My biggest question about atheism
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22-01-2014, 06:57 PM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
(22-01-2014 05:45 PM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  
(22-01-2014 03:58 PM)guitar_nut Wrote:  I'm familiar with WLC's debates. I've watched many of them. I came to realize they were better referred to as scripts, not debates. He doesn't really address the arguments against his viewpoint, regardless of who he's debating. He also tries to bind his religion to the cosmological argument. In summary, he believes in a first cause, and that the first cause is his god. Zeus can easily be substituted for the Christian god; the argument still works.

While I find it beyond my comprehension to imagine a universe without a first cause, I find it beyond all reason to imagine a god without a first cause. If your not familiar with special pleading, you should look it up. One of the biggest issues I have, as an atheist, is how theists claim everything has to have a creator and a beginning... except for god. God gets a hall pass, of sorts, from that logic. The answer I hear most is 'well, he's GOD!' To which I respond 'Well, it's the UNIVERSE.'

I do tend to agree with your point that the cosmological argument definitely does not prove the existence of any particular God. I don't think it can be Zeus, because he wasn't a creator God (I think that was his dad Chronos, if I remember correctly), but I get your point.

The response of "special pleading" to the cosmological argument really is non-responsive to the argument. The problem is that God is the conclusion of the argument, not a premise. So, by raising "special pleading" in that case, you are not attacking any of the premises and you are not attacking a jump in logic between the steps that take you from the premises to the conclusion. Essentially, I suppose you could say that the point of the argument is that there needs to be a special pleading to prove the existence of anything at all. That "special pleading" is called God (although if you prefer to call it Zeus or Chronos, you can, but it is just arguing semantics).

For the most part, the way I see it is there are two options to solve the issue: 1. Either you need to have an ever-existent God that requires no cause, or 2. you need to have an ever-existent universe that requires no cause (unless you can think of a third alternative). So, which seems more likely?

I favour God as being the more likely option because it fits the logic (WLC lays out the necessary qualities that God must have according to the cosmological argument, many of which would not fit with an ever-existent universe). There also seem to be too many arguments against the universe being ever-existent, such as all scientific evidence showing the universe starting from a singularity (ie. the big bang), logical issues such as the impossibility of a grouping of finite matter and energy somehow adding up to an infinite universe, as well as various philosophical issues that make my head hurt when I even try to think about them.

We use what we know of the observable universe to create models and predictions of things we cannot observe directly. If we were to take guesses at the origins of the universe, the only educated guesses would involve knowledge gained of the workings of the universe. We see absolutely ZERO evidence that miracles or intervention of any kind happens. The universe seems to have a set of physical laws that direct interactions, and have not been show to behave otherwise. These observations diminish the likelihood that the universe is a creation of a being that EVER interacts with it or changes anything. If we continue to see that there is no evidence of intervention in the known laws of physics, we can pretty much rule out a omnipotent and benevolent creator.

Now, if the universe was created by a being that either does not or cannot interact with its own creation, we are left with a god that may or may not have omniscience. This would likely be the case if a being that exists beyond our universe had created our dimensions but cannot enter them. Much like a programmer running a simulation. Seeing exactly what is happening as a result of the laws set in motion, but being powerless to change outcomes. In which case, a creator might be one of many beings beyond our universe, and not necessarily powerful or exceptional in its own universe.

Of course, there is no reason to believe that is the case since obtaining any evidence of such a creator would be beyond the physical limits of our universe.

I think that advances in science will become increasingly more accurate at predicting and understanding the workings of our own universe, to the point where when we have a model that accurately predicts physics across every known type of interaction, it can be extrapolated to better understand the workings of time and space beyond the observable.

We already do this with current models, but because most physical models are only capable of explaining certain aspects of the universe, we cannot be certain of their accuracy beyond what we can measure. When/if an accurate TOE is created, we will better understand things beyond observation.
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22-01-2014, 07:11 PM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
(16-01-2014 07:56 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  
(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.

The difference here is amounts of evidence. There is no evidence that God exists that doesn't require you to assume he exists in the first place.

While we don't have all the answers on the big bang, there is still plenty of evidence that everything originated from a central location over 13 billion years ago and has been spreading from that point ever sense. You can argue cause and purpose all you want, but we still have a pretty good idea that it (or something similar) happened; we don't have any evidence that God even exists.

Do you believe aliens exist?
Why do some scientist believe they exist? What evidence do they use?
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22-01-2014, 07:18 PM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
(22-01-2014 07:11 PM)anidominus Wrote:  
(16-01-2014 07:56 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  The difference here is amounts of evidence. There is no evidence that God exists that doesn't require you to assume he exists in the first place.

