Deist vs. Atheists

kaparks
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Deist vs. Atheists

By Deist I simply mean one who believes in the existance of a supreme being, in paticular, a creator who does NOT interfere in or with the universe. This will be my position in this thread. As 'the Creator' is a rather bland term and 'God'  is a Christian name, I will use the name of Ned for the remainder of the thread when I am speaking of the supreme being or creator of the universe.
To begin with I will use Thomas Paine's arguement for the existance of Ned:
I did not create myself, yet I exist.Through my natural observation of the universe, I know that nothing within the universe can create itself, yet billions of things exist.Therefore, I conclude that something or someone outside the universe must be the catalyst for the universe and everything within the universe, and that catalyst I call Ned.
Given that the universe is not eternal as modern science shows it to be only some 14 billion years old, what is the atheist perspective on how the universe came to exist?
 


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Aw man, the watchmaker

Aw man, the watchmaker argument AND the god of the gaps?

In one paragraph?

"I did not create myself, yet I exist.

Through my natural observation of the universe, I know that nothing within the universe can create itself, yet billions of things exist."

 

You're right, I didn't create myself, my parents created me, and their parents created them......and if you trace that back 10000 years or so you'll see our homonid ancestors, and their ancestors, and their ancestors, all the wayback to the single celled organisms that were the beginings of life.

And actually, asexual single celled organisms can 'create themselves' over and over again.

MAYBE THE SINGLE CELLED ORGANISMS ARE GOD AND THAT'S HOW WE EVOLVED FROM THEM! THEY 'CREATED' US!

 

"Therefore, I conclude that something or someone outside the universe must be the catalyst for the universe and everything within the universe, and that catalyst I call Ned."

 Why would you conclude that?

What logical steps did you take to get to the point where you gave up on knowledge and decided that god did it? 

 

"Given that the universe is not eternal as modern science shows it to be only some 14 billion years old, what is the atheist perspective on how the universe came to exist?"

This particular universe, in this particular form is only a few billion years old, yes, but that has no bearing on what all the matter and energy was doing before.

This particular universe is a product of the big bang. 


The Patrician
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This particular atheist's

This particular atheist's opinion on how the universe came into being is: "I haven't a bloody clue."  However, I have no intention of asking old Ned to fill the gap.

As for deists, I like them.  I have to: I'm married to one. Eye-wink 

Freedom of religious belief is an inalienable right. Stuffing that belief down other people's throats is not.


kaparks
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You stopped at the single

Maragon,You stopped at the single celled organisms. Yes they can recreate themselves, but they cannot in fact create themselves. Something else created the single celled organisms. I am not a scientist, but were I to hazard a guess, I would say that some sunlight and some water, and maybe a couple other elements decided to play together and they created single celled organisms. But they did not createthemselves either, sunlight came from the sun, water came form some hydrogen, we can go on and on, everything within the universe was created by something else. I am not disputing that.  You seem to be arguing my point on that particular aspect.
But if you agree that everything was created by something else, why do you give up on the universe as a whole? It had to have been created, we know that in fact the universe was created 14 billion years ago. It is not eternal. 
You still have not supplied your idea of what or who created the universe. You say the universe is the product of the big bang. That is similar to saying that thunder is the product of lightning and then dismissing any notion that lightning was the product of something else.


kaparks
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The Patrician, First, its

The Patrician,
First, its good to know you surround yourself with rational thinkers, wink.
As for asking Ned anything, that would be a futile task.It would like asking your hand to snap its fingers and waiting for the soound. It will never occur, your hand has no ears, no desire to fulfil your whims. Your hand is you and yet is able to create a sound you cannot otherwise make. But when you use your mind to communicate directly to your hand by the connections that are real, your hand snaps its fingers and you can hear the sound.


Maragon
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kaparks wrote: Maragon, You

kaparks wrote:
Maragon,You stopped at the single celled organisms. Yes they can recreate themselves, but they cannot in fact create themselves. Something else created the single celled organisms. I am not a scientist, but were I to hazard a guess, I would say that some sunlight and some water, and maybe a couple other elements decided to play together and they created single celled organisms. But they did not createthemselves either, sunlight came from the sun, water came form some hydrogen, we can go on and on, everything within the universe was created by something else. I am not disputing that. You seem to be arguing my point on that particular aspect.
But if you agree that everything was created by something else, why do you give up on the universe as a whole? It had to have been created, we know that in fact the universe was created 14 billion years ago. It is not eternal.
You still have not supplied your idea of what or who created the universe. You say the universe is the product of the big bang. That is similar to saying that thunder is the product of lightning and then dismissing any notion that lightning was the product of something else.

 

On the contrary, everything is not created by something else, it is a product of something else.

Except for matter and energy, which are eternal.

And I believe that matter and energy were around pre-Big Bang, therefore they need no creator. 


kaparks
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again, nobody is arguing the

maragon,again, nobody is arguing the eternal nature of matter and energy. But the universe is not eternal. The universe is very finite and therefore has a origin, a creation. It cannot be different. What we are discussing here is what was the cause of eternal matter and energy forming this particular universe.


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there was no cause. If you

there was no cause. If you put 100 monkeys in a room with 100 typewriters for eternity, they will write everything that has ever and will ever be written, but not on purpose, it's just a consequence of the monkeys tapping on random keys (i.e. matter and engry constrantly floating about) and eterntity. Essentially this also means that every possible combination of matter and enegy has already existed, an infinite amount of times


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Samsexton, In order to

Samsexton,
In order to conduct your experiment, I have to put the monkeys in the room with the typewriter. Someone or something must put the monkeys in the room.
The analogy does not hold.


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kaparks

kaparks wrote:
maragon,again, nobody is arguing the eternal nature of matter and energy. But the universe is not eternal. The universe is very finite and therefore has a origin, a creation. It cannot be different. What we are discussing here is what was the cause of eternal matter and energy forming this particular universe.

