Posted by: NotAScientist | August 18, 2008

Disproving the Big Bang is Not Enough!

I often find myself involved in debates of a scientific nature. Which is amusing, as I’m not a scientist, and 99.999% of the time neither is the person I’m debating. So why do I do it? Well, being an atheist, I’m expected to have knowledge of the scientific explanations for the formation of the universe and the occurrence of life.

Which, let me tell you, is really annoying. Luckily I happen to enjoy reading about science. Had that not been the case, the long and arduous process of trying to understand things like evolution or abiogenesis would be too much to bear.

So I take my limited knowledge onto stickam, or YouTube, or in real life and I engage in debates with (more often than not) Christians and other believers. I don’t claim to have all knowledge, or to get everything right, but I have a slightly better than basic understanding of these things. And if I can help someone else understand, I will.

The sense I get from a good majority of the people I debate, however, is interesting. You would think that their goal in talking me would either be to convince me of their explanation for the universe, or to understand my side. But that’s not what I get from them. What happens is they try as hard as they can to disprove whatever scientific subject I may be on at the time.

Why is that?

It’s simple, really. They think that disproving the Big Bang, or evolution, or abiogenesis will somehow prove their side correct.

Confusing, isn’t it? Confusing and, I’m sorry to say, quite wrong.

From a believer’s perspective, or at least the perspective of some of them, existence is ‘either/or’. Either their god is the truth, the way, and the cause of everything…or he isn’t. So they expect science to work the same way.

They think that if they disprove the Big Bang, then the only other option is that their god did it. They think if they disprove evolution, then the only other option is that god made it happen. But they miss a step.

So to all Christians and other believers out there, listen up! I’m going to help you out here. Disproving the Big Bang is not enough! You actually have to show evidence for your side. You have to back up your claims with more than the authority of scripture.

Because even if it turned out tomorrow that evolution was false, the Big Bang never happened and abiogenesis was a hoax, you would still have to back up your own ideas with evidence. My atheism does not rise and fall on the accuracy of the Big Bang. So by all means, argue against it, show contrary evidence and disprove it if you can.

At the end of the day I’ll smile, doff my cap, and ask where your evidence is.

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Responses

  1. I know this is kinda long, but you asked for evidence. Of course what is evidence to me may not be acceptable to you, however let me say that except for epistemic, experiential, logical, coherent and reasonable evidence for the existence of God, I could be an atheist.

    The most important basis for my belief in God is His palpable presence in my life. His counsel, His comfort, His correction and guidance, His love and mercy and grace. All of these things are so very real in my innermost being that they compel me to acknowledge the truth of His existence. I am so very grateful that I have been granted the gift of “Wide-Band Awareness.” This is an experience that is shared and immediately recognised by people from around the world regardless of race, social stature, gender or intellectual ability. For some reason atheists seem to have been denied this perceptive ability.

    Secondly, I believe in God because of the historicity of Jesus. His life, death and resurrection cannot be adequately explained away. Something totally other took place when Jesus appeared on earth.

    Third, I believe in God because the heavens and the earth declare His handiwork. There is simply no sufficient explanation for why we are here, why the universe exists and how it came into being other than a “Creator God.” While it’s true that atheists have proposed other theories for the “Creation” of the universe, it was not because of any inadequacy in or lack of evidence for the idea of God as Creator. The presentation of alternative theories is only because God as Creator is philosophically unacceptable to atheists.

    The type of belief in God that I’m talking about is sometimes called “faith.” But faith is often misunderstood as being separate from reason or evidence. That could not be more inaccurate. For one thing, we are told to love the Lord our God with, among other things, “all our mind.” Second the Bible describes Faith as being “The substance (base / accumulation) of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen.” While one’s faith does not find its origin in evidence (the origin is purely from God – John 6:44), faith is clearly supported by evidence, reason and logic.

    In other words, Faith is anything but blind or uninformed.

    To that end, my belief in God is supported by the following evidence:
    . Whatever begins to exist has a cause
    . The universe began to exist
    . Therefore the universe has a cause.

    . Matter and energy cannot precede themselves or preexist themselves either physically or chronologically.
    . Matter and energy do not have the ability to create themselves or bring themselves into existence from nothing or ex nihilo.
    . As we’ll see below, matter and energy cannot exist from infinity past.
    Whatever brought matter, energy, space and time into existence had to have existed outside of these entities.
    . Anything that exists has an explanation of it’s existence, either in the necessity of its own nature (like numbers) or in an external cause.
    . If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God.
    . The universe obviously exists.
    . Therefore, the universe has an explanation of its existence.
    Because the above premises are true and coherent, the following conclusion must also be true:
    – The explanation of the existence of the universe is God

    . If atheism is true, then the universe has no explanation of its existence. This in fact is what we are seeing as literally over a dozen theories have come and gone in a vain attempt to rule out God as cause of the universe.
    . If there is an explanation of the universe’s existence, then atheism is not true.
    . Most atheists would admit that the universe does indeed have a beginning.
    . Hence, most atheists are implicitly committed to God being the explanation of why the universe exists.

    The universe began to exist:
    Some may deny this but in reality the universe cannot be infinite. That is because,
    . It is physically impossible to have an Actual Infinite Number of Things or Events preceding our today.
    . A beginningless Series of events in time entails an actually infinite number of things.
    . Therefore, a beginningless Series of events in time that leads to the beginning of our universe cannot exist.
    . Neither can we get to our point in time by forming an actually infinite Collection of things by adding one member after another.
    . A series of events in time is a collection formed by adding one member after another
    . A collection formed by adding one member after another cannot be actually infinite.
    Because the above premises are true and coherent, the following conclusion must also be true:
    – A collection of events in time cannot be actually infinite – therefore the universe cannot be infinite.

    I believe in God because His existence answers a specific question: Not just, why did the universe come into being, but why is it so finely tuned that we can exist? Note: Fine tuning is neutral in that it refers to constants and quantities being just right for the existence of intelligent life in comparison with the virtually infinite range of possible values. So:
    . The fine tuning of the universe is due to either physical necessity, chance or design.
    . It is not due to physical necessity (there is no reason whatsoever that any given universe would be so finely tuned for our existence) nor is this fine tuning due to chance (the fine tuning of our universe is so exquisite that an infinitesimal change in any one of necessary constants and quantities would mean that neither we nor any life would happen).

    . True claim: If observers who have evolved within a universe observe its constants and quantities, it is highly PROBABLE that they will observe them to be fine-tuned for their existence.

    . True claim: It is highly and extraordinarily IMPROBABLE that a universe exists which is finely tuned for the evolution of observers within it.

    Some might think that if the constants and quantities of our universe were different, then other life forms would have evolved. This is simply not true. “Life” means the ability to take in food and use its energy, to grow and adapt and reproduce. Without the fine tuning that we observe, not even atomic matter would exist, not to mention planets where life might evolve. Among other things the universe would have either recollapsed or expanded beyond any ability to congeal. Again, there is no reason to expect that a universe as finely tuned for life as is our universe should exist by chance, nor is there any need or physical necessity for such a universe to exist anywhere except for the sole purpose of life.
    Because the above premises are true and coherent, the following conclusion must also be true:
    – The fine tuning of the universe is due to design.

