Uses of logical arguments in debate


(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #262

Fully agree with this. What a wonderful life it would be to be here when we find out.

(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #263

Can you please expand on this. What do you mean by Faith and providence? In what?

(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #264

Of course you can faith in God acting through evolution or guiding it. We have Freedom of Religion in this country.

(Ann Gauger) #265

I am sure you know the religious meaning of the word providence: that God works all things out for the good, that he provides. Whether you believe that to be true or not, the principle I was referring to was that all things work out in the end.
It seems to me almost mystical, this belief that chance and evolutionary processes over large spans of time can produce the living systems we see today.

(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #266

I really don’t. But I’ll accept your definition. But I don’t think it is true in real life. In real life and the real world, most things don’t work out for the good.

You are an intelligent person who has lived a long interesting life. Has it been your personal experience that all things work out for the good in the end?

(John Harshman) #267

I rely on “we don’t know”. But I also think we have no good evidence for the existence of any sort of god, including one who creates life or helps life evolve, so it’s best not to postulate such an entity to fill up the “we don’t know”.


Given that Ann’s question had nothing to do with humans, it would indeed be a matter of interest if atheists have to rely on the WAP. :slight_smile:

(Ann Gauger) #269


You also are an intelligent person and I figured this would come up. This is a theological question that gets into lots of other issues not particularly peaceful on this forum, or scientific. I will just say that a) we haven’t reached the “end” so I don’t know how some very bad things I know of will be made good, and b) the verse that says “all things work together for good” also puts a qualifier on it, “for those who love God and are called according to his purpose.” There may be other relevant verses that soften that.

Be that as it may. For you, quoting Scripture is worse than useless, I imagine. What you value is mercy and compassion, help given in the face of tragedy, work to overcome injustice, medical care to those who have none, and all the other things we can do for the times things don’t seem to work out for the good.
In terms of the here and now, that makes us participants in providence. In terms of evolution, well, you know my answer.

(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #270

Thank you for this. I think we have hit on major common ground here. Even though we agree that life has a way of getting messed up, we share an optimism for a better future. And we share common human traits of empathy, compassion, morality, and ethics. If your beliefs makes your life happier, more meaningful and more purposeful, then faith works for you. That’s great.


I don’t see it that way at all. The earliest stages of development in life are simply unknown. We don’t know how all of that came about. You have faith that God was involved in some way, but science doesn’t know. I personally don’t think a God of the Gaps argument is that satisfying, but others disagree.

What we do have is a very robust theory of evolution that has been extremely helpful in filling other gaps in life’s history. Researchers would be foolish to ignore the theory when trying to suss out what happened in early life. That isn’t to say that evolution was definitely involved, but evolution is the best theory science has right now.

(Ann Gauger) #272

That’s a very reasonable approach. I am not saying we leap to the “God Hypothesis” because science hasn’t found an answer yet. Rather, it’s because of the particular surprising patterns we see that are best explained as the product of intelligence. This argument is in its infancy and so needs a lot more work.


What’s the difference between the two?

We can definitely agree on that point.