Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Life Is Good So Is Thinking So Is Thinking It Through

I am a bit behind in answering my hate mail/hate comments.  It's one of the benefits of getting hate messages, you don't feel an obligation to answer it unless you want to.  And one of the benefits of having your computer down for several days.  It's back, for now.

One recently found message in my trash asserts that "life exists on many planets ... life is a result of physics not of your imaginary friend in the sky", along with some rather predictable invective.

How does that follow?

I have dealt quite definitively, I assert,  with the question of "other life" in the universe based on present day knowledge.   The chances of there being life on any planet is known to be at least one in whatever the number of possible venues of life in the universe there are.   If you want to consider the possibility of life in places other than planets, you're just stupendously increasing both the range of possible numbers of those variables and the unlikelihood of knowing what those are.

At present we know that to be 1/p in which 1 is the known number of places in which life is known to exist and p is whatever whole number, including 1 where life can possibly arise in the universe.  At present we know that number can be 1/1 and it is possible that is the correct number for that probability.  In fact, that is the only possible value of that quotient that we know is possible, today.   I would say that anyone who thinks people, unaided by a vastly more able intelligence, could get that to be even 2/2 would be wildly optimistic.  I doubt that anyone short of God could know what the figure in the denominator of that fraction would be.  I doubt anyone short of that universal intelligence would have any way of knowing what the number or even types of locations in which life could arise in the universe is.  I think if you believe that likely far larger number is going to be known by people you are even more wildly optimistic.  One of the biggest problems in discovering it would be that we would have to know all possible life forms and the conditions under which those arise.  Which is a practical impossibility because we will never know if we do know all of those.

As to the discovery of "other life" killing off God, I don't see how that follows. Not at all.  It doesn't even kill off the God of the Hebrew scriptures.

If, as is widely believed, God willed there to be life on our one planet, God might want to use some of the rest of creation to will more life into being.   In the Genesis creation story God is said to have looked on the creation of life several times and seen "that it was good".

In the King James translation of Psalm 30 it says "in His favor is life".   Despite what some self-appointed bully boy of fundamentalism said to get his name in the news (Ken Ham) the idea that God might have found life so good that it is an intrinsic part of the physical universe also named as His creation that life will arise, over and over again, in many forms, with many purposes that we can't comprehend because we don't happen to be God.

Despite what current atheists repeat out of ignorance, the entire text of The Bible asserts, over and over again that life is good, that life is part of the purpose of God and that the diversity of life is good. The idea that God finds life to be good is entirely consistent with there being life in other places in the universe.

I look at what some numbnuts like Ken Hamm says about scriptures and see that what he said says everything about what his preferences are and not what is said in the scriptures.  I look at atheist assertions about what the finding of "other life" means and see everything about what their preferences are, not what a conclusive conclusion that could be drawn from that would be.

No, your claim, and it is one that other pop-atheists have asserted, that finding "other life" would be the nail in the coffin of God is wishful thinking on your part. If you bothered to think about the question instead of making wild claims of the certainty of "other life" being there when we have no evidence that is true, you might stop wasting your time on such flawed ideas.

So, the real answer to your assertions is that no one knows if there is "other life" and no one knows what that existing or not existing implies about the "existence" of God.  But one thing is sure, anyone who claims what you did hasn't thought their position through.

Update:  The fact is that the existence of life on one planet, ours, is an enormous problem for atheists because they can't explain its existence.  When you mix the human intelligence and consciousness that they use to think about these things into the problem, it's a lot harder for materialists, atheists, than it is for religious people.  That is why atheists expend so much effort in to turning consciousness into the same thing as lifeless chemistry, because life and conscious life is a far bigger problem for them than it is for non-materialists and, especially, non-atheists.  I haven't looked at it yet, but there is an article in the Harpers magazine a friend just gave me in which E.O. Wilson addresses the question of free will.  I, somehow, doubt he's going to entertain the idea that it is at all possible because such a thing is not possible in materialism.   I might bother reading it within the next few days and may go through what he says, if it's any different from what I've read from atheists over and over again.   Even as expansive an atheist as Sartre held Les Jeux Sont Faits.

1 comment:

  1. I'm still left wondering: why do atheists care so damned much whether or not God exists? If they don't believe God is real, fine. But let it go. Why do they care what I think? How does my belief in God impinge on them? Let's return to the common ground of argument based on reasons that have nothing to do with "God/Allah/Vishnu said so." I don't argue with religious fanatics either. It's not worth the effort.

    But this constant mantra that "This will prove God doesn't exist!" is absurd. Existence cannot be proven or disproven. One does not say "The platypus exists" in the same way one says "I exist." An animal identified as a platypus can be shown to be animate; I can be shown to be alive. Does that prove existence, on either point? How? What is "Existence" that the platypus proves it has it?

    But mostly: who cares? Atheist arguments about God and existence are tedious and ignorant and childish. Don't they have anything better to do, like read the racist misogynist Dawkins on why women should have abortions to decrease human suffering?