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So you are proposing then that quantum foam is eternal into the past? If so, then what moved it from a stable state into a universe which is perfectly balanced to allow for things like matter, planets, stars, light elements etc.?
You seem to just be differing the question to a magic foam.
Dare i ask where this quantum foam originated.
If you are right, then you are in essence saying that the universe is eternal, but still had a beginning?
I am not sure i follow the logic.
@Diotrephes: "they should worship hydrogen. But not in the presence of oxygen, for oxygen is a jealous god.
Maybe they should put them both together and worship ....... errrrr.... water !
Lol, there you guys go again, worshiping your material gods (small g). Not to brag, but my God is bigger, He made the stuff you make your gods from.
Nope Mark, your god didn't make anything. Man made god.
If man made God, then who made Gods' maker? Dag-nab-it, we are right back to where we started...lol
You haven't solved the infinite regress, you only use a special pleading fallacy.
Infinite regress is really a non-argument as the God of creation is not material, not tied ot mass/energy nor space/time.
If He exists, He must be bigger than (out side of) what He made. He made time then, and is then outside of it.
I can only feebly understand this, but it seems that if time began an dGod exists outside of it then he has not existed for an infinite number of years, he could not have Begun or He would be inside of space/time.
I cannot fully wrap my head around this except in the realm of logic and philosophy.
God has never been found by science, because He is outside the confines and laws of the universe, including time.
Omnipresent in all of space and time, the uncaused cause of everything that is.
I would point out that this is the only possible way to define a being who created the universe, He would have to be all these things. Any god that is less is a material god and thereby subject to the laws of the universe, in other words just a really powerful and cool alien.
You just confirmed exactly what I said. You are avoiding an infinite regress by means of special pleading. Everything that has begun to exist has a cause. The universe began to exist. Therefore the universe has a cause. And of course you call it god. But you avoid the counter question of: "what caused god? " by claiming that he did not begin to exist but always was. To which you might point out that: " it's not the same as the universe because the universe had a beginning therefore god is not subject to the rule" to which I'll reply; "if you can attribute the quality of being eternal to god, why can't we do the same with the universe? " because , as you seem aware, we do not know what preceded the big bang. It could be eternal. (And if we eliminate the proposition with the most assumptions we end up with a world without a god. )
Hopefully that explains it well enough.
i get it, but my hang up is this...How can a being that exists outside of space and time be tied to concepts that only work in the context of time?
If God exists at all, He exists outside the universe. in a weird place where time is not and therefore there is no before or after, no time rolling along,
to allow for God is to allow for the Supernatural, i fully concede this. If we agree that time is in fact part of the natural and not super-natural itself, then my reasoning stands.
I think our disagreement comes from the fact that you reject anything that is super-natural, as there is no physical proof.
I say that we can never have physical proof of anything that is beyond the natural universe, so the lack of proof is not a big surprise.
There are (i think) many strong indications, Gods fingerprints if you will (fine tuning and DNA are the biggies).
If we are to allow non-empirical evidences into the debate, I think that the case for a Creator only gets stronger.
You probably think that i am being thick, but I just can`t see how a being who is necessarily outside of time could have any sort of beginning, at least in the manner we think of beginnings.
The reason we cannot apply this same logic (such as it is) to the universe is because the universe is the material, it includes time, and therefore cannot have existed before itself. It could be infinitely old, but not outside of itself, outside of space/time.
The big bang theory does indeed propose a beginning, and that is the best theory we have so far, so I am just trying to extend my logic past the point of the universes origin, nobody said it would be easy.
Lol, you realize that there is only opinions on both sides of this, right? If either side had some sort of empirical proof, then i would agree with your crackpot crack....
Informed opinions, but opinions nonetheless.
What is the point of having minds if we cannot exercise them now and again?
No Mark, what the big bang theory is, is not an opinion. Whether its true or not I suppose is an opinion. Whether or not it makes predictions that match observation is a empirical fact (that it does).
I have never questioned the big bang theory...this whole conversation has been about what is beyond it. That is where opinion comes in. the big bang just indicated a beginning to all of space, matter, time and energy. my question is what made it all come into existence?
It does no such thing.
You keep circling back to this. I thought it got past it...
Anyway, as Nyar said: it does no such thing.
And the answer to what caused it to happen is: we don't know... Not god did it. That is again an argument from ignorance. God of the gaps.
