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The Infidel Guy

Your reasons for being Religious/Atheist etc?

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Leonardo
As an atheist, you MUST explain how the universe could come about naturally, or at least admit that it defies the rules of logic.

As a theist, you are NOT required to explain how God came about. "God" plays by different rules than nature. Namely, we can't understand God. That is why He is God.

Further to others who have already answered this apparent dilemma you put forth, name me one person who actually understands the universe?

As a theist, you are required to define God. Something you readily admit we can't understand. Tell me how that works again?

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IamsSon
As an atheist, you MUST explain how the universe could come about naturally, or at least admit that it defies the rules of logic.

As a theist, you are NOT required to explain how God came about. "God" plays by different rules than nature. Namely, we can't understand God. That is why He is God.

Regardless of whether or not you think the above answer is a cop-out, it is true nonetheless.

And props to everyone who has said they don't care if God exists. You have truly escaped this dumbass matrix of paradoxical philosophy that I am stuck in :(

Unless as theists, we're willing to take on the task of explaining God, placing the expectation on an atheist that they must explain the completeness of the universe in order to justify their worldview is a bit ridiculous.

I think what both sides have to acknowledge is that whether theist or atheist we are each grappling with the fact that we have an absolute certainty about a reality which defies our ability to fully comprehend. Does the fact that I have zero chance of fully comprehending--much less defining or explaining--a being that has the capacity to bring a universe as complex and beautiful as ours into existence simply by willing it diminish my capacity to accept the reality of God? Not at all. Therefore, I do not expect that an atheist would be completely flummoxed by his inability to explain the origins of the universe.

Edited by IamsSon

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digitalartist
I believe this universe was created by and maintained through the will of a being so powerful and creative that whether he is or not in reality omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient he is as far as we're able to comprehend. I believe this being has a purpose for the universe(s) he created and that for his own reasons he has chosen to take an intimate interest in the lives of humanity. I do not consider myself religious, I consider myself to be spiritual.

However to come to this conclusion you had to rely on the religious teachings and books, especially the Bible. The Bible, though influential over many, does not in any way prove the existence of an all powerful being referred to as God.

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IamsSon
However to come to this conclusion you had to rely on the religious teachings and books, especially the Bible. The Bible, though influential over many, does not in any way prove the existence of an all powerful being referred to as God.

And your point is?

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Hugh

There have been a lot of interesting viewpoints in this thread, thanks everyone for sharing.

I like to think that I'm still searching for the answer as to how everything came about and why it all exists.

As I look around me, I see a purpose to everything.

The table was created to hold things at a comfortable level for us, the chair was made so that we can sit down etc...

Taking this line of reasoning much further then, the universe itself was created for a reason.

We can reason that the universe wasn't made by man, it came before man, but how?

Science can trace back the possible origin of the universe to a singularity, which through a Big Bang, expanded out into the universe we see today, but where did the singularity come from?

If God created the singularity, who created God?

There exists a "who created" line of reasoning that goes back to find some sort of beginning, some sort of first cause.

The way I see it, there can't be a "first cause" because it's illogical.

There has to have been something that has always existed though, that to me is a certainty.

There can't have ever been "absolute nothingness"... no universe in any form, or any God.

If that condition ever existed, then something could not have come from it.

You can't have something come from "absolute nothingness".

Even the scientists that believe that the universe popped into existence from quantum foam acknowledge that there had to be the quantum foam and the laws that govern it there to begin with.

The universe couldn't have created itself from "absolute nothingness" and the same goes for God.

In "absolute nothingness" there is no potential for anything to happen, and there is no time available for things to change state, and there are no laws existing to allow anything to occur.

So that's what I've been able to reason.. that either the universe and its laws have always existed in some form or another... whether that be energy, quatum foam, whatever... or that God has always existed.

If someone says that they don't believe in a creator god then that to me is a logical possibility... the universe itself could have always been around in some form... perhaps there is a never ending cycle of Big Bang/ Big Crunch, or quantum foam fluctuations etc... one doesn't need a creator if everything has always been around...

Some think that there is no way that the universe has always been around in some form - they think it's impossible, yet they so easily believe that a creator god has always been around.

To me, either is possible.

Now comes the question, 'which is more likely', or 'which is the possibility that you'd like to believe more?"

I come back to the original thoughts about why a table or chair exists, and the answer is that they are there for a reason.