    I also believe in the existence of God because:
    . If God does not exist, objective morals, values and duties do not exist
    . But objective morals, values and duties DO exist.
    Because the above premises are true and coherent, the following conclusion must also be true:
    – God exists.

    Fact: Moral Goodness and Duty are based on God’s character.
    . Mercy is required of Makarios if and only if a just and loving God commands Makarios to be merciful
    . Meanness is forbidden of Makarios if and only if a just and loving God commands Makarios to not be mean.
    . Mercy or meanness are permitted or denied for Makarios if and only if a just and loving God commands Makarios to / not to commit acts of mercy or meanness.
    God is merciful therefore He commands us to be merciful.
    God is not mean therefore He commands us to not be mean.
    God is just therefore He commands us to act justly.
    What God commands or permits is good and what He forbids is wrong, bad, evil, self-destructive. This is what it means for morality to be objective vs. subjective or relative to the situation or to the individual’s character or personality, likes or dislikes, sanity or insanity.

    I believe in God because of the following philosophical and metaphysical evidence.
    We can ask ourselves, “What is the greatest conceivable being?” Our answer goes past me and you and the Dali Lama and any other “great” human being we can think of and we come to an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent Being that we commonly call “God” We can call it a Mind or something else but it amounts to the same thing ie.
    The Greatest Conceivable Being That Can Possibly Exist.

    We can know that God exists because:
    . It is in fact metaphysically possible that a Greatest Conceivable Being exists.
    . Because it’s possible that a Greatest Conceivable Being exists, a Greatest Conceivable Being does exist in some possible reality.
    . Because of the very nature of a Greatest Conceivable Being, if a Greatest Conceivable Being exists in SOME possible reality, it exists in EVERY possible reality.
    . If a Greatest Conceivable Being exists in every possible reality, then it exists in actual reality.
    . If a Greatest Conceivable Being exists in the actual reality, then a Greatest Conceivable Being exists in our reality.
    Because the above premises are true and coherent, it stands to reason that the conclusion is also true:
    – A Greatest Conceivable Being or God exists.

    I also believe a Greatest Conceivable Being – God – exists because:
    . Abstract objects, such as numbers and propositions, are either independently existing realities or else they are concepts that find their grounding in and from some mind.
    . Abstract objects are not independently existing realities. Yet we intuitively know that they exist. Our problem is that when we become aware of the sheer volume of potential abstract objects we know for certain that the mind in which causes them to exist and find their being and grounding could never be any human mind.
    . If abstract objects are concepts in some mind, then an omniscient, metaphysically necessary being exists. That is, only in an infinite intelligence or mind can we find the grounding or cause for abstract objects. Because some of these concepts exist necessarily they cannot find their grounding in contingent beings, namely us.
    Because the above premises are true and coherent, the conclusion must also be true:
    – An omniscient, metaphysically necessary being exists. That being is what we call God.

    . Because the cosmological argument shows that a Greatest Conceivable Being exists Who is the cause or grounding of reality as we know it, and
    . Because the moral argument shows that a Greatest Conceivable Being exists Who is the cause or grounding of all objective morals, values, duties and Truth, and
    . Because the conceptualist argument shows that a Greatest Conceivable Being exists Who is the necessary intelligence for the grounding of abstract objects,
    My belief that God exists is empirically and experientially grounded in logic and reason and that is why I’m not an atheist.

  2. Being at work, I can’t respond to this right now. Can’t even read it all right now! But I promise I will read it completely and respond to it this evening.

    Thanks.

  3. On second thought, I think what I’ll do is make a video addressing your comments on my YouTube channel and then imbed it in a post back on here. Will probably be easier to talk everything out than to type it, and well, I’m lazy! 😉

    If you object, let me know and I’ll make sure to put a transcript of my video once it is made.

  4. Of course I don’t object. You can do anything you want. The only problem is that I won’t be going to your video site so I can’t correct all the things that you’ll get wrong : -)

    Anyhow, do what you want and Good luck on your journey.

  5. Well, that’s why I said I would imbed the video here. So you don’t have to go to any site other than this one.

  6. Fair enough. I look forward to your thoughts. Just remember, I’m not trying to change your position. You said, “Where’s the beef?” and I said, “For ME – this is what I chew on.”

  7. @makarios

    Since you asked for textual reply, here it is. It’s similarly long. I am also not trying to convince you. I did get somewhat Irate towards the end. Understand that every one of your arguments has been lobbed at me hundreds of times. Towards the end I’m not so much trying to be mean, or curt, as I am frustrated with the entire state of boring fallacies I get tossed at me.

    It certainly was not my intention to be insulting, and if I was (and I’m almost sure I was) I apologize in advance.

    Here it is:

    —————————————–

    > I know this is kinda long, but you asked for evidence. Of course what is evidence to me may not
    > be acceptable to you, however let me say that except for epistemic, experiential, logical,
    > coherent and reasonable evidence for the existence of God, I could be an atheist.

    I like long posts, and I’ve skimmed it, it seems to be fairly well put together. So- since Morse is going to do a video, I’m going to go ahead and write something up. If you don’t mind, I’d really like to cross post this verbatim to my blog at Humbuggery. These kind of questions are really the kind I like to talk about there. Quotes from your comment will be preceded by “>”.

    > The most important basis for my belief in God is His palpable presence in my life. His counsel,
    > His comfort, His correction and guidance, His love and mercy and grace. All of these things are
    > so very real in my innermost being that they compel me to acknowledge the truth of His
    > existence. I am so very grateful that I have been granted the gift of “Wide-Band Awareness.” This
    > is an experience that is shared and immediately recognised by people from around the world
    > regardless of race, social stature, gender or intellectual ability. For some reason atheists seem to
    > have been denied this perceptive ability.

    The “Argument from Personal Revelation” is interesting, but fundamentally it simply doesn’t count, it’s subjective experience. You are welcome to accept it for your own purposes, but athiest deny this “perceptive ability” because it often leads to incorrect results. For instance, if we relied on the subjective observation that there are monsters under our bed, demons fluttering about causing war and disease, and simply _accepted_ that huge amount of subjective “perception”-based evidence, then we would not find _objective_ evidence for the existence of germs, the non-existance of boogey men, etc. When an atheist asks for evidence, we ask for objective evidence, the kind that looks the same to everyone. Everyones personal experience can lead to a different conclusion of God. My personal subjective experience tells me that the universe is beautiful, and understandable. I use the objective evidence, garnered by the tools of science, expressed in the language of mathematics, to explain it without needing to invoke god, gods, goddesses or anything else.

    > Secondly, I believe in God because of the historicity of Jesus. His life, death and resurrection
    > cannot be adequately explained away. Something totally other took place when Jesus appeared > on earth.

    I highly suggest looking at the evidence here, there is simply _no_ evidence for a historical jesus, besides the writings of those who follow him. A completely plausible explaination — based on biblical chronology — is simply that Paul wrote a bunch of letters and started an offshoot of Judaism, using the Messianic ideas that came into Judaism during the captivity in Babylon. The new religion then encouraged people like Mark, Matthew, and others in that area (around 70CE-90CE) to write histories of this Jesus, based on elements from Paul’s writings.

