In the beginning...

cdurbin23
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In the beginning...

I emailed this to Sapient, and he said I should post my questions, so here's the discussion I started, and his response:

First of all, my apologies for all of the so-called "Christians" that
contact you by by "hate mail." Anybody can simply believe in God but I
would very much question whether these people know Jesus Christ (God) and
have allowed Him to take over their lives through the power of the Holy
Spirit (also God). Anyone who truly knows and follows the God of the Bible
would act in a much more loving way. Here's my question:

If you truly believe that there is no "creator" of the universe, how do
you explain the existence of matter in the first place? And I'm not
talking about the process of natural selection and evolution...none of
that makes sense unless there was something that existed in the first
place. So where's the beginning...and how did it happen?

Sapient's Response:

Have you ever heard of the Law of Conservation of Matter and Energy? It's a scientific law that has been tested over and over, the amount of matter in the Universe continuously remains at a constant, never more, never less, it merely changes form. This law lends credence to the notion that there wasn't a beginning, matter has just always existed. I admit there is not a fully explainable understanding of everything about how we came to exist, however there is enough to see that the claims of religion are false, and that it's rational to abstain from belief in a god until good reason is given. You should join our message board and ask these questions. We like speaking with civil Christians. Should you be interested we'd be willing to have you on the show for a segment at some point.

- Sapient


cdurbin23
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Obviously some"thing" has

Obviously some"thing" has to have always existed.  I must say, though, that it seems to take more "faith" to believe that "stuff" always existed rather than a supreme being.  How could matter have just always been?  You guys are all about proof, but there is no more evidence to prove what your saying is true than there is to prove that an almighty deity created the universe.  Nobody was there.  At some point, one has to have faith in something.  Life is far too complex (look at the complexity of the human body, childbirth, etc.) to believe that it has all just happened by accident.  Look around...there's no way.  The heavens and the earth had a designer, and that designer had a purpose for you and for me.  I'm not an accident and I don't believe that just to make myself feel better.


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accident or purpose?

[MOD EDIT: Duplicate post]


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cdurbin23 wrote: Obviously

cdurbin23 wrote:

Obviously some"thing" has to have always existed. I must say, though, that it seems to take more "faith" to believe that "stuff" always existed rather than a supreme being.

Your argument contradicts itself in this regard, this supreme being has always existed correct? Why would it take more faith for me to believe that matter has always existed anymore then a trascendent being who exist outside of time and space always existing?

Quote:

How could matter have just always been?

You know I've always thought the same for God. I remember being in Catholic school at the young age of 6 getting caught in mental loops about this one. I would mutter to myself over and over, 'but he's just always been..'. Even know thinking about it puts me in that loop.

 

Quote:

You guys are all about proof, but there is no more evidence to prove what your saying is true than there is to prove that an almighty deity created the universe. Nobody was there.

Thats the big point right there, nobody was there and nobody knows. I see it as a mystery that more than likely will never be solved.

Quote:

At some point, one has to have faith in something. Life is far too complex (look at the complexity of the human body, childbirth, etc.) to believe that it has all just happened by accident. Look around...there's no way. The heavens and the earth had a designer, and that designer had a purpose for you and for me. I'm not an accident and I don't believe that just to make myself feel better.

The argument out of complexity never really caught on for me, due to its inherent contradiction. We are saying that complexity begs a designer, yet the designer, an arguably more complex being requires none. Its flawed. Did it happen out of accident? I don't know. Neither do I know if it happened out of purposeful design. But what I do know is that trying to attach myself to one of the various mythologies in existence, an attempt to explain this mystery, does nothing for me.


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Welcome,

Welcome, cdurbin23!

Quote:
If you truly believe that there is no "creator" of the universe, how do
you explain the existence of matter in the first place?

I am a layman with regard to physics, but I am under the impression that the question of how or why matter came about is far from solved. There may have been a first phenomenon, a primus motor of some kind, and it is up to science to find out what it was. In the meanwhile, I think we can safely discount the obviously false alternatives. Whatever the first phenomenon may have been, in all probability it was not flying pasta (like the Flying Spaghetti Monster) or the war god of some desert tribe (like Yahweh) - or indeed any intelligent being. Intelligence requires complexity (or 'design' if you will) and complexity cannot come about without natural selection.