For me, what is more comfortable logically, is that the universe exists for a reason, and that it is a creator god that has always existed.

As I've grown older I have seen a wisdom to things... a sense of growth and understanding...

I've experienced love, happiness, caring and kindness.

Do I think that all of that could have always existed in the universe and that there is no god?

Well, it's possible, but it seems more likely, and more comforting to me that there is an intelligence and love that is greater and above the universe itself. :)

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Aemeth
Hmmm, I dont know if your saying what i said sucks, or if your saying people who use the god/simulation argument sucks ??? Would you clarify exactly what sucks dude ? Cheers.

Sorry man, I didn't mean for this to come out as rude or arrogant or anything. This idea has just been popping up a lot lately. "Well where did Godddddd come from then?!" Lol. The only argument I was referring to was the "source of God" argument, because it traps God in nature's box...

Fair enough.

The big bang, initiated by Vacuum Energy.

In the big scale of things, this Universe is just a temporary blip in the vacuum.

First, do you believe in an eternal universe? If not, your argument, as I understand it, doesn't provide adequate explanation for a first cause. If so, we have other issues...

For example, The Abrahamic religions believe that man was created in God's image.

We know from various pieces of evidence that the current form of man has evolved over millions of years. We also know that the makeup of the Earth's environment, such as it's gravity, pressure and atmosphere have dictated the form that man has taken.

As an Abrahamic Theist, you are at the very least required to explain how God came into existance with a bodyshape that requires an environment similar to the Earth to fashion when he exists outside of both Time and Space. Not to mention how he popped into existance with a single set of sexual reproductive organs.

If you're unable to, that should tell you something.

Perhaps as an Abrahamic Theist you are required to explain this interesting enigma. Who knows what is actually meant by image of God? Could be a myth, could be metaphorical somehow. It's aside from the point though. Let me clear things up a bit. By using the term "theist" I was being crude for sake of making the Atheist/Theist analogy. All I mean by "theist" is somebody who recognizes that there is some uncertainty that exists which must possess properties outside of the "natural" realm, because an uncaused reaction violates nature beyond repair.

(I am writing under the assumption of a finite universe...)

I was settin him up for that very point LOL. GAH !

Why would you work so hard to set me up for such a weak point? B)

We don't currently know, but that doesn't mean we have to throw out all known science, shrug our shoulders and say "god did it." We may never know, but there are a lot of theoretical models bouncing around, none of which defy the rules of logic.

None defy the rules of logic because none have actually come close to ACTUALLY answering the problem. They just dance around it.

You can't have it both ways. You can't say "God is jealous, you must obey him or he gets angry", and then say "but he's outside nature and we can't understand him." Really? You make it sound like you understand his wishes pretty well.

I didn't say that, you are assuming that I am the theist I describe in my posts. But, you are right, please read my response to Tiggs' post; I am paying dearly for making that reference to "theist" :(

No, it is nonetheless called "making the rules up as you go along." It is only "true" in that it is written in a 4000 year old book of questionable authority. That is the only grounds you have on which to make that statement.

This has nothing to do with the Bible. I have never made reference to the Bible. I am going on logic and common sense. I love how the Bible and Mainstream Religion always seem to make it into discussions I have despite the fact that I never really bring them up :) (Besides one reference to theism, heaven forbid)

As a theist, you are required to define God. Something you readily admit we can't understand. Tell me how that works again?

I am not sure I would want to define God, even if I did agree with your proposition that defining him or it was necessary for belief. And I don't have any idea how it works. But I also don't know how love works. Paradox is king. :gun:

The way I see it, there can't be a "first cause" because it's illogical.

Great post, imo. For me it comes down to complete irrationality. I think it is more rational to believe in something outside the parameters of nature than to believe that somehow nature is going to eventually show me how 0+0=1.

Edited by Aemeth

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Tiggs
First, do you believe in an eternal universe? If not, your argument, as I understand it, doesn't provide adequate explanation for a first cause. If so, we have other issues...

No, but I do believe in an eternal void. As such, it provides a perfect explanation for first cause.

Perhaps as an Abrahamic Theist you are required to explain this interesting enigma. Who knows what is actually meant by image of God? Could be a myth, could be metaphorical somehow. It's aside from the point though. Let me clear things up a bit. By using the term "theist" I was being crude for sake of making the Atheist/Theist analogy. All I mean by "theist" is somebody who recognizes that there is some uncertainty that exists which must possess properties outside of the "natural" realm, because an uncaused reaction violates nature beyond repair.

