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Re: Question For All Atheists

Re: Question For All Atheists
« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2009, 08:13:11 AM »
Quote from: "mbell31"
I guess it's easier cast doubt on everything and not question your existence, otherwise you would have to answer to a creator.

This is a rather strange thing to say -- which part of your argument even implies a theistic god opposed to a deistic god, let alone outlines what this theistic god wants of us? I won't deny that I don't want a fundamentalist god to be real, but I think it is implausible that if a god existed, they would condemn me for eternal punishment over some of my inconsequential preferences.  

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I didn't read a single thing refuting the argument. Just a bunch of rhetoric saying it is weak, etc. and why such and such is unlikely.

I thought that I addressed every step clearly, and unambiguously. Whether you thought my refutations were correct or not doesn't change the fact that I did address the argument specifically.  

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Please tell me:

Where did matter and energy come from or have they existed forever?

I have no clue. No one does. There are several scientific hypothesis that explain where the universe could have come from, but all are conjecture, none are evident. If I could answer this question I would be receiving my Nobel prize shortly after.  

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Can you please answer this and not dodge your way around it. Please answer that single question only. Thanks.

Do you expect a definitive answer to an unknown? Only a charlatan can offer you that.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2009, 09:16:21 AM by Hitsumei »
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Re: Question For All Atheists
« Reply #16 on: May 04, 2009, 09:16:16 AM »
Huh?  There can be no actual infinities?  And you back this up the second law of thermodynamics I guess?  And for systems which the law doesn't apply to?  The progression of time, uninterrupted, will be infinite.  The number of points in space is infinite.  The series of natural numbers, though the numbers themselves are finite, is infinite.  And you will have one interesting time explaining how singularities don't bring about infinite spacetime curvature (you will need a quantum theory of gravity to convince me).  Nevermind that the second law of thermodynamics only applies to closed systems in this universe, and possibly not even the universe itelf (as the law applies to closed systems within the universe, not the universe itself).  Also, there could be physics outside the universe that create universes in a random fashion.  M-theory suggests the possibility that this universe was created by the collision of two membranes in an infinite sea of them, the matter and energy being the remaining resonance of that collision.  Quantum theory gives us imaginary time, a second, but real dimension of time, running perpendicular to our progression.  Through this perpendicular time, the Big Bang may actually be an uncaused event (causal events are only visible to us when running in our same dimension of time).  Also, there are models of the Big Bang that have an infinitely long past, and Big Bang Theory does not explicitly call for a finite universe as you would have us believe.   :D

Sorry for the rambling post, I feel really, really woozy right now, can't think too hard.
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Re: Question For All Atheists
« Reply #17 on: May 04, 2009, 12:23:13 PM »
Quote from: "mbell31"

Since you believe there was no beginning, I posed to you these problems with that position:

1. The Hot Big Bang Singularity

-The expansion of the universe
-Extrapolate backward to a beginning point

Again, the Big Bang Singularity theory does not postulate anything regarding a "beginning."

Quote from: "mbell31"
2. 2nd Law of Thermodynamics

-The universe is "cooling" off. An eventual heat death.
-Thus, there was a past time of maximum energy.
-Things are going to low energy and high disorder.

What does this have to do with the cost of bread in China?

The current trends in the universe say nothing about whether there was a beginning.

Re: Question For All Atheists
« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2009, 07:53:55 PM »
Quote from: "mbell31"
Thank you for answering my question. Yes, you are right I don't want to respond to meaningless banter until someone gives a definitive answer.

There was no meaningless bantering in anyone's response to you, I don't think you bothered to read what they were saying.  Several of them found your intital two options flawed from the beginning, maybe that put you off, but nothing was just filling in their posts, I would suggest you read some of them as they were answering the question the best anyone can.

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Since you believe there was no beginning, I posed to you these problems with that position:

1. The Hot Big Bang Singularity

-The expansion of the universe
-Extrapolate backward to a beginning point

2. 2nd Law of Thermodynamics

-The universe is "cooling" off. An eventual heat death.
-Thus, there was a past time of maximum energy.
-Things are going to low energy and high disorder.

3. Actual infinities don't exist- see Hilbert's Hotel hypothesis

4. Impossible to "cross" an actual infinity. Infinite number of "past" events.

-If a past casual event hasn't occurred, the present effect cannot have taken place.
-If the past is infinite then we could never get to the present.
-The present is the last member of a series of events, therefore past is finite.
-A beginningless universe has no first "member".

