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Atheist Community of Austin
Atheism is an erroneous philosophy

In order to be an atheist, one must deny the existence of an organizing intelligence which is superior to that of man. I call this superior organizing intelligence God. An atheist must believe that orderliness does not require intelligent direction. This is the fundamental error of the philosophy of atheism.

There are numerous examples of orderliness which are far more sophisticated and complex than anything man has ever made or even has the capacity to make.

For example, the Earth travels through space at the speed of 18.51 miles each second or 66,636 mph on its orbital path around the Sun. It also spins around its own axis at more than 1000 mph at the equator. While managing to execute these duties constantly, it makes one complete trip around the Sun every 365.2422 days, precisely. Man has been able to measure this activity for about 300 years now, making this example of orderliness more durable and precise than any watch or clock man has ever been able to manufacture.

If you can give me an example of orderliness that did not or does not require any intelligent direction, I would love to learn about it.

Thanks,

Bruce Wright

Order without intelligence is impossible, making Atheism a false philosophy.

I suppose that if you make an arbitrary definition of god, that it might seem silly for someone else to argue against it. There may be intelligent life in the universe, but if it knocked on your door, would you immediately sign up to be its slave?

Since humans are a product of the natural universe and humans are complex, it might very well be possible that there are even more complex things in the universe. So?

The planet goes around the sun with clockwork because there isn't much friction in space. The length of the day is slowing down because the moon pulls on the oceans creating tides and causing some small amount of friction. Your somewhat erroneous set of facts about planetary orbits are not very good proof of a supreme being. I'm guessing that in your mind, you think that because humans can measure something precisely, that there must be a god setting things to work at exactly those precise rates. You are assuming your conclusion.

Your argument is commonly called the "argument from incredulity". You don't know what caused X, but you can imagine that some God that could (in your mind) cause X, therefore God must exist. By your "argument", gremlins must push around electrons in wires, the flying spaghetti monster must have created you with his noodly appendage, and elves make toys for Christmas. I guess it all depends on how little you know and how big your imagination is.

Here's a little experiment for you to try at home. Take some warm water and dissolve some salt in it in a pan. Set it out in a warm place, far away from any gods. In a few days, the water will have evaporated and you'll be left with orderly salt crystals. What sort of supernatural entity is needed (in your mind) to make that happen?

--Don

Quote - "In order to be an atheist, one must deny the existence of an organizing intelligence which is superior to that of man. I call this superior organizing intelligence God. An atheist must believe that orderliness does not require intelligent direction. This is the fundamental error of the philosophy of atheism."

Answer - There is no philosophy of atheism, atheists have many ideas on numerous subjects including science, and they do not embrace one theory over another. However, most atheists do not believe that there are supernatural forces or entities. Others who agree are (some humanists, agnostics, etc.) who don't hesitate to identify themselves with the same opinion as atheists on the "intelligent design" topic. They don't believe it is science, and they do believe in the theories that science has established.

Intelligent design" is not science, but religion masquerading as science. There are some theists who don't take literally every word of the Holy Bible, and do believe the theory of evolution.

Some "theist" (but not ever theist) claim that a complex system can only arise out of something with high intelligence. Although complexity is difficult to define, we can reasonably expect a highly intelligent entity to be highly complex. So, it can only have arisen out of something even more intelligent and complex. It's Intelligent Design all the way down. However, we can stop at the world, to avoid an infinite regress. There is no reason why the physical universe cannot be it's own first cause. As we know from both everyday experience and highly structured scientific observations, complex systems develop from simpler systems all the time in nature (with not even low intelligence required.) Life can evolve from bacteria. And our relatively complex universe could have arisen out of the entity that is the simplest and most mindless of all--the void.

However, this isn't really, and never has been a debate about science. It's about religion. In fact, the creation story in Genesis is not the Big Bang cosmology (no matter what your bias is.) In the Bible, the universe is a firmament and Earth is fixed and immovable (not to mention flat). In reality, the universe is expanding and Earth rotates about the sun. In the Bible, Earth is created in the first "day," before the sun, moon, and stars. In reality, Earth did not form until nine billion years after the Big Bang and after the sun and many other stars.

A scientific theory and statement based on "faith" are very different. When Newton said, "gravitation is a force" he then had to demonstrate that it is a force, and described the motion of the planets that shaped the universe. When theists say "God placed the Earth at the center of the universe," this is a statement that has no observable premise. So, one is an assertion of faith, the other an assertion of science. "Gravitation is a force" is a statement based on the rigorous observations that came before Newton (by Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo) and the accompanying calculus that makes precise predictions.

There is a definite agreement in the scientific community that intelligent design is not science. The U.S. National Academy of Sciences has stated that "intelligent design, and other claims of supernatural intervention in the origin of life" are not science because they cannot be tested by experiment, do not generate any predictions, and propose no new hypotheses of their own.

