Explain atheist in english please!

holley
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Explain atheist in english please!

Hi,

 I'm new here and so far everything I've read just confuses me.I was raised pretty much athesist but now I go to church,but I have lots of questions.When you guys talk about how the universe was formed (Big Bang theory or evolution,anything!) I just don't get it!! Please explain it to those of us who don't have a degree or understand all of those fancy words you guys use!! I would need a dictionary and science book to look all that stuff up!! I wish I could get some good answers that weren't biased on either side so I can make an informed decision for myself. Thanks and many blessings!!

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www.talkorigins.org  

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Atheist definitions: No god

Atheist definitions:

No god belief.

Lack of belief in a god. 


holley
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Thank you for this link!! I

Thank you for this link!! I can't devote a lot of time right now but I will go back to it soon!!

Do all atheist believe in the Big bang or evolution?

Thanks!

"History is written by the winners" - WTS


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 No not all atheist believe

 No not all atheist believe those thing.  The only requirement has already been stated.  Lack belief in god.

Sounds made up...
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Also, there are theist that

Also, there are theist that accept evolution.


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Quote: I wish I could get

Quote:
I wish I could get some good answers that weren't biased on either side so I can make an informed decision for myself.

Awesome! I'm going to do my best to give you unbiased answers, and here's the way you can verify that I'm telling the truth. Don't believe me. Do your own reading and discover for yourself that what I'm about to say is true.

We don't know how the universe formed.

That's it.

Disappointed? Well, there's a little more to it than that. We have some theories. It's kind of difficult to explain most of them, because they involve cosmology, quantum physics, and some intensely difficult math. Suffice it to say, some of the best minds in the world are working on it, but so far, we haven't been able to prove any theories correct.

So, where does that leave us? That's really what you're asking, isn't it? What do we believe if we don't know the answer to the question, "How did the universe get here?"

Well, holley, the logical answer is....

Nothing.

There's not enough compelling evidence for any of the theories to say that they're overwhelmingly likely.

Forgive me for a second, but I have to pull out some logic to make the important point. There's something in logic called "argument from ignorance." Basically, if someone says, "I don't know how such and such happened, so it must have happened this way," that's an argument from ignorance.

Imagine that you ask me how barbed wire is made. I don't actually know the answer, so I say, "holley, I don't know. So, it makes sense that fairies make it in workshops on top of my neighbor's house when everyone is asleep."

Would you believe me? Why not? Because that's a dumb reason to believe something... What kind of answer is, I don't know, therefore, fairies must have done it? It's illogical, and pretty crazy, actually.

But that's what theists do. They say, "You can't explain how the universe was formed. Therefore, god exists."

See? It's the same thing.

The sad reality is that the formation of the universe has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not god exists. If god exists, or if he doesn't exist, the universe still exists. The two aren't related.

Ask yourself this, holley. If you just said to yourself, "I don't know how the universe was formed," and went to bed, would you wake up tomorrow? Of course! You could go to work, come home, feed the dog, kiss your boyfriend, watch tv... in short, nothing in your life depends on whether or not you know the answer to that question. Theists make it out to be important, but they do it in reverse. They say, "First, you must believe that god exists. Then, you must realize that since he exists, he created everything. Since he created everything, we must worship his son Jesus so that we can go to heaven when we die...."

What????!

Do you see the disconnect here?

What does Jesus have to do with the creator of the universe, if there even is one? How in the world do you get from one place to another?

The answer is that you don't. In logic, it's called a non-sequitur. It's like me saying, "I'm going to the store, and therefore my cat has fleas." My going to the store doesn't have anything to do with my cat having fleas, so that statement is ridiculous.

So, "We don't know how the universe was created. Therefore, believe in Jesus or burn in hell for eternity"

You see? Non-sequitur. One has nothing to do with the other.

 

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Thank you!! Finally,you

Thank you!! Finally,you really understood what I was saying.I still am confused emotionally/spiritually,I guess I have some soul-searching to do.Thanks for your reply.....off to bed I go!

"History is written by the winners" - WTS


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We're all here to help. 

We're all here to help.  Almost all of us have been where you are.  Don't be afraid to ask more questions, ok?

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Great post Hamby!!

Great post Hamby!!


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holley wrote: Thank you!!

holley wrote:
Thank you!! Finally,you really understood what I was saying.I still am confused emotionally/spiritually,I guess I have some soul-searching to do.Thanks for your reply.....off to bed I go!

I've been there and done that.  It's hard work thinking for yourself.  People don't want to do the work. They want assurances about things they can't control. The answer of "goddidit" can even take away the fear of death.

Honestly seeking the truth is a lot harder, but it's better for you and better for society.  I wish you happy hunting. Smiling 

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Excellent post, Hamby. As

Excellent post, Hamby.

As usual, I'm impressed.

This will be a great post for newcomers that haven't waded into the evolution and atheist waters yet. 

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another question

 I have been reading as much as I can here,but since I'm new, I still have a few questions.First, I understand that atheist don't believe in any God,and they all don't believe in Big Bang or evolution and they don't believe in evil or possession.

 What does an atheist believes happens to people when they die?

Also,I've been researching evolution and trying to really understand it,but to me I still don't understand that in the begining what happened first......Is that the Big Bang therory?Thanks, I hope I don't sound too retarded!!

 I'm just trying to understand this from a normal human point of view,rather than a christian/atheist/(or even too scientific) point of view......is that even possible,or do we have to pick a side?