 

You're assuming that it needed to be caused. 


kaparks
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Whether or not there was a

Maragon,Whether or not there was a need for the cause is irrelevent, the fact remains, it was caused. That 14 billion years ago an action occured in which the universe began doing what it has been doing for the past 14 billion years is not in question. What we are discussing here is what that action was.
What caused eternal matter an energy to focuse into this physical universe we experience?


Maragon
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Kaparks, maybe someone else

Kaparks, maybe someone else will come on in here and clarify what I'm saying because you don't seem to be getting it.

 

Matter and energy are eternal, they have always existed.

The universe is made up of matter and energy.

Just because this particular universe of ours in this current form can be traced back to an origin when the matter and energy expanded does not mean that said universe was 'caused' by anything more then the eternal matter and energy doing normal matter and energy things, some form of combination of atoms is what I read was a supposed theory.

 

Either way, I reject the idea that simply because science cannot resolve this matter to you satisfaction currently that you should simply jump to the conclusion that all of this was 'caused' by a supernatural force.


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Kaparks, Whilst we know

Kaparks,

Whilst we know that something can't come from nothing, it doesn't mean that a cause of anything needs to be conscious. In your deism you are giving a cause we don't know a consciousness. Why does it need to be conscious.

Also your deism suggests a first cause. We know that something cannot come from nothing so your Creator must in turn have come from something. I don't claim to know how the cosmos began, but does it actually need a beginning? Many scientists actually think the Big Bang was not the start of the cosmos, just the start of one part of a continuous cycle, perhaps the universe expanding and contracting constantly, perhaps a collision of two universes. We do not know, but I do not think the universe is finite in time. Why should it need to be? It might make it easier for our tiny little ape minds if we think it so, but I'm one for truth and the truth is not always easy or reachable.


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Maragon, You say that

Maragon,
You say that matter and energy are eternal, I agree with you. Now, being eternal, it must be either eternally active or eternally inactive. If it was eternally inactive, we would not be having this conversation. However, if it was eternally active the universe would not have begun 14 billion years ago as we know, through science, it did without something or someone (I put the 'or someone' in just cause I know it grinds you, sorry, its my one conciet) acting upon it.
There is no way to know anything about the something or someone that acted on matter and energy as it occurred outside the current universe and we have no way to experience that. Irregardless, something happened, and the cause or that something I call Ned, what do you call it?


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kaparks wrote: There is no

kaparks wrote:
There is no way to know anything about the something or someone that acted on matter and energy as it occurred outside the current universe and we have no way to experience that. Irregardless, something happened, and the cause or that something I call Ned, what do you call it?

Hi Kaparks!  One question and one answer for you:

Question:  Are you a deist?

Answer:  Not sure what Maragon would call it, but I would call it "I don't know."  I do not have a need to fill in what we do not know about the universe or it's creation with "Ned".  We just don't know and that is ok by me. 


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Jacob, Ned doesn't need to

Jacob,
Ned doesn't need to be conscious to be the cause of the universe, in fact, I am not sure consciousness would even apply as it deals more with an awareness within the universe and Ned most definately does not exist within the universe, if Ned even exists anymore at all, perhaps Ned is the universe, or rather the universe is whats left of Ned. All that goes beyond my understanding of the universe. What I am saying about Ned is that Ned, for whatever intents and purposes, is the cause of the Universe and that simply observing the universe and everything within it, I know that is the case because nothing within the universe can create itself.
Now Ned, may not even be the end all be all of universe creating. We know that nothing with the universe can create itself, there is no reason why not to suggest that nothing outside the univese can create itself either. Although, I like to think of Ned as the eternally active type.  It is hard enough to comment on the creation of the universe, I will not try to explain the Ned's progenitors.
I think that you will find that recent studies have shown that the universe is speeding up in its expansion  and that the theory of contraction or some such scientific term is no longer universally accepted, so to speak. It appears as thoughthe universe is a one off event. At least in terms time and space.
And even that is a bit tricky as time is not real, but rather a tool invented by us. A lot like an inch, or liter.


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jce wrote: Answer: Not

jce wrote:

Answer: Not sure what Maragon would call it, but I would call it "I don't know." I do not have a need to fill in what we do not know about the universe or it's creation with "Ned". We just don't know and that is ok by me.

 

Exactly. 


kaparks
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JCE, In this thread I am

JCE,In this thread I am taking on the role of a quasi-deist. A Deist only by the definition in the first post. While deism was a good idea, it ultimately required a leap of faith  no different from any other religion. The main proponents of the movement finally, understood that it is impossible to rationalize God and decided that it was better for society to have an irrational belief than to strip religion from culture. So they gave up and went home to be christians again.
I was never a christian so my understanding of Ned has nothing to do with God. Other than in the english language lowercase god is a generic term for Ned, the Creator.
As far as not knowing, I hear ya. Ned is a tricky one to nail down, however, if you simply observe the universe you will begin to understand some aspects of Ned. As all craeations contain aspects of its creator.
If observing the universe is too tedious for you, thats quite alright, there are definately more entertaining ways of living ones life without pondering Ned and all Ned's Nedlyness. 


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kaparks wrote: JCE, In this

kaparks wrote:
JCE,In this thread I am taking on the role of a quasi-deist. A Deist only by the definition in the first post. While deism was a good idea, it ultimately required a leap of faith no different from any other religion. The main proponents of the movement finally, understood that it is impossible to rationalize God and decided that it was better for society to have an irrational belief than to strip religion from culture. So they gave up and went home to be christians again.
I was never a christian so my understanding of Ned has nothing to do with God. Other than in the english language lowercase god is a generic term for Ned, the Creator.
As far as not knowing, I hear ya. Ned is a tricky one to nail down, however, if you simply observe the universe you will begin to understand some aspects of Ned. As all craeations contain aspects of its creator.
If observing the universe is too tedious for you, thats quite alright, there are definately more entertaining ways of living ones life without pondering Ned and all Ned's Nedlyness.

 

LOL!  Great answer!!  Sorry for being nosy - this is a great thread and presents an excellent question.  Why believe in something so removed just to be able to say one believes in SOMETHING??  I remember being that way.  Seems a bit silly now - I am a little old to need a security blanket.

