Just a Christian voice in a hostile country.

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David Killens's picture
The Large Hadron Collector is

The Large Hadron Collector is not exploring the origin of the "universe", it is exploring the first one second of the expansion. We are attempting to slowly peel back the layers to fully understand our beginnings. The more we can peel back and the closer in time we can come to the earliest, we can come to an understanding of the expansion, we may develop some method or tool to examine what happened before the expansion.

I stated, and many will agree, that "we do not know ... yet" is a valid statement.

Two thousand years ago almost everyone believed that lightning and thunder in the skies was the results of some God or Gods doing some shit in the sky. But with our present understanding we know that thunder is produced by lightning and lightning is produced by static in the air.

I do have a question. Do you believe thunder and lightning is the result of God doing something in the sky, or is it a consequence of static? Because by the trail of logic you laid out, you must believe God just bowled 300.

Mark's picture
As a side note, i refer to

As a side note, i refer to God as a male only through my understanding of Him beyond the scope of this conversation of origins. I am happy to use any pronoun you like, it is fine by me except that i think if God is the theory we are working with, personality or personhood is inferred by the very fact that God must have done the fine-tuning and thereby seems to have intention, not just power.
It will likely help to focus the conversation if we avoid leaping into what God is like until we have agreed upon the likelihood of God's existence. One step at a time?

MCD's picture
I don't hate you. I don't

I don't hate you. I don't care what belief system you have and what gods or god you worship. In response to your question, atheism is not a belief system. Atheists don't believe in god claims. That's it.

Mark's picture
MCD, thank you for commenting

MCD, thank you for commenting. My fingers are getting sore from all this typing. Just to confirm, i don't hate you either, thanks for not hating me. I think that i am confused by the comments i have received regarding atheism not being a belief, if Theism is the belief in God without empirical evidence, and is merely based on my best understanding of the available data (experiential and empirical). Then by the same standard is not Atheism just a belief in the impossibility of a God based on a different interpretation of both empirical and experiential data?
I hope that makes sense.

CyberLN's picture
Mark, you wrote, “Then by the

Mark, you wrote, “Then by the same standard is not Atheism just a belief in the impossibility of a God based on a different interpretation of both empirical and experiential data?”


That is not correct.

I reject your assertion that a god exists. You have not met your burden of proof. Therefore, I am labeled an atheist.

David Killens's picture


In some words, adding "a" at the beginning of the word indicates a lack of, not the opposite position. Amoral does not indicate a person is a mass murderer, just that they lack morals. Atheism is not opposition to religion, it is a lack of belief.

So pleased do not attempt word games, if you have any respect for this web site, you know that atheists claim lack of belief.

Big George's picture
You know what Mark? (quaint

You know what Mark? (quaint Biblical name you have there bro !)

You don't need to have all the answers. Sometimes it's OK just to say "I don't know"

You can't seem to get past the notion that the universe is sooooooo complex that you just can't imagine there isn't a 'mind' (ie: a creator) behind it all.

When Darwin revealed an alternative explanation, evolution by natural selection, it must have come as a heck of a shock to creationists the world over. Even now almost 160 years later people like you still can't accept that while evolution doesn't explain everything it is the best explanation we've got.

As science exposed, one by one, the 'facts' in the Bible (take the story of Noah's arc for one) to be nothing more than fantasy, slowly the 'given truths' of religion, believed by so many for so many centuries, crumbled.

OK, science may not have explained everything to your liking (yet) but you have to admit, its' record is pretty amazing.

For example, the average 9 year old today probably knows more about the solar system, biology, geology etc than the wisest man or woman on Earth 2000 years ago.

I am comfortable with not knowing everything right now, because in time, I am sure mankind will discover more through science and research, but meanwhile suspending all credibility and praying to a far fetched idea of a 'deity' sounds way too immature and foolish for me.

