Atheism debate

Is there a god? What is the meaning of life?
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Glacier
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Re: Atheism debate

Post by Glacier »

JonyDarko wrote:
Oh and Steven, not believing in god is not an act of faith. By that logic not believing in dragons, unicorns, flying spaghetti monsters, and leprechauns is also an act of faith.

In reality not believing in those things is just common sense.


The origins of the universe and life has to be taken on faith. Either God created life, or the second law of thermodynamics was defied and matter came together to produce more complexity. Both of these beliefs take a heck of a lot of faith when you think about it. Either faith that a god you cannot see did it, or faith that somehow the laws of physics where different "in the beginning." To not believe in a god may not be faith in God per se, but faith in something none the less.
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JonyDarko
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Re: Atheism debate

Post by JonyDarko »

When did I mention the origins of the universe?

How much do you know about current hypothesis and theories that have to do with the beginning of the universe?

Did you read my post?

Let me simplify it for you, I said that not believing in a god or gods requires no faith at all. It is the same as not believing in magic or Santa Clause. Hell saying god created the universe is a lot like saying "it was magic", the difference is one gets you welcomed into a cult and the other gets you laughed into a looney bin. Please addres my actual statements...thank you in advance
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steven lloyd
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Re: Atheism debate

Post by steven lloyd »

JonyDarko wrote:Actually if you bring an idea to the table, you should be willing to at least provide some valid evidence. If you do not, you should not expect to be taken seriously.


Actually Jony, if you read my posts carefully you’ll see I just recently brought two very clear ideas to the table:
1) evidence is open to interpretation and is not the same thing as proof, and
2) the argument of whether God exists or not cannot currently be proven either way by logic or scientific method.

I really do not care if want to take those ideas seriously or not - just as I really do not care whether you believe in the existence of God or not. Why is it so important to you to be right about God not existing, and for others to be wrong in believing God does exist? I don’t understand why you and (some) other atheists are so threatened by the fact some people believe in God’s existence (unless you completely underestimate the diversity of people’s belief systems and erroneously assume everyone who believes in God is some sort of fundamentalist crackpot).

JonyDarko wrote: On the other hand you are free to believe in anything you want too. Just do not try and make your beliefs seem more valid then they are. A common thing that gits my goat is when someone wants science to prove or show more evidence of something while not being willing to do the same.


My beliefs regarding the existence of God are no more or less valid than your belief God does not exist. I have not asked you (or anyone) to provide science or logic to prove or disprove God’s existence as I understand there is no logic or science currently available to do so. I believe I have also clearly stated that trying to “win” this argument is quite senseless. It’s unfortunate you (and some others) are so bent on being “right” about this.

Keep your faith.
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mechanic_virus
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Re: Atheism debate

Post by mechanic_virus »

steven lloyd wrote:My beliefs regarding the existence of God are no more or less valid than your belief God does not exist. I have not asked you (or anyone) to provide science or logic to prove or disprove God’s existence as I understand there is no logic or science currently available to do so. I believe I have also clearly stated that trying to “win” this argument is quite senseless. It’s unfortunate you (and some others) are so bent on being “right” about this.

It might have something to do with the threads title being "Atheism Debate"? :smt102
I've yet to participate in a debate where both sides just agreed that they could be right or wrong without attempting to defend/provide evidence for their belief.
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nolanrh
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Re: Atheism debate

Post by nolanrh »

steven lloyd wrote:I really do not care if want to take those ideas seriously or not - just as I really do not care whether you believe in the existence of God or not. Why is it so important to you to be right about God not existing, and for others to be wrong in believing God does exist? I don’t understand why you and (some) other atheists are so threatened by the fact some people believe in God’s existence
Keep your faith.


This debate is important to many atheists, because the belief in God and the theology associated with the belief in a God has a massive impact on many of their lives. Religious wars, societal pressure to conform to religious values, political policy guided by religious beliefs. These are things that atheists and non-atheists have to deal with in our society. As great as it would be to live in a society where others beliefs do not affect atheists, this is simply not the case in ours.

One fundamental principle in most religions is the existance of God. As such, the debate isnt just about who is right. It is about whether the foundations of much of our society have any real basis.
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hellomynameis
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Re: Atheism debate

Post by hellomynameis »

How would the evidence differ in a universe without God?

I think if we are talking about a non-specific God then yes, God could exist in the universe without ever being detected by science, however what use is that God? All our Gods come with histories and creeds and interaction within our universe and ourselves, which provides us with many falsifiable statements.

Atheism does not require faith, gaps in the current knowledge base, from the standpoint of science, do not require faith. We are talking about fundamental differences of semantics:

A hypothesis is a reasoned prediction of a phenomena based on the culmination of prior experiments and evidences. It is a virtual deduction, it either turns into truth(evidence) or it disappears.

