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Meg

Simtropolis Religion Thread

582 posts in this topic

Originally posted by: A Nonny Moose

Perhaps you would like to elaborate your position.  The faithful are all preconditioned.  Faith is passed on, and not a natural state.  In order to have faith in something, it has to be communicated.quote>

No, you do not have to be the recipient of someone's communication on their faith to ultimately arrive at that same faith.  It is possible to develop the same faith with nothing more than the ability to look at the same situation as another person and arrive at the same conclusion without any influence on the other person's part.  This is something that is easily doable for the average person.

Since there is no "higher power" to communicate this, it has to come from a person or persons.quote>

This statement operates on an assumption that may or may not be true.

Getting back to the original point of contention (which was whether worship was an act of fear)...

To suggest that humans worship a deity soley because they fear it is rather narrowminded.  So, too, is the idea that God wants our worship because he is egotistical or because our worship somehow benefits him.  A less common, but equally plausible idea is that God wants our worship, not because he wants us doing stuff for him, but because he uses that worship in service to the person doing the worshipping.  Under that idea, worship isn't about what we do for God, but what God does for us, and what reason would God have to fear what he has power over?

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Originally posted by: hym

. . .  God wants our worship, not because he wants us doing stuff for him, but because he uses that worship in service to the person doing the worshipping.  quote>

42.gif      Can you elaborate?

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Originally posted by: Meg

Can you elaborate?quote>

To an extent, yes.

The most common viewpoint on worship is that we are committing an act of reverence or service to God, and it suggests that we attend church so that we might do something for God.  There is another opinion on worship, and it runs nearly opposite to the mainstream view.  Under this opinion, worship is not about doing something for God, but rather about communion with him, and for him to actually serve us.  Thus, under viewpoint, God's expressed desire for us to worship him isn't about us doing stuff for him, but about him doing stuff for us.

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Somehow, given a Supreme Being, I don't think worship would be necessary.  Such a being would either be benevolent or not.  I am inclined to think that if it existed, it would be utterly indifferent to us.

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Originally posted by: hym

Originally posted by: Meg

Can you elaborate?quote>

To an extent, yes.

The most common viewpoint on worship is that we are committing an act of reverence or service to God, and it suggests that we attend church so that we might do something for God.  There is another opinion on worship, and it runs nearly opposite to the mainstream view.  Under this opinion, worship is not about doing something for God, but rather about communion with him, and for him to actually serve us.  Thus, under viewpoint, God's expressed desire for us to worship him isn't about us doing stuff for him, but about him doing stuff for us.

quote>

Two things strike me about this viewpoint.

1)  That's not worship.

2)  It's rude.  

People find it odd when I mention that I don't like prayer and I actually go so far as to say when most people say they'll pray for me for whatever reason, I tell them "Please don't."  (I couldn't bear to say that to grandma.  3.gif)  Why?  It's rude.  Incredibly rude.  Simple as that.  I want I want I want.  Me me me me.  Please do not ask god for any favors on my behalf, as I cannot reciprocate any favors I receive.  Imagine if you behaved that way towards a person.  

If, as it is in Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition, that god is all knowing, all seeing, etc. then prayer is unnecessary.  He knows what you want and knows what you need and if he so chooses to help out, so be it.  But actually praying for it sounds rather a lot like whining to me.  

Japanese Kami, on the other hand, are not all knowing, all seeing, etc., so you would actually have to ask.  I don't do that either though, since it's still a presumptuous act on my side of the relationship.  (Besides, Kami tend to be fickle, so it's best not to piss them off.  3.gif)  On the very rare occasions that I do pray, it's just to utter one, single word: "Thanks."  Is there a Kami listening?  I don't know.  Doesn't hurt to say "Thanks" to whatever is out there for the pretty world I enjoy though.  4.gif

**Note:  "Kami" is best translated as "spirit."  And that's as far as I'll go in believing in any higher beings.  I remain, mostly, agnostic.

ISF

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One of the operating principles of the Christian faith is to fear the Lord.  Rather medieval thinking, IMHO.  However you still keep hearing about the wrath of God.  If it exists, I believe most firmly that it could care less.  It would be so far beyond our understanding that we would be like bacteria to it.  We don't expect bacteria to worship us.

