Friday, April 3, 2009

Re: 5 Questions for Atheists

Original Video

1. Where did we all originate?

2. Are humans of more intrinsic value than animals? Why or why not?

3. How do you determine morality?

4. Why do you feel so strongly about making people believe as you?

5. Is an atheist's lack of experience more relevant than a believer's claim of experience?

6. (Sort of)
Are you content with your life?

My answers:

1) The big bang, the origins of self replicating molecules, and evolution "change with modification" by natural selection, are three different topics.
The big bang occurred, we have evidence for this, but we don't have evidence of what came before the big bang god or no god, this question is still up for debate.
Autocatalytic Self replicating molecules need no creator, but can occur if the right chemical elements and compounds are put in the right place together, with sufficient energy to complete the reactions
Evolution through natural selection and genetic drift occurs, this is a fact, further information on the subject can be learned through the study of biology and medicine which are both based upon this fact.

2) This is my own opinion on the subject, think of something only having a value if it is in the right configuration. An empty canvas and a couple of paint buckets have little intrinsic value, but in the proper conformation you can have the Mona Lisa. So yes the specific conformation of humans who have the superior mental capability of self reflection and self retrospection as compared with other organisms that do not share these capabilities are intrinsically special.

3) Evolution solves a large part of the problem of how the “moral sense” comes about. In order for a species to survive, it has to play a game of helping others of its kind to survive long enough to mate and propagate the species, or else that species would go extinct. It is well known that specific behaviors can be influenced by natural selection and become instinctual so that they do not need to be taught. Other factors affect people’s moral judgments such as mutation and environmental factors, which could lead to good “extra philanthropic” or bad “psychopath”.

4) What people believe while they live, affects their behavior towards others. If said belief was negative, such as in the case of most dogmatic religious beliefs and failed political ideologies, that belief would be destructive to the people exposed to them. Sharia law, forced banning of gay marriages, slavery, stoning disobedient children, the casting out of demons, and witch burnings are all good examples of this. Beliefs matter, especially when try to outlaw or ban certain freedoms given to us by the constitution and change or create new laws.

5) You can’t expect people to believe in something that you have no proof of outside of your own subjective experiences. If you expect people to take you by your word that magic, aliens, Jesus, Atlantis, and big foot exist without providing any type of substantial evidence then I would consider you insane. There are billions of people who believe in different GODs around the world based on their own subjective experiences, why should I choose yours when you have no better evidence for its existence then the next Joe Schmo?

6) At the moment I am happy, I am not starving, I have a nice apartment, I was accepted to graduate school in Cell molecular Biology, I am doing pretty good. But of course things can always be better, I could win the lottery, and things could always be worse, I could get hit by a car. Ya, I would like to extend my life as much as possible, but the probability of me dying in the next 60 years is very high, so what all the rest of my ancestors have died so far.