Did Nothing Create Everything?

Discussion in 'Religion' started by SetiAlpha6, Oct 21, 2019.

  1. SetiAlpha6 Come Let Us Reason Together Valued Senior Member

    The Majority was the Nazi Party, the minority were the Jewish people.
    They were expendable for the greater good of the majority, the Nazi Party.

    This is exactly the basis that Hitler used to justify the Holocaust.

    And that is Utilitarianism.

    You have to hate what they did!

    When you become old and sick what will Utilitarianism do to you?

    What would it do to a crippled child right now?

    The next question could be...

    Is it ever right for God to operate on the basis of Utilitarianism?

    I would suggest that it can be, at times, but only because He knows the outcomes of all of the possible variables involved in every unique circumstance needed to result in the most Good.

    Even here, He normally only seems to do this to stop evil, so is that wrong?

    We do not have that ability to know outcomes at His level, so I don't think we should be using Utilitarianism as humans.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2020
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  3. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Nope. Because, in fact, it was not good for the majority OR the minority, as became very clear by 1945. Utilitarianism would have made that clearer sooner.
    Provide care via a social network - because that benefits the majority. Everyone becomes old.
    Provide care, because caring for everyone in a society has significant utility in a society.

    It looks like your religious beliefs are leading you to believe you must oppose utilitarianism, because it's secular or something. And because you can't figure out how to oppose "do the most good for the most people" you are trying to create a strawman and conflate it with things like Nazism. And you can try that if you like - but it's just as valid to equate Christianity to the Crusades, the Inquisition and the Salem witch trials. Is that how you want to be defined?
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  5. SetiAlpha6 Come Let Us Reason Together Valued Senior Member

    Christianity should certainly be associated with the Crusades, the Inquisition, and the Salem witch trials. Perhaps more specifically the Catholic Church should be.

    If they ever get worldwide military power again it could result in the greatest evil in the history of mankind. Some believe that is even predicted in the Bible.

    I simply don't know enough about it myself to reach a verdict on it personally.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2020
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  7. SetiAlpha6 Come Let Us Reason Together Valued Senior Member

    Regarding the breeding of Dogs and Genetic Dilution, and the reduction or loss of their original "Stronger" genetic code found in the Wolf, I was thinking in terms of the following well known problems associated with genetic selection...

    "Selective breeding leads to future generations of selectively bred plants and animals, all sharing very similar alleles which will reduce variation. Genes and their different alleles within a population are known as its gene pool. Inbreeding can lead to a reduced range of alleles in the gene pool, making it more difficult to produce new varieties in the future. It also makes organisms prone to certain diseases or inherited defects."

    ...and further...

    "Risks of selective breeding
    • Reduced genetic variation can lead to attack by specific insects or disease, which could be extremely destructive.
    • Unknowingly selecting for rare disease genes when selecting for another a positive trait, leading to problems with specific organisms, for example, a high percentage of Dalmatian dogs are deaf.
    • Creating physical problems in specific organisms, for example, large dogs can have faulty hips due to the hips not forming correctly."
    Please See...

    Similar descriptions are easily found in many other places around the internet.

    It also adds, in particular, the well known problems associated with inbreeding. Which would also certainly occur in the Natural World at a much higher rate than not.

    This is why I say that Evolution works in reverse, creating less of an ability to adapt and survive over long periods of time in each individual genetic branch. If all genetic branches went extinct accept for one, that one would indeed survive for a time, but would likely be substantially less able to adapt to the next environment change, than its predecessor, the Wolf.

    Extrapolate this out to every living thing and what do you have?

    Genetic Stasis, retaining all of the original genetic code God gave it for as long as possible, is much better for the species.

    So yes, I do think that the Wolf is genetically superior to any Dog.

    Though I do love dogs!
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2020
  8. billvon Valued Senior Member

    So you believe that chihuahas, Great Danes, border collies, poodles and German shepherds all have very similar genomes, and show almost no variation?
    That's applicable to, say, bananas, which are all genetically identical. It has nothing to do with dogs. If you think that there is only one variety of dog . . . . I just don't know what to tell you.
    Dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) have much wider genetic diversity, and are much more resistant to any genetically-targeted disease, than wolves (Canis lupus.)

