My biggest question about atheism
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25-01-2014, 11:04 AM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
(25-01-2014 08:32 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  Edit:
As long as we're counting assumptions, which of these two has fewer:
  • The universe was created by a creator. The creator has no creator because it's eternal.
  • The universe has no creator because it's eternal.
Occam's Razor points towards the second assumption..Thumbsup

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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26-01-2014, 02:22 AM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
(24-01-2014 07:04 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  No, if you make the First Cause argument without God as a premise, then the only conclusion you can come to is "an agent capable of causing the start of the universe".

And that is exactly what cosmological arguments are intended to demonstrate. Additional arguments follow regarding the necessary attributes of that agent.

Quote:This is way to vague of a conclusion to infer that it means "God". The only way you can get God specifically to be in the conclusion is if you either assume him in your premise or if you redefine "God" to mean "universe creator" and nothing else.

I don't know of any apologist that claims that a cosmological argument leads to their particular deity.

Quote:If you can say that God is the conclusion and that he is not in the premise, then I can just as easily assert the conclusion of the First Cause argument is fleems.

Indeed you can and that isn't a deficiency of cosmological arguments.
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26-01-2014, 02:45 PM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
Ugh... ****ing cosmological argu-sludge...

Physics gets us back to Planck-Time so there is a question mark over the the first quantum of spacetime.
There is no valid reason to call this question mark god. Even as a hypothesis it fails due to need for a hypothesis to rely on naturalistic falsifiable components.
All deities and religions trace back to this planet. Any attempt to point at the origin of the Universe is nothing more than presuming us to have the mental capacity of dog, shouting "Fetch!" and making a throwing action. We aren't fooled by that trick, if you were you have my commiserations.

Alien life across the galaxy, the bulk of which will be analogous to single-celled life forms, indeed 3 bodies within the Solar System show possible evidence of biological action;
Mars - Seasonal Methane Plumes
Europa - Red marks spectrally similar to radiation resistant bacteria
Titan - Hydrocarbon lakes
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26-01-2014, 03:32 PM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
(15-01-2014 10:06 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  Is there any evidence in science for anything (ie. an effect) that does not require a cause?

I suppose that it would depend on how you chose to view reality.

There are currently 2 schools of thought regarding the nature of existence.

1. Determinism: Essentially, a good example of determinism is that the universe began with a Big Bang, and from that instant all things were created with the idea that all of existence- every last atom- has a predetermined future that cannot be altered.

2. Indeterminism: Indeterminism is the concept that events (certain events, or events of certain types) are not caused, or not caused deterministically (cf. causality) by prior events. It is the opposite of determinism and related to chance. A hypothetical analogy to demonstrate Indeterminism would be that the universe as we know it never had an origin, and will have no ending. It was never caused to exist, as it is infinite and eternal.

Both of the above have good arguments to support them, but in relation to your question, let's examine indeterminism more closely.

The problem with the Big Bang theory is the simple question of, "What caused the Big Bang to come into existence in the first place?" There are many theories for that, but none seem adequate enough to approach any degree of conclusiveness.

Yet the one thing that does make sense is that- if the Big Bang actually happened, then something must have caused it. But what?

That is where indeterminism comes into the equation. Instead of thinking that the Big Bang created the universe, why not think that the universe created the Big Bang? So then, what created the universe?

As far as we know, we have never been able to measure any dimensions of the universe. We have no width, depth, height, length, nor age of the universe whatsoever. Because of this, there is absolutely nothing we can say as far as the universe being created.

Hence, since we cannot find any evidence whatsoever as to what created the universe, then the current state of our knowledge is that nothing created the universe, which means that it has always existed.

It is eternal. It is infinite.

It isn't very difficult to accept that something can be infinite or eternal, for all you need to do to demonstrate infinity/eternal to yourself is to start counting numbers ... 1 ... 2 ...3 ... and we both know you could count infinitely, and because you could count infinitely, you could also count eternally without ever reaching an end.

Therefore, we know that both the infinite and eternal exist, and we know that if anything is eternal, then it had no cause to exist. It just always was.

