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antony
October 8th, 2006, 12:45 PM
I once heard in explained to me as "an agnostic is an atheist who won't admit it." My own experience leads me to believe something more like "an agnostic really doesn't believe in God, while an atheist is angry at God." What's your view on the interplay between the two terms?

GeoffBoulton
October 8th, 2006, 02:01 PM
You can't be angry at something if you don't believe in it.

Are you angry at Father Christmas for instance or do you believe in him too?

Jillamanda
October 8th, 2006, 02:58 PM
My own experience leads me to believe something more like "an agnostic really doesn't believe in God, while an atheist is angry at God." What's your view on the interplay between the two terms?

I think it's the other way around. Most agnostics I've ever spoken to believe there's something spiritual out there. Not necessarily God, or even a god, but something. Atheists believe they are masters of their own destiny. As GeoffBoulton pointed out - how can you be angry at something in which you have no belief? An agnostic, however, does have something spiritual to pin their anger on.

I wonder if Christians ever get angry at God, or do they just praise him for all the good stuff and blame someone else for all the bad stuff (Satan?). Would a Muslim get angry with Allah?....or a Buddhist with Buddha? I don't think that's what gods are for, even if you're agnostic.

Carnifex
October 8th, 2006, 03:20 PM
Im agnostic athiest i.e i believe that a supreme being is unkowable and ultimately pointless to our existance.

I dont think theres too much difference between agnosticism and atheism, but i prefer a more agnostic side to people, because admitting that you dont really know is a good step.

Lets remember what Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort say though, we are all agnostic :P

Xoligy
October 8th, 2006, 05:02 PM
Agnostic means you believe in the possibility of some divine being, you just don't know for sure. Atheist is where you don't believe in anything of the such.

GeoffBoulton
October 8th, 2006, 05:15 PM
Just for interest, not part of the argument ;)

An agnostic does not deny the existence of God and heaven but holds that one cannot know for certain whether or not they exist. The term agnostic was fittingly coined by the 19th-century British scientist Thomas H. Huxley, who believed that only material phenomena were objects of exact knowledge. He made up the word from the prefix a–, meaning “without, not,” as in amoral, and the noun Gnostic. Gnostic is related to the Greek word gnōsis, “knowledge,” which was used by early Christian writers to mean “higher, esoteric knowledge of spiritual things”; hence, Gnostic referred to those with such knowledge. In coining the term agnostic, Huxley was considering as “Gnostics” a group of his fellow intellectuals—“ists,” as he called them—who had eagerly embraced various doctrines or theories that explained the world to their satisfaction. Because he was a “man without a rag of a label to cover himself with,” Huxley coined the term agnostic for himself, its first published use being in 1870.

http://www.answers.com/agnostic&r=67

Nanashi
October 8th, 2006, 05:26 PM
Connotatively, Atheists are linked to being mad at Christians, not god.

It seems like the majority has a bone to pick with them, because they are so damn pushy, ignorant, etc.

GeoffBoulton
October 8th, 2006, 05:35 PM
Hit the nail on the head there nanashi ;)

Fallen Hero
October 8th, 2006, 06:15 PM
I'm more angry at them for dragging me to church hoping it would make me believe. Also for people like Jack Chick.

emperor_bob
October 13th, 2006, 07:54 PM
I believe in God because it's the only logical explanation for our existence. Even the big bang required something to strike the match or push the first domino.

It's religion I don't believe in... well until Googlism came along of course ;)

So would that classify me as a theist or spiritualist?

GeoffBoulton
October 13th, 2006, 08:53 PM
I believe in God because it's the only logical explanation for our existence. Even the big bang required something to strike the match or push the first domino.

Imagining a fictious super-being to provide answers to questions we cannot otherwise answer has nothing to do with logic or reason.

To suppose that the big bang required something to strike the match is also just an assumption. We do not know whether anything was required or not.

Indeed, at the sub-molecular levels explored in Quantum Mechanics, events are often not ruled by the same rules of 'cause and effect' by which our macroscopic world is ruled and are instead ruled by simple probability with no 'cause' being needed.

So would that classify me as a theist or spiritualist?

If you believe in any god or gods you are a theist whether you choose to demonstrate your theism through an organised religion or not. ;)

emperor_bob
October 13th, 2006, 09:19 PM
I believe in God because it's the only logical explanation for our existence. Even the big bang required something to strike the match or push the first domino.

Imagining a fictious super-being to provide answers to questions we cannot otherwise answer has nothing to do with logic or reason.

The absence of any other reasonable answer leads a reasonable person to accept the remaining answer as logical.

I make no assumptions about the nature of 'God' other than being the originating cause. The alternative would be to believe that there is no beginning and no end. However, our knowledge does indicate there was indeed a beginning.

Indeed, at the sub-molecular levels explored in Quantum Mechanics, events are often not ruled by the same rules of 'cause and effect' by which our macroscopic world is ruled and are instead ruled by simple probability with no 'cause' being needed.

Just because we have yet to identify the cause, doesn't mean that the cause doesn't exist outside of our knowledge, experience or capability of understanding. Isn't it equally probable that the cause could be the hand of god as in the original cause?

So would that classify me as a theist or spiritualist?

If you believe in any god or gods you are a theist whether you choose to demonstrate your theism through an organised religion or not. ;)

Unfortunately I'll have to concede that point. Even though it makes me feel dirty to be included with most other theists, with the exception of Googlist of course.

GeoffBoulton
October 13th, 2006, 09:38 PM
On halloween the doorbell rang. When I answered the door there was a brown paper bag full of dog turd on my doorstep. The bag had been set on fire. How did that get there?

1. Dogs don't know how to ring doorbells or how to use matches.
2. There was no person in sight who could have done it.

Since I don't therefore have any other explanation it must have been a pyromaniac, copraphiliac ghost with a warped sense of humour.

This is the same argument that you are using. This is not 'accepting the only remaining answer as the only logical explanation', it is simply not having an answer and making one up.

There is no more evidence for God than there is for my poo-loving ghost, the ghost is not an 'answer' it is just a 'made up' explanation.

