Re: self-evident

Moorad Alexanian (alexanian@UNCWIL.EDU)
Sat, 04 Apr 1998 10:23:07 -0500 (EST)

At 04:44 PM 4/3/98 -0500, Scott H Greenhut wrote:
>you assert it is self-evident to you that the question of origins
>(presumably you mean the universe and life within it) is not a scientific
>please define self-evident and explain how you know what it is like to be

Dear Scott,

I mean self-evident in the sense that a mathematician makes assumptions
which are obvious to him/her. For instance, the five axioms of plain
geometry appeared self-evident to Euclid. People have different notions
which they consider self-evident. Of course, none of it is
infallible--witness the usefulness of non-Euclidean geometries which violate
Euclid's fifth postulate. The question of consciousness is a difficult one
even for a Christian. It is certainly unfathomable for an atheist.

>also: surely you can't be serious or sober when you suggest that we have
>no knowledge of what perfection is, and therefore cannot suggest life is
>godless because a god would have done "better."
>why not?

BTW I am a teetotaler. The most I have ever heard in physics is that a
theory is beautiful, viz. the mathematical foundation of the theory. I have
never heard that a theory is perfect. Therefore, the notion of perfection,
as well as imperfection, is outside the realm of science. I did not raise
the issue of imperfection. That was done by Pigliucci. I raised the issue
that the design indicated intelligence by using the very notion of
intelligence from the principles of the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial
Intelligence) program. I believe your argument against God may be helpful to
the atheist. Christian theologians has answering for the existence of

>first, according the christians, anyway, we have freewill, which means, i
>guess, that we can choose to accept different views of the universe. if
>that is true, then surely it follows that we can also perceive of a more
>perfect world, especially since we *know* what a perfect world is supposed
>to be like: eden. it just happens that we seem to have fallen from grace.
>too bad.

If a Christian can perceive a more perfect world, then that is based on the
perfect nature of the omnipotent God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Also,
Scripture indicates a new perfect world. My question is how does the atheist
knows that nature is imperfect. You may find Christians explanations of an
imperfect nature wanting. My question to you is, what is your explanation?

>based on the notion that God, as you call him, is supposed to be perfect,
>*and* we are in his image (unless you don't agree with Genesis) then
>certainly we may, along with the claim of free will, view the universe and
>surmise why:
>1) bad things happen to good people;
>2) people pray for the souls of victims of disasters without wondering why
>god took them in the first place;
>3) DNA and proteins and the marvelously complex associated cellular
>machinery is necessary, IN SHORT, why does god need DNA?
>4) god is impotent to bring all his "children" together.
>5) why a typo wasn't extrapolated in translation and she was replace with
>he, so god is gender positive and jesus may have been a transvestite.

I shall wait for your answers to the above points. But first explain why you
use terms like good and bad. What do those terms mean to you? Make clear
your presuppositions and then explain how such terms appear in your theory.
If your theory cannot predict such terms or give them meaning, then you have
not right to use such terms. For some people such terms are meaningless and
I am wondering if you are one of those.

>all this aside, does it make you feel good to believe in god?
>scott greenhut

We all believe. You believe. I believe. The difference is that we believe in
different things. You cannot use your belief system to knock any other
belief system. All such belief systems are on equal footing. The question is
which belief system explains the most data which we obtain from ALL our
human experiences. I mean, in particular, human experiences which cannot be
gotten with the aid of mechanical detectors--which form the experimental
basis of all of science. If you as a human cannot "detect" God, then there
is nothing anybody can do for you. Stones cannot "detect" God either.

Take care,

Moorad Alexanian