My biggest question about atheism
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15-01-2014, 09:04 PM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
(15-01-2014 03:15 PM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  My biggest issue with the church is the idea of blind faith and the dangerous consequences it can lead to.

Blind faith is all anyone who believes in your fairy tale monster has.



Quote: So, I just like using the term spiritual because it doesn't pigeon-hole me into a specific religious world view. Like I say, not trying to convert anyone, just trying to respond to Reltzik's question.


Your use of the Kalaam argument pretty much pigeon-holes you.


Quote:As for atheism, my understanding of the meaning of an atheist is someone that believes that there is no God of any sort (ie. no greater creator being).

Incorrect. We DO NOT BELIEVE any claims that have been made that any sort of deities exist, for lack of evidence.






(15-01-2014 03:22 PM)Chas Wrote:  There is no evidence for the existence of any gods, but the existence of some sort of god cannot be disproven.

Just like leprechauns, unicorns, dragons, and Flying Spaghetti Monsters.

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
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15-01-2014, 09:19 PM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
(15-01-2014 02:43 PM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  The infinite ever-existing universe argument was never very satisfying to me either. To me, it sounds like the atheist version of "God did it"...a bit of a cop-out, as it seems to be an unprovable theory.

...

My issue that has always bothered me with atheism, as opposed to agnosticism, is that it seems to defy logic to dismiss the idea of a creator outright while not being able to offer an alternative that is any more provable. I understand that it is doesn't make sense to automatically attribute any unknown to God (the "God Gap Argument"), but I do not think that applies to creation.

But you admit that the theist version of God-did-it is a cop out, correct?

It looks like your stance could basically be summed up as you being credulous regarding the existence of God and incredulous regarding the big bang. You basically want to believe one thing and not another.


As for wondering why I would choose the other side of this, given the lack of evidence of the existence of God, I see no reason to assume he exists. I feel it's as much of a cop out to assume there is a timeless, eternal god that is somehow immune to the very laws of causality which he's being used to explain.

So, you still have a big "I don't know" to the "how do you explain that" question of causality on top of assuming the existence of a creator god in the first place. At least there is a plethora of evidence that all of existence has been spreading outward from a centralized location for more than thirteen billion years. Fewer assumptions.


(15-01-2014 02:43 PM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  My impression (maybe because of human kind's current scientific limitations) is that the question of creation is not simply unknown, but unknowable.

If it's unknowable, why assume there is a god behind it?
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15-01-2014, 09:46 PM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
(15-01-2014 09:19 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  It looks like your stance could basically be summed up as you being credulous regarding the existence of God and incredulous regarding the big bang.

Actually, I don't find what I've seen of the Big Bang theory to be that convincing.


-- But I still can see that The Emperor Has No Fucking Clothes.

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
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15-01-2014, 10:19 PM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
I'm going to take you on a little thought experiment.

First I'm going to erase the universe, dark matter, dark energy and everything that is, was or will be.
That includes any gods or goddess that might be lurking about.

Complete blank slate

Ok, now in that void of all voids, there is now a spot. I can't define what it is any more than simply calling it a spot.
It's different than any other place in the void.

And for all time, that's all anything ever is. No big bang, no galaxies. None of that ever comes to be. There is just a spot.

What is the point of that spots' existence. It never changes. No one will ever be aware of it. Why should it exist ?
For what reason should something exist ? Even a spot.

Maybe it's simply that nature abhors a vacuum ?

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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15-01-2014, 10:53 PM
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.

I can only answer for myself.

I have the same questions you do. How did it all begin and what came before that.

I don't have the answer. I simply don't believe anyone here on Earth does. The answers can not be found in any religious teachings.

Religion is just a fairy tale, a land attempt to answer the questions everyone has and dictate how others should live.
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16-01-2014, 10:20 AM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
(15-01-2014 05:16 PM)Elcarch Wrote:  
(15-01-2014 02:43 PM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  I'm curious about the mass-energy idea. Like I said, I'm definitely no scientist. I'm educated, but in entirely different areas. You may have to explain a bit to me what you mean by it, ideally in layman's terms.

Right there is the problem with your whole line of reasoning; there are no layman's terms.

When you're dealing with something as complicated and baffling as quantum physics, you can't boil it down to some simple explanation that's accessible to someone who doesn't understand quantum physics. If you try to make something that only the greatest minds of our time understand understandable to those who have none of that knowledge already, what you're going to end up with is something that's wrong.

It's like trying to explain the hidden themes in The Dark Knight Rises to an ant; it simply doesn't have the knowledge of the world or even the conceptual tools to grasp it.

