• Welcome to Christian Forums
  1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

  2. The forums in the Christian Congregations category are now open only to Christian members. Please review our current Faith Groups list for information on which faith groups are considered to be Christian faiths. Christian members please remember to read the Statement of Purpose threads for each forum within Christian Congregations before posting in the forum.

Reverse logic

Discussion in 'Archived - Ethics & Morality' started by Earl Presto, Feb 7, 2005.

  1. Earl Presto

    Earl Presto Please don't read this

    +64
    Pantheist
    Maybe you have seen someone wonder about how everything in the universe seems to be designed to enable life on earth as it is. people will bring up the distance of the earth to the sun, the climate on earth, composition of the air, liquid water and whatnot as some sort of 'proof' of the existence of a delicate design, which is then attributed to 'God'.

    I was wondering about that a bit.. Obviously we know that when you poor a drink in a glass, it adjusts it's 'shape' to fit the glass perfectly. Isnt the above line of reasoning similar to observing a glass containing a drink, and thinking how the glass is perfectly shaped to contain the drink it holds?
     
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. Vastavus

    Vastavus Man is free at the moment he wishes to be

    +83
    Deist
    Single
    US-Others
    Yes, I think it is very similar. That is a very good point.

    People don't understand, that given the infinite size of the universe, life was bound to appear somewhere, it's a matter of probability. Earth was just the perfect glass for life to pour into.
     
  3. joebudda

    joebudda Newbie

    +296
    Atheist
    You have hit the nail on the head. This is where the ID/creationism argument fails miserably.
     
  4. Lord Emsworth

    Lord Emsworth Je ne suis pas une de vos élèves.

    +348
    Atheist
    Private
    It would be more apt to compare it to one drop of water 'perfectly' fitting a bathtub.

     
  5. hordeprime

    hordeprime God loves Atheists.

    804
    +69
    Atheist
  6. brightlights

    brightlights A mist that appears for a time & then vanishes

    +235
    Presbyterian
    Married
    US-Republican
    I'm not so sure that the probability of life is what amazes me rather than life exists at all. For example, I can contemplate my existance. In the words of Jeff Mangum: "How strange it is to be anything at all".

    Besides Earl, I thought you were a theist.
     
  7. mepalmer3

    mepalmer3 Well-Known Member

    930
    +35
    Christian
    Married
    So are you suggesting that life will probably appear in most places and it'll just adjust to it's settings like water adjusts to the shape of the glass? I suppose the scientific thing to do next would be to look for life on every other planet, if we begin to find a lot of life, then this hypothesis holds true. However, if we continue to observe that there is no life, then that hypothesis will increasingly become unlikely.
     
  8. mepalmer3

    mepalmer3 Well-Known Member

    930
    +35
    Christian
    Married
    I've never heard any bit of science claiming that the universe was infinite in size. I have heard the ID camp claim that the earth is the perfect glass for life though. And I think they just speculate that the earth may be the only perfect glass that could support life.
     
  9. Svt4Him

    Svt4Him Legend Supporter

    +1,080
    Non-Denom
    Single
    CA-Conservatives
    Can you explain this a bit more please, because I have read nothing that would make ID/Creationism fail miserably. Water fits into a glass. Rocks fit into a glass. Therefore rocks are water. Man, now my whole line of reasoning has failed miserably.

    I once read that one planet with life is a miracle, many planets with life makes it natural. Just a thought.
     
  10. Earl Presto

    Earl Presto Please don't read this

    +64
    Pantheist
    lol.. Yes, i am a theist, of sorts. I'm just trying not to define anything too tightly, not sticking to any particular phylosophy, but trying to tie ends together with the facts at hand..

    One could say that i'm not trying to fit anything into any kind of pre-set paradigm, but to just see things as they are.

    I guess i should have been an atheist, or agnostic.. and as i browse these forums these are actually usually the people who make the most sense to me. Still i do have some personal ideas about the how and why about myself, which i will adjust as evidence or the lack thereof comes along.

    What you call 'God', i could call consciousness, or a morphogenetic field, or zero-point energy.. it doesn't matter to me :)
     
  11. Earl Presto

    Earl Presto Please don't read this

    +64
    Pantheist
    No, i'm just pointing out cause and effect. the conditions on earth are the cause, apparently, and me typing this to you is the effect. Some people seem to have it mixed-up.

    I'm not saying that there should be life on every other planet at all, since the circumstances on earth are pretty unigue.. even though the findings om Mars do seem to acknowledge that life could be pretty widespread throughout the universe.
     
  12. Lord Emsworth

    Lord Emsworth Je ne suis pas une de vos élèves.

    +348
    Atheist
    Private


    Considering that there probably is no life in 99,999999999 % of the universe makes the argument that the universe is designed/fine-tuned for life look utterly ridiculous.

    Like I suggested earlier. Bathtub/drop of water - and even that is an understatement - instead of water/glass.

     
  13. joebudda

    joebudda Newbie

    +296
    Atheist
    The logic they use to build all of their arguments is based in a flawed foundation. You are propagating this misuse of logic in this very post.