Over the past 300 years science began to strip away this "earth is the center of the universe" thing. Starting with Copernicus' finding that the earth revolved around the sun rather than the sun around the earth. Next it was determined that our earth is only one of a myriad of worlds, the sun is only one of our galaxy, and our galaxy is only one of a myriad of galaxies in the universe. Apparently, there is nothing special about our position in the universe. Einstein's theory of relativity then discredited the view held by Newton and all other great classical physicists that the velocity of the earth in space constituted a "privileged frame of reference." Next, the age of the solar system was calculated to be about 4.5 billion years old and the universe about 15 billion. Some intelligent design advocates attack Darwin's theory that man is not a special creation but, more accurately, evolved from a simple, single-celled organism. Man is simply the end product in a long chain of evolutionary change. They disagree with Darwin's theory of evolution claiming that a complicated structure such as bacterium's flagella (spinning tail) cannot evolve. Similarly, human eyes with its complex and specialized cells and tissue including lens cannot evolve naturally. Intelligent design advocates cannot understand how the human eye, so fine-tuned for the collection of light and formation of images, could have developed naturally. So, they concluded, it had to be designed by God. Now we understand how eyes evolved several times by natural selection. The average person has great difficulty grasping Darwin's theory of 'Natural Selection.' In general, the more observations that can be explained by a single theory, the more reliable or more valuable the theory is considered. But arguing that God explains everything is simply an assertion born of no reasonable premise and it ignores the intrinsic value of "explanation" by avoiding it. New research suggests that the genesis of life could be explained in part by quantum theory, the framework that governs the subatomic world, which is deeply counterintuitive, mathematical and highly baffling, even to most physicists.

In the Biblical story of the Garden of Eden: Knowledge and understanding and wisdom were forbidden to us in this story. There was a particular tree of which we were not to partake, a tree of knowledge. The writers deemed it far better to embrace a fable than face the hard truth. (Ignorance is preferable to knowledge.)

We desire a true purpose, a worthy goal, on behalf of mankind. We should vastly increase our knowledge of the Solar System and then begin to explore space. For this purpose we will need scientists, and "intelligent design" won't cut it.

Where would the American space program (not to mention American technology) be today if John F. Kennedy had not been murdered? There are numerous examples of Kennedy proposing space cooperation with the world before and after his decision to pursue the lunar goal. The space program would have replaced the cold war, and turn our economy into a peacetime economy for the first time since World War II.

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is a particle accelerator and collider located at CERN, near Geneva, Switzerland. The LHC is scheduled to begin operation in May 2008.The LHC is expected to become the world's largest and highest-energy particle accelerator. The LHC is being funded and built in collaboration with over two thousand physicists from thirty-four countries, universities and laboratories. CERN's massive particle collider in Geneva, Switzerland, may create tiny black holes when it goes online hopefully in 2008. The collider in Geneva coming on line in 2008, particles, dimensions, black holes, molecular weight, dark matter, anti matter, dark energy, it is all becoming within reach.

"For example, the Earth travels through space at the speed of 18.51 miles each second or 66,636 mph on its orbital path around the Sun. It also spins around its own axis at more than 1000 mph at the equator. While managing to execute these duties constantly, it makes one complete trip around the Sun every 365.2422 days, precisely. Man has been able to measure this activity for about 300 years now, making this example of orderliness more durable and precise than any watch or clock man has ever been able to manufacture.

If you can give me an example of orderliness that did not or does not require any intelligent direction, I would love to learn about it."

I have one thing to say, the Heisenburg Uncertainty Principle. Since the Earth is an object, it is a (very large) particle. Now all particles are waves. All waves have a constant variance in position causing a lack of 100% precision. Therefore the Earth has a constant variance in position causing a lack of 100% precision. Thus the orbit of the Earth, which is a collection of positions, each of which have a constant variance causing a lack of 100% precision, itself has a constant variance causing a lack of 100% precision. The orbit of the Earth is imprecise. QED. The Heisenburg applies to all things. Therefore all things are imprecise. Thus, given your definition of order being precision, all things are disordered because all things are imprecise. Since there are no things that are ordered, it is impossible to prove that orderliness implies intelligence. If orderliness is the only method of proving intelligence, it is impossible to prove intelligence. If it is impossible to prove intelligence and then intelligence is an assumption. So if there theoretically exists an explanation for all things and at least one of them for each thing does not require intelligence then intelligence succumbs to Occam's Razor.

On that last statement, I am referring the to the theoretical existence of an explanation, not a theoretical explanation. Also, keep in mind that it is discussing whether an explanation exists or not, not whether an explanation is known or not. To clarify, I proved that your proof does not prove the existence of order therefore whether or not order without intelligence is impossible is moot because everything is disordered and ordered and disordered are relative statements. So terming disorder without a term for order means nothing. The converse is also true, terming order without a term for disorder means nothing. If you say that the Earth's orbit is ordered because of its precision, then nothing is ordered. If you say the Earth's orbit is disordered because of its precision then nothing is ordered. In either case, nothing is ordered. At which point the presence of nothing has no effect on anything. (5-0-0-0-...-0=5)

I only recently realized there were forums all over discussing various theories, arguments, and opinions of a/theism, but I've noticed one huge trend: theists like to begin an argument presuming they are right. (who doesn't, to be fair, but...)