For instance, you insist on saying that the universe must have begun at some point, but you are using a model simplified to such a degree that it is incorrect. Your model doesn't account for any of the harder to understand concepts, like time being affected by mass and velocity, which are vital to understanding something like the so called 'Big Bang'.

I strongly urge you not to base your understanding of the workings of the universe on extremely limited knowledge.

Now, I'm not pretending like I know any better. I don't understand quantum physics either. And that's why I'm not trying to draw conclusions about the existence of god from my own ant's perspective.

I leave that to the physicists.

Interesting idea because, of course, one of the common arguments regarding the existence of God and the methods of God used by the religious is the idea that we cannot understand his ways. Essentially, God is so far beyond us that we can't understand his ways, nature or plan.

I was talking to my atheist fiancee yesterday about what caused the big bang and she mentioned that she "had faith" that science would figure it out. The argument that "the issue is too tough for laymen to understand, so we just have to have faith that these people who are smarter than ourselves have figured it out" bears a striking similarity to me to the words of the religious saying the same thing about God's ways. Obviously, the difference is that I could undertake decades of study and maybe understand the basis behind it, but that leaves open the issue of how limited our scientific knowledge is right now. Where will scientific knowledge be in 5000 years? Are even our greatest minds the equivalent of ants on the issue compared to where scientists will be 5000 years from now? After all, scientists 1000 years ago certainly would be considered in that manner nowadays.

I started another thread on that issue earlier today

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...phenomenon
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16-01-2014, 11:49 AM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
(16-01-2014 10:20 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  Interesting idea because, of course, one of the common arguments regarding the existence of God and the methods of God used by the religious is the idea that we cannot understand his ways. Essentially, God is so far beyond us that we can't understand his ways, nature or plan.

Indeed. And yet, religious people aren't exactly slow to presume that they understand god's views on homosexuals, sodomy or the number of types of cloth you can combine in one garment.

(16-01-2014 10:20 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  I was talking to my atheist fiancee yesterday about what caused the big bang and she mentioned that she "had faith" that science would figure it out. The argument that "the issue is too tough for laymen to understand, so we just have to have faith that these people who are smarter than ourselves have figured it out" bears a striking similarity to me to the words of the religious saying the same thing about God's ways. Obviously, the difference is that I could undertake decades of study and maybe understand the basis behind it, but that leaves open the issue of how limited our scientific knowledge is right now. Where will scientific knowledge be in 5000 years? Are even our greatest minds the equivalent of ants on the issue compared to where scientists will be 5000 years from now? After all, scientists 1000 years ago certainly would be considered in that manner nowadays.

You answered your question yourself; science is in no way like religion, because the claims of scientists can be tested and shown to be accurate, while the same can never be said of claims pertaining to deities.

We can indeed not imagine what we'll know in a thousand years. That's still not a reason to make unfounded assumptions about the state of being of something of which there is no evidence.
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16-01-2014, 06:25 PM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
(16-01-2014 10:20 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  Essentially, God is so far beyond us that we can't understand his ways, nature or plan.
I'm sorry but we STILL haven't established that a God exists in the first place LET alone attributing qualities to him.
Quote:so we just have to have faith that these people who are smarter than ourselves have figured it out"
Yeah in the same sense i have "Faith" that someday they will find a cure for cancer too.
Quote:bears a striking similarity to me to the words of the religious saying the same thing about God's ways.
AW HELL NO! Religious faith is BLIND FAITH.. there is a stark distinction between them.

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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16-01-2014, 06:51 PM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
(16-01-2014 10:20 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  Indeed. And yet, religious people aren't exactly slow to presume that they understand god's views on homosexuals, sodomy or the number of types of cloth you can combine in one garment.

Your presumption of the origins of those customs is simply ignorance. Every single law, rule, proscription, "view", and absolutely every other single element imported by religion into religious texts came from (documented and known) pre-existent cultural antecedents. Not one was "given" to culture from religion". Every one was TAKEN up by religion from the culture, and then declared to be sacred, and declared to be "from god" ONLY by humans, who presumed they could speak for a deity.
Religion sanctions culture. Culture never sanctions religion.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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16-01-2014, 06:54 PM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
Science is not labcoat brainiacs, its all of us, the combined many times verified best known answer to any question, anyone or any thing can contribute to science. That is adding and subtracting data.

when someone has faith in science they simply say they trust that the most commonly agreed upon answer from the global community should be trustworthy.
Creationists think science equals evil labcoat demons plotting anti bible experiments.

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
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