    You might want to read some Dr. Price here, he talks about it alot.

    > Third, I believe in God because the heavens and the earth declare His handiwork. There is simply
    > no sufficient explanation for why we are here, why the universe exists and how it came into being > other than a “Creator God.” While it’s true that atheists have proposed other theories for the
    > “Creation” of the universe, it was not because of any inadequacy in or lack of evidence for the idea
    > of God as Creator. The presentation of alternative theories is only because God as Creator is
    > philosophically unacceptable to atheists.

    Have you looked? Chances are you are not a scientist, you have a high school level training in Biology and Physics, we have _really_ good evidence supporting evolution, the big bang cosmology, etc. It _is_ philosophically unacceptable to have a creator, because a creator — diety or nondiety — explains nothing. In fact, it explains _less than nothing_, in that we may have answered one question- but we have so many more. Where did God come from, is he one of the ones who left us a book, is he omnipotent, what about the logical problems with omnipotence and other deific characteristics, how did he make the universe, was it a supernatural effect, do supernatural effects exist. I could go on for a very long time. Saying “God did it” is the intellectual and scientific equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears, closing your eyes, and screaming “I’m not listening.”

    The argument from design is so completely refuted by so many people, all I can say is “just google it.” If this is the caliber of the question/evidence you intend to present, then I doubt you are truly capable of rational discussion on the matter, and are just aiming to have us repeat ourselves as we tirelessly do. I think that- among creationists, you are significantly better articulated, but you can silver-plate dogshit, it’s still dogshit.

    > The type of belief in God that I’m talking about is sometimes called “faith.” But faith is often
    > misunderstood as being separate from reason or evidence. That could not be more inaccurate.
    > For one thing, we are told to love the Lord our God with, among other things, “all our mind.”
    > Second the Bible describes Faith as being “The substance (base / accumulation) of things hoped > for, the evidence of things not yet seen.” While one’s faith does not find its origin in evidence (the > origin is purely from God – John 6:44), faith is clearly supported by evidence, reason and logic.
    >
    > In other words, Faith is anything but blind or uninformed.

    “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” Heb 11:1, That states, unequivocally, that faith is not evidence.

    Evidence is objective, real, observable, material, measureable.
    Faith is ethereal, subjective, internal, unobservable, immaterial, and immeasurable.

    If faith is viable evidence, then if I have faith that the sun revolves around the earth (as many did in years past), or that Zeus existed (as many did), or that there are monsters under my bed (as I did), then does that mean those things are viable, true, and real? Faith _is not evidence for anything, ever, period._

    If you accept faith as valid evidence, then there is really no point to me even continuing. It is simply not, I cannot convince you if you believe otherwise, you must convince yourself on this point.

    > To that end, my belief in God is supported by the following evidence:
    > Whatever begins to exist has a cause
    > The universe began to exist
    > Therefore the universe has a cause.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalam_cosmological_argument — read the objections. The Kalam Argument will not fly here.

    > Matter and energy cannot precede themselves or preexist themselves either physically or
    > chronologically.

    Says who? Wheres the evidence? Quantum Physics tells us that causality is not as clean-cut as we may like to think. Brian Greene talks about it a bit in his books, but really, you have to get yourself a degree in Physics, or at least Mathematics to fully grasp the idea.

    > Matter and energy do not have the ability to create themselves or bring themselves into existence
    > from nothing or ex nihilo.

    Says who, see above. Both of these premises are really the same, and they both beg the question “Did they have to?” We have no evidence that the universe started, just that the current expansion of the universe was caused by the big bang, All of this hinges on a strict, classical, high-school interpretation of causality, this interpretation is simply wrong.

    > As we’ll see below, matter and energy cannot exist from infinity past.
    > Whatever brought matter, energy, space and time into existence had to have existed outside of
    > these entities.

    This again begs the question that something had to bring matter and energy into existence in the first place. See above.

    > Anything that exists has an explanation of it’s existence, either in the necessity of its own nature
    > (like numbers) or in an external cause.

    First of all, numbers don’t exist, numbers are simply descriptions, like a word is a description of a physical effect, a number is just a description. We have fancy numbers like “Aleph Null” or “the limit of n as it approaches infinity” but these are just descriptions of different structures which obey some rules that make them “look like” the description of numbers. Second as I’ve mentioned before, you can, at best, say that everything you have ever seen obeyed your high-school causality rule. The simple fact is, you have not seen everything, and in fact, the high-school causality doesn’t hold for everything.

    Quantum physics is wierd, I don’t expect you to understand it, I don’t fully understand it, but I do know that it has _lots_ of evidence in support of it, and part of what it says is that “Causality is a hell of a lot weirder that we thought.”

    > If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God.
    > The universe obviously exists.
    > Therefore, the universe has an explanation of its existence.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalam_cosmological_argument

    Further, why must that explanation be god? Why can’t there be a natural explanation. Further still, which God? Ostensibly you mean yours, but why not Ba’al, Odin, Allah, Vishnu, Kali, Kalumba, Yahweh (who is different than your god), Elohim (again, different), Enki, Innana, Zeus, Hera, Chronos, Prometheus, The Great Spirit, The IPU, The FSM… and so on.

    > Because the above premises are true and coherent, the following conclusion must also be true:
    > The explanation of the existence of the universe is God

    This assumes that the premises are true, and are coherent, they are not, therefore your conclusion is unfounded.

    > If atheism is true, then the universe has no explanation of its existence. This in fact is what we
    > are seeing as literally over a dozen theories have come and gone in a vain attempt to rule out God > as cause of the universe.
    > If there is an explanation of the universe’s existence, then atheism is not true.
    > Most atheists would admit that the universe does indeed have a beginning.
    > Hence, most atheists are implicitly committed to God being the explanation of why the universe
    > exists.

    Hang up and dial again, This is simply false, we have the evidence, we win. I know I’m beginning to sound more and more flustered, but honestly, when you’ve heard this same tired argument a Carl-Sagan-Billion times, you start to long for the oppostition to come up with something more interesting.

    > The universe began to exist:
    > Some may deny this but in reality the universe cannot be infinite. That is because,
    >. It is physically impossible to have an Actual Infinite Number of Things or Events preceding our
    > today.

    You’re woeful misunderstanding of what it an infinite universe means pains me. An infinite universe is not an actual infinity, you are further incorrect in saying you cannot have an “Actual Infinite Number of Things or Events”, Cantor’s Set theory, modern ZF(C) Set theory, etc all deal with them all the time. Aleph numbers, the Continuum Hypothesis all argue around the sizes of infinite sets, that is, _actual infinities._

    >. A beginningless Series of events in time entails an actually infinite number of things.

    Sure, and thats fine, Aleph Null things in the set of all things, or perhaps Aleph 1, the cardinality of the set of all things that have ever happened at any real time t would have a bijection to the reals, therefore, Aleph_1 things not only have happened, but that is also the number of things that ever will happen, as long as time exists.

    Math rocks.

    >. Therefore, a beginningless Series of events in time that leads to the beginning of our universe
    > cannot exist.

