Atheism and Nothing

Introduction

One of the most popular ways to discredit an idea that you are opposed to or a viewpoint you disagree with is to smudge the truth when describing that stance in order to more easily knock it down. This fallacious act of deception is known as creating a strawman, because strawmen can be torn through while the real argument might take much more unpacking. Atheism, the disbelief or lack of belief in gods is one position that often attracts a lot of strawmen.

In this hub I want to talk about one of the most oft repeated misrepresentations of atheists, the idea that “Atheists believe in Nothing.”

the strawman in question
the strawman in question | Source

The Strawman Cometh

The main argument here is that while theists have an explanation for the origins of the Universe, and everything else, that atheists don't have an explanation. So, theists deduce, atheists must believe that it all magically came out of, well, nothing. After all before the Big Bang there was absolute nothing right? So, the theists say, atheists must have amazing amounts of faith to believe that the Universe could have come into existence on its own without the command of a powerful supernatural being.

Well let's unpack this man of straw and delve into the pathetic philosophy and poorly understood physics that the believers who pull this stunt are using.

Source

The Land Before the Big Bang

I'm no scientist but I do have a basic layman's understanding of the concepts we're dealing with when we talk about cosmic origins. In order to truly talk about such a subject in depth I'd probably have to have some kind of fancy degree and be able to solve mathematical equations that look more like hieroglyphs but a lack of understanding doesn't stop theists from having an opinion on the origins of the Universe. This is, of course, because they have a God of the Gaps to serve as an explanation.

Part of the problem here is that no one, even the most brilliant scientists on the planet, understands or knows what happened “prior” to the Big Bang. We have a Universe to observe and those observations tell us that the whole Universe was collapsed into a super-dense singularity about 14 billion years ago. Prior to the existence of this singularity we know nothing and from what I understand of science the idea of something being PRIOR or BEFORE the Big Bang doesn't even make sense within our understanding of time. Time and Space as we understand them came into existence at the Big Bang.

The greatest minds in the world work on this subject and are not certain of the ultimate origins of our Universe. Some say that in one form or another the Universe has always existed, or at least that SOMETHING has always existed, this seems backed up at least partially by the discovery that empty space is not actually empty but is alive with virtual particles popping in and out of detectable existence.

Some humility is needed when discussing these issues and there is nothing less humble than asserting that not only do you have an answer for the origins of the Universe that eludes scientists but submitting an unproven immaterial supernatural disembodied mind is the best explanation.

Those are galaxies, not stars
Those are galaxies, not stars

Stranger Danger

The Universe may be stranger than we can possibly imagine and as we press the boundaries of that understanding we may find our primitive animal logic and basic math skills woefully inadequate at grasping the complexity of the Cosmos. There may be a plateau beyond which our knowledge cannot go or there may simply be hurdles to overcome in fully realizing our species potential for discovery.

One of the things I've heard theists say about atheists is that we are cynical and lack imagination, that God and the things of God are outside of our experience and thus we dismiss them as delusions. This is not true of all atheists although there may be some closed-minded and short-sighted out there among the atheist “community” I for one am very open to the idea of there being higher intelligences, other worlds, alien lifeforms. While I do believe that all human gods tied to religions are fictional I do not rule out the idea of something being out there in the vast Cosmic ocean of galaxies.

I mentioned this is my hub God Given Knowledge when talking about Pastor Josh Feursteins laughable attempt at internet stardom by drawing a circle representing all the knowledge of the Cosmos, drawing a dot representing human knowledge and asking atheists if God might be out there in that vast circle. Of course a god might be out there but so too might many gods, so too might aliens. Feurstein's 100,000 dollar challenge is a ruse, not an admission of his own open-mindedness to what might be out there, he isn't ready to believe in all the possibilities that don't involve his particular God.

This brings to light the false open-mindedness of some theists and some Christians and, for that matter, conspiracy theorists and the credulous in general. Simply because it MIGHT be out there doesn't mean I should treat claims of it with credulity and doe-eyed stupidity. Wanting to believe in something means you should be more skeptical of it! This is a lesson I learned the hard way, by believing first with the same ignorant bliss but eventually having the intellectual honesty to go out and investigate and apply skepticism only to find that wrapping my ego around aliens, ghosts and bigfoot didn't make them real.

some believers claim atheists believe in magic, yet their explanation is a divine incantation commanding that light come into being without stars...
some believers claim atheists believe in magic, yet their explanation is a divine incantation commanding that light come into being without stars...

Nothing Don't Make No Sense

Theists act as though atheists MUST believe in magic, that the Universe, as complex and amazing as it is, must have accidentally or magically popped into existence out of absolute nothing. My biggest objection to this is a philosophical one and brings me back to my Intro to Philosophy course. One of the biggest questions in all of philosophy is Why is there SOMETHING rather than NOTHING?

To me this question is only valid if we can establish that NOTHING even describes a real state of affairs that can exist. For a believer the problem may seem obvious since, as I was taught, there was just God and then he created the Universe from nothing. In Christian theology the Universe is generally empty, God and his angels are off in “Heaven” which from what I was taught is not in our Universe but is another realm, another dimension of sorts. It seems to make sense that the Universe would start from nothing at all and someone or something would have to cause nothing to become something, that seems intuitive – but it also makes no damn sense.

In reality human beings have no experience with nothing in the actual sense of the word. Every single location in the Universe has something in it, space and time are full of things and, if scientists like Lawrence Krauss are to be believed even BEFORE our current Universe expanded at the Big Bang something may have existed.

Nothing is a concept, like perfection, it is used to describe the absence of things but Nothing isn't a real state of affairs (to steal from the Messianic Manic again). No thing is ever really perfect in life but the word perfect has meaning as a impossible standard for things to live up to, an ideal state of affairs. In the same way Nothing refers to the absolute absence of everything and anything. Is such a thing even possible? I submit that it is not and that the “problem of nothing” is not a problem for theists OR atheists because we have been asking the wrong questions.

Where did this all come from should be “in what form did all this exist in the past?” and why is there something rather than nothing should be, “is anything ever really created or destroyed?” Quite simply it seems to me that there is something rather than nothing because it is impossible and nonsensical for there to be nothing. Of course there is something, and nothing never was.

It is a logically sound thing indeed to conclude that the Universe in it's entirety is likely naturalistic. The supernatural has continually been proved wrong or irrelevant every time the natural world is studied. Deists once held that studying nature was how we could get a glimpse at the mind of God and yet time after time studying nature leaves a shrinking gap for believers to insert their God into.

Man once believed the sky was a dome called the Firmament, mentioned in the Bible numerous times, and the stars were set upon it.
Man once believed the sky was a dome called the Firmament, mentioned in the Bible numerous times, and the stars were set upon it.

Conclusion

It can become very frustrating when atheists and theists are merely talking past each other, misrepresenting each other and simply making fun of each other. While I don't think there is anything wrong with ridiculing beliefs (as long as we try our best not to ridicule the actual people) it is important that we try to represent those beliefs correctly if we want our point to get across.

The idea of nothing is just that, an idea, even the air around us is filled with air, dust particles, germs, even empty space isn't empty. We human beings have barely scratched the surface of our Universe and I think it is important to keep a truly open-mind. That doesn't mean being duped, indoctrinated or deceived even by those with sincere beliefs and good intentions, remember that wanting to believe it means we should be more skeptical.

There is nothing self-contradictory about naturalism and it does not require faith or credulity to hold to a naturalistic position. There is certainly no reason to invoke the supernatural to explain the natural especially without evidence to suggest that something supernatural even exists. And there is no shame in admitting when we do not know and in seeking real answers rather than accepting anything that comes along or makes us feel good.


Atheists don't believe in nothing, we simply do not believe in gods.

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Comments 355 comments

Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 20 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

And once again - atheists do NOT make the claim that there is no god. Atheists make an individual claim that they themselves DO NOT BELIEVE in a god or gods.

See what the difference is? If you can see the difference, you might be an atheist.

If you can't see the difference then you do not have the ability to think and learn new things logically. Continue believing in whatever god you have created for yourself.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 20 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Part of the problem is theists often get their definition of what an atheist is from other believers and believers love to attack the strong atheist position as the only atheist position and push agnostic-atheists solely toward agnosticism as though the two terms are mutually exclusive.

Something tells me these misconceptions won't be going away anytime soon.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 20 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Sadly, you are correct. They have many, many misconceptions about things, but we just can't seem to get through to them.

I'm about to invoke my personal god, the god of "whatever...".


M. T. Dremer profile image

M. T. Dremer 20 months ago from United States

I find the circle by Josh Feurstein to be particularly interesting as it represents a very similar argument that I frequently use in favor of atheism. I would personally draw a much smaller dot to represent our existing knowledge, but my point would be that all our concepts of deities have been contained in that tiny little dot. How could we possibly think that anything about them is correct when our point of reference is so microscopic? It would be like looking at one piece of a 1000 piece puzzle and saying "yeah, I know what that is".

The limits of human knowledge, and our tendencies to frame complex concepts in simplistic terms, is all the evidence I need to suggest that deities are complete fiction.


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 20 months ago from Australia

Its why atheists like Seinfeld: its about nothing! Festivus: its nothing.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 20 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Oz, is that humor? Because that's actually kind of funny.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 20 months ago from back in the lab again Author

You are right M. T. Dremer the illustration of the circle works far better in the skeptics favor than it does in favor of the believer. And a believer of a different faith can point to the circle and just say "well you can't say that my god of choice doesn't exist out there somewhere either".

Feurstein is a joke and it almost pains me to be paying attention to him, especially after he raised 20,000 dollars for a camera from his followers and still shoots video on a cell phone.


Link10103 profile image

Link10103 20 months ago

According to armoured skeptic, josh made national news i think recently going on about businesses right to refuse service in favor of gay people and how its immoral or something.

I honestly didn't know the guy was a pastor until like yesterday after googling his name for the first time. Thought he was just a youtube nut.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 20 months ago

The premise that all matter and energy began to exist 13.70 billion years ago is not a religious declaration nor a theological one. You can find this statement in any contemporary textbook on astrophysics or cosmology. And it is supported by the vast majority of cosmologists today.

The Borde-Vilenkin-Guth Theorem, for instance, proves that any universe, that has, on average, a rate of expansion greater than one ** must ** have a ** finite beginning **. I'm not making this up. Read the paper in full or watch Vilenkin himself invalidate and impugn beginningless universe models like Eternal Inflation, Cyclic Evolution and Static Seed/Emergent Universe on youtube.

