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10-09-2016, 11:37 AM
Classroom Discussion
So, it happens that I'm the only atheist in my classroom, we're like 20 and it'd be about 9 christians, 9 muslims, 1 agnostic and 1 atheist, this last one being me.

In my country's school program there's this religion subject, at least for catholic high schools (I'm in one).

So along with the subject presentation, my christian religion teacher just went ahead and asked: Are there any atheists? To which I raised my hand with confidence.

To this, he replied: You know, I don't think someone can really be an atheist. What is your source? (meaning my original source of life, like if I went back from my mom, then her parents, and blablabla).

To this I answered a classic example, the Big Bang. That that's how it started for our universe. So to continue with his comment "I don't think someone can really be an atheist" he said, but what if that energy (referring to the Big Bang's energy or whatever) is the same thing I call God, since God is essentially a creator?

Basically he's saying the energy that made the Big Bang could be what he calls God. To this I was going to answer that you can call God whatever you want, but that monotheist religions God is not just a creator, but also comes with other illogical problems like omnipresence and stuff.

Question is, what else can I say to answer what he said about "the energy of the Big Bang (or any scientific theory of the creation of the universe) being God"?
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10-09-2016, 01:08 PM
RE: Classroom Discussion
You can say prove it.

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The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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10-09-2016, 01:40 PM
RE: Classroom Discussion
He's not really claiming it, he's asking me the question.

"Why couldnt the energy you say made the universe through the Big Bang be what I call God?"
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10-09-2016, 01:50 PM (This post was last modified: 10-09-2016 01:53 PM by Szuchow.)
RE: Classroom Discussion
You could ask him why is he so desperate for worship as there is no reason for invoke god? Science didn't need such nebulous concept since Laplace*.


*Laplace and his words are just rhetorical device in this case.

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The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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10-09-2016, 01:52 PM
RE: Classroom Discussion
Then ask him back: What if you would call apples oranges and want to make a nice fruit salad?

Ceterum censeo, religionem delendam esse
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10-09-2016, 01:56 PM
RE: Classroom Discussion
(10-09-2016 11:37 AM)Jokurix Wrote:  Basically he's saying the energy that made the Big Bang could be what he calls God. To this I was going to answer that you can call God whatever you want, but that monotheist religions God is not just a creator, but also comes with other illogical problems like omnipresence and stuff.

Question is, what else can I say to answer what he said about "the energy of the Big Bang (or any scientific theory of the creation of the universe) being God"?

This is the second time in the last couple of days that I've essentially heard the argument that the word "god" can mean what ever you want it to mean. Frusty

So fine...
I'd tell him "if you're actually willing to expand the meaning of the word god so broadly to encompass even hypothetical gods that nobody believes in the word god will be rendered meaningless, and we should stop using it."

"I'm an atheist with regard to Jesus, Jehovah, Allah, Buddha, Zeus, Thor, Brahma, Vishnu etc..." are you going to tell me now, that I can't not believe in these "gods".

A friend in the hole

"If we're going to be damned, let's be damned for what we really are." - Captain Picard
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10-09-2016, 02:26 PM
RE: Classroom Discussion
(10-09-2016 11:37 AM)Jokurix Wrote:  Question is, what else can I say to answer what he said about "the energy of the Big Bang (or any scientific theory of the creation of the universe) being God"?

Reply that he has been persuasive in his argument that God Allmighty is nothing more than an insensate natural phenomenon, no more worthy of worship than a hangnail.

Ask him what epistemological framework he is using to understand conditions under which causality and reason may not function.

Quote:You know, I don't think someone can really be an atheist.

Tell him you don't think that somebody can really be that much of an idiot. When he proves you wrong by sending you to the principle's office explain that you're there because the teacher was making disparaging remarks about your religious beliefs and that you'd like to file an official complaint.