"History is written by the winners" - WTS


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Quote: What does an atheist

Quote:
What does an atheist believes happens to people when they die?

Again, holley, there's no universal "atheist creedo" about this.  Atheism is just the stance that there's no evidence for god whatsoever, and therefore, belief in a god is illogical.

But, I'd say most atheists believe that when you die, you're dead, and that's the end.

I know it's not the most comforting thing to believe, but maybe if you do some comparisons.  Have you ever had a pet fish?  Do you think it's in heaven now?  (I know it's dead, because every pet fish dies within approximately 2 days of getting it home from the pet store.  This is undeniable truth.)  Most people don't believe there is fish heaven.  What about dolphins?  They're pretty damn smart.  They appear to have a fairly complex language, they clearly care for their young, they mourn when their young die.  Is there dolphin heaven?  What about chimpanzees?  Apes?  Dogs?  (Ok, lots of people believe dogs go to heaven, but they also dress their dogs in tutus and give them gourmet dog bisquits that cost $9 a piece... how logical is that?)

I think you see my point.  We don't automatically assume that animals have an afterlife, so why would we assume humans do?  Again, there's a non-sequitur.

I gotta go now.  I'll write more on this tonight or tomorrow.

 

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holley wrote:

holley wrote:

What does an atheist believes happens to people when they die?

Once again, the only thing that all atheists share is a lack of belief in god. When it comes to other beliefs, all bets are off (although I would like to see all atheists really try to be truth-seekers).

Technically, Buddhists are atheists. They don't believe in an all-powerful superbeing, but many of them believe in reincarnation. My voice teacher happens to be a Zen Buddhist.  Sometimes I find myself internally rolling my eyes when she talks about magical energy fields and reincarnation. That said, she is a wonderful person and I'm very glad to know her.

On this site, most of us try to be rational atheists. Notice I said "try." Smiling We don't always succeed. When I say "rational," I mean that we don't believe in outrageous claims without proof. In other words, most rational atheists don't believe in gods, reincarnation, mystic energy fields, New Age woo-wooism, etc. We want to have good reasons for believing what we believe and we want to be able to change our minds if good reasons are given.

I do not believe in life after death because there is no good reason to. The number one tactic religions use to keep people believing ridiculous claims is the fear of death. Since I was born into a fundamentalist Christian family and was raised fundy, giving up the idea that I would live forever was really hard for me. Making peace with the idea that this life is all there is took a lot of time.

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holley wrote:

holley wrote:


I have been reading as much as I can here,but since I'm new, I still have a few questions.First, I understand that atheist don't believe in any God,and they all don't believe in Big Bang or evolution and they don't believe in evil or possession.
I'd guesstamate 90% of atheists believe what you have said.

Quote:
What does an atheist believes happens to people when they die?
I believe I will cease to exist.

Quote:
Also,I've been researching evolution and trying to really understand it,but to me I still don't understand that in the begining what happened first......Is that the Big Bang therory?Thanks, I hope I don't sound too retarded!!

I'm just trying to understand this from a normal human point of view,rather than a christian/atheist/(or even too scientific) point of view......is that even possible,or do we have to pick a side?
It sounds like you are conflating the theory of evolution with the origin of life. Evolution is not about how life started.

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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my thoughts

I just wanted to say thank you for all your thoughtful reponses.I've been researching and thinking,trying to process all of this information.

Since I've been trying to read all this stuff on this site,it makes me realize that I guess we are just all a human race and aren't for sure either way about anything.It does make me sad though because it seems that people on both sides of the fence seem to be angry and defensive.I've seen cussing/name calling and put downs;I know it a hot topic and can be emotional on both sides  because it's your belief and all,but it just makes it hard for someone like me who's caught in the middle.I wish people could have grown up debates/talks;so everyone can take something from this.

People who are radical in thier beliefs/religion,seem to come off cocky and smug(know- it- alls).I've seen it with so-called christians(who aren't suppossed to act that way) and with aethist and/or others as well.To someone like me it makes me not want to listen to either side.It's kinda like trying to shove it down your throat.Like when you were a teenager,and rebelling against your parents or something!

I do appreciate those who have responded to my statements/ques.,they are helping me.Thanks again and blessing anyways to everybody!

"History is written by the winners" - WTS


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holley wrote: Also,I've

holley wrote:

Also,I've been researching evolution and trying to really understand it,but to me I still don't understand that in the begining what happened first.

Don't feel badly.  No one really knows for sure what happened "first." Part of the maturing process is learning to say, "Gee, I really don't know and that's okay" followed by "wow, it would be neat to find out why, wouldn't it?"  Often I simply don't have the know-how to pursue every big question I don't have an answer for, so another part of maturing is to learn to live with some ambiguity in my life.

"If one of the requisites for emotional health is acceptance of ambiguity and uncertainty, then divinity-oriented religiosity is the unhealthiest state imaginable: since its prime reason for being is to enable the religionist to believe in god-commanded certainty."--Dr. Albert Ellis 

holley wrote:
I'm just trying to understand this from a normal human point of view,rather than a christian/atheist/(or even too scientific) point of view......is that even possible,or do we have to pick a side?

Being a truth-seeker means you don't pick a side and then just root for it. Smiling  The life of a truth-seeker consists of constant learning and re-evaluation of beliefs and values, which means you may start out on one "side" and migrate to another.  A life of learning, a life of being "open-minded, but not loose-minded" (mega shout-outs to darth_josh): these things often lead a person to change his or her mind on big issues. 