Excellent. Now that you understand that... What are your reasons for believing that the supernatural exists?
My reasons are that whatever made the big bang do its thing seems to demand an extra-natural existence, beyond the universe and time. Personhood has not yet been established for the sake of this conversation, but for simplicity i will call this something God.
You call it god, I call it bullshit, and though with disagree, the fact is that it is a total assumption on your part.
@Mark: "How can a being that exists outside of space and time be tied to concepts that only work in the context of time?"
Yes. It's confusing, isn't it. Theologians talk about god as something beyond time and space, and yet right from the very start of your holy book he's supposedly doing things on a specific time scale. Seven days to be exact. He's also in certain locations at certain times. He's in Eden with Adam and Eve, in Egypt with Moses. He leads his chosen people through the desert. He talks to Noah, Abraham, etc. He also changes and evolves. Something happened to god to make him want to create a universe and people. Just like us, he does something and then moves on and does something else.
We humans are creatures of time and space. We exist in three spatial dimensions along a time axis. Our minds can't encompass anything different. We can use mathematics to describe other dimensions, and physics to talk about relativity and quantum mechanics, but we can't really assimilate these concepts into our real-world experience.
I think your god is the product of human imagination rooted in real-world experiences. He emerged from tribal memories of great chieftains. The stories expanded as they were retold around campfires for generations. As tribes merged, their stories merged, until El, Baal, Asherah, etc., were combined to form Yahweh, and their stories turned into Genesis. All of the sophisticated theological ideas were grafted on much later. Theologians justified the seven-day creation myth by claiming that god's day was 1,000 or a million years.
You don't know, do you?
You say that science proves a god, or strongly indicates a god, but that isn't the case at all. You don't know what the beginning of...well of everything was like. You make huge assumptions that are not supported by anything. You are trying to fit a narrative. You have a predetermined conclusion and are trying to fit a story that agrees with that conclusion, AND YOU STILL CAN'T DO IT!
I can accurately state with confidence that there is no god. Now, why is that a correct statement you may ask? For the same reason that I know, there is no boogeyman waiting to get me.
You have to PROVE a god, not just merely make an unfactual scientific sounding statement. As a matter of fact, every scientific statement you have made has been utterly incorrect.
Then right on cue, you have done two things that lets me know that you are no concerned with the truth or facts.
1) You claimed that atheism is a belief and that it isn't based on science or fact. You are sadly mistaken.
2) You said, "my god is greater than your god". That is just a stupid statement and a cop out.
These two actions indicate to me that you have no real proof of your god. That you have tried what YOU think is a new way to prove your god. It wasn't and you didn't. That you are trying to fit a narrative to a predetermined conclusion. You can't even successfully do that. You think that you are being scientific, but you are not in the least. actually, you have taken a childish approach. Childish because you jump to a conclusion on an assumption that isn't supported by any facts, evidence or proof.
Half the atheists on this forum or more are REAL scientists. The other half are extremely interested in science and well practiced in science.
The last comment was for mark, not for you, Nyarlathotep. In case it looks weird in its placement.
@mark this is the point where demonstration plays a role to rationally justify belief. You said there was no evidence for it. So what else is there? A feeling? A feeling may be true only as far as an incorrigible proposition can be. Such as, I see blue or I feel warm. Once you add a statement about the external reality it becomes a synthetic proposition. And then it needs to have measurable, predictable results in reality. Such as I hear music because the neighbor is playing music... We can test that. Maybe they are, maybe it's from another source or maybe you are hallucinating, who knows?
So what have you to produce a predictable outcome?
All that we can do is look at the available data and see which side it lines up on and then make a choice with imperfect information.
the thing about God is that we are testing more than a natural law, He is a personal being, He created love so we can test His reality in many non-empirical ways. We do need to acknowledge at least that He is a reasonable possibility first. To find out what a person is like, we need to acknowledge their existence and then they must reveal themselves to us or we must spy on them until we know them enough to say hi.
I have said it before there are only two choices He is, or He isn't. This is a vote that will affect our every decision whichever side we choose.
Okay, my earlier question was: what reasons do you have to believe that the supernatural exists?
If you don't have evidence or any sensory experience that can be tested, what do you have?
If you have no reasons then why believe it? What difference will it make in your life?
