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Featured Atheists, where did the universe come from?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Remté, Feb 15, 2019.

  1. ratiocinator

    ratiocinator Strange Loop

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    So what? It still doesn't make creation myths anything like the BB.
     
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  2. ratiocinator

    ratiocinator Strange Loop

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    Do elaborate...
     
  3. PruePhillip

    PruePhillip Well-Known Member

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    Not all myths are the same. We have the Rainbow Serpent here in Australia.
    The bible has Genesis - it gives, in symbolic language, the precise sequence
    of events for the earth and cosmos.
    The Greeks have the myth of Zeus and Jupiter. The bible has the House of
    David, the prophet Isaiah, King Hezekiah, the temple at Jerusalem - all of
    which are historic.
    It's a Fallacy that if lots are myths that they are all myths. You assess every
    thing on its merits.
     
  4. PruePhillip

    PruePhillip Well-Known Member

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    the heavens
    and the earth
    and the earth was an oceanic cloud planet
    and the skies cleared
    and the continents rose
    and life came from the earth (fresh water)
    and then life came from the seas
    and finally man.

    The last objection to this sequence was quashed in 2018
    with a consensus that life arose in fresh rather than salt
    water.
     
  5. ratiocinator

    ratiocinator Strange Loop

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    Genesis 1:
    Heavens and earth [1-2]
    Light [3]
    Light separated from darkness: day and night [4-5]
    The sky; vault that separated waters above and below. [6-8]
    Dry land [9-10]
    Vegetation on the land [11-13]
    Stars, moon, and sun [14-19]
    Water life and birds [20-23]
    Land animals [24- 25]
    Humans [26-27]

    Massive amount of wishful thinking needed to make this fit with the BB theory or the actual history of earth.
     
  6. Mestemia

    Mestemia Advocatus Diaboli
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    So basically you refuse to have an honest discussion on the topic, right?
    I mean, you do not know where God came from or how he created the universe.
    In fact, it is pure assumption on your part the universe was created...

    But you feel safe making your bold empty claim because no one will be able to satisfy your "first cause" request.

    And you claim "there is no error in reasoning, or logic"?
     
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  7. TagliatelliMonster

    TagliatelliMonster Active Member

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    Physics is basically the study of the forces at play in the universe.
    If you remove the universe, you also remove physics.
    So physics, as we know it at least, more then likely does not apply to the origins of the universe.

    In fact, we see this already in the math. If you extrapolate the expansion of the universe back to T = 0 (the "starting point"), then physics as we know it breaks down.

    You determined this assertion, how exactly?
    When have you ever studied a "nothing" to see if anything can come from it?

    What do you even mean by "nothing"?
    Whatever is left after we remove the universe from existence?
    Who says that that's "nothing"?

    All these are unknowns in reality. You're just making assertions that you can't possibly support.


    Same as above.
    You assert this, but you have no way of supporting that claim at all.
    In fact, it might not even be a sensible claim, because you can't possibly know if "nothing" is what you are left with if you remove the universe from existance.
     
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  8. TagliatelliMonster

    TagliatelliMonster Active Member

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    Not knowing, means not knowing.
     
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  9. TagliatelliMonster

    TagliatelliMonster Active Member

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    It seems incredibly likely, considering the trackrecord of things that were once attributed by gods that were then explained through science. Not a single time did it turn out that the god-explanation, was correct.


    Not. A. Single. Time.

    And just about everything that requires 5 seconds of thought, was once attributed to a god or a collection of gods.
     
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  10. Bob the Unbeliever

    Bob the Unbeliever Well-Known Member

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    Some fair points. However, the entire premise presumes that there can be just the one (1) universe-- ours.

    That is a rather sizable assumption, don't you think?

    Moreover, let me lay some statistics on you:

    Given Infinite Time? What are the chances of a thing taking place during that time-frame?

    Easy! If the chance is zero? Then zero things take place.

    If the chances are non-zero-- no matter how tiny those odds are? The thing *will* happen, not once, not twice-- but an infinite number of times.

    Doesn't even matter if the odds are 22,079,460,347 to one against. :) With infinite time, you will get an infinite number of non-zero events.

    Wait, wait, wait, you say-- infinite time doesn't work for me.

    Okay. Finite time, but infinite number of universes. Same deal: All non-zero chance of just the right universes, will exist, an infinite number of times, too.