You presuppose that an organizing intelligence MUST be responsible. You have taken the narrow view, looking at our world, and said: "viola! we're here! someone must have caused it!" I am borrowing from Dawkins, but your question is wrong before you even get started because you've ignored relevant information: the sheer number of planets that exist, and, even though rare, the number that have the "Goldilocks" conditions (not to hot, not too cold, just right for the origins of life). In Dawkins explanation, he begins with knowledge we have about the universe. There are an estimated billion billion planets. That is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000. (It's a rough estimate, but you can see...it's a big number). Odds are, one in a billion are "Goldilocks" planets. Those incredible odds... still mean that ONE BILLION planets likely contain the requirements to begin life as we know it. So, by saying an superior intelligent being MUST have created the order we have, please explain the disorder in the 999,999,999,000,000,000 other planets where your superintendent of all things orderly failed. Is he not powerful enough?

To make simple the mistake you've made, let me try this. Draw a chalk circle on the ground, about the size of tracing a soda can. Stand close to your circle. Take a pinata filled with 1,000 pieces of candy, have a party, and beat the snot out of the pinata. (oh, and let the adults hit it, they will make the experiment go faster). When the pinata is finall broken, the candy will fall ALL OVER the place. It is likely that one or so pieces will land perfectly in your circle. Your question points excitedly to that one piece and says an intelligent being must have placed it precisely there, so you could get candy.

What is embarrassing about your question is how you fail to notice... there's other pieces of candy, and they didn't all land in your circle. A LOT of other pieces of candy.

What does quoting scientific facts prove about the existence of a creator? When asked for proof of intelligent design the advocates fail to produce any. They don't prove the necessity of a Creator: they show us natural law. Throwing out all of the evidence that supports a theory about the universe that we live in does not prove a creator. The burden of proof is on the creationist: he must prove that natural law is useless in explaining anything about nature or natural law.

The hours are shown on a sundial (you can keep track of time with it) that is an example of intelligent design. However, the universe, which contains the works of the sundial (the sun), can be void of reason and understanding.

In spite of fact that man is so small we have still been able to figure out things about the boundless universe. That proves how intelligent man is, it does not prove that the universe is the product of divine reasoning or intelligence. It does not prove that some sort of necessity produced man or the universe. It proves that man out of necessity has figured out a lot of things.

Neither Intelligent Design nor the 'watchmaker argument' is new. Cicero the famed Roman author of the first century BCE, already had a very well developed version of Intelligent Design in his De Natura Deorum ("On the Nature of the Gods") and a version of the famous watchmaker argument. To Cicero more than one designer was reasonable. The watchmaker analogy was logically an argument for polytheism as much as it was an argument for ID.

"Order without intelligence is impossible..."

You have all your work still ahead of you, Bruce, as you must first provide support for that assertion.

God created the world and then work backwards to try to prove it. I will not hold my breath while waiting for the answer. There are some people who believe that if the universe had been arranged a little differently that it might have caused things to be a lot better than what we have now.

@Bruce Wright

Don't you realize that you're looking at your own brain when you believe to see intelligent order in nature? You're confusing cause with effect.

There is a short story about a human astronaut (I forgot its name, I read it like 20 years ago.) who gets stranded on a foreign planet. The astronaut's resources are running out, but luckily, he finds some kind of domicile. There's even a food source there. He tries the food, but it burns his mouth. He can't eat it. Weakened, he goes to sleep. When he wakes up again, he feels differently. His hunger drives him to try the food again, and it tastes wonderful and gives him energy. His problems are solved. But he now has some kind of reptile tail: He was transformed to fit the environment that he lives in.

You believe that the environment humans live in is made for us. But instead, we are made for it.

And all of this does not even have anything to do with atheism. This is only about evolution.

Makeroni - Quote- "And all of this does not even have anything to do with atheism. This is only about evolution."

Bruce - Quote -"In order to be an atheist, one must deny the existence of an organizing intelligence which is superior to that of man."

Most atheists do think that the evolution of the universe is indisputable (the Big Bang and all that) and they usually don't believe the Universe was created instantaneously. Bruce is arguing that "an organizing intelligence superior to that of man." (Like god?) Explains everything. It is an assertion born of no reasonable premise and it ignores the intrinsic value of "explanation" by avoiding it. New research suggests that the genesis of life could be explained in part by quantum theory, the framework that governs the subatomic world.

The cosmological models based on M-theory, which suggests that our particular universe may be one of an unimaginable number of universes, each with its own set of physical laws. According to one of the most promising models, the big bang may not be the moment of creation but the bridge to a past filled with endless cycles of universe creation and destruction.

If a computer by itself could solve a very difficult scientific, mathematical, or any …problem with ease that would mean that the computer was demonstrating intelligence. That is about the same thing as the "organizing intelligence" that made everything. Man is figuring out how things happened because they are intelligent.

There is no grand designer except for Mr. Blackwell.

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