Quote:
I must say, though, that it seems to take more "faith" to believe that "stuff" always existed rather than a supreme being.

How so? Surely the existence of mere stuff is less miraculous than the existence of ordered stuff, i.e. a being.

Quote:
Life is far too complex (look at the complexity of the human body, childbirth, etc.) to believe that it has all just happened by accident.

Congratulations; you have disproved god. Complexity (e.g. in the form of an intelligent god) cannot happen by accident. It requires natural selection.

 


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God or Dirt?

Sapient wrote: 

"Your argument contradicts itself in this regard, this supreme being has always existed correct? Why would it take more faith for me to believe that matter has always existed anymore then a trascendent being who exist outside of time and space always existing?"

-Because matter is just matter.  How could it have always existed?  To me, it makes much more sense that if something has always existed, it would have to be "a trascendent being who exists outside of time and space?"  Otherwise, how did it get here?

Sapient wrote:  

"You know I've always thought the same for God. I remember being in Catholic school at the young age of 6 getting caught in mental loops about this one. I would mutter to myself over and over, 'but he's just always been..'. Even know thinking about it puts me in that loop."

...and you don't have the same thought loop w/ matter?  (and trust me, you're not the only one.  i've given myself headaches thinking about eternity)

Sapient wrote:  

"Thats the big point right there, nobody was there and nobody knows. I see it as a mystery that more than likely will never be solved."

...but you're trying to explain it w/ science. 

Sapient wrote:  

"The argument out of complexity never really caught on for me, due to its inherent contradiction. We are saying that complexity begs a designer, yet the designer, an arguably more complex being requires none. Its flawed. Did it happen out of accident? I don't know. Neither do I know if it happened out of purposeful design. But what I do know is that trying to attach myself to one of the various mythologies in existence, an attempt to explain this mystery, does nothing for me."

-It's not that it does nothing for you...it's that you just don't want to go there.  Because if you started looking at how complex life is, you would come to the conclusion of "purposeful design."  And if you got there, that would mean a designer.  And that would mean a transcendant being.  And that would lead to Yahweh, the God of the Bible, which would call you to let Jesus take over your life, which you don't want to do.  You want to live your life the way you want to, having no consequences for your actions.  If there's no creator, there is no right or wrong, or absolute truth.  That'd be so convenient...but it doesn't work. 

How do you explain "conscience?"  How do you explain "miraculous healings," which I've witnessed after praying for them?  Atheists always search for proof, but the reality is that there are some things in this world and in our lives that can't be explained w/ our mortal minds, no matter how hard we try.  This leads me to the conclusion there must be a more complex being, a transcendant being.  Again, I have a much harder time believing that dirt always existed than an almighty creator.  THAT does nothing for ME.

(How do you do that quote box thing?)


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nice try, kemono...

Ok Kemono,

 Sapient's argument that matter has always existed is much better than your first phenomenon nonsense.  For there to be a first phenomenon, something has to have existed.  And how did that first "stuff" get there?  Either it's always been, or it was created.  And the eternal existence of "mere stuff" is not only less miraculous, but absurd. 

 And if I'm saying that I believe in an all-knowing and all-powerful God who can create complexity, than your theory makes no sense to me.  Complexity CAN happen outside of natural selection...it just can't be explained and proven inside your very UN-all-knowing mind.  God, who is infinitely more complex than you and I created complex life.  That's the "first phenomenon."


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cdurbin23 wrote: Complexity

cdurbin23 wrote:
Complexity CAN happen outside of natural selection...it just can't be explained and proven inside your very UN-all-knowing mind.

Please provide one verifiable example of complexity without natural selection.

cdurbin23 wrote:
God, who is infinitely more complex than you and I created complex life. That's the "first phenomenon."

Based on what evidence? Also, what do you mean by god creating life, given than all known life is the product of evolution by natural selection? Or are you denying evolution?