 


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JCE, Glad to entertain you.

JCE,Glad to entertain you.


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I like this Ned guy but he

I like this Ned guy but he is a bit of a slacker. Approximately 14 billion years ago he gets a wild hair up his ass and says to himself "I wanna 'cause' something". He clicks his heels three times and 'poof', a universe starts. Then Ned, being a bit like Rumplestiltskin, goes to sleep for billions of years. Well, someone had better wake Ned, because with expansion of the universe, his beloved creation is going to die a heat death from maximun entropy.

....anyone have an alarm clock we can loan this guy?


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kaparks wrote: Jacob, Ned

kaparks wrote:
Jacob, Ned doesn't need to be conscious to be the cause of the universe, in fact, I am not sure consciousness would even apply as it deals more with an awareness within the universe and Ned most definately does not exist within the universe, if Ned even exists anymore at all, perhaps Ned is the universe, or rather the universe is whats left of Ned. All that goes beyond my understanding of the universe. What I am saying about Ned is that Ned, for whatever intents and purposes, is the cause of the Universe and that simply observing the universe and everything within it, I know that is the case because nothing within the universe can create itself.

You've just killed Ned. You've made it so nebulous and poorly defined that it's truly meaningless.

kaparks wrote:
Now Ned, may not even be the end all be all of universe creating. We know that nothing with the universe can create itself, there is no reason why not to suggest that nothing outside the univese can create itself either.

You've just hit on one of the the problems with the cosmological argument. Explaining the existence of everything with a god leads to a need to explain the existence of that god, an infinite regress of creators, and it never makes anything simpler.

Want another problem with it? Consider: Appealling to a supernatural entity to fill a gap in our understanding of the natural laws is identical to an appeal to magic, and once you have made such an appeal, you've lost the notion that anything in the universe should behave in a predictable reasonable way. You could just as easily claim that the universe was created tomorrow by magic gnomes from Nebraska.

kaparks wrote:
I think that you will find that recent studies have shown that the universe is speeding up in its expansion  and that the theory of contraction or some such scientific term is no longer universally accepted, so to speak. It appears as thoughthe universe is a one off event.

Right now, there are several theories competing to explain this, as far as I know, some of which predict that the universe will eventually start slowing down. But, there are theories that allow for the universe to keep expanding forever without the need for a creator.

kaparks wrote:
At least in terms time and space. And even that is a bit tricky as time is not real, but rather a tool invented by us. A lot like an inch, or liter.

Time is real. It is a dimension of this universe. Our measurements of it (seconds, minutes, etc) may be our inventions, but time itself is not.

It's only the fairy tales they believe.


kaparks
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rexlunae, Ned is about as

rexlunae,
Ned is about as nebulous and elusive as anything I can think of. Nevertheless, creation exists and the more we understand of creation the more we can glean of Ned. The reason all these creepy religions spring up over the millenia is exactly because Ned is so vague, everyone wants to impose these human limitations on Ned to make Ned conform to their perpective of reality. Just because things such as bacteria or viruses were unquantifiable up until a few decades ago does not mean their impact on the universe and us humans in particular was meaningless. But the more we learn of the universe, through reason and science the more we can come to understand of Ned with that understanding may come a more solidified definition of Ned. However, I would be real uncomfortable buying into any dogmatized, canonized, codified, or sanctified belief system. 

Somebody cool once said that magic is just science we don't yet understand. History has proven that guy wise beyond his name. Having a creator with a creator creates no problems. Heck we can't even leave our own solar system, I think trying to figure out this universe is a noble enough quest. Why don't we let some future generation figure out whats outside the universe. Coming to terms with the fact that this universe came into existance some 14 billion years ago is the first step in understanding this universe.
By the way it would be very difficult to prove the universe was created tomorrow, even with Ned's help.

I am not sure how the universe expanding forever makes it unnecessary for a creator. Whether or not the universe continues on for a very long time has nothing to do with its creation, which took place 14 billion years ago. We know with absolute certainty that the universe was created because it exists and has a verifiable beginning. The universe is real, it does indeed exist, its a done deal. Now, just as we know the universe was created we also know the creator well, we know the creator's name, care to hazard a guess, yup, thats right, its Ned. Do you know why its Ned? Why not, it sounds more interesting than shebulba, well okay maybe not. But the name is not important. What is important is that every human being on the planet set themselves upon the quest of figuring out something about Ned instead of agruing about what Ned's real name is, who took it in vein and who they we can adapt Ned to our socio-political systems.

As far as time goes, I have never seen any evidence for the existence of time other than an abstract unit of measurement, such as an hour or year or nanosecond.But show me some evidence maybe you can change my mind. Can you prove an inch exists as well? I been trying to figure that one out for some time.


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kaparks wrote: The

kaparks wrote:
The Patrician,
First, its good to know you surround yourself with rational thinkers, wink.
She's a woman so that blows that idea.*
Quote:
As for asking Ned anything, that would be a futile task.It would like asking your hand to snap its fingers and waiting for the soound. It will never occur, your hand has no ears, no desire to fulfil your whims. Your hand is you and yet is able to create a sound you cannot otherwise make. But when you use your mind to communicate directly to your hand by the connections that are real, your hand snaps its fingers and you can hear the sound.

Just as well I'm not going to ask him then, eh?

 

*Ladies, that was a joke. Please don't kill me.

Freedom of religious belief is an inalienable right. Stuffing that belief down other people's throats is not.


kaparks
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Do you think Ned sleeps? I

Do you think Ned sleeps? I don't know, its tricky once you start throwing human attributes on Ned, like he and his, Ned starts sounding like a christian god and we all know how kooky that bunch gets.Do you think a creator cares? Feels? Loves? Me, not so much. I think its irresponsible to try and humanize Ned, thats not really science. You have to try and stay as unbiased as possible, simply taking observable facts of the creation we behold and using the Ned given intellect we all have bacause apparently one of the groovy outcomes of Ned's little pop is that we humans get to ponder. We get all kinds of other hip stuff as well, like tivo and peanut butter but I think of all the abilities in the human arsenal, the ability to reflect upon the universe and gain a sense of enlightenment  and understanding that may actually benefit every single person you have ever loved has got to be the coolest


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I don't know.  You'd have

I don't know.  You'd have to ask Ned.