For all we know, life is an accident in the primordial soup, and the Creator had no intention of making life, it just happened.  Why should it care?  The whole religious schtik is a myth perpetrated by the elders on unsuspecting subjects, and now they are stuck with it.

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We are commanded to bring our requests to God. (See Philippians 4:6-7)

A Nonny Moose:

Like bacteria can worship us? They can't. They don't have minds to think. They just do their thing. Kinda like computers, which simply run program after program, but cannot think.

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Originally posted by: blakesterville

We are commanded to bring our requests to God. (See Philippians 4:6-7)

A Nonny Moose:

Like bacteria can worship us? They can't. They don't have minds to think. They just do their thing. Kinda like computers, which simply run program after program, but cannot think.quote>

There you go quoting the mythology again.  Do you ever think for yourself?  Quoting letters to the Phillipians means you know who the author of the myth is supposed to be.  Did Jesus say that?  How do you know?  Were you present when it was said by him?  If not it is hearsay.

As usual, you take exception to my metaphors.  The creator, if any, probably doesn't care.  You can no more know the mind of the creator, if one exists, than you can of your next door neighbor, although you've got a better chance.  At least you are in the same planet.

Isn't it time you gave up on the mythology, and started looking around you?

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Why are you calling this a myth? If it was merely a myth (implying it wasn't true), then it would be time, wouldn't it? THIS IS NO MYTH! Do you think that the universe put itself together without God? That's nearly impossible.

You might also read 2 Timothy 3, 16-17 (NIV).

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Originally posted by: blakesterville

Why are you calling this a myth? If it was merely a myth (implying it wasn't true), then it would be time, wouldn't it? quote>

"it would be time" ?    42.gif

THIS IS NO MYTH! Do you think that the universe put itself together without God? That's nearly impossible. quote>

Let's say for sake of argument that God created the universe.   That wouldn't mean the bible is the word of God.  Those are two unrelated issues.

You might also read 2 Timothy 3, 16-17 (NIV).   The Bible says that all scripture is inspired by God. quote>

So there is a book that is quoting itself, saying it is inspired by God.   If someone published a book that says it is inspired by God, would that make it true?

Quoting the bible means nothing to people who don't believe it is the word of God.

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Please explain how so many prophecies made about Jesus in the Old Testament came true in Jesus' lifetime. Oh, and please explain how the universe exists without God. Macro evolution doesn't make the least bit of sense to me.

I am tired of arguing this.

Edited to remove excessive whitespace.--hym

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Originally posted by: blakesterville

Please explain how so many prophecies made about Jesus in the Old Testament came true in Jesus' lifetime. quote>

Which specific prophecies are you referring to? In particular, what are the details, who made them, when were they made (documented archaeological evidence), when and in what way did they come true, what criteria were they judged to have come true (or not) on, how detailed and exacting were these criteria and what prophecies were also made that did not come true.

Originally posted by: blakesterville

Macro evolution doesn't make the least bit of sense to me.

quote>

Your view of "macro-evolution" may not seem to make much sense to you possibly because it is a view that you have constructed yourself in your head (nothing wrong with that, it is called original thought), but you have chosen to call it "macro-evolution" when your idea has nothing to do with what almost everyone else is referring to when they talk about  "macro-evolution". You seem to be getting rather confused between the two very different ideas. While you are free to (and indeed should) think up your own ideas and call them whatever you like in the privacy of your mind, it is not fair to then equate that idea with what other people are referring to by the term when what they are referring to is a completely different idea having no resemblence to yours, and then to tell them that their idea makes no sense. Apart from confusing them, it is also likely to thoroughly confuse you as well. It helps when discussing such things to agree on terms and clearly articularte the view first. At least that way if the two views don't agree then those discussing them are at least aware that there are differences and need to take more care in putting them forward than if they were in complete agreement.

