My biggest question about atheism
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23-01-2014, 12:16 PM (This post was last modified: 23-01-2014 12:21 PM by IndianAtheist.)
RE: My biggest question about atheism
(23-01-2014 11:58 AM)anidominus Wrote:  Either "A God" of some kind exist and he is eternal, no "God" exists and the universe itself is eternal, or cause and effect happen infinitely. The latter being the most illogical of the three to me.
Wait.. wouldn't the universe would have to be eternal either way ?? Why add God to the mix at all ? just to make sense out of it ? just to anthropomorphize non-sentient universe.. that's just staunch human arrogance IMHO its way more humble to admit that "I do not know".
Quote:My point was, is that we don't have any evidence that aliens exists
Oh really? we don't have any evidence? what about those billion planets which possibly have life on it? ever pondered about that?

Are you so arrogant to say that out of a BILLION earth like planets only earth has life on it ?
Quote: We don't know if an eternal being did it or if the universe in of itself is eternal
Occam's Razor DEMANDS this "Eternal being" to CUT!Drinking Beverage
Quote: What desire would "dead" rocks *(or whatever) have to form themselves in to an "organism" which consumes the "Dead" in order to remain "alive" and then wonder about itself and its purpose, believe in God, and study its dead nature to find out about its "life" nature only for said organism to die. Its a completely illogical process
Ho ho ho.. let's put a new spin on that shall we ?

What desire does an eternal being(or whatever the fuck it is) has to make universe full of billions of stars with seemingly arbitrary chaotic rules of nature and the suddenly one day that eternal being starts obsessing over a single tiny piece of insignificant planet ? why ? that's illogical and RETARDED.
Quote:remove the possibility of God from the equation is illogical
Occam's Razor IS NOT illogical.

Dreams/Hallucinations/delusions are not evidence
Wishful thinking is not evidence
Disproved statements&Illogical conclusions are not evidence
Logical fallacies&Unsubstantiated claims are not evidence
Vague prophecies is not evidence
Data that requires a certain belief is not evidence
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23-01-2014, 12:36 PM
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.


You are right about the "Big Bang". It is another question. And I don't have the answer for it. Neither do I understand it! Not even close. I'm pretty sure that if you went deep enough, nobody could really explain electricity. But we know enough about it to use it successfully. Science has no God to support it. It has no final answers! Try to understand that. If you were from the 12th century, stumbled through a time warp, and plugged in a toaster oven to find that it got hot: you would be a scientist! Your next question might be something as simple as: "How hot can this (toaster oven) get hot? to: "Which of these materials and under what circumstances, are required to create heat?" Some might say that neither is the right question: But, both are! Science will not give you all the answers! Religion will give you none of them!
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23-01-2014, 12:41 PM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
(23-01-2014 10:44 AM)anidominus Wrote:  We can agree or disagree with the existence of Aliens or God but to remove the possibility of God from the equation is illogical.

Who said anything about impossibility? Were just calling it unlikely because there is no empirical evidence for god, and more evidence pointing toward the possibility that "gods" are creations of man.
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23-01-2014, 12:55 PM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
(23-01-2014 10:34 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  @GuitarNut and RobbyPants, you can't just say "God of the Gaps" and call that a response. And, the argument certainly isn't "Nobody knows, therefore a god". That is definitely a straw man fallacy.

I didn't just say "god of the gaps" and nothing else. You left out the rest of my response. How would you explain the first cause argument. So far as I can see it, it could be summed up as follows:

1) Note that all observable events have a cause.
2) We can't observe the cause of the universe.
3) Claim that God could have caused it.

Therefore) God.

* Bonus points for declaring God to be eternal, post hoc to render him immune to the same line of reasoning.


Unless you have a better way to explain it, that is a god of the gaps argument. Point 2 says "we don't know" and point 3 says "god did it".

Do you know what caused it? If not, and you assume it's god, then it is, tautologically a god of the gaps argument.

(23-01-2014 10:34 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  As I understand it, science involves scientific facts (ie. objects fall at a certain speed and acceleration), scientific theories that constitute the widely accepted best explanation based on the scientific facts (ie. the theory of gravity) and hypotheses (theories that do no have sufficient support to be elevated to the stature of scientific theories). In this context, God would be classified as a hypothesis. The hypothesis of a creator God is based on the collection of scientific facts that exist in the universe (the existence of a universe, the evidence of the big bang, our observations of the cosmos, etc). It is a theory that explains the existence of anything at all.

...

The cosmological argument is an argument that takes the scientific facts that we know about the universe (however basic those scientific facts may seem, such as the fact that we exist) and uses logic to show a creator God as being an internally consistent explanation for those facts. In fact, it also establishes a creator-God (of some type, not necessarily the Christian God or any other) to be the only internally consistent explanation for the facts. To classify it as an appeal to the unknown is to ignore the actual issue and to reject a hypothesis without actually attacking the logic thereof or any of the premises (or scientific facts) on which it is based.

The problem here, is you're only applying a veneer of science. Your theory isn't observable, verifiable, or falsifiable. It cannot be tested. I could posit that the universe was created by fleems and be equally credible.