As such, Vilenkin had this to say regarding the beginning of the universe, "It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. *** There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning ***. (Many Worlds in One [New York: Hill and Wang, 2006], p.176) (Emphasis mine.)

As Theoretical Physicist and Cosmologist Stephen Hawking put it, “the final nail in the coffin of the Steady State theory came with the discovery of the microwave background radiation, in 1965.”

Emphatically, then, the fervent belief that the universe is infinitely old, beginningless, or eternal has no basis in any respected mainstream scientific theories of the universe.

This creates the necessity for a first uncaused-cause. After all, something cannot come from nothing as I've already shared here: http://bit.ly/SSsy8x. I've also explained that this first uncaused efficient cause must also, by necessity, be transcendent, beginningless, timeless, spaceless, immaterial, unchanging, omnipotent, personal and good. As it turns out, such is the very definition of All Loving God.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 20 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"The Borde-Vilenkin-Guth Theorem"

It's almost like you started channeling William Lane Craig.

"This creates the necessity for a first uncaused-cause"

No it doesn't.

I mean it would if Craig, and you, were correct about applying our normal intuitions of cause and effect to a Cosmic event like the Big Bang. Craig also asserts that the Universe began to exist ex nihilo despite the fact that no such thing has ever been confirmed, observed and that our intuitions about causality may be completely false where such a thing as creatio ex nihilo is concerned. Mainstream science certainly seems to think that the Big Bang can occur without the invoking the superstition of a spooky disembodied entity beyond time and space.

"Emphatically, then, the fervent belief that the universe is infinitely old, beginningless, or eternal has no basis in any respected mainstream scientific theories of the universe."

That's not entirely accurate, but even if it were I could also point out that the Universe being conjured into existence by the verbal command of a disembodied mind has even less basis among scientists in that it isn't even discussed as a realistic possibility. Craig pretending to know science doesn't go well when he faces an actual scientist. I recommend checking out the debate he had against Sean Carroll, an actual cosmologist.

It's still a God of the gaps.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 20 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Josh is enjoying the spot-light while he can. Even a youtube nut can get on TV if he makes dumb enough decisions. The good pastor is a bit of an easy target for atheists but after the incident with the bakery and the fact that he raised 20,000 dollars to buy a professional movie camera only to go right back to shooting video on his cell phone makes me think his popularity is peaking already.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

i. "it would if Craig, and you, were correct about applying our normal intuitions of cause and effect to a Cosmic event like the Big Bang. "

“Being never arises from nonbeing”, “something will not originate from nothing” are putative metaphysical principles, just like cause and effect, unhindered in their application. Hence, we certainly have excellent grounds , both abstractly as well as scientifically, for reasoning that whatsoever begins to exist has a cause.

Accordingly, there is no reason to arbitrarily assert that metaphysical principles are constrained to the natural universe. Unless, of course, you have evidence which necessarily construes such principles as merely physical rather than metaphysical. Do you?

ii. "It's still a God of the gaps."

I'm not positing a so-called "God of the gaps," to explain gaps in our scientific knowledge. Rather, my argument is based upon the best of what we do know in science. The premise that the universe began to exist is not a religious declaration nor a theological one. You can find that statement in any contemporary textbook on astrophysics or cosmology. And it is supported, as we've seen, by the vast majority of cosmologists today.

So I'm simply saying that the best scientific evidence we have today supports the truth of that premise. And from that, the rest of the deductive argument follows. So in no way is this an appeal to ignorance, to try to punt to God to explain what we don't understand. It is a natural conclusion from the logical validity of the preceding premisses. In other words, it's simple, mundane logic.

As Physicist and Mathematician James Clerk Maxwell put it, “Science is incompetent to reason upon the creation of matter itself out of nothing. We have reached the utmost limit of our thinking faculties when we have admitted that because matter cannot be eternal and self-existent it must have been created.”


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 19 months ago from Michigan, USA

Actually, both Guth and Hawking are referring to the evidence for the Big Bang (and, in Guth's case, inflation after the BB). While it suggests that Fred Hoyle's "steady state" hypothesis for our universe is untenable, this DOESN'T automatically get us to --

"...This creates the necessity for a first uncaused-cause..."

For all we know, this universe of ours is only the latest in an endless series of recurring universes. Or perhaps it's only one part of an even larger multiverse. In either case, the possibility remains for some sort of 'steady-state' or eternal existence.

But even if such a perpetual physical existence DOESN'T exist -- even if, at some point, there was an initial cause for everything -- that STILL doesn't get us from a 'necessary beginning' to where we can definitively identify that beginning as "God."

In the history of the "God of the gaps," that's the biggest gap of all!


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"for reasoning that whatsoever begins to exist has a cause."

You are right that we have good grounds to believe that something cannot come from absolute nothing but as I explain in this very hub the idea of NOTHING does not describe a real state of affairs that can exist. Nothing, in that sense, is an impossibility. When scientists talk about a Universe from nothing they do not mean nothing in the sense that apologists and most philosophers mean it.

We also have no grounds to believe that creatio ex nihilo has ever occurred or that our intuitions about creatio ex materia hold true for such a situation if it did occur.

"So I'm simply saying that the best scientific evidence we have today supports the truth of that premise."

And yet most Cosmologists do not hold that the Universe emerged from absolute nothing at the Big Bang and do hold that the Universe could have come into existence without the need for a divine creator. So it seems that Craig likes to hold to scientific knowledge in-so-far as it supports Kalam and reject the rest of Cosmology.

" In other words, it's simple, mundane logic."

Precisely why it is unwise to apply it to an event a strange and still hotly debated as the origin of the Universe. We're talking about a singularity when we talk about the Big Bang, meaning our standard understanding of physics and logic is probably inapplicable.

"We have reached the utmost limit of our thinking faculties when we have admitted that because matter cannot be eternal and self-existent it must have been created."

And yet many scientists do hold that a Universe out of nothing is possible without invoking the supernatural, of course as I said this is not the same NOTHING that people usually mean when they talk about nothing. And there are some that do believe that reality is in someway eternal. The Big Bang may not be disputed by scientists but the actual origins of the Universe in general is still very much a hot topic that I would prefer to let better minds than me investigate.

Even if we grant the premises of Kalam we are left wondering why Craig concludes that the cause of the Universe must be his God but of course this is what happens when you start from your conclusion and work backward.

And finally the idea that we have reached the limit of our faculties does not mean we fall back on magical or supernatural explanations, that's precisely what makes it a God of the gaps argument at its core "we're having a hard time figuring out physics and the nature of the Universe" should not be answered with "there must be a disembodied wizard beyond time and space that can command things into existence!"


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Indeed Paladin the leaps one has to do to get from a First Cause to that First Cause being a God to that God being a specific kind of God to that God being the Christian God who cares what days of the week you work on and who you sleep with are immense. Even if I was entirely convinced by Kalam or another argument for God I would be left an agnostic-deist in a position similar to the one I occupied before I was an atheist after I'd left Christianity behind. Such a nebulous concept has no function or impact on my life, the belief is meaningless and serves only to plug a gap that science will likely one day fill.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

Vilenkin had this to say regarding the beginning of the universe, "It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. *** There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning ***. (Many Worlds in One [New York: Hill and Wang, 2006], p.176) (Emphasis mine.)


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Okay, so you agree with him that the Universe does not go on forever. I did not defend the proposition that the Universe was eternal, merely that the issue is not at all as closed as Craig and his followers would suggest. Even if we assume the Universe is not eternal we have no reason to conclude that a disembodied mind exists or that it serves as an adequate or probable explanation for the existence of the Universe.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

“Ex nihilo nihil fit .” Put plainly , something can't originate from absolutely nothing . ( Not Hawking’s as well as Krauss’ mendacious pseudo-definition of “nothing,” ( “The Grand Design”/ ”A Universe From Nothing“ ) however the notion that signifies no state of affairs , interactions , potentialities , qualities , that is, stated more forcefully , no “anything” . ) If it actually could , why don’t all kinds of things come from nothingness ? Just why aren't dinosaurs , for example , popping out of thin air , devouring everybody in sight ? Why aren't we terrified of elephants suddenly popping into being and crushing us while they rained down from the skies ? If nothing can in fact yield anything exactly why would it discriminate ? Conspicuously , then , this contravention of the laws of nature is exposed as misguided special pleading .

Additionally , from the entirety of human experience , knowledge , wisdom , empiricism as well as findings we’ve distilled many other explicit , irrefragable realities including :

- A posteriori causality

- Being does not emerge from nonbeing

- Whatsoever begins to exist has a cause

- Information cannot spring from disarray

- Fine-tuning does not emanate from randomness

Presented with such unshakable abecedarian truths , the natural questions that follow are , “Where did the universe originate from 13 .70 billion years ago ?” or “What triggered it to come into existence to begin with ?” No matter the cause , it needs to possess a number of key characteristics .

Which means that -

( 1 ) Whatsoever begins to exist has a cause .

( 2 ) The space-time universe began to exist 13 .70 billion years ago .

( 3 ) Thus , the space-time universe has a cause .

( 4 ) The cause of the universe is a transcendent , beginningless , spaceless , immaterial , timeless , unchanging , omnipotent good personal being .

( 5 ) A transcendent , beginningless , spaceless , immaterial , timeless , unchanging , omnipotent good personal being is the definition of God Almighty.

( 6 ) Hence , God Almighty caused the universe to exist 13 .70 billion years ago .

Now , let’s take a more detailed look at each one of the premisses of this elegant syllogism . Foremost , this cause must per se be uncaused . Why ? Simply because an infinite regress of causes does not have any basis in reality ; it can’t be turtles all the way down . ( http://bit.ly/1o2W0vq )

Next , this uncaused cause needs to transcend space-time since it itself created space-time . It is , as a result , spaceless .

Third , considering the fact that this uncaused cause exists beyond space and time it is must be a non-physical or immaterial cause . Why ? Because physical stuff exists only in space – they possess dimension .

Fourth , this uncaused cause must invariably also be timeless for the simple fact that it itself doesn't exist in space-time .

Fifth , it must likewise be changeless . As I'm sure you're well aware , all of matter is present in a state of continuous flux . This is particularly observable at the atomic level . Given that this uncaused cause is immaterial it is not governed by the same forces that alter matter , and so , is unchanging .

