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Thread: The More We Evolve, the Less We Need God

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    tWebber carpedm9587's Avatar
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    The More We Evolve, the Less We Need God

    I just listened to this Intelligence Squared Debate. I found it fascinating. Would be interested in the points of view of others. The title speaks for itself. The proposition being debated is whether or not humanity continues to need god as we continue to move forward with our understanding of the universe and science. I surprised to find that 47% agreed with the proposition before the debate, 31% disagreed, and 22% were undecided. After the debate, 67% agree, 26% disagreed, and 7% were undecided.

    Personally, I think the two speaking against the proposition brought a philosophical argument to the table that was way over the head of the listening audience.
    The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

    -Martin Luther King

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    Evolution is God's ID rogue06's Avatar
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    First, merely increasing our general knowledge is not the same as evolving.

    Second, it's a silly idea. Sort of like saying the more me understand about hypothermia the less we need to dress warmly when it's freezing outside. Okay, not a perfect analogy but it's 4:30 AM.

    I'm always still in trouble again

    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" -- starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)

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    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Considering God made and is holding the universe together, I say we still need him.

    This is like a 3-year-old saying they don't need their parents any more because they know how to use the potty and can walk.

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    tWebber 37818's Avatar
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    False ideas of God all fail.
    . . . the Gospel of Christ, for it is [the] power of God to salvation to every [one] believing, . . . -- Romans 1:16.

    . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . -- 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4.

    Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . -- 1 John 5:1.

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    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Atheists seem to have the idea that we just use God as an explanation for how the universe works, and once we understand it, we don't need him any more. But that isn't true. God wants us to understand his universe. To explore. That doesn't make us need him less, it helps us appreciate him more. The more I know about science and the universe, the more impressed I am with it's complexity and wonder and how great God is.

    Romans 1:20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.

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    tWebber carpedm9587's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogue06 View Post
    First, merely increasing our general knowledge is not the same as evolving.
    I don't think biological evolution is the only form of evolution there is.

    Quote Originally Posted by rogue06 View Post
    Second, it's a silly idea. Sort of like saying the more me understand about hypothermia the less we need to dress warmly when it's freezing outside. Okay, not a perfect analogy but it's 4:30 AM.
    Yeah, this one wasn't so hot. If the god notion of god has always been a god of the gaps, then the idea that such a god would be less relevant/necessary follows pretty naturally. The speakers were clear that they were not debating the existence of god, merely the necessity of god in the face of growing knowledge and understanding of our world and our societies. I was fascinated because it is essentially my experience, and my observation of the pattern of history. It also explains the surge of secularism and the retrenchment of religions. "Nones" are now the fastest growing population segment (from a religious perspective).
    The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

    -Martin Luther King

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    tWebber carpedm9587's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    Considering God made and is holding the universe together, I say we still need him.

    This is like a 3-year-old saying they don't need their parents any more because they know how to use the potty and can walk.
    Unless, of course, there actually is no god holding things together...
    The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

    -Martin Luther King

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    tWebber carpedm9587's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    Atheists seem to have the idea that we just use God as an explanation for how the universe works, and once we understand it, we don't need him any more. But that isn't true. God wants us to understand his universe. To explore. That doesn't make us need him less, it helps us appreciate him more. The more I know about science and the universe, the more impressed I am with it's complexity and wonder and how great God is.

    Romans 1:20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.
    My experience, and understanding of history, is the opposite. Historically, gods have filled three very specific roles:

    • They answer "how stuff works" for societies with limited ability to explore their surroundings;
    • They provide a mechanism for social control, by defining morality as "the will of god."
    • They provide a mechanism for answering the great questions abut human purpose/meaning (the death conundrum).


    These seem to be universal. For some there are also personal/relational elements. The first item on the list is what the debate was all about. The second item on the list is in a period of flux as the world becomes more secularized and societies find different ways to map out their moral paths. I know there is a love of pointing to the most egregious examples of non-theistic rule, but the fact is we have 24 major countries representing almost half the world's population that are predominantly irreligious. They include such countries as the UK, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, France, Belgium, Spain, Finland, Australia, and Austria (to name a few). These are perfectly functional governments with wide acceptance for their social and domestic policies. There are a lot of countries with no numbers on this list, and I cannot believe it's because their number is zero percent (New Zealand?). I suspect it is because the information is not available, so the actual number may well be much higher than 24.

    As for the final question, the secular world is not having an outbreak of despair because most of us don't believe we will live eternally. Indeed, many of these countries score higher on the "happiness" index than so-called religious countries.

    I think the idea of god is losing its grip on humanity.
    The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

    -Martin Luther King

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    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpedm9587 View Post
    Unless, of course, there actually is no god holding things together...
    Then the question is meaningless to begin with.

    I am always amazed at how much time and effort Atheists put into something they don't believe in.

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    tWebber carpedm9587's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    Then the question is meaningless to begin with.

    I am always amazed at how much time and effort Atheists put into something they don't believe in.
    Actually, it's not. I don't think the debate was about "god" so much as it was about the "idea of god." They were explicit that they were not debating the existence of god. But even if there is no god, there is no question that the "idea of god" is still prevalent in the world, and still strongly influences politics and society in general.

    And I am not sure why you are surprised. Atheists have to confront the idea of god daily. Because god wills it, Jihadists are blowing us up (as well as you) in those marketplaces. Because "god wills it," we are struggling to get LGBTQ rights recognized and respected. We live in a society country where it is still less of a political obstacle to be an admitted homosexual than an admitted atheist in Congress, where we still do not have a single admitted atheist. We have god on our money, god in our pledge, and god at the start of every political event. We are fighting to have gun controls put in place, but that flies in the face of our "inalienable rights" which arise from...(wait for it...) god!

    Contrary to popular belief, most of the atheists I know are not looking to keep others from believing in god, or practice their faith. They are looking to be able to live without the constant intrusion of "god" in our day-to-day lives. They are not our beliefs.
    The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

    -Martin Luther King

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