Macro-evolution has nothing to do with the origin of the universe. It doesn't matter how the universe got here, macro-evolution in its true sense is unaffected by that, all that is relevant in that regard to macro-evolution is that the universe got here. How it got here is irrelevant, because it doesn't change the mechanism. While origins of the universe may be an interesting question in its own right, it is a different and unrelated question to macro-evolution.

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Originally posted by: Barbarossa

Okay.  Too bad, though.  I think you could learn a lot here, if you actually thought about the replies.

Barbarossa

quote>

Ah, but, thinking hurts.  Unquestioning faith is painless.

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Well, mathematically and "scientifically" speaking, the chances that God does not exist are no higher than the chances that God does exist. Let's think this over.

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Agreed.  It is a yes or no question, with a .50 probability as far as we can tell.  However, that leaves us balanced on a knife edge, and we do try to stay balanced.  I am a true agnostic in a lot of ways.  I ordinarily say, "Oh God, if there is one, save my soul, if I have one."  This is just about as equivocal as you can get.

Now, let's look at the power of numbers:

The most powerful number is five.  Living things come in fives.  Fingers, toes, flower petals, etc.

The next most powerful number is six.  Non-living things come in sixes.  Snowflakes are six sided, when you squeeze a can of peas, but not enough to crush them, you get dodecahederons, which are twelve sided ( 2 x 6 ).  Crystals are often six sided.

The occult nuts talk about seven, but seven does not occur in nature nor in life, so they are out to lunch.

And of course, everyone knows that six is the first perfect number.  The sum of its factors is the same as the number itself.  The next one of these is a long, long way away, and I know it exists, but I don't know what it is.

There are no uninteresting numbers.  The very fact that a number is uninteresting would make it interesting.  How's that for a tautology.

Now about three.  Maybe Shakespeare had it right.  " Thrice to thee and thrice to thine and thrice again to make up nine.  Peace, the charm's wound up." - from the Scottish Play.  (I am not superstitious about the name of the play, but many are.)

So, here are the first few primes: 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 11.  Do you suppose the people interested in the arcane choose seven because it is the first prime after five, which is the real mystic number of life?  Or maybe because it doesn't appear in the Fibonacci series?  By the way, is 1 a prime?  It is the multiplicative identity.

The arcane types use five pretty much too.  Notice all those pentagrams.  The ones with the point down are supposed to have something to do with evil.

So there are a few more myths for you.

What do you think of that nut who wants to burn the Koran tomorrow?  I think the media should have ignored this idiot.

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Originally posted by: A Nonny Moose

Agreed.  It is a yes or no question, with a .50 probability as far as we can tell.  However, that leaves us balanced on a knife edge, and we do try to stay balanced.  I am a true agnostic in a lot of ways.  I ordinarily say, "Oh God, if there is one, save my soul, if I have one."  This is just about as equivocal as you can get.quote>

I was raised Catholic so I have Catholic habits like praying but I do not feel like there is a presence anymore. I have a small glimmer of faith that there is a higher power but not enough to make me any more than Agnostic. I have always had Deist beliefs and acceptance of other religions so I believe that God can be found through science (studying) if at all possible.

Now, let's look at the power of numbers:

The most powerful number is five.  Living things come in fives.  Fingers, toes, flower petals, etc.

quote>

Five is an important number in nature.

The next most powerful number is six.  Non-living things come in sixes.  Snowflakes are six sided, when you squeeze a can of peas, but not enough to crush them, you get dodecahederons, which are twelve sided ( 2 x 6 ).  Crystals are often six sided.

quote>

Six is the number for water. H2O bonds at 30o and 180/30=6. Water is the most important chemical on this planet.

The occult nuts talk about seven, but seven does not occur in nature nor in life, so they are out to lunch.

quote>

Each lunar phase lasts seven days. An entire lunar cycle lasts 28 days. That means that 28 should be just as important as 7 for astronomy/astrology.

And of course, everyone knows that six is the first perfect number.  The sum of its factors is the same as the number itself.  The next one of these is a long, long way away, and I know it exists, but I don't know what it is.

There are no uninteresting numbers.  The very fact that a number is uninteresting would make it interesting.  How's that for a tautology.