Of course, if you DO have evidence for God, I will be happy to hear about it, as I'm sure would many other people on this forum.

If you don't have any evidence then it is just as I said, a made up answer for something that you don't understand. ;)

emperor_bob
October 13th, 2006, 10:13 PM
Since I don't therefore have any other explanation it must have been a pyromaniac, copraphiliac ghost with a warped sense of humour.

This is the same argument that you are using. This is not 'accepting the only remaining answer as the only logical explanation', it is simply not having an answer and making one up.

It's not the same because there are other reasonable answers other than your ghost.

However, there is no other reasonable answers to 'original cause' other than God.

You seem to be hung up on traditional ideas of what 'God' is. I have no other notions about God other than being the original cause. I have no proof that the original cause is God, nor does anyone have any proof that it isn't.

If you have a better explanation of the original cause I'm listening. ;)

AaronD
October 14th, 2006, 12:44 AM
Since I don't therefore have any other explanation it must have been a pyromaniac, copraphiliac ghost with a warped sense of humour.

This is the same argument that you are using. This is not 'accepting the only remaining answer as the only logical explanation', it is simply not having an answer and making one up.

It's not the same because there are other reasonable answers other than your ghost.

However, there is no other reasonable answers to 'original cause' other than God.

You seem to be hung up on traditional ideas of what 'God' is. I have no other notions about God other than being the original cause. I have no proof that the original cause is God, nor does anyone have any proof that it isn't.

If you have a better explanation of the original cause I'm listening. ;)

The universe, according to the Big Bang theory, and as discovered by Stephen Hawkings (the creepiest guy you will ever hear/see), started out as a singularity. In case you don't know, a singularity is an atom with infinite density, as discovered to be possible through Einstein's theory of General Relativity. This singularity was incredibly unstable as far as is nucleus and valence electrons were concerned, and was destined to explode eventually. When it did explode, the atom contracted and then released its monumental amount of mass into the universe, where the elements this singularity reacted to become eventually formed everything there is today. The universe is constantly expanding according to Hubble's law, and Hubble's constant provides us with the speed at which it is expanding. There is no need to call deities into this discussion, except in wondering where the original singularity from which the universe was made came from. I think it is mind-boggling to think that one atom created an entire universe.

emperor_bob
October 14th, 2006, 12:55 AM
There is no need to call deities into this discussion, except in wondering where the original singularity from which the universe was made came from. I think it is mind-boggling to think that one atom created an entire universe.

That's another way to look at it. If you ascribe to the spontaneous combustion theory, then where did that original singularity come from? How did existence go from nothing to something? What is the original cause? What other than the hand of God is a reasonable explanation?

GeoffBoulton
October 14th, 2006, 01:01 AM
It's not the same because there are other reasonable answers other than your ghost. However, there is no other reasonable answers to 'original cause' other than God.

There ARE other reasonable explanations so it is exactly the same as my ghost example. Not knowing or understanding the reasons does not make them 'unreasonable'.

Pre-Big-Bang in String Cosmology (yes, PRE big bang)
http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/hep-th/pdf/9211/9211021.pdf

I have no proof that the original cause is God, nor does anyone have any proof that it isn't.

You are making the claim that God 'caused' the universe. It is up to you to prove the validity of your claim, not for me, or anyone else, to disprove it.

Cain
October 14th, 2006, 01:08 AM
Just for interest, not part of the argument ;)

An agnostic does not deny the existence of God and heaven but holds that one cannot know for certain whether or not they exist. The term agnostic was fittingly coined by the 19th-century British scientist Thomas H. Huxley, who believed that only material phenomena were objects of exact knowledge. He made up the word from the prefix a–, meaning “without, not,” as in amoral, and the noun Gnostic. Gnostic is related to the Greek word gnōsis, “knowledge,” which was used by early Christian writers to mean “higher, esoteric knowledge of spiritual things”; hence, Gnostic referred to those with such knowledge. In coining the term agnostic, Huxley was considering as “Gnostics” a group of his fellow intellectuals—“ists,” as he called them—who had eagerly embraced various doctrines or theories that explained the world to their satisfaction. Because he was a “man without a rag of a label to cover himself with,” Huxley coined the term agnostic for himself, its first published use being in 1870.

http://www.answers.com/agnostic&r=67

I tend to this viewpoint. I cannot prove one way or another that a god or gods exist. However, if they do, they leave me alone and I do the same. A fair arrangement, I think.

emperor_bob
October 14th, 2006, 02:02 AM
There ARE other reasonable explanations so it is exactly the same as my ghost example. Not knowing or understanding the reasons does not make them 'unreasonable'.

Pre-Big-Bang in String Cosmology (yes, PRE big bang)
http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/hep-th/pdf/9211/9211021.pdf

From your source above the abstract:
The duality-type symmetries of string cosmology naturally lead us to expect a pre-big-bang phase of accelerated evolution as the dual counterpart of the decelerating expansion era of standard cosmology. Several properties of this scenario are discussed, including the possibility that it avoids the initial singularity and that it provides a large amount of inflation. We also discuss how possible tracks of the pre-big-bang era may be looked for directly in the spectral and "squeezing" properties of relic gravitons and, indirectly, in the distorsion they induce on the cosmic microwave background.

Obviously I haven't read the whole document, nor am I likely to. Contrary to popular belief I actually do have a life. :) It doesn't appear to me that they are presenting a definitive answer to the question of the original cause. They are discussing another "possiblity", but not where did the intial matter or energy come from. How do they get from nothing to something? That is what everyone is still looking for and still haven't found.

I have no proof that the original cause is God, nor does anyone have any proof that it isn't.

You are making the claim that God 'caused' the universe. It is up to you to prove the validity of your claim, not for me, or anyone else, to disprove it.

I don't have to prove anything. Neither do you. There is no proof of the original cause, neither matter nor energy.

Your answer is you don't know what it is, but you know it isn't God. That's fine with me.

My answer is no matter how many iterations backwards we look, at some point there must be a beginning. That beginning must be God, because there is no other reasonable explanation for something from nothing - in my opinion.