    False, see above.

    > . Neither can we get to our point in time by forming an actually infinite Collection of things by
    >adding one member after another.

    Ditto.

    >. A series of events in time is a collection formed by adding one member after another
    >. A collection formed by adding one member after another cannot be actually infinite.

    Wrong, there are an infinite number of natural numbers (Aleph Null), they are formed by the Peano Axioms, which define them inductively (one at a time). This is simply wrong, and ignorant of basic analysis and number theory.

    > Because the above premises are true and coherent, the following conclusion must also be true:
    > – A collection of events in time cannot be actually infinite – therefore the universe cannot be
    > infinite.

    In fact, the rest of those arguments all follow from the idea that you can’t have an infinite number of things, which is false, therefore the conclusion is unfounded.

    > I believe in God because His existence answers a specific question: Not just, why did the
    > universe come into being, but why is it so finely tuned that we can exist? Note: Fine tuning is
    > neutral in that it refers to constants and quantities being just right for the existence of intelligent
    > life in comparison with the virtually infinite range of possible values. So:
    >. The fine tuning of the universe is due to either physical necessity, chance or design.
    > . It is not due to physical necessity (there is no reason whatsoever that any given universe would
    > be so finely tuned for our existence) nor is this fine tuning due to chance (the fine tuning of our
    > universe is so exquisite that an infinitesimal change in any one of necessary constants and
    > quantities would mean that neither we nor any life would happen).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropic_principle

    If the universe were not as it was, we would not know, since we would not exist, since it is as it is, we exist via natural processes, and therefore we gain the _appearence_ of “Fine-tunedness” without needing someone to tune it.

    There is more than one universe, you know. Again, this is basic college physics, something you pick up in a second year Modern Physics class.

    >. True claim: If observers who have evolved within a universe observe its constants and quantities, > it is highly PROBABLE that they will observe them to be fine-tuned for their existence.

    >. True claim: It is highly and extraordinarily IMPROBABLE that a universe exists which is finely
    > tuned for the evolution of observers within it.

    See above.

    > Some might think that if the constants and quantities of our universe were different, then other life
    > forms would have evolved. This is simply not true. “Life” means the ability to take in food and use
    > its energy, to grow and adapt and reproduce. Without the fine tuning that we observe, not even
    > atomic matter would exist, not to mention planets where life might evolve. Among other things the
    > universe would have either recollapsed or expanded beyond any ability to congeal. Again, there is
    > no reason to expect that a universe as finely tuned for life as is our universe should exist by
    > chance, nor is there any need or physical necessity for such a universe to exist anywhere except
    > for the sole purpose of life.

    Again, this all hinges that on the fundamental “It can’t be any other way, therefore it must be my way”, you’re entire argument is one giant false dichotomy.

    > Because the above premises are true and coherent, the following conclusion must also be true:
    > – The fine tuning of the universe is due to design.

    Again, wrong. If you don’t see why, then there is no hope for you.

    > I also believe in the existence of God because:
    >. If God does not exist, objective morals, values and duties do not exist
    >. But objective morals, values and duties DO exist.

    Hypothetical, lets say God said that you should kill all women, unequivocably kill all of them.

    Would you think that is ethical? Obviously not. Ethics do not follow God, God follows our ethics. Which is why Muslims have different ethical principles than Hindus, and they in turn have different ethical principles than the Amish, or Christians, or whatever.

    Ethics follows from a societal need to maintain order, and enforce socially beneficial rules. Killing all women is _bad_ for soceity, murder is _bad_ for society.

    Logic gives us ethics. This is a tired old argument.

    > Because the above premises are true and coherent, the following conclusion must also be true:
    > – God exists.

    *BZZT*

    > Fact: Moral Goodness and Duty are based on God’s character.
    >. Mercy is required of Makarios if and only if a just and loving God commands Makarios to be
    > merciful
    >. Meanness is forbidden of Makarios if and only if a just and loving God commands Makarios to
    >not be mean.
    >. Mercy or meanness are permitted or denied for Makarios if and only if a just and loving God
    >commands Makarios to / not to commit acts of mercy or meanness.
    >God is merciful therefore He commands us to be merciful.
    >God is not mean therefore He commands us to not be mean.
    >God is just therefore He commands us to act justly.
    >What God commands or permits is good and what He forbids is wrong, bad, evil, self-destructive. >This is what it means for morality to be objective vs. subjective or relative to the situation or to the >individual’s character or personality, likes or dislikes, sanity or insanity.

    See above.

    >I believe in God because of the following philosophical and metaphysical evidence.
    >We can ask ourselves, “What is the greatest conceivable being?” Our answer goes past me and
    >you and the Dali Lama and any other “great” human being we can think of and we come to an
    >omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent Being that we commonly call “God” We can call it a Mind or > something else but it amounts to the same thing ie.
    > The Greatest Conceivable Being That Can Possibly Exist.

    The ontological argument is a giant load of Horseshit. This is the ontological argument, therefore it is horseshit. It’s circular reasoning at it’s finest, the definition of something cannot imply the existence of something, it simply doesn’t work that way. You don’t get to cheat at the game of logic, period.

    > We can know that God exists because:
    >. It is in fact metaphysically possible that a Greatest Conceivable Being exists.
    >. Because it’s possible that a Greatest Conceivable Being exists, a Greatest Conceivable Being
    >does exist in some possible reality.
    >. Because of the very nature of a Greatest Conceivable Being, if a Greatest Conceivable Being
    >exists in SOME possible reality, it exists in EVERY possible reality.
    >. If a Greatest Conceivable Being exists in every possible reality, then it exists in actual reality.
    >. If a Greatest Conceivable Being exists in the actual reality, then a Greatest Conceivable Being
    >exists in our reality.
    > Because the above premises are true and coherent, it stands to reason that the conclusion is
    >also true:
    >- A Greatest Conceivable Being or God exists.

    Repeating the same argument does not make it any more true.

    > I also believe a Greatest Conceivable Being – God – exists because:
    >. Abstract objects, such as numbers and propositions, are either independently existing realities
    > or else they are concepts that find their grounding in and from some mind.
    >. Abstract objects are not independently existing realities. Yet we intuitively know that they exist. > Our problem is that when we become aware of the sheer volume of potential abstract objects we > know for certain that the mind in which causes them to exist and find their being and grounding
    > could never be any human mind.
    >. If abstract objects are concepts in some mind, then an omniscient, metaphysically necessary
    > being exists. That is, only in an infinite intelligence or mind can we find the grounding or cause for
    > abstract objects. Because some of these concepts exist necessarily they cannot find their
    > grounding in contingent beings, namely us.
    > Because the above premises are true and coherent, the conclusion must also be true:
    > – An omniscient, metaphysically necessary being exists. That being is what we call God.

    No. Simply no, and I’d like to request that you stop misrepresenting my chosen field of study. Mathematics cannot help you prove the existence of your irritating little sky buddy. Leave it alone.

    Just because we are capable of abstract thought, does not imply that your particular deity, or any diety exists. Furthermore, Omniscience is Logically contradictory, I wrote about it on my blog at Humbuggery.net, I doubt you’d be able to keep up, given the outstanding number of logical blunders you’ve made, but you are always welcome to try.

