My biggest question about atheism
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15-01-2014, 10:06 AM
My biggest question about atheism
Hey, I'm new on the forums and I wanted to pose a question here that no atheist has ever been able to satisfactorily answer for me.

First, just a couple of disclaimers, I am not here to bash anyone's beliefs. In general, I consider myself spiritual, but disagree with many of the beliefs of organized religions. More than anything, I consider myself a rational person who tries to make sure I can justify everything I believe with evidence. I'm currently looking into atheism and in general I am just a person who is looking for answers.

Anyways, I would love to get an educated atheist perspective on this question:

Is there any evidence in science for anything (ie. an effect) that does not require a cause?

I can understand a lot of aspects of atheism. I can understand evolution, I can even follow as far as the big bang, but my question with it has always arisen at that point.

Disclaimer #2: Like I say, I know this is an atheist website, I'm not trying to provoke anyone, I'm just a genuinely curious person looking for an answer or at least a constructive discussion, so don't take this post the wrong way.

When it comes to the big bang, the atheists I have discussed this with seem to treat the big bang itself as the answer, but I've always looked at it as just another question. Where did the big bang come from? What came before the big bang? etc.

When it comes down to the bare bones of it, everything in the universe of which I am aware has a cause. Science is entirely based around this concept. The scientific method is simply a method for finding facts through repeatable cause and effect experiments. There doesn't seem to be anything in it that would explain the start of the cause and effect chain that resulted in our existence.

The problem is that if there is nothing in this universe that can exist without a cause, then where did everything come from?

To me, the existence of anything at all (the big bang, humanity, the universe, or anything else) seems to require something that does not require a cause...something that we call God. Now, don't get bogged down on what this means, I use the term in the broadest philosophical sense ie. just a creator that exists without being created (eg. not necessarily a God who gives a crap about what happens on earth or how humans live their lives).

But, of course, I came on here to see if the atheist community has an explanation for how reality could exist without the existence of that sort of God. Essentially, I am looking for an explanation of how the cause and effect chain starts in the absence of such a God.
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15-01-2014, 10:33 AM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
I'm not an atheist, but I play one on TV (aka not necessarily what I believe).

In short, there is no answer to that question. That's not to say that we won't find an answer... we just don't have one at the moment. To our knowledge, basic elements have always existed. They didn't "come" from anything.

This is one of the reasons why quantum physics is so interesting; however, we'll always be asking the question "Where did _______ come from"

As we go smaller and smaller, there is always "something" that makes up "something else". I think this goes on ad infintum. There is a point where the question becomes unanswerable because we don't have the means to observe smaller and smaller and/or other dimensions.

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15-01-2014, 10:34 AM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
(15-01-2014 10:06 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  Hey, I'm new on the forums and I wanted to pose a question here that no atheist has ever been able to satisfactorily answer for me.

First, just a couple of disclaimers, I am not here to bash anyone's beliefs. In general, I consider myself spiritual, but disagree with many of the beliefs of organized religions. More than anything, I consider myself a rational person who tries to make sure I can justify everything I believe with evidence. I'm currently looking into atheism and in general I am just a person who is looking for answers.

Anyways, I would love to get an educated atheist perspective on this question:

Is there any evidence in science for anything (ie. an effect) that does not require a cause?

I can understand a lot of aspects of atheism. I can understand evolution, I can even follow as far as the big bang, but my question with it has always arisen at that point.

Disclaimer #2: Like I say, I know this is an atheist website, I'm not trying to provoke anyone, I'm just a genuinely curious person looking for an answer or at least a constructive discussion, so don't take this post the wrong way.

When it comes to the big bang, the atheists I have discussed this with seem to treat the big bang itself as the answer, but I've always looked at it as just another question. Where did the big bang come from? What came before the big bang? etc.

When it comes down to the bare bones of it, everything in the universe of which I am aware has a cause. Science is entirely based around this concept. The scientific method is simply a method for finding facts through repeatable cause and effect experiments. There doesn't seem to be anything in it that would explain the start of the cause and effect chain that resulted in our existence.

The problem is that if there is nothing in this universe that can exist without a cause, then where did everything come from?

To me, the existence of anything at all (the big bang, humanity, the universe, or anything else) seems to require something that does not require a cause...something that we call God. Now, don't get bogged down on what this means, I use the term in the broadest philosophical sense ie. just a creator that exists without being created (eg. not necessarily a God who gives a crap about what happens on earth or how humans live their lives).

But, of course, I came on here to see if the atheist community has an explanation for how reality could exist without the existence of that sort of God. Essentially, I am looking for an explanation of how the cause and effect chain starts in the absence of such a God.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causality_(physics)

http://physics.stackexchange.com/questio...used-event

Yes at the quantum level uncaused events are known to happen.

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15-01-2014, 10:42 AM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
I got a funny feeling your in here to start an arguement.

However...... my personal answere to the question as stated is , 'it doesnt matter'.
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15-01-2014, 10:44 AM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
Damn, you guys type fast..... Blink
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15-01-2014, 10:48 AM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
Look up Lawrence Krauss on youtube…he wrote the book on it and explains it in many lectures there.


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15-01-2014, 10:56 AM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
Welcome Smile
Look in to Lawrence Krauss for a digestible yet comprehensive overview on where science is at concerning your question.

My take is this:-
We don't know.
Don't insert God as the answer, it's never worked in the past (read up on the 'God of the gaps' argument.

Atheism (at least in the UK) is not a poisoned word. There are no cultural connotations attached to it, like in the USA for example, it just means don't know of any reason to/don't believe/accept theism, so there's not a lot to look in to in a sense Smile

Good luck!

A man blames his bad childhood on leprechauns. He claims they don't exist, but yet still says without a doubt that they stole all his money and then killed his parents. That's why he became Leprechaun-Man

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15-01-2014, 11:02 AM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
(15-01-2014 10:42 AM)War Horse Wrote:  I got a funny feeling your in here to start an arguement.

However...... my personal answere to the question as stated is , 'it doesnt matter'.

Hey War Horse, I put in the disclaimers to try and get across that I'm not trying to start an argument.

Frankly, I was just discussing this with my atheist fiancee and she suggested that I try posting here.

Thanks for the other responses, I'll take a look into Lawrence Krauss.
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15-01-2014, 11:03 AM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
Oh my Gwynnies. Dodgy

It's not an "atheist" question, it is a science question. Makes me think if you were actually interested in an answer, you'd be on a science forum... and you wouldn't be all "capital G."

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15-01-2014, 11:09 AM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
The claim that "nothing can exist without a cause" is evidently not true according to your own line of reasoning since you propose that there is something (God) that exists without a cause.

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