An Atheist Theory of God
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03-04-2012, 02:25 AM
Video An Atheist Theory of God
Raised as a Roman Catholic, I became an atheist at 14 after pondering (for about two weeks) the question "Why did God make me?". I am now 63. A few years ago I discovered a possible mechanism that could be the "... one true God". I'd like to get some reasoned comments on my conjecture. The video I uploaded to my YouTube site disallows comments because I wanted to spare myself the inevitable irrational outbursts (the majority of my hatemail comes from Christians). I thought I might get some rational input here. It's gotten very little views so far ...

Anyway, here is the video. It is called "The Nature of God".





If I get good arguments here ... I have a few other Q's concerning ...
There are "philosophical" statements in the Bible that may make some sense while the objections of atheists are 'weak'.
And ... other common observations made by atheists concerning God and His intentions are also quite weak ... though they appear strong at first blush.

Understand that I am here to be "the Devil's advocate" ... literally ;o)
I wish to challenge one and all to intellectual battle.
Atheist (extremely experienced > me) ... vs ... Atheist (experienced > you)


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03-04-2012, 02:00 PM
RE: An Atheist Theory of God
There is no justifiable reason to believe that this is true; therefore, it is not rational to believe that it is.

No matter how hard you try to logically prove the existence of a god you can't, because he doesn't exist.
There is always a logical counter to the logical claim.

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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03-04-2012, 02:26 PM
RE: An Atheist Theory of God
I'll be honest... the music combined with your slow, low toned voice made me feel like I was listening to a sleep aid on tape. Ben Stein shows more emotion. I didn't get past 5 minutes. Could you perhaps just sum up your points with text?

"Ain't got no last words to say, yellow streak right up my spine. The gun in my mouth was real and the taste blew my mind."

"We see you cry. We turn your head. Then we slap your face. We see you try. We see you fail. Some things never change."
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03-04-2012, 02:38 PM
RE: An Atheist Theory of God
(03-04-2012 02:26 PM)Buddy Christ Wrote:  I'll be honest... the music combined with your slow, low toned voice made me feel like I was listening to a sleep aid on tape. Ben Stein shows more emotion. I didn't get past 5 minutes. Could you perhaps just sum up your points with text?

It takes about 5 seconds to know where this argument is going.
God is in the DNA......
God is energy....
God is the life force...
God is everything....
You can't prove where all energy comes from so it must be god.

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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04-04-2012, 12:35 AM (This post was last modified: 04-04-2012 12:38 AM by EBTX.)
RE: An Atheist Theory of God
(03-04-2012 02:00 PM)Thomas Wrote:  There is no justifiable reason to believe that this is true; therefore, it is not rational to believe that it is.

No matter how hard you try to logically prove the existence of a god you can't, because he doesn't exist.
There is always a logical counter to the logical claim.
This is a speculation ... not a belief. Would it be rational, in your opinion, to speculate on the subject?

You say that no one can prove the existence of God ... because he doesn't exist. That's not a logical statement because you are giving the non-existence of God as a postulate. A postulate is an unproven 'given', accepted by the participants in a debate for the sake of continuing the argument. The starting point of an argument cannot be the negation of the opponent's position.

That there is a logical counter to any logical claim (in this regard) is only a general point of view.

The case I've presented draws an analogy from observations of some cognitive aspects of men and animals. There is no 'proof of God' possible unless such a being shows himself and does the necessary magic tricks to prove godliness. I'm showing a last corner he might be in.




(03-04-2012 02:26 PM)Buddy Christ Wrote:  I'll be honest... the music combined with your slow, low toned voice made me feel like I was listening to a sleep aid on tape. Ben Stein shows more emotion. I didn't get past 5 minutes. Could you perhaps just sum up your points with text?
I get that complaint a lot with my videos. Unfortunately, that's just me and I can't afford a "narrator".
I can't sum up with text in a time shorter than the video. So, I guess you can't give any input here. Sorry.
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04-04-2012, 01:11 AM (This post was last modified: 04-04-2012 01:38 AM by Logisch.)
RE: An Atheist Theory of God
I'm not sure as to why there is so much hostility. After all, he did spend a great deal of time making this video. I did give the full video a watch. I'll happily respond to you and thank you for being kind in your responses. To summarize this is what I took from it:

- Many things in nature have a brain
- We can simulate such things in the sense of machines
- Machines are incapable of the complexity we are, we are fully conscious
- It must require a great deal of complexity to be allowed consciousness
- Humans interact with each other consciously and subconsciously through their communication of sight/sound, etc...
- His theory is that even when we communicate, there is a superbeing also aware of everything we do through these complexities and communications. Perhaps this superbeing is capable of telling us what to do because it's consciousness is part of our own.
- Perhaps this being guides us or nudges us towards it's will but we aren't aware of it.


