Atheists Please Reply: Problem of Original Cause

someotherhuman
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Atheists Please Reply: Problem of Original Cause

Hello-

I am not a Christian, so please do not ask me questions about the Genesis account of creation, as I do not endorse any sort of literal interpretation of it, in fact, I would guess that both the earth and the universe are as old as the latest research suggests. I have questions about the origin of the universe:

1. I think science supports me in my belief in cause and effect- nothing exists anywhere that wasn't caused to be there somehow; each rock lies on the ground because gravity set it there; each blade of grass grows where it does because the conditions are right for it to manifest. There is a reason (or a force if you prefer) behind every thing being where it is and moving the way it moves. So what is the reason or force behind the universe? Since everything else has a cause, then why would the universe not also have a cause?

 

2. So my understanding of the Big Bang theory is that the universe emerged all at once from an infinitely small point, and then what ensued was an incredibly long episode of swirling superheated gases which eventually coalesced into the various bits of stuff that our universe today is made up of. I know this is a painfully simplistic description and if I am wrong about anything major, please correct me. The question: Can someone explain to me how this is different from creation? There was apparantly nothing, and then, BANG ALAKAZAM, there was something! This only differs from the idea of creation in that it does not suggest a creator, which, in a way, seems to me to be a bit more illogical than theists who claim the same kind of creation but at least admit that some force must have caused it, as opposed to atheists who seem to suppose that this simply happened. Some one enlighten me.


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well technically it wasn't

well technically it wasn't from nothing, it was a singularity (or it is believed from a singularity) as such, a quantum flux, or a quantum gravity loop could have caused the expansion of energy, again this is different than various deities which will the universe into being, but don't explain how they themselves (especially the monotheistic religions) came into being other than they always have been. As well the evidence for what science has found is there to be examined, unlike religion which begs us to believe without any evidence to back their claims.


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So where did the singularity

So where did the singularity come from?

Also, I am not suggesting that any of the "various deities" were the cause-- but only that there was a cause. Do you think that the universe was "caused?" (regardless of whether or not that cause was intelligent or not)


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yes it was caused, by the

yes it was caused, by the expansion of the singularity, where did the singularity come from, probably from the mass of energy that formed it, how that happened, or any other type of explanation.....I don't know, simple as that.


Atheistextremist
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Sadly

 

 

SomeOtherHuman, most of us have no idea what existed pre-bang. There are speculations, but no truths. Anyone claiming to be certain about causes and effects before matter and time commits a fallacy of belief as proof. 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


someotherhuman
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I definitely don't claim to

I definitely don't claim to know anything about what happened, if anything, pre-bang. It seems that people, both atheist and theist, think that the universe had a cause... Latincanuck, you believe that the universe was caused, probably by a mass of energy of such intensity that it created the universe--this differs from a belief in god only because the energy isn't intelligent?


Vastet
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The problem with your first

The problem with your first question is a fallacy. Just because everything in the universe has a cause doesn't mean the universe itself did. Everything in the universe is "governed" by the "laws" of physics. But those laws don't necessarily pertain to anything outside the universe, or the universe itself. All we know is what is in the universe, and not even all of that. There is no evidence to indicate the universe must have had a cause.

That said, even if the universe itself is restricted by the same laws that apply within, the only necessary cause is a quantum event which releases a net energy value of 0. Since the net energy of the universe appears to be 0, it's an entirely possible situation.

Quantum events do not appear to need a cause, they just happen. Maybe there's a god behind them, but that's a pretty boring answer. Everything else studied through history has revealed actual, measurable, forces at work. There's no reason this should be different.

That said, the universe may have always

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Vastet
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existed in some fashion. As

existed in some fashion. As long as it is a closed system, there's no way for energy to escape. Entropy ensures that energy will not be lost in a closed system. Which opens a window for an infinitely repeating universe.

In the end, however, noone can ever say what happened, because the big bang was a giant eraser that obliterated any evidence of anything before it. Trying to see before the big bang would be equivalent to attempting to see a candle behind a star.

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latincanuck
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someotherhuman wrote:I

someotherhuman wrote:

I definitely don't claim to know anything about what happened, if anything, pre-bang. It seems that people, both atheist and theist, think that the universe had a cause... Latincanuck, you believe that the universe was caused, probably by a mass of energy of such intensity that it created the universe--this differs from a belief in god only because the energy isn't intelligent?

nope it has nothing to do with intelligence behind the cause, it has all to do with where the evidence leads us, and it does not lead us to a god, it all points towards a singularity which around 14.5 billion years ago released all it's energy, the exact reason it the expansion occurred is not known as of yet, however none of the evidence points towards a god.

You seem to be hinting that science and religion are on par with their claims, they are not, science deals with facts and evidence, religion deals with faith and the lack of evidence. I simply go with the evidence, I see no reason to believe that god is behind the cause when there is no evidence that shows that at all.


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post...

 why are ppl so offended at the idea of modesty?


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Who's offended at modesty?

