. God can create sometimes, and sometimes not create. I see no reason to forbid this.

What I am taking issue with is your definition of "perfection." Perfection does not imply continuity or changelessness.
Democritus
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 331
Joined: Fri May 07, 2004 12:14 am
Location: California

Postby Emma_85 » Tue Jul 05, 2005 11:32 am

This is just what I am taking issue with. Who made up this requirement, that the perfection of God is ultimate and continuous? Did you lay down this requirement? Will you enforce it?


But if God is perfect, and that I think is something that is central to Christian belief, then if he does change, what the hell does he change to? He cannot change into something more perfect, as he already is absolute perfection, he also cannot change into anything less perfect. So what ever he changes into must be exactly what he was before. In most monotheistic beliefs, God is not only omnipotent, he is also omniscient, so he can't learn anything new, he already know everything. God is omnipresent, so he can't change his location, he is omnibenevolent, so he can't change his attitued towards anything (if he changed his attitued towards something that would mean he would have mades a mistake in his first evaluation of something, but how can he do this if he knows everything and is so increadibly intelligent?)

BTW, the reason God is all this is that basically humans looked at themselves and saw their limitations and so the one, ultimate deity they look up too, must not have those limitations. Where human knowledge is limited, God's is not, where humans are weak, God is all-powerful, etc.
phpbb
User avatar
Emma_85
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 1564
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 8:01 pm
Location: London

Postby bellum paxque » Tue Jul 05, 2005 6:27 pm

I want to explode the (in)famous so-called conundrum: namely, if God is all-powerful, can he create a rock so big that he cannot lift it?

This seems problematic not because it illustrates some flaw in the notion of an omnipotent God but rather because it illustrates a flaw in language. In fact, it is illogical. The power to create something entails the power to lift it. For, if one can bring something into or out of existence, what doubt can there be that one can also adjust the much more insignificant details of its existence such as position, color, shape? Thus, this question is in a very real way tantamount to asking whether God can create a round square. Well, can God break the laws of logic? This is the real problem. But, since the logic lies in the language, the problem is in our own minds. We very literally cannot conceive of a creator who cannot adjust his creation.

Now, I have little to say about the existence of God, except that I am effectively agnostic. But I have always found that question a repugnant one, and I couldn't resist the opportunity to debunk it.

David
bellum paxque
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 718
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2005 2:29 pm
Location: nanun Hanguge issoyo (in Korea sum)

Postby Democritus » Wed Jul 06, 2005 2:05 am

Emma_85 wrote:... then if he does change, what the hell does he change to? He cannot change into something more perfect, as he already is absolute perfection, he also cannot change into anything less perfect. So what ever he changes into must be exactly what he was before.


I agree, these are real logical difficulties.

When I was a young kid in school, the nuns would finally finish conversations like this by saying, "Well, it's not logical, is it... logic just doesn't help you understand God. You just have to believe."

Which of course I found to be an utterly ridiculous line of thinking, even as a small child. :) I'm all in favor of using intuition now and then, but giving in to plainly illogical thoughts is just silly. :)
Democritus
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 331
Joined: Fri May 07, 2004 12:14 am
Location: California

Postby mingshey » Fri Jul 08, 2005 6:26 am

Democritus wrote:I agree, these are real logical difficulties.

When I was a young kid in school, the nuns would finally finish conversations like this by saying, "Well, it's not logical, is it... logic just doesn't help you understand God. You just have to believe."

Which of course I found to be an utterly ridiculous line of thinking, even as a small child. :) I'm all in favor of using intuition now and then, but giving in to plainly illogical thoughts is just silly. :)


Logic is how to say thing sensically. If your nuns said God is not to be discussed logically they only mean that God is nun-sense.
User avatar
mingshey
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 1330
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2003 6:38 am
Location: Seoul

Postby Misopogon » Fri Jul 08, 2005 10:30 am

Logic is how to say thing sensically. If your nuns said God is not to be discussed logically they only mean that God is nun-sense.


:lol: :lol:

By the way (and OT) Mingshey, I want to congratulate for your work on Euclid, it's very good.
Regards
Misopogon
Misopogon
Textkit Member
 
Posts: 121
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 11:05 am
Location: Treviso, Italy


Return to The Academy

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 13 guests