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Not again...

cdurbin23 wrote:

-It's not that it does nothing for you...it's that you just don't want to go there.  Because if you started looking at how complex life is, you would come to the conclusion of "purposeful design."  And if you got there, that would mean a designer.  And that would mean a transcendant being.  And that would lead to Yahweh, the God of the Bible, which would call you to let Jesus take over your life, which you don't want to do.  You want to live your life the way you want to, having no consequences for your actions.  If there's no creator, there is no right or wrong, or absolute truth.  That'd be so convenient...but it doesn't work. 

:sigh:

Perhaps you don't realize how offensive this statement is. Theists, and Christians in particular, are so fond of treating atheism as a morally motivated denial rather than a viewpoint arrived at through the exercise of reason.

There is no demonstrated correlation between atheism and immorality, our prisons are not overflowing with atheists. There is, however, a very clear inverse relationship between probability of religious belief and level of education, particularly science education.

The better a person understands the physical universe we live in, the less likely that person is to believe in gods or supernatural phenomena generally. 

Do you contend that immoral people are more likely to want to understand the universe, or perhaps that study and comprehension of the universe makes people more immoral?

 If indeed the world around us contains overwhelming (or abundant, or any) evidence of a biblical-style deity, shouldn't this trend be exactly opposite to what is observed?

 This notion that we should look at the world and say, "Obviously this was created by some sorta human-like supernatural entity," is often expressed in the little chestnut about the primitive native somewhere who's never seen a wristwatch before, or any product of industrial technology. He finds a wristwatch lying on the ground, and the story contends, would immediately recognize it as a product of (to use your phrase) "purposeful design." So far, I agree with the story, but then comes the allegation that we should all look at the universe and come to the same conclusion about the whole universe based upon its symmetry and beauty and complexity, etc.

The funny thing about this story is that it actually demonstrates the opposite; the reason that our primitive recognizes the wristwatch as a product of purposeful design is precisely its difference from the natural environment in which it is found.

 A wristwatch is indeed purposefully designed to serve a function - unlike all non-human-designed patterns we encounter in the world, which are designed only to support their own existence, even if other patterns find ways to use them. (We can make a clock out of flowers because certain flowers open at specific times of the day, but they do not do so because it allows us to use them for a clock.)

So - it is harder for you to swallow the flea of matter/energy existing eternally, or being created along with spacetime in a big bang quantum event (we know that matter pre-existed sentience, and even life, on this planet) than the camel of a sentient being - and one far more complex and amazing and powerful than any sentience ever actually observed by humans. As others here have pointed out, the sentience we know of arose from a process of biological evolution, in which context - and no other - it makes sense.

 This irrational inversion, I suggest, can only be due to social conditioning, which would have made you, in all likelihood, a devout and fervent muslim, had you been born in a muslim culture.

Some of us are less susceptible to this conditioning than others, and one result of this tendency is to be hated, vilified, persecuted asnd discriminated against by the supporters of every irrational philosophy everywhere.

Unfortunately, neither my arguments nor those of others here, no matter how well-stated and logically sound, will ever convince someone who chooses faith as a methodology for understanding the world.

 As Benjamin Franklin put it, so succinctly, "The way to see by faith is to close the eye of reason."

 

-Aaron

All of the faith and prayer in the world

All of your dumb show and circuses

You know it's a lie, it'll always be a lie

The invention of an animal who knows he's going to die

-Randy Newman


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cdurbin23 wrote: Obviously

cdurbin23 wrote:

Obviously some"thing" has to have always existed. I must say, though, that it seems to take more "faith" to believe that "stuff" always existed rather than a supreme being.

 

That's most likely because you don't know much of anything about cosmology. Stephen Hawking's 'Finite but Boundless' model for the universe is a model for an eternal universe based on sound reasoning. It does not require any that one take it on 'faith'. 

The idea that any scientific theory requires faith is ridiculous.  Some theories have more going for them than others, but as Hawkings himself says that  while some cosmological assumptions may have as much evidence going for them as astrology, scienticific assumptions do not violate what we already know about the universe.

So your claim that men like Hawkings, Linde, Alan Guth, etc., put forth irrational claims that must be taken on faith is simply an expression of your ignorance of what cosmology really says. 

******************************* 

At the same time, your true feelings about faith are coming, out arent' they? The very worse thing you can say for any idea is that it takes faith to hold to it.