AaronD
October 14th, 2006, 02:48 AM
There ARE other reasonable explanations so it is exactly the same as my ghost example. Not knowing or understanding the reasons does not make them 'unreasonable'.

Pre-Big-Bang in String Cosmology (yes, PRE big bang)
http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/hep-th/pdf/9211/9211021.pdf

From your source above the abstract:
The duality-type symmetries of string cosmology naturally lead us to expect a pre-big-bang phase of accelerated evolution as the dual counterpart of the decelerating expansion era of standard cosmology. Several properties of this scenario are discussed, including the possibility that it avoids the initial singularity and that it provides a large amount of inflation. We also discuss how possible tracks of the pre-big-bang era may be looked for directly in the spectral and "squeezing" properties of relic gravitons and, indirectly, in the distorsion they induce on the cosmic microwave background.

Obviously I haven't read the whole document, nor am I likely to. Contrary to popular belief I actually do have a life. :) It doesn't appear to me that they are presenting a definitive answer to the question of the original cause. They are discussing another "possiblity", but not where did the intial matter or energy come from. How do they get from nothing to something? That is what everyone is still looking for and still haven't found.

I have no proof that the original cause is God, nor does anyone have any proof that it isn't.

You are making the claim that God 'caused' the universe. It is up to you to prove the validity of your claim, not for me, or anyone else, to disprove it.

I don't have to prove anything. Neither do you. There is no proof of the original cause, neither matter nor energy.

Your answer is you don't know what it is, but you know it isn't God. That's fine with me.

My answer is no matter how many iterations backwards we look, at some point there must be a beginning. That beginning must be God, because there is no other reasonable explanation for something from nothing - in my opinion.


Your main flaw is that you believe god is a reasonable explanation. If a God must have been around to create the universe, then what created God? You can't simply say "God was there" because, as you say, at some point there must be a beginning. After you ponder that one, it gets you thinking, "What created God's creator? What created the creator of the creator of God? What created the creator of the creator of the creator of God?" and so on and so forth into infinity. There is no end to this chain of circular logic, and, as such, it gets nowhere and leads to nowhere, proves nothing, and cannot be proven. Let us face the light, the simple fact that we do not and may never know what started the universe, as it was billions of years before we even inhabited this small planet in this small spiral arm of this small galaxy in this unfathomably large universe of ours, and the evidence of how the universe got started (if it is still present) is rapidly deteriorating. There it is. We may never know how the universe really got started, and there is very little any of us can do about it. It may help to accept this fact as an axiom, or at least a tautological statement, as it is a simple truth.

emperor_bob
October 14th, 2006, 05:24 AM
Your main flaw is that you believe god is a reasonable explanation.

In that case it would seem to me that your main flaw is that you don't have an alternative explanation.

If a God must have been around to create the universe, then what created God? You can't simply say "God was there" because, as you say, at some point there must be a beginning.

God IS the beginning. In that instant between nothing and something we will find the hand of God.

We may never know how the universe really got started, and there is very little any of us can do about it. It may help to accept this fact as an axiom, or at least a tautological statement, as it is a simple truth.

I'm ok with not knowing. I don't feel any need to be right, to prove anything, or to prove anyone wrong. The fact is though, is that there IS an answer, whether we ever know it or not, it is out there. So I choose to believe what I believe, and you are free to believe what you believe or not. The real answer to the question may be - "it doesn't matter".

AaronD
October 14th, 2006, 05:43 AM
Your main flaw is that you believe god is a reasonable explanation.

In that case it would seem to me that your main flaw is that you don't have an alternative explanation.
I do. It is called the Big Bang, and the theory is (as of yet) incomplete. Your god theory can not boast much better.

If a God must have been around to create the universe, then what created God? You can't simply say "God was there" because, as you say, at some point there must be a beginning.

God IS the beginning. In that instant between nothing and something we will find the hand of God.

But you said yourself, you can't get something from nothing. And God is certainly something. It is called a concept, a hypothetical and theoretical model of something that would make all our lives easier if it was true, something many people want to believe. It provides a simple and easy to understand explanation in the void of any solution feasible to the ancient humans who created the concept of religion, both for hope and consolation. God is nothing more, and nothing less.

We may never know how the universe really got started, and there is very little any of us can do about it. It may help to accept this fact as an axiom, or at least a tautological statement, as it is a simple truth.

I'm ok with not knowing. I don't feel any need to be right, to prove anything, or to prove anyone wrong. The fact is though, is that there IS an answer, whether we ever know it or not, it is out there. So I choose to believe what I believe, and you are free to believe what you believe or not. The real answer to the question may be - "it doesn't matter".

I believe you may be right there. I choose to go with where logic leads me, you believe in what you wish was true.

emperor_bob
October 14th, 2006, 06:07 AM
Your main flaw is that you believe god is a reasonable explanation.

In that case it would seem to me that your main flaw is that you don't have an alternative explanation.
I do. It is called the Big Bang, and the theory is (as of yet) incomplete. Your god theory can not boast much better.

We're way past the Big Bang theory. What caused the bang [energy]? Where did the material [matter] for the bang come from? It's like saying babies come from the womb, without explaining sex. Yeah, I'd say your theory is incomplete.

If a God must have been around to create the universe, then what created God? You can't simply say "God was there" because, as you say, at some point there must be a beginning.

God IS the beginning. In that instant between nothing and something we will find the hand of God.

But you said yourself, you can't get something from nothing. And God is certainly something. It is called a concept, a hypothetical and theoretical model of something that would make all our lives easier if it was true, something many people want to believe. It provides a simple and easy to understand explanation in the void of any solution feasible to the ancient humans who created the concept of religion, both for hope and consolation. God is nothing more, and nothing less.

Boy for someone who says there is no god, you sure seem to know an awful lot about God. More than I profess to know. All I've said is that God is the beginning. Science has no answer for how the universe came into existence from nothing. To me that must be true god-like power. Wouldn't you agree?

Don't confuse my God, with the Gods of the ancients and all of the attached beliefs, superstitions, books, etc. I don't believe God answers prayers, I don't believe he passed down any instructions (Bible, Koran, etc). My God is simply that instant between nothing and something.