Sixth , this uncaused cause is without a doubt unimaginably powerful , if not omnipotent , for it produced matter , energy , space and time into existence entirely on its own .

So , to sum up , whatever it is that brought about the universe to come into existence 13 .70 billion years ago it needs to be beginningless , spaceless , immaterial , timeless , unchanging and omnipotent .

Still we're not done for there are two more attributes of this uncaused cause that we are able to ascertain from what we perceive of the universe . Before we identify these , though , we first want to take a finer look at cause and effect . Here's exactly what I mean : if a cause is sufficient to yield it's effect then the effect also needs to be present . The pair are joined at the hip , so to speak ; you can't have one without the other .

Permit me to borrow from an illustration to help make this sharper . “Suppose that the cause of water’s freezing is the temperature’s being below 0°C . If the temperature were below 0°C from eternity past , then any water that was around would be frozen from eternity . It would be impossible for the water to just begin to freeze a finite time ago . Once the cause is given , the effect must be given as well .” ( http://bit.ly/WQtgZY )

The problem is , if we have indeed a timeless , transcendent cause how come the effect isn’t permanent as well ? Stated another way , if this timeless , transcendent cause in fact brought the universe into being , why hasn't the universe always been ? Just how can a cause be eternal yet its effect commence a finite time ago ? We are aware the universe is roughly about 13 .70 billion years old but as you see we've further deduced that whatsoever brought about the universe has to be transcendent as well as timeless .

The one and only way that is feasible is if this timeless , transcendent , uncaused cause were at the same time a free agent – a being with free will who is able to operate of its own volition . Naturally we all know free will is the hallmark of personhood . m

Last but certainly not least , this beginningless , spaceless , immaterial , timeless , unchanging , omnipotent being must be unimaginably good . Why ? Suppose we admit for the sake of argument that he’s evil . As this being is evil , that suggests he fails to discharge his moral duties . But then exactly where do those originate from ? Just how can this evil being have obligations he is violating ? Who forbids him to do the immoral things he does ? Right away , we discover such an evil being simply cannot be supreme . There needs to be a being who is even greater , one who is absolute goodness himself and thus the source of the moral responsibilities this other prefers to shirk . Therefore , there must necessarily exist a supreme being who is all powerful , all good and all loving ; One who is the very paradigm of good .

So here we arrive at this uncaused cause of the universe 13 .70 billion years ago that is beginningless , spaceless , immaterial , timeless , unchanging , omnipotent and personal being who is all good and all loving .

This is to say - God Almighty.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"that is beginningless , spaceless , immaterial , timeless , unchanging , omnipotent and personal being who is all good and all loving"

Okay, what do you have to say about my argument in the hub Deconstructing God's Characteristics that God's characteristics are meaningless without the Universe? That is to say such a being could not be the cause of the Universe because his characteristics rely upon it. All we have to do is imagine God without external reality, just God and nothing, which is apparently the state that you and Craig are advocating.

Omniscience is meaningless without things to know.

Omnipresence is impossible without places to be present.

Omnibenevolence is impossible without more than one moral agent present (morality necessarily involves the interactions of moral agents)

Omnipotence, power is the ability to do work over time, not only is there nothing for God to act upon but no time in which for him to act.

That and the fact that a disembodied mind can only exist by special pleading that we amend our understanding of what it means to be alive and I've seen no reason to allow that such a thing is possible let alone probable.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

The metric expansion of the universe suggests that it's expanding within something, not nothing. It is within this "something" that our Creator wills and acts.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

So then when God created the Universe it was not creation ex nihilo? Are you departing from Craig's argument on that point? It seems to me that if you posit some basic fabric of reality, a something within which God acts, that you could just cut out God altogether and say that the fundamental nature of this "something" is such that a Universe was inevitable.

Or what are your thoughts about the idea that God might have made the Universe out of some pre-existing proto-matter or proto-energy?

It seems to me that your belief that there was in fact something with God, even if it was just a basic fabric of reality, opens the door to a lot of other possibilities that don't seem to fit with the general Christian conception of creation.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

Isaiah 40:26 & 27 inform us that Jehovah God possesses vast dynamic energy and awe-inspiring power. We're told as well that he does not get tired nor does he ever grow weary. From this enlightening passages we can deduce that Jehovah God employed a minute fraction of this extraordinary energy to create all of reality.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Doesn't really answer my questions about what sort of something you think was there with God or how it overcomes my rebuttal to his characteristics.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

My sincerest apologies but I only know what He has revealed through His Inspired Word.

Personally, I look forward to spending centuries in Paradise exploring such questions :)


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

You're no fun Joe.

Tell me which part of Kalam is in the Bible? Because I don't remember the part that establishes God as a timeless spaceless immaterial disembodied mind.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 19 months ago from Michigan, USA

Hehe. Joe starts losing all his charm once he runs out of copy-and-paste material to quote. ;-)


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

Actually, God is not a disembodied mind. He is a person. Not a physical one of flesh and blood but a spiritual one. See John 4:23.


Link10103 profile image

Link10103 19 months ago

He doesnt have a physical body but exists spiritually.

So...disembodied.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

No, he has a spiritual body. See John 4:23 cf. 1 Cor. 15:44.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

So why does he walk and talk with Adam and Eve? Why does the Bible suggest he has a physical form prior to incarnation as Jesus?


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

I'm assuming this spiritual body would be IMMATERIAL Joe.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"So why does he walk and talk with Adam and Eve?"

"Why does the Bible suggest he has a physical form prior to incarnation as Jesus?"

Where does the Bible teach this?

"I'm assuming this spiritual body would be IMMATERIAL."

It's a non-physical body, yes.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

God has an immaterial spiritual body? Pretty sure that makes him a DISEMBODIED MIND. Please understand that by disembodied we mean without a physical body, I thought that was obvious.

You know very well that God walks in the Garden with Adam and Eve in the Bible. As for his physical appearance there are numerous visions of God in the Bible that depict him as seated upon a throne with white hair and a strange chimera-like group of angels bowing before him or singing his praises. On occasion God talks to Abraham in person. Unless you want to say God's spiritual immaterial body is somehow visible in our narrow range of the electromagnetic spectrum it would appear that the authors of the Bible believed God had a body. And why wouldn't they? They believed their BURNT OFFERINGS were a PLEASING AROMA to God.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

All the different versions of god come from the fact that the people who wrote the bible never read tge previous verses in the bible describing god.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"Pretty sure that makes him a DISEMBODIED MIND."

Nope. It makes him a spiritual being with a spiritual body.

As far as God's supposed physical appearances in the Bible you're gonna have to provide chapter and verse.


Link10103 profile image

Link10103 19 months ago

I guess a conversation isn't complete without changing the definition of words or ignoring the definition altogether.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 19 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Link, ya gotta give him credit for never giving up, LOL! He's like the EverReady Bunny that one!


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

No.

Disembodied. As in lacking a physical body.

I don't give a shit if he has a "spiritual body', what a vague and truly stupid excuse.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

We went from scientists being sure that the Universe couldn't be eternal and came out of nothing where God was to God existing in some pre-Universe SOMETHING that is completely undefined and which ITSELF needs a cause, unless Joe wants to posit that this something ALSO doesn't need a cause, in which case we don't need God because we've got a realm of pre-existing stuff from which the Universe can arise naturally.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

The bible is just a 2-3000 year old comic book series. I can't take it seriously, in any explanatory sense for the existence of everything or anything in our universe.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

Prove it.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Titen

So you deride a plausible explanation simply because you can't fully grasp it? Where's you intellectual honesty?


Link10103 profile image

Link10103 19 months ago

The irony police must enjoy all the work they get.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 19 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Talk in circles much? Titen, you have the patience of, well, the patience of that biblical character that had so much patience! This thread has been rather amusing, but it's really getting old and starting to go in circles again. BTW - if ANYONE can prove god actually exists, the Randi foundation will pay you a million bucks. So, I would jump on that if I were you, JOP.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Come on Joe, really?

It's not a plausible explanation, it's you moving the goalposts to get out of my rebuttal to what your God becomes when he is alone without the Universe.

Not only is it nonsense but when I pressed you for more information on the idea of God existing within a pre-existing something you simply reverted to the idea that you were going to wait to get your answers IN HEAVEN. How could I possibly take the idea seriously when you don't even know how to express it and by all appearances made it up to move the goal posts.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

At this point it's a question of who loses interest first I guess.

Not only has James Randi had that million dollars up for a long time but before him Houdini offered money to anyone who could prove the supernatural. Houdini was a great skeptic who wrote a book of his adventures debunking Mediums. At one point was going to co-write a book with HP Lovecraft the master of weird fiction himself an avowed atheist called The Cancer of Superstition. A little insight into just how long this fight has been going on and how long the money has been out there for anyone seeking to give evidence of the supernatural.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 19 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Yes, it true that the money has never been claimed and someone is living off of the interest I presume. But it will never be paid because the facts regarding the "supernatural" do not actually exist. People just make things up in their heads.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"It's not a plausible explanation"

Why not? Why is it implausible?


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Why is a supernatural non-physical living thing beyond space and time who wills the Universe into existence via a verbal command implausible?

I already explained that if you were paying attention, why don't you go back and re-read all of my responses because I'm not going to sit here and repeat myself.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

Joseph, the proof is in the fact that none of the stories have anything realistic about them, they don't correspond to nature, nor do they correspond to prehistory. As far as calling it a comic book, the stories and the nature of the characters don't match up ro their personality to the point that they all seem schizophrenic. There is also zero evidence that anything in the new testament took place at all and none of the prophesies about revelations happened when the bible said it would as well as other prophesies about various places being destroyed.

I have read the bible many times, and being that many of the parables have unrealistic things happen in them it is most likely that the entire book was just a small groups ignorant views on the world around them. My comic book comparison is more an opinion based on observation, but nothing in the bible is believable if you know how nature and the world work, or if you know the history of the world outside the bible.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

If something, anything, especially a god, has no evidence for being true, and the evidence about the universe contradicts all definitions of the possibility of this thing, especially a god, then you cannot say that such a being exists. If you say something is true you can't expect anyone to believe you, much less take you seriously, if you have no evidence that this thing is true, especially a god.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

Except that the historicity of the Bible has been validated time and again. Over the years, skeptics have challenged— and continue to challenge— the Bible’s accuracy regarding the names of people, events and places it mentions. Time and again, though, evidence has shown such skepticism to be unwarranted. The Bible record, as such, is wholly factual.