You've just admitted more than you realize.

Think about it. I'd never criticize one of your views for being too 'rational'.

  It would be nice if everyone here who isn't a cosmologist would argue their cases with a bit more humility.  

 

 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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cdurbin23 wrote: Sapient

cdurbin23 wrote:

Sapient wrote:

"Your argument contradicts itself in this regard, this supreme being has always existed correct? Why would it take more faith for me to believe that matter has always existed anymore then a trascendent being who exist outside of time and space always existing?"

-Because matter is just matter. How could it have always existed? To me, it makes much more sense that if something has always existed, it would have to be "a trascendent being who exists outside of time and space?" Otherwise, how did it get here?

 

Actually, it makes no sense at all to say that there is a "transcendent being" who has always 'existed" because the idea of a 'being' that transcendes being is self contradictory. We can't refer to anything that 'transcends' the universe as an existent in the first place. Your term is oxymoronic, it violates basic ontology. It's literally incoherent.

"God' arguments are empty claims, because the term has no ontological import. It's not an answer to anything, and in fact, it multiplies complexity into infinity. In other words, it's not only a non solution, it makes matters infinitely worse.

If you actually take a critical look at the incoherent nonsense you're giving us, you'd see that solving the problem of existence by appealing to an existent is a complete NON answer. If your answer to 'where did existence come from?" is "something existed to make existence" then you're appealing to the very problem as your solution.

An actual solution would require

1) That you find an ex nihilo explanation

2) That you find a multiverse explanation (Brane theory)

3) That you decide that there is no problem in the first place.(I.e. Stephen Hawkings finite but boundless universe)

To say 'something existed outside of existence to create existence' is the sort of gibberish you'd slap a retard over. 

 **********************

If you take a look at your 'transcendent being", you'd realize that about all you really have there is a vague anthroporphic conceptualization of a man with a white beard conjuring up a universe through magic. I.e. something utterly mortal.... 

 

******************** 

If you don't know 'how matter got here' - if you don't even know for sure if it is an actual dilemma in the first place, then how does your ignorance allow you to say anything other than "I don't know?" How can you really call yourself rational when your thought process is "I know jackshit about cosmology, ergo god did it"?

 

******************************

 

The solution is to read up on what cosmology actually says, to work out the ontological bankruptcy of theistic claims, and to basically be prepared to accept that no one has a strong enough answer to setttle the question yet.

And yes, I could stand more than my share of humilty too.

 


 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


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cdurbin23 wrote: Obviously

cdurbin23 wrote:
Obviously some"thing" has to have always existed. I must say, though, that it seems to take more "faith" to believe that "stuff" always existed rather than a supreme being.

That makes no sense to me. We have evidence of matter existing, and no evidence of a supreme being existing. Why oh why would you think it takes more faith to believe in something we can detect vs. something we can't?

Quote:
Life is far too complex (look at the complexity of the human body, childbirth, etc.) to believe that it has all just happened by accident.

It didn't happen by accident, it happened by evolution. If you think evolution is the same as an accident, you need to learn about evolution.

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And quite frankly, the

And quite frankly, the complexity of the universe and life argues AGAINST god. If there were a god, then he wouldn't have bothered creating the whole universe. He was doing it all for us after all. A flat world with a few moving rocks, a ball of light, and a backdrop of pinprick lights is all he needed. And life itself is so complicated that it is routinely imperfect. No need to make things complicated and imperfect when you can make them simple perfect.