    >. Because the cosmological argument shows that a Greatest Conceivable Being exists Who is the > cause or grounding of reality as we know it, and
    >. Because the moral argument shows that a Greatest Conceivable Being exists Who is the cause
    > or grounding of all objective morals, values, duties and Truth, and
    >. Because the conceptualist argument shows that a Greatest Conceivable Being exists Who is
    > the necessary intelligence for the grounding of abstract objects,
    > My belief that God exists is empirically and experientially grounded in logic and reason and that
    > is why I’m not an atheist.

    Your woeful misunderstanding of what empirical, experimental, logical, and rational ideas are support why you are not an atheist, sure. But none of what you said is at all empirical, it is all philosophical, as such, it is not experimental, which implies a material test is possible for the existence or nonexistence of god. It is not logical, and therefore not rational, because of the countless fallacies that lie at the heart of what you say.

    You have stuck your fingers in your ears, read one side of the argument, shut your eyes and screamed “I’m not listening.” Your arguments are false, I doubt you are capable of understanding why, and that is why I’m not likely to respond any more.

    Do yourself a favor, read some books, get a degree or two, read “With Good Reason” by S. Morris Engel, learn how to think critically and rationally, then come back and try to come up with some _real_ evidence.

  8. “The “Argument from Personal Revelation” is interesting, but fundamentally it simply doesn’t count”

    Of course it doesn’t count for you, nor do I expect it to count for you. As well, if all that I had to go on was personal experience I would indeed stand on shaky ground. On the other hand, a priori discounting of 2 billion virtually identical personal experiences doesn’t sound perfectly wise either. ===========

    “I highly suggest looking at the evidence here, there is simply _no_ evidence for a historical jesus”

    This comment is simply too ignorant to bother with. ==============

    “we have _really_ good evidence supporting evolution, the big bang cosmology”

    Hmm, did I give the impression that I didn’t agree with natural selection or the Big Bang, or was that an assumption on your part? =============

    “Where did God come from, is he one of the ones who left us a book, is he omnipotent, what about the logical problems with omnipotence and other deific characteristics, how did he make the universe, was it a supernatural effect, do supernatural effects exist. I could go on for a very long time.”

    Well, long time or short time, one doesn’t need to ask any of these questions to know that something operating outside of the laws of physics, time and space brought the laws of physics, time and space into being. You don’t have to call it supernatural if it offends you but you certainly can’t claim with any “scientific” (your definition – observable, repeatable blah, blah, blah) confidence that it happened naturally.======

    “The argument from design is so completely refuted by so many people”

    My dear child, the gap between criticising and refuting is as wide as the gap between the existence of something and existence of nothing. As is apparent in this case, those who confuse the former show a similar lack of understanding of the latter.====

    “If you accept faith as valid evidence, then there is really no point to me even continuing.”

    Well, like I said, if that was all that I was going on, then you’d be correct.
    Tell me something, do you ever rely on anecdotal evidence for things like,
    “That was an awesome movie. You should go see it.”
    “What a great place to eat. If you haven’t tried it, you should.”
    “Oh, I hated his performance. Don’t waste your money.”
    Or do you rely solely on other criteria before heeding the advice of people you trust?==

    “ The Kalam Argument will not fly here.”
    Actually it flies quite well and people a lot smarter than either you or I are simply reduced to criticizing, not refuting it in any sense of the term.======

    > Matter and energy cannot precede themselves or preexist themselves either physically or > chronologically.
    “Says who? Wheres the evidence? Quantum Physics tells us that causality is not as clean-cut as we may like to think.”

    Changes in the makeup of matter than last a trillionth of a second is not the same as matter being created out of nothing. You should know this and being snarky will not make up for what amounts to either your lack of knowledge or deceitfulness on your part. It’s one or the other. You either don’t know what you’re talking about or you’re trying to mislead others. ===========

    > Matter and energy do not have the ability to create themselves or bring themselves into existence from nothing or ex nihilo.
    “Says who, see above.”

    Was that you, or where did I hear something about Evidence is objective, real, observable, material, measureable? Oh ya, it was you. So you have evidence that contradicts what has been observed regarding matter right up to, um let’s see, the last two seconds?

    “Both of these premises are really the same, and they both beg the question “Did they have to?” We have no evidence that the universe started”

    You mean no evidence other than what we observe, repeat, measure and stuff like that. So explain to me how something with an infinite past arrives at today. If you respond to nothing else, I’d really like to hear your explanation to this one. =========

    “Further, why must that explanation be god? Why can’t there be a natural explanation.”

    Fair enough. What is it? Nothing that’s been proposed so far works. Is there something that only you know about but are waiting for just the right time to publish? ====

    “Further still, which God? Ostensibly you mean yours, but why not Ba’al, Odin, Allah, Vishnu, Kali, Kalumba, Yahweh (who is different than your god), Elohim (again, different), Enki, Innana, Zeus, Hera, Chronos, Prometheus, The Great Spirit, The IPU, The FSM… and so on.”

    That’s just childish. A man with your brilliance doesn’t need to stoop to that. Like I said, you can call the “force” whatever you want but most people in this part of the world call it God. ==============

    “This assumes that the premises are true, and are coherent, they are not, therefore your conclusion is unfounded.”

    Any idiot can criticize. So show me where it’s wrong. ============

    > If atheism is true, then the universe has no explanation of its existence. This in fact is what we are seeing as literally over a dozen theories have come and gone in a vain attempt to rule out God as cause of the universe. If there is an explanation of the universe’s existence, then atheism is not true. Most atheists would admit that the universe does indeed have a beginning. Hence, most atheists are implicitly committed to God being the explanation of why the universe exists.

    “Hang up and dial again, This is simply false, we have the evidence, we win.”

    Well, I apologize for being so slow. I just ask that you enlighten me. Which one of these statements is it that you have evidence for?
    . That the beginning of the universe has an agreed upon explanation?
    . That the universe doesn’t have a beginning?
    . That the universe had a beginning but it didn’t have a cause?

    Because I gotta tell you the last time I looked there was nothing but unsubstantiated theories, as one after another was dropped in favour of another possibility, after anther possibility after another possibility after another possibility – any possibility that left out a supernatural power a cause. Even Hume stated that he would never say anything as stupid as something could begin without having a cause. None of these supositions arose out of evidence but because of a philosophical tenderness that renders – ah never mind. I don’t want to start sounding like you. ========

    “I know I’m beginning to sound more and more flustered,”

    That’s not true. You sound more like an asshole. There! See what you’ve gone and made me do? 🙂 =============

    “You’re woeful misunderstanding of what it an infinite universe means pains me. An infinite universe is not an actual infinity,”

    Exactly, but a universe without a beginning, whether it be this universe or the one(s) that came before it and came before it and came before it IS described as an actual infinity, all in an attempt to rule out a supernatural cause which is the only logical conclusion. ==========

    “you are further incorrect in saying you cannot have an “Actual Infinite Number of Things or Events”, Cantor’s Set theory, modern ZF(C) Set theory, etc all deal with them all the time. Aleph numbers, the Continuum Hypothesis all argue around the sizes of infinite sets, that is, _actual infinities._”

    Wrong, it argues around potential infinites, not actually infinites. ========

    “If the universe were not as it was, we would not know, since we would not exist, since it is as it is, we exist via natural processes, and therefore we gain the _appearence_ of “Fine-tunedness” without needing someone to tune it.”