Now about three.  Maybe Shakespeare had it right.  " Thrice to thee and thrice to thine and thrice again to make up nine.  Peace, the charm's wound up." - from the Scottish Play.  (I am not superstitious about the name of the play, but many are.)

So, here are the first few primes: 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 11.  Do you suppose the people interested in the arcane choose seven because it is the first prime after five, which is the real mystic number of life?  Or maybe because it doesn't appear in the Fibonacci series?  By the way, is 1 a prime?  It is the multiplicative identity.

The arcane types use five pretty much too.  Notice all those pentagrams.  The ones with the point down are supposed to have something to do with evil.

So there are a few more myths for you.

quote>

The original pentagrams always pointed up becuase they were supposed to draw power from the Goddess in the sky for the purposes of good. Christians inverted the pentragram and said that it points down to Hell to draw power from Satan. Once this was publicized, a group of evil and/or curious people became the first Satanic Witches.

What do you think of that nut who wants to burn the Koran tomorrow?  I think the media should have ignored this idiot.

quote>

That insignificant preacher should not burn the Koran but he has a Constitutional right to do so. The media should not publicize this or do anything to inflame the hearts of people around the world but they have a constitutional right to do so. General P was right to politely request the preacher from continuing but the media should also be requested to stop the publicity.

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Well, it is now the anniversary of the second day that will live in infamy in the annals of the Unitied States.  Will all the publicity this Koran burning nut is getting cause a major international incident?  Tune in later to the chattering class news services.

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With regards to numbers in nature, I wouldn't say any numbers are particularly magical. There is, however, a curious reoccurrance of Fibonacci numbers (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, etc.) in the forms of living things.

And no, 1 is not a prime number.

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Originally posted by: Duke87

With regards to numbers in nature, I wouldn't say any numbers are particularly magical. There is, however, a curious reoccurrance of Fibonacci numbers (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, etc.) in the forms of living things.

And no, 1 is not a prime number.

quote>

The Fibonacci series is certainly present in nature.  For example, in the shell of the chambered nautilus.  I think it shows that nature knows how to add.  The Fibonacci function is one of the problems I used to set for my programming students.  It is easy, but it demonstrates storage initialization and recusion.

1 is not a prime because it has no factors at all.  It is one of the items on which the whole number system is built, being it is the multiplicative identity (zero is the additive identity).  Sometimes, though, we slip it into the list.  Without it, there could be no 'perfect' numbers, like six, which is the sum of its factors 1,2,3.  So if 1 is a factor, it is not (always) a prime factor.  A bit of mathematical oddity.  In fact, 1 is always a factor, and as many times as you like.

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Originally posted by: blakesterville

Well, mathematically and "scientifically" speaking, the chances that God does not exist are no higher than the chances that God does exist. Let's think this over.quote>

Let's do. Just because there are two options does not mean each option is 50 50. You need to assess realistically the probability of each option which would have to take into account all the sub processes and components of each option. Also you would need to find out if there were only two options or if there were more. The options could pan out at 60-40, 99-1, or 1 000 000 - 1

You haven't done this assessment for your claim.

Occam's Razor stats that all else being equal, the simpler of two solutions is more likely to be correct.

The atheists cut out a big complicating part of that calcuation by removing god and that leaves a whole lot simpler equation.

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William of Ockham really had a way of seeing through the chaff to the wheat kernels, didn't he.  A religion introduces so many complictions, like faith, that William's principle says you should not choose it.

On the other hand, if you have to have an ethical system to live by, some of the ones with a religious foundation are not at all bad if you discard the dogma.

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I'm back, I guess, after a terribly long break. (I was recovering from another round of mental illness. )

Originally posted by: Sam

Originally posted by: blakesterville

Well, mathematically and "scientifically" speaking, the chances that God does not exist are no higher than the chances that God does exist. Let's think this over.quote>

Let's do. Just because there are two options does not mean each option is 50 50. You need to assess realistically the probability of each option which would have to take into account all the sub processes and components of each option. Also you would need to find out if there were only two options or if there were more. The options could pan out at 60-40, 99-1, or 1 000 000 - 1

You haven't done this assessment for your claim.

Occam's Razor stats that all else being equal, the simpler of two solutions is more likely to be correct.