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no excuses

The more I read you guys' stuff, the more I just feel bad for you.  You're obviously very intelligent people who do your research thoroughly.  I commend you for that.  However, ultimately you're letting your own intelligence/curiousity/pride get in the in the way of the Truth.  You search for proof, and ultimately, as you've stated, you don't have it and you never will, at least not 100%, without-a-doubt proof of the the beginning and purpose of the universe.  But here's the thing.  I have 100%, without-a-doubt proof in my own soul.  I've seen evidence that you guys will never see unless you open your minds and hearts to God/Jesus Christ/the Holy Spirit.  I have complete assurance and peace in my soul that there is a God, that His son died for me, and that He gives me eternal life.  I could die right now and have a complete peace about where I will spend eternity - in heaven w/ the God that created you, and that you are rejecting b/c you can't see Him and your mortal and imperfect minds can't grasp.  And I'm not just saying that.  Could you have that peace?  You don't know if you will be in heaven, in hell, become another being (ridiculous), or just cease to exist.  Right now, I could tell you where you'll spend eternity, and you won't like it.  And that's not to be cruel, it's simply truth.  No matter how hard you search for proof, you'll never be able to explain the peace and joy that I have b/c Jesus is in my life.  Romans 1 says this: "For since the creation of the world His (God) invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they (all men) are without excuse.  For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  Professing to be wise, they became fools...for they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever..." 

You atheists say your open-minded and theists aren't.  That's the exact opposite of the truth.  Your closed-mindedness to anything bigger than yourselves and this universe is exactly what will keep you from an eternity in heaven.

 But here's the awesome thing:  Romans 10:9-10 say "that if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation."

Try studying the New Testament with an open mind and some humility, and see if God doesn't begin speaking to you through His Word.  Because He will, if you listen.  All your scientific knowledge won't bring you peace...Jesus will.  So stop w/ this "Blasphemy Challenge," testing a God that you don't even believe exists (which makes no sense by the way and is a complete lose-lose situation).  And try opening up your minds and hearts to the fact that there may just be something bigger to this life than just our mortal selves and this crummy life. 

The choice is simple, yet the most important choice you'll ever make:  Jesus and eternal life in heaven or anything but Jesus (science or another religion, or whatever else you choose) and eternal life in hell. 

I hope and pray that you will open your hearts to the loving and Good God who wants to have a relationship with you, who wants to give you a better life, peace, hope, and joy. 

You have no excuse.


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I bet you didn't read fully

I bet you didn't read fully the responses that people have taken time to prepare for you, since you haven't even attempted to address them. Moreover you give me no reason whatsoever to believe in the New Testament. All I get are bible verses and a presupposition. Someone referenced Benjamin Franklin, here is another quote from him which can sum up my view.

Quote:
"Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear."

If God gave me the intelligence to discern the truth then why would it be difficult for you to show me why I should put my faith in the bible? How should I know that this book that was written by over 40 authors is the inspired work of God? Please explain that to me. Try to put yourself in my shoes and think why I should believe at all that this book is the inerrant word of God?

I believe you have always believed in the bible and probably never once questioned it. Probably never objectively took a deep hard look at it. I assert that had you been born in the middle east you would probably be a Muslim, in Inida a Hindu, in Tibet a buddhist. You are more than likely a product of your environment and have inherited your beliefs like many millions around the world.

 


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todangst wrote: Stephen

todangst wrote:

Stephen Hawking's 'Finite but Boundless' model

I fully admit that I don’t think I understand this theory, can you help me out? I am very interested in the origins of "everything" I think I am just confused b/c I don’t see how being on a sphere solves the "where did matter com from"


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Stop projecting your own

Stop projecting your own flaws onto us, and get a clue. I have yet to meet a single atheist (online or IRL) that became or remained an atheist because they were afraid that "there may just be something bigger to this life". In fact, the theist is the one unable to deal with reality, who needs the pathetic mind crutch of religion.


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KSMB wrote: Stop

KSMB wrote:

Stop projecting your own flaws onto us, and get a clue. I have yet to meet a single atheist (online or IRL) that became or remained an atheist because they were afraid that "there may just be something bigger to this life". In fact, the theist is the one unable to deal with reality, who needs the pathetic mind crutch of religion.