We may never know how the universe really got started, and there is very little any of us can do about it. It may help to accept this fact as an axiom, or at least a tautological statement, as it is a simple truth.

I'm ok with not knowing. I don't feel any need to be right, to prove anything, or to prove anyone wrong. The fact is though, is that there IS an answer, whether we ever know it or not, it is out there. So I choose to believe what I believe, and you are free to believe what you believe or not. The real answer to the question may be - "it doesn't matter".

I believe you may be right there. I choose to go with where logic leads me, you believe in what you wish was true.

Why would I wish that God is true? I haven't assigned any benefits to Gods existence or not. As far as I know, whether God exists or not makes no difference to me at all. God may have only existed in that single instant of creation, I don't know.

Why is so important to you to prove that God doesn't exist?

AaronD
October 14th, 2006, 06:22 AM
Your main flaw is that you believe god is a reasonable explanation.

In that case it would seem to me that your main flaw is that you don't have an alternative explanation.
I do. It is called the Big Bang, and the theory is (as of yet) incomplete. Your god theory can not boast much better.

We're way past the Big Bang theory. What caused the bang [energy]? Where did the material [matter] for the bang come from? It's like saying babies come from the womb, without explaining sex. Yeah, I'd say your theory is incomplete.

As would I. Oh, wait, I already did.


If a God must have been around to create the universe, then what created God? You can't simply say "God was there" because, as you say, at some point there must be a beginning.

God IS the beginning. In that instant between nothing and something we will find the hand of God.

But you said yourself, you can't get something from nothing. And God is certainly something. It is called a concept, a hypothetical and theoretical model of something that would make all our lives easier if it was true, something many people want to believe. It provides a simple and easy to understand explanation in the void of any solution feasible to the ancient humans who created the concept of religion, both for hope and consolation. God is nothing more, and nothing less.

Boy for someone who says there is no god, you sure seem to know an awful lot about God. More than I profess to know. All I've said is that God is the beginning. Science has no answer for how the universe came into existence from nothing. To me that must be true god-like power. Wouldn't you agree?

Don't confuse my God, with the Gods of the ancients and all of the attached beliefs, superstitions, books, etc. I don't believe God answers prayers, I don't believe he passed down any instructions (Bible, Koran, etc). My God is simply that instant between nothing and something.
I have a lot of theories about why humankind has resorted to a god in such vast numbers... And no, I do not agree, why else would we be arguing?

We may never know how the universe really got started, and there is very little any of us can do about it. It may help to accept this fact as an axiom, or at least a tautological statement, as it is a simple truth.

I'm ok with not knowing. I don't feel any need to be right, to prove anything, or to prove anyone wrong. The fact is though, is that there IS an answer, whether we ever know it or not, it is out there. So I choose to believe what I believe, and you are free to believe what you believe or not. The real answer to the question may be - "it doesn't matter".

I believe you may be right there. I choose to go with where logic leads me, you believe in what you wish was true.

Why would I wish that God is true? I haven't assigned any benefits to Gods existence or not. As far as I know, whether God exists or not makes no difference to me at all. God may have only existed in that single instant of creation, I don't know.

Why is so important to you to prove that God doesn't exist?

It isn't, I am just explaining to you why I am certain that God doesn't exist.

emperor_bob
October 14th, 2006, 07:27 AM
Your main flaw is that you believe god is a reasonable explanation.

In that case it would seem to me that your main flaw is that you don't have an alternative explanation.
I do. It is called the Big Bang, and the theory is (as of yet) incomplete. Your god theory can not boast much better.

We're way past the Big Bang theory. What caused the bang [energy]? Where did the material [matter] for the bang come from? It's like saying babies come from the womb, without explaining sex. Yeah, I'd say your theory is incomplete.

As would I. Oh, wait, I already did.

So you readily admit that your theory is half baked at best, but you're absolutely certain that God doesn't exist. You can't prove your theory, nor disprove mine, but there is no doubt in your mind that you are right and I am wrong. Have you been taking lessons from those Christians?


If a God must have been around to create the universe, then what created God? You can't simply say "God was there" because, as you say, at some point there must be a beginning.

God IS the beginning. In that instant between nothing and something we will find the hand of God.

But you said yourself, you can't get something from nothing. And God is certainly something. It is called a concept, a hypothetical and theoretical model of something that would make all our lives easier if it was true, something many people want to believe. It provides a simple and easy to understand explanation in the void of any solution feasible to the ancient humans who created the concept of religion, both for hope and consolation. God is nothing more, and nothing less.

Boy for someone who says there is no god, you sure seem to know an awful lot about God. More than I profess to know. All I've said is that God is the beginning. Science has no answer for how the universe came into existence from nothing. To me that must be true god-like power. Wouldn't you agree?

Don't confuse my God, with the Gods of the ancients and all of the attached beliefs, superstitions, books, etc. I don't believe God answers prayers, I don't believe he passed down any instructions (Bible, Koran, etc). My God is simply that instant between nothing and something.
I have a lot of theories about why humankind has resorted to a god in such vast numbers... And no, I do not agree, why else would we be arguing?

It seems you are long on theories and short on substance.

You don't agree that creating something from nothing is exhibiting "God Like" powers? How would you describe such a feat?

We may never know how the universe really got started, and there is very little any of us can do about it. It may help to accept this fact as an axiom, or at least a tautological statement, as it is a simple truth.

I'm ok with not knowing. I don't feel any need to be right, to prove anything, or to prove anyone wrong. The fact is though, is that there IS an answer, whether we ever know it or not, it is out there. So I choose to believe what I believe, and you are free to believe what you believe or not. The real answer to the question may be - "it doesn't matter".

I believe you may be right there. I choose to go with where logic leads me, you believe in what you wish was true.

Why would I wish that God is true? I haven't assigned any benefits to Gods existence or not. As far as I know, whether God exists or not makes no difference to me at all. God may have only existed in that single instant of creation, I don't know.

Why is so important to you to prove that God doesn't exist?