While it's an interesting proposal, there has been a lot of testing (Primarily in Germany at the Computational Neuroscience center) regarding neuroscience and free will. Thus far, the findings have been that your brain activity (things like instinct and experiences) partially make decisions and then your conscious brain activity makes the final decisions in the late portions of decision making. For instance... someone may give me the choice between left or right. Based off of past experiences, emotional and other aspects of the process end up starting on a decision. Consciously, if I know and want to make a decision knowingly, I may end up pondering upon it and choosing right or left rather than just going left without thinking about it.

They also have found that often times, these decisions begin being made "in real time" up to 6 seconds earlier than the immediate time something was decided. However, when an IMMEDIATE decision must be made (life or death) our body relies upon fight or flight initially.

So thus far, neuroscience has shown us that there is a lot to the equation of making a decision. For instance, women have a very strong emotional instinct on something. Hence why the "motherly instinct" of protecting a child is extremely strong with them. The limbic system is very strong with them, generally much stronger than in men actually. So you must factor that there is a lot to making a decision since the limbic system also hard wires us (to a degree) through experience and habit on the way we think and feel about stuff. Fear, anger, love, passion, happiness, etc etc.. then we must calculate consequence and reward and then which reason we wish to choose left or right.

The other problem with the analogy of a machine is that a machine is coded based off of generally even with a complex algorithm, something that can compute a decision in nanoseconds anymore with modern computers. If it takes the human brain 6 seconds to make a decision ahead of time, even though we FEEL we are making a decision in real time that is instant, it's obvious there is a lot more to it than simply right or wrong and happy and sad, etc.

The last thing that makes me think that it wouldn't be something quite as to this explanation is that if this being is only here to control and make decisions then I can't imagine such a being capable of such things creating something so logical with the will to lead it's creations to do irrational and horrible things. I think it makes far more sense by a cosmic roll of the dice that things haven't evolved perfectly, are imperfect, and that often times the neurological decisions, neurotypical decisions are often intertwined with things that have hardwired into us not only from previous generations but also our own experiences in life.

Example: If when I was a child, I had no nerves in my fingers and could not feel pain and was blind but touched a stove, I might not understand that touching a stove is a bad thing. So I might touch a stove. I might hear the sound of my skin singing, and people might freak out and become upset with me.

Let's say for instance that another child is capable of feeling pain, has nerves in their fingers, is not blind. They touch the stove and they can see the burns on their fingers, they feel the pain and IMMEDIATELY understand that was a bad idea.

In the future what would the limbic system store for child a and child b?

Child A more than likely will understand that touching a stove is bad because others become angry. Therefore, may avoid stoves because society finds stoves offensive. It cannot comprehend the damage of touching it since it can't feel it or see it, hear it perhaps but still not comprehend it.

Child B more than likely will refrain from touching the stove because of the sensation of pain associated with fear and harming one's self. Therefore, in the future, refrain from stoves and steer clear of it.

The decisions will remain the same, but for different reasons.

So if we bring them to different decisions, different things, different outcomes, the neurological decisions that are made will be far different because of the way we experience things in life. The limbic system triggers responses often times before we realize they are affecting us.

If we are to think of this superbeing as "guiding us" towards making decisions, then I think this being would best be described as "The limbic system." but perhaps that is just me.

Just my $.02 in response.

PS: Your george bush monkey picture in the video gave me a good laugh. Very entertaining.


A couple questions for you that I felt were interesting, but not explained (to play devil's advocate here):

- What makes you think we are nodes that connect collectively to this super being?
- How is it that this superbeing connects to us? What medium would such a being connect?
- Where does the comparison of "dial up vs dsl" come into play? Interactions with one person to another are generally at the speed at which our senses can conduct them, this is extremely quick. If this being is to "connect" to and understand everyone, how would we compare our senses to that of a being and why would we assume this?
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04-04-2012, 03:21 AM
RE: An Atheist Theory of God
A few comments:

Firstly, regarding aesthetics rather than content, given that you have mentioned a lack of budget for a narrator, I suggest changing the background music. Check out Seth's vids and Philhellenes for comparison. I'm not saying you need to overly dramatise but the current blend of your soft delivery and the ponderous music is somewhat sleep inducing and does detract from your message.