    You do this often. You get all wrapped around the axle trying to distort science to support your own agenda. You'd do much better to just say "I believe in God; my belief makes me feel good." No one can argue with that. Unlike your silly-science claims.
  9. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    So...we went from discussing gods to dogs. lol

    How does this reconcile the OP?
  10. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Yes. Although there is some palindromic connection there, I think the real connection is that SA6 does not believe evolution happens on a large scale because (according to him) all evolution leads to "genetic dilution" and is therefore a dead end. So therefore God must have done it - and provides proof in his mind that God, rather than nothing, created everything.
    DaveC426913 likes this.
  11. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    I wonder why some believers feel that it's not possible for faith and science to coexist, without betraying their faith? Hmm.
  12. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    That's an interesting question. It really comes down to a question of what we, as human beings, value. For example, if we decide that the greatest good for the greatest number is what we value, we end up with utilitarianism, which has already been mentioned above. But it is always open for somebody to ask "But is the greatest good for the greatest number really (or always) a good thing?"

    If we decided that we value individual happiness above all else, then we might find ourselves following a moral system based on hedonism.

    Ultimately, deciding which is right will always come back, sooner or later, to a question about what is ultimately valued.

    Some very general ideas have been put forward on what should be valued. For instance, there is the suggestion that we should act in such a way that human flourishing is promoted. Built into that idea are lots of ideas about what is required for human beings to flourish, and what flourishing means in the first place. These include ideas such as being free to reach one's own potential, being in an environment that is rich in terms of other flourishing human beings and natural variety, being able to live without fear of persecution or oppression from others, having one's needs met, etc. etc. If we start from the position where we can agree that human flourishing is something worthy to aim at, then it follows that some ways of being will be found to be superior to others, in terms of doing our best to achieve the goal. The science comes in when we examine the impacts of various ways of being on human flourishing (or its opposite). We can, in many cases, quantify the effects of different kinds of action.

    Let's assume that human flourishing, as discussed, is a good idea. Then it almost immediately follows that killing 6 million people on account of a racist ideology is not conducive to the goal.

    Now, at this point, you're still free to raise the question "Yes, but is killing 6 million people really a bad thing?" If the response is "Human flourishing is good" you can ask "But why is that good? Who says mass murder isn't good?" As you can see, it will come back to what we think is valuable.

    There are lots of good tests to try to decide what to value. One that I really like is John Rawls' suggestion that you consider yourself in the position where a dice will be thrown and you will be assigned certain characteristics as a human being about to live a life, at random. If there are some random outcomes that you - or people in general - would not tend to choose for themselves, then we need to ask what it is about those outcomes that is problematic.

    For example, suppose that a coin is to be flipped to decide if you will be born a Jew or an "Aryan" in Nazi Germany. Given what we known about Nazi methods, few people would choose to be born a Jew in those circumstances. What is wrong with being born Jewish in those circumstances? You're likely to persecuted, even murdered, by the state. Rawls would conclude that Nazi policies that arbitrarily kill Jews are morally wrong, because nobody would freely choose to live in a society in which they would most likely be arbitrarily killed.

    The same tests would apply.

    Now, a better question for you to ask would be: why is Christian morality superior to the secular kind of morality I just described?

    I'm guessing your answer would be that Christian morality is based on God's Absolute Laws. God is all-knowing and all-wise and so we must obey His Laws of morality.

    The first thing to note about this is that you're still making a value judgment about what is good. You're just deciding for yourself that "Following God's laws" is what humans ought to value above all else. It's just an alternative value decision you're making, not inherently better or worse that the one I suggested about human flourishing. Also, I note that it is still open to anybody to ask "Yes, but is following God's laws really good?", so in that sense this value decision is no better than the alternatives.