For example, at one time scholars doubted the existence of Assyrian King Sargon, mentioned at Isaiah 20:1. However, in the 1840’s, archaeologists began unearthing the palace of this king. Now, Sargon is one of the best-known Assyrian kings.

Critics questioned the existence of Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor who ordered Jesus’death. (Matthew 27:1, 22-24) But in 1961 a stone bearing Pilate’s name and rank was discovered near the city of Caesarea in Israel.

Before 1993, there was no extra-biblical evidence to support the historicity of David, the brave young shepherd who later became king of Israel. That year, however, archaeologists uncovered in northern Israel a basalt stone, dated to the ninth century B.C.E., that experts say bears the words “House of David” and “king of Israel.”

Until recently, many scholars doubted the accuracy of the Bible’s account of the nation of Edom battling with Israel in the time of David. (2 Samuel 8:13, 14) Edom, they argued, was a simple pastoral society at the time and did not become sufficiently organized or have the might to threaten Israel until much later. However, recent excavations indicate that “Edom was a complex society centuries earlier [than previously thought], as reflected in the Bible,” states an article in the journal Biblical Archaeology Review.

There were many rulers on the world stage during the 16 centuries that the Bible was being written. When the Bible refers to a ruler, it always uses the proper title. For example, it correctly refers to Herod Antipas as “district ruler” and Gallio as “proconsul.” (Luke 3:1; Acts 18:12) Ezra 5:6 refers to Tattenai, the governor of the Persian province “beyond the River,” the Euphrates River. A coin produced in the fourth century B.C.E. contains a similar description, identifying the Persian governor Mazaeus as ruler of the province “Beyond the River.”

Regarding the historical accuracy of the Bible, the October 25, 1999, issue of U.S.News & World Report said: “In extraordinary ways, modern archaeology has affirmed the historical core of the Old and New Testaments— corroborating key portions of the stories of Israel’s patriarchs, the Exodus, the Davidic monarchy, and the life and times of Jesus.” While faith in the Bible does not hinge on archaeological discoveries, such historical accuracy is what you would expect of a book inspired by God.

Even more staggering, however, is the fact that there’s more historical evidence for the death and resurrection of Christ than there is for evolution. In fact, any denial of the historicity of Christ’s resurrection is comparable to denying the US declared its independence in 1776 or that Columbus landed in America in 1492.

In his book "The Historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus", Michael Licona provides a list of scholars who attest to the historicity of Christ’s death and resurrection which includes Brodeur, Collins, Conzelman, Fee, Gundry, Harris, Hayes, Hèring, Hurtado, Johnson, Kistemaker, Lockwood, Martin, Segal, Snyder, Thiselton, Witherington, and Wright.

Concordantly, British scholar N. T. Wright states, "As a historian, I cannot explain the rise of early Christianity unless Jesus rose again, leaving an empty tomb behind him.” (N. T. Wright, “The New Unimproved Jesus,” Christianity Today (September 13, 1993)), p. 26.

Even Gert L¸demann, the leading German critic of the resurrection, himself admits, “It may be taken as historically certain that Peter and the disciples had experiences after Jesus’ death in which Jesus appeared to them as the risen Christ.”(Gerd L¸demann, What Really Happened to Jesus?, trans. John Bowden (Louisville, Kent.: Westminster John Knox Press, 1995), p. 80.)

These are just a minute sampling from the massive throng of scholars whose research attests the historicity of Christ’s resurrection - http://amzn.to/13MQiTE http://bit.ly/18UraA6

Prominently, in his book, “Justifying Historical Descriptions”, historian C. B. McCullagh lists six tests which historians use in determining what is the best explanation for given historical facts. The hypothesis “God raised Jesus from the dead” passes all these tests:

1. It has great explanatory scope: it explains why the tomb was found empty, why the disciples saw post-mortem appearances of Jesus, and why the Christian faith came into being.

2. It has great explanatory power: it explains why the body of Jesus was gone, why people repeatedly saw Jesus alive despite his earlier public execution, and so forth.

3. It is plausible: given the historical context of Jesus’ own unparalleled life and claims, the resurrection serves as divine confirmation of those radical claims.

4. It is not ad hoc or contrived: it requires only one additional hypothesis: that God exists. And even that needn’t be an additional hypothesis if one already believes that God exists.

5. It is in accord with accepted beliefs. The statement: “God raised Jesus from the dead” doesn’t in any way conflict with the accepted belief that people don’t rise naturally from the dead. The Christian accepts that belief as wholeheartedly as he accepts the hypothesis that God raised Jesus from the dead.

6. It far outstrips any of its rival hypotheses in meeting conditions (1)-(5). Down through history various alternative explanations of the facts have been offered, for example, the conspiracy hypothesis, the apparent death hypothesis, the hallucination hypothesis, and so forth. Such hypotheses have been almost universally rejected by contemporary scholarship. None of these naturalistic hypotheses succeeds in meeting the conditions as well as an actual, historical resurrection.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

If exceptional intellect is required to merely duplicate the breathtaking daedal designs and systems present in nature (Biomimetics) then much more the original being replicated. Creation thus represents unshakable proof of our Creator's existence.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

I like your arguments from ignorance, they are funny.

Since your ONLY frame of reference is the Bible and you have merely mentioned what you believe is true rather than what is actually true.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwUZOZN-9dc


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

I found this for you as well nice frame of reference for some debates, this is not the forum for arguing with me on the matter, you should message me rather than inundate someone else's forum with your nonsense.

http://www.talkorigins.org/


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

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

I'm not arguing your ridiculous points, they are all assumptions that the Bible is true and jump to ridiculous conclusions.

And given the number of nonChristian religions that still exist today the predate The Bible.... it'll take way more than what you got to convince me that Christianity has any truth to it....

Plus you have to match my 20 years of personal research on the matter.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

False charge of fallacy. There is nothing more pitiful than a blind man who simply refuses to see ...


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 19 months ago from Australia

Joe

you are in no position to criticize due to your own blindness and intolerance to other religions


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

If I am blind I will require even more evidence to prove to me you aren't also blind, even better part is, I know I am blind but do you know that you are also blind?.


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 19 months ago from Tasmania

@Joseph "Even more staggering, however, is the fact that there’s more historical evidence for the death and resurrection of Christ than there is for evolution. In fact, any denial of the historicity of Christ’s resurrection is comparable to denying the US declared its independence in 1776 or that Columbus landed in America in 1492."

All cut and pasted from the "experience project." Hardly your own intellect being presented here, Joe.

I have not posted in this forum previously, simply because I cannot match up to the mental agility of Titen-Sxull (a brilliant mind, if I may say so) and others who are contributing.

But I do think your religious, evangelical objectives here are very shallow. Not a new revelation, you have tried it elsewhere, with the same tricks and the same results.

Still, entertaining to say the least, that is the only reason I bother responding.

Have fun. God won't mind!


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Thanks for the kind words jonnycomelately

I've watched a lot of debates on the historicity of Jesus and the Resurrection and by no means is it a historical fact or comparable to evolution.

For one thing establishing a miracle cannot be done solely on the basis of historical data because the past is not directly available to us as scholars like Dr. Bart Ehrman point out.

And the reason it cannot be compared to evolution is because biology is a horse of an entirely different color. Evolution can be confirmed genetically and in the laboratory and is observable in the wild within the lifetime of a single human being. Historical evidence deals mainly with archaeology and documents/written sources whereas evolution does not rely on such unreliable human created evidence. A fossil, for example, is not in anyway akin to the Gospels from which we get the Resurrection narrative, because a fossil is not man-made, it is physical biological evidence not to mention evolution does not require the supernatural assumptions that an event like the Resurrection would.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"For one thing establishing a miracle cannot be done solely on the basis of historical data because the past is not directly available to us as scholars like Dr. Bart Ehrman point out."

The same, then, applies to the molecules-to-man myth that is Evolution ...


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Did you read and comprehend anything I said?

Not only did I explain that we have fossils for evolution, which is different from having historical sources because it is an actual piece of physical evidence that can't lie to us the way a written source can. But I also explained that evolution, common ancestry, can be proven with modern genetics without needing any of the fossils or other ancient evidence at all.

Molecules to Man evolution? Are you suggesting that men are not made up of molecules?

The basic principles and mechanisms of evolution are well understood, in the meantime no creationist has ever proved God's existence, proved God has ever changed or interacted with the natural world or explained any of the mechanism by which they think God accomplished the act of creation. Evolution is a discovered fact about how species change over time. Creationists have not only failed to submit a scientifically sound falsifiable alternative but they have also never falsified evolution.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

It is clear he doesn't understand what evolution is nor how it works nor does he understand what the mountains of evidence is for it nor does he have a valid argument that disputes evolution as a myth. All he can do is cherry pick and repeat the same old tired mantra that has no basis in the reality of the scientific community. He is a waste of time in this regard.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

But the fossil record doesn't support the idea of molecules-to-man evolution which is why the myth of Punctuated Equilibrium had to be invented (which is nothing more than just a bad euphemism for special creation by God) instead of simply discarding the theory as nothing more than apophenia inbred with confirmation bias.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"But the fossil record doesn't support the idea of molecules-to-man evolution"

Our earliest fossils are single-celled organisms, so you're wrong, everything about the fossil record suggests that life gradually arose from self-replicating organic molecules eventually diversifying into all the life you see before you today.

Also remember that man is made of molecules, life is, at its base, organic chemistry, by inserting an unnecessary supernatural explanation you are violating Occams razor in a big way. God is neither evident or necessary to explain the origin of life or biodiversity on this planet.

"inbred with confirmation bias."

I'm assuming that you believe in heredity Joe, that's when traits are passed on from one generation to another. Well evolution isn't much more complicated than that, genetic variation within a population over time. The only bias I can think of that evolutionary scientists might have is a bias toward naturalism, as in the supernatural explanations put forward by creationists are not falsifiable, have no evidence supporting them and are not scientific in anyway and thus can be rejected outright.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

I already showed Joseph that the evidence for evolution goes FAR BEYOND the fossil record... and in fact we DO NOT NEED the fossil record at all to provide evidence for evolution.