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Susan wrote: Excellent

Susan wrote:

Excellent post, Hamby.

As usual, I'm impressed.

This will be a great post for newcomers that haven't waded into the evolution and atheist waters yet.

Hambydammit for God, 2008!  

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humanism

Maybe I should start my own religion!! I think I would call it Humanism !! HA,HA! (or is that already taken?) HEE,HEE!!

"History is written by the winners" - WTS


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Thank you!! I feel a little

Thank you!! I feel a little better!! 

I'm quite surprised how many people are being nice about this!! I guess people see that I'm not trying to start a war,just trying to "find myself",and learn as much as I can!

"History is written by the winners" - WTS


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holley wrote: Maybe I

holley wrote:

Maybe I should start my own religion!! I think I would call it Humanism !! HA,HA! (or is that already taken?) HEE,HEE!!


Quoting wikipedia:
"Humanism[1] is a broad category of ethical philosophies that affirm the dignity and worth of all people, based on the ability to determine right and wrong by appeal to universal human qualities—particularly rationalism. Humanism is a component of a variety of more specific philosophical systems, and is incorporated into several religious schools of thought. Humanism entails a commitment to the search for truth and morality through human means in support of human interests. In focusing on the capacity for self-determination, humanism rejects the validity of transcendental justifications, such as a dependence on faith, the supernatural, or divinely revealed texts. Humanists endorse universal morality based on the commonality of the human condition, suggesting that solutions to human social and cultural problems cannot be parochial.[2]"

"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?"
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That is too funny!! I was

That is too funny!! I was just joking,I had no idea that actually exsisted!! WOW-learn something new everyday!!

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holley wrote: Thank you!!

holley wrote:

Thank you!! I feel a little better!!

I'm quite surprised how many people are being nice about this!! I guess people see that I'm not trying to start a war,just trying to "find myself",and learn as much as I can!

Holly, as long as you're asking sincerely and not making baseless assertions, you'll find that the posters here can be pretty darned nice.

It's obvious you've been reading different threads, too.  That's terrific!

Don't get discouraged by how technical some of them can get.  Some of the folks here have extremely advanced knowledge in areas they have studied.  Heck, I admit to shaking my head and wondering what the heck I'm reading from time to time.  Laughing

We're really glad you're here.  Keep an open mind and always keep learning!

 

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Big Bang? & After Death?

"What does an atheist believe . . . ?" is exactly the right question. I can only speak to what I believe and hope it is a good example of rational thinking. There is no church of Atheism where people congregate to learn their weekly dosages of dogma.

In fact I really like the name of this website because it is not a negative label. Who really wants to be defined as NOT this or NOT that? If we did not live in a society where the presumption is that we are theistic, we would not need to be identified as atheists

But getting back to the questions, I would like to offer my own answers to two of them--namely the question of the Big Bang and the question of what happens after death.

The Big Bang is an answer to a question with an un-established presumption. But why must we presume there was a beginning or a time when there was a nothing followed by a creation of something? I've never witnessed or experienced such a thing--every note has existed in perpetuity. Therefore, I find the more reasonable position to be the one referred to as the conservation of matter or the third law of thermodynamics or whatever way you choose to describe the fact that anything you've ever seen created was never created out of nothing. It is simply an invalid question to ask how everything was created from nothingness.

As for the basis of the Big Bang theory--the redshift observations of cosmologists--it does imply that the universe (at least the part we can observe) is expanding. But there is no reason to assume that what we see expanding now has always been expanding or that it includes the entire universe. We could be witnessing our part of the universe expanding while more distant and unseen parts are contracting. Or, just as the weather does not constantly go in only one direction (i.e. inexorable global warming, as opposed to cycles of warming and cooling), there is no reason to conclude that if we went back in time, we would find constant contraction of the entire universe to the point of a singularity which is the source of some Big Bang. I am not a professional scientist and I am definitely no great mathematician. But I still trust my own ability to reason these things out for myself and I see no reason to place Einstein or Hawking on any pedestal, simply because they love theoretical mathematics--I couldn't care less about it. So there's my two cents on the Big Bang.

To the question of what happens after death, I always like to respond with the question of what happened before birth? My empirical mind leads me to believe that the two must be pretty much the same, except that there will most likely be people left behind who will keep me in their memories after I die--at least for a brief period of time. But as I inferred in my previous arguments concerning the conservation of matter, I don't see death as anything more than a change of my existence--not an end to it, since there was no beginning either. I have always taught my children that after I die, the materials that make up my body may show up in the trees or the flowers or the stars, etc. Yes, we miss the departed, but they can be just as alive in our minds as if they were too far to go see in person and they were just never able to come to the phone or get online either. But from my point of view, I will have no more thoughts or feelings than I did before I was even conceived.


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things I've been pondering on

Hi,

It's me again,I'm still learning and researching and trying to soak everything I read in,but I still have a few questions ,if you please......

I feel sure atheists don't celebrate Christmas,Easter or maybe Thanksgiving.....but where do you stand an other things like:

marriage,

divorce,

other holidays(can't think of more at the moment),

what/or how to teach in public schools,

moral/values

I didn't know if it is each a personal thing or if most atheist feel different about different things.I was just curious!Thanks for your time!!

"History is written by the winners" - WTS


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I celebrate Winter Solstice

I celebrate Winter Solstice with my children, which is the real reason for the season in the first place. Similarly, Easter is a seasonal celebration--the rebirth aspect goes along with the springtime blossoms and babies, etc. And Thanksgiving is an American holiday that I take as a time to appreciate the lessons of human cooperation between peoples as imperative for our survival. No god(s) are required for any of these celebrations.