    The fact we live in this one? Is only ever proof that life evolved to live in this one.

    Changing any of the constants above? May or may not yield the overly-simplistic "results" that are assumed in the not-very-scientific meme, above. Until you can show your work? It's just an assumption, isn't it? So show me one of those other universes your meme describes, and maybe we can talk about them.

    ----

    Final note: The meme also assumes a couple of other things-- that it is actually possible to change the constants as described in the meme. What if it isn't possible to change them?

    What if the constants described are fixed, due to the fundamental structure of reality?

    Just as likely as any other guess.
     
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  11. Bob the Unbeliever

    Bob the Unbeliever Well-Known Member

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    Can you demonstrate these models are real, or exist? No? Then it's just a guess. I went into detail in my immediately previous post to this one.

    Could you have life in a molecule free universe? I don't know-- show me that such a universe is even possible, and we can talk. Moreover? What sort of life? Certainly not based on carbon molecules, sure. But what about a life form based on pure energy? Or quarks? Or some other phenomena we are as yet unfamiliar.

    If people can presume a Magical God? Why not magical, non-molecule life as well?

    But first, you have to demonstrate that such a universe is even possible, given what we know about Universes so far (which isn't that much, really... we only have the one (1) sample... )

    As for your last example? It's utter nonsense-- you wrote as if time was somehow external to the universe in question, when we now know that it isn't. So "lasts a second" has no referential meaning.

    Here, let me help: From the perspective of a photon? OUR UNIVERSE HAS NOT LASTED EVEN ONE SECOND. Because the photon travels at the speed of light, and it is "time stopped" (a silly phrase, but English isn't equipped for such concepts). By traveling that fast, time--from the perspective of the photon, does not move forward. So, our present universe is only going to last "a second".....

    Credit to Dr Tyson for explaining how a photon "perceives" time.
     
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  12. Bob the Unbeliever

    Bob the Unbeliever Well-Known Member

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    Several assumptions you make, on that statement alone.

    You assume a certain quality "life" is severely limited to what you assume is possible.

    You assume that these universes are even possible-- they may not be. Some of the most fascinating study of our present universe, is that the very "fabric" of the universe comes into existence only because matter (atoms, etc) exist. It's as if, the very distilling of energy down into matter, forces the universe itself to expand and exist.

    A therefore? Without matter, more or less as we know it? That universe won't expand, and therefore, won't exist in the first place.

    There are a couple more assumptions, but those are the most obvious.
     
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  13. Bob the Unbeliever

    Bob the Unbeliever Well-Known Member

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    Then? (the part I put in bold) It is 100% impossible for this god of yours, to have a single interaction with anything that is actually in the universe.

    The only way that this mythical "god" you posit, could interact, would be to be--at least in part-- within the scope of the universe. Once it's in the universe? Unless it's made of Magic, it has to pretty much obey the rules of said universe.

    So, really, it's silly to make such a claim, unless you wish to fall back on a purely Deistic God, the Clock-Maker god, who wound up the Universe, and now is sitting back watching it unwind. Never, ever interacting in any useful or detectable way.

    Such a god is certainly possible, given the 100% lack of god-interference we have observed so far...
     
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  14. Audie

    Audie Well-Known Member

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    I made reference not to Darwin, but to DarwinISM,
    a term used by creationists for reasons of their own.
    It was not addressed to you, but to Subzie, in connection
    with some of the silliness and confusion we see from
    creationists.

    As for evolution of the universe, that has about as much
    to do with the theory of evolution as the metro goldwin
    lion has to do with Barak Obama. Why that is a Hmmm
    to you may stand as one of the mysteries of the internet . :D

    Unless you can explain your equivocation.
     
    #334 Audie, Feb 18, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2019
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  15. Audie

    Audie Well-Known Member

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    Well, it does seem as if there must have been hundreds of thousands or years with no interference, or at least, no
    particular helping hand, as people struggled through
    the stone age.

    THEN, he got right in there, mixed it up with people
    left and right.

    Now, absentee landlord again.

    Weird guy.
     
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  16. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
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    So you keep saying, but you offer no rebuttal to my argument that faith, by which I mean unjustified belief, is a logical error as the term unjustified belief suggests. If you've forgotten it, here's the argument again. Faith based ideas don't derive from any evidence or properly reasoned argument. If they did, they would be evidence and reason based, not faith based

    Also, faith cannot be a path to truth as properly applied reason always is. If one starts with true premises and applies valid logic to them, his conclusions will be correct. That's the sine qua non of logic. It's as certain as starting with a column of numbers as givens and applying the laws of arithmetic to them without error. If you do that, you will get a correct sum every time without fail.