The atheists cut out a big complicating part of that calcuation by removing god and that leaves a whole lot simpler equation.

quote>

Well, in some cases, the "simpler option" is true. I'm not planning to argue that fact with you, but still, not every simpler thing is better. Sometimes this is true, but not always, and that's my point. 

In fact, I think it really is simpler to think that God exists and created the universe. Why? Well, otherwise you have to scientifically explain how it just "popped up" and organized itself into some massive organized system that supports life. Ehh... That doesn't catch my fancy. It just doesn't make any sense to me. The fact that a god created the universe makes much more sense to me.  

-blakesterville

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Originally posted by: blakesterville

I'm back, I guess, after a terribly long break. (I was recovering from another round of mental illness. )

Originally posted by: Sam

Originally posted by: blakesterville

Well, mathematically and "scientifically" speaking, the chances that God does not exist are no higher than the chances that God does exist. Let's think this over.quote>

Let's do. Just because there are two options does not mean each option is 50 50. You need to assess realistically the probability of each option which would have to take into account all the sub processes and components of each option. Also you would need to find out if there were only two options or if there were more. The options could pan out at 60-40, 99-1, or 1 000 000 - 1

You haven't done this assessment for your claim.

Occam's Razor stats that all else being equal, the simpler of two solutions is more likely to be correct.

The atheists cut out a big complicating part of that calcuation by removing god and that leaves a whole lot simpler equation.

quote>

Well, in some cases, the "simpler option" is true. I'm not planning to argue that fact with you, but still, not every simpler thing is better. Sometimes this is true, but not always, and that's my point. 

In fact, I think it really is simpler to think that God exists and created the universe. Why? Well, otherwise you have to scientifically explain how it just "popped up" and organized itself into some massive organized system that supports life. Ehh... That doesn't catch my fancy. It just doesn't make any sense to me. The fact that a god created the universe makes much more sense to me.  

-blakestervillequote>

Which God?

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Originally posted by: blakesterville

Originally posted by: Sam

Originally posted by: blakesterville

Well, mathematically and "scientifically" speaking, the chances that God does not exist are no higher than the chances that God does exist. Let's think this over.quote>

Let's do. Just because there are two options does not mean each option is 50 50. You need to assess realistically the probability of each option which would have to take into account all the sub processes and components of each option. Also you would need to find out if there were only two options or if there were more. The options could pan out at 60-40, 99-1, or 1 000 000 - 1

You haven't done this assessment for your claim.

Occam's Razor stats that all else being equal, the simpler of two solutions is more likely to be correct.

The atheists cut out a big complicating part of that calcuation by removing god and that leaves a whole lot simpler equation.

quote>

Well, in some cases, the "simpler option" is true. I'm not planning to argue that fact with you, but still, not every simpler thing is better. Sometimes this is true, but not always, and that's my point. quote>

By what measure can something exactly the same, except less complex, be worse? I think you may have missed the "all else being equal" part.

In fact, I think it really is simpler to think that God exists and created the universe. Why? Well, otherwise you have to scientifically explain how it just "popped up" and organized itself into some massive organized system that supports life. Ehh... That doesn't catch my fancy. It just doesn't make any sense to me. The fact that a god created the universe makes much more sense to me.  

-blakestervillequote>

Ah, yes, the "If God didn't make the universe, how is it here?" question. Assuming God does exist and did create the universe, the question becomes "Who created the Creator", then "Who created the Creator Creator" and then one gets a headache quite quickly, and that's just one of the many paradoxes. And don't say He created Himself or He existed forever. That's just a cop-out. Eventually you're going to have to come to the conclusion that somewhere along the line, something appeared out of nothing.

Then we have two options:

1. Something, sometime, appeared out of nothing to eventually give rise to (or was) a Creator to create the universe 13.7 billion years ago to evolve according to the laws of physics.

2. The universe appeared out of nothing 13.7 billion years ago and evolved according to the laws of physics.

Which one's more likely?

Occam's razor dictates that we should take the second for simplicity's sake, since the two both end up giving the same result - a universe that follows the laws of physics. May as well cut out the bit that's almost certainly impossible to get evidence for anyway.