Jacob Cordingley
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kaparks wrote: Jacob, Ned

kaparks wrote:
Jacob,
Ned doesn't need to be conscious to be the cause of the universe, in fact, I am not sure consciousness would even apply as it deals more with an awareness within the universe and Ned most definately does not exist within the universe, if Ned even exists anymore at all, perhaps Ned is the universe, or rather the universe is whats left of Ned. All that goes beyond my understanding of the universe. What I am saying about Ned is that Ned, for whatever intents and purposes, is the cause of the Universe and that simply observing the universe and everything within it, I know that is the case because nothing within the universe can create itself.
Now Ned, may not even be the end all be all of universe creating. We know that nothing with the universe can create itself, there is no reason why not to suggest that nothing outside the univese can create itself either. Although, I like to think of Ned as the eternally active type.  It is hard enough to comment on the creation of the universe, I will not try to explain the Ned's progenitors.
I think that you will find that recent studies have shown that the universe is speeding up in its expansion  and that the theory of contraction or some such scientific term is no longer universally accepted, so to speak. It appears as thoughthe universe is a one off event. At least in terms time and space.
And even that is a bit tricky as time is not real, but rather a tool invented by us. A lot like an inch, or liter.

Ok, I get this. You're just personifying a first cause. Ok, but what I mean by conscious is really a personification. But if you know that you are just personifying it then you aren't really that different from an atheist.

As for contraction theory, it is one possibility, if the universe is speeding up its expansion now, it doesn't mean that it won't eventually contract. Of course, no one knows if it will or not, if I were to say absolutely then I wouldn't be scientifically minded, I would be accepting something on faith. There is however, a force in this universe called gravity, a force that pulls things together.

Finally on your "time isn't real" remark. This just seems silly. Yes our conception of time is a subjective interpretation of something the course of events within the period of time in which we as humans are alive. But in order for events to take place, like the big bang or the expansion of the universe or a supernova, there has to be a passage of time. If there were no time, nothing would happen. Similarly (though not exactly the same) space is also subjectively interpreted by our species, a litre or an inch are just our interpretations of an amount of space, the interpretation of such a space by an ant would be much different as would the interpretation of a quark to the same space. But none of this means that time or space are not tangible, measurable things, they just appear differently depending on the scale of our perspective. Our perspective is one of a creature whose adult size ranges mostly from around 5' - 6'6, and whose life expectancy ranges from around for 40-80 years, depending on which area of the world we live in and our access to the necessities of life. Alternatively the Sun (if it were conscious) would barely even notice an inch, such a distance would be microscopic and the passage of time would perhaps be quicker, our lifetimes are nothing to the sun. But both space and time remain tangible and measurable.


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Jacob, I do not believe it

Jacob,I do not believe it possible for a human being to be an atheist. I can understand theists, they have blind faith. But atheists have nothing. No evidence, no proof, do data. The entire foundation of atheism is an absence of proof of a god's existence. Lack of evidence proves nothing.
There is plenty of evidence that the universe was caused, we know it was caused 14 billion years ago. How it was caused is the big question.  The theist is ready to martyr himself in the belief that some God that loves him created the universe, agnostics throw their hands up in the air and say who knows, atheists say science can tell us nothing about what occurred a trillionth of a second before the big bang, therefore nothing occurred. I say science can tell us nothing about what occurred a trillionth of a second before the big bang, therefore I will turn to theism and adapt it accordingly to the known laws of the universe until science provides the requisite evidence for what caused the universe to exist.  The more science develops the more it seems that this universe is much more complex than sheer randomness could ever account for.
I am afraid i might be rambling, its quite late. I will have to reply to the rest later.


Jacob Cordingley
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Again, the same old

Again, the same old misconception of atheism, I would expect such ignorence from a theist but not from a deist. Most atheists do not believe there is no God, just an absense of belief in a God, those are not the same thing. I am an atheist, the reason being that I think the only things we can know are the things that we know through empirical scientific discovery and reasoning. We may not know everything now but if we're out there discovering then we can get as close to the truth as possible without making anything up to fill in the gaps we don't yet know. 

You're right that we don't know what happened a trillionth of a second before the Big Bang, we know that something must've happened. But why should that be a supernatural being of any kind? Or an actual living, conscious creator, Ned, God whatever? Why indeed does the Big Bang have to be the beginning of anything other than a phase in the history of the universe? There are all sorts of possibilities, and we don't actually know. We may speculate, multi-verse theories, God, any of these things but the honest truth is that we don't know. Theists don't know either, they might think they do but they have even less clue than we do. Same goes for deists.


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kaparks wrote: I do not

kaparks wrote:
I do not believe it possible for a human being to be an atheist.

 

I don't believe it's possible for anyone to like Grape Nuts, but they're still around.

 

kaparks wrote:
I can understand theists, they have blind faith. But atheists have nothing. No evidence, no proof, do data.

 

Because none is needed. The burden of proof is on the claimant. In a criminal court, you don't round up random people unconnected to a given case, accuse them of the crime, and punish them if they can't provide an alibi. There has to be a specific reason that person is a suspect, they have to have been available to commit the crime, and there has to be evidence for a conviction to be made.

 

kaparks wrote:
The entire foundation of atheism is an absence of proof of a god's existence. Lack of evidence proves nothing.

 

Well, lack of evidence proves nothing about the theist position, either. And they're the ones that really need to produce it, since they're making the positive claim. But the description they give defies testing or logic.

What does the universe look like with a deity? Without it? (It's not falsifiable.)

If there is a deity, where did it come from? (Infinite regression.)

If there is a deity, which one? (Special pleading.)

A deity answers nothing.

 

kaparks wrote:
There is plenty of evidence that the universe was caused, we know it was caused 14 billion years ago. How it was caused is the big question.

 

False dichotomy. The question remains, but we don't have to default to an unsupported answer. There's no reason to assume a supernatural proposition simply because it's been suggested.

