Author Topic: A couple questions  (Read 413 times)

Myth_Drannor

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A couple questions
« on: July 02, 2007, 05:16:01 AM »
There seem to be alot of intelligent people here and I was hoping you guys could share your thoughts on a couple questions. I do not consider myself an atheist but I do not believe in any "man-made" gods.

I believe there is a god but that is all I know about him. My questions are two impossible questions that cannot be answered (atleast I can't).

1. If there is no god who created everything? Things do not just pop into existence, thus there has to be a god, right?

2. If there is a god, who created him? Everything that exists has a beginning, thus there cannot be a god. right?

I think about these 2 questions alot and I always come to the same conclusion. There has to be a god but we lack the "way of thinking" to understand how these quistions can be answered without canceling each other out.

In the end, these questions are like riddles and there is a solution, but we'r to stupid to see it. Only god can be intelligent enough to make a riddle that billions and billions of people can't answer so thats why I believe in god, just a nameless god.  

Does anyone feel the same?...if not, why?
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Myth_Drannor »

pjkeeley

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« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2007, 09:26:02 AM »
Hi.
Quote
1. If there is no god who created everything? Things do not just pop into existence, thus there has to be a god, right?
The question is flawed: "if there is no god, who created everything?" You are assuming that there must be a creator from the outset. Rephrase the question, but start with the assumption that there might not be a creator, and it would sound something like this: "if there is no god, where did everything come from?"

My question to you is: why can't the universe have just "popped into existence" at the beginning of time? Have you any reason to think otherwise?

Quote
Does anyone feel the same?...if not, why?
I don't, because I have no reason to believe in a god or gods.

However, I do from time to time entertain the notion that maybe the entire universe IS god, including all of space and time and all of life on earth. But of course, if the universe is god, why not simply call it the universe?
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by pjkeeley »

Myth_Drannor

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« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2007, 11:23:01 AM »
Everything you have ever smelled, ate, touched, saw or even dreamed about has a beginning and had to be created...if you take out a peice of paper and draw a circle you cannot see the beginning but you know tit is there.  Everything that exists has a beginning and had to be created in one fashion or another....but once again, the same goes for god...thus my argument is void again. I guess it shouldnt really matter in the end, when I die I will find out...or not.

ps..im not arguing that god exists...im not a troll hehe...Im just trying to see anyone has better answers to all the riddles then I do.  lol....i hope it has a nude beach....there will be alot of strippers and hookers down there.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Myth_Drannor »

pjkeeley

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« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2007, 02:16:20 PM »
Quote
Everything you have ever smelled, ate, touched, saw or even dreamed about has a beginning and had to be created...if you take out a peice of paper and draw a circle you cannot see the beginning but you know tit is there. Everything that exists has a beginning and had to be created in one fashion or another
I don't disagree that everything has a beginning, but that doesn't mean everything has to have been created. Everything around us is the product of  natural processes. If we trace the origins of a thing long enough we end up at the Big Bang. The known universe developed as it did over billions of years because of natural laws. Thus we don't require a creator to explain why we are here.

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lets say we'r all wrong and the bible is right...we'l all be swimming in the fabled Lake of Fire together lol....i hope it has a nude beach....there will be alot of strippers and hookers down there.

I'm totally down for that. :cheers:
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by pjkeeley »

Will

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Re: A couple questions
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2007, 05:23:31 PM »
Quote from: "Myth_Drannor"
1. If there is no god who created everything? Things do not just pop into existence, thus there has to be a god, right?
The universe has been going through a set of massive collapses and expansions continuously. There was a beginning in the big bang, but there was almost certainly a universe before that which collapsed into and thus caused the big bang. This very well could have been happening forever. I know it's hard to understand eternity, but for a theist it shouldn't be that hard.
Quote from: "Myth_Drannor"
2. If there is a god, who created him? Everything that exists has a beginning, thus there cannot be a god. right?
If there is a god, he, she, or it developed over many millennia through the process of evolution. If the god entity is anything like us, he developed from the random creation of protein and continued to evolve on his, her, or its home planet. Over time, favorable traits developed in whatever species god once was, and those traits survived and became more prevalent if they were favorable. Eventually, I would assume, omnipotence became a trait.