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 19 months ago from Tasmania

I am wondering what Joseph's "problem" might be. If it can be considered a problem, I don't know for sure.

The insistence on some kind of god to justify some kind of ignorance or refusal to face the certainties of this world..... and limiting that god.... I mean, if you want to believe in such a deity, then let "him" be limitless and way beyond human constrictions. But don't expect to prove it one way or the other, ever.


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 19 months ago from Australia

Joeys problem is gross religious intolerance at the heart of his jw philosophy. Sound familiar? So if one group of the intolerant talks to another group of the intolerant how can any worth come of it?


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 19 months ago from Tasmania

@Oztinato, are you suggesting I am intolerant? Hopefully I have shown a lot of tolerance of a long time, and respect to the other point of view, even when that view is patently illogical or ignorant.

However, when anyone pushes a particular point of view that can threaten my freedom of life with the presumptions of their belief system, then I am intolerant, without apology.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"everything about the fossil record suggests that life gradually arose from self-replicating organic molecules eventually diversifying into all the life you see before you today."

“Instead of finding the gradual unfolding of life,” say evolutionary paleontologists like David M. Raup, “what geologists of Darwin’s time, and geologists of the present day actually find is a highly uneven or jerky record; that is, species appear in the sequence very suddenly, show little or no change during their existence in the record, then abruptly go out of the record.”

"The fossil record - in defiance of Darwin's whole idea of gradual change - often makes great leaps from one form to the next. Far from the display of intermediates to be expected from slow advance through natural selection many species appear without warning, persist in fixed form and disappear, leaving no descendants. Geology assuredly does not reveal any finely graduated organic chain, and this is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against the theory of evolution.” (Almost Like a Whale, p. 252)

“If life had evolved into its wondrous profusion of creatures little by little, Dr. Eldredge argues, then one would expect to find fossils of transitional creatures which were a bit like what went before them and a bit like what came after. But no one has yet found any evidence of such transitional creatures. This oddity has been attributed to gaps in the fossil record which gradualists expected to fill when rock strata of the proper age had been found. In the last decade, however, geologists have found rock layers of all divisions of the last 500 million years and ** no transitional forms ** were contained in them. If it is not the fossil record which is incomplete then it must be the theory.” (The Guardian Weekly)


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"God is neither evident or necessary to explain the origin of life or biodiversity on this planet."

Evolutionist have been trying to recreate the beginning of life by experimenting with amino acids and shooting electrical bolts into it. But this came with no success.

Even if it did have success it still took an intelligent mind to make it so. So how can anyone say the cells came about by themselves? They are extraordinarily complicated; there is no such a thing as a simple cell.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"evolution isn't much more complicated than that, genetic variation within a population over time."

Weismann disproved Lamarckism a long time ago. Try again.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

"we DO NOT NEED the fossil record at all to provide evidence for evolution."

You most certainly do since the Theory of Evolution is a historical claim; no one has ever observed a fish evolve into a mammal ...


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 19 months ago from Australia

JCL

you are only intolerant of religion. Likewise Joe is intolerant of all religion (except his).


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 19 months ago from Tasmania

Joseph, there is no need to treat Darwin's Theory of Evolution as absolutely, for all time, a completely true and indisputable fact. It's just a theory, albeit a reasonable and useful one with which scientists can work and progress. It can apparently level with many discovered facts and findings. But it does not have to be revered as anything but a theory.

We need to keep an open mind because a closed mind will never see further than the inside of our eyelids.

Quoting texts from the writings of Dr. Niles Eldredge will not necessarily give substance to your creationist bias. The scientific mind must be doubly open to new ideas and discoveries, otherwise you turn your eyes away from any truth that might emerge.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

The fossil record was only necessary in pointing out that evolution was a thing, but since then, and I have showed you, that there is evidence that goes to supporting evolution other than the fossil record, making the fossil record unnecessary at this point in proving evolution as a fact. But since you arent current on what the science actually says on the matter I don't expect you to know the facts... there is a great documentary that explains what other evidence exists called "What Darwin Never Knew", if you cared about the truth I would suggest you do more research on the matter, but don't believe you do.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

"The fossil record was only necessary in pointing out that evolution was a thing"

What does that even mean?


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"But this came with no success."

Actually experiments such as this have been wildly successful at showing that the self-replicating molecules needed for life to arise naturally could have been produced on the pre-biotic Earth. Life, as I said, is organic chemistry, and these sorts of experiments have shown that all the elements and processes needed for life to form naturally from primitive self-replicating proteins. As your God unnecessary to account for life inserting it here is a God of the Gaps.

" So how can anyone say the cells came about by themselves?"

Derp. Because they are using the same building blocks and conditions present on early Earth to show how it might have happened naturally. They are not recreating intelligent design, the experiments are specifically designed to replicate natural conditions that would have been present in order to show ways in which life could come about on its own.

Would you suggest the scientists be attempting to summon organisms into existence via verbal command as your God does? Because I'm pretty sure that magical incantations have never been a part of science. The God hypothesis for the origin of life is not a scientific one, it cannot be tested. You are welcome to believe that God got it all started, but misrepresenting science, misleading others and trying to claim you own position should supplant the ones we actually have evidence for is not welcome.

"no one has ever observed a fish evolve into a mammal ..."

That's not what the theory of evolution says, try again.

"(The Guardian Weekly)"

Congrats on being able to quote mine and copy and paste.

While our conversations are sometimes frustrating Joe I know for a fact that you cannot be this stupid to misrepresent and misunderstand simple scientific principles that grade school children understand. So let us present my version of the CS Lewis trilemma, that you are either willfully ignorant, woefully dishonest, or just plain crazy, or perhaps a combination of some of these.

When I used to be a creationist I was naïve and knew nothing about evolution but you seem to have done enough actual research to know better...


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Oz I'm unclear on what you mean by intolerance.

As a citizen of this planet I see no reason why I should have to put up with false and harmful nonsense and let it pollute other minds. While I respect the right of everyone to believe what they want I also have the right to point out how wrong I think those beliefs are and how I think those people should abandon those beliefs so that we can get a move on as a global civilization and stop dicking around.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

Joseph, it means that we see the patterns of nature. We see clues to an occurrence and we investigate it further. The proof of the big bang is in the observation that everything in space is expanding. We see see a dead body and we know that something killed them, whether it be natural, accidental or murder we investigate, we find clues we collect evidence. We don't just jump to a conclusion or make up crap that has no basis. We see the evidence, we collect it and we create models from this evidence which science calls theories, models that show us how things happened and we name them as such. God has no evidence, no models no basis in reality.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"Actually experiments such as this have been wildly successful"

The fact of the matter is that Pasteur refuted the theory of Spontaneous Generation (aka Abiogenesis) a long time ago. Try again.

"the experiments are specifically designed to replicate natural conditions that would have been present in order to show ways in which life could come about on its own."

So what you're saying, if I'm understanding you correctly, is that, under very controlled conditions, various fundamental components can be arranged in such a way so as to produce a living single-celled organism?

Finally, it appears you were unable to fully apprehend Dr. Eldredge's expert opinion and its far reaching consequences. Where did you get lost? Perhaps I can help you get back on track :)


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

And since Science is omniscient and infallible ...

Remember Alchemy , Neptunism , the geocentric universe , Spontaneous Generation , Lamarckism , Emication , the existence of the planet Vulcan , Lysenkoism , Gradualism , Trepanation , Miasma principle of illness , Telegony , junk DNA, the widening earth , the existence of Phlogiston , martian canals , Luminiferous Aether , the Steady State Theory , Cold Fusion , Hollow Earth Theory , Phrenology etc., etc.?

Just one more case of the blind leading the blind in the lazy hopscotch up the non-existent incline of Mt . Preposterous . . .


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 19 months ago from Tasmania

Joseph, you repeatedly quote from others here, without acknowledging where you get them from.

Both of your last two paragraphs have been cut and pasted from others. When I use a search engine to look for them, there are 3 or 4 sources.

It will be a good day when I see some original, personal, honest thought coming from you.

Is there anything that you can come up with that might enlighten us?


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

One of the strengths of science is that is does not pretend to be sacred or infallible, unlike religious dogma. Science updates itself, corrects its errors and has become especially helpful at prolonging our lifespans and providing interconnected technology in the last century or so.

There was only about 65 years between the first airplane being flown by the Wright Brothers and the astronauts landing on the moon. Tell me Joe how many astronauts have the Jehovah's Witnesses put on the moon? How many new medical breakthroughs has the Catholic Church handed down? You'd think if the religious were really in contact with a god we'd get some good information from that, yet not only is God not providing us with any sensible information about reality around us but the religious can't even decide what kind of god God is, what his actual rules and moral commandments are, whether he cares who you sleep with or if you're gay, etc etc etc. Not only can believers not reach a consensus on God but they have no evidence to present us that any of their claims aren't some shit people just made up.

We have fractured splinters all with their own unyielding dogmas propped up as sacred truths but hollow within and none of them based on anything real.

Whereas in science we have solidified fields of study that continue to make progress by collecting new data and refining their ideas. Science does this by focusing on the natural world using methodological naturalism. If supernaturalism has anything to offer it remains to be seen.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

You praise Science because it's put a man on the moon but none of its accomplishments matter in a world rife with war, violence, abuse, strife, discord, animosity, hatred, bigotry, inequality, injustice, abject squalor, preventable disease and depravity.

If Science is so great why hasn't it solved these fundamental problems?


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 19 months ago from Tasmania

If faith is so great why has religion promoted these problems.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Science is a method for understanding the world around us, it cannot save us from human nature, which unfortunately is not always compassionate or good. Science is not a political, religious, or social movement.

While the world is still pretty screwed up it has, in general, gotten better since the turn of the 20th century. People all over the world are organizing and fighting for their rights and their equality. Humanitarian efforts and medical breakthroughs help solve the issue of disease. As for war I doubt it will change until humanity gets its head of of its own ass and realizes that this is one planet and human beings are one species. The only border I believe in is the one between us and the stars and the sooner we tear that down and get out there to boldy go the better... but that won't happen until we've matured a bit.

Personally I think the key to that maturity is education. Tearing down racism with the fact that genetically speaking race does not exist. Tearing down xenophobia by showing that all people are deserving of respect and deserving of a voice in deciding humanity's destiny. Tearing down superstition and blind faith in authority by showing that no dogma or authoritarian absolute should keep our species from reaching its full potential. Discovery is important. Seeking knowledge. For me there is nothing more important to the survival of the human race than getting us to give up the harmful ideas that hold us back so we can get our act together and get out into space.