 

kaparks wrote:
The theist is ready to martyr himself in the belief that some God that loves him created the universe, agnostics throw their hands up in the air and say who knows, atheists say science can tell us nothing about what occurred a trillionth of a second before the big bang, therefore nothing occurred.

 

Not all atheists claim certainty. But again, it's a false dichotomy to suppose a BS answer is better than nothing.

 

kaparks wrote:
I say science can tell us nothing about what occurred a trillionth of a second before the big bang, therefore I will turn to theism and adapt it accordingly to the known laws of the universe until science provides the requisite evidence for what caused the universe to exist.

 

Which arbitrarily modifies an arbitrary religious concept.

 

kaparks wrote:
The more science develops the more it seems that this universe is much more complex than sheer randomness could ever account for.

 

Watchmaker argument. Laughing out loud

Sorry, it does sound dismissive.

[...]


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Magilum, You have some

Magilum,You have some interesting OPINIONS and I am glad we live in a society in which you are free to express them. However, one thing you said was undoubtably true. The burden of proof is on the claiment. Every time. Bar none. I wish more atheists understood that.  As for the rest, well, you can have faith in your reality, I will have faith in mine.


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Jacob, I wish I could figure

Jacob,

I wish I could figure out a way to expplain to you that there is no such thing as an absense of a belief in God. There is only the belief that there is no God. As a human being you are forced to have a belief about everysingle thing. No matter how important or insignificant, its not an option. You have made up your mind about every single thing you have ever been exposed to the the idea of God is just one of them. You have been exposed to all sides of the arguement and in your heart you made a decision. You decided there is no god. You did not decide there is no evidence to support a belief in God, you came to the conclusion that god does not exist. Its a perfectly sound perspective. But do yourself a favor and own it. Don't shirk away from it just because it gets hard sometimes.

As far as the we dont know part, yeah, you're right, we don't know. Everybody just throws out guesses and they go with the one they like best, none is more credible than the other. So intead of buying into some crazy notion that its all just randomness and multi-universes, and all this other crazy and highly improblable nonesense, I simply say they universe was created, and by observing the universe we can begin to understand the creative force behind creation. To be honest, by keeping my mind open to all the equally credible possabilities I am much more closer to any scientific explanation than a person who blindly closes there eyes to one via possability and concentrates on another.


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Sorry, Jacob, I'm going to

Sorry, Jacob, I'm going to intrude on this thread.

kaparks wrote:
I wish I could figure out a way to expplain to you that there is no such thing as an absense of a belief in God.
I wish you could, too, otherwise it's just a naked assertion.
kaparks wrote:
There is only the belief that there is no God. As a human being you are forced to have a belief about everysingle thing.
Then you've just claimed the impossibility of agnosticism itself. I have no opinion on the origin of the universe. I have no opinion on the validity of psychics, or ghosts, or the Loch Ness Monster. I know not having “answers” is a foreign concept in religion, but it isn't in science, and it isn't for an atheist. I simply have no reason to suppose one way or another, but this ambiguity isn't itself a foundation of a new belief, nor is it support for any existing religious propositions. [...]
kaparks wrote:
You have been exposed to all sides of the arguement and in your heart you made a decision.
All sides? What are all sides? To me, all sides would mean every religious proposition in the world. You can't reject what you're literally unaware of. [...]
kaparks wrote:
You did not decide there is no evidence to support a belief in God, you came to the conclusion that god does not exist.
How do you figure this? [...]
kaparks wrote:
As far as the we dont know part, yeah, you're right, we don't know. Everybody just throws out guesses and they go with the one they like best, none is more credible than the other.
Burden of proof on the claimant, so yeah, one position has all the evidence it needs -- none. The other has none of the evidence it needs. There absolutely is a greater credibility to the better supported claim.
kaparks wrote:
So intead of buying into some crazy notion that its all just randomness and multi-universes, and all this other crazy and highly improblable nonesense, I simply say they universe was created, and by observing the universe we can begin to understand the creative force behind creation.
Which brings us back to lack of evidence, and the infinite regression problem.
kaparks wrote:
To be honest, by keeping my mind open to all the equally credible possabilities I am much more closer to any scientific explanation than a person who blindly closes there eyes to one via possability and concentrates on another.
Which is a position you've foisted on Jacob, not the one he professed. I can turn you into a straw-man as well, but it's not exactly honest.


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kaparks wrote: Jacob, I

kaparks wrote:
Jacob, I wish I could figure out a way to expplain to you that there is no such thing as an absense of a belief in God. There is only the belief that there is no God. As a human being you are forced to have a belief about everysingle thing. No matter how important or insignificant, its not an option. You have made up your mind about every single thing you have ever been exposed to the the idea of God is just one of them. You have been exposed to all sides of the arguement and in your heart you made a decision. You decided there is no god. You did not decide there is no evidence to support a belief in God, you came to the conclusion that god does not exist. Its a perfectly sound perspective. But do yourself a favor and own it. Don't shirk away from it just because it gets hard sometimes. As far as the we dont know part, yeah, you're right, we don't know. Everybody just throws out guesses and they go with the one they like best, none is more credible than the other. So intead of buying into some crazy notion that its all just randomness and multi-universes, and all this other crazy and highly improblable nonesense, I simply say they universe was created, and by observing the universe we can begin to understand the creative force behind creation. To be honest, by keeping my mind open to all the equally credible possabilities I am much more closer to any scientific explanation than a person who blindly closes there eyes to one via possability and concentrates on another.

Please tell me what I actually believe, I'm really intrigued. Please keep making assertions but never giving empirical evidence on those assertions. It's really fascinating. I don't believe there is a God, just as, if I lived in the 19th century I wouldn't believe in the (dwarf-) planet Pluto. There is no tangible evidence for God, there was no tangible evidence for Pluto, now there is tangible evidence for Pluto, we know it exists. In fact there is no tangible evidence for anything supernatural. If you believe the Universe was created then you believe that something can come from nothing, when the very thing you're using to argue is that something can't come from nothing. Hang on. Err. Wait a minute.