---
Flesh and blood of a dead star, slain in the apocalypse of supernova, resurrected by four billion years of continuous autocatalytic reaction and crowned with the emergent property of sentience in the dream that the universe might one day understand itself.
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10-09-2016, 03:38 PM
RE: Classroom Discussion
He asks "What is your source ?" Or in other words "How did the universe and life on this planet come to exist ?"

First get him to acknowledge that he exists, all life on the planet exists, the planet exists, and the universe itself exists.

Say all of this to him, word for word if you want.

"Were you magically created as an adult teacher this morning or were you born biologically from your parents ?"

Which will it be magic or biology ?
Which answer is most accurate with what we observe in nature ?

In the universe we observe an expansion event in which everything appears to be moving away from a central point. We can calculate the position of everything going back in time, up to a certain point.

The energy of the universe seems to remain constant.
Go back in time as far as you want and the energy of the universe is still there. You cant create something that always exists.

When we examine our own bodies, we see that we have a lot of carbon within us. That carbon was forged in a star. When that star exploded, it released all of those heavier elements made within it.

As our solar system formed from large amounts of material swirling around due to gravity, the planets that formed contains all the elements needed for life.
Or did the solar system magically appear one day from nothing ?

As you acknowledged earlier, life does exist on this planet. The carbon in your body exists. We know the source of the carbon. It came from a star. We know the source of the expanding universe and we know that the energy of the universe remains the same no matter how far back in time you go.

Science provides explanations and when we find things that we can't currently explain, we say "We don't know yet, but we will some day."

Your source is magic
My source is nature aka reality.
Reality exists. You already acknowledged it.

You are free to believe in gods and a moon made of cheese, but in reality you have no reason to believe either.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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10-09-2016, 03:58 PM
RE: Classroom Discussion
(10-09-2016 11:37 AM)Jokurix Wrote:  So, it happens that I'm the only atheist in my classroom, we're like 20 and it'd be about 9 christians, 9 muslims, 1 agnostic and 1 atheist, this last one being me.

In my country's school program there's this religion subject, at least for catholic high schools (I'm in one).

So along with the subject presentation, my christian religion teacher just went ahead and asked: Are there any atheists? To which I raised my hand with confidence.

To this, he replied: You know, I don't think someone can really be an atheist. What is your source? (meaning my original source of life, like if I went back from my mom, then her parents, and blablabla).

To this I answered a classic example, the Big Bang. That that's how it started for our universe. So to continue with his comment "I don't think someone can really be an atheist" he said, but what if that energy (referring to the Big Bang's energy or whatever) is the same thing I call God, since God is essentially a creator?

Basically he's saying the energy that made the Big Bang could be what he calls God. To this I was going to answer that you can call God whatever you want, but that monotheist religions God is not just a creator, but also comes with other illogical problems like omnipresence and stuff.

Question is, what else can I say to answer what he said about "the energy of the Big Bang (or any scientific theory of the creation of the universe) being God"?

I think I would have said.

So you don't believe in Atheist's and I don't believe in god. How ever only one of those things is in this room demonstrating its existence right now.

Don't Live each day like it's your last. Live each day like you have 541 days after that one where every choice you make will have lasting implications to you and the world around you. ~ Tim Minchin
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10-09-2016, 04:03 PM (This post was last modified: 10-09-2016 04:22 PM by Reltzik.)
RE: Classroom Discussion
Simply put, the word "God", to almost anyone who hears it, is taken to mean something a lot more specific than "creator of the universe". It suggests a coherent (if possibly disembodied) being with sentience, including some degree of intelligence, memory, desires, an agenda, awareness of the world, and personality. Also, there are a lot of proposed gods out there who AREN'T creators of the universe. His proposed definition is simultaneously too broad and too narrow.

Why call a natural phenomenon like the Big Bang "God" if 99% of people will not understand what you mean by the word? That would just confuse people, rather than correctly communicate what you do and don't believe. Bring up those criteria (intelligence, memory, desires, etc) and say you do not believe the Big Bang meets those criteria. Ask the class how many of them assume those things when they hear the word "God"? Then ask him if the God he's been talking about meets these criteria.
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