Anyways, that's just my insight. Hope it helps.

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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26-01-2014, 03:46 PM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
(26-01-2014 03:32 PM)Free Wrote:  
(15-01-2014 10:06 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  Is there any evidence in science for anything (ie. an effect) that does not require a cause?

I suppose that it would depend on how you chose to view reality.

There are currently 2 schools of thought regarding the nature of existence.

1. Determinism: Essentially, a good example of determinism is that the universe began with a Big Bang, and from that instant all things were created with the idea that all of existence- every last atom- has a predetermined future that cannot be altered.

2. Indeterminism: Indeterminism is the concept that events (certain events, or events of certain types) are not caused, or not caused deterministically (cf. causality) by prior events. It is the opposite of determinism and related to chance. A hypothetical analogy to demonstrate Indeterminism would be that the universe as we know it never had an origin, and will have no ending. It was never caused to exist, as it is infinite and eternal.

Both of the above have good arguments to support them, but in relation to your question, let's examine indeterminism more closely.

The problem with the Big Bang theory is the simple question of, "What caused the Big Bang to come into existence in the first place?" There are many theories for that, but none seem adequate enough to approach any degree of conclusiveness.

Yet the one thing that does make sense is that- if the Big Bang actually happened, then something must have caused it. But what?

That is where indeterminism comes into the equation. Instead of thinking that the Big Bang created the universe, why not think that the universe created the Big Bang? So then, what created the universe?

As far as we know, we have never been able to measure any dimensions of the universe. We have no width, depth, height, length, nor age of the universe whatsoever. Because of this, there is absolutely nothing we can say as far as the universe being created.

Hence, since we cannot find any evidence whatsoever as to what created the universe, then the current state of our knowledge is that nothing created the universe, which means that it has always existed.

It is eternal. It is infinite.

It isn't very difficult to accept that something can be infinite or eternal, for all you need to do to demonstrate infinity/eternal to yourself is to start counting numbers ... 1 ... 2 ...3 ... and we both know you could count infinitely, and because you could count infinitely, you could also count eternally without ever reaching an end.

Therefore, we know that both the infinite and eternal exist, and we know that if anything is eternal, then it had no cause to exist. It just always was.

Anyways, that's just my insight. Hope it helps.

We don't actually know that the infinite exists, we only know that the concept exists.

The universe may or may not be infinite in some or all dimensions, but we don't know.
And we don't know whether there are any realized infinities.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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26-01-2014, 04:00 PM (This post was last modified: 26-01-2014 04:04 PM by Free.)
RE: My biggest question about atheism
(26-01-2014 03:46 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(26-01-2014 03:32 PM)Free Wrote:  I suppose that it would depend on how you chose to view reality.

There are currently 2 schools of thought regarding the nature of existence.

1. Determinism: Essentially, a good example of determinism is that the universe began with a Big Bang, and from that instant all things were created with the idea that all of existence- every last atom- has a predetermined future that cannot be altered.

2. Indeterminism: Indeterminism is the concept that events (certain events, or events of certain types) are not caused, or not caused deterministically (cf. causality) by prior events. It is the opposite of determinism and related to chance. A hypothetical analogy to demonstrate Indeterminism would be that the universe as we know it never had an origin, and will have no ending. It was never caused to exist, as it is infinite and eternal.

Both of the above have good arguments to support them, but in relation to your question, let's examine indeterminism more closely.

The problem with the Big Bang theory is the simple question of, "What caused the Big Bang to come into existence in the first place?" There are many theories for that, but none seem adequate enough to approach any degree of conclusiveness.

Yet the one thing that does make sense is that- if the Big Bang actually happened, then something must have caused it. But what?

That is where indeterminism comes into the equation. Instead of thinking that the Big Bang created the universe, why not think that the universe created the Big Bang? So then, what created the universe?

As far as we know, we have never been able to measure any dimensions of the universe. We have no width, depth, height, length, nor age of the universe whatsoever. Because of this, there is absolutely nothing we can say as far as the universe being created.

Hence, since we cannot find any evidence whatsoever as to what created the universe, then the current state of our knowledge is that nothing created the universe, which means that it has always existed.