Mark's picture
Hi Big George, can I just say

Hi Big George, can I just say, if that is really a picture of you, then i really do beg that we keep this civil.
I was hoping to keep this conversation focussed on the origins of life and the origins of the universe. Not that i am afraid of discussing Genesis, it just gets complicated without first establishing that belief in God is a reasonable attitude.
To answer your accusation that a Deity is far-fetched, I would point out that to believe in the big-bang theory is far fetched without one. For the sake of tis point, i will not attach my own religion to this Deity, or being or mind or intelligence, whatever we want to call it.
Big bang cosmology and the math that it involves is far beyond me, but i understand this mush at least. The natural laws could not have been defined in their current form, or gravity would have kept the universe from banging at all. So in order to talk about the moment of the beginning at all, we need to suspend and allow for the absence of any know force or law. The biggest thing that i run into in my own intellect is that there was no time, nor space. in other words noting and no-when. Then something happened to make space/time and mass/energy begin. Call it what you like, but the universe popped into existence out of nothing, and in such a way that it was fine-tuned for the allowance of life. these are facts and are not disputed by any reputable scientist that i have ever heard.
Of course to me this demands the simple explanation that there is something that exists outside of space/time, and is beyond mass/energy (although the energy might be debatable).This something was clever enough to set the physical laws to a mind-bogglingly precise levels. I call this God.
Atheism has no answer for this moment of creation other than "trust us even though it looks supernatural, we know it can't be because we know that there is no such thing as supernatural."
I would just like to know if i am missing something? Is this not strongly (and i mean overwhelmingly) suggestive of the necessity of a mind that exists outside of space/time? What other explanation is there? I have yet to hear one.
There is similar evidence in the origin of the first life. Even Dawkins admits that there is the strong appearance of design.

Big George's picture
Hi Mark. Why do you think the

Hi Mark. Why do you think the default has to be 'something'? What if the default is 'nothing'?

Why does something have to exist outside space/time? What if there was a never ending cycle of a big bang, formation of a universe, expansion of the universe followed by a contraction back to a point followed by another big bang, ad infinitum. Maybe there are an infinite number of universes where this is happening repeatedly.

If only your Creator had included a chapter on this in the bible instead of all that stuff about primitive agriculture, donkeys and how to treat your slaves?

Mark's picture
Hi Big George, Your

Hi Big George, Your suggestion is that the universe is reincarnating, It was popular for a while, but the math (to my limited understanding) does not support that theory. For one thing the expansion rate of the universe is not slowing, it is in fact thought to be accelerating. Also, tee is a logical conundrum with the collapse. If gravity is so strong that it sucks everything (including space and time), then we are left with the same dilemma of causation being supernatural, just happening over and over again. And i agree with you about the Bible, it was certainly not an expose on the early universe. But it is interesting i think that it predicted the big bang theory long before man ever penned it. "In the beginning God created..." We could have saved a lot of time if we had just started looking for the proof of a finite universe.
It would appear the God was less interested in the stuff of the universe and more interested in human morality and our salvation.
But i digress, if we let this conversation go off the rails we will never answer the question of the reasonability of God's existence.

Big George's picture
@Mark: the expansion rate of

@Mark: the expansion rate of the universe is not slowing, it is in fact thought to be accelerating.

Give it time old boy !!! What's a billion years or so?

Mark's picture
Lol, i think you touched on

Lol, i think you touched on the heart of the issue here. We are in quite a hurry as we live on a timescale that is nearly non-existent compared to Cosmological time.
Of course i do believe in the eternal nature of the human mind, so i will let you know in a billion years, but to be honest i am not sure whether we live for an infinite number of years, or step outside of space/time. The last one seems more fun to me.
we are still stuck here with the task of making up our minds without all of the information. And FYI not making up your mind is still making up your mind I think.

chimp3's picture
Atheism is the lack of belief

Atheism is the lack of belief in gods. Period!

Atheism is not a method to explain origins ( or anything else ). It is not required of any atheist to be concerned at all about origins. Most atheists I know of rely on science and reason to explain reality.