    Faith is more like this:
    • If somewhere in the Bible I were to find a passage that said 2 + 2 = 5, I wouldn't question what I am reading in the Bible. I would believe it, accept it as true, and do my best to work it out and understand it."- Pastor Peter laRuffa
    That's unjustified belief and a logical error.

    I've also offered the rebuttal to faith being logical by pointing out the following to you, which I hope you read and recall:
    • "How can faith possibly be a path to truth when any idea or its mutually exclusive polar opposite can be supported equally by faith even though we know that at least one of those must be incorrect? Faith was not my path to atheism, but if it were, my atheism would be equally well (or poorly) founded as any theist's belief. How would you answer somebody who told you that there is no god, and that he knows this by faith?"
    My answer hasn't changed since the last time I gave it to you, and as best I can tell, stands as the last well-formed and plausible comment on the topic.

    I also presented Pat Condell's take on the matter, which you also chose to disregard:
    • "The truth is that faith is nothing more than the deliberate suspension of disbelief. It's an act of will. It's not a state of grace. It's a state of choice, because without evidence, you've got no reason to believe, apart from your willingness to believe. So why is that worthy of respect, any more than your willingness to poke yourself in the eye with a pencil? And why is faith considered some kind of virtue? Is it because it implies a certain depth of contemplation and insight? I don't think so. Faith, by definition, is unexamined. So in that sense it has to be among the shallowest of experiences. Yet, if it could, it would regulate every action, word and thought of every single person on this planet."
    You know how a court of law works, correct? In court, the prosecution makes a case that seems to implicate the defendant, and might lead to a conviction if the defense weren't allowed to rebut.

    But since it is, the defense might make a counterargument addressing the points of the prosecution and casting reasonable doubt on what actually happened, how those events should be interpreted, and the innocence of the defendant.

    If the prosecution can't successfully dismantle this counterargument, the defendant will likely be found not guilty.

    However, if the prosecution can show the flaws in the defense's counterargument and in so doing, restore the jury's view of the defendant as guilty beyond reasonable doubt, and the defense can't successfully rebut that, the defendant will likely be convicted.

    Back and forth it goes until one side falters - one side has made a plausible argument that the other has failed to adequately rebut - after which a decision can be made. The last side to present a plausible case will generally prevail as is the intended purpose of the exercise.

    The same rules apply in formal and informal debate. If a couple friends are giving you conflicting opinions about a decision, the one who makes the last convincing argument not satisfactorily contradicted will probably be the one whose advice is taken.

    So, here we are with you having repeated several times that faith based thought isn't illogical and having been rebutted every time with no counterargument from you - just a repetition of your unsupported claim. If you choose to make that claim again without addressing my and Condell's rebuttals, I will simply link you to this answer again. It will not have changed if you haven't tried to identify flaws you think invalidate those responses.
     
  17. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
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    Not as most atheists define and use the terms. A person like me who does not believe in any god or gods but also doesn't claim that they don't exist is an agnostic atheist. There are older definitions of atheist that include that to be an atheist, one has to positively assert that gods cannot or do not exist, but most of us find that definition useless as it excludes people that are just like the rest of us in every way apart from that meaningless distinction. Such people are allies in the social and political aspects of religion. They tend to support secular government and church-state separation, for example. They don't bring specious argumentation about science to the Internet.

    That's one definition, but one falling into disuse in the atheist community, by which I mean all people with no god belief.

    That's a group of people I like to refer to. Do you have a word that describes all such people considered collectively? If not, feel free to use ours, atheist.

    Lexical prescritivists are the people who tell you what a word is permitted to mean and how one may or may not use it. They do so with no authority and no means of enforcing their demands. Please don't allow yourself to become one of those.

    Lexical descriptivists are those who simply note how words are actually being used by people, as I am doing here.

    Yes, I will tell you that, but I won't use the word faith, as I find it to be ambiguous in discussions in which it is used to mean both unjustified belief such as religious beliefs, and justified belief based on the evidence of experience and past performance. I have justified belief that the airplane is in good working order and that the people tending to it are qualified and have done their job because most airplanes that take off land safely. If the opposite were the case - that most airplanes crash - then believing that I would likely crash in such a craft would become the justified belief borne out by evidence and experience, and faith in being protected by angels or some other faith based belief would be the unjustified belief..