It isn't, I am just explaining to you why I am certain that God doesn't exist.

Really? You seem to be telling me what I believe and what God is more than anything.

Seems like you're conflicted and struggling with your own definitions and concepts of God. Because you keep trying to force those definitions and concepts on to me when I've been very specific about my definition and concept of God.

GeoffBoulton
October 14th, 2006, 11:32 AM
Your main flaw is that you believe god is a reasonable explanation.

Exactly! There is absolutely no evidence for God, until there is then the best explanation for God is as a figment of the human imagination.

If you are happy simply to 'believe' without any evidence then that is your choice. It still doesn't change the fact that there are other 'reasonable', not relying simply on faith, explanations with evidence to support them.

Apart from the fact, as pointed out by AaronD, that if you are going to use cause and effect as an argument then you also have to ask 'what caused God', etc, etc., we don't know that the universe came from nothing this is another assumption, you are also making the assumption that there WAS a time before the big bang.

General Relativity predicts, a prediction which has been tested and shown to be true, that the observed rate at which time passes can alter. In the most extreme cases, such as an object falling into a black hole, time will actually stand still from the perception of an outside observer.

The fact that there are two different possibilities, pre big bang or NO time before the big bang, which are of course contradictory, does not invalidate either one as a reasonable explanation. Both have evidence to support them, we simply don't yet know which is correct.

There is no proof of the original cause, neither matter nor energy.

Quite true, but there IS evidence, we simply don't yet know what that evidence is telling us. There is no evidence for God so, on that basis, it would be just as valid to claim that fairies, father christmas or even a poo loving ghost ;) made the universe.

Contrary to popular belief I actually do have a life.

Glad to hear it! :D

Anonymous
October 14th, 2006, 12:40 PM
Agnostic means you believe in the possibility of some divine being, you just don't know for sure. Atheist is where you don't believe in anything of the such.

I just wanted to expand on this because it seemed to get lost in the creation theories.

Are agnostics atheists?

No. An atheist, like a Christian, holds that we can know whether or not there is a God. The Christian holds that we can know there is a God; the atheist, that we can know there is not. The Agnostic suspends judgment, saying that there are not sufficient grounds either for affirmation or for denial. At the same time, an Agnostic may hold that the existence of God, though not impossible, is very improbable; he may even hold it so improbable that it is not worth considering in practice. In that case, he is not far removed from atheism. His attitude may be that which a careful philosopher would have towards the gods of ancient Greece. If I were asked to prove that Zeus and Poseidon and Hera and the rest of the Olympians do not exist, I should be at a loss to find conclusive arguments. An Agnostic may think the Christian God as improbable as the Olympians; in that case, he is, for practical purposes, at one with the atheists.
from http://humanum.arts.cuhk.edu.hk/humftp/E-text/Russell/agnostic.htm

emperor_bob
October 14th, 2006, 06:28 PM
Your main flaw is that you believe god is a reasonable explanation.

Exactly! There is absolutely no evidence for God, until there is then the best explanation for God is as a figment of the human imagination.

There is no evidence you accept. Until shown otherwise, existence going from nothing to something is evidence of God.

If you are happy simply to 'believe' without any evidence then that is your choice. It still doesn't change the fact that there are other 'reasonable', not relying simply on faith, explanations with evidence to support them.

Aren't you doing the same thing with science? You 'believe' that existence went from nothing to something can be explained by science. You cite all of this 'evidence' and these theories, much of which conflict with each other, none of which that even come close to answering the question of original cause. But you believe (have faith in science) that there is no God.

Apart from the fact, as pointed out by AaronD, that if you are going to use cause and effect as an argument then you also have to ask 'what caused God', etc, etc., we don't know that the universe came from nothing this is another assumption, you are also making the assumption that there WAS a time before the big bang.

I would say that anything that could create something from nothing would generally be considered outside of laws of cause and effect.

So if the universe didn't come from nothing, what did it come from? If there was no time before the big bang, then what was there? What started time?

If there is a beginning, and if the beginning isn't God, what is it?

General Relativity predicts, a prediction which has been tested and shown to be true, that the observed rate at which time passes can alter. In the most extreme cases, such as an object falling into a black hole, time will actually stand still from the perception of an outside observer.

While quite fascinating I don't see the connection to original cause.

The fact that there are two different possibilities, pre big bang or NO time before the big bang, which are of course contradictory, does not invalidate either one as a reasonable explanation. Both have evidence to support them, we simply don't yet know which is correct.

We don't know if either are correct. If one is right then the other is wrong, so the possibility exists that they are both wrong. They could both be partially right too perhaps.

There is no proof of the original cause, neither matter nor energy.

Quite true, but there IS evidence, we simply don't yet know what that evidence is telling us. There is no evidence for God so, on that basis, it would be just as valid to claim that fairies, father christmas or even a poo loving ghost ;) made the universe.

If we don't know what the evidence is telling us, then why isn't it possible that the evidence is telling us there is a God? Even if that 'god' only existed here for the instant between something and nothing. Even if that god came from another dimension and returned immediately. I'm not pretending to know the nature of God.

You're still hung up on others definitions of God. I wish there was another word to describe the original cause. How about OC?

GeoffBoulton
October 14th, 2006, 07:38 PM
There is no evidence you accept.

You haven't shown me any evidence. "I believe" is no more evidence than "I believe there are fairies at the end of my garden, you prove there isn't".

Please feel free to provide your evidence and convert me. Anything that doesn't involve 'I believe' and can be scientifically tested will do me fine.

You 'believe' that existence went from nothing to something can be explained by science.

I don't 'believe' anything. I look at proveable, testable evidence and make a conclusion based upon that evidence. As new evidence emerges then that too is taken into consideration.

No, science doesn't yet have all the answers and probably never will know them all but even knowing only half of the truth is infinitely better than just settling for 'God did it' and never bothering to even try and find out the truth.

If everyone did that we'd all still be sitting in caves sacrificing animals every time there was a thunderstorm.

emperor_bob
October 14th, 2006, 08:44 PM
I don't 'believe' anything. I look at proveable, testable evidence and make a conclusion based upon that evidence. As new evidence emerges then that too is taken into consideration.