We may never know what happened the instant the universe started or how it got here. What we know about the universe tells us that would be impossible. And since what we know about the universe has been borne out through experiment and observation to the best we can tell, we're pretty dang sure it's right.


Originally posted by: A Nonny Moose

And of course, everyone knows that six is the first perfect number.  The sum of its factors is the same as the number itself.  The next one of these is a long, long way away, and I know it exists, but I don't know what it is.quote>

Off topic, but the next one is actually 28 (1+2+4+7+14=28). After that is 496 (1+2+4+8+16+31+62+124+248=496), then 8128 (1+2+4+8+16+32+64+127+254+508+1016+2032+4064=8128). Then they start getting bigger, but there are a few smallish ones.


On a completely different note, did you know there's a description of a clinical trial in the Bible?

Daniel 1:8

8
But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.

9
Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.

10
And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king.

11
Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,

12
Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.

13
Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king’s meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.

14
So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days.

15
And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat.

16
Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.quote>

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Fascinating, but it is a very short clinical trial.  Pulse (peas and beans) do not form a complete diet with water, but a ten day run would have little effect.  The deficiency diseases take much longer to develop.  Does the Bible say what happened to the Children of Israel when they continued on this diet?  God must have given them some vitamins.

Let us go back to the big bang theory.  The question really is where did the big bang come from?  Scientists are saying that in addition to this soundless event, both space and time originate there.  What could exist in no-space, no-time?  This is beyond our present comprehension, so can we say that God is responsible?  This gives rise of cause and effect, but how can you have that in no-space, no-time?  And how do you explain black holes?

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^Even if we don't know where the Big Bang came from, putting any god as a possible solution is just wild mass guessing (and again, WHICH god?).

Black holes are apparently extremely small, extremely dense, and have one hell of a gravity. Actually, we don't really know what even gravity is, or what is causing it, but it appears that if you get too much of it, even the laws of physics go haywire, so apparently gravity and basic physics are connected somewhere. That would at least explain why black holes scew up physics so much.

Also, how would a god explain black holes? I know it's just a rhetoric question, possibly meant just to initiate some discussion, but this sounds an awful lot like the sterotypically-naive-religious "we don't know = God did it" argument.

By the way (this time adressed to Blake):

In fact, I think it really is simpler to think that God exists and created the universe. Why? Well, otherwise you have to scientifically explain how it just "popped up" and organized itself into some massive organized system that supports life. Ehh... That doesn't catch my fancy. It just doesn't make any sense to me. The fact that a god created the universe makes much more sense to me.quote>

So you're opting for the "the complex version doesn't make sense to me, so it's false"-option? Then tell me, how do you think thunder and lightning appears? Here are two options, both of which have at some time been the commonly accepted explanation:

1) There is a god named Thor, who rides around the sky in his divine chariot. When he throws his divine hammer, or strikes with it, there is a mighty kaboom and a flash. Because he's a god, he's invisible, but you can hear the hammer.

2) Tiny, tiny particles (electrons) are everywhere around us, even in the air itself. They are all "charged" with a tiny amount of some force. These particles act as building bricks in other tiny particles which make up everything we can see or feel in the universe (atoms). However, sometimes, there are too many electrons in the air, and too few in the ground. When that happens, tension is built up between the sky and the air. When the tension is broken, billions and billions of electrons jump from the air to the ground, colliding into atoms on their way, creating friction which in turn creates heat and light and unleashes energy.

One explanation simply involves a divine cause, which solves all problems. The other introduces a lot of complex terminology, requires a basic understanding of sub-nuclear science, and requires you to accept that there are millions of particles all around us, so small that we can not hope of ever seeing them, and they seem to operate with a different set of laws of physics than us. However, which explanation is proven and proven again, and which is dismissed as "didn't-know-better"-babble?

Edit again: I guess I should point out that it's been a while since my last Physics lesson, and English is not my native language, so my explaination of lightning might have been a little shabby. My point was to illustrate that the truth can be complex sometimes, but as long as it's all backed up properly, it's no reason not to believe it.

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