Marriage is nearly a cultural universal, although there are many forms throughout the history of civilization (polygyny, polyandry, serial monogamy, etc.). Personally, I only see marriage as a useful method of enforcing parental responsibilities until the children are raised. But I would not seek to impose my views on religious people any more than I think they should try to impose rules on those of us who do not seek the blessing of the church in the first place. Do Catholics deny the legitimacy of Mormon weddings or vice versa? I certainly hope not. But if they do, I think they are out of bounds.

I believe in free-market education as well. The public schools are a mess because they think one size should fit all. I will not adjust my arguments because of any fear that freeing up the public-education system might lead to strengthening parochial schools. But as with each of these questions, you will not find universal responses from some Atheist Doctrine Handbook.

I consider many Humanists to be Socialists. But it is not a packaged deal. Many of the first Communists were Christians. In fact the author of the Pledge of Allegiance was a Christian Socialist. So don't think that the debate between Capitalism and Communism is equivalent to the debate between Secularism and Theocracy. There are many combinations involved, and I am sure you will find a variety of answers to your questions demonstrating that one's belief system does not determine one's political system.

 


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holley wrote: Hi, It's me

holley wrote:

Hi,

It's me again,I'm still learning and researching and trying to soak everything I read in,but I still have a few questions ,if you please......

I feel sure atheists don't celebrate Christmas,Easter or maybe Thanksgiving.....but where do you stand an other things like:

marriage,

divorce,

other holidays(can't think of more at the moment),

what/or how to teach in public schools,

moral/values

I didn't know if it is each a personal thing or if most atheist feel different about different things.I was just curious!Thanks for your time!!

Hi Holley,

Look around the forums for awhile.  Most of that has been covered in depth.

For example: 

Morals

Holidays

same-sex marriage

religion in public schools

 Hope that helps!

 

 

 

 

 

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Holley wrote: I feel sure

Holley wrote:
I feel sure atheists don't celebrate Christmas,Easter or maybe Thanksgiving.....but where do you stand an other things like:

marriage,

divorce,

other holidays(can't think of more at the moment),

what/or how to teach in public schools,

moral/values

Hi Holley, as others before me pointed out you can't really generalize atheists other than that they don't believe in God. So I just answer for what is true in my case (I live in Germany, quite a lot of atheists here... I only have one theist in my class at school)

We do celebrate Christmas and we also celebrate Easter. Where I live xmas is more of a family get-together, with nice meals and present exchange, we don't really think of it as "oh this is such a holy-christ-related day" (given the pagan history of christmas, that belief is somewhat strange anyway). But we celebrate it and cherish it as a nice tradition (especially the present exchange).

As for the other questions you raised, for example, about morals and atheism. There are already some threads about this here in the forum, so if you look around carefully you should stumble across one sooner or later Smiling But what it boils down to, moral really is something independent from religion.

 

@Know1Self: I'm very nitpicky, so here go my 2 cents on the topic Sticking out tongue

Know1Self wrote:
As for the basis of the Big Bang theory--the redshift observations of cosmologists--it does imply that the universe (at least the part we can observe) is expanding. But there is no reason to assume that what we see expanding now has always been expanding or that it includes the entire universe.

Weeeell, there IS VERY good reason to assume this, because what we effectively see IS the PAST of the universe, given the limited speed of light. So what we actually see is the universe expanding over the past, well, 11 billion years! As that is as far as Hubble can see back (about 3 billion years after the big bang). Then again the redshift is not the only evidence for long-term expansion and the big bang theory. I'd say the cosmic background radiation is even more devastating evidence.

 

Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life. - Immanuel Kant


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Hi again, holley. I'm glad

Hi again, holley. I'm glad to see you're still thinking about things. One thing I hope you've begun to see is that atheists are not a cult, or a club, or anything like that. We're just people, and each of us has different ideas about a lot of topics. It might be good for you to think about the saying that history is written by the victors. It's also true that most definitions are written by the majority. If you've heard that atheists are confrontational, antagonistic, condescending, etc... I wonder if you've heard that from theists who had sour grapes? Most of the atheists I know are extremely nice people, and only get mean when someone attacks them first.

As far as all those questions you asked (marriage, divorce, holidays, etc...) here's a wild thought for you. There aren't any concrete answers for them. Cultures are different, circumstances are different.

I asked you earlier to think about how your life would change if you didn't know the origin of the universe. Now think about a world where there wasn't a universal set of ethics, or only one way to do mating, dating, holidays, or education. What would you have? You'd have some societies that were very good at education and others that weren't. Some that had very progressive views on marriage, and some that didn't, and some that didn't care much about marriage at all! Holidays would be different in different cultures.

Hmmm.... does that sound familiar? Think for a while about what makes you think there has to be only one answer to such complicated questions? Is there any reason to think there couldn't be many ways of doing things, each with its pros and cons?

What is so scary about doing the best you can with the society you live in?

Again, holley, atheists are overwhelmingly rationalists, which means that we look at the situation, try to understand it as well as we can, and then go with the answer that fits the facts the best, whether it's the answer we would like or not. Life is a pretty fun place to be most of the time, because we're always learning!

I hope this helps a bit.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Mattness

Mattness wrote:
  

@Know1Self: I'm very nitpicky, so here go my 2 cents on the topic Sticking out tongue

Know1Self wrote:
As for the basis of the Big Bang theory--the redshift observations of cosmologists--it does imply that the universe (at least the part we can observe) is expanding. But there is no reason to assume that what we see expanding now has always been expanding or that it includes the entire universe.

