What, in your opinion, is the best or most effective argument FOR the existence of god?

I was so curious as to the opinions of others about this question, that I had to come back on here and ask (I have been gone from here for about a month and a half or so, have been extremely sidetracked and disillusioned; I keep jumping from different activities as my mainstays, so there for a while I was on here for 6 hours a day, then I got burned out and went to reading for several hours a day).

So what is the best or most effective argument for the existence of god? I would have to say that, in my opinion, I think it would have be the teleological argument, or the argument from design. Even with the challenge of having to explain *against* natural mechanisms of self-structuring (like Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking that Victor Stenger talks about in God: The Failed Hypothesis), or all of the flaws, errors, and irregularities in the "creation" itself, and its seeming randomness and majority lack of order. (I always find myself wondering about what we know must exist way out there in space; why create that?) This seems to go hand in hand with the constants argument (I know there must be some other name for it), you know, where they talk about the dials being just so that we're in a Goldilocks zone.

Anyways, what's your take on this?

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The universal constant (speed of light) applies WITHIN the universe. The universe itself can expand faster than the speed of light. It's accelerating right now and will eventually exceed the speed of light again.
There's a mysterious cosmological constant within the universe that also relates to the speed of expansion, though I don't really know how that is understood (if it's mysterious).

As you said, a billion miles in the first second. By the way, that's a heck of a lot more than 5 times the speed of light. Let's see, 1,000,000,000 / 186,000 = 5376 times the speed of light. Obviously, that rate could never hold up if the universe were to last long enough for humans to comment on it.

Here's a quote from "A Capsule History of the Universe":

"The Big Bang took place about 13.7 billion years ago. In the first hundred-billionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second, the newborn universe began a period of hyperactive growth that's known as inflation. In a tiny fraction of a second, it grew 10 to the power of 50 times larger — a "1" followed by 50 zeroes. It "inflated" from smaller than an atom to bigger than a golf ball. That doesn't sound very impressive, but it was enough to "flatten" the geometry of the universe. In essence, it was like blowing up a balloon so large that any portion of its surface looks like a flat tabletop, not a curve. This geometry, in fact, is important evidence of the existence of dark energy.

Scientists aren't sure what caused inflation, but it may be related to dark energy — and perhaps it was the same dark energy that we see in the modern universe.

Yet after this initial tiny burst, inflation disappeared and the universe resumed a more leisurely expansion rate.

So the initial "flash" was much faster than 5376 times the speed of light from your 1-second example.

Later, in the same article, we get the following explanation:

"Observations indicate that this early universe was dominated by dark matter, a mysterious form of matter that produces no detectable energy, but that reveals its presence through its gravitational pull on the visible stars and galaxies. In fact, dark matter "outweighs" all the normal matter and energy in the universe by about six to one.

And so the universe continued on. The universe continued to expand from the impetus of the Big Bang, but the gravity of the dark matter and visible matter was trying to pull everything back together, slowing the rate of expansion.

But about five billion years ago — nine billion years after the Big Bang — the universe began to expand faster. Dark energy began to dominate the universe, causing space itself to expand faster, carrying the galaxies along with it. Since then, the expansion rate has continued to speed up, as though someone were pushing a little harder on a cosmic accelerator pedal.

The article ends by describing a universe of isolated galaxies that matches my own vision of a multiverse of isolated universes:

"If this trend continues, over the eons the galaxies will grow so far apart, and their motion away from each other so fast, that each galaxy will become like a little "island universe." Anyone living inside a galaxy won't be able to see all the other galaxies, so the universe will become a landscape of perpetual darkness — each galaxy isolated from all the others in a runaway universe."

The courts have repeatedly rejected Intelligent Design as a disguise for creationism. So, in that sense, evolution is winning. But there's always a danger the tide could change and we end up with bogus science in our classrooms. It's not over until the whacko creationists give up. Poll after poll shows that a minority of people believe in evolution.

As for the despicable Mr. Simpson, my impression is most people have no doubt he got away with murder. Larry's notion (above) that he used a hit man is news to me and was never part of the trial. It smacks of conspiracy theory unless there's some valid evidence to back it up.
@Larry - Don't you suppose if that conspiracy drivel had actually been bandied about by his *attorneys* they would have used it during trial? But they didn't. Why do you suppose that is? Why, maybe because it lacked merit or evidence!

People get away with murder all the damn time - including OJ Simpson.
The O.J. trial was covered gavel to gavel. Many Americans were well informed of the proceedings. Most people hold the opinion that he's guilty as sin. That doesn't mean he is guilty -- just that most of us are unconvinced; to say the least.

The ice cream evidence wasn't really evidence because it wasn't treated as evidence. It was not tested in any way and neither was the contents of Nicole's stomach (to see if she ate any). It could have been placed on the banister by Nicole or her kids . . . we just don't know.

You must be referring to defense claims that it had not melted when police discovered it -- and this provides O.J. an alibi (because the murder, therefor, occurred later than the prosecution says). If that claim was made in the trial, it obviously wasn't taken seriously because the case wasn't dismissed.

And there's plenty of reasons NOT to take such a claim seriously. For instance:

1.) Michael Spinelli, Ben & Jerry's flavor developer and an expert on melting times, stated that: "You can't really look at ice cream as though it's an ice cube. It doesn't melt at the same rate. Ben & Jerry's ice cream contains natural stabilizers that slow down the melting process. A pint of Ben & Jerry's ice cream, at room temperature, would not be completely melted after an hour or more because the surrounding ice cream insulates the frozen core."

2.) Tom Lange (a prosecuting attorney) said the ice cream cup found in Nicole Simpson's house was Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Chip Cookie-Dough and that police tests indicated that this ice cream never looks completely melted because of the dough.

So, not only was the ice cream NOT an alibi . . . it wasn't even evidence. It COULD have been evidence if:

1.) The core temperature of the ice cream had been immediately obtained.
2.) A solid timeline could be established between the purchase and timely test of core temperature.
3.) The temperature inside the car and the home could be reasonably ascertained.

The temperature inside the car, it seems to me, would be difficult to ascertain. How long was it in the Southern California sun before Nicole came back with the ice cream? Did she place the ice cream in the front or back of car (air conditioner cools the front faster than the rear)? Did she place the ice cream on the floor, the seat or the trunk (different temperatures)? How long did it take her to get the ice cream home?

Anyway you look at it, ice cream is not much of a defense on its own and any evidential value it held was far from conclusive.

But, because it was never treated as evidence . . . we'll never know what value it might have held as evidence.
That all I have to say on the subject . . . I don't really want to rehash this old story.
Read, Dawkin's "The Blind Watchmaker" and learn about Russell's teapot. Try to understand infinity. It doesn't sound like you have dismissed religion yet.
I addressed this to the original post.

What, in your opinion, is the best or most effective argument FOR the existence of god?

@ Chris - *snort* Life, the universe, and everything, baby. So long, and thanks for all the fish :)




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