While we don't have all the answers on the big bang, there is still plenty of evidence that everything originated from a central location over 13 billion years ago and has been spreading from that point ever sense. You can argue cause and purpose all you want, but we still have a pretty good idea that it (or something similar) happened; we don't have any evidence that God even exists.

Do you believe aliens exist?
Why do some scientist believe they exist? What evidence do they use?

Probability based on what we know about the requirements for life and how frequently these requirements are found throughout the universe.

I have no idea if aliens have visited Earth. I don't believe they have, but its possible.

I do believe alien life exists. Seems very likely that some types of life must exist elsewhere in the universe of 300 sextillion stars, where stars with planetary systems are more common than stars without planets.
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22-01-2014, 07:41 PM (This post was last modified: 22-01-2014 09:18 PM by Rahn127.)
RE: My biggest question about atheism
Similar to when someone says that god exists, you might have to ask them to define what they mean by the word god.
I think the same can be true for the word aliens.

For some aliens would be the creatures in UFO's that snatch up the random human in a catch & release experiment.
Others might simply say that aliens refer to intelligent life that didn't originate on earth.
And then the few who actually understand that alien life doesn't need to be intelligent.
It could be bacteria or a germ or something very very small that is alive and exists elsewhere in the cosmos.

As someone said earlier, it's about understanding the size of the cosmos and what conditions it takes for complex proteins to arise from some basic chemicals that are in abundant supply in the cosmos.

More than likely, life is out there.
Is extraterrestrial life here on earth ? No real evidence of that so far. As far as I know.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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22-01-2014, 08:22 PM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
(22-01-2014 03:00 PM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  
(16-01-2014 08:13 PM)IndianAtheist Wrote:  7 pages in for this thread and the OP still keeps dodging this question Dodgy

@lookingforanswers let me rephrase my question in the most simple terms:-

What good reason do we have to assume that a God exists ?

Well, frankly, I just came on here to ask the atheist viewpoint on a question. If you want my viewpoint on it, I think the cosmological argument is the most compelling argument on the issue, and I have never heard an atheist argument that has given me a good reason to think the other way (which is part of why I came on here to ask in the first place).

If you want a good summary of the cosmological argument, spoken more eloquently than I can, I'd recommend following the below link. The cosmological argument is the first one that the speaker addresses.

http://www.apologetics315.com/2011/11/is...ig-in.html

The cosmological "argument" hinges on a tremendous Special Pleading Fallacy, to wit: the claimant insists irrationally and belligerently that the proposed deity "does not begin to exist" and is therefore somehow exempt from causation.

It is the product of extreme intellectual dishonesty.


ALSO: Arguments are NOT evidence.


If you are so credulous and gullible as to buy into that bullshit, I have a bridge to sell you.


Quote:
(18-01-2014 09:39 AM)Rahn127 Wrote:  I'm skeptical that this conversation ever took place.
For 1. She doesn't have faith when it comes to science. She has trust in what science does and how it does it. It's the method that's trustworthy. That method helps to ensure the integrity of skyscrapers, the flight of airline jets, medical life saving procedures, of nearly damn well everything in your world that makes this world a better, safer place to live in.

Faith means that you have no reason to believe that something will happen, but you think it will anyway.

Another word for faith is delusion.

Now if she had said "I have the delusion that a honey badger will figure out what caused the big bang", then and only then would I believe that she is your fiancee.

I'm thankful that trolls like Mockingbird and Rahn didn't respond to my original post quicker or I would have a much lesser view of the atheists on this forum.

Oh, look, the pussy can't handle up-front and direct cross-examination. No surprise here. Your extreme intellectual dishonesty and insistence in pandering a long-debunked piece of disingenuous bullshit here in an atheist forum makes YOU a fucking troll. Deal with it.

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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22-01-2014, 08:27 PM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
(22-01-2014 07:11 PM)anidominus Wrote:  
(16-01-2014 07:56 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  The difference here is amounts of evidence. There is no evidence that God exists that doesn't require you to assume he exists in the first place.

While we don't have all the answers on the big bang, there is still plenty of evidence that everything originated from a central location over 13 billion years ago and has been spreading from that point ever sense. You can argue cause and purpose all you want, but we still have a pretty good idea that it (or something similar) happened; we don't have any evidence that God even exists.

Do you believe aliens exist?
Why do some scientist believe they exist? What evidence do they use?

WE exist, right, idiot? WE, meaning ANY single life form at all, out of the mnillions of species here on this little planet out here in the middle of nowhere, on one of trillions of planets or more in the solar system. And "alien" would be any life form at all on any one of those other planets. The fact that WE exist at all on this planet makes it likely that some other form of life may exist on even one more planet among those trillions or more planets.

