My biggest question about atheism
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15-01-2014, 11:09 AM
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?

Aside from the quantum stuff that Revenant77x mentioned, I don't know of anything.


(15-01-2014 10:06 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  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.

Just because we don't have an answer to something doesn't mean that the answer is "god". That is a god of the gaps argument. It's the same line of thinking that made people invent sun gods to explain why the sun rose in the east and set in the west. They didn't know the real reason.


(15-01-2014 10:06 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  The problem is that if there is nothing in this universe that can exist without a cause, then where did everything come from?

You didn't prove that. The farthest you've gotten is that science hasn't found anything without a cause yet. Saying that nothing can happen without a cause is getting ahead of yourself.


(15-01-2014 10:06 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  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.
(15-01-2014 10:06 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  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).

Where did God come from? Any answer you give that makes him "eternal" or "timeless" is likely special pleading. Also, if you believe an intelligent entity can possess these qualities, why could the universe itself not posses them? Could the universe be "timeless"?

Also, from what little I understand about the big bang, I gather that there was no time before it. Something about the way space and time change by really dense things like black holes, it's hypothesized that there simply was no time prior to the big bang. I understand it sounds weird and is hard to picture, but it's no harder to picture than an eternal god that existed for infinity years before creating heaven and eventually earth.

"God" is just a name you're giving to an unexplained phenomenon.
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15-01-2014, 11:17 AM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
If you would like to get into the technical details of what scientists say on this topic, by all means look into Krauss and others that can be found with a bit of interent research. If that is not what you need/want to clear up some questions, then it is OK to ponder and not state with 100% certainty all of the anwers are there. No need to insert a "creator" to fill in what you/I/we don't completely understand. This is what being an athiest brings to the table - the willingness to ponder and search for the best explanation, and not to ponder, then insert a GOD creator, and call it a day.

Not too long ago man assigned GOD as the cause behind lightning and earthquakes!

“Truth does not demand belief. Scientists do not join hands every Sunday, singing, yes, gravity is real! I will have faith! I will be strong! I believe in my heart that what goes up, up, up, must come down, down, down. Amen! If they did, we would think they were pretty insecure about it.”
— Dan Barker —
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15-01-2014, 11:24 AM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
the short, quick and dirty answer that is often heard is that space & time started at the big bang. There is no 'before' because there wasn't time or a place for it.


Krauss can explain it much better.


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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15-01-2014, 11:27 AM (This post was last modified: 15-01-2014 11:30 AM by Momsurroundedbyboys.)
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.

For me, I'm not atheist because of science at all. I believe all religions were started to explain that which defied explanation at that time. I find the bible and (other religions I've studied a bit) to be lifted heavily from older myths.

I define myself in respect to the bible and religions to be atheist.

As far is the universe is considered because we simply don't have the answers about abiogenesis or how the universe was created....I'm very agnostic at that point.

Did something (or someone) set it all in motion? I don't really care about that.

Do I believe there is a god somewhere who interferes with people's lives and demands that we worship him/her (and if you don't do it just right you'll burn in hellfire for eternity)? Absolutely not.


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

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15-01-2014, 11:28 AM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
(15-01-2014 11:17 AM)Timber1025 Wrote:  Not too long ago man assigned GOD as the cause behind lightning and earthquakes!

Pat Robertson still does (at least earthquakes).
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15-01-2014, 11:28 AM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
(15-01-2014 11:09 AM)RobbyPants 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?

Aside from the quantum stuff that Revenant77x mentioned, I don't know of anything.


(15-01-2014 10:06 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  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.

Just because we don't have an answer to something doesn't mean that the answer is "god". That is a god of the gaps argument. It's the same line of thinking that made people invent sun gods to explain why the sun rose in the east and set in the west. They didn't know the real reason.


(15-01-2014 10:06 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  The problem is that if there is nothing in this universe that can exist without a cause, then where did everything come from?

You didn't prove that. The farthest you've gotten is that science hasn't found anything without a cause yet. Saying that nothing can happen without a cause is getting ahead of yourself.


(15-01-2014 10:06 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  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.
(15-01-2014 10:06 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  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).

Where did God come from? Any answer you give that makes him "eternal" or "timeless" is likely special pleading. Also, if you believe an intelligent entity can possess these qualities, why could the universe itself not posses them? Could the universe be "timeless"?

Also, from what little I understand about the big bang, I gather that there was no time before it. Something about the way space and time change by really dense things like black holes, it's hypothesized that there simply was no time prior to the big bang. I understand it sounds weird and is hard to picture, but it's no harder to picture than an eternal god that existed for infinity years before creating heaven and eventually earth.

"God" is just a name you're giving to an unexplained phenomenon.
Thanks bro, you saved me some time typing
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15-01-2014, 11:44 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.

Actually, science is always a work in progress, humans are only just beginning to make some head way. So, just because some of the answers (or even questions) haven't been found yet, doesn't mean you get to inject an arbitrary answer of your choosing. Every hole in knowledge doesn't get to be filled by a god.

If my lunch gets stolen out of the company fridge, and I can't find who dunnit, that doesn't mean that of course it was god.

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Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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15-01-2014, 11:49 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?

My big problem lies in the form of your question. You equate "anything" with "effect," and that is an unfounded assumption. In other words, by labeling "anything" an "effect," you are begging the question.

Begging the question is when you assume an answer as part of the question. It is more commonly referred to as circular reasoning, but the idea is the same.

What evidence is there that mass-energy is an effect? Certainly not science! In science, mass-energy cannot be created nor destroyed. The Big Bang doesn't negate this. Mass-energy did not begin at the Big Bang. It began to expand at the Big Bang, but it always existed. There is nothing in science that says the universe came to being from "nothing" (using the term in the philosophical sense).

As I am growing to understand it, the existence of mass-energy is the very "uncaused cause" that preceded all that came next. Unlike God, the eternal existence of mass-energy has a scientific basis: we know that mass-energy cannot be created or destroyed. Therefore, it was never created.

You want to know what caused the existence mass-energy, but to do so, you must label the existence of mass-energy to be an effect, and there is nothing in science to justify that assumption. It is not an effect. It simply is, and always was.
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15-01-2014, 11:59 AM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
(15-01-2014 10:06 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  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).
I have heard this many times and it absolutely boggles my mind. You are saying there must be a first something that wasn't caused, dismiss things like the big bang as being the possible "something", but without a second thought decide the "something" must be God as though that somehow makes more sense. You are saying you are looking for answers, but then seem to block your own path to the very answers you seek by this arbitrary insertion of "God" as the answer. Then you even extend that further by stating this "God" is also a "creator". Even assuming "God" is the first something in no way makes this "God" a creator automatically. For example, if there can possibly be this first non-caused thing, why must it be the only one? There could be hundreds or thousands that all exist with no cause. Maybe one of them created everything else. Maybe they each created some. Maybe all created none. Without any understanding of what this "God" or these "gods" are, who could say?

Which brings me to the next point. You say "don't get bogged down on what this means", but as I have just shown we must if there is to be any sense made of it at all.

If you truly want answers, then assume you have none and go looking until you find them or at least get closer to finding them. "God" has no place until there is evidence to support there is one (or some). So far, I have seen no such evidence; only philosophical guesses that have flaws in logic.

"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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15-01-2014, 12:19 PM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
(15-01-2014 11:02 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  
(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.

No problems my friend, I sometimes get a little gun shy with certain questions, due to the nature of such, they turn into a pissing match..... it gets old after awhile.

Good to hear that you had no ulterior motives , I gave a ya a like for that. Wink
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