Secondly, regarding the content, I have been pondering the same on the subjects of symbiosis, holism and reduction... but for 20 years less so please forgive this junior's impertinence:

"strongly inferred that the sum of all human beings could form a super-entity, conscious in itself as an individual if..."

Well, I agree that there is a super-entity but do not make the same leap of faith that it is conscious in itself i.e. the leap that I don't follow is "nodes in the brain of that super-being ... aware of all that we are of".

Given that I see no proof for a conscious super-entity, I am led to question the validity of consciousness itself; ant colonies, beehives, flocks of birds, are not said to be "a" super-being except by metaphor.

Symbiotics and holism teaches us that there is something greater than self and reduction(ism) teaches us, as you highlighted, that consciousness disappears when we slice and dice the brain sufficiently.

If consciousness exists at the macro / newtonian level then perhaps it should exist at the cosmic levels and the micro / quantum levels. But I see no evidence of this.

Conversely, if it does not exist at the quantum and cosmic levels, I start to question the nature of consciousness at the macro level rather than go for conscious super-being. Would there also be a conscious quantum-being?

So to continue your IT analogy...

My field of expertise is IT service management and in this we are encouraged to mimic real life surprisingly often. Go with me on this for a while because I think it highlights the missing part of your hypothesis.... as an example, there are four "memory" sources for IT managers:
  • Configuration Management System (CMS)
  • Known Error Database (KEDB)
  • Service Portfolio (SP)
  • Service Knowledge Management System (SKMS)
The CMS is the combination of data sources that document and describe the components of the IT systems and, importantly, the relationships between them.
The KEDB documents previous (and possibly potential) incidents, problems, root causes (known errors) and temporary solutions (workarounds).
The SP is used to track the investment over the lifecycle of services (combinations of components in the CMS) and the value they create and capture.
The SKMS is the portal by which we access and then manage all the external and internal data, information and knowledge sources e.g. our intranet and quality systems.
To make the link to your hypothesis, imagine:
  • The CMS is our DNA; database of survival instructions, ancestral deaths and successes
  • The KEDB is our Immune System; diseases and how to survive them
  • The SP is our Nervous System; past experieince, trial, reward = repeat, pain = don't repeat
  • The SKMS is our internal and external Culture.
I listen to the second half of the vid and I hear you describe Culture represented in things like wikipedia "ceaseless, on-going update" and government and marketing. Some of this we download (pull) and some is imposed upon us (push) knowingly (e.g. governance) and unknowingly (marketing / advertising).

The covert vs overt nature of this culture seems to equate to the revelation/suppression mechanism you refer to.

Suggestion: This might not be easy but can you step outside your own framework and re-watch your vid with brain in neutral and relace all supernatural thoughts and references with words like, culture, marketing, government, social-networking etc. You may not agree but you might gain some insight into how an audience (well, me, at any rate) may receive the information.

On the other hand, if anyone can give me proof that the super-entity called culture has a consciousness, then I too will start believing in higher powers which (in a drunken or depressed state) I might even be tempted to call "god". :-)

I hope this helps

DLJ

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04-04-2012, 03:37 AM
RE: An Atheist Theory of God
Hi and welcome!

Wow...very professional video. Congratulations. I watched it twice, because I had some trouble getting what your main point is. Did you do it all yourself?

In addition to the questions already asked...

What is the relation of all this to the bible? (you did mention the b word).

What, exactly are your "good points" in the bible you refer to?

What, exactly, are the poor atheist arguments you refer to?

Why do you need to postulate an entity (god) more complex than humans? Sorry if I missed the "big moment" (?the point of the video)...but...I missed it. Please fill me (?us) in.
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04-04-2012, 04:06 AM
RE: An Atheist Theory of God
(04-04-2012 01:11 AM)Logisch Wrote:  A couple questions for you that I felt were interesting, but not explained (to play devil's advocate here):

- What makes you think we are nodes that connect collectively to this super being?
- How is it that this superbeing connects to us? What medium would such a being connect?
- Where does the comparison of "dial up vs dsl" come into play? Interactions with one person to another are generally at the speed at which our senses can conduct them, this is extremely quick. If this being is to "connect" to and understand everyone, how would we compare our senses to that of a being and why would we assume this?
Thank you for your answer. That's what I was hoping for in this forum ... cold (but wholesome) rationality. As I said, I've been an atheist for ~50 years but would accept the possibility of a "Supreme Being" ... if and only if ... I can find his physical location.