That's the best conclusion to your question based on our understanding of life in the universe, however since there is no evidence of god, it's an academic exercise.
Quote from: "Myth_Drannor"
I think about these 2 questions alot and I always come to the same conclusion. There has to be a god but we lack the "way of thinking" to understand how these quistions can be answered without canceling each other out.

In the end, these questions are like riddles and there is a solution, but we'r to stupid to see it. Only god can be intelligent enough to make a riddle that billions and billions of people can't answer so thats why I believe in god, just a nameless god.  

Does anyone feel the same?...if not, why?

The 'there has to be a god' conclusion comes from being surrounded by other people who believe in a god and reinforce your misunderstanding. Understand, I have no problem with people being religious, so long as they behave themselves, but you are posing a question. There is not a god, and any 'way of thinking' that accepts god presupposes god as a concept before reasoning, and is thus flawed. I would wonder why one would assume someone who killed millions of people by drowning them because he was mad they didn't follow his word is smarter than you?

BTW, Evan Almighty sucked because there wasn't any genocide, thus not sticking with the source material.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Will »
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SteveS

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« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2007, 05:24:57 PM »
Hello Myth_Drannor.  I don't really have any answers, but I do have some perspective.  Although, what pjkeeley already posted is pretty much straight up my alley.  In particular, this paragraph,

Quote from: "pjkeeley"
I don't disagree that everything has a beginning, but that doesn't mean everything has to have been created. Everything around us is the product of natural processes. If we trace the origins of a thing long enough we end up at the Big Bang. The known universe developed as it did over billions of years because of natural laws. Thus we don't require a creator to explain why we are here.
seems exactly correct to me.  Everything that we describe as having a beginning is really just a prior event in time --- matter and energy change form according to natural law during the progression of time.  Trace any thing back in time, and you end up with the Big Bang.  The reason it's hard to go further is because all of our known laws of physics break down and don't work inside singularities, like the singularity from which sprang the universe.

But to me, it's worse than that.  When we say "cause" we mean an event, which has to be an event prior in time (or so it seems to me - I don't know how to think about causes outside of time?).  The problem is that there is no such thing as "prior in time" to the Big Bang, because this is when time started.  So, if we're going to talk about a "cause" to the Big Bang, it seems we're really stealing the word "cause" and using it for a purpose it was never meant for.  As I did above, we can say "cause outside of time", but what the heck does that mean, how does that work?!?  If I can't describe a concept, simply putting a phrase together isn't much of a communication - it doesn't really help.  Why call it anything other than "unknown"?

So right now, I'd say we can't answer your question #1 because of insufficient evidence.  We can guess, or try to logically deduce, or infer from what we do know, but none of these are real answers.  I would point out, though, that if we remain within the realm of rational thought and attempt to draw conclusions as to the types of events that may have been responsible for the Big Bang from knowledge that we do have, I certainly see no reason to drag any god concepts into the picture.  Natural laws have described everything we've ever encountered --- what explanation has required a god so far?  None - so if I was a betting man I wouldn't bet on god  :wink:  

As for question #2, I think most theists (note I really meant "theists", not atheists) would disagree with you by saying that god is eternal, which makes him exempt from requiring a beginning.  How they determined god is eternal is a mystery to me  :wink:  , but there is a point here.  If something is eternal than it is without beginning or end.  There are those who believe the universe (or multiverse or whatever) may be eternal also.  In a case like this, things didn't "come to be", they just "are".  Right now, this answer doesn't particularly appeal to me, it seems too indistinguishable from the religious answer.  It's more of an "explanation that works" than an "answer that is probably correct".

In short, if I'm arguing with a theist who says "god is eternal", and uses that to explain how the universe "came to be", I can challenge this simply by asking how he determined that the universe is not eternal (and therefore requires no creator god).  Which, of course, he can't do.  An appeal to "eternal" works both ways.  But, if you asked me, I'd say "I don't know".  There is insufficient evidence for this answer as well.

Summary: I'm good with "nobody knows yet" as an answer --- it's truthful.  I propose we keeping studying!  I'd sure like to know what the answers are....