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Jacob, Just becuase there

Jacob,Just becuase there was no evidence and you didn't believe in Pluto, does not mean that Pluto did not exist.All science is based on a guess, a hunch, an assumption and then experiments are conducted to find out if the guess is right or not. If it can't be proven wrong its assumed right. That is the totality of science. So the guess is that Ned is the reason the the universe came into existence 14 billion years ago. What experiment do you propose to conduct to prove that wrong? I suppose if I wanted to convince you that Ned was the cause of the univese I would have to come up with some pretty convincing evidence. Fortunately for me I am not trying to convince you, I am merely expressing my opinion, you can either take it or leave it. But as soon as you say that I am wrong, that heavy burden falls to you. You have to prove me wrong. Now if your reply was, maybe but I doubt it. There is none of this silly burden nonesense.

Now, we have wasted established that the universe was created, it exists, thats all the evidence you need. Well, all the evidence a scientifically inclined intellectual would need.
We have established that you do not believe that anything other than some unknown universal law was the catalyst behind the moment of creation
and we have established that I beleive that Ned was the catalyst behind creation, in addition, I belive that by observing the universe we can come to understand Ned and Ned's Nedliness. Furthermore, I believe that there are two modes for gleaning this knowledge, one is through scientific  expeimentation and the other is through personal revelation. Scientific experimentation is slow and time consuming but produces reliable results virtually every time. Personal revelation is much swifter and bridges much wider gaps but is always wrong if it contradicts scientific experimentation.
The problem as I percieve it, is that you are not capable of processing any information that is gathered through personal revelation and does not have scientific evidence to back it up.
Which is fine but it precludes you from actively participating in discussion that are esoteric in nature.
So thats how you are coming off to me, maybe you have miscommunicated your position to me and I have got it wrong, so before we go any further lets just make sure we are on the same page. 


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kaparks wrote: Jacob, Just

kaparks wrote:
Jacob, Just becuase there was no evidence and you didn't believe in Pluto, does not mean that Pluto did not exist.All science is based on a guess, a hunch, an assumption and then experiments are conducted to find out if the guess is right or not. If it can't be proven wrong its assumed right. That is the totality of science.
Actually normally in science you have to prove something for it to be deemed right, or at least show it to be the best fitting hypothesis thusfar based upon eveidence. If I had a hunch that the an invisible magic monkey lived in my desk drawer, and if it could not be proven wrong, which it can't then would it be right to assume it was correct that a monkey lived in my desk drawer, (the monkey by the way is deemed responsible for the shit on my carpet even though it was actually left by mice). Clearly not. What grounds would I have to believe such a thing? Well none. This is called suspended belief, i.e. you cannot presume something exists until it is proven.   Now, scientific proof is by nature inductive, it cannot be otherwise (or if it can be deductive it would have to be extremely complicated as Popper observes) but lets say it's inductive as it almost always is. Our laws and theories are based on all we know and can measure so far based upon scientific empiricism, the induction leaves room for a change should new evidence prevent itself.  However, if laws of physics do not change, as they do not thusfar appear to then induction is not a big fallacy. We all take things for granted on inductive reasoning all the time if you walk down the street you assume that gravity will hold you to the ground, but why? You assume because so far as you know, empirically that the laws of physics are constants   The fact that science is inductive leaves room for improvement, change when new evidence comes to light and allows us only the conclusions the evidence presents itself too. We know through our research that atoms are always made of electrons, protons and nutrons but we cannot rule out that perhaps somewhere in the universe made from protons, nutrons, electrons and pigtrons - those being a new kind of sub-atomic particle I invented just now. But I don't believe in them because there is no reason to yet, maybe there never will be but maybe there will be - however, since there is no evidence, why believe? Just because something is disprovable doesn't mean it is true. In fact if something is neither provable or disprovable then we can't actually know it is there, and therefore we cannot, as scientists believe in it. When it comes down to it there are loads and loads of things we don't believe in but never rule out. Why should God, Yahweh, Ned be any different?
kaparks wrote:
 So the guess is that Ned is the reason the the universe came into existence 14 billion years ago. What experiment do you propose to conduct to prove that wrong? I suppose if I wanted to convince you that Ned was the cause of the univese I would have to come up with some pretty convincing evidence. Fortunately for me I am not trying to convince you, I am merely expressing my opinion, you can either take it or leave it. But as soon as you say that I am wrong, that heavy burden falls to you. You have to prove me wrong. Now if your reply was, maybe but I doubt it. There is none of this silly burden nonesense.
The question really is what experiment you propose to prove Ned's existence. I never said you were wrong, I just said there are lots of explanations, all but one of which are true. You keep asserting that atheism is a belief in absolutely no God, but you completely misunderstand it, I have explained this over and over again and yet you don''t actually listen. You assert but have yet to prove exactly what I think. You state this as if it were fact but give no evidence, if you were to give evidence you would have to go into great detail to find peer reviewed psychological publications that specifically state that no human can simply suspend belief until evidence present itself. As far as I am aware you have not.

kaparks wrote:
Now, we have wasted established that the universe was created, it exists, thats all the evidence you need. Well, all the evidence a scientifically inclined intellectual would need.
Have we?
kaparks wrote:
We have established that you do not believe that anything other than some unknown universal law was the catalyst behind the moment of creation.
Quite simply we do not know. Neither do you. But we can try to learn.
kaparks wrote:
and we have established that I beleive that Ned was the catalyst behind creation, in addition, I belive that by observing the universe we can come to understand Ned and Ned's Nedliness. Furthermore, I believe that there are two modes for gleaning this knowledge, one is through scientific  expeimentation and the other is through personal revelation. Scientific experimentation is slow and time consuming but produces reliable results virtually every time. Personal revelation is much swifter and bridges much wider gaps but is always wrong if it contradicts scientific experimentation.
Right, why do you believe Ned to be the catalyst? As far as I understand it, by observing the universe we understand how the universe works, not its creator nor where its creator came from. Where is this mystical knowledge of Ned coming from? As for personal revelation there are many explanations for it. As a seemingly confused person calling himself a deist you would not technically believe in personal revelation right? Deists believe in a creator but nothing more. Personal revelation would mean that the creator burst through the divide between supernatural and physical into the mind of a random human. Or alternatively we could assess the neuro-chemical state of the experiencee at the time of the experience, or test his vulnerability to superstition, or what other things might actually have been happening around him at that time to create an illusion. Which really is more likely? Something physical, natural, measurable and knowable or something supernatural, unmeasurable, unknowable?