Aposteriori Unum's picture
Atheism deals with one thing

Atheism deals with one thing only: that the atheist does not believe in any god. An atheist may have any number of beliefs about any number of different things. Whether or not the believe in philosophical naturalism or accept the findings of science is entirely up in the air. An atheist may believe in leprechauns or karma or some other type of woo just as easily as they can believe in anything else. It is a position taken on one solitary claim. An atheist does not believe that any gods exist. That's why it's not a belief system... Implying that there are certain universals or requirements for atheists.

I hope that lifts your confusion.

agnostic believer's picture
No it is a belief system like

No it is a belief system like anything else it has certain criteria that must meet its expectations for no god belief. Anybody that says otherwise is totally misleading people. I discuss in great length here for months on end this criteria like the bible are the books valid, also the resurrection and healings and exorcisms of Christ. The early church and so on the church fathers etc. So when you hear an confessing atheist say that he has no logical reasons just that he doesn`t believe in a God or Gods don`t buy into it. Because he sure does have reasons why the faith is not prevalent in his or her life Usually its a lack of morals that does it.

chimp3's picture
@AB: Or, they just don't

@AB: Or, they just don't believe you! Admit it , you are not a credible witness!

Old man shouts at clouds's picture

Dat ol' man Believer, he just keep trollin, just keep trollin' aloooong.

mykcob4's picture

Atheists are far more MORAL than YOU.
Christians are by far the most immoral people in America.
The number one demographic of people in the USA convicted of a crime is FUCKING CHRISTIAN.
John Wayne Gacy-CHRISTIAN
Adam Leroy Lane-christian
Aileen Wuornos-christian
Fucking christian commit more crimes than any other demographic and always have. They are #1 in every category:
Rape, child molesting, torture, kidnapping, theft, murder, extortion, fraud, prostitution, drug abuse, hate crimes, civil rights violations, arson, burglary, assault, animal cruelty, neglect, and indifference, spousal abuse, home invasion, etc!
So don't hand me this morality crap.

DarkkWolfe's picture
"Usually it's a lack of

@AB RE: "Usually it's a lack of morals that does it."

Just who the fuck do you think you are to make moral judgments about people whose posts you barely seem to be able to read? Your own thinking and writing are very nearly incoherent, not to mention wishy-washy and shallow. The very idea that you would make a moral judgment of human beings you don't know let's me know the exact and terrifying degree to which your own delusions of moral superiority infect your mind.

Sheldon's picture
"No it is a belief system

"No it is a belief system like anything else it has certain criteria that must meet its expectations for no god belief. Anybody that says otherwise is totally misleading people. "

No it isn't, you're confusing atheism with what an atheist may believe, the two are not the same. Are you a Mormon? Do you have to believe what they believe in order to be a Christian? Do they have to believe what you believe? Atheism is the lack of belief in a deity or deities, how a person gets there is not atheism. Personally I get there because there is no evidence for a deity or deities and all the explanations we have evidenced don't need a deity. It is also axiomatic that all humans throughout human history have a propensity for creating fictitious deities that reflect the beliefs, culture, prejudices, bigotries and ignorance of the epoch and culture that created them.

"the faith is not prevalent in his or her life Usually its a lack of morals that does it."
>>Could you offer any evidence to support this assertions please? Also can you explain why research shows that in the US a disproportionate amount theists are convicted of violent crimes like rape and murder? Also why secular democracies like Japan, Sweden, Norway etc have far lower rates of violent crimes like rape and murder than the most religious country in the post industrialised free west, the USA?