(I am writing under the assumption of a finite universe...)

The Universe at a quantum level doesn't work like that. Particles and anti-particles pop in and out of existence within a vacuum all the time. Perhaps you'd like to read the link I provided in my last post?

Edited by Tiggs

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MARAB0D
No, but I do believe in an eternal void. As such, it provides a perfect explanation for first cause.

The Universe at a quantum level doesn't work like that. Particles and anti-particles pop in and out of existence within a vacuum all the time. Perhaps you'd like to read the link I provided in my last post?

So basically this eternal void is just Nothing, Zero. Vector Algebra insists that Zero can exist as a pair of opposite magnitudes, vectors or tensors. The nature of these magnitudes is irrelevant, as soon as they are equal and oppositely directed, so they compensate each other into Zero. This reminds those "virtual particles" the article mentions, as any of them "exists" when the other one is somehow removed, say with the help of a black hole. In this sense Zero or void or nothing can actually exist in a form ow two opposite "Everythings" of which one is hidden from the observer - which is possible if observer belongs to this one "unhidden" half. Means Universe can be counterbalanced with its antagonism, anti-Universe, which we cannot perceive because we do not belong to it. If this active Void is called God, then we have "Creation", which happens naturally because the Void can only exist in a form of opposites. Obviously such God cannot deliberately act, as any action suggest a form of consciousness. Here we are, whats the point in worshiping the Null?

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Spankster
The table was created to hold things at a comfortable level for us, the chair was made so that we can sit down etc...

Taking this line of reasoning much further then, the universe itself was created for a reason.

We can reason that the universe wasn't made by man, it came before man, but how

I'm sorry Hugh, but this is a severely illogical argument.

A bug was designed to eat leaves, a leave was designed to filter air and give us oxygen, oxygen was designed to allow us to breathe, breathing was designed to let us live, life was designed to create all the things that were designed to do other things....

You can apply your redicuklously vague interpritation of design to everything, yes. This doesnt mean everything was intelegently designed. This just means yoru sittign at a computer looking round the room and telling people what humanity uses stuff for.

So our species being rather resourceful means the entire universe and everything in it MUST have been designed by a conscious being ?

I cant believe you use that... to argue for creation. Anything, any "stuff" can be attributed a purpose, all you need is eyes, a brain and some form of communicative language. That is a very very weak argument, especially hinging on the fact that PEOPLE created the table. Your basically saying that:

"The existance of stuff means there must be an intelegent creator because all stuff has its uses"

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Aemeth
No, but I do believe in an eternal void. As such, it provides a perfect explanation for first cause.

The Universe at a quantum level doesn't work like that. Particles and anti-particles pop in and out of existence within a vacuum all the time. Perhaps you'd like to read the link I provided in my last post?

Please, educate me with how an eternal void provides a perfect explanation for a first cause. And on a side note, can any form of change exist in this eternal void you speak of?

Er, I read the link. It didn't change anything. Yes, particles pop in and out of existence, but any time they do, they always are operating off of borrow energy that must be paid back eventually by disappearing. Are you comfortable with saying that one day this universe could/will return to its form of an eternal void, and that we are operating purely off borrowed energy?

(I have a great link to support this in another thread, I can dig it up if need be...)

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Hugh
So our species being rather resourceful means the entire universe and everything in it MUST have been designed by a conscious being ?

I cant believe you use that... to argue for creation. Anything, any "stuff" can be attributed a purpose, all you need is eyes, a brain and some form of communicative language. That is a very very weak argument, especially hinging on the fact that PEOPLE created the table. Your basically saying that:

"The existance of stuff means there must be an intelegent creator because all stuff has its uses"

Hi Spankster,

I don't think you read my entire post... I didn't say "must" at all...

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Tiggs
Please, educate me with how an eternal void provides a perfect explanation for a first cause. And on a side note, can any form of change exist in this eternal void you speak of?

Er, I read the link. It didn't change anything. Yes, particles pop in and out of existence, but any time they do, they always are operating off of borrow energy that must be paid back eventually by disappearing. Are you comfortable with saying that one day this universe could/will return to its form of an eternal void, and that we are operating purely off borrowed energy?