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Jacob, Apperently I cannot

Jacob,
Apperently I cannot get through to you.  You have completely missed the point and are not too familiar with history either, science has repeately assumed what couold not be proven wrong to be true and not only science but society as well, thats what humans being do. If all you do is fill your head with is facts and evidence then you will never learn anything, you will just keep repeating what others tell you. You have to open your eyes.
By the way, you wanted proof to how you think, read your post, your response is exactly as I predicted. If you had bothered to read the thread you would know that I am not a deist I was just arguing a deist point at the beginning of the thread, but you were unable to understand the nature of that topic so now I am pretty much trying to open your eyes to the fact that there is no difference in writing the words "God does not exist" and "There is not enough evidence to support a belief in the existence of God" 
Once you can get there we can move on but I am not sure you are ready to admit that to yourself.


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kaparks

kaparks wrote:
Jacob,
Apperently I cannot get through to you.  You have completely missed the point and are not too familiar with history either, science has repeately assumed what couold not be proven wrong to be true and not only science but society as well, thats what humans being do.

Leave 'society' out of this. It doesn't have to follow any rigorous standards of proof.

Jacob is right, science does not accept that something is true just because it cannot be disproven; it must be supported by evidence. I don't know where you got this backwards idea of science, but it's about as wrong as possible.

kaparks wrote:
If all you do is fill your head with is facts and evidence then you will never learn anything, you will just keep repeating what others tell you. You have to open your eyes.

This is just an irrelevant non sequitur, and an implied personal attack. I'm sure you recognize that few if any of the thoughts on the existence of deities are new, including yours, so it should be no great surprise that you have heard them before once you have been listening for a while.

kaparks wrote:
By the way, you wanted proof to how you think, read your post, your response is exactly as I predicted. If you had bothered to read the thread you would know that I am not a deist I was just arguing a deist point at the beginning of the thread,

You haven't exactly been clear about your beliefs.

kaparks wrote:
but you were unable to understand the nature of that topic so now I am pretty much trying to open your eyes to the fact that there is no difference in writing the words "God does not exist" and "There is not enough evidence to support a belief in the existence of God"

There is a big difference. "God does not exist" is a positive claim, which would require proof. "There is no evidence to support a belief in the existence of God" is simply an evaluation of the current level of evidence as failing to support a god hypothesis, and like all other failed hypotheses, it is safe to assume incorrect.

It's only the fairy tales they believe.


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Kaparks, Considering I'm

Kaparks,

Considering I'm getting sick and tired of this false statement that 'the Universe came from nothing', I'll point you to the same paper I mentioned in the RRS vs. the Way of the Master board.

I suggest getting someone you know who has a firm grasp of quantum mechanics and higher-order calculus.  Failing that, IM any astrophysicist at random from MIT.  If you have boobs, they will be willing to do the legwork for you on this one.

Here's the brainbuster.  The geometry of the Universe (with the capital U, I of course mean the multiverse) has the interesting property that it is entirely possible that one of its many branches looped around and became the trunk of the universe (lower case u) that we currently reside in.

Come back when you've taken a peek at the paper, or the book that it spawned.

Abstract of the paper, amusingly called "Can The Universe Create Itself?"

http://www.citebase.org/abstract?id=oai%3AarXiv.org%3Aastro-ph%2F9712344

The entire paper (PDF format) 

http://www.citebase.org/linked_fulltext?format=application%2Fpdf&identifier=oai%3AarXiv.org%3Aastro-ph%2F9712344

 Now instead of making more mindless claims about how somethiing needed to create blah blah blah, and therefore you're a Deist, work on that paper for awhile and forward all of your future comments to Professor Gott.  He's a theist, as sad as that is.

 

"Like Fingerpainting 101, gimme no credit for having class; one thumb on the pulse of the nation, one thumb in your girlfriend's ass; written on, written off, some calling me a joke, I don't think that I'm a sellout but I do enjoy Coke."

-BHG


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Also, find a psychological

Also, find a psychological paper on the human mind that shows it impossible to simply disbelieve. You can't win an argument by constantly asserting somthing. Otherwise I could do this:

Kaparks doesn't exist

Kaparks doesn't exist

Kaparks doesn't exist

Kaparks doesn't exist

Kaparks doesn't exist

Kaparks doesn't exist

Kaparks doesn't exist

There I won.


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Okay, i read the paper, its

Okay, i read the paper, its said that everything has a cause, just like I was saying. So I am not sure what you were trying to get at with that whole thing. Professor Gott supplies an interesting possability but even he recognizes that its not a certiainty or even more credible than any other  suggestion.


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kaparks wrote: I did not

kaparks wrote:
I did not create myself, yet I exist.

Technically you aren't yourself. You're a few million cells attached to each other, communicating with each other with such efficiency as to create the illusion of a single identity within a collective of millions of life forms. These cells are nothing more than basic elements strung together in a fashion that can mutate, regenerate, grow, and reproduce. And so at the most basic level, from a certain point of view, you are created by yourself.

kaparks wrote:
Through my natural observation of the universe, I know that nothing within the universe can create itself, yet billions of things exist.

You are assuming that things exist as they are and always have. You forget that a planet is merely uncounted trillions of particles that combined through forces like gravity and magnetism to form a sphere-like object. The planet did not always exist, and will not always exist. But the particles did, and will.

kaparks wrote:

Therefore, I conclude that something or someone outside the universe must be the catalyst for the universe and everything within the universe, and that catalyst I call Ned.