    The second thing to note is that Gods Laws, which you have decided to value above all else, are either arbitrary (i.e. decided by God on a whim) or based on some higher principle that God is aware of. If God's laws are arbitrary, then there's no a priori reason to think we should value them. If, on the other hand, they are based on some higher principle - e.g. that they tend to promote human flourishing - then there's no reason to follow God. We'd be better off following the higher principle in the first place and cut out the middle man.
  13. SetiAlpha6 Come Let Us Reason Together Valued Senior Member

    Empasis mine...

    "Gene pools and the impact of selection

    What is a gene pool?

    A gene pool is a hypothetical collection of all the variations of genes in a population. This could be a population of rabbits in a field, fish in a pond, or dogs in a breed. In a closed population, such as pedigree dogs, the numbers of gene variants is unlikely to increase, unless new dogs are brought into the breed, or mutations occur (which is rare and usually harmful). A gene pool can, and most likely will, get smaller when genes are lost through complete chance (i.e. not passed on to any descendants), or when dogs do not reproduce.

    Sometimes an animal having a certain trait can influence how likely it is to survive and/or reproduce, this could be a faster rabbit evading a fox, a better camouflaged fish not being seen by its predators, or a pet dog having a good temperament and being chosen for breeding. All of these selection pressures can, over time, shape a population, making some genes associated with these benefits more common, while others become rarer or are lost from the gene pool.

    How does selection impact a gene pool?

    Dog breeders will choose carefully and select dogs that possess specific desirable traits, such as an excellent level of health and good temperamen. By applying a selection pressure, (or a breeding criteria), to a breed, it makes some traits, and the genes that control them, more common, while others which control less desirable traits become rarer.

    Dogs with desirable traits are likely to be bred from more frequently, while others that do not possess these traits may not be used for breeding at all. Over time, the gene variants associated with these popular dogs become common in the breed, while those associated with the less desirable dogs may be lost and disappear forever. These lost genes may include those that controlled the less desirable traits, but may also include other genes that just happened to be found in the less desirable dogs.

    For example, if a longer coat is desirable, then dogs with a long coat are more likely to be bred from and pass on their genes. Dogs with a short coat may not be bred from at all and so will not pass on any of their genes. These lost genes may include those that produce a shorter coat, but also includes all of the other genes that contributed to the rest of the dog, i.e. its eye colour, leg length, quality of hips, temperament, etc.

    What is the impact a shrinking gene pool can have on a population?

    If a population is made up of 100 dogs and there are 50 different variations of each gene, then the likelihood of finding two dogs with the same genes is small. If over time the number of dogs stays as 100, but the number of gene variants shrinks down to 10, then the likelihood of finding two dogs with same genes is much higher. These dogs will have inherited their similar genes from an ancestor that featured in both their pedigrees and so they are, to some degree, related. Therefore, as the gene pool shrinks, the likelihood of two related dogs mating increases. The mating of related dogs is known as inbreeding. As inbreeding increases, so too can the risk of health problems occurring within the population."

    And back to my silly comments...
    All you have to do is extrapolate this out to every living thing, and you have Genetic Drift (Dilution, Loss, Harmful Mutations) on a Worldwide scale.
  14. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Exactly. But DOGS AS A WHOLE (not dogs within one pedigree) are more diverse than ever, and have a healthier genome (collectively) than ever. Note the caveat up there - "unless new dogs are brought into the breed."

    If a human family never marries outside their cousins you would see exactly the same thing. That does not mean that the human genome is defective or weak - it means don't marry your cousins.
    You have listed three different things and claimed that they are all "genetic drift." No, they are not the same.
  15. billvon Valued Senior Member

    In the US there's a lot of sports-team mentality going on, where there have to be two sides. So they decide that they are on the "faith" side and the other side is the "science" side (or "secular humanist" or "atheist" or whatever) and only one can win. And they want to be the ones who win. This is reinforced by our two-party system and our reduction of everything to who wins and who loses.
    Kristoffer likes this.
  16. SetiAlpha6 Come Let Us Reason Together Valued Senior Member

    Basically what I am saying is...