(I have a great link to support this in another thread, I can dig it up if need be...)

I'm saying that particles and antiparticles pop in and out of existence all the time within a void.

Normally, they almost immediately anhiliate each other. Normally.

However, due to quantum probability, sometimes their location is such that they don't anhiliate each other.

In such cases the antiparticles are short-lived. The particles, however, continue to multiply.

The particles are attracted towards each other, due to gravity. As the particles collide and form clumps, they pull other particles towards them with greater and greater speed.

Eventually, all of the clumps become larger and larger, until all of the particles collide in one large explosion.

We call that large explosion the Big Bang.

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MARAB0D
I'm saying that particles and antiparticles pop in and out of existence all the time within a void.

Normally, they almost immediately anhiliate each other. Normally.

However, due to quantum probability, sometimes their location is such that they don't anhiliate each other.

In such cases the antiparticles are short-lived. The particles, however, continue to multiply.

The particles are attracted towards each other, due to gravity. As the particles collide and form clumps, they pull other particles towards them with greater and greater speed.

Eventually, all of the clumps become larger and larger, until all of the particles collide in one large explosion.

We call that large explosion the Big Bang.

Actually, Tiggs, Absolute vacuum or Void should not have any geometrical dimensions at all, as it is not just a low pressure area but Nothing. At best it can be seen as a Mathematical Point. What we know about deep vacuum may not be entirely relevant to the Void, as in vacuum, which is an area of space the particles can exist internally, while in Nothing, Point there is no space for them to exist - so maybe then their existence is external to this Point... Given the zero size of such Point, the Big Bang could be of the same size as the initial Universe, a size of one particle.

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Tiggs
Actually, Tiggs, Absolute vacuum or Void should not have any geometrical dimensions at all, as it is not just a low pressure area but Nothing. At best it can be seen as a Mathematical Point. What we know about deep vacuum may not be entirely relevant to the Void, as in vacuum, which is an area of space the particles can exist internally, while in Nothing, Point there is no space for them to exist - so maybe then their existence is external to this Point... Given the zero size of such Point, the Big Bang could be of the same size as the initial Universe, a size of one particle.

Then I'm using the words void and vacuum incorrectly. My concept involves an infinite vacuum.

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FurthurBB
I can't be an atheist until cosmological science gives me even the slightest reason to show how something can come from nothing.

Well, I cannot be a diest until someone gives me even the slightest reason to show how something can come from nothing.

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MARAB0D
Then I'm using the words void and vacuum incorrectly. My concept involves an infinite vacuum.

Of course I am not a Physicist, but the definition of Absolute Vacuum , given to me was that this is something, not containing any Matter at all, either in a form of Mass or in a form of Field (energy). Absolute Vacuum is unreachable, pretty much like Absolute Zero and due to the similar reasons - at Absolute Zero Matter ceases to exist, the primary oscillations become impossible and the electrons must fall onto the nuclei, neutralise and form free neutrons, which would be unable to move anyhow, while they have to move in order to exist. So they may be studying deep Vacuum, which one can reach, or Mathematically exprapolating these virtual particles onto the Absolute Vacuum, however the latter hardly can have any dimensions at all. Dimensions suggest Space, and Space is never free from the Matter. I mean most of these theories extrapolate to the area, which our Math is unfit to describe, because it is the area of something divided by Zero or Zero divided by Infinity, which by definition would be either Infinity or Uncertainty. Big bang would be just another such extrapolation, no wonder it needs the God particle to materialise. Now they need to justify Hawking's Nobel Prize, so they are spending eurobillions on Hadrone Collider which cannot work - but it does not matter and I bet my malehood in a couple of years they would announce God Particle as finally discovered, as for the politicians, who justified the expenditure, this would be end of the world, if it is not found.

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Spankster
Hi Spankster,

I don't think you read my entire post... I didn't say "must" at all...

I dont think you explain your replies very well.

Im sure you have a point there somewhere.

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Hugh
I dont think you explain your replies very well.

Im sure you have a point there somewhere.

You said originally that I said that God MUST exist.

So our species being rather resourceful means the entire universe and everything in it MUST have been designed by a conscious being ?

and

Your basically saying that:

"The existance of stuff means there must be an intelegent creator because all stuff has its uses"

My point is that I didn't say that a creator must exist.