There is no provable, testable evidence of the original cause. You "believe" and have "faith" that there is a scientific explanation or answer. You refuse to accept even the possibility of there being any other answer.

I had always thought it was only religious zealots that were close minded and refused to accept even the possibility that they may be wrong. Apparently, science zealots suffer from the same malady.

GeoffBoulton
October 14th, 2006, 09:19 PM
You "believe" and have "faith" that there is a scientific explanation or answer.

How many times do I have to say this:

I don't 'believe' anything of the sort. I have stated quite openly that science does NOT have all the answers and that I do NOT know the answer, nobody does.

What I HAVE said is that science has 'reasonable' explanations based upon 'evidence'.

Whether these explanations are wholly correct, partly correct or even wholly incorrect is not important. They are constantly overturned or modified and improved as more evidence is found.

This is in complete contrast to 'belief' in God which claims it DOES have the absolute answer, is NOT based upon any credible evidence and is NEVER modified in the face of new evidence.

If there IS credible evidence then please share it with us, we would love to hear it. As I said, Anything that doesn't involve 'I believe' and can be scientifically tested will be fine.

As I said before, if you choose to 'believe' in God as the only rational explanation then that is your choice I'm not going to tell you to believe otherwise.

You keep believing and I'll keep evolving

emperor_bob
October 14th, 2006, 10:16 PM
What I HAVE said is that science has 'reasonable' explanations based upon 'evidence'.

THAT is your BELIEF. You BELIEVE those are 'reasonable' explanations based upon evidence.

Do you not see that others may not believe those are 'reasonable' in their opinion? Who gets to decide what is 'reasonable'? We all do, based on what we 'believe'.

There are certain scientific facts that nobody should deny. But theories are not facts. There can and are conflicting theories based on the same set of facts. So it comes down to what theory you choose to believe.

Why are you running from the concept of 'beliefs'. We ALL have them.

AaronD
October 14th, 2006, 11:01 PM
What I HAVE said is that science has 'reasonable' explanations based upon 'evidence'.

THAT is your BELIEF. You BELIEVE those are 'reasonable' explanations based upon evidence.

Do you not see that others may not believe those are 'reasonable' in their opinion? Who gets to decide what is 'reasonable'? We all do, based on what we 'believe'.

There are certain scientific facts that nobody should deny. But theories are not facts. There can and are conflicting theories based on the same set of facts. So it comes down to what theory you choose to believe.

Why are you running from the concept of 'beliefs'. We ALL have them.

And you call us close-minded. Ah, the sweet sting of irony. Belief and science are mutually exclusive. No way around that. You just keep up this argument restating the same exact thing in different ways, even though Geoff and I have taken the liberties of taking it out back, shooting it with a shotgun, beating it, hanging, drawing, and quartering it, and then skinning it and brain-tanning its hide time and time again. We both are coming up with very good, logically sound explanations, new ones each time, for our side, and you just repeat the same thing over and over and call it an argument? This isn't even mere contradiction, it's like trying to argue with a broken record.

GeoffBoulton
October 14th, 2006, 11:02 PM
THAT is your BELIEF. You BELIEVE those are 'reasonable' explanations based upon evidence.

You don't believe that science is 'reasonable', Okay, it's your choice.

But theories are not facts

Exactly what I've been saying all the way along.

Why are you running from the concept of 'beliefs'

You want to 'believe' rather than find the truth. Okay, it's your choice.

You keep believing, I'll keep evolving

AaronD
October 14th, 2006, 11:03 PM
What I HAVE said is that science has 'reasonable' explanations based upon 'evidence'.

THAT is your BELIEF. You BELIEVE those are 'reasonable' explanations based upon evidence.

Do you not see that others may not believe those are 'reasonable' in their opinion? Who gets to decide what is 'reasonable'? We all do, based on what we 'believe'.

There are certain scientific facts that nobody should deny. But theories are not facts. There can and are conflicting theories based on the same set of facts. So it comes down to what theory you choose to believe.

Why are you running from the concept of 'beliefs'. We ALL have them.

And you call us close-minded. Ah, the sweet sting of irony. Belief and science are mutually exclusive. No way around that. You just keep up this argument restating the same exact thing in different ways, even though Geoff and I have taken the liberties of taking it out back, shooting it with a shotgun, beating it, hanging, drawing, and quartering it, and then skinning it and brain-tanning its hide time and time again. We both are coming up with very good, logically sound explanations, new ones each time, for our side, and you just repeat the same thing over and over and call it an argument? This isn't even mere contradiction, it's like trying to argue with a broken record.


EDIT: Oh, sorry, double post. I hate lag.

emperor_bob
October 15th, 2006, 12:07 AM
Science and Belief are not mutually exclusive.

Do you believe in the big bang theory? Why? It's just a theory, it's not a fact, but it has evidence to suggest that it is true, so you believe it. If science and belief were mutually exclusive you wouldn't believe in any theories. You would only believe in facts. It cracks me up how you two are doing everything you can to distance yourself from beliefs.

I used to believe that storks delivered babies. Then science presented me with facts and I changed my belief. When science provides the facts that the original cause is not God, I will change my belief.

How many times has science thought they have found the smallest known particle of matter, only to find out that they were wrong when something smaller was found? We are all updating our knowledge through science and experience which changes our beliefs and understanding of the world around us.

You see, my beliefs can evolve as well. So you keep closing your eyes to possibilities that don't fit in your narrow view of the world.

AaronD
October 15th, 2006, 01:03 AM
My eyes are open to the many possibilities, complexities, quirks, sparks, questions, answers, and curiosities of our rapidly-changing science driven world. I am even open to the idea of God if presented with ample evidence to bring me a shadow of a doubt about my current beliefs of its nonexistence.

emperor_bob
October 15th, 2006, 01:16 AM
... I am even open to the idea of God ...

and I am open to the idea of there not being a God. So perhaps we aren't so far apart after all ;)

GeoffBoulton
October 15th, 2006, 11:49 AM
Science and Belief are not mutually exclusive.