    Well, son, I’m afraid that your arrogance causes you to miss the most important point. That is, the term “Fine tuning” is not in and of itself implying anything beyond the fact that conditions in our universe could not be ANY different than they are or we would not be here. While needing something to bring about that fine-tuning is a logical conclusion, the term itself makes no such implication.

    Now, let me see if I understand you correctly. You’re implying that the universe as we know it is a necessary universe, that it can’t or couldn’t be any other way because this is the only way that universes present themselves. Wrong.

    ok – So you’re saying that the universe got this way by chance. Um hm. Isn’t it always the way that people who don’t understand probabilities are always the ones who claim that the impossible probably happened? =========

    “There is more than one universe, you know.”

    Again, this is more of you repeatable, observable, measurable scientific conclusions? You really aught to write a book. You’ve made some fascinating discoveries. =====

    “Would you think that is ethical? Obviusly not.”

    And, exactly why is that obvious?=========

    “Logic gives us ethics.”

    . Like it’s logical to kill our own offspring
    . Like it’s logical to own slaves
    . Like it’s logical to kill others of different faiths
    . Like it’s logical to abandon my wife and children so I can move in with another woman.
    . Like it’s logical to dump chemicals into the lake instead of paying huge amounts of money to have them disposed of properly.
    . Like it’s logical to discriminate against gays

    According to you and your societal norms, those things were all logically ethical at one time or another. And if you think one or more of them are wrong now, on what basis are you making that judgement? Because the society that raised you is more logical than another society that disagrees with you? Your arrogance and lack of wisdom is astounding. =========

    “The ontological argument is a giant load of Horseshit.”

    So says, um, what is your name again? =========

    > I also believe a Greatest Conceivable Being – God – exists because:
    . Abstract objects, such as numbers and propositions, are either independently existing realities
    or else they are concepts that find their grounding in and from some mind.
    . Abstract objects are not independently existing realities. Yet we intuitively know that they exist. Our problem is that when we become aware of the sheer volume of potential abstract objects we know for certain that the mind in which causes them to exist and find their being and grounding
    could never be any human mind.
    . If abstract objects are concepts in some mind, then an omniscient, metaphysically necessary
    being exists. That is, only in an infinite intelligence or mind can we find the grounding or cause for abstract objects. Because some of these concepts exist necessarily they cannot find their
    grounding in contingent beings, namely us.
    Because the above premises are true and coherent, the conclusion must also be true:
    – An omniscient, metaphysically necessary being exists. That being is what we call God.

    “No. Simply no, and I’d like to request that you stop misrepresenting my chosen field of study.”

    Ah poor baby. Again, going into a pout does not a refutation make. If you’ve got something important to say, why don’t you say it?

  9. More or less the response I expected, the fingers are stuck firmly in your ears, I’m not going to bother trying to explain how these things work.

    The repeated “No, simply no”‘s were extant because you’d made the same argument several times. It’s frustrating to hear the same fallacious idea repeated over and over.

    In any case, my “pouting” was due to your repeated butchering of my field of study, I take a great deal of pride in what I do, so seeing your complete lack of understanding of the area, well… the request was not intended as a refutation, it was a request.

    The argument against the historicity of jesus — which you dismissed without comment — is far from ignorant, there simply is no evidence. You’re welcome to believe in him if you like, but don’t claim archaeology supports you, don’t claim that the historicity “cannot be explained away”, I presented a _completely plausible_ alternative theory, hundreds of people were inventing messianic religions at the time, Mithraism is a fantastic example, you also have — I believe it was Simon, yah- Simon the sorcerer, a contemporary of jesus who claimed to be the messiah, did the messianic thing.

    You start talking about a Creator, I’m going to assume you are a creationist, and I’m further going to assume that if you are a creationist, you don’t buy the big bang, or evolution. If thats not the case, then I’m honestly confused as to why you bothered to reply to this with any evidence beyond “I’m convinced by my subjective experience”, you should know — assuming you actually understand the big bang cosmology and evolutionary theory, that these arguments don’t fly among scientists.

    I always aim to sound like an ass, it generally scares off the newbie young earthers, they’re a bit like gnats where I live, endlessly annoying, but mostly harmless.

    In any case, like I mentioned, your original comment, as well as this one, don’t give me the impression that you are willing to critically examine your own arguments on any level. I suppose I shouldn’t be so hard on you, but like I’ve mentioned, these are the same arguments — all of which are fallacious, the ability to convince does not imply the arguments correctness — that I and others have been dealing with for as long as we’ve been talking about this. It is not my practice to even bother discussing these things.

    I know that my response was not quite in the same order as yours, but it’s late.

    /joe

  10. My dear boy, it’s much later than you realise. Because it’s so like an atheist to superficially judge someone by h/her level of education (looks and wealth won’t be far behind) I’ll let you know that I only have a Graduate degree. Because I was able to retire at age 51, there was no pressing or economic need to go any further with my education. I’m now free to do what’s important in life. Anyhow, enjoy yourself as I’m sure you do.

  11. I believe an “I’m sorry” is in order. Once again I slipped into the role of snottiness in my interaction with someone who was equally gifted in snark. It’s not how I want to be.

    All I know is, when an intelligent person willfully abandons reason and begins to posit finite infinities, causeless beginnings and beginningless beginnings, all I know is that I’m dealing with someone in a desperate attempt to avoid a philosophically unacceptable conclusion: Creator God exists.

    All I know is, when an intelligent person willfully abandons classical historical scholarship and begins to deny known and knowable facts of history and claims that in all cases history is unknowable, when an intelligent person willfully and falsely claims to follow whatever ethical standard is currently in vogue and calls that a reasonable way to live, all I know is that I’m dealing with someone in a desperate, fearful attempt to avoid a philosophically unacceptable conclusion: Creator God exists.

    All I know is, when someone goes in search of ever more complicated solutions, abandoning one after another, after another, after another, not because of new evidence but because of a need to avoid current evidence, and when that person never returns to a simple solution that coincides with current knowledge and common sense, I know that I’ve encountered an individual who has been confronted with a philosophically unacceptable conclusion: Creator God exists.

  12. “all I know is that I’m dealing with someone in a desperate attempt to avoid a philosophically unacceptable conclusion: Creator God exists.”

    It’s not philosophically unacceptable. It is lacking in evidence and probability, and serves only to make an unlikely event (the formation of the present universe) even more unlikely (the formation of the present universe, plus the formation of some sort of god creature, plus whatever created that…and so on). It answers nothing, and only serves as a stopgap.

    I’m sorry makarios, but you seem to think that secular answers are somehow ‘more complicated’ than yours, but you’re incorrect. Your answer may contain fewer words, but nothing is more complicated than some sort of omni-(insert your favorite attribute) being with the ability to create the complicated universe. You’ve more than doubled the complexity of the issue, and provided no real answer.