That's why I do what I do Joe, or at least that's the long term goal I'd like humanity to be headed toward within my lifetime,


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 19 months ago from Tasmania

Joseph, do you presume that any of us here would not accept and agree with this statement? : "Truth enthusiast. Foe of mendacities.."


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

Joseph, you use these random words and it's laughable because you have NO IDEA what any of them mean, what is valid or what is refuted.... junk DNA by the way is not a refuted thing it's an actual by product of DNA that is not being used to define an organism fully. You want me to even tell you what all these words mean in reality why they were wrong why many of these things you mention were not science and how science was the one responsible for refuting these things that were refuted? Alchemy was a myth, it was not science, it was something culled from various religious ideas.... it's also funny because it's basically the same idea as Jesus turning water into wine.

Neptunism.... really? 19th century geology? Seriously?

the geocentric universe, this is a funny one because many of the base observations of our world relied solely on observation and were reinforced by THE BIBLE in genesis, The geocentric model held sway into the early modern age, but from the late 16th century onward was gradually superseded by the heliocentric model of Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler. There was much resistance to the transition between these two theories. Christian theologians were reluctant to reject a theory that agreed with Bible passages (e.g. "Sun, stand you still upon Gibeon", Joshua 10:12 – King James 2000 Bible).

Spontaneous generation or anomalous generation is an obsolete body of thought on the ordinary formation of living organisms without descent from similar organisms. Typically, the idea was that certain forms such as fleas could arise from inanimate matter such as dust, or that maggots could arise from dead flesh. These are NOT SCIENCE.

Lamarckism is basically early evolution and was not a fully formed idea.... you really are reaching because using these as examples doesn't refute ANYTHING I am telling you, it shows that knowledge is collected information, many ideas about what we know and what we know now does nothing to change the facts of what is... it;s little pieces of a puzzle getting bigger.... you really should read what these things are and what is valid and invalid in them and what was developed after words and why.

Emication? Really, have you read anything on this????

Vulcan???? Seriously??? is a small hypothetical planet that was proposed to exist in an orbit between Mercury and the Sun. Attempting to explain peculiarities of Mercury's orbit, the 19th-century French mathematician Urbain Le Verrier hypothesized that they were the result of another planet, which he named "Vulcan".

A number of reputable investigators became involved in the search for Vulcan, but no such planet was ever found, and the peculiarities in Mercury's orbit have now been explained by Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity.

Do you know how science works? What is it these are an example of???

It seems you are just mentioning random things without any idea of what they are about. In an attempt to do what?

It's no better than your magic sky daddy who is apparently totally inept, impotent and totally nonexistent, at least the ideas you mentioned, however flawed, and however ignorant you are of them are man's sometime failed attempts at trying to examine and understand their universe. What are you doing to discover the truth of our world?

Many of the things you mentioned are also ideas invented by other religious minded or conspiracy minded people rather than scientific minded people.... Some of these ideas still hold in many RELIGIOUS communities because people still take the BIBLE literally.

Creationism (basically the same as Spontaneous Generation) , Geocentrism, Flat Earth... all based on religious understandings of the world.

You are gonna tell me that your belief in God, your magic sky daddy, saying let there be light and such is a viable alternative to what science has discovered about our universe? What is your basis for this? You have none....

Science is not infallible, science is people trying to figure out how the universe works, it makes mistakes and it fixes mistakes.... I think I posted a video explaining this.... science doesn't make a discovery and sit back and say "This is how it is" science is people making observations, recording observations, measuring observations, coming up with models, testing the models, revising the models, collecting more information making new observations and revising the models, every Theory in existence is constantly tested scrutinized, revised, etc, forever.... take Gravity for example.... yeah, it's a thing, but what is it, what causes it? Do you think once we discovered that mass determines gravity that we stopped looking at it? No, people still study gravity and try to figure it out and how it works.... it can go on for centuries because when you discover something you don't stop looking at it, there is always more to discover and learn about it.

Evolution is a real thing and science still looks at it and still tries to figure out how exactly it works, how it determines how organisms change, etc.... you are just blindly rejecting it for no other reason than... I don't even know.... is it religious reasons? What is it about evolution you don't like? It's a fact, get over it.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Jonny

How do you mean?


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"it cannot save us from human nature, which unfortunately is not always compassionate or good.it cannot save us from human nature, which unfortunately is not always compassionate or good."

And why do you suppose that is? Why do some simply prefer to put their narcissistic goals above the common good?


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

To answer your question, I reject the Theory of Evolution because it has no evidence in the fossil record, as I've already expounded upon in great length. The evidence, rather, makes the case for special creation by an intelligent Creator.


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 19 months ago from Tasmania

@Joseph

You have written this statement into your Profile.

"Truth enthusiast. Foe of mendacities.."

What makes you think we others here are less enthusiasts for the truth than yourself? Are you suggesting any of us is guilty of mendacity?


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 19 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

I think his profile should read. 'Dogma' enthusiast. It is all that he believes in and spouts.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Jonny

I've never made such a claim, however, if the shoe fits ... :)


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

Joseph, the evidence for evolution is far beyond the fossil record, saying the fossil record is not evidence for evolution is like saying that the dead body doesn't prove there was a crime. Did you examine the damn body? No. I already showed you the video explaining to you why the fossil record is not the onky evidence for evolution but you are so willfully ignorant.... you are not telling the whole truth about why you reject evolution. You are in this sense being willfully deceptive as well as being willfully stupid.


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 19 months ago from Tasmania

I accept that some people find a need to have "faith" in something, or some concept, that is beyond reasonable argument. This seems to be a human-centred trait. All manner of ways to protect the certainty of that "something" or concept are brought into play. One of them is to say it's all based in the Spirit, can't be seen or touched by the mere mortal man/woman who has not been initiated into the "faith."

I honour and respect the need. It's very evident today where individuals are responding to the earth quake in Nepal. Posting best wishes, prayers, etc., makes people feel they are at least doing something to help; when there is precious little else they can personally do.

Believing in "The Almighty," and assuming that He will help the person you are posting to, can produce a calming affect in the mind, lift one out of the doldrums so-to-speak.

Maybe Joe here is in this sort of space. His beliefs and philosophical understandings are being driven by the same personal needs: Certainty, Safety, Comfortable acceptance; the feeling of "being right" and therefore impregnable by lesser forces.

Lifting out of that space can take energy, courage, personal honesty..... and the willingness to stand up to people who have hitherto been your mentors and teachers. "They" want you to stay just as you are, not wavering from what "they" have taught you is the "truth" all along.

I am rambling on here, but I think you get the gist of my argument.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

General Theory of Evolution - "The theory that all the living forms in the world have arisen from a single source which itself came from an inorganic form." - Gerald Kerkut - ”Implications of Evolution" (Oxford: Pergamon)

Given this fact the Theory of Evolution is, at it's core, a HISTORICAL claim. The only way to verify this HISTORICAL claim is to rely on HISTORICAL evidence, i.e., the fossil record and it tells us that gradual evolution is nothing more than a presumption.

It's a square peg in a round hole; it just doesn't fit the evidence.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Jonny

All I can say is that I know what I believe and I believe what I know and that it's my duty to share this light with all those who need it :)


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 19 months ago from Tasmania

Ok, Joe, and you, YOU know who needs it. Right?


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Jonny

Not necessarily. I just shine as brightly as I can and those seeking it are simply drawn to it :)


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

Joseph, that's far from reality. Do you know what DNA is? Enough said.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

Joseph, the only light you have is imaginary.... if you want a light I have a flashlight for you. Seriously though, you have yet to tell us anything that is a viable alternative to the ones you are arguing against. Give us your best shot. What do you have that is better than what we believe? And can you prove that it is true and accurate to the nature of our universe?


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

Let me just preface this with the following:

"A mind is like a parachute. It only works when it's open." -Frank Zappa

With that out of the way, let me repeat what I've already showed you -

If exceptional intellect is required to merely duplicate the breathtaking daedal designs and systems present in nature (Biomimetics) then much more the original being replicated. Creation thus represents unshakable proof of our Creator's existence.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Snowflakes, diamonds, and stars are all quite beautiful and complex but we understand that they form naturally and do not require the existence of a god. You assertion that complex patterns cannot form without intelligence is dead wrong on every level, from the cosmic to the quantum.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

Neither pattern nor order are of particular concern . It’s the arrangements of numerous interrelated constituent parts or elements in a string of steps adhered to in a consistent clear-cut order to effectuate a task , purpose , goal or operation ( ordered complexity ) which always betrays the existence of an intelligent mind . It's what makes a specific signal, for instance, instantly recognizable from random white noise . (That's why SETI scours the universe for radio signals.)

So you see, trying to use "poof" ( amazing chance )% to explain the outrageously tiny compound probabilities of standalone events giving us a life sustaining universe is simply naked , illogical sophism .

%“It is our contention that if ‘random’ [chance] is given a serious and crucial interpretation from a probabilistic point of view, the randomness postulate is highly implausible and that an adequate scientific theory of evolution must await the discovery and elucidation of new natural laws, physical, chemical and biological.” -“Inadequacies of Neo-Darwinian Evolution as a Scientific Theory”, Dr. Murray Eden, MIT

%“There is no chance (less than 10 to the 1000 power) to see [evolution based on mutation and natural selection] appear spontaneously and, if it did, even less for it to remain. Thus, to conclude, we believe there is a considerable gap in the Neo-Darwinian Theory of evolution, and we believe this gap to be of such a nature that it cannot be bridged within the current conception of biology.” -“Algorithms and the Neo-Darwinian Theory of Evolution,” Marcel P. Schutzenberger, University of Paris (Bracket mine.)

This multiplicity of probabilities atop probabilities atop probabilities atop probabilities properly illustrates the staggering probability of our universe winding up with the optimum blend and ratios of life permitting constants by pure chance .

Your reasoning makes it acceptable for someone who stumbles upon a copy of “Hamlet” to believe it is really the product of an infinite group of monkeys in an infinite assortment of universes banging away duplicates of texts at an infinite group of typewriters generated by yet another infinite group of monkeys in some other group of infinite universes banging away at their infinite bunch of typewriters rather than just simply concluding “Shakespeare .”