    All you are doing is subtitling the water for rocks. They both fit into the glass yes, but was the glass created to fit the shape of the water or rocks that just happen to fill that glass?
     
  14. wowbagger

    wowbagger The Infinitely Prolonged

    576
    +47
    Atheist
    Single
    US-Others
    I first heard that same argument in a speech by the late (and dearly missed) Douglas Adams:

    "early man has a moment to reflect and he thinks to himself, 'well, this is an interesting world that I find myself in' and then he asks himself a very treacherous question...'So who made this then?' Who made this? -- you can see why it's a treacherous question. Early man thinks, 'Well, because there's only one sort of being I know about who makes things, whoever made all this must therefore be a much bigger, much more powerful and necessarily invisible, one of me- and because I tend to be the strong one who does all the stuff, he's probably male'. And so we have the idea of a god.

    Then, because when we make things we do it with the intention of doing something with them, early man asks himself , 'If he made it, what did he make it for?' Now the real trap springs, because early man is thinking, 'This world fits me very well. Here are all these things that support me and feed me and look after me; yes, this world fits me nicely' and he reaches the inescapable conclusion that whoever made it, made it for him.

    [font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]This is rather as if you 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!' This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it's still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything's going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for."


    [font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]full speech can be found on a blog here: http://www.toomuchsexy.org/adams/[/font]

    [font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]-wowbagger (sees most things half full of [email protected] ;))[/font]


    [/font]
     
  15. mepalmer3

    mepalmer3 Well-Known Member

    930
    +35
    Christian
    Married
    Ah... Hmm... I think the ID argument is a little different from what you're taking it. I believe the argument goes something like the chances for life ANYWHERE in the universe are so extremely small, that earth is about the only legitimate chance there is. And it looks like you agree with the probability being so extremely small. So the ID folks think this is evidence that earth wasn't a chance happening, but a designed occurence for this one instance. But I don't know of or haven't read any ID folks (well, perhaps some folks on here, but you read some of everything here) claiming that the entire universe was designed for life in many places. That would be a pretty ridiculous claim. The analogy I've heard is like someone winning the lottery 100 times in a row. If that happened, then we would naturally think it was rigged.
     
  16. ScottishJohn

    ScottishJohn Contributor

    +444
    Presbyterian
    Married
    Not sure I understand the logic of this argument. Are we comparing life (whatever your belief life is a pretty special thing regardless of where it comes from) to the properties of a liquid, ie the fact that it follows the contours of a solid? Who created the glass? Where did the ground and the water come from? All of these anaologies seem to fall short of the point, unless of course I am missing the point completely which is entirely possible.
     
  17. Earl Presto

    Earl Presto Please don't read this

    +64
    Pantheist
    Hi John,

    It's pretty simple:

    Christian argument: Earth and it's surroundings were uniquely designed to support life as we know it. (glass fits the drink)

    Counter-argument: Life as we know it is a more or less logical result of the circumstances as we know it on earth. (drink fits the glass)

    Hope that helps
     
  18. joebudda

    joebudda Newbie

    +296
    Atheist
    And if we do find some kind of life on mars?

    Then we will have to come to the conclusion that life is much more diverse and common then we have thought.

    The ID’ers are basing their “observations” on the lack of acquired evidence. Being we have no idea how common life is in the universe. It is our own ego saying that “the glass was made for us” instead of understanding maybe we have “evolved” to fit the glass.
     
  19. Earl Presto

    Earl Presto Please don't read this

    +64
    Pantheist
    Nothing conclusive yet on Mars, but some very interesting things indeed..

    Have a look for yourself if you like.

    http://www.xenotechresearch.com/marsindx.htm
     
  20. Beastt

    Beastt Legend

    +973
    Atheist
    Single
    US-Others
    I think before you can judge that you'll need to be able to closely examine more than the mere handful of planets we've been able to inspect for life. Most likely the reason for the "probably no life" comment.

    I absolutely agree with you. Except you stopped before the puddle decided that its existence was so vital that after it dried up completely, it must exist elsewhere in another form. The difference being that the puddle will evaporate and continue to exist as water vapor in the atmosphere and then eventually, some of the molecules of water will again occupy another puddle. So it is with man except that man has sentience and believes that the sentience comes from beyond his body and will continue after the body dries up and evaporates into the environment.

    The concept in the OP seems to parallel the adjustment made to scientific thinking over the past 25 years or so. I can remember being in grade school and being taught that it was an amazing coincidence that man existed on the only planet known which could support life. It is now the common belief of science that life adapts to the environment in which it forms rather than requiring just the right environment. This awareness came about in part due to the discovery of life forms on Earth which inhabit environments formerly thought to be completely inhospitable to life. Thermal vents on the ocean floors have found to be the environment in which a certain kind of worm survives with one end of the worm being in water just above freezing while the other end is in water heated to over 170 degrees fahrenheit. Bacteria have also been found flourishing in some of the consistently coldest regions on the planet.

    Certainly it makes more sense that once life begins to take hold, it must adapt to the environment rather than the environment being required to specifically support life. That being said, it does seem that life may have certain requirements. Most likely among them is the need for water though this idea may also be found to be erroneous.
     
Loading...