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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23-01-2014, 07:27 AM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
(22-01-2014 03:00 PM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  If you want my viewpoint on it, I think the cosmological argument is the most compelling argument on the issue, and I have never heard an atheist argument that has given me a good reason to think the other way (which is part of why I came on here to ask in the first place).

The cosmological argument isn't compelling. You have to assume God exists for it to make any sense, and it has just as many holes, plus no outside evidence corroborating it. I addressed that a while ago. I'll repost it here:



(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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23-01-2014, 08:42 AM (This post was last modified: 23-01-2014 08:49 AM by IndianAtheist.)
RE: My biggest question about atheism
(22-01-2014 07:11 PM)anidominus Wrote:  Do you believe aliens exist?
Why do some scientist believe they exist? What evidence do they use?
.. there are BILLIONS OF planets in milky way galaxy alone!! what are the odds that life only exists on earth ? 1 to a billion ?? yeah.. that's RATHER stupid.. aliens exist! they're just not the sci-fi bluff we make it out to be but simple living beings like us gawking at the sky.

The actual question here is.. are there Intelligent aliens like humans? now that's a hard question because we do know that evolution is not a linear process and gaining intelligence is purely coincidental but given the billion planets to work with i think its safe to say that intelligent life most likely exists too.

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, 08:59 AM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
(22-01-2014 07:11 PM)anidominus Wrote:  
(16-01-2014 07:56 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  The difference here is amounts of evidence. There is no evidence that God exists that doesn't require you to assume he exists in the first place.

While we don't have all the answers on the big bang, there is still plenty of evidence that everything originated from a central location over 13 billion years ago and has been spreading from that point ever sense. You can argue cause and purpose all you want, but we still have a pretty good idea that it (or something similar) happened; we don't have any evidence that God even exists.

Do you believe aliens exist?
Why do some scientist believe they exist? What evidence do they use?

If I had to guess, I'd guess they do exist, just due to the sheer number of stars out there. That being said, I'm not sure I'd count that as a "belief" that they exist.

Your response still doesn't address what I said. This isn't the smoking gun you likely think it is. There is evidence that something happened causing everything in existence to emanate from a central location 13ish billion years ago. There's no evidence that God exists that doesn't require you to assume he exists in the first place.
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23-01-2014, 09:03 AM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
(22-01-2014 05:45 PM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  The response of "special pleading" to the cosmological argument really is non-responsive to the argument. The problem is that God is the conclusion of the argument, not a premise. So, by raising "special pleading" in that case, you are not attacking any of the premises and you are not attacking a jump in logic between the steps that take you from the premises to the conclusion. Essentially, I suppose you could say that the point of the argument is that there needs to be a special pleading to prove the existence of anything at all. That "special pleading" is called God (although if you prefer to call it Zeus or Chronos, you can, but it is just arguing semantics).

Using god as the conclusion is the god of the gaps argument. Nobody knows, therefore a god.

I probably wasn't clear. The special pleading I refer to is making gods exempt from the same scrutiny and evidence requirements that are applied to the rest of existence. How can a god exist without also having been created? How can you use scientific evidence to prove the universe had a beginning, and then ignore scientific evidence when it comes to god? If god can exist with no cause, why can the universe also exist with no cause? Which is more complex? Which is more unlikely?

(22-01-2014 05:45 PM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  For the most part, the way I see it is there are two options to solve the issue: 1. Either you need to have an ever-existent God that requires no cause, or 2. you need to have an ever-existent universe that requires no cause (unless you can think of a third alternative). So, which seems more likely?

I can think of many more alternatives. Why only these two?

Using the standards of evidence and logic applied by WLC, as well as being allowed the same level of complexity regardless of how unlikely it is, I could say that a unicorn farted the universe into existence. That's really no more unlikely or unbelievable than any other conclusion. In addition, I have biblical references to unicorns and scientific data that shows farts exist.

(22-01-2014 05:45 PM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  I favour God as being the more likely option because it fits the logic (WLC lays out the necessary qualities that God must have according to the cosmological argument, many of which would not fit with an ever-existent universe). There also seem to be too many arguments against the universe being ever-existent, such as all scientific evidence showing the universe starting from a singularity (ie. the big bang), logical issues such as the impossibility of a grouping of finite matter and energy somehow adding up to an infinite universe, as well as various philosophical issues that make my head hurt when I even try to think about them.

So science for the universe, but no science when it comes to god? Where are these same scientific observations that show a conscious creator? Don't forget that WLC says specifically that it is the god of the Christian bible who created the universe and that Jesus was real and did actually die for our sins. That alone should be suspect to you.

If Jesus died for our sins, why is there still sin? If man was created from dust, why is there still dust? If Americans came from Europe, why are there still Europeans?
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