Let me give you an example of an experience that gives me pause (as regards the nature of consciousness).
About 30 years ago, I chanced upon two uniformed teams of ladies playing softball in a park. They were playing fast pitch underhand softball (that's girl-fast). What intrigued me was that the pitcher was about 10 months pregnant ... I mean ready to pop any second. She even ran out a grounder to first base and the baby bounced terribly. It hurt my belly to watch :o(

I was behind a four foot high chain link fence maybe 12 feet off third base. Suddenly, I knew with absolute certainty that the next pitch would be hit right to me. So, I put up my right hand, where the ball would come, and then the pregnant gal pitched the ball ... then, the batter hit a curving, looping liner that came straight to me ... which I caught easily as my hand was waiting there, fingers at the ready. Neither the pitcher nor the batter looked in my direction at any time as far as I could tell.

However, I had to move my right hand approximately 9 inches up and to my right in order to catch the ball (that rules out precognition since it's not completely accurate). And ... I was surprised when I caught the ball to find that it was very fuzzy and not smooth. This accounted for the extra curvature resulting in the displacement of the ball by 9 inches (Bernoulli effect). I threw the ball back to the pregnant pitcher in one fairly fluid motion. Needless to say, I started to puzzle this out right then.

Because I could not resolve the "fuzziness" of the ball from the distance I was watching the game from, I finally attributed this incident to "subconscious calculation" on my part alone. And this was consistent with my surprise at the condition of the ball (which actually spun in my hand as I caught it). That is, I couldn't see the 'fuzz' so it didn't enter into my calculation.

This is a trivial event. But anyone with reasonable intellectual experience can see the enormity of the implications. Our subconscious processing power ... inherent in anyone's mind (taking myself as typical) ... must be perhaps, fully 6? orders of magnitude greater than anything I had previously guessed. And ... for this to be true ... we must be able to "read" what people will do next (and in succession) from their faces? ... body language? ... what?

I once had a go-round with James Randi in the early days of the internet (when he was email accessible) about the validity of anecdotal evidence. He took the position that it was pretty much worthless while I took the position that it was potentially deadly to ignore it, i.e. we should accept what others say as true, out of good will, until and unless the information proves untrue (but not necessarily to the point of acting on that information). I think he would say of the above "experience" that I was cherry picking my experiences and putting an impossible reason to it ... and that it was "just chance" and nothing more.

But it was most certainly not chance. I've had a few other such trivial occurrences ... not as dramatic ... all the same theme.
1) sudden "knowing" what was to happen,
2) feeling of absolute certainty,
3) the thing happened with ~99% accuracy.
At other times, I never have the conditions 1 or 2 ... at all ... ever. I guess things and sometimes get them right or wrong just like anyone else. The above experience is in another category altogether. I'm not being visionary here or mystical ... just reportorial. I admit this is anecdotal evidence of "something" unknown, but I am very experienced and know fully what I am saying. If a pilot with 80,000 hours of flight time said "I saw something up there that's 'unknown' to our science" ... most people would (should) take it seriously.

I am logically forced to conclude that ... there is some information transfer between brains that is enormous in complexity ... and ... since I don't subscribe to any mystical connection (vibrations? ;o) ... that the transfer is by sight and sound. And ... because this transfer must occur ... we may conjecture (but not prove at this time) that the sum of all human connections of this nature ... may ... constitute ... another conscious entity cohabiting the planet ... not infinite in knowledge and not existing beyond the confines of man.

To try to go further ... moves away from primary speculation into secondary and tertiary where the likelihood of being correct decreases as x^n where n is the speculation level. So, if I hazard into greater depths ... I may end up in a rubber room with Nietzsche and Cantor ;o)

As a direct deduction though ... the rate of thought of such a "distributed" entity would necessarily be slow if it used sight and sound to transfer information around. I mean much slower than us, where the internal brain connections are proximate.

Thanks again for your insight and patience.
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04-04-2012, 07:15 AM
RE: An Atheist Theory of God
Horsefeathers. Tongue

Linear time is in my view most likely an illusion arising from entropy. We are evolved into an environment of causality and sequence, where one thing follows another; i.e. if lions, then shotgun. Otherwise we'd get eaten. Now that we got the lions all squared away and the prey herded into the supermarkets, we are left with an overpowered information processor with nothing to do but make shit up.

This computer is made up shit, a lie made true by force of will. Same with god. Made from more when the answer is clearly less. Things don't "have meaning," we make things meaningful. God is made to give meaning to the lives of individuals. There's not a "super-entity" over all, but rather an "underverse" of void, simultaneity, non-locality. It ain't "he," it ain't "god," it is conservation of entropy... I'm thinking. Wink

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