" I discuss in great length here for months on end this criteria like the bible are the books valid, also the resurrection and healings and exorcisms of Christ. "
>>Well if those discussions mirror this one then they're probably no more than bare assertions, like the ones you make here. However please offer some evidence other than biblical claims to support these things are true?

mykcob4's picture

1) You said "I hope to offend nobody," yet you also said "Dawkins is the leader of the pack that seems to have a powerful hate-on for all things religious," and you said, " I think that perhaps his bravado is inspired more toward book sales than any real conviction." So you FAILED in what you hoped not to do. Because if you think Dawkins is any way a leader of atheism, then you don't understand atheism at all and it is an insult to regard atheism as a cult or organization that ANYONE could actually lead. Also, because if you think Dawkins lack conviction, then you don't know what the term means. There are a plethora of religious leaders who sell book after book on religion. Would you say that they lack conviction?
2) now to address your questions. If you have been spying as you say, then you should know that atheism is not a belief system and the subject has been addressed too many times to count on this forum alone.
Your cavalier regard for science proves that you either lack education or just ignore it. Science doesn't set out to prove anything. Science is about discovery and understanding. The discovery is made by following the facts and the FACTS dictate what is discovered.
Religion has a predetermined outcome in mind and skews the facts to fit the narrative.
This statement that you made "Basically (and i am sure that this line of questioning is not a shock to any thinking person) i just cannot buy a statement of faith from a system of thought that claims to have done away with the need for a mind behind it all." is just arrogant and nonsensical. It implies that we atheists are not think people. Quite the opposite is true. As a matter of fact, to rely on "faith" is to forego thinking altogether."Faith" is an excuse for not having facts and accepting a conclusion that is not supported by facts. It's lazy and childish. I guess that is why the mythical god regards humans as "children."
Note: What you call "bravado" I call honesty! I think that is bravado to claim that there is a god, and not have any proof of said god, and to go further and demand obedience to this mythical unproven god!

Mark's picture
mycob4, thanks for responding

mycob4, thanks for responding, my fingers are getting tired form this one! First i would like to say that I in fact do respect your position and opinion. You seem to have assumed that i acknowledge God without any reason. Perhaps this is where I have fallen down in this conversation. I believe in God because of science, cosmology and biology in particular. the big bang theory is what drove me to accept the obvious implication that whatever caused the big bang, must be outside of space/time and mass/energy. i am not a physicist, nor a cosmologist, but I do understand the concepts that they are teaching around the singularity. There was nothing, when the universe began there was nothing, not even time nor empty space, then something. to suggest that there was a natural law that governed nowhere and nothing, causing it to become everything, is just a way to evoke magic without calling it magic.
The big bang theory is really the only thing out there, there is no opposing scientific theory. The big bang demands a big banger, I call Him God, and I have yet to hear an alternative explanation that does not invoke the use of "just trust science". Science is useless for the big bang, it is limited to understanding the universe as it is and is therefore incapable of showing us anything beyond the universe. Math and logic are both immaterial concepts and as such they are the only things that can transcend the physical. Logic dictates that the beginner had to be outside of that which He began, and therefore outside of time and space, and unbound by the rules He set in place for mass/energy to operate by.
I have searched and searched, but there is no other explanation besides "We know that God cannot be therefore there will one day be another explanation." this seems disingenuous.

mykcob4's picture
@ Mark

@ Mark
You said, "You seem to have assumed that i acknowledge God without any reason."
Nope, I know that you have faith for no reason, because there isn't a reason. No matter how far back you research it, at some point you can't connect a god to anything and you have to assume a god, a leap of faith.
Your problem is that you need a conclusion. You think that coming to a conclusion even without sufficient evidence is logical, but it isn't!
You don't believe in god because of science or cosmology because YOU extended the science and cosmology beyond where it is.
You make all sorts of assumptions that you cannot know to be true, like "Logic dictates that the beginner had to be outside of that which He began, and therefore outside of time and space, and unbound by the rules He set in place for mass/energy to operate by."
Do you know what existed or did not exist before the Big Bang? No one does!
Your whole premise is based on assumptions, not logic. Logic would dictate that we do not have all the answers, not that there is a god.

