Astronomy as a path to atheism
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28-01-2014, 12:35 PM (This post was last modified: 28-01-2014 02:55 PM by Rogue Jew.)
Astronomy as a path to atheism
I am not sure if this has been discussed (as I am a newbie here), but given that Astronomy fascination was my most significant route to free thought, I wonder that if could be or might have been the case for others.

Essentially, in studying astronomy, you may come to realize just how tremendous our universe is, let alone our own galaxy. We can't even explore the opposite ends of our own galaxy at 10 times the speed of light! Furthermore, realizing the enormity of our galaxy and universe will put into perspective just how small and insignificant our entire planet is (i.e. Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot). It has also been theorized as part of study, that there might be billions of Earth-like planets in just our own galaxy alone. I would not be able to comprehend how many might then be in the Universe.

To conclude on my point: How can someone possible believe in any of our religious texts or gods, when realizing our planet is so incredibly microscopic in all of existence? And then to have the ignorance to think that IF there was a deity that created this ridiculously tremendous universe, how could that deity be so incredibly interested in such specific activities of just one species on one tiny blue piece of dust?

Thoughts on this?

(various typos corrected)
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28-01-2014, 12:38 PM
RE: Astronomy as a path to atheism
I can relate to what you are saying. As a child, the more I learned about universe in which I lived, the more I questioned my force-fed faith. It wasn't the only reason but it certainly helped me to see behind the curtain.
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28-01-2014, 02:46 PM (This post was last modified: 28-01-2014 02:52 PM by Chas.)
RE: Astronomy as a path to atheism
Astronomy was certainly a factor for me. When I was a kid, I would sleep outdoors on summer nights and look at the sky. My friends and I would talk about the universe, infinity, time, ...

I got my first real telescope at age 11. The moon, ah, the moon.Yes

The earth sciences were also contributory. I was probably no more than 13 when I heard of 'plate tectonics' and knew instantly that there was almost certainly a deep truth to it. We had wondered for some time about the matching coast lines, geologies, fossils, and so on. It answered all the questions. All of them. That may have been my first experience of the power and beauty of a good scientific theory.

But I was an atheist from age 8 or 9 when I just couldn't believe the Bible stories. The science just sealed the deal.

[Image: FullMoon.jpg]

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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28-01-2014, 02:49 PM
RE: Astronomy as a path to atheism
(28-01-2014 12:35 PM)Rouge Jew Wrote:  I am not sure if this has been discussed (as I am a newbie here), but given that Astronomy fascination was my most significant route to free thought, I wonder that if could be or might have been the case for others.

Essentially, in studying astronomy, you may come to realize just how tremendous our universe is, let alone our own galaxy. We can't even explore the opposite ends of our own galaxy at 10 times the speed of light! Furthermore, realizing the enormity of our galaxy and universe will put into perspective just how small and insignificant our entire planet is (i.e. Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot). It has also been theorized as part of study or space, that there might be billions of Earth-like planets in just our own galaxy alone. I would be able to comprehend how many might then be in the Universe.

To conclude on my point: How can someone possible believe in any of our religious texts or gods, when realizing our planet is so incredibly microscopic in all of existence? And then to have the ignorance to think that IF there was a deity that created this ridiculously tremendous universe, how could that deity be so incredibly interested in such specific activities of just one species one one tiny blue please of dust?

Thoughts on this?
Thoughts? Sure - it's an argument from personal incredulity. Now, there's nothing wrong with a position from personal incredulity. One could argue that positions are necessarily from personal credulity/incredulity. But it has no application to others.
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28-01-2014, 02:51 PM (This post was last modified: 28-01-2014 02:54 PM by docskeptic.)
RE: Astronomy as a path to atheism
I agree with Chas. Astronomy is certainly a (big) foot in the door, as it were, for atheism. It was (and remains) for me a touchstone against woo. If I worshipped anybody, it would be Alex Filippenko, PhD, physicist, astronomer and teacher extraordinaire.

OP, what does your name mean?

Doc
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28-01-2014, 02:56 PM
RE: Astronomy as a path to atheism
(28-01-2014 02:49 PM)alpha male Wrote:  Thoughts? Sure - it's an argument from personal incredulity. Now, there's nothing wrong with a position from personal incredulity. One could argue that positions are necessarily from personal credulity/incredulity. But it has no application to others.
I have to agree with alpha male here; not knowing or being unable to imagine how or why a deity would make a universe this vast is not a sound reason to dismiss the possibility that that is what happened.

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28-01-2014, 03:01 PM
RE: Astronomy as a path to atheism
(28-01-2014 02:56 PM)Vosur Wrote:  
(28-01-2014 02:49 PM)alpha male Wrote:  Thoughts? Sure - it's an argument from personal incredulity. Now, there's nothing wrong with a position from personal incredulity. One could argue that positions are necessarily from personal credulity/incredulity. But it has no application to others.
I have to agree with alpha male here; not knowing or being unable to imagine how or why a deity would make a universe this vast is not a sound reason to dismiss the possibility that that is what happened.

I don't think that is really the point. It seems to me (and this was my experience) that the religions were either mute or wrong about the universe in which we live, and that science has actual answers.

It is, was, and always shall be about the evidence.

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28-01-2014, 03:02 PM
RE: Astronomy as a path to atheism
(28-01-2014 02:56 PM)Vosur Wrote:  
(28-01-2014 02:49 PM)alpha male Wrote:  Thoughts? Sure - it's an argument from personal incredulity. Now, there's nothing wrong with a position from personal incredulity. One could argue that positions are necessarily from personal credulity/incredulity. But it has no application to others.
I have to agree with alpha male here; not knowing or being unable to imagine how or why a deity would make a universe this vast is not a sound reason to dismiss the possibility that that is what happened.

Sure. But lets hypothetically say there was a deity that created this universe. We still know how insignificantly small the Earth is in this ridiculously massive universe. Knowing that makes it very difficult to claim this deity's word is via the Bible, Torah, Koran, etc. How could this deity possibly care so much about the activities of one species on one tiny little speck of dust.
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28-01-2014, 03:32 PM
RE: Astronomy as a path to atheism
I've come across lots of people who were influenced by biology, evolution, geology Astronomy, etc...

My own path to atheism came more from sociology and a lessor degree psychology.


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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28-01-2014, 03:47 PM
RE: Astronomy as a path to atheism
My own path from leaving 10 years of orthodox Judaism was the story of Noah's flood and studying Geology & Biology.

I have written about this elsewhere in this blog.

Astronomy or cosmology are also of great help.

As is studying sociology, evolution, critical thinking & philosophy, history, anthropology and comparative religion.........

[Image: HDF.jpg]

Where are we ? - the most difficult where's Wally in the universe.

Note - the most interesting thing in the deep field image is the more red shifted galaxies further away are less mature and do not have the complex spiral pattern like our own galactic neighbourhood - it really is looking at ancient fossils back in time - we can literally see cosmological evolution.

A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence -
David Hume


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