Weeeell, there IS VERY good reason to assume this, because what we effectively see IS the PAST of the universe, given the limited speed of light. So what we actually see is the universe expanding over the past, well, 11 billion years! As that is as far as Hubble can see back (about 3 billion years after the big bang). Then again the redshift is not the only evidence for long-term expansion and the big bang theory. I'd say the cosmic background radiation is even more devastating evidence.

I don't mind being nitpicked, Mattness.  But scientific knowledge is limited to closed systems.  Infinity (of both time and space) is not a closed system.  Neither redshift nor background radiation can give us knowledge of infinity--neither backward to an imagined beginning of time, nor outward beyond the limits of our ability to observe.  Even if there was a Big Bang ~15 billion years ago, we have no reason to believe it was the first and only one. 


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Hi holley, it's great to

Hi holley, it's great to have another open minded person join us here! I hope you find all the answers you're looking for Smiling

You asked a few questions and although a few people have confirmed that yes, opinions and customs differ from atheist to atheist, I thought I'd add my answers to them.

I was raised mostly in Australia where most people fall into the categories of atheist, non-religious theists (i.e. call themselves 'christian', believe in God, but never pray or go to church), or simply don't care enough about the subject to form an opinion. My parents aren't religious at all, nor any of my extended family (except for one Grandmother in the UK), so I never had much exposure to religious teaching at all. I never even thought to call myself an atheist, or assign myself any sort of label until I was about 16.

My family celebrates Christmas (and call it that) but for us it has nothing to do with religion - it's the one time of year when everyone in my family comes together (we're spread all over the world!), exchanges gifts and eats traditional meals. Easter is all about chocolate, and we don't have Thanksgiving here, obviously.

I don't have particularly strong opinions on marriage or divorce, other than they shouldn't be taken lightly. I'm not against gay marriage, or denying same-sex couples any of the same rights as regular couples, *except* for reservations about same sex couples adopting children, for the same reasons as a single man/woman adopting children.

I think religion has a place to be taught in public schools only in high school as an optional subject, and should be a critical and comparative analysis between all world religions approached in the same way one would study sociology and history. Science taught in school should be what is currently accepted by the majority of academics, and there is no room for the supernatural (like creationism) whatsoever. Fortunately I think most schools are like that in Australia anyway.

I believe morality is (mostly) subjective to the society you live in and the ability for deciding whether something is moral or not have evolved in us as survival mechanisms.

I would say most atheists share similar views on most subjects, but as already stated, there's no concensus.

Would you care to share your views on these subjects and tell us why/how you formed those views? 

"This is the real world, stupid." - Charlie Brooker

"It is necessary to be bold. Some people can be reasoned into sense, and others must be shocked into it. Say a bold thing that will stagger them, and they will begin to think." - Thomas Paine


holley
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my views

Hello and thanks,

Well, I'm pleasantly surprised that you're interested in my views.I will try and answer any questions you may have after I post all things I can think of first.....

I "say" I was raised an atheist,but now I see I should rephrase that statement.I guess the more apropriate way to describe my upbringing would be no religion,but then again when my mom wanted me to "behave"she suddenly would bring up God in a threating way.My dad was Methodist and went to church every single Sunday,but did not live a "Christian life".My parents divorced when I was young,so since I hardly saw my dad,I did not attend much church(and when I did as a young girl,I would fall asleep in the pews!).Anyway,we never went to Sunday school(that's where children are exposed to bible stories and such).So,I never knew much of the bible growing up and never understood what I did know.

 When I was a teenager,I was really bad! I look back on my life and I'm full of regrets.My mom was never there for me and my dad I hardly saw,so I pretty much did as I pleased with little parental guidance.

 I got married when I was 19,had my first child when I was 20.Divorced when I was 28;by then I had a total of 3 kids.I re-married when I was 30,and me and my husband have twins together,he also has a child from his first marriage;that's a total of 6 kids!

 Well, somewhere along those lines I got saved,baptized and "born again".Also,I've back-slidden more than once.

I've tried to be a better parent than what I was exposed to.I love my kids,but they drive me crazy too,but;they've each taught me something and I've grown up myself while raising them.I wouldn't trade anyone of them even though life is somewhat hard and  full of chaos!

 Now, taken my life history(believe me that's very condensed!) as you can see,I've had to make up my own rules along the way.I've developed my own moral/values as well.

 Since I've found this site,I've been researching/reading,and trying to soak it all up.Some of this stuff is beyond me,so if I get things totally wrong,please correct me!

Okay, so here's a few things that I  can think of and if you need more info. just let me know.....

 I do believe in evil(personal experience),but not possession(althought I do think the enemy can tempt/frighten and lie to humans ).

 I believe that when we die,we either go to heaven or hell.

I do celebrate all the major holidays,even though some originated from Pagan,I'm christian.I guess they're all "made up"holidays anyways.

 As far as school is concerned,I am currently homeschooling all 5 of my kids,because of what is going on in Americas schools.Gangs,bullying and the teaching of evolution/big bang therories.I think science is one-way here,it does not allow children to think any different other than "secularism".*I remember that when I went to school!

 I also agree,all religions should be taught in school,so kids can be exposed to more than one belief and make up thier own minds.They will eventually!