P.S.
Man, pjkeeley, this statement right here:

Quote from: "pjkeeley"
But of course, if the universe is god, why not simply call it the universe?

is right on!  This plays into how I perceive god to be used superfluously in so many instances (god is life, god is existence, god is love, ... we already have words for all of those, so why call them god?).

Cheers, mate!
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by SteveS »

Myth_Drannor

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« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2007, 09:37:19 PM »
We will have to agree on some things and disagree on others but I consider myself a little more enlightened. Thanks for the replies.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Myth_Drannor »

Will

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« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2007, 09:52:54 PM »
Quote from: "Myth_Drannor"
We will have to agree on some things and disagree on others but I consider myself a little more enlightened. Thanks for the replies.

You mean that we helped to enlighten you or you're just more enlightened than we are? Hahahah.... the latter would be kinda funny.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Will »
I want bad people to look forward to and celebrate the day I die, because if they don't, I'm not living up to my potential.

Myth_Drannor

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« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2007, 11:28:00 PM »
i meant a little more enlightened than b4
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Myth_Drannor »

Whitney

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« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2007, 12:07:30 AM »
Quote from: "Willravel"
Quote from: "Myth_Drannor"
We will have to agree on some things and disagree on others but I consider myself a little more enlightened. Thanks for the replies.
You mean that we helped to enlighten you or you're just more enlightened than we are? Hahahah.... the latter would be kinda funny.


I read it the wrong way at first....welcome to the forum Myth.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Whitney »

Squid

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Re: A couple questions
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2007, 01:43:11 AM »
Quote from: "Myth_Drannor"
1. If there is no god who created everything? Things do not just pop into existence, thus there has to be a god, right?

Depends on how you look at it. In our current universe as is observed and with what we know about physics - no, things don't just pop into existence.  However, the quantum world is another story and particles do just pop into and out of existence all the time.  Now, with that known would it be possible to someone view the origin of the universe through that filter?  We have the creation and destruction of particle's existence without the need to refer to a deity, why couldn't our universe be similar somehow?  Why the need to default to a deity?  Also, many people think the big bang theory postulates that the universe we know come from "nothing" it didn't.  The mathematics regresses back to a singularity in space-time also at a certain point in the regression classical mechanics no longer work - this is where what physicists have learned from studying the quantum world come in, it allows them to make sense of things at that point - albeit, not yet completely but science is never complete by nature.  I find the argument put forth to be a bit of a non-sequitur to make the jump from that premise to the stated conclusion.

Quote
2. If there is a god, who created him? Everything that exists has a beginning, thus there cannot be a god. right?

Good question - it is a contradiction within the prime mover framework.  The assertion is made that everything has a beginning yet a god is invoked to provide this beginning, however, the principle does not apply to this deity apparently and the standard reply it to claim that this deity has always existed, exists "outside of space and time" (where ever that is) and so forth and therefore needs no beginning.  However, this does not follow from the general premise laid down beforehand that all things have a beginning.  It then makes one wonder why the deity is eternal.  How do people know this deity is eternal?  Utlimately it ends up degrading to someone quoting scripture for support which is then in itself another whole debate.  I find the prime mover argument lacking severely.

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In the end, these questions are like riddles and there is a solution, but we'r to stupid to see it.

[Zen]Maybe there is no solution because we are asking the wrong questions[/Zen]

Quote
Only god can be intelligent enough to make a riddle that billions and billions of people can't answer so thats why I believe in god, just a nameless god.


[Zen]How do you describe color to a person blind since birth?[/Zen]

 8)
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Squid »

SteveS

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« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2007, 07:24:24 PM »
Haha, that "Zen" business was perfect!  My favorite item of Zen philosophy is, of course,

[Zen]A flute without holes, is not a flute. A donut without a hole, is a Danish. [/Zen]

 :D

With all due seriousness, though, I think this point

Quote from: "Squid"
[Zen]Maybe there is no solution because we are asking the wrong questions[/Zen]

is likely to be resting on pay dirt.  This was really well expressed, and humorous to boot!
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by SteveS »

Squid

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« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2007, 12:07:16 AM »
Gracias, my dabblings in Zen and Taoism have their uses.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Squid »