  13. We can all go back and forth refuting, criticizing and negating evidence and its sources. There are credible scientists and philosophers on both sides.
    But what is the real issue here? Does God exist or does He not?

    If God could be proven, faith would be unneccessary. I am grateful for the unknown, but I also recognize that the Creator of the universe has manged to reveal His character within His creation. And although, you like to deny it, your belief in science an its ability to answer the question of origins does require faith. Science is built upon the assumption that the universe follows an ordered set of laws. And you believe this while refusing to speculate as to where or how these laws came to be. Don’t laws require a law giver?

    If secularists really believed that God does not exist or as morscode likes to put it, “we don’t believe in god” then why do they like to debate the issue so much? Why does it matter?

    In trying to put your point of view within a context that I can understand, I equate, “I don’t believe in god,” to for me “I don’t believe in the tooth fairy”. Well when I say I don’t believe in the tooth fairy I am also saying that I believe the tooth fairy does not exist. I recognize no forensic evidence supporting the existence of a tooth fairy. But there is forensic evidence supporting the existence of God. I refer to my own existence, I cannot cause myself to exist. I must have an external cause. I also refer to the existence of the universe which also requires a cause.

    If I recognize no forensic evidence supporting the existance of God, I must deny myself or further deny the universe or “being” in itself.

    Which is truth? “I think therefore I am.” or “I am therefore I think.”
    Being is prior to thinking, creating, speaking. Being is prior to creating all. That Being I worship as God.

  14. makarios,

    You are _absolutely right_ I judge people based on their intelligence, Education tends to have a significant effect on their intelligence. I notice you mention you have a graduate degree- fantastic, what in? Is it Physics, Biology, Math or Philosophy? Because that would certainly make grant your arguments more weight — don’t get me wrong, your arguments would still be fallacious, but it would be terribly interesting.

    You’re absolutely right that I do that- but I happen to think thats a good thing- see, While Wealth, Political or Social position, etc, is not necessarily earned by the person, I can always rest assured that — if one has been granted a degree from a reputable school, they have worked hard for it. I trust the experts in the fields. Simple as that. If you’re set in your ways, and accept a fallacious argument for what you believe, fine, but don’t conflate your surety with evidence. You believe in god based on your subjective experience. I, and others, are not convinced by subjective experience, the evidence we ask for is _always_ the objective experience. You mentioned whether I accept subjective-based advice, the answer is yes, I do; but with the caveat that the analogy is irrelevant. I may be influenced not to see a movie because someone said it sucked, but the question of the existence of deity is _well_ beyond what I might consider someones subjective experience as evidence. If we were able (and I don’t think we’ll ever be) to prove the existence of a supernatural… anything, it would be the most impressive scientific feat of all time- certainly subjective experience cannot influence us in this case.

    If God exists, and he interacts with the world, then there will be evidence of his existence, objective, observable, material evidence. We have not found any evidence for his existence, nor have we found any evidence for his _need to exist._ It seems a logical inference to say he doesn’t exist.

    The fact is, you are simply set in your ways- you are not willing to critically consider your position, and so when someone critically considers your position, you decide that he either “must be wrong” or that he is “just doesn’t get it” or any one of the standard — fallacious — theist retorts.

    You are no different than any other theist I’ve talked with, when push comes to shove, you believe in god because you want to believe in him, and when someone criticizes that position, you run the equivalent of the Toddler’s Defense.

    “I’m not listening, I’m not listening”

  15. @Nance

    > We can all go back and forth refuting, criticizing and negating evidence and its sources.
    > There are credible scientists and philosophers on both sides.

    Fair enough.

    > But what is the real issue here? Does God exist or does He not?

    Well, I mostly agree, except I might extend a second question, for after the first is answered — if god exists, then which one? But that’s another story.

    > If God could be proven, faith would be unneccessary. I am grateful for the unknown, but I also
    > recognize that the Creator of the universe has manged to reveal His character within His
    > creation.

    Once again, this evidence is subjective, science does not consider subjective evidence, if you want to play the game of science, these things cannot be considered supportive evidence. Perhaps it may be used to influence where to look for said objective evidence, but it simply does not count.

    > And although, you like to deny it, your belief in science an its ability to answer the question of
    > origins does require faith. Science is built upon the assumption that the universe follows an
    > ordered set of laws. And you believe this while refusing to speculate as to where or how these
    > laws came to be.

    No. This strawman of science may be built on that assumption, and this strawman might require faith, but _real_ science is based solely on what we observe. We infer, from the fact that the universe _seems_ to follow the same laws consistently, that it probably does everywhere, but that does not mean that it does. It is completely possible that, in some region of the universe we cannot see, a whole different set of physics exists. This is completely possible within the realm of science.

    > Don’t laws require a law giver?

    No, these are not the same kind of laws. In science, the word “Law” means a mathematical description of an observable fact. To follow the “lawgiver” argument to it’s absurd conclusion, simply ask, “Can you break the law of gravity?” Simply no, you are _always_ bound by the law of gravity, because the law of gravity is a mathematical description of how the universe works. The First Law of Motion would be better stated as the First Oberseved Mathematical Description of Motion, but thats wordy, so we call them Laws.

    Simply, a different universe will have different laws, and if those laws allowed some form of life to arise, then they would be having the same argument about _different laws._

    Scientific Laws require no faith, unless your a solipsist, but then you have a whole other set of problems.

    > If secularists really believed that God does not exist or as morscode likes to put it, “we don’t
    > believe in god” then why do they like to debate the issue so much? Why does it matter?

    The reasons are multifold, first, The questions that God tries to answer are _really_ interesting. Religious questions are interesting, simple as that. The opinion that we form is contrary, oftentimes, to the religious opinion, and the difference is that our opinion has supporting, objective, observable evidence. The Religious opinion has only faith.

    Secondly, If we were to find evidence for god’s existence, it would be the single greatest scientific discovery ever made, period. The question of deity is _really_ interesting.

    Third, it matters because a huge portion of the planet believes in these things, and further a good deal of those people seem to think that their particular brand of belief entitles them to maim, kill, rape, abuse children, or wage war on behalf of their particular sky-buddy. I don’t think you are one of these people, but given the fact that the rest of the religious community doesn’t seem to care, or even actively protects or encourages this behavior, leaves the unfortunate task of calling these people out up to the people who think it’s _always_ bad to molest, rape, kill, wage war, etc.

    Religion could single handedly end the better part of antitheism by the moderate religious taking a loud, active stance against fundamentalism and fanaticism.

    > In trying to put your point of view within a context that I can understand, I equate, “I don’t believe
    > in god,” to for me “I don’t believe in the tooth fairy”. Well when I say I don’t believe in the tooth
    > fairy I am also saying that I believe the tooth fairy does not exist. I recognize no forensic
    > evidence supporting the existence of a tooth fairy. But there is forensic evidence supporting the
    > existence of God. I refer to my own existence, I cannot cause myself to exist. I must have an
    > external cause. I also refer to the existence of the universe which also requires a cause.