 

 Which brings me to evolution,I just can't believe in it (no offense),to me,it doesn't sound logical.As far as the Big Bang theory:same thing,to me- I can't accept it.Now,I must admit ,even though I 've been reading up on thermodynamics,I can't for sure say how I view this,I can't understand it enough-please feel free to explain this to me in a way that is easier to understand.

 Now,I have a slight problem with gays(although I don't think automatically is a reason to burn in hell-).The reason is,they aren't respectful to the rest of us.The way they act and their attitude towards others is offensive to me.It's almost like "look at me I'm gay".I have children to consider,and with the world like it currently is -everyone's sexuallity is in your face.Well,that goes for straight sex too(t.v./radio/media/magazines/commericals).You can't escape it-no wonder teens are so sexually active/pregnant,etc. It's almost a trend to be gay!

I'm sorry if that is offenisve to anyone,I just feel that if you want to be gay or transgender or whatever-that's private;I shouldn't have to explain that behavior to young children.

 Something should be done about child porn and child rape/abuse,in my opinion the laws are too weak in these areas.Actually,most laws in Americs are off!

Well,I hope I didn't bore you too much!Thanks for looking and I hope no one is offended,as that was not my intention!!Blessings,

  Holley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"History is written by the winners" - WTS


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Hi Holly,  It does seem as

Hi Holly,  It does seem as if you are asking here for someone to convince you of something you are unwilling to accept. You have every right to believe precisely what you will. No atheistic zealot is going to try to indoctrinate you in any pseudo-evangelizing way. What you believe is your business.  If you are truly trying to understand, I think thermodynamics is an odd place to start thinking about big bang theory. Any web search should generate enough information for you to go on. If fact I think it would be better to seek out these answers outside the context of this forum because that way you can be sure that no-one here is bringing an atheistic bias to an explanation. That’s how freethinkers go about things.  Big Bang theory. This theory serves to fit observable & demonstrable facts based on the way the universe behaves both now and in the past. It is not an answer to the origin of everything. No one can explain how or why big bang occurred. Because time (as we understand it) began at big bang, no event could precede it. So how did it come to be? Answer unknown.  Mass, space and time are related. Time cannot exist without mass, mass cannot exist without space, and space cannot exist without time. Mass, space & time come as a package.  Even if you believe god created the universe (perhaps by causing big bang), it still doesn’t advance you any further, because then you have to ask where the creator came from. To say that he was always there presupposes an awful lot. As logical thinking people, we cannot in good conscience base our understanding upon presuppositions of any kind. If god caused big bang, god could have no size, or weight, nor any time in which to exist.  If big bang is wrong, then we have to try to explain why the universe is constantly expanding. Since it is expanding, it makes sense that there is a centre from which it started. This is the nub of big bang theory.  As atheists, we have to constantly re-examine and re-evaluate our own beliefs. We don’t take much for granted, and we have to accept that we cant have answers to all questions. I personally think this is an important distinction between theists and atheists. Theists seem unable to cope without assurances. Atheists have to make do without the luxury of assurances. Not everyone has the stomach to live this way.  I hope this helps in some small way.  Good luck

I sometimes think, therefore I am intermittent


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I have to say this really

I have to say this really disturbs me to find so many professed skeptics touting the Big Bang Theory while simultaneously arguing against a God Hypothesis.  We live in a world of applied sciences--not speculative cosmology.  A true skeptic can live without any such speculative theories.  But I can tell you right now, that Holly and anyone else in her position will never be convinced by those who argue that once there was no universe (time/space), then suddenly there was a Big Bang.  That is no different than creation ex nihilo.

  Rudi says:  "Even if you believe god created the universe (perhaps by causing big bang), it still doesn’t advance you any further, because then you have to ask where the creator came from. To say that he was always there presupposes an awful lot. As logical thinking people, we cannot in good conscience base our understanding upon presuppositions of any kind."

 I would argue that it presupposes nothing to say that what is has always been and will always be, since nothing to the contrary has ever been observed.  You can chop, crush, dilute, or burn any substance you choose and in the end, all of the matter will still exist in modified form.  (Holly--that is all that is meant by the third law of thermodynamics, a.k.a. conservation of matter.)

 My best advice is simply to trust your own observations and experiences and then re-examine them in a logical manner.  For example, prayers--you may feel that you have experienced prayers being answered in the affirmative at times and then denied at others.  But you have to ask yourself if your prayers really make any difference at all or if you are simply deceiving yourself for some derived sense of comfort.  I believe this would be a much more fruitful line of inquiry.


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Know1Self wrote: I have to

Know1Self wrote:

I have to say this really disturbs me to find so many professed skeptics touting the Big Bang Theory while simultaneously arguing against a God Hypothesis. We live in a world of applied sciences--not speculative cosmology. A true skeptic can live without any such speculative theories. But I can tell you right now, that Holly and anyone else in her position will never be convinced by those who argue that once there was no universe (time/space), then suddenly there was a Big Bang. That is no different than creation ex nihilo.

 Erm, the Big Bang Theory has nothing to do with creation ex nihilo. I thought Rudi explained it quite well. Working backwards from the evidence we observe now we can see that approximately 14 billion years ago all matter and energy that makes up the universe was compressed together in a very small area and rapidly expanded. As our notion of time is related to space there can't really be much reckoning of what things were like 'before' the big bang. As Stephen Hawking has put it - asking what was before the big bang is like asking what is north of the North Pole. I don't profess to know the details of the theory (the complex mathematics and physics is beyond me at the moment) but what I do know makes perfect sense to me. It is not at all like supposing creation ex nihilo.

please someone correct me if I got something about the theory wrong or should have explained it in a better way 

"This is the real world, stupid." - Charlie Brooker

"It is necessary to be bold. Some people can be reasoned into sense, and others must be shocked into it. Say a bold thing that will stagger them, and they will begin to think." - Thomas Paine


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People often confuse the

People often confuse the Big Bang Theory and the Theory of Evolution.