I would also like the hear the question answered how 99% of the other Gods can be rejected over the one you (whoever you are) believe in.
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Mr Danksworth
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Re: Atheism debate

Post by Mr Danksworth »

recedingglacier wrote:

There are many other evidences and demonstrations that can be used to show that there was a beginning - such as the second law of thermodynamics. The second law of thermodynamics states that in a closed system, things move towards a state of disorder. This means that the cosmos must have had a beginning because if it had always been here it would now be totaly disordered and freezing cold because heat death would have set in. Therefore thermodynamically, the universe had to have a beginning.



Tell your friend to go back to science class. He/She is using a classic creationist arguement, which has been debunked/explained so many times that it is not even funny anymore...it's kind of sad.

Definition: The "Second Law of Thermodynamics" plays a common role in debates regarding evolution and creationism, but mostly because supporters of creationism don't understand what it means, even though they really think they do.

According to the 2LoT, every isolated system will eventually reach "thermal equilibrium," in which energy is not transferred from one part of the system to another. This is a state of maximum entropy where there is no order, no life and nothing happening. According to creationists, this means that everything is gradually running down and, hence, science proves that evolution cannot happen. How? Because evolution represents an increase in order, and that contadicts thermodynamics.

What these creationists fail to understand, however, is that there are two key words in the above definition: "isolated" and "eventually." The 2LoT only applies to isolated systems - to be isolated, a system cannot exchange energy or matter with any other system. Such a system will eventually reach thermal equilibrium. Now, is the earth an isolated system? No, there is a constant influx of energy from the sun. Will the earth, as part of the universe, eventually reach thermal equilibrium? Apparently - but in the mean time, portions of the universe do not have to constantly "wind down." The 2LoT is not violated when non-isolated systems decrease in entropy. The 2LoT is also not violated when portions of an isolated system (as our planet is a portion of the universe) temporarily decrease in entropy.
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Re: Atheism debate

Post by katzenjammer »

I would also like to add that there is a great deal we do not understand about the universe. There may be many other dimensions of which we are unaware and that may have an enormous effect the meaning of the “beginning”. Perhaps the universe is not a closed system. Perhaps 2loT is meaningless in a universe with 11 dimensions. I don’t know and I am not going to assume a God because of that.
Many people use the word "God" but never clarify what they mean. Please define. If all God ever did was create the universe then you may as well not mention God for that is meaningless and tells us nothing.

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AlanH
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Re: Atheism debate

Post by AlanH »

Fundamentally, Science consistently searches for an answer, whereas, religion does not. If Science finds God, they will report on it, thus far, no evidence can be provided to confirm his existence. Science is not faith, but Religion is. And there is nothing wrong with believing in either.
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Re: Atheism debate

Post by Tumult »

One undercurrent of these types of discussions is the idea that there can be only one correct answer. Everything we know, understand and experience is tranlated(interpreted, perceived) by our consciousness. We have, through technology expanded our ability to perceive things in the universe but we have yet to find "the" answer (unified theory?). Logic and reason are only part of our consciousness' methods to perceive the universe, things like emotion, intuition and creativity are other ways people experience the universe and yet these qualities are frequently considered less valuable and/or unreliable. Science shows us that there can be more than one answer, for example light is both a particle and a wave. When people, of any position(side) in the debate insist that there can be only one answer we encounter problems. There are indications that all things are connected in multiple ways.
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hellomynameis
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Re: Atheism debate

Post by hellomynameis »

AlanH wrote:Fundamentally, Science consistently searches for an answer, whereas, religion does not. If Science finds God, they will report on it, thus far, no evidence can be provided to confirm his existence. Science is not faith, but Religion is. And there is nothing wrong with believing in either.


Agreed so long as neither camp insists on infiltrating the other against their will.


Tumult wrote:One undercurrent of these types of discussions is the idea that there can be only one correct answer. Everything we know, understand and experience is tranlated(interpreted, perceived) by our consciousness. We have, through technology expanded our ability to perceive things in the universe but we have yet to find "the" answer (unified theory?). Logic and reason are only part of our consciousness' methods to perceive the universe, things like emotion, intuition and creativity are other ways people experience the universe and yet these qualities are frequently considered less valuable and/or unreliable. Science shows us that there can be more than one answer, for example light is both a particle and a wave. When people, of any position(side) in the debate insist that there can be only one answer we encounter problems. There are indications that all things are connected in multiple ways.


