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Baxter
Skeptic Friend

USA
131 Posts

Posted - 05/25/2012 :  08:21:25  Show Profile Send Baxter a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I finished reading "The Wonder of the World" by Roy Abraham Varghese. I had to read it twice because it made no sense the first time. I think what Varghese is basically saying in this book is that God is revealed through science.

One thing I found interesting was his use of a painting as an analogy for nature. You can see a painting as only pigment and canvas or you can see the art. If you "zoom in" on nature all you see is atoms and molecules, but look at the overall picture and you have amazing things, especially sentient life.

The idea is that intelligence and purpose are behind both, but they are not readily detectable by only looking at the smaller pieces.

I think the real question here is whether we see teleology in nature. When I consider individual processes, I may not see teleology. But when I look at the broader narrative, it's hard for me to not see it.

Does your skepticism allow for any teleology?

"We tend to scoff at the beliefs of the ancients. But we can't scoff at them personally, to their faces, and this is what annoys me." ~from Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey

"We can be as honest as we are ignorant. If we are, when asked what is beyond the horizon of the known, we must say that we do not know." ~Robert G. Ingersoll

HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 05/25/2012 :  08:25:33   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Baxter

Does your skepticism allow for any teleology?
No. Final goals do not exist in evolution. It's all about survival.

Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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Hawks
SFN Regular

Canada
1383 Posts

Posted - 05/25/2012 :  10:49:39   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Hawks's Homepage Send Hawks a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Baxter
I think the real question here is whether we see teleology in nature. When I consider individual processes, I may not see teleology. But when I look at the broader narrative, it's hard for me to not see it.

Does your skepticism allow for any teleology?
Sure, it allows for it. But Douglas Adams wrote something that should caution one from drawing such a conclusion just because it LOOKS like there is teleology:
...imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, 'This is an interesting world I find myself in, an interesting hole I find myself in, fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact, it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!'


METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL
It's a small, off-duty czechoslovakian traffic warden!
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ThorGoLucky
Snuggle Wolf

USA
1451 Posts

Posted - 05/25/2012 :  11:06:46   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit ThorGoLucky's Homepage Send ThorGoLucky a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yes, if there is credible evidence, but natural processes can create complexity that has the illusion of design.
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sailingsoul
SFN Addict

2830 Posts

Posted - 05/26/2012 :  06:35:26   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send sailingsoul a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Baxter

The idea is that intelligence and purpose are behind both, but they are not readily detectable by only looking at the smaller pieces.

I think the real question here is whether we see teleology in nature. When I consider individual processes, I may not see teleology. But when I look at the broader narrative, it's hard for me to not see it.

Does your skepticism allow for any teleology?
As far as I concerned not in the slightest. With questions like "What is the purpose of our existence or Why are we here?" there are no answers because they're not real questions that make sense in the asking. Just because questions can be constructed grammatically correct that does not make them real questions that deserve answers. Asking about the purpose in/for our existence is no different than asking "What is the color of love?". While grammatically correct they are nonsensical and they don't have or deserve an answer.

There are only two types of religious people, the deceivers and the deceived. SS
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Negative Entropy
New Member

12 Posts

Posted - 05/26/2012 :  09:54:33   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Negative Entropy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It depends. If this is about teleology in the basic way in which nature works (which sounds already somewhat teleological, but let's not make it semantic), then no. However, we can think about teleology once we get into organisms with sufficient mental capacities to have purposes. We build planes for flying ... you get the idea.
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 05/26/2012 :  09:57:31   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Teleology, as a branch of philosophy or theology, is a waste of an education. Those who have so wasted their educations and lives with it will then try to waste everyone else's time on the meaningless subject. May just as well go back to arguing about how many angels can stand on the head of a needle.

Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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On fire for Christ
SFN Regular

Saudi Arabia
1265 Posts

Posted - 05/27/2012 :  01:02:32   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send On fire for Christ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Is it a waste of time to inform people that teology is a waste of time?

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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 05/27/2012 :  01:10:22   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by On fire for Christ

Is it a waste of time to inform people that teology is a waste of time?
It's probably a waste of time to tell Teleologists that, yeah. But others might be more likely to listen.

Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
Edited by - HalfMooner on 05/27/2012 01:38:11
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Negative Entropy
New Member

12 Posts

Posted - 05/27/2012 :  05:57:51   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Negative Entropy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by On fire for Christ

Is it a waste of time to inform people that teology is a waste of time?


At least youngsters thinking about future careers should know that theology is an art of self-delusion. The study of imaginary beings pretending that they exist, and that there are mysteries about them still to be discovered (what a joke!). Useless bullshit to be more precise. That could save a lot of their time. Unless theology became studies about why and what kinds of gods people believe and have believed. That at least would be similar in philosophy to archaeology.

Edit: This knowledge might save these aspiring theologians a lot of trouble writing yet another volume on "the mystery of the trinity."
Edited by - Negative Entropy on 05/28/2012 10:41:40
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sailingsoul
SFN Addict

2830 Posts

Posted - 05/27/2012 :  08:48:02   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send sailingsoul a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by On fire for Christ

Is it a waste of time to inform people that teology is a waste of time?
Not in every case. You possibly have that belief based on it might be true for you which does not apply to everyone.

There are only two types of religious people, the deceivers and the deceived. SS
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9666 Posts

Posted - 05/27/2012 :  13:45:16   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by On fire for Christ

Is it a waste of time to inform people that teology is a waste of time?
I sense a misspelling.
Was that theology or teleology?
I agree that both are a waste of time, and people should be educated about it.


Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
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"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

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Baxter
Skeptic Friend

USA
131 Posts

Posted - 05/29/2012 :  13:01:40   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Baxter a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by sailingsoul

As far as I concerned not in the slightest. With questions like "What is the purpose of our existence or Why are we here?" there are no answers because they're not real questions that make sense in the asking. Just because questions can be constructed grammatically correct that does not make them real questions that deserve answers. Asking about the purpose in/for our existence is no different than asking "What is the color of love?". While grammatically correct they are nonsensical and they don't have or deserve an answer.
You might be right. My musings on these questions are bringing me closer to your view. Even if these questions make sense, the answers are apparently beyond human perception and understanding anyway.

It's such a love-hate relationship with the mysterious. Discovery is great but it sucks to not know the ultimate answers. I fear that all arguments for purpose in nature will end up being nebulous and therefore underwhelming. Still, there's got to be a reason for this mess - "life, the universe and everything." We're stuck in this sorry state of "I dunno."

"We tend to scoff at the beliefs of the ancients. But we can't scoff at them personally, to their faces, and this is what annoys me." ~from Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey

"We can be as honest as we are ignorant. If we are, when asked what is beyond the horizon of the known, we must say that we do not know." ~Robert G. Ingersoll
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Convinced
Skeptic Friend

USA
384 Posts

Posted - 05/29/2012 :  14:26:37   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Convinced a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by sailingsoul

As far as I concerned not in the slightest. With questions like "What is the purpose of our existence or Why are we here?" there are no answers because they're not real questions that make sense in the asking. Just because questions can be constructed grammatically correct that does not make them real questions that deserve answers. Asking about the purpose in/for our existence is no different than asking "What is the color of love?". While grammatically correct they are nonsensical and they don't have or deserve an answer.

If this is true, then is it ok for humans to make up their own purpose in life if they feel they need one? Some people (wrongly) become christians because it gives them meaning in their life. What does it matter if people do this?

Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (Eph 5:15-17)
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25977 Posts

Posted - 05/29/2012 :  16:19:30   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Convinced

If this is true, then is it ok for humans to make up their own purpose in life if they feel they need one?
The change from plural to singular makes all the difference. People are forced to come up with their own "purpose in life" (if they feel they need one). "Why are we here?" is a nonsensical question, but "Since I am here, what should I do?" is not.
Some people (wrongly) become christians because it gives them meaning in their life.
I ask people who make that claim what that purpose is, exactly, because I can't find one in the Bible. I've never gotten a sensible response.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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sailingsoul
SFN Addict

2830 Posts

Posted - 05/29/2012 :  20:45:29   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send sailingsoul a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Possibly this is all some how related to one's possible fear of death. To believe that when you die you simply no longer exist, as was the case before you were born, is just to scary for some and by believing in an after life it removes that reality and with it the fear.

There are only two types of religious people, the deceivers and the deceived. SS
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