 

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cdurbin23 wrote: The more

cdurbin23 wrote:

The more I read you guys' stuff, the more I just feel bad for you.  You're obviously very intelligent people who do your research thoroughly.  I commend you for that.  However, ultimately you're letting your own intelligence/curiousity/pride get in the in the way of the Truth.  You search for proof, and ultimately, as you've stated, you don't have it and you never will, at least not 100%, without-a-doubt proof of the the beginning and purpose of the universe.  But here's the thing.  I have 100%, without-a-doubt proof in my own soul.  I've seen evidence that you guys will never see unless you open your minds and hearts to God/Jesus Christ/the Holy Spirit.  I have complete assurance and peace in my soul that there is a God, that His son died for me, and that He gives me eternal life.  I could die right now and have a complete peace about where I will spend eternity - in heaven w/ the God that created you, and that you are rejecting b/c you can't see Him and your mortal and imperfect minds can't grasp.  And I'm not just saying that.  Could you have that peace?  You don't know if you will be in heaven, in hell, become another being (ridiculous), or just cease to exist.  Right now, I could tell you where you'll spend eternity, and you won't like it.  And that's not to be cruel, it's simply truth.  No matter how hard you search for proof, you'll never be able to explain the peace and joy that I have b/c Jesus is in my life.  Romans 1 says this: "For since the creation of the world His (God) invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they (all men) are without excuse.  For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  Professing to be wise, they became fools...for they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever..." 

You atheists say your open-minded and theists aren't.  That's the exact opposite of the truth.  Your closed-mindedness to anything bigger than yourselves and this universe is exactly what will keep you from an eternity in heaven.

 But here's the awesome thing:  Romans 10:9-10 say "that if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation."

Try studying the New Testament with an open mind and some humility, and see if God doesn't begin speaking to you through His Word.  Because He will, if you listen.  All your scientific knowledge won't bring you peace...Jesus will.  So stop w/ this "Blasphemy Challenge," testing a God that you don't even believe exists (which makes no sense by the way and is a complete lose-lose situation).  And try opening up your minds and hearts to the fact that there may just be something bigger to this life than just our mortal selves and this crummy life. 

The choice is simple, yet the most important choice you'll ever make:  Jesus and eternal life in heaven or anything but Jesus (science or another religion, or whatever else you choose) and eternal life in hell. 

I hope and pray that you will open your hearts to the loving and Good God who wants to have a relationship with you, who wants to give you a better life, peace, hope, and joy. 

You have no excuse.

 

QED.

All of the faith and prayer in the world

All of your dumb show and circuses

You know it's a lie, it'll always be a lie

The invention of an animal who knows he's going to die

-Randy Newman


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melchisedec wrote: I bet

melchisedec wrote:

I bet you didn't read fully the responses that people have taken time to prepare for you, since you haven't even attempted to address them. Moreover you give me no reason whatsoever to believe in the New Testament. All I get are bible verses and a presupposition. Someone referenced Benjamin Franklin, here is another quote from him which can sum up my view.

Quote:
"Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear."

If God gave me the intelligence to discern the truth then why would it be difficult for you to show me why I should put my faith in the bible? How should I know that this book that was written by over 40 authors is the inspired work of God? Please explain that to me. Try to put yourself in my shoes and think why I should believe at all that this book is the inerrant word of God?

I believe you have always believed in the bible and probably never once questioned it. Probably never objectively took a deep hard look at it. I assert that had you been born in the middle east you would probably be a Muslim, in Inida a Hindu, in Tibet a buddhist. You are more than likely a product of your environment and have inherited your beliefs like many millions around the world.

Hey Mel - I fully agree - one small correction - I think that's Thomas Jefferson, not Ben Franklin.

 He has a few great ones; here are a couple of my favorites:

"I have recently been examining all the known superstitions of the world, and do not find in our particular superstition (Christianity) one redeeming feature.  They are all alike founded on fables and mythology."

"On the dogmas of religion, as distinguished from moral principles, all mankind, from the beginning of the world to this day, have been quarreling, fighting, burning and torturing one another, for abstractions unintelligible to themselves and to all others, and absolutely beyond the comprehension of the human mind."

All of the faith and prayer in the world

All of your dumb show and circuses

You know it's a lie, it'll always be a lie

The invention of an animal who knows he's going to die

-Randy Newman


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So what happen to all of

So what happen to all of the people who never heard of the idea of Christianity? Did they go to hell because god never told them about the way to be saved?

What reason is there to follow the Christian faith rather than the Muslim faith or any other?

Do you realize that some (probaly many) were Christians before decoverting to atheism? Therefore we would know Christianity as much as the average believe (and more from additional studies after deconverting), so what is the special information that you have the the typical Christian doesn't?