(23-01-2014 10:44 AM)anidominus Wrote:  My point was, is that we don't have any evidence that aliens exists. We have zero physical evidence, yet people believe aliens exist. It doesn't matter the complexity of the life.

We based this on the fact that we are here and the universe is indeed big. Its a logical conclusion rooted in an observation. I can't prove or disprove the existence of aliens. There may not be any at all or their may be many, perhaps we are the first of many life forms through the universe. We don't know.

...

We can agree or disagree with the existence of Aliens or God but to remove the possibility of God from the equation is illogical.

As mentioned by Impulse, there is a difference between "aliens are possible" and "I believe there are aliens". I said the former. Also note that while we don't have evidence for aliens specifically, we do have evidence for living beings living on a habitable planet (ours) and we know there are other such planets. So, the "it's certainly possible" stance isn't baseless.

As for ruling out God, you are right, but there is no good reason to rule him in either, due to lack of evidence. Given that there is evidence for the big bang and none for God, I don't see any merit to the first cause argument.
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23-01-2014, 12:58 PM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
(23-01-2014 11:53 AM)anidominus Wrote:  so, you observe life on this planet and then you create the "probability" out of thin air that life is on other planets based on information you don't have because you have never detected a planet anywhere near like earth.

O Rly? Are you sure we haven't detected a planet similar to earth?
Quote:There is no evidence that you can create life from none life.

Actually, organic compounds and the parts that form self replicating molecules are found in abundance throughout the universe. We know that these compounds tend to stick together under certain naturally occurring situations. Even without a guiding hand, it seems that it is likely that self replicating molecules have been formed elsewhere in the universe. Even scientists have built self replicating RNA molecules which were a part of early life.

And its not just other planets. There are literally clouds of organic compounds thousands of times larger than our solar system out there.
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23-01-2014, 01:05 PM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
(23-01-2014 11:53 AM)anidominus Wrote:  so, you observe life on this planet and then you create the "probability" out of thin air that life is on other planets based on information you don't have because you have never detected a planet anywhere near like earth. You're assuming based on mathematics and observation, but that is... you have zero evidence or proof.

Oh, but we do, we do.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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23-01-2014, 01:24 PM (This post was last modified: 23-01-2014 01:29 PM by Impulse.)
RE: My biggest question about atheism
(23-01-2014 11:53 AM)anidominus Wrote:  so, you observe life on this planet and then you create the "probability" out of thin air that life is on other planets based on information you don't have because you have never detected a planet anywhere near like earth. You're assuming based on mathematics and observation, but that is... you have zero evidence or proof.
Google Kepler-22b. You might find it interesting.
Furthermore, evidence is not proof and evidence can come in many forms such as the mathematics and observation that you mentioned. Both are more than we have regarding any god.

(23-01-2014 11:53 AM)anidominus Wrote:  Which is why I said "I assume.... I believe...." and what I did is look at life here on this planet and look at the complexity of the cell and believe that even in 4.5 billion years (assuming that number true) this amount of complexity could not have occurred from natural selection. There is no evidence that you can create life from none life.
RNA formed by itself in a lab under similar conditions to that which would have existed when Earth had no life on it yet. It's huge evidence that life can be created spontaneously where there was none before.

Edit:
I should have read the rest of the thread before posting. I see WeAreTheCosmos and Chas already beat me to the points. Smile

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
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23-01-2014, 01:31 PM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
There is a difference between believing that something is true because it is likely and believing that something is true because we have evidence.

The evidence tells us how the earth was formed: what were the circumstances that led to it? Science (and not Genesis) actually has the answers to these and related questions.

The sun is a star. We know how stars form. We also know that there are hundreds of billions of galaxies in the universe, each with more than 100 million stars.

From there we project: 100,000,000,000 galaxies x 100,000,000 stars = 10,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars.

At least.

What are the chances that our star is the only one of the 10 quintillion stars in the universe that is orbited by a planet that contains the necessary distance and composition to foster the development of life? I'd say pretty low.

Now, when you ask me whether I believe in alien life, I'm going to say yes. When you ask me whether I KNOW there is alien life, I would have to say no. I don't know it. I believe it, but my believe is based on probability combined with what science teaches us about how life developed on earth. I consider it unlikely that life is unique to earth. (Note: you did not ask about INTELLIGENT life, which would of necessity be more rare).

The question of God is not the same. Here you are asking us to believe without proof the existence of a transcendent being based on a philosophical argument. You call that being God. I call that being "hobgoblin." Yet there is as much evidence for God as there is for hobgoblin, or holy leprechaun, or flying spaghetti monster... because you drew his existence from philosophy and not from evidence, you are not entitled to assign any attributes to him. Attributes are known by evidence, not vice versa. Thus, the declaration by fiat that God is timeless and not bound by the physical laws of our universe does not follow from the evidence. It is ad hoc. It is god of the gaps. It is argument from ignorance. It is not science.