    This is a interesting take on the argument from personal incredulity, I think. You don’t know where or how you could have come to exist, so therefore it must be god. Further, it relies on the same high-school causality as makarios. Causality _isn’t that simple_, explaining it would mostly cause headaches, it’s a really hard thing- but thats why we have people with PhD’s in Physics, who work at top universities, and work with top mathematicians to figure this crap out. Causality doesn’t work in the same way on the quantum level, and most likely thats how we got here, the universe is — in effect — one big collasping wave function, we’re just one possible expression of that wave.

    I said in an earlier post that I don’t expect other people to understand this, I meant to imply that I don’t expect you to understand in the near future- or even in the distant future. It takes a very long time to learn how quantum physics works, how causality really works, etc. If you try- I’m certain anyone _can_ understand it, but it will take a very long time. Basically, your argument boils down to the Kalam argument + personal incredulity + a misunderstanding of causality.

    > If I recognize no forensic evidence supporting the existance of God, I must deny myself or
    > further deny the universe or “being” in itself.

    See above.

    > Which is truth? “I think therefore I am.” or “I am therefore I think.”

    What does any of that have to do with the price of cheese? This is a big old non sequitor. Maybe you can explain the significance, if so, I’ll try to respond then.

    > Being is prior to thinking, creating, speaking. Being is prior to creating all. That Being I worship
    > as God.

    Again, why? This begs the question that your premise is true. Causality doesn’t work like that, quantum causality often allows for an apparent reversal of cause and effect. All Causality promises is that- when all is said and done, and all the causes and effects are summed up, there will be causes for every effect. Doesn’t really talk about when, where, why, or how those causes will show up.

    Anyway, I hope I was nicer in this reply, If not, well. I’m a baby-eating atheist, you probably didn’t expect much in the first place. 🙂

  16. What ever – Good luck on your journey.

  17. […] What’s The Big Bang? August 25, 2008 Posted by Alumbrados in Evolution. Tags: Evolution trackback There is no need to disprove the Big Bang. It first has to be proved. How can you disprove something which has not been proved? https://suddenlyatheist.wordpress.com/2008/08/18/disproving-the-big-bang-is-not-enough/ […]

  18. […] The non-religious – tend to make twisted conclusions and finally when I straighten them out and put them on the spot, […]

  19. Wow this is one the longest comment strings I have almost read. Let me make it easy, which is how I came to my conclusion: Big Bang from a pinhole… How did the pin hole get there and where did it come from? Gases and certain things came together, but where did the gases come from? How were they all created?
    Everything must be created by something, and at the top of this string, then some sort of immaculate creation happens, whether you believe in God or some other supreme being.

  20. “Everything must be created by something,”

    Incorrect. The word “created” is loaded and unnecessary.

    Everything must come from something else. Fine. And I’ve already pointed out, the Big Bang did come from something earlier.

    Just because we’re not sure what that thing is does not make it correct to say that “Magic man done it.”

  21. Explain how created is loaded. It’s just a word that means constructed or produced. What did the big bang come from before?

  22. “Created” implies “creator”. Which is convenient for their argument, but they need to have evidence first.

    No idea what the big bang came from.

    But the answer “magic man done it” does not fit any of the evidence.

  23. Neither does Science.

  24. You do know that science is a process, don’t you? ‘Science’ isn’t an answer…it’s the way to arrive at answers.

  25. Let me re explain my last comment. You said “But the answer ‘magic man done it’ does not fit any of the evidence” and I replied “Neither does Science”. If I said, the ‘process’ of Science does not fit any of the evidence, do you understand that? The ‘process’ of Science has yet to provide solid evidence either. Science is a process, true, but it can provide answers, which my point is that it has yet to do that for me.

  26. First, science doesn’t provide evidence. It finds it.

    But otherwise, I agree.

    Which is why the proper answer is “I don’t know”. More to the point, “you don’t know”.

    And unless or until you have evidence, we will not believe that ‘magic man done it.’

  27. i’m afraid that all the argumets for the existance of god are vacuous, which is somewhat dissapointing, even if only from a social perspective. haha… Religion doesn’t provide answers either, they’re just uneducated (or should i say revelated?) guesses about mostly ontology. The big bang theory doesn’t describe the beginning of the universe everyone, just the history of the universe back to 10^-43 sec ATB (planck time), and the whole 5th chapter of Briane Green’s book (i forget if it was the Elegent Universe or the second one) was “what Banged?”

    I personally don’t adhear to the idea that there is some sort of Master of all Destiny (ect. al), for the simpe fact that such a job description has 0 freedom in it. I would like to say that i hope there’s more to reality than the material, but then what about even further, beyond even the spiritual or mental domains; a completely new existential arena, if you will. Where is your god then? Science knows no limits, because it is just an unending deductive process. in that sense, science is much greater, so “having no ultimate answers” is perfectly fine, if not preferable, because it begs to be disproven. i know i’m babbling, so i’ll end this. Positivism is the only way to resolve any empirical question, and if it isn’t an imperical question, then it isn’t a discussion of science, but metaphysics

    BTW, You can’t prove a universal negitive, so “there is no solid evidence” is just blathering. Oh, and did even 1 of you even consider a multiverse? exactly creationists, ever hear of the weak anthropic principle?

  28. Correction: CH. 10 Deconstructing the Big Bang in The Fabric of the Cosmos by Brian Greene; the 1st heading of the chapter was” What Banged?” and that stuck with me. The interesting contrast between science and religion is that any particular faith is either 0% or 100% correct, so absolute answers CAN only be found there. But that’s one hell of a crap shoot… much lower than anthropically weak universes with me here arguing the point at any rate. Oh that’s right, infinity is what you think there is, so no matter how inane the possibility, it must be true. but trust me, that doesn’t stand up to our knowledge of spacetime, it isn’t infinite, just staggeringly, blitheringly huge.

    jfredett, exactly WRONG (just kidding, you’re right) about quantum causality, though decoherance is a huge problem and renders most quantum effects null. but i guess you’re talking about essentially the randomized results of the background radiation, the whole collapsing wavefunction idea ties in heavily with the Many Worlds Interpretation. But still, who or what collapsed that primordial wavefunction?
    At any rate, the universe is highly chaotic, with a hude ceveat in emergant properties; maybe we aren’t so unlikely after all. An interesting take on all that is The Intelligent Universe by James Gardner

    One last thing, if god has proof, then he must exist and has no say in the matter. not so omnipotent if he can’e even govern his own state of affairs, because he will naturally only choose 1 action, the best of all possible actions, and the creation of the best of all possible worlds, to take up a piece of Leibniz. In fact, he isn’t omnipotent, logic is, and nature- that is to say the nature of god. Well, maybe he doesn’t have to exist then, and if he isn’t the necessary Creator, then he is merely some form of unhappy ‘ubermensch’, or worse off yet, imaginary. Logic dictates that he cannot be omniscient and perfectly moral (who said gods have morals anyway?) AND have free will, so there you have it. No god, because there is no such thing as perfect freedom.The only Real power of God anyway is his omnipresence, and from that omni- anything else follows. Surely this becomes the problem of Evil. Spinoza, i think, was rather close to the mark. That’s my two cents anyway…

  29. Shame there was no follow up here….


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