However, if we apply our “emotion, intuition and creativity” to interpreting the universe and from this we glean some system, idea or belief (like spirituality) and this belief interacts with the physical world than in all likelihood it should produce measurable observations.
Last edited by hellomynameis on Sep 6th, 2008, 1:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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AlanH
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Re: Atheism debate

Post by AlanH »

Hellomynameis wrote:
AlanH wrote:Fundamentally, Science consistently searches for an answer, whereas, religion does not. If Science finds God, they will report on it, thus far, no evidence can be provided to confirm his existence. Science is not faith, but Religion is. And there is nothing wrong with believing in either.


Agreed so long as neither camp insists on infiltrating the other against their will.


A good point, although sadly one that points out exactly why threads like these are made, as well as why Creationists want differing teachings in Schools... etc... etc.... I don't believe it would be possible for all differing camps to agree, unless there was full segregation of faith, and science, in all aspects of life. Barring that, I guess we have it about as good as it'll get, until more evidence is presented.
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Re: Atheism debate

Post by Born_again »

Tumult wrote:One undercurrent of these types of discussions is the idea that there can be only one correct answer. Everything we know, understand and experience is tranlated(interpreted, perceived) by our consciousness. We have, through technology expanded our ability to perceive things in the universe but we have yet to find "the" answer (unified theory?). Logic and reason are only part of our consciousness' methods to perceive the universe, things like emotion, intuition and creativity are other ways people experience the universe and yet these qualities are frequently considered less valuable and/or unreliable. Science shows us that there can be more than one answer, for example light is both a particle and a wave. When people, of any position(side) in the debate insist that there can be only one answer we encounter problems. There are indications that all things are connected in multiple ways.

There is a lot of truth in what you say with regards to the perceived single-minded approach to the "correct answer". However, I would argue that someone that has chosen to follow the logical and reasoned approach is not actually fixed in their convictions just because they subscribe to a particular scientific theory.
For example, I would argue for the Theory of Evolution or the Big Bang until I was blue in the face if the opposing argument was just Creation, however, if we start finding fossils on far-away planets with identical features(DNA) to animals that have or do exist on earth, I'd drop my subscription to evolutionary theories in a heartbeat, as would most, if not all Atheists. You could also bet your bottom dollar that every scientist on the planet would be wholeheartedly moving towards a hypothesis that there is some form of 'intelligent design'.
I don't doubt for a second that there is a Unified Theory waiting to be tabulated, and I would not rule-out god being part of the ultimate equation, however unlikely that it seems. Regardless, if science proves that there is a god, the ultimate irony of all ironies is that the first person ever to communicate with god will undoubtedly be a scientist.
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In my mind, the single-most damning piece of evidence that could arguably consign the 'god' debate to the junk-yard of history, is almost upon us. I have touched on this elsewhere in these forums; and it revolves around proving the existence of the Higgs boson. The Higgs boson is the only undetected element remaining that's existence or non-existence can prove or disprove the 'standard model' physicists have theorised. If proven, there is very little scope for religion to warrant any 'air-time', ever again, insh'allah ;-)
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Tumult
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Re: Atheism debate

Post by Tumult »

Hellomynameis wrote:However, if we apply our “emotion, intuition and creativity” to interpreting the universe and from this we glean some system, idea or belief (like spirituality) and this belief interacts with the physical world then in all likelihood it should produce measurable observations.


It may be a case of us not recognizing the observations, not being able to "measure" them or that the observations are perceived different depending on the "observer's" point of reference. Consider that the active brain areas are the same for someone in the physical presence of an object as they are for someone remembering(visualizing) the same object.
ETA It could even be a case of trying to "hear" with our eyes (using the wrong channel of perception?)
Last edited by Tumult on Sep 5th, 2008, 11:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Tumult
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Re: Atheism debate

Post by Tumult »

Born_again wrote:There is a lot of truth in what you say with regards to the perceived single-minded approach to the "correct answer". However, I would argue that someone that has chosen to follow the logical and reasoned approach is not actually fixed in their convictions just because they subscribe to a particular scientific theory.
For example, I would argue for the Theory of Evolution or the Big Bang until I was blue in the face if the opposing argument was just Creation, however, if we start finding fossils on far-away planets with identical features(DNA) to animals that have or do exist on earth, I'd drop my subscription to evolutionary theories in a heartbeat, as would most, if not all Atheists. You could also bet your bottom dollar that every scientist on the planet would be wholeheartedly moving towards a hypothesis that there is some form of 'intelligent design'.
I don't doubt for a second that there is a Unified Theory waiting to be tabulated, and I would not rule-out god being part of the ultimate equation, however unlikely that it seems. Regardless, if science proves that there is a god, the ultimate irony of all ironies is that the first person ever to communicate with god will undoubtedly be a scientist.


While it may very well be that generally speaking Atheists and scientists are more open to new ideas they are still only human and are just as liable to invest undue emotion into a particular perspective or theory. I would say you have a lot of faith in the open-mindedness of most, if not all Atheists and every scientist. :spinball:
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