Who's offended at modesty? It's not the atheists that arrogantly claim that they know everything already. What's wrong with saying "I don't know"?

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someotherhuman wrote:So

someotherhuman wrote:

So where did the singularity come from?

Also, I am not suggesting that any of the "various deities" were the cause-- but only that there was a cause. Do you think that the universe was "caused?" (regardless of whether or not that cause was intelligent or not)

After your original post and your concessions that a deity does not need to be the cause, what is  your point?

Scientist at the highest levels of credibility ARE NOT arguing a cognition as a requirement EITHER WAY. Even Steven Hawkins says a god is not required.

It would not surprise me that this universe could be like the dead leaf rotting and becoming nutrients for the soil and plants(prior heat death of a prior universe) becoming the infinite microscopic quantum twitch that lead to this universe. Just like we observe the seasons change on this planet.

Just like there is not one single cloud, or one single molecule of atmosphere or one raindrop that trigger a hurricane. On the quantum level it is a multitude of conditions, not one single material thing. Hurricanes are not triggered by one event by one single atom or quark. They are triggered by the conditions.

The truth is we don't know if the universe is a product of something prior, or came out of "nothing". But "nothing" in science, at the quantum study level, is not the same "nothing" that laypersons use who default to magic. Science works on observation. So the "nothing" some think was before the big bang, still had a material affect, otherwise it would not have ever been measured. We don't know what "dark matter is" or what is at the center of a black hole either. But neither of those things are magic even though we are still trying to figure out what they are.

The stupid logic most theists use is "You cant see air, but you know it is there". But we do see the affects wind has on trees, and did even when we didn't know what an atom was, much less what an atmosphere was.

 

So if you are going to concede that a deity does not have to be the cause, then drop the word god and don't default to "magic" because you don't know. The best answer scientists have right now as to what was pre big bang is "we are working on it". But it does not require any human invented comic book super hero to explain.

 

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ThunderJones wrote:Who's

ThunderJones wrote:

Who's offended at modesty? It's not the atheists that arrogantly claim that they know everything already. What's wrong with saying "I don't know"?

I was talkin about theists lol(and deists for that matter). Asserting the indefensible is just intellectually lazy & dishonest.


ThunderJones
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Posts with specifics are

Posts with specifics are your friends.


Brian37
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ThunderJones wrote:Posts

ThunderJones wrote:

Posts with specifics are your friends.

What about Atlantics? Nothing to see here, keep moving.

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There is a very big

There is a very big difference between matter (by which I technically mean energy) coming into existence and matter that's already here reshaping into a new form. In your first point, you note many cases of the latter. So if by the uiverse having a 'cuase' you mean to speak of an event in which all the matter of the universe is already here and just changes its configuration, then yes, you are correct. But I doubt this is what you're trying to talk about, as that is not usually what is meant by people talking about the universe having or not having a cause. And if it is not, then you are committing an equivocation fallacy with the word 'cause' (using it to mean 're-arrange' in one case, 'pop into existence' in another case, but reasoning as if its use in the second case still carried the same meaning as its use in the first).

There is nothing 'illogical' about not having a creator. I think what you mean to say here is 'counterintuitive.' But as you have never experienced anything like the origin of the universe, you should not expect it to be intuitive. Intuition is something built from experience.

The problem in assuming a 'creator' is that the term tends to mean some sort of being. There is absolutely no evidence that whatever initiated the big bang (assuming something did in fact initiate it) was a being of any sort. However, there are observed phenomena which occur without cause. The most well-known is the quantum fluctuation. This is why it is not illogical to propose that the original matter which makes up our universe may have arisen uncaused. That said, plenty of atheists argue that there is some kind of cause to the big bang, and that the universe is just infinitely old (possibly going through multiple stages of bang -> expand -> collapse -> bang). But 'a cause' need not mean 'a creator.'

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http://silverskeptic.blogspot.com/2011/03/consistent-standards.html

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Semantics. Creator, cause,

Semantics. Creator, cause, origin, how does it matter what you call it? It does exist. What does 0 plus 0 equal? 0! Random chance can never make no ingredients add up to something. I know its easy to take the obvious cop-out and just call the opposition stupid, but could someone please explain to me the origin of the VERY FIRST piece of matter, or energy, or antimatter, or anything? No matter what it is or what you call it, WHERE DID IT COME FROM? Was it just a point of origin? Ok, where was that point located? There are no locations in absolute empty space. I would challenge anyone to explain to me even on single possibility on how the universe came into exist, but remember that you have to start with no ingredient of any kind. So fill in the blank, "There was absolutely nothing anywhere in any way, shape, or form. There was no resources, ingredients, or any existence of any kind._____________and then the universe existed!" Or you can prove me right by pretending its not worth your time, or by calling me stupid, or any other kind of cop-out. I am not calling anyone stupid by the way, I just don't think you are being honest with yourself by saying that complex systems come from nothing, especially since we observe the creator/created relationship everyday. Cars, clocks, television, toasters, hairdryers, picture frames, staplers, all created by another. Humans! Do you know any humans without parents? Or any animals? Not even one? And yet you are willing to believe that an entire universe can come into existence without cause? It is a childish point of view, like believing tiny people live inside a t.v. even though you have never met a human small enough to fit inside a t.v. Time to grow up and stop believing everything the science books tell you. I don't even need the bible to tell me that the world was created, I would assume it shares that trait with everything else in existence.