"What right have you to condemn a murderer if you assume him necessary to "God's plan"? What logic can command the return of stolen property, or the branding of a thief, if the Almighty decreed it?"
-- The Economic Tendency of Freethought


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20vturbo wrote: todangst

20vturbo wrote:

todangst wrote:

Stephen Hawking's 'Finite but Boundless' model

I fully admit that I don’t think I understand this theory, can you help me out? I am very interested in the origins of "everything" I think I am just confused b/c I don’t see how being on a sphere solves the "where did matter com from"

 

The sphere reference is an analogy. If spacetime is curved back upon itself like the 4-dimensional analogue of a 3-dimensional sphere, then asking what was before this universe is rather like asking what is north of the north pole. No explanation is need for the transition from "nothing" to "something" because there is no "outside" of the universe in either space or time.

 I tend to lean toward more toward cosmological tehories that place our expanding bubble of spacetime within a multiverse, but Hawking's contention that the questions we ask about origins may well be artifacts of our own limited perception is an important one.

For example, it is our lack of experience and sensory interaction with the excessive gravities and velocities discussed in relativity that make it so counter-intuitive to us.

Just as the dualistic worldview of spirit and matter that pervades most people's thinking to this very day (despite having been intellectually bankrupt for centuries now) lead to people asking ridiculous questions like, "What happens to you after you die?" 

 

 

 

All of the faith and prayer in the world

All of your dumb show and circuses

You know it's a lie, it'll always be a lie

The invention of an animal who knows he's going to die

-Randy Newman


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chaospump wrote: The

chaospump wrote:

The sphere reference is an analogy. If spacetime is curved back upon itself like the 4-dimensional analogue of a 3-dimensional sphere, then asking what was before this universe is rather like asking what is north of the north pole.

 

I am not sure I am grasping it fully, do you have any links or anything that explain further? (or slower for those that aren't so brilliant)  


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20vturbo wrote: chaospump

20vturbo wrote:
chaospump wrote:

The sphere reference is an analogy. If spacetime is curved back upon itself like the 4-dimensional analogue of a 3-dimensional sphere, then asking what was before this universe is rather like asking what is north of the north pole.

I am not sure I am grasping it fully, do you have any links or anything that explain further? (or slower for those that aren't so brilliant)  

Here's a link to the PBS Hawking page, which you can dig around in.

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/hawking/html/home.html

 I don't believe that it's possible to have enough grounding to discuss cosmology intelligently without reading up first on general relativity; I recommend Einstein's own book; "Relativity, the Special and General Theories." he wrote it not for physicists or mathematicians, but for lay people with a decent understanding of science, as he says in the introduction.

All of the faith and prayer in the world

All of your dumb show and circuses

You know it's a lie, it'll always be a lie

The invention of an animal who knows he's going to die

-Randy Newman


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Ahh PBS!  I love NOVA! 

Ahh PBS!  I love NOVA!  thanks for the advice, I will be ordering a copy of the book!


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cdurbin23 wrote: The more

cdurbin23 wrote:

The more I read you guys' stuff, the more I just feel bad for you.  You're obviously very intelligent people who do your research thoroughly.  I commend you for that.  However, ultimately you're letting your own intelligence/curiousity/pride get in the in the way of the Truth.

And yet if we were to listen to you, god made us that way. Which means we're only doing what he wants anyway.

 

cdurbin23 wrote:

  You search for proof, and ultimately, as you've stated, you don't have it and you never will, at least not 100%, without-a-doubt proof of the the beginning and purpose of the universe.

But I don't need proof of the universe's beginning to know it exists. The same rule must apply to your god, yet there is no proof of it's existance. 

 

cdurbin23 wrote:

  But here's the thing.  I have 100%, without-a-doubt proof in my own soul.  I've seen evidence that you guys will never see unless you open your minds and hearts to God/Jesus Christ/the Holy Spirit.

Circular argument. The only way to have your proof is to believe, turning you irrational, and making you accept irrational evidence. Of course belief in the supernatural gives one proof to his or her own standards. You can shrug all of existance off on a god. You can look at a sandwich and see gods mom.

cdurbin23 wrote:
   I have complete assurance and peace in my soul that there is a God, that His son died for me, and that He gives me eternal life.

