Uses of logical arguments in debate


(Mikkel R.) #41

I really don’t know. Whatever the case, it’s biosynthesis must have evolved well before the last universal common ancestor, because all the other universally conserved entities are dependent on it.

(Dale Cutler) #42

(@Guy_Coe: Thank you for your gracious moderation. :slightly_smiling_face:)


From the other side of the fence, we are asking why we immediately jump to “God did it” when there is a lack of evidence for a natural process.

What can ever get us past “God did it” as an explanation? It seems like a dead end, at least to me. What further research would you do? What lab experiments would you do to test “God did it”?

We are often told that “God did it” is a good explanation, but I have yet to see what it explains.

(Guy Coe) #44

Good questions. I approach the issue looking for causal adequacy, since we have SO MUCH MORE to account for than just the origin of the first cell, like human consciousness, which exists to a degree not exhibited by other, still marvelous, species.
Not even really so much interested in what God “did,” as if His involvement is only sporadic, but at what God continuously does, like acting in whimsical fashion, subtly, yet often identifiably, for a person of faith so inclined to think.


What would “God did it” not be an adequate explanation for? It would seem to me that “God did it” is equivalent to “I don’t know” in most cases. 1,000 years ago we didn’t know what caused lightning, so God did it. Infectious diseases? God did it, or demons. Famine, drought, rain, earthquakes . . . on and on and on we have past examples of God being put into a gap in our knowledge. Now we come up to the question of abiogenesis, and again we say “I don’t know”. Given the track record of “God did it”, it seems like a really bad explanation.

(Guy Coe) #46

That is a vast oversimplification of theistic views, akin to my claiming all evolutionists simply believe, regarding abiogenesis, that “natural processes alone did it.” You’d be right to just laugh me off for saying so.

(Dale Cutler) #47

Whether or not God did are both positions of faith. Eliminating God as a possibility is really a fallacy of incredulity. Being dismissive of God at the beginning in big bang cosmology, for indtance, is a real fallacy of incredulity – “I cannot imagine and/or refuse to believe that God was the Beginner, so something else has to be true.”

“Anyone who chooses to believe in a Universal Creator is standing on ground as solid as a scientist who denies Creative Purpose as First Cause. Because of the laws these same scientists have discovered, there is absolutely no way to tell what made it happen. Whatever you choose is an act of pure faith.” - Stephen Hawking

It is not an act of pure faith to recognize that God exists and is the Creator. There is plenty of evidence besides mere physics and chemistry, as @Guy_Coe noted.

(Dale Cutler) #48

I see his sense of humor, too… :slightly_smiling_face:

There’s the roly poly that suggests something about the Creator’s sense of fun. Aka the ubiquitous pill bug, woodlouse or armadillid, it rolls up into an amazingly precise spherical shape. When I discovered the little-known fact that it delivers rectangular-ish, even square, excrement, I laughed out loud. (And I’m sure THAT detail was important for its adaptive survival! :slightly_smiling_face:) I still smile or chuckle when I think of it.

(Timothy Horton) #49

Of course no one in science says that or reasons that way. But why deal with reality when you can make up such a fluffy strawman to bash?

Yes, it is. It’s a personal belief unsupported by any physical evidence.

(Dale Cutler) #50

I’m thankful that I don’t have to be a perpetual cynic. And we have talked about how much value insults add to the conversation before, @Timothy_Horton.


“I don’t know” does not require faith. If someone says that God was involved in the creation of the universe or life then it is up to theists to supply evidence for this claim. It isn’t up to skeptics to disprove it. Also, God is not the assumed answer to every question until proven otherwise.

(Neil Rickert) #52

That sounds very similar to “Heads I win, tails you lose.”

(Dale Cutler) #53

When could you allow that God did indeed do something? Pretty much never, because you want the immaterial God to hit you over the head with material evidence. If you are going to deny God, you’re going to deny God, regardless.

“…neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.”

(Guy Coe) #54

Beware the tiny little pieces of chicklets gum!

(Dale Cutler) #55

No, you just have to prove the negative, that God was not the Beginner. :slightly_smiling_face:

(Guy Coe) #56

The forensic evidence for the resurrection of Jesus is, for me, entirely compelling, and it would take much greater faith to explain it away.


When there is positive evidence for it.


I suspect we have different ideas of what “forensic evidence” is.

(Neil Rickert) #59

No, because I have no need for that hypothesis.

(Guy Coe) #60

What if we don’t?