The Big Bang theory does NOT explain the origin of life, simply the way that the universe formed. 


Know1Self
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If the Big Bang is

If the Big Bang is understood as just one point of singularity in a cycle of expansion and contraction of the universe, then it can be distinguished from creation ex nihilo. But if understood as the point without which no time/space exists, then I say again, the big Bang is no different from creation ex nihilo. But my intention was to change the topic to something that would be more fruitful to someone questioning a/theism.

Maragon, your statements distinguishing the Big Bang Theory and the Theory of Evolution are certainly true, but I know of no one in this thread who confused or conflated the two. Thanks anyway.

 


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Know1Self wrote: Maragon,

Know1Self wrote:
Maragon, your statements distinguishing the Big Bang Theory and the Theory of Evolution are certainly true, but I know of no one in this thread who confused or conflated the two. Thanks anyway.

Somewhere on page 1 someone mentioned it. http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/yellow_number_five/science/6944

Take a look at this thread in the Science section, it argues exactly the point you made. 

Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life. - Immanuel Kant


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Know1Self wrote: If the Big

Know1Self wrote:
If the Big Bang is understood as just one point of singularity in a cycle of expansion and contraction of the universe, then it can be distinguished from creation ex nihilo. But if understood as the point without which no time/space exists, then I say again, the big Bang is no different from creation ex nihilo.

 Just because space and time cannot be reckoned prior to the big bang - which as a noun refers to the event of rapid expansion, not the actual singularity - doesn't mean that it didn't exist, but that it just is incomparable to our notions of space and time in the state of the universe today. Also, it is the Oscillating Universe theory which describes a continuous cycle of expansion and contraction, and isn't part of the Big Bang theory, but it builds on the Big Bang and Big Crunch theories. But regardless of that, the big bang doesn't mark the creation of anything - it is the beginning of a change in the state of the universe. Creation ex nihilo is creation of something from nothing. The Big Bang theory descibes a change in state of matter which already exists.

"This is the real world, stupid." - Charlie Brooker

"It is necessary to be bold. Some people can be reasoned into sense, and others must be shocked into it. Say a bold thing that will stagger them, and they will begin to think." - Thomas Paine


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I have done my best to

I have done my best to explain things in plain English (as the title of this thread calls for) and to try to put myself into the shoes of a theist who is trying to understand atheism.  It is very difficult to make any progress when people inject more than what I have said or believe based on what someone else has said somewhere else and when people ignore the actual statements of simple logic as I have stated them in plain English.  (e.g. ". . . if understood as the point without which no time/space exists, then I say again, the big Bang is no different from creation ex nihilo.&quotEye-wink  But if it makes you feel good, knock yourself out.  I just don't believe it is going to be very helpful to those you presumably would be trying to persuade.


Rave
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Know1Self wrote: I have

Know1Self wrote:
I have done my best to explain things in plain English (as the title of this thread calls for) and to try to put myself into the shoes of a theist who is trying to understand atheism. It is very difficult to make any progress when people inject more than what I have said or believe based on what someone else has said somewhere else and when people ignore the actual statements of simple logic as I have stated them in plain English. (e.g. ". . . if understood as the point without which no time/space exists, then I say again, the big Bang is no different from creation ex nihilo.&quotEye-wink But if it makes you feel good, knock yourself out.

The big bang is not and (as far as I know) has never rightly been defined as "the point without which no time/space exists". Thinking of the people who don't have any knowledge of the theory I would suggest not giving them false or misleading analogies/information from the beginning. Once again, I thought Rudi explained it well enough for anyone of average intelligence to understand.

Know1Self wrote:
I just don't believe it is going to be very helpful to those you presumably would be trying to persuade.

I don't think it was very helpful of you to inject your misleading information and your dismissal of big bang theory as something impossible to convince Holley of.

"This is the real world, stupid." - Charlie Brooker

"It is necessary to be bold. Some people can be reasoned into sense, and others must be shocked into it. Say a bold thing that will stagger them, and they will begin to think." - Thomas Paine


Know1Self
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Rave wrote: The big bang

Rave wrote:

The big bang is not and (as far as I know) has never rightly been defined as "the point without which no time/space exists". Thinking of the people who don't have any knowledge of the theory I would suggest not giving them false or misleading analogies/information from the beginning. Once again, I thought Rudi explained it well enough for anyone of average intelligence to understand.

Then I suggest you go back and re-read the original words, Rudi posted, to which I responded.

Rudi wrote:
No one can explain how or why big bang occurred. Because time (as we understand it) began at big bang, no event could precede it. So how did it come to be? Answer unknown. Mass, space and time are related. Time cannot exist without mass, mass cannot exist without space, and space cannot exist without time. Mass, space & time come as a package. Even if you believe god created the universe (perhaps by causing big bang), it still doesn’t advance you any further, because then you have to ask where the creator came from. To say that he was always there presupposes an awful lot. As logical thinking people, we cannot in good conscience base our understanding upon presuppositions of any kind. If god caused big bang, god could have no size, or weight, nor any time in which to exist.