Concordantly,

1. The fine-tuning of the initial conditions of the universe are due to either physical necessity, chance or deliberate design.

2. It is not due to either physical necessity or chance.

3. Therefore, it is due to deliberate design.

If you hear hoof beats , why think unicorns ?


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 19 months ago from Tasmania

Joseph, since you love cutting and pasting quotes here, without giving your down-to-earth personal opinions, let me direct you to something by Brandon Fibbs, and the link to his writings.

https://www.faithstreet.com/onfaith/2014/03/10/car...

And just one paragraph which might draw your attention further:

"Science killed my faith. Not “science,” the perverse parody invented by some Christians—a nefarious, liberal, secular agenda whose sole purpose is to turn people from god—but rather science, an objective, methodological tool that uses reason and evidence to systematical study the world around us, and which is willing, unlike faith, to change direction with the accumulation of that evidence. Science is a humble and humbling exercise. Science is the impossibly dense core of curiosity—always asking, always seeking, always yearning to know more, never satisfied.

See if you can take this all in and give us your personal, objective opinion.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

That is the most ridiculous statements, which have been debunked already, for "evidence" of an "Intelligent Designer". Which is by the way NOT evidence for anything other than your inability to grasp science, particularly Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and the Biology that goes into Evolution.

SETI by the way is not looking that hard into radio signals for extra terrestrials because many of the objects in the universe emit radio waves... when you hear static on your radio, that noise, is the radio waves emitted from the cosmic background radiation the goes as far back as the big bang. If you ever visit the VLA you might also understand how radio waves are used to look at objects in space and are really not capable of finding specific signals that would be possible communication of extra terrestrial origin... it's like trying to talk to one person across a room of hundreds of talking people, literally impossible to understand what that one person might be saying.

The chances of finding intelligent life on other planets whether they exist or not is just as hard because first off there is a fraction of planets in our galaxy capable of supporting life, a fraction of that capable of intelligent life and even less of intelligent life capable of possible space travel, put in the incredible distance it would take for one to be close enough for us to even hear or visit for that matter.... the closest planet capable of supporting intelligent life able to communicate or travel to us would take them literally 500 years to get to us at light speed, a speed for which objects with mass are not able to get to.... so even our radio waves still have 400 years left before they are even heard by anyone close enough to hear.

Many of our telescopes have come across planets which show through chemical light spectrums that they are capable of supporting life and have the same signature as our planet, yet we are unable to investigate further due to their distances, and even with your lame percentage chances of life being possible is still greater than most people being killed in a plane crash, and since there are over 7 billion people on the planet the chances are they will and oh they do. But the universe is possibly infinite and with the amount of observable stars and galaxies even a one in a billion chance is still pretty damn great.

And of course you are gonna quote a person, Dr. Murray Eden, MIT, from a Christian web site making your citation totally biased, and considering he also happens to be a creationist, also biased, especially considering that creationism is NOT SCIENCE and has ZERO scientific basis, zero evidence, and no principles or math to back it up in any way shape or form.

In fact, most of the statement you have made is basically saying "Duh, it's so unbelievable to us, it can't be true, it's so improbable, it must be a God." Without ANY evidence to the contrary, there is zero evidence for anything alternate to the principles found in evolution. In fact ANY theory that is viable has practical applications the match it's model and EVOLUTION has practical applications the support natural selection, artificial selection is a long standing proof of the workings of evolution and if not for that we would have zero edible fruits and veggies, zero dogs, zero cows, zero farm animals of any sort. Many kind has been using the aspect of evolution of selective breeding.... Bananas, all the different varieties of Apples and Oranges, all the different sizes and breeds of dogs, etc..... your denial of evolution amounts to the denial that life in general exists.

I can state all the different aspect of proof for evolution, however, you have yet to show me one once of evidence that it was necessary for an intelligent being to make it happen, you have yet to show me evidence that one even exists, and you have yet to show me evidence that one is even possible for the existence of ANYTHING in the universe.

And believe me if you did, that would be great, and I would believe that such a being exists, I'm not denying that a God exists for any other reason than I have yet to have ANYONE ANYWHERE show me evidence for ones mere possibility. If you read my hub on why I am an atheist you will know that before I became an atheist I was a Christian, I was raised in a Christian house hold by a loving Christian family.

So if you have something I have not yet already considered or seen then show me, because all I have from you is denial because you feel mad that the sciences contradict the deity you believe in.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 19 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Art, he's not mad because the sciences contradict his deity, he is mad because he refuses to accept the sciences that contradict his deity. If we could prove that a deity exists, he would go away a happy person. But since absolutely NO ONE has ever proven that this deity exists, he must continually assert his bias to try to make it true.

Unfortunately, for him and us, these arguments will continually go on until the sun doesn't shine.

It's amusing to watch, though, isn't it.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

Hang on a sec. You actually expect someone to be convinced by the evidence for God's necessary existence but still remain Atheist?


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 19 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

There is no evidence for god's NECESSARY existence because your god is not now, nor ever has been, nor ever will be "necessary".


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

Do you understand the meaning of atheist? It means, whether or not a god exists no one has shown that he does so until that time comes I wont believe that he does. He doesn't seem necessary to the existence of anything. Its like me telling you I am friends with an alien from mars, do you believe me? I hope not, until I can prove to you that I am you should be skeptical, right? Seriously.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Austin

Prove it.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

You're not making sense. How does any of that answer my simple query?


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

Joe, maybe your query doesn't make any sense, because I answered the query the way I saw it. If there is evidence for a god then I would not be an atheist. Maybe you are confused by what the concept of evidence is. Maybe you should rephrase your question. What do you think atheism is and what do you think evidence is and what do you think the evidence for a god is when I have repeatedly told you that just because something seems complex and organized doesn't mean it had to come from an intelligent being. Nature isn't a being and its certainly not intelligent though what comes from nature is certainly awe inspiring.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 19 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

@JOP - No, YOU prove it!


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 19 months ago from Tasmania

The only way to prove a negative is to find a positive.

The only way to find a god is to look inside a person's mind. Since the content of the mind is abstract, not material, how are you going to find anything there of substance?

Mental agility. Decide "I" want something to exist, then drum up all manner or arguments in order to convince others about the soundness of my mind.

When I get enough people agreeing with what I say I have in my mind (without them wanting proof of it, mind you!) then I can lay claim to some authenticity. Those that reject my claim are labeled as non-believers, ridiculed and belittled.

Where is all this getting me? Hell knows! But it sounds a useful rant, doesn't it? Positively so......


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 19 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Johnny, I wonder how many times joe has asked us to prove something that he is making the clain for? It's childish and repetitive and he refuse to examine the proof we put forward anyway, by just dismissing everything out of hand. He dismisses actual fossil and dna evidence. Does someone need to bang him over the head with a megalodon tooth?


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

All I asked is if you sincerely expected someone convinced by the evidence for God's necessary existence to remain Atheist. A simple "yes" or "no" will suffice :)


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Austin

“That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.” Given your clear inability to supply any evidence for your outlandish claim consider it dismissed.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Austin

Why? Did it evolve into something that wasn't a shark?


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

"All I asked is if you sincerely expected someone convinced by the evidence for God's necessary existence to remain Atheist. A simple "yes" or "no" will suffice :)"

I could answer Yes or no if the statement/question itself made sense enough to answer yes or no too... it's a nonsense question.

First off, There is no evidence for God's necessary existence. And if you are convinced God exists then you are not an atheist... look at the way you wrote that question....

Second of all, there are questions that are nonsense and form traps that are also false.... for instance, Joseph, how long have you been cheating on your wife? See? If for one you have never cheated on your wife then answering how long is also nonsense.

As far as proving whether or not God's existence is necessary, first you start with the basic beliefs that many primitive people gave God credit for... Rain for one... many people would say, God makes it rain, at will, when he is angry or giving for crops or to cool you on hot days.... we now know God has nothing to do with that, it's caused by evaporation and condensation because of the temperatures of the environment.. We can blame God for the sun, but we now know that the sun is a fusion reaction of helium and hydrogen.... what about babies, God made those right? Nope, someone had sex.... What about the planets, god made that right? Nope. How then did they happen? When a sun burns out and often if it is big enough it super novas as is observed in space it has created heavy elements If you take chemistry you'll understand how this works, what are things made of? Atoms, what are atoms made of? Electrons, Protons and Neutrons of various combinations.... Hydrogen and Helium are very simple atoms. In a Star, like our Sun, during fusion reactions and the massive pressure of it's weight these atoms closer to the core will combine to form elements such as iron. How do we know this? First off elements give of different spectrums of light and can be seen when you burn many of them their flames are different colors.... I could go on and on... but you get the point...

Ever hear the term "God of the gaps"? This term got coined because of many believers such as yourself saying, to all of the things science has yet to discover, that God must have done it. As science makes new discoveries showing that God didn't do it, believers in God would go further back and say well, God must have done the thing that made that.... God's credits keep shrinking.... maybe we will find a God at the end of the long strings of cause and effect but we have yet to find ANYTHING that would need a God to make it happen. So where is the evidence for God in all this? It doesn't exist, at least not yet if at all. We, the people who follow science, whether or not we are believers in a God is irrelevant, have not yet found any evidence for God, those that believe in God still do so by faith alone. However, faith to most of us is the Stupid Affirmation of the Absurd.... I could have faith that if I jump off without aide the top of the Empire State Building that I will survive... will I? Will God, if I am a true believer, survive? Could anyone?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqepQGOYKZ0


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 19 months ago from Tasmania

@Art, although I respect what you are saying, and agree with most of it, I do support those who cannot get even close to understanding the scientific facts as they arise.

I see (and sometimes need myself) the need to meet emotional circumstances with some kind of explanation. I don't see "God of the Gaps" as having no reasonable purpose. Sometimes it's important for a person to move on in life, letting the past and it's pain go, thus releasing us from its clutches.

Throughout history that God of the Gaps has played a part in helping people "move on." I am not saying it had lasting benefits, sometimes quite the opposite. For example, "believing" that God was responsible for or, at least, allowing a situation, and then doing nothing to right the situation, allowed disease to carry on rampantly through a population. Believing that crops were dying on account of the Wrath of God caused people to ignore or miss the disease factor. Belief tended to stop any further research, questioning, discovering truths, etc.