Mark's picture
Interesting points, but i am

Interesting points, but i am not sure that i follow the logic. You seem to assert that this is a multifaceted and impersonal issue. Either God exists or He does not. the implications either way are huge and to simply abstain from an educated opinion seems to be a bit indefensible. I believe in the God exists side of the debate because there is a lot of evidence (DNA, fine tuning of the natural laws, the big bang theory) which point to this being the true and reasonable viewpoint. Faith is not a blind phenomenon, it is merely the act of putting trust in what you reason to be true.
Can we at least agree that theists do support their views on their interpretation of the data? the atheist point of view seems to say that there needs to be more data (although i think that this is technically agnosticism). The only difference is that you seem to demand more data and I am satisfied that there is enough to at least acknowledge that theism is a reasonable possibility.
Most of the atheists on this forum seem to be saying that i lack proof, but i think that the atheistic side is actually lacking in reasonable proof.
this is a Yes/no question and the consequences are grave and affect all of humanity. Like a leader in a battle, we may have to operate without 100% certainty, not deciding is not a way out, we should at least be able to take a position and defend it.
As to you question of what existed before the big bang, I would say that there was either nothing or something, this something had to have been outside of the universe as it was not in existence yet.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
Mark, excess verbiage does

Mark, excess verbiage does not an argument make. However much you run around the maypole or send flags up or down you have only your own conviction about a god or gods. Everyone else here has made the point that there is entirely insufficient evidence for a god/creator/pink unicorn on a tricycle. The burden of proof is on those making a claim. That there is "enough evidence for you" does not make your wishful thinking a working theory. I tried to make that point about Zeus, plenty of "evidence" but on examination untenable. It is the same as your insistence on the pink unicorn, it's an unsustainable position to argue.
There is no shame in saying "I do not know" our only difference is I have a reasonable expectation that, in the future, based on scientific advances in the past we will have developed a workable theory.
This defines what you are doing; ( secondary definition) "strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof."
Your definition of faith is word soup. It certainly has no basis in any dictionary I can source.

Mark's picture
lol, my wife would certainly

lol, my wife would certainly agree with you that i have a propensity toward verbiage.
I can simplify it to this i think
1) The universe had a beginning.
2) the universe is eternal and never began.
the second has been discredited by the big bang theory, except for the true believes who purport multi-verse and the like which are unproven at best.
Can we at least agree on that? Once upon a time there was no such thing as time (or anything else).

Nyarlathotep's picture
Mark - [the universe is

Mark - [the universe is eternal] has been discredited by the big bang theory...

That is false. The big bang theory is a theory that describes the time evolution of a PRE-EXISTING expanding homogeneous isotropic plasma (hot gas).

Mark's picture
Actually, to my best

Actually, to my best understanding of the latest theories, there had to be no material of any sort, only pure energy (heat) at the very beginning.
This is the same argument as the quantum foam though. Are we then to assume that this hot plasma ball then created itself? Or do you propose that it existed in a stable state for an infinite past? If so then why did it change?
Another option is the reincarnating universe, but since we know that this reincarnation had a beginning, we are still faced with the same question of what made it change, was there an original cause?
You seem to be proposing that the universe never began, but was in steady state as a ball of hot plasma back into an infinite past.
That challenges my logic.
Also, would not gravity still have an effect on that plasma? or are you proposing a unified and unknown force that governed it?
brings up the same questions i think.

Nyarlathotep's picture

You are reading too much into it. Again: despite the (false) popular notion that you have picked up; the big bang theory is a theory that describes the evolution of a PRE-EXISTING hot gas. It says NOTHING about where that gas came from. I know this flies in the face of what you have heard, and you don't know me, so you might have a hard time swallowing that; but it is true. Citing the big bang theory to support the idea that the universe was created is a common mistake of theists and atheists alike.

Mark - Are we then to assume that this hot plasma ball then created itself?

The process you are hinting at is called (by the horrible name, imo): "reheating".

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
1) I don't know for sure

1) I don't know for sure
2) I don't know for sure

That is as far as it goes at present. I am open to evidence.

"Time" is man made construct to measure events.


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