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Original Cause and/or the Prime Mover

latincanuck wrote:

yes it was caused, by the expansion of the singularity, where did the singularity come from, probably from the mass of energy that formed it, how that happened, or any other type of explanation.....I don't know, simple as that.

So where did the 'mass of energy' come from? Do you see the problem here?

Q. 1 Where did the universe come from?

A. 1 A singularity.

Q. 2 Where did this singularity come from?

A. 2 Mass/energy

Q. 3 Where did this 'mass/energy' come from?

...and so on, ad infinitum.

Infinite regress. The way to avoid this - in fact, the ONLY way to avoid this - is to acknowledge the reality that explanations for effects (in this case the entire universe) can only have causes that are above and beyond (i.e. independent from) them and that, at the same time, give an adequate explanation for whatever it is that you are trying to account for. The notion that everything 'just happened', with no cause and for no reason, is pushing credulity, the odds - not to mention blind faith - to ludicrous extremes.

 

How do I know that the universe itself isn't 'an effect without a cause' I hear you ask? It's simple really. One would reasonably expect that the universe we live in would reflect its origins, as so much else in nature actually does. It's an assumption, yes, but not an unreasonable one. The universe we live in contains no examples of effects without causes, and by that I don't just mean 'cause' in the classical Newtonian sense of one object influencing another, but in the sense of having an explanation that, as I pointed out above, accounts for the given phenomenon.

 

Some may argue that the existence of 'virtual particles' breaks the causality rule, but no, they actually don't. Why not? They don't because these particles don't actually violate any of the principles we understand to govern the universe (ex. the conservation law), nor do they seem as out of place in our universe as a cursory examination of this phenomenon may suggest; in other words, there is an explanation for them waiting to be found, even if we, at this point in time, cannot account for them.

 

I hope that this answers this issue adequately. If there are any mistakes, oversights, or factual errors I'm sure that someone here will (gleefully?) point them out. By the way, I did not mention 'God' anywhere here because I fully acknowledge the theological baggage attached to this concept, and I don't want anyone to think that I endorse the Christian (or Jewish or Islamic) deities. I don't.

 

 

 


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Ultimate Origin/First Cause

Vastet wrote:
Just because everything in the universe has a cause doesn't mean the universe itself did. Everything in the universe is "governed" by the "laws" of physics. But those laws don't necessarily pertain to anything outside the universe, or the universe itself.

 

That may, or may not, be the case, but don't you think that it is safe to assume that the universe as it is today would reflect its history and, by extension, its origin?

 

'...anything outside the universe'. What could possibly exist outside of all that there is? It's nonsensical to say this unless one happens to believe in either alternative realities or higher, spiritual realities. Do you believe in either of those?


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Quote:So where did the 'mass

Quote:
So where did the 'mass of energy' come from? Do you see the problem here?

Q. 1 Where did the universe come from?

A. 1 A singularity.

Q. 2 Where did this singularity come from?

A. 2 Mass/energy

Q. 3 Where did this 'mass/energy' come from?

...and so on, ad infinitum.

If you reread latincanuck's comment again, you'll see that he did not make any actual statements which would allow you to posit this rebuttal. He made a wishy washy suggestion that figuratively dripped with the acknowledgement that he doesn't know how the big bang started. Nobody does. So all you've actually done is knock down a strawman.

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Vastet
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Peter A. wrote:Vastet

Peter A. wrote:

Vastet wrote:
Just because everything in the universe has a cause doesn't mean the universe itself did. Everything in the universe is "governed" by the "laws" of physics. But those laws don't necessarily pertain to anything outside the universe, or the universe itself.

 

That may, or may not, be the case, but don't you think that it is safe to assume that the universe as it is today would reflect its history and, by extension, its origin?

Certainly not, I know better. The observable universe today is nothing like the observable universe of 13.5 billion years ago. Furthermore, thanks to accelerating expansion, I also know that in a few billion years the sky will be dark, because most of the stars will be too far and moving too fast (relatively) for their light to reach us. Everything outside our galaxy will be unobservable without faster than light types of travel. There will be no way to know that the galaxy we're in is

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just one of trillions of

just one of trillions of trillions of trillions of galaxies too far away to ever see. Even the Cosmic Microwave Background (after shock of the big bang) will have faded into invisibility. Who knows what the universe has had that we'll never know about?

And who are you to say that the universe as we describe it isn't false? How do you know there wasn't already a universe, and the big bang wasn't just something that happens all the time over an inconceiveably huge void?

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