    If they believed that there was no chance of a fatal crash, then were suffering under the delusion of an unjustified belief - faith again. The proper position to take is the one supported by the evidence: Most but not all airplanes that take off land safely, and one should expect to arrive at his destination in tact, but that that is not guaranteed.

    This isn't tricky. It's self-evident. And no faith need be exercised (can I be excused from typing "by which I mean unjustified belief distinct from justified belief" after the word faith since I virtually never use the word faith to mean justified or evidenced belief?)

    It is easy to live without indulging in faith, but it takes a commitment and experience to do so reliably. One simply chooses to believe nothing without justification, and then only tentatively to the extent that the available quality and quantity of evidence support, always willing to revise one's estimate of the likelihood of a belief being correct up or down according to new evidence justifying that revision. It's not hard to learn to do, and the benefits of avoiding faith based thought are tangible.

    Being a Christian consumed a lot of my time, attention, and other resources for a decade with nothing in return that I couldn't find in my secular humanist life that came next. I stopped praying, reading the Bible, attending church, and tithing, and lost nothing of value in so doing while gaining much. I feel centered and am in harmony with my surroundings. There is nothing I want but what I already have. My life has meaning to me, and I am grateful to be living it.

    Grateful to whom, you might ask? Nobody in particular. One of the things I've learned in this faith-free existence is gratitude without an object. Just grateful.

    Here's your chance to make the counterargument to my position. I've argued that faith is illogical and can be costly. Why is that not true?
     
  18. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
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    software malfunction repeated the next post here.
     
  19. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
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    Your list isn't exhaustive. It doesn't include the eternal multiverse hypothesis, which posits neither that everything created itself nor that there is a god.

    There is nothing more unbelievable than that a god could exist undesigned and uncreated. Any logically possible alternative, such as the first cell population organizing itself from nonliving ingredients under the direction of blind physical forces is orders of magnitude more likely to be the case than the divine creation of life, which requires a sentient, potent, volitional agent of enormous power. If you disagree that this is the least likely thing to exist without its own intelligent designer, please suggest something that you consider less likely

    Why assume anything? It isn't required or justified.

    One can not justifiably go beyond listing all conceivable logical possibilities and recognizing that although we may be able to order their likelihood, none of them can be ruled in or out. Guessing while excluding the other possibilities leads to a non sequitur - a conclusion that doesn't follow from what preceded it. The optimal answer is that we don't know and need to reserve judgment to be logically correct.

    I believe that that is the case apart from the claim that my life will have had no meaning. My life will eventually and forever thereafter have no meaning, but it is meaningful to me and to many others now, and will continue to be for a time after I am gone.

    It's really not a difficult idea to assimilate, but I believe that one needs to start in the first half of life to have the best chance. Upending one's worldview and possibly alienating friends and family in the process is much harder at 70 than 20.

    As I said, it needn't be and shouldn't be. I don't think I'm guessing when I say that either there is something that always existed or else something came into being from nothing and uncaused. and that thing could be our universe, or something conscious or unconscious outside of it and preceding it to serve as its source. Let's call any unconscious source of our universe a multiverse, and any conscious cause a god. These can be enumerated thusly:

    [1] Our universe came into being uncaused.
    [2] Our universe has always existed and only appears to have had a first moment.

    [3] Our universe is the product of a multiverse (any unconscious source) that itself came into existence uncaused.
    [4] Our universe is the product of a multiverse that has always existed.

    [5] Our universe is the product of a god (any conscious source) that itself came into existence uncaused.
    [6] Our universe is the product of a god that has always existed.

    I believe that one of these must be the case, that none of us is qualified to say which, and guessing is just guessing.
     
  20. PruePhillip

    PruePhillip Well-Known Member

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    It's an interesting point. But clearly, this God does interact. Genesis says
    that God commanded the seas to bring forth life - it's stating that God
    himself didn't create life, he called up the creation to create.
    Similarly in the book of Daniel it speaks of God ending Israel and the
    temple. But it wasn't God who ended Israel, it was Rome (who, it was
    written, would "cut off" the Messiah himself)
    So did God do these things? Some say he didn't because of a natural
    agency, but the bible says this as well.
     
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