    As we agree, the ancestor of the dog was the Wolf.

    The Wolf ancestors had genetic code which had the ability to create every dog we currently have today by switching genes on and off, by eventual gene deletion, and even by harmful gene mutation. No new genes had to be created to make dogs, they were created by a loss or corruption of the original genetic code of the Wolf.

    The progression goes downhill, not up, starting from a higher sophistication in genetic code in exchange for a wider distribution, but with each having less sophisticated code individually.

    You should be able to start over with the Wolves we have today and do it all over again. Unless the Wolves we have today are also genetically corrupted from where they used to be. Which, in that case, would also indicate reverse Evolution.

    If Evolution resulted in an increase in genetic sophistication and complexity you should be able to breed something like a Chihuahua back into a Wolf like creature that is even more genetically superior and complex than the original Wolf ancestors were.

    I really don’t think that is possible.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2020
  17. SetiAlpha6 Come Let Us Reason Together Valued Senior Member

    For me the answer is Love...

    Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40)

    "If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

    is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

    But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

    And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." (I Corinthians 13:1-13)

    In my opinion...

    If God created us then it would follow that He would also know what is best for us, since He designed us.

    And because He loves us, He tells us what the best way to live is.

    That way is to Love Him and to Love others.

    So that is my own personal approach. Though I am not perfect at it and I fail.

    If I or any other Christian ever mistreats you, and it has likely happened already, because none of us are perfect, remember this, and please hold us all to the standard above.

    But, of course, we all must choose our own path.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2020
  18. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

    Science has shown us we were not "created" in the form we are today, but instead evolved from simpler life forms over very long periods of time. This would show that through trial and error, humans have tried to figure out what love is about and how best to go about it. If Jesus existed, he was most likely as human as anyone else and was basically preaching messages of love.

    The problem with that though is that Buddha was preaching messages of love and how to go about it 500 years before Jesus existed. Unlike Jesus, his messages were not magical or spiritual, but were merely simple behaviors and virtues of the human condition. And unlike the messages from Jesus, Buddha's messages actually work.
  19. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

    Are you implying that man cannot evolve into fish?

    I want to be a Mermaid (Disney of course).

    Can Global Warming help me with rising sea levels to change faster?
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2020
  20. SetiAlpha6 Come Let Us Reason Together Valued Senior Member

    I would suggest that...

    Love was not invented at the moment Jesus mentioned it.

    Love has always existed and will always exist because God is Love, and God is eternal, without beginning or end.

    People throughout the centuries have recognized the value of Love, with and without God.

    And also, I regard The Shroud of Turin as evidence both for the reality of the life of Jesus, and for His bodily resurrection from the dead.

    What do you base your ethics on (Q)?
  21. SetiAlpha6 Come Let Us Reason Together Valued Senior Member

    Maybe if you eat more fish and think swimmy kinda thoughts!
  22. SetiAlpha6 Come Let Us Reason Together Valued Senior Member

    Yes, that certainly is the story we are told.
    But I don’t think anyone can actually prove that in reality, partially because no one was there.

    It is only a guess, so I will call it pseudo-Science just for fun.
  23. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Mutations created new genes. Three of the new genes created by mutation in dogs are GTF2I, GTF2IRD1 and WBSCR17. These all result in behavior that is more social and what we would consider "friendly." Brand new genes, created by nothing more than random mutations. So dogs have gained new genes over wolves.

    (Fun fact - wolves have occasionally been seen with that mutation, but it is not preserved in them, since it is detrimental in the wild.)
    Dogs are going uphill in terms of complexity. They have more sophisticated code than wolves when it comes to social behavior - specifically, those three new genes.
    Definitely. And you'd get something like modern dogs. (Not exactly of course.) And you could turn a dog back into something that's a lot like a wolf.
    You could, and you could selectively breed it to be better than a wolf in any aspect you cared to select for. It would, of course, take many thousands of years (roughly the time it took to create a chihuahua from a wolf.)

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