I conclude that the foundation for this conclusion is flawed.

kaparks wrote:
Given that the universe is not eternal as modern science shows it to be only some 14 billion years old, what is the atheist perspective on how the universe came to exist?

There isn't an atheist perspective on how the universe came to exist as we percieve it today. Neither is there an assumption that it didn't exist before 13.something billion years ago. Atheism doesn't presuppose anything.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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Consciousness.

"we know that something can't come from nothing, it doesn't mean that a cause of anything needs to be conscious. In your deism you are giving a cause we don't know a consciousness. Why does it need to be conscious."

 

Can you explain in more detail? 


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hmm wrote: "we know that

hmm wrote:

"we know that something can't come from nothing, it doesn't mean that a cause of anything needs to be conscious. In your deism you are giving a cause we don't know a consciousness. Why does it need to be conscious."

 

Can you explain in more detail? 

Was that my quote?

Ok well as I said, we don't know what caused the Big Bang. The answer to the question is unknown, atheists don't know, theists don't know, deists don't know. Atheists are the only ones to admit we don't know. So as something can't come from nothing we know there must be a cause, I don't know what that cause is. What I mean by consciousness is something similar to a mind, something that will deliberately, consciously start the universe, with utmost precision, planning. We know that stars do not consciously create the various elements that make a solar system possible, iron, carbon etc but they do, Earth was created in such a way, gravity brought together various chunks of elements especially iron (the body of the earth is almost totally iron) and nitrogen for the atmosphere. There was no conscious creator for the Earth, it was made from the remains of a star and gravity. Why should the universe have come about through a consciousness when all the things in it make themselves? There is no reason to suggest it was.


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Hmm, I will be more than

Hmm, I will be more than happy to explain and maybe you can explain to the rest of the atheists, because they seem to be missing something. You ask, why does Ned need to be conscious? The very simple answer is, Ned does not! Its an option, a possibibity, a suggestion, a hunch, a guess, a poke in the dark. Take your pick. Everybody know there is no empirical evidence to support ANY claim of what occurred prior to the big bang. THERE IS NONE, NO EVIDENCE, NO PROOF, NOTHING.
Now what I have been trying to do here is offer a possability, a suggestion. But some people who have completely closed there minds to the idea of wonder, the very idea that sparked and has maintained the fires of science, do not have the mental capacity to think beyond what is provable, right in front of their eyes. It is amazing to me, how atheists, who are supposed to be scientifically aligned, can behave so much like those fools in Plato's cave. Just staring at the wall.
No there is no evidence to back up anything I say, but on the other hand there is no evidence to back up anything any atheist says about what occurred even a second before the big bang.
I am offering a possability that makes entirely more sense than anything anyone else in this thread has offered. The only other offering is Gott's research, suggesting the universe created itself anf even Gott doesn't buy into it, he merely states that from his own research, the universe creating itself MAY be a possability. Since we all know that nothing creates itself, I think I will stick with Ned as the universe's creator.



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Rexlunae, You are of course

Rexlunae,

You are of course entitled to your OPINION, no matter how wrong it may be.


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Then why just gravity? Why

Then why just gravity? Why not pixies pulling objects down with their little pixie hands? Why not add pointless complexity where none is necesary in every single case? 
Let's call it the WHATTHEFUCKEVER of The Gaps.
Are you stoned? Seriously.


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I am not sure what you are

I am not sure what you are ranting about with gravity, but stating that Ned is the creator significantly reduces the complexity of every other suggestion to date including Dr. Gott's by his own admission. The complexity arguement fails for every atheististic version of the creation of the universe because a single creator is always the least complex. There is NO evidence to support any claim of what occurred before the big bang. ABSOLUTELY NONE. If your brain is not capable of abstracting ideas based soley on a esoteric understanding of the universe, then, unfortunately you are not qualified to take part in this particular conversation.
I will give you an exampleThree guys are sitting around a campfire a hundred and fifty years ago. One says to the other, someday we'll have a box we can throw our food in and in less than a minute it will be cooked. Another says, yeah that would be great but how could that be possible...The first guy says, you just funnel sunight into the box with a big mAagnifying glass in it. The secondguy says yeah but what about at night. The first guy says well, it would just be stored then for later.The third guy stands up and screams you both a bunch of nutjobs, aint nobody storing sunlight in a little box so you can cooked your damn fatbacks in a minute. The first guy says, its possible. And the third guy yells, PROVE IT! 
Which guy are you?


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kaparks wrote:

kaparks wrote:
I am not sure what you are ranting about with gravity, but stating that Ned is the creator significantly reduces the complexity of every other suggestion to date including Dr. Gott's by his own admission. The complexity arguement fails for every atheististic version of the creation of the universe because a single creator is always the least complex. There is NO evidence to support any claim of what occurred before the big bang. ABSOLUTELY NONE. If your brain is not capable of abstracting ideas based soley on a esoteric understanding of the universe, then, unfortunately you are not qualified to take part in this particular conversation.
I will give you an exampleThree guys are sitting around a campfire a hundred and fifty years ago. One says to the other, someday we'll have a box we can throw our food in and in less than a minute it will be cooked. Another says, yeah that would be great but how could that be possible...The first guy says, you just funnel sunight into the box with a big mAagnifying glass in it. The secondguy says yeah but what about at night. The first guy says well, it would just be stored then for later.The third guy stands up and screams you both a bunch of nutjobs, aint nobody storing sunlight in a little box so you can cooked your damn fatbacks in a minute. The first guy says, its possible. And the third guy yells, PROVE IT!
Which guy are you?

 

None of the above, because that analogy is a loaded question and makes no fucking sense anyway.


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To be an active creator Ned

To be an active creator Ned would have to be conscious, however you say he needn't be. If Ned is not then any 'creator' is simply a cause and we all know that there are many hypothetical causes all of which you would call 'creators' in the same way convection is the creator of weather systems, evolution is the 'creator' of life, stars are the 'creators' of elements. So basically the only real difference between us is that you personify causes.  


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Maragon, Thats exactly why

Maragon,

Thats exactly why you are not able to participate in this type of conversation. For whatever reason, your brain does not allow you to think abstractly.