To expand on the last question... If something is beyond the natural world, doesn't exist in time or within the universe, can't be observed in any way... How is it distinguishable from something that does not exist?
@Mark: "He is a personal being, He created love so we can test His reality in many non-empirical ways."
So why does the "personal being" only communicate with us through badly translated fragments of ancient books? Why is god "in light inaccessible all hid from our eyes", as the old hymn tells us? It reminds me of an alien in a Kurt Vonnegut book, who came to warn Earth about an impending disaster. He could only communicate by tap-dancing and farting, which ended when someone shot him in disgust. Why are gods and aliens so bad at communicating with us?
Which kind of love did your god create? The Greeks identified four: storge (empathy), philia (friendship), agape (charity), and eros (sexual love). As an aside, when the first Christians to reach Japan translated the bible, they translated "love" as "ai", which is really closer to eros. So when they say "God so loved the world," it sounds a bit off.
I would argue that all four types of love evolved naturally with homo sapiens, and perhaps even with Neanderthals. As long as people have been living in families and tribes, we've been bound together by love. I think that's also the source of our morality, too. Every human society has love and morality, including those that have never heard of Jesus.
On the question of where the universe came from, what is stopping you from saying "I don't know"? Attributing the beginning to god ends all inquiry really, doesn't it? We don't know doesn't mean we can't know.
@Mark: "We do need to acknowledge at least that He is a reasonable possibility first."
Well that's a bit of step down from absolute faith and certainty. It sounds to me like you're on the same path that most of us have walked.
You keep repeating that god loves us, god is a king who loves his citizens, god cares...
Where are you getting this information from?
I'm joining the party a bit late, because of the lengh of the thread, yet it's been a very pleasurable journey to read it (amazing posts, you guys), and @Mark, welcome to the forum. I apologize for the length of my own post.
ON TOPIC: @Algebe: I would argue that all four types of love evolved naturally with homo sapiens, and perhaps even with Neanderthals. You are probably not far away from the answer....
This would probably deserve its own OP in the future, but it's worth forementioning that famous anthropologist, Helen Fisher, who has been studying the nature of love from a scientific point of view for her entire career, argues that regarding romantic love "the human neurophysiology for these emotions evolved in our first hominid forebears some 4 million years ago". Here's her article about her research: http://helenfisher.com/downloads/articles/04natofrl.pdf.
OFF-TOPIC: I've been taking some notes on @Mark's assertions (most of them had been succesfully debunked by my fellow atheists), but I want to point some forgotten remarks out:
1. "I am a Christian, and as such, i believe in the most ridiculous story that has ever been concocted". "If God does not exist, then i am the chief of fools! ". "stupid Christians, always so emotional." There's no need to scourge yourself, please, you are just being indoctrinated in your particular faith to believe what you believe as serious stuff. If you were born in Morocco, Mohammed in his flying horse would be a pretty serious issue to you.
2. I apologize if i am being glib and offensive . No-one here is going to take offense on you disagreeing with what we stand for. My own experience says believers are usually the ones who find this statement offensive: "I don't believe in any magical being, either fairies, or ghosts, or universe creators, etc.". I'm just expressing my personal opinion based on the facts that I have knowledge of. I don't try to convince or attack anyone through my statement. I'm not even implying you shouldn't believe in any of those things. But people usually find it offensive anyways. Maybe, @Mark, you can tell me why.
3. there is no other explanation available that is not just a story made up by some human Judeo-Christian mythology is based, and in some parts copied-pasted from other ancient Mediterranean mythology, such as the Egyptian. I suggest you do just a little of research outside your usual apologetic sources.
4. Relative morality is just immorality. How sure you seem of the objectivity of your morality. Who would you say you share this objective morality with, your family? also your friends? your congregation? your city? your country? western societies? Where's the limit? Since you don't have relative morality, that's given by your god because of your faith, I bet then you have never engaged in a moral debate with anyone around you, or if you do, you have always agreed 100% on anything, right?
@Mark, you, I, Algebe, even Mykcob4 ;) get our morals from the same place: our socializing institutions (family, school, friends, books, your knowledge of laws, media...). You don't need an imaginary friend (again, no offense intended) to get morals.
5. There has been much talk in the media about militant Atheism Hahaha. Really? I wonder what being a militant means, apart from expressing our own opinions (and it was about freaking time) in countries where freedom of speech is more or less guaranteed. We are not an organized establishment. We are simply people who don't believe in magical stuff anymore.