Honestly, I think you're playing word games when you compare believing in God to believing in alien life. The propositions are not analogous. Nice try, though.
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23-01-2014, 01:39 PM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
(23-01-2014 12:16 PM)IndianAtheist Wrote:  Wait.. wouldn't the universe would have to be eternal either way ?? Why add God to the mix at all ? just to make sense out of it ? just to anthropomorphize non-sentient universe.. that's just staunch human arrogance IMHO its way more humble to admit that "I do not know".

We add God to the mix because its a possibility unless you have proven that possibility can not exist.

(23-01-2014 12:16 PM)IndianAtheist Wrote:  Oh really? we don't have any evidence? what about those billion planets which possibly have life on it? ever pondered about that?

Are you so arrogant to say that out of a BILLION earth like planets only earth has life on it ?
Would you arrest a man for murder because you possibly had evidence that he committed one?

(23-01-2014 12:16 PM)IndianAtheist Wrote:  Ho ho ho.. let's put a new spin on that shall we ?

What desire does an eternal being(or whatever the fuck it is) has to make universe full of billions of stars with seemingly arbitrary chaotic rules of nature and the suddenly one day that eternal being starts obsessing over a single tiny piece of insignificant planet ? why ? that's illogical and RETARDED.

God has a personality. Different personalities like different things. Just because you're God doesn't mean you don't want to create your own universe for your own enjoyment and put people in it to wonder who you are and give them galaxies to one day go populate and perhaps provide them some "alien" friends. I mean, how many people live life and then spend part of that life playing games (Sims 3) simulating the life they are living? Why would anyone want to do that?

In addition, much of what we think about the universe may not be true.
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23-01-2014, 01:51 PM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
(23-01-2014 12:55 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  
(23-01-2014 10:34 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  @GuitarNut and RobbyPants, you can't just say "God of the Gaps" and call that a response. And, the argument certainly isn't "Nobody knows, therefore a god". That is definitely a straw man fallacy.

I didn't just say "god of the gaps" and nothing else. You left out the rest of my response. How would you explain the first cause argument. So far as I can see it, it could be summed up as follows:

1) Note that all observable events have a cause.
2) We can't observe the cause of the universe.
3) Claim that God could have caused it.

Therefore) God.

* Bonus points for declaring God to be eternal, post hoc to render him immune to the same line of reasoning.


Unless you have a better way to explain it, that is a god of the gaps argument. Point 2 says "we don't know" and point 3 says "god did it".

Do you know what caused it? If not, and you assume it's god, then it is, tautologically a god of the gaps argument.

(23-01-2014 10:34 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  As I understand it, science involves scientific facts (ie. objects fall at a certain speed and acceleration), scientific theories that constitute the widely accepted best explanation based on the scientific facts (ie. the theory of gravity) and hypotheses (theories that do no have sufficient support to be elevated to the stature of scientific theories). In this context, God would be classified as a hypothesis. The hypothesis of a creator God is based on the collection of scientific facts that exist in the universe (the existence of a universe, the evidence of the big bang, our observations of the cosmos, etc). It is a theory that explains the existence of anything at all.

...

The cosmological argument is an argument that takes the scientific facts that we know about the universe (however basic those scientific facts may seem, such as the fact that we exist) and uses logic to show a creator God as being an internally consistent explanation for those facts. In fact, it also establishes a creator-God (of some type, not necessarily the Christian God or any other) to be the only internally consistent explanation for the facts. To classify it as an appeal to the unknown is to ignore the actual issue and to reject a hypothesis without actually attacking the logic thereof or any of the premises (or scientific facts) on which it is based.

The problem here, is you're only applying a veneer of science. Your theory isn't observable, verifiable, or falsifiable. It cannot be tested. I could posit that the universe was created by fleems and be equally credible.


(23-01-2014 10:44 AM)anidominus Wrote:  My point was, is that we don't have any evidence that aliens exists. We have zero physical evidence, yet people believe aliens exist. It doesn't matter the complexity of the life.

We based this on the fact that we are here and the universe is indeed big. Its a logical conclusion rooted in an observation. I can't prove or disprove the existence of aliens. There may not be any at all or their may be many, perhaps we are the first of many life forms through the universe. We don't know.

...

We can agree or disagree with the existence of Aliens or God but to remove the possibility of God from the equation is illogical.

As mentioned by Impulse, there is a difference between "aliens are possible" and "I believe there are aliens". I said the former. Also note that while we don't have evidence for aliens specifically, we do have evidence for living beings living on a habitable planet (ours) and we know there are other such planets. So, the "it's certainly possible" stance isn't baseless.

As for ruling out God, you are right, but there is no good reason to rule him in either, due to lack of evidence. Given that there is evidence for the big bang and none for God, I don't see any merit to the first cause argument.

Whether you says "aliens is possible" or "I believe in aliens" my reply is still the same.

So, you're telling me that we have verified a planet just like earth? Have we traveled there to make sure?

Just because life is here doesn't mean life is elsewhere.

Just because you reject evidence as supporting something doesn't mean it doesn't support it. What evidence support/says and doesn't say/support can be very subjective.
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