And I have complete knowledge that you are speaking of a delusion. 

cdurbin23 wrote:
   I could die right now and have a complete peace about where I will spend eternity - in heaven w/ the God that created you, and that you are rejecting b/c you can't see Him and your mortal and imperfect minds can't grasp.  And I'm not just saying that.  Could you have that peace?  You don't know if you will be in heaven, in hell, become another being (ridiculous), or just cease to exist.

Actually, I'm pretty sure you just rot in the ground. Turning your body into food for other life. Give it a few billion years and the atoms that made up your body will be all over the galaxy. Maybe even in multiple galaxies. I'm at least as sure of that as you are sure of some heaven. I made peace with that when I was still a kid. Death is as natural a process as life. But people like you try to turn it into something else, simply because you are unwilling to accept the fact that one day you will be no more.

cdurbin23 wrote:
   Right now, I could tell you where you'll spend eternity, and you won't like it.  And that's not to be cruel, it's simply truth.

You can suggest where I will spend eternity. But fortunately I won't exist for eternity, so there is nothing to worry about. Even if there was, if your god is as good a being as you claim than I'd end up in your heaven anyway. If your god exists and is as evil as I suspect than I'd be glad to spend eternity outside it's reach. So no matter what the future holds, I'm exactly where I'd want to be anyway.

cdurbin23 wrote:

  No matter how hard you search for proof, you'll never be able to explain the peace and joy that I have b/c Jesus is in my life.

Actually I can. Psychologically and historically. You however can't explain the peace and joy that I have in my life WITHOUT your god.

cdurbin23 wrote:
   Romans 1 says this: "For since the creation of the world His (God) invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they (all men) are without excuse.  For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  Professing to be wise, they became fools...for they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever..." 

You atheists say your open-minded and theists aren't.  That's the exact opposite of the truth.  Your closed-mindedness to anything bigger than yourselves and this universe is exactly what will keep you from an eternity in heaven.

You obviously don't know the definitions of open-minded and closed-minded. I suggest you look them up. Any time god wants to say hi I'll be here. Until then, you're the one who's trying to refute physical evidence with words.

cdurbin23 wrote:
  But here's the awesome thing:  Romans 10:9-10 say "that if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation."

Yeah, it's so easy to get out of anything you might do on earth. Makes you wonder just what sicko came up with this bullshit in the first place.

cdurbin23 wrote:
Try studying the New Testament with an open mind and some humility, and see if God doesn't begin speaking to you through His Word.  Because He will, if you listen.

I don't have to read fiction for your god to speak to me. I've read more than enough of the bible to know it's a dispicable display of cruelty and mindlessness.  

cdurbin23 wrote:
   All your scientific knowledge won't bring you peace...Jesus will.

I have peace. I don't need your god for it.

cdurbin23 wrote:
   So stop w/ this "Blasphemy Challenge," testing a God that you don't even believe exists (which makes no sense by the way and is a complete lose-lose situation).  And try opening up your minds and hearts to the fact that there may just be something bigger to this life than just our mortal selves and this crummy life.

The main point of it is advertising. Get over it.  

cdurbin23 wrote:
The choice is simple, yet the most important choice you'll ever make:  Jesus and eternal life in heaven or anything but Jesus (science or another religion, or whatever else you choose) and eternal life in hell.
 

Your whole statement here is a fallacy. Science isn't a religion, it's reality. And I will not be joining your fictional world anytime soon. Even should I choose to join one at some point, I'll be picking one far more interesting. Maybe I'll become a Jedi. Of course, I'll need to figure out how to make a lightsaber first....

cdurbin23 wrote:
I hope and pray that you will open your hearts to the loving and Good God who wants to have a relationship with you, who wants to give you a better life, peace, hope, and joy.

Again, I'm quite happy as it is. I don't need your god to experience emotion. I wonder why you do. And if your god really wants to have a relationship, then he should say hi. That's how most relationships start. By introducing yourselves. I'm still waiting. 

cdurbin23 wrote:
You have no excuse.

I don't need one. What's yours?

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.