It is eternal. It is infinite.

It isn't very difficult to accept that something can be infinite or eternal, for all you need to do to demonstrate infinity/eternal to yourself is to start counting numbers ... 1 ... 2 ...3 ... and we both know you could count infinitely, and because you could count infinitely, you could also count eternally without ever reaching an end.

Therefore, we know that both the infinite and eternal exist, and we know that if anything is eternal, then it had no cause to exist. It just always was.

Anyways, that's just my insight. Hope it helps.

We don't actually know that the infinite exists, we only know that the concept exists.

The universe may or may not be infinite in some or all dimensions, but we don't know.
And we don't know whether there are any realized infinities.

But if the universe is infinite and eternal, then the truth is we would never know that it is. It would be impossible to verify it. Hence, the same would be true in respect to the infinite and eternal.

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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27-01-2014, 07:08 PM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
Taq and Chippy: I split your banter off to the Viper's pit. Do not continue to spam this thread!

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...-Vs-Chippy


God is a concept by which we measure our pain -- John Lennon

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27-01-2014, 07:28 PM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
As for the big bang - cosmologists have investigated the first 3 minutes during a very small, high temperature + pressure state.

What actually happened at time=0 or close to zero (plank constant) we don't know - this is mysterious.

It is most likely that the big bang is a transition phase and energy is eternal and indestructible - neither created not destroyed.
No one says "the universe just popped in from nothing".
Even cosmologists such as Lawrence Krauss describe an early quantum state which is not technically an absolute nothing (an ontological nothingness) i.e something always exists.

No need for God, No need for intelligent design.
It doesn't make sense to ask "what caused the universe" because causality itself is part of the universe.

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David Hume


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27-01-2014, 07:32 PM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
As for something coming out of nothing:
It could be as per Plato, Aristotle, Spinoza, Bertrand Russell, Paul Davies, objectivists and numerous other thinkers/philosophers/scientists - that the universe eternally exists is in some form or other i.e rejecting "Ex Nihilo" creation as illogical & contradictory.

The "big bang theory" only tells us what happens very close to time=0. It does not say what happens at t=0 or if the concept of "before" even makes sense (as mentioned in prev post causality is part of the universe).

The key assumption being made is placing "nothing" as the default and asking "why is there something rather than nothing ?"

What if something always exists and "nothing" is just a relational word to contrast the absence of one thing from something else ?

i.e nothing cannot exist in absolute terms - (its irrational) it only exists in relation to something.

Just saying "only nothing exists" is an oxymoron and even then there would be "potential for something" which IS SOMETHING ! (a potential could be compatible with Platonism or other metaphysical systems)
I.e "nothing" presupposes the existence of something.

There are different concepts of "nothing" and even the physicists/cosmologists such as Lawrence Krauss do not mean an absolute ontological nothingness when discussing the "beginning" of the universe that we can detect. Lawrence Krauss description of nothing is definitely an absence of space-time objects you are familiar with but it involves quantum fluctuations which are still a something (just not the visible universe we see)

The reason why atheists reject the concept of God in relation to the above arguments about "something cannot come from nothing" is because the Kalam cosmological argument (the cosmological argument being discussed) has many flaws and fallacies - some of which I mentioned above.

Sticking God at the beginning really doesn't solve anything and just compounds mystery with more mystery + contradictions

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


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27-01-2014, 07:42 PM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
If we consider the universe to be "Everything which exists" then causality is part of existence and part of the universe. It therefore makes no sense to ask "what caused the universe" I.e the universe must be eternal apriori.

As previously mentioned the big bang would then be a phase transition not an absolute (ontological) beginning. This is compatible with modern cosmology.

There are many scenarios which could mean the universe we see is just one phase of many universes either simultaneously, parallel or in the past. (so called level 1,2,3 & 4 multiverses) - the higher the lever the more speculative and entering philosophy & not empirically testable hypothesis.

Not knowing the absolute answer to this question (i.e if it isn't ultimately empirically verifiable) does not mean we can make stuff up about a God magically popping things into existence !!!.

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