(edited to fix)
I'm late to the thread, too. I did read it through and thoroughly enjoyed it, but it seemed kind of stuck on the cosmological argument.
Anyway, greetings Mark, it's a sincere pleasure to meet you. This is a long post, but a lot of it's a list.
“ You are right, we have not discussed my God...”
No, we haven’t, because you steer back to the cosmological argument each time someone tries. Why is that, I wonder? Nonetheless, you HAVE made claims for your god.
You said in #12 "God is a king who is so madly in love with his citizens that He gave everything He could to get us back. He offers adoption, not servitude.", so you’ve claimed omnibenevolence.
In #17 you said “ Life appears designed because it was designed” and
“All the evidence I have seen points to intentional design, I can’t see any decent evidence to point away.” Well, that’s Intelligent Design, an omniscience claim.
With respect, I disagree it would be pointless to discuss your god since you’ve already claimed all three of the Holy Trinity of O’s for his nature . The cosmological argument for omnipotence has already been covered thoroughly, so I’m going to address your other two claims.
Firstly, omniscience. All the evidence I have seen points to unintentional design. I’m looking at it in the mirror right now. What a dog’s breakfast! Nothing intelligent put this together, Mark. It looks like it was thrown together on the fly by a committee, all of them blind, deaf and dumb, five minutes before deadline. And they never, ever met, or even corresponded. Shall I list our flaws for you?
Physical Design FUBARs
1. An unsound spine
2. An inflexible knee
3. A too-narrow pelvis
4. Exposed testicles
5. Crowded teeth
6. One set of adult teeth to last us four score years and ten.
7. Meandering arteries
8. A backward retina
9. A misrouted recurrent laryngeal nerve
10. A misplaced voice box ( choking is the 5th most common cause of accidental death in the US)
11. A brain like a dysfunctional workplace
12. Our inability to biosynthesize vitamin C
13. The awkward wiring of the male urinary tract
14. The close proximity of our genitals to our rectum
15. Our multi-function genitals
16. The overly complicated human foot
17. Our inefficient sinuses
Behavioural Design FUBARs
18. Our love for sweet, salty and fatty foods
20. We have any number of cognitive biases- pareidolia and apophenia, just to name two.
So clearly, no intelligent design. No omniscience. And if there is no omniscience – no intelligence- why would there be omnibenevolence? Just doesn’t seem likely, does it? But let's imagine for a moment there is omnibenevolence, just for the sake of argument, and I’ll even throw in omnipotence. It (whatever it is) is the First Cause for life, the universe and everything. It planned it all and built the lot. But hang on, we’ve already established it’s stupid – mindless- so it can’t have, can it? Not considering all the complexity. You really need omniscience to hold up the omnipotence claim or all you’re left with is the omnibenevolence claim of a powerless, mindless, incompetent god. It just doesn’t hold together, does it? And I’m not sure you can be both all good and completely mindless. I think you need at least a little sapience . And it’s certainly not a god to pin your hopes on.
Don’t get me wrong. I wish god was real. I fancy reincarnation. I’d like to be a tree sloth, next, because I like the lifestyle. Or my mother’s cat: spoilt animal that it is. But god isn’t real. All the decent evidence points away from it.
I see where you are coming from, but what does Dawkins have to do with any of this? An atheist is an atheist because they are not convinced a creator actually exists. I myself am not an atheist, and I do not know how the universe began (if it did at all). Just because I don't know how it could have happened doesn't mean it has to be a supernatural creator. Saying that is just an argument from ignorance. Religion will always give answers, skeptical thinking will not. However, people on this forum do not need to have an answer right away. They would rather have no answer than the wrong answer. While I cannot be certain there is no creator, and no one can be for that matter, to just fill in the gaps with "God did it" or "a supernatural force is the cause" does not help us get to the answer at this stage. I feel that people who do not accept atheism are those who cannot live one minute without an answer, and the answer better make sense to them. People used to think that thunderstorms were caused by angry gods fighting, or Thor threw lightening bolts. No one at that point in time could explain what was going on. However, as you know, humans are very inquisitive, curious beings. The Thor answer made sense long ago, when we didn't have adequate scientific knowledge. Could this be the same thing? It is definitely something to think about.