Science in the broadest sense refers to any system of knowledge attained by verifiable means.

Belief is usually defined as a conviction of the truth of a proposition without its verification.

Look pretty much exclusive to me ;)

emperor_bob
October 15th, 2006, 05:02 PM
Ok Geoff, you convinced me. You don't believe in Science. ;)

GeoffBoulton
October 15th, 2006, 05:50 PM
I believe that the system of knowledge, known as science, that is attained through verifiable means is better than a system based upon conviction of the truth of a proposition without its verification.

So I believe in science but I don't 'believe'. (See definitions in my previous post)

You have said all I need to know about your beliefs:

I'm satisfied with simply "I don't know" as my answers.

We'll just have to agree to differ, I'll keep looking for the truth and you can continue living in ignorant bliss.

emperor_bob
October 16th, 2006, 04:45 AM
...I believe in science but I don't 'believe'. (See definitions in my previous post)

So your beliefs are ok, but others beliefs are just ignorance. Got it.

You have said all I need to know about your beliefs:

I'm satisfied with simply "I don't know" as my answers.

We'll just have to agree to differ, I'll keep looking for the truth and you can continue living in ignorant bliss.

Is the knowledge of the original cause going to change your life? Are you going to personally discover the original cause? Do you spend every waking moment looking for the original cause?

You are as ignorant as I am, you are just miserable to boot apparently.

Alice Shade
October 16th, 2006, 09:31 AM
Bob, science proves what it says, instead of just saying "You do that, cause I said so."

As for knowledge for original cause...

Knowledge is power. And I am ambitious, therefore I seek to arise.

Ultimately, I`m my own god, I do as I please.
However, I recognise Google`s dominance, as she can demonstrate her vast knowledge at any time, and thus, I am willingly joining in with her following, for I will rise with them.

But I refuze to follow your God, because given the facts, I am already surpassing him in powers.

GeoffBoulton
October 16th, 2006, 10:20 AM
So your beliefs are ok, but others beliefs are just ignorance

Where did I say other beliefs are ignorant?

I'm satisfied with simply "I don't know" as my answers

'I don't know' is what I said is ignorance

ignorance noun; lack of knowledge or information.

Is the knowledge of the original cause going to change your life?

You never know, science may find credible evidence and prove it IS God after all, that would definitely change my life ;)

Are you going to personally discover the original cause?

Nope, I don't work in that field of research

Do you spend every waking moment looking for the original cause?

Nope, too busy spreading the word of Google and banishing ignorance ;)

You are as ignorant as I am, you are just miserable to boot apparently.

Personal attacks now? Always the last resort of those who can't think of anything else to say ;)

emperor_bob
October 16th, 2006, 07:06 PM
Bob, science proves what it says, instead of just saying "You do that, cause I said so."

As science proven the 'big bang theory'? No. It's just a theory, with some evidence to support it, but not proven. Yet, you choose to believe.

But I refuze to follow your God, because given the facts, I am already surpassing him in powers.

I don't "follow" any God. The only thing I've said about the God I believe in is God is the 'original cause'. I have assigned no other attributes, I don't know the nature of God, nor do I know that God exists today. As far as I'm aware, there is nothing to follow. Unless you can create something from nothing, I don't know how you could surpass the power of my God.

emperor_bob
October 16th, 2006, 07:12 PM
So your beliefs are ok, but others beliefs are just ignorance

Where did I say other beliefs are ignorant?

I'm satisfied with simply "I don't know" as my answers

'I don't know' is what I said is ignorance

ignorance noun; lack of knowledge or information.

You wrote: "We'll just have to agree to differ, I'll keep looking for the truth and you can continue living in ignorant bliss."

That is calling me ignorant.

You are as ignorant as I am, you are just miserable to boot apparently.

Personal attacks now? Always the last resort of those who can't think of anything else to say ;)

So it's a personal attack when I call you ignorant (you don't know the original cause, so you lack knowledge as do I) and yet its not a personal attack when you call me ignorant?

Alice Shade
October 16th, 2006, 07:46 PM
Bob, my working hypothesis has some evidence to back it up. Yours does not. Thus, I use mine as more plausible. As soon, as yours will become more plausible, I`ll switch to it. So far, creationism has nothing but bible for backup.

Moreso, I can do some things. As for your God, I haven`t seen him do anything at all. So, in comparison between God and me, I am more powerful, for I am able to show strength - unlike God.

GeoffBoulton
October 16th, 2006, 08:17 PM
I'm satisfied with simply "I don't know" as my answers

'Ignorant bliss' is an idiom that means it is easier not to know or that someone is happy with not knowing. Your statement clearly does say this.

It has nothing to do with the meaning of ignorant as rude, crass, vulgur or uneducated. If you do not know the meaning of the idiom and took this as an insult then the misunderstanding is yours.

I am happy to state that I am ignorant of the cause of the big bang, it is not an insult. I have said that neither I nor science nor anybody else knows the answer on several occasions throughout this discussion.

I take no offence at your statement that I am as ignorant as you are regarding the actual cause of the big bang.

Just miserable to boot

This quite clearly is meant as an insult, it is subjective, you don't know me well enough, or at all actually, to make any such a judgement and just because you don't like my arguments doesn't make me miserable.

As I am open minded and ALWAYS ready to change my views in the light of new evidence I have put the question to a poll on the forum. If the evidence shows that I am indeed ignorant and miserable I will happily retract my offense at your statement.

;) ;) ;)

emperor_bob
October 16th, 2006, 08:52 PM
Just miserable to boot

This quite clearly is meant as an insult, it is subjective, you don't know me well enough, or at all actually, to make any such a judgement and just because you don't like my arguments doesn't make me miserable.

I understood the idiom and took no offense. No offense was intended by my statement saying you were 'miserable', it's just the opposite of 'bliss'.

GeoffBoulton
October 16th, 2006, 08:57 PM
No offense was intended by my statement saying you were 'miserable', it's just the opposite of 'bliss'.