I said that it is possible that a creator doesn't exist, and that it is possible that it is the universe that has always existed in some form.

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Spankster
You said originally that I said that God MUST exist.

and

My point is that I didn't say that a creator must exist.

I said that it is possible that a creator doesn't exist, and that it is possible that it is the universe that has always existed in some form.

LISTEN HERE HUGH, YOU TOTAL IDIOT !!!

BAH ! Just joking.

My sincerist appologies !!!

Im reading this on a small web-window cos im in work, and I thought one of the spaces between your paragraphs was the end of your post ! :o:blush: I hadnt read the larger part of your post !!!

Ahem, a tip of the cap to you sir.

See my whole big critical rant up there, read it again, but imagine in your mind what i actually said was;

Good post hugh.

Honestly, i retract my statement and offer my applogies. Im an idiot. I actually agree with a huge chunk of what you said. (Still dont think naturally occuring things can be attributed purpose).

Edited by Spankster

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Hugh
Honestly, i retract my statement and offer my applogies.

No problem Spankster, thanks. :)

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Spankster

:tsu:

Nice one, Good man.

I shal make it my mission to read TEH WHOLE GODDAMN POST before opening my rather large gob next time.

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Aemeth

I'm saying that particles and antiparticles pop in and out of existence all the time within a void.

Normally, they almost immediately anhiliate each other. Normally.

However, due to quantum probability, sometimes their location is such that they don't anhiliate each other.

In such cases the antiparticles are short-lived. The particles, however, continue to multiply.

The particles are attracted towards each other, due to gravity. As the particles collide and form clumps, they pull other particles towards them with greater and greater speed.

Eventually, all of the clumps become larger and larger, until all of the particles collide in one large explosion.

We call that large explosion the Big Bang.

...but we cannot have an infinite ANYTHING. I thought we were on the same page because we agreed on a finite universe, but claiming an infinite eternal void/vacuum/etc. just sweeps the problem under the rug.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalam_cosmological_argument <--Just replace the word universe with void here. The logic doesn't really change, because as long as CHANGE is occurring within the void, as you suggested, the problem of infinite regression is still alive and well.

Well, I cannot be a diest until someone gives me even the slightest reason to show how something can come from nothing.

Not quite. God and Nature are not interchangeable. "God" operates outside of our understood parameters. This is why the "Well where the hell did God come from?" argument is not applicable. It is sort of a cop-out, yes, but to me that is better than what I see as a logical impossibility...

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MARAB0D

...but we cannot have an infinite ANYTHING. I thought we were on the same page because we agreed on a finite universe, but claiming an infinite eternal void/vacuum/etc. just sweeps the problem under the rug.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalam_cosmological_argument <--Just replace the word universe with void here. The logic doesn't really change, because as long as CHANGE is occurring within the void, as you suggested, the problem of infinite regression is still alive and well.

Why cannot we have an infinitive Anything? Universe is actually Everything, not Anything. Mathematics easily allow Infinity being derived from the Void (Zero), it is enough to divide any number by zero. There is absolutely no sign that Universe is finite - it is as infinitely large as the Zero is infinitely small. All what we have around belongs to the Universe, including ourselves.

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ShaunZero

I'm an Atheist due to the simple fact that I don't see any reason to believe there is a god currently. I have no seen, heard or felt any such being and see nothing even slightly obvious to suggest there is one. I grew up as a Christian, but always had slight doubts in the back of my mind. Those doubts turned into curiousity which led me to research Christianity. I could not find a way to justify my own beliefs, and that slowly pushed me over the edge untill I had to admit that I really didn't have any true reason to believe in God other than being raised and conditioned to believe it.

Edited by ShaunZero

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MARAB0D

I'm an Atheist due to the simple fact that I don't see any reason to believe there is a god currently. I have no seen, heard or felt any such being and see nothing even slightly obvious to suggest there is one. I grew up as a Christian, but always had slight doubts in the back of my mind. Those doubts turned into curiousity which led me to research Christianity. I could not find a way to justify my own beliefs, and that slowly pushed me over the edge untill I had to admit that I really didn't have any true reason to believe in God other than being raised and conditioned to believe it.

So you turned into an Agnostic, rather than into a pure Atheist, as you are refusing to believe in something completely lacking any rational proof, not actually you believe that there is no God. I think this is a better option, as Atheists can be fanatics same as the believers.

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