So I say that there may be no beginning and that I don't have knowledge that there is or there isn't and you post information about there having to be a beginning?    Why does there have to be a beginning?  What proof is there that infinity doesn't exist?  There is no basis for having to choose either a beginning by random or a beginning by creator, they could both very well be wrong.

There may not be a past, a present, and future.  It's hard for us to consider that because we are very consumed with time.

And of course this is all an opinion and feeling as there is no way to say, really only our best guess and even that is a long shot.

There have been several questions posed to you.  Do you intend to answer any of them or just to summarize what people post and either refuse to respond because you deem them irrelevent or choose to ignore their questions and just repost your original position?
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Re: Question For All Atheists
« Reply #19 on: May 04, 2009, 09:57:05 PM »
sorry it is a little difficult to answer each question/point of five different people or more.

I will do my best when I have the time and energy. Sometimes it feels like an impossible and pointless exercise but I will do my best when the time comes. I will post soon.

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Re: Question For All Atheists
« Reply #20 on: May 04, 2009, 10:14:50 PM »
Quote from: "mbell31"
sorry it is a little difficult to answer each question/point of five different people or more.

I will do my best when I have the time and energy. Sometimes it feels like an impossible and pointless exercise but I will do my best when the time comes. I will post soon.

mbell31, you posted the question, and then you decide you don't have time to read or respond to peoples' well thought out answers and replies? I don't think that's going to cut it here.

In fact, you didn't really want to her answers at all, as you obviously posted only to ask a loaded question, as if it had no good answer from science. The problem is that you don't acknowledge that your premise is faulty to begin with. Instead of responding to Hitsumei's and other peoples' responses, you immediately throw up straw man rebuttals and decide you're not going bother with the answers.

I'll tell you right now and you can consider this a barely friendly warning: do not troll in here, and do not start a topic and then decide you don't have time to follow up with it. We all have lives too, and get very busy. People took the time to respond to what I consider a totally worthless "set-up" question. You weren't about to take any answers seriously. This is your first warning. Do not do this again.
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Re: Question For All Atheists
« Reply #21 on: May 05, 2009, 06:50:48 AM »
Quote from: "PipeBox"
The number of points in space is infinite.

As far as I am aware, this is not the case. It is predicted space has a grainy structure, so you could not divide an inch into a an infinite number of pieces, there is a finite smallness to space. Combined with the finite size of the observable universe, this suggests there are not an infinite number of points in space, at least points that correspond to an actual location.

Edit: the reason most people can't be bothered to offer a full refutation is the same reason they don't bother refuting Pascal's wager. Namley, the wikipedia page lists the refutations clearly for all to see.
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Re: Question For All Atheists
« Reply #22 on: May 06, 2009, 09:00:09 AM »
Quote from: "McQ"
Quote from: "mbell31"
sorry it is a little difficult to answer each question/point of five different people or more.

I will do my best when I have the time and energy. Sometimes it feels like an impossible and pointless exercise but I will do my best when the time comes. I will post soon.

mbell31, you posted the question, and then you decide you don't have time to read or respond to peoples' well thought out answers and replies? I don't think that's going to cut it here.

In fact, you didn't really want to her answers at all, as you obviously posted only to ask a loaded question, as if it had no good answer from science. The problem is that you don't acknowledge that your premise is faulty to begin with. Instead of responding to Hitsumei's and other peoples' responses, you immediately throw up straw man rebuttals and decide you're not going bother with the answers.

I'll tell you right now and you can consider this a barely friendly warning: do not troll in here, and do not start a topic and then decide you don't have time to follow up with it. We all have lives too, and get very busy. People took the time to respond to what I consider a totally worthless "set-up" question. You weren't about to take any answers seriously. This is your first warning. Do not do this again.

Please go back and read my post. I didn't say I wasn't going to answer them I just don't have the time currently. I am typing this with the 10 minutes I have before I have to go to bed, early class tommorow. I will answer this weekend. Put yourself in my shoes- I am going up against the comments of 10 people. You are responding to 1 person.