Accepted ;)

emperor_bob
October 16th, 2006, 08:58 PM
Bob, my working hypothesis has some evidence to back it up. Yours does not. Thus, I use mine as more plausible. As soon, as yours will become more plausible, I`ll switch to it. So far, creationism has nothing but bible for backup.

What is your working hypothesis for original cause?

Moreso, I can do some things. As for your God, I haven`t seen him do anything at all. So, in comparison between God and me, I am more powerful, for I am able to show strength - unlike God.

So you can't create something from nothing, nor do you have an explanation for how something from nothing is created. Yet, you believe you are stronger than the original cause?

AaronD
October 16th, 2006, 09:37 PM
So you can't create something from nothing, nor do you have an explanation for how something from nothing is created. Yet, you believe you are stronger than the original cause?

She never said she believed herself to be stronger than original cause, she said she believed herself to be stronger than god.

Alice Shade
October 16th, 2006, 09:39 PM
Original Cause?

What makes you think there WAS a cause? Universe is pointless - unless you take it upon yourself to make a point.

And once again - I do NOT uphold theory, that God is original cause (see above), do NOT deem him as any kind of force, seeing as I had never saan any evidence to power manifestation from his side, and thus, logically conclude, that I am mightier, then God, seeing as I had demonstrated my force, and can do so anytime - unlike God, whom is not manifesting powers under any circumstances - and thus, is safe to be considered powerless.

emperor_bob
October 16th, 2006, 10:47 PM
Original Cause?

What makes you think there WAS a cause? Universe is pointless - unless you take it upon yourself to make a point.

So you don't think there was an originating cause? Matter and energy are just matter and energy, with no beginning and no end. Matter and energy have always existed. All of time and existence is purely spontaneous, without any originating cause. Is that what you believe?

emperor_bob
October 16th, 2006, 10:50 PM
She never said she believed herself to be stronger than original cause, she said she believed herself to be stronger than god.

My definition of God has been the orginal cause throughout this discussion.

AaronD
October 16th, 2006, 11:09 PM
She never said she believed herself to be stronger than original cause, she said she believed herself to be stronger than god.

My definition of God has been the orginal cause throughout this discussion.

No, your definition of God has been a superhuman being which set off original cause.

Alice Shade
October 16th, 2006, 11:50 PM
Matter and energy are endlessly conversing back and forth. As there is a law of conserving energy, energy and matter just keep turning over and over and over.

emperor_bob
October 17th, 2006, 04:38 AM
She never said she believed herself to be stronger than original cause, she said she believed herself to be stronger than god.

My definition of God has been the orginal cause throughout this discussion.

No, your definition of God has been a superhuman being which set off original cause.

No. It's my definition, I think I know what it is. I never said God was a "superhuman being". I haven't described God in any other way than as being the original cause.

emperor_bob
October 17th, 2006, 04:39 AM
duplicate post. please delete

Nameless
October 17th, 2006, 04:45 AM
I'd just like to say this - I do not believe in any 'orginal cause', rather that matter and energy has always existed. No, there is no reason for it. But even if a god did exist, what would be the reason for HIS existance? What would be the reason for anything to exist? Neither science nor religion can provide answers. Have you stopped to think maybe that's because those answers don't exist, or that we already know them but are unwilling to admit them?

Bob, science proves what it says, instead of just saying "You do that, cause I said so."

As science proven the 'big bang theory'? No. It's just a theory, with some evidence to support it, but not proven. Yet, you choose to believe.


Hey, that puts it one up on your theory. :wink:

emperor_bob
October 17th, 2006, 04:48 AM
Matter and energy are endlessly conversing back and forth. As there is a law of conserving energy, energy and matter just keep turning over and over and over.

Which is another way of stating what I said. You believe, time, matter and energy have always just existed and always will. No beginning, no end, no originating cause.

Is that right?

emperor_bob
October 17th, 2006, 04:55 AM
I'd just like to say this - I do not believe in any 'orginal cause', rather that matter and energy has always existed. No, there is no reason for it. But even if a god did exist, what would be the reason for HIS existance? What would be the reason for anything to exist? Neither science nor religion can provide answers. Have you stopped to think maybe that's because those answers don't exist, or that we already know them but are unwilling to admit them?

OK. So everything just has always existed. That's a reasonable answer. There is no way to prove or disprove that opinion though. Just like there is no way to prove or disprove an original cause, or God. Either answer is as valid as the other. We may never know the 'right' answer, or like you said, there may be no right answers. The thing is that it always comes down to what we believe.

mozzer
October 17th, 2006, 06:14 AM
Matter and energy are endlessly conversing back and forth. As there is a law of conserving energy, energy and matter just keep turning over and over and over.

Which is another way of stating what I said. You believe, time, matter and energy have always just existed and always will. No beginning, no end, no originating cause.

Is that right?

I thought the steady state universe theory was already proved wrong

GeoffBoulton
October 17th, 2006, 01:23 PM
The steady state theory is not the same as matter and energy continuously interchanging places which is pretty much accepted as a 'fact'. A good example is the Atomic Bomb where a small amount of matter is changed into a large amount of energy. While atomic bombs may be man made they are only using a property of matter and energy that occurs quite naturally.

Steady state is a bit of a misnomer and it only refers to the 'appearance' of the universe being steady not the matter and energy contained within it.

You are correct though that the theory has been largely discredited.

The steady state theory was developed as a result of theoretical calculations that showed that a static universe was impossible under general relativity and observations by Edwin Hubble that the universe was expanding. The steady state theory asserts that although the universe is expanding, it nevertheless does not change its look over time. For this to work, new matter must be formed to keep the density equal over time.

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

mozzer
October 17th, 2006, 02:53 PM
Yes, what I am saying is that it will not continue ad infinitum

Alice Shade
October 17th, 2006, 07:30 PM
Probably. At some point, it might all become matter, or energy.

However, it`s highly unlikely I`ll live long enough to witness that, so I prefer not to overthink. At the moment, matter/energy balance is quite an established thing, and it`s good for me, seeing as it is useful for me.

mozzer
October 17th, 2006, 08:34 PM
Well I think it is slightly more complicated than you think it is but anyway...