Clearly the argument being made by Rudi (not by me) is that mass, space, and time—with or without god—did not always exist (necessitating creation ex nihilo). My argument is the opposite. I have no problem with any version of Big Bang theory that does not magically go from nothingness to somethingness, but this is not what Rudi described. I mean no disrespect to Rudi or to Rave or to anyone else. But I know I will not be persuaded by any arguments lacking complete logical-consistency, and I would not expect anyone else to be either.


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Just a gentle reminder as I

Just a gentle reminder as I pass through.

This is the Kill 'Em With Kindness forum.  (KEWK for those in the know!)

Please be very careful about disrespect and snide remarks.

Of course, no name-calling, insults or swearing... that goes without saying (usually).

Please continue your conversation now.

Thank you.

 

 

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I personally find the debate

I personally find the debate about the beginning of the universe to be a red herring. No one has "the" answer to whatever happened before the moments that the evidence leads back to, and further discussion just seems like a distraction.

I'm more convinced that humans created all of this scripture to convince other humans to follow their rules, and to attempt to explain things for which they didn't yet have explanations.

Also, while it's been said before atheists only have one point in common (no belief in gods) , thought i'd share my take on holidays. (since it was asked) If you look back through the history of holidays like Easter and Christmas, you might be surprised to find how little of it is Christian in origin. Much of coming from older borrowed traditions celebrating changes in seasons (or more specifically when the days are getting longer/shorter), pagan holidays, or even from Coca Cola (look up where the current image of Santa Claus comes from.)

If you really look at the modern versions of these holidays, very little of it is related to Christianity: sharing dinners, gifts, consumerism, etc. They've already been repossessed by secularism, for the most part.

So for me, as an atheist and a freethinker, I don't put much thought into cosmology, biology, or even who's really right on Christmas.. I just spend the day with family and friends and enjoy it.  Also I can know that  my enjoyment of it doesn't need any magic at all.

I also agree with Robert Ingersoll here, when he says:

Quote:
“We call a day "good" or "bad" according to what happens in the day. A day filled with happiness, with kind words, with noble deeds, is a good day. A day filled with misfortunes and anger and misery we call a bad day.”

and

“I believe in Christmas and in every day that has been set apart for joy. We in America have too much work and not enough play. We are too much like the English.”

and

“I am in favor of all the good free days -- the more the better.
Christmas is a good day to forgive and forget -- a good day to throw away prejudices and hatreds -- a good day to fill your heart and your house, and the hearts and houses of others, with sunshine.”


http://www.atheists.org/Atheism/ingersollsermon.html


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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:
I wish I could get some good answers that weren't biased on either side so I can make an informed decision for myself.

Awesome! I'm going to do my best to give you unbiased answers, and here's the way you can verify that I'm telling the truth. Don't believe me. Do your own reading and discover for yourself that what I'm about to say is true.

We don't know how the universe formed.

That's it.

Disappointed? Well, there's a little more to it than that. We have some theories. It's kind of difficult to explain most of them, because they involve cosmology, quantum physics, and some intensely difficult math. Suffice it to say, some of the best minds in the world are working on it, but so far, we haven't been able to prove any theories correct.

So, where does that leave us? That's really what you're asking, isn't it? What do we believe if we don't know the answer to the question, "How did the universe get here?"

Well, holley, the logical answer is....

Nothing.

There's not enough compelling evidence for any of the theories to say that they're overwhelmingly likely.

Forgive me for a second, but I have to pull out some logic to make the important point. There's something in logic called "argument from ignorance." Basically, if someone says, "I don't know how such and such happened, so it must have happened this way," that's an argument from ignorance.

Imagine that you ask me how barbed wire is made. I don't actually know the answer, so I say, "holley, I don't know. So, it makes sense that fairies make it in workshops on top of my neighbor's house when everyone is asleep."

Would you believe me? Why not? Because that's a dumb reason to believe something... What kind of answer is, I don't know, therefore, fairies must have done it? It's illogical, and pretty crazy, actually.

But that's what theists do. They say, "You can't explain how the universe was formed. Therefore, god exists."

See? It's the same thing.

The sad reality is that the formation of the universe has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not god exists. If god exists, or if he doesn't exist, the universe still exists. The two aren't related.

Ask yourself this, holley. If you just said to yourself, "I don't know how the universe was formed," and went to bed, would you wake up tomorrow? Of course! You could go to work, come home, feed the dog, kiss your boyfriend, watch tv... in short, nothing in your life depends on whether or not you know the answer to that question. Theists make it out to be important, but they do it in reverse. They say, "First, you must believe that god exists. Then, you must realize that since he exists, he created everything. Since he created everything, we must worship his son Jesus so that we can go to heaven when we die...."

What????!

Do you see the disconnect here?

What does Jesus have to do with the creator of the universe, if there even is one? How in the world do you get from one place to another?

The answer is that you don't. In logic, it's called a non-sequitur. It's like me saying, "I'm going to the store, and therefore my cat has fleas." My going to the store doesn't have anything to do with my cat having fleas, so that statement is ridiculous.

So, "We don't know how the universe was created. Therefore, believe in Jesus or burn in hell for eternity"

You see? Non-sequitur. One has nothing to do with the other.

 

 

What seems to definately fit is that "your" atheism is 100% anti-Christian. You go from trying to explain something from nothing, or the agreement of it, all the way to denigrating only the Christians.

 I find that fascinating.

0 x 0 = Atheism. Something from nothing? Ahhh no.
And Karl, religion is not the opiate of the people, opium is. Visit any modern city in the western world and see.