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Re: Question For All Atheists
« Reply #23 on: May 06, 2009, 09:51:11 AM »
I once heard someone say (it could well have been here) that asking what existed before the universe is like asking what is north of the north pole.
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I find it mistifying that in this age of information, some people still deny the scientific history of our existence.

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Re: Question For All Atheists
« Reply #24 on: May 06, 2009, 02:13:08 PM »
Quote from: "mbell31"
Quote from: "McQ"
Quote from: "mbell31"
sorry it is a little difficult to answer each question/point of five different people or more.

I will do my best when I have the time and energy. Sometimes it feels like an impossible and pointless exercise but I will do my best when the time comes. I will post soon.

mbell31, you posted the question, and then you decide you don't have time to read or respond to peoples' well thought out answers and replies? I don't think that's going to cut it here.

In fact, you didn't really want to her answers at all, as you obviously posted only to ask a loaded question, as if it had no good answer from science. The problem is that you don't acknowledge that your premise is faulty to begin with. Instead of responding to Hitsumei's and other peoples' responses, you immediately throw up straw man rebuttals and decide you're not going bother with the answers.

I'll tell you right now and you can consider this a barely friendly warning: do not troll in here, and do not start a topic and then decide you don't have time to follow up with it. We all have lives too, and get very busy. People took the time to respond to what I consider a totally worthless "set-up" question. You weren't about to take any answers seriously. This is your first warning. Do not do this again.

Please go back and read my post. I didn't say I wasn't going to answer them I just don't have the time currently. I am typing this with the 10 minutes I have before I have to go to bed, early class tommorow. I will answer this weekend. Put yourself in my shoes- I am going up against the comments of 10 people. You are responding to 1 person.

Read your own posts. You also said you wouldn't reply to meaningless banter, and it was correctly pointed out to you that people had been giving you meaningful answers. You either respond to them or not. You said you would not.

And you are incorrect that I am responding to only one person. I am a moderator on this board and have to respond to as many people as I can on any given day. Which means I have to read most, if not all of the threads, including yours. And I do have a life outside of this forum, with a job, a family, and other activities.

If you are only here to bring up loaded questions and not give serious thought to the answers given, then you are here for the wrong reason. You might want to rethink your purpose here, if that is the case. No one is denying you the right to answer in your own time. But if you bring these points up and people reply, you may not dismiss them out of hand because they don't give you the answers you want to hear.

The warning stands. Do not bring up topics if you have no intention of following through with meaningful discussion.
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Re: Question For All Atheists
« Reply #25 on: May 06, 2009, 03:34:53 PM »
Quote from: "mbell31"
Please go back and read my post. I didn't say I wasn't going to answer them I just don't have the time currently. I am typing this with the 10 minutes I have before I have to go to bed, early class tommorow. I will answer this weekend. Put yourself in my shoes- I am going up against the comments of 10 people. You are responding to 1 person.
Ahem... (didn't I say this to someone earlier?) you realize that you started it, right? Don't come to an atheist message board and complain that you're the only one fighting the good fight. It's the nature of the beast.

And yes, we are oh, so beastly.  :banna:
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Re: Question For All Atheists
« Reply #26 on: May 06, 2009, 04:19:40 PM »
Quote from: "mbell31"
It seems too often that debates on the existence of God cover outside issues such as the problem of evil, morality, etc. While these things do credit or discredit the possibility of God's existence in some people's minds, they are not even an integral question or close to the best question to ask.

My question for all Atheists concerns our origin, or the Universe's origin. This is something I thought about since I was a kid but I will pose it in its more formal style, entitled the Kalam Cosmological Argument.

This is how it goes:

1. The Universe Exists

2. It either had No Beginning or a Beginning

(Most people agree the Universe had a beginning: Big Bang Singularity, 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, Actual Infinity doesn't exist, Impossible to cross infinity)

3. If it had a Beginning, this Beginning was either Caused or Not Caused.

(Most people agree it was caused. Can you give me five examples of something without a cause?)

4. If it was caused it was caused by a Random Directionless Force (analogy: A tornado going through a lumber yard and forming a mall) or it was caused by a Personal Agent.

Which is more likely?

Now, I would like to hear your take on this. Mine is below.
1: The Big Bang was the beginning of time. "Before the Big Bang" is as meaningless as "colder than zero kelvin" or "below the Earth's core" or "south of the South Pole". The concept of causation is therefore inapplicable to the Big Bang.
1a: Quantum Mechanics is full of causeless events even when preceding time exists.

2: An impersonal force needn't be random and directionless. All planets and stars are round and all snowflakes are hexagonal, for example. To use the tornado analogy, if any two objects that touched to form part of a mall were then inseparable, a mall could be formed if the tornado stayed long enough. For more on this, go here.

Re: Question For All Atheists
« Reply #27 on: May 06, 2009, 06:59:28 PM »
Quote from: "Nulono"
1: The Big Bang was the beginning of time. "Before the Big Bang" is as meaningless as "colder than zero kelvin" or "below the Earth's core" or "south of the South Pole". The concept of causation is therefore inapplicable to the Big Bang.

Not so fast.

I would not go so far as to say that the concept of causation is inapplicable to the big bang theory.  The theory merely proposes that an event happened.  Although, our current understanding is that time/space flowed from a single point.  That does NOT mean that we can say anything about whether or how the big bang was caused.

For example, there is the brane cosmology theory and that interaction between these branes may have caused the big bang.  This is all pie in the sky stuff, but the point remains.  You cannot argue that the concept of causation is inapplicable to the Big Bang.

Re: Question For All Atheists
« Reply #28 on: May 06, 2009, 07:52:25 PM »
Quote from: "mbell31"
Quote from: "McQ"
Quote from: "mbell31"
sorry it is a little difficult to answer each question/point of five different people or more.

I will do my best when I have the time and energy. Sometimes it feels like an impossible and pointless exercise but I will do my best when the time comes. I will post soon.

mbell31, you posted the question, and then you decide you don't have time to read or respond to peoples' well thought out answers and replies? I don't think that's going to cut it here.

In fact, you didn't really want to her answers at all, as you obviously posted only to ask a loaded question, as if it had no good answer from science. The problem is that you don't acknowledge that your premise is faulty to begin with. Instead of responding to Hitsumei's and other peoples' responses, you immediately throw up straw man rebuttals and decide you're not going bother with the answers.

I'll tell you right now and you can consider this a barely friendly warning: do not troll in here, and do not start a topic and then decide you don't have time to follow up with it. We all have lives too, and get very busy. People took the time to respond to what I consider a totally worthless "set-up" question. You weren't about to take any answers seriously. This is your first warning. Do not do this again.

Please go back and read my post. I didn't say I wasn't going to answer them I just don't have the time currently. I am typing this with the 10 minutes I have before I have to go to bed, early class tommorow. I will answer this weekend. Put yourself in my shoes- I am going up against the comments of 10 people. You are responding to 1 person.


You don't have to respond to me, I did violate the terms of the thread by answering the question. Feel free to ignore my previous posts in this thread.

I understand that it does matter that your respondent be atheistic, as they must subscribe to at least some vague conception of the origin of the universe. It must be some non-agency, and considering western atheistic thought -- although not a demand by the definition of atheism itself -- it must be natural as well, and cannot be supernatural.
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Re: Question For All Atheists
« Reply #29 on: May 06, 2009, 08:00:44 PM »
Quote from: "BuckeyeInNC"
Quote from: "Nulono"
1: The Big Bang was the beginning of time. "Before the Big Bang" is as meaningless as "colder than zero kelvin" or "below the Earth's core" or "south of the South Pole". The concept of causation is therefore inapplicable to the Big Bang.

Not so fast.

I would not go so far as to say that the concept of causation is inapplicable to the big bang theory.  The theory merely proposes that an event happened.  Although, our current understanding is that time/space flowed from a single point.  That does NOT mean that we can say anything about whether or how the big bang was caused.

For example, there is the brane cosmology theory and that interaction between these branes may have caused the big bang.  This is all pie in the sky stuff, but the point remains.  You cannot argue that the concept of causation is inapplicable to the Big Bang.

It holds for as long as you accept big bang cosmology. If you reject big bang cosmology as false, or flawed then it is up in the air, but as long as the big bang theory remains as it currently is, it makes no sense to talk about a cause of the big bang.
"Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition." ~Timothy Leary
"Marriage is for women the commonest mode of livelihood, and the total amount of undesired sex endured by women is probably greater in marriage than in prostitution." ~Bertrand Russell
"[Feminism is] a socialist, anti-family, political movement that encourages women to leave their