Today, in this wonderful environment of the Internet, there is an enormous amount of information available, at our finger tips, immediately, 24 hours a day. We are all able to access that knowledge. We can do studies in order to use and fully understand that knowledge. So, there really is no excuse for any religious-leaning person to be ignorant of the facts.

I put this to Joseph. No excuse, Joseph.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 19 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

I think that fundamentalists and most especially Jehovah's Witnesses, Pentecostals, and Southern Baptists are all taught that the modern world is filled with demons, science, math, technology and perhaps witchcraft. They are taught to deny the modern world because it might affect their "salvation" somehow. Sad, really.


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 19 months ago from Tasmania

Vestigiality - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vestigiality

Wikipedia

Charles Darwin was familiar with the concept of vestigial structures, though the term for them did not yet exist. He listed a number of them in The Descent of Man, including the muscles of the ear, wisdom teeth, the appendix, the tailbone, body hair, and the semilunar fold in the corner of the eye.

Strange how we sometimes think a particular organ is not being used for anything important..... but then, when I read below that entry in the searched results, they are finding that organs previously thought vestigial do in fact have some purpose.

The mind wonders and boggles!


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

" if you are convinced God exists then you are not an atheist."

Thank you, that's all I needed to know. So now, hopefully, you understand why so many intellectuals and reasonable individuals are Theist.


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 19 months ago from Tasmania

Just different points of view, Joseph. Any one of us can choose to take either (or other) view, neither is totally right, neither totally wrong, each supplies a particular mental need.

When you and other theists are able to accept that, then we can all get along fine, without having to feel we must change our view.

I am not, nor ever will do, asking you to cease being theist in your thinking. But I do ask you not to require that I change my a-theist point of view.

All the time you seem to be declaring my point of view "incorrect," or "wrong," or "sinful," then I will counter your point of view.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

Joseph, I don't know of any. Almost all people of Theistic persuasion I have ever encountered or read about has been completely unreasonable and blind to the facts to the point of ignoring what is right in front of them, to the point of sociopathic psychosis.... you are a prime example.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

"It [] dawned on me that I had accepted evolution without really questioning it. For example, I had assumed that evolution was well supported by the fossil record. But it is not. Indeed, the more I examined evolution, the more I became convinced that the theory is more bluster than fact.

Then I thought about my work with robots. Whose designs was I imitating? I could never design a robot capable of catching a ball as we can. A robot can be programmed to catch a ball, but only in precisely controlled conditions. It cannot do so in circumstances for which it has not been programmed. Our ability to learn is vastly superior to that of a machine—and mere machines have makers! This fact is just one of many that led me to conclude that we must have had a Designer.

I became deeply interested in the many prophecies, or predictions, in the Bible. My study of those convinced me that the Bible really is from God. In 1992, Barbara and I were baptized as Jehovah’s Witnesses." -Professor Massimo Tistarelli, former atheist (http://bit.ly/15xtINp) (Bracket mine.)


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 19 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Joe, you have copied/pasted this very same comment before. I for one, am very tired of trying to get you to use your grown up words.

Evolution is very well supported by fossils, dna, and all sorts of breeding programs. Genetic manipulation is possible with our current and future technology. Even cloning is becoming common place as is frozen embryos being brought back to life.

Also, robots can be designed to catch balls quite well. Actually better than humans can. Also, robotic technology is just around the corner from developing lots of robots that can perform tasks better, faster and much more efficient than humans.

You are just blind to try to close your mind to the possibilities of the future because you are stuck inside of a 2,000 year old book.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

"My doubts about evolution began when I was studying synapses. I was deeply impressed by the amazing complexity of these supposedly simple connections between nerve cells. ‘How,’ I wondered, ‘could synapses and the genetic programs underlying them be products of mere blind chance?’ It really made no sense.

Then, in the early 1970’s, I attended a lecture by a famous Russian scientist and professor. He stated that living organisms cannot be a result of random mutations and natural selection. Someone in the audience then asked where the answer lay. The professor took a small Russian Bible from his jacket, held it up, and said, “Read the Bible—the creation story in Genesis in particular.”

Later, in the lobby, I asked the professor if he was serious about the Bible. In essence, he replied: “Simple bacteria can divide about every 20 minutes and have many hundreds of different proteins, each containing 20 types of amino acids arranged in chains that might be several hundred long. For bacteria to evolve by beneficial mutations one at a time would take much, much longer than three or four billion years, the time that many scientists believe life has existed on earth.” The Bible book of Genesis, he felt, made much more sense.

Every good scientist, regardless of his beliefs, must be as objective as possible. But my faith has changed me. For one thing, instead of being overly self-confident, highly competitive, and unduly proud of my scientific skills, I am now grateful to God for any abilities I may have. Also, instead of unfairly attributing the amazing designs manifest in creation to blind chance, I and not a few other scientists ask ourselves, ‘How did God design this?’" - Professor František Vyskočil - Former Atheist (http://bit.ly/K8lEip)


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 19 months ago from Tasmania

@ Joseph, it would seem like František Vyskočil has done his own study, his own mental questioning and made his own choices over what to believe. He is already comfortably within the mental fold of your "Awake" fraternity. So, what he says now is totally biased as is the printed report. It would not be allowed to say anything that went against the biased thinking of JWs.

I don't need a "once atheist" to speak for me. My choice is made by me. Just like you make your own choice. However, it seems you are not doing much thinking for your self. Right? If and when something, somehow convinces me otherwise, I might develop a theist way of thinking. I am open to all manner of ideas and suggestion, but currently reject anything of the fundamentalist, fanatical religious way of thinking. What you have said in no way leads me to be convinced otherwise.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

Joseph, the person you quoted, I don't for a second believe he was a scientist, nor do I believe for a second that he accepted his education in the sciences. He merely was too lazy to do the work.

As a person who was raised a Christian, I studied the bible, I have read the entirety of the bible, I have also studied science, and done much research on not just evolutionary biology, but physics and chemistry and even read some books on geology. There is not one thing in the bible I am convinced is anything but the ignorant beliefs of zealot desert dwellers. You can quote anyone you want, testimony is not evidence.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 19 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Joseph O Polanko - Would you mind explaining this hub for me?

http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Jehovahs-W...


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Austin

What is it you need explained?


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

Really? Can you take a moment and explain what’s so ignorant about these?

““You heard that it was said: ‘You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy. However, I say to you: Continue to love your enemies and to pray for those who persecute you, so that you may prove yourselves sons of your Father who is in the heavens, since he makes his sun rise on both the wicked and the good and makes it rain on both the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those loving you, what reward do you have?" (Matthew 5:43-46)

“But now you must put them all away from you: wrath, anger, badness, abusive speech, and obscene talk out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another. Accordingly, as God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, clothe yourselves with the tender affections of compassion, kindness, humility, mildness, and patience. Continue putting up with one another and forgiving one another freely even if anyone has a cause for complaint against another. Just as Jehovah freely forgave you, you must also do the same. But besides all these things, clothe yourselves with love, for it is a perfect bond of union.” - Colossians 3:8,9, 12-14.

"For “whoever would love life and see good days must guard his tongue from bad and his lips from speaking deception. Let him turn away from what is bad and do what is good; let him seek peace and pursue it." -1 Peter 3:11


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 19 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

JOP - Oh, so you CAN'T explain it then. Any of it?


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Austin

What is it you need explained?


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 19 months ago from Tasmania

"There's none so blind as thems that won't see!"

(No, it's not a mistake, it's from the way of speaking when I was a kid.)


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

The bible is not science, it explains nothing about the world, it explains nothing about reality. And as far as the cherry picked quotes from the bible go. You can quote all the nice things all you want but there are rules about stoning disobedient children, about forcing your daughter's rapist to marry her, about burning people who are witches.... many of the things in the bible telling people how to lives also responsible for many of the atrocities in history. The Salem witch trials didn't just happen in salem it was an on going activity that ended in Salem and was started by Christians more than 1500 years ago.... its the reason for the first amendment of the United States. Oh sure many of these activities took place before the bible, before christians, but many of the morality you get from the bible was taken from religions and philosopher before any part of the bible was written. The bible is not inspired by any god, its inspired by people trying to live in a society. As for the topic, we were talking about science and you just quoted things from the bible that have nothing to do with science or the topic at hand.... good job. You are better at discrediting your argument than I am.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

So it looks like you meant to say that the Bible writers were ignorant about Science. Let's put that to the test then, shall we. Tell me what's so scientifically ignorant about the following:

1. The universe had a beginning. (Genesis 1:1)

2. The universe is governed day-to-day by rational natural laws, not by the whims of deities. (Job 38:33; Jeremiah 33:25)

3. The earth is suspended in empty space. (Job 26:7)

4. Rivers and springs are fed by water that has evaporated from the oceans and other sources and then has fallen back to earth as rain, snow, or hail. (Job 36:27, 28; Ecclesiastes 1:7; Isaiah 55:10; Amos 9:6)

5. The mountains rise and fall, and today’s mountains were once under the ocean. (Psalm 104:6, 8)

6. Sanitary practices protect health. The Law given to the nation of Israel included regulations for washing after touching a dead body, quarantining those with infectious disease, and disposing of human waste safely. (Leviticus 11:28; 13:1-5; Deuteronomy 23:13)

7. Isaiah clearly referred to “the circle [or, sphere] of the earth.” (Isaiah 40:22)


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 19 months ago from Tasmania

Joseph, it seems like you only ever read stuff that is pushed on you from your lords and masters. All those quotes you have given above, come from JW writings, books and texts that JWs accept as "right."

So there is a very strong bias, so much so that how can we regard them as anything but an opinion..... lacking any definitive proof?

You have been offered a hook with bait on the end, and you have swallowed the bait, hook, line and sinker without question. That's just how they like you to be.

Obedient and malleable.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

I like how you misquote your own book, and how it still gets it WRONG!

1. first off states that the universe had a beginning, however, science does not conclude this at all. Also science has never concluded that the universe has a beginning making the statement unscientific and wrong.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3MWRvLndzs

Not to mention if you read it word for word rather than quote mining it clearly states God create light first, before the stars and the sun which is clearly unscientific. So many others I could show you but I will leave it at that for now.

2. Clearly you are misquoting your own book: Job 38:33 Do you know the laws of the heavens? Can you set up God’s[a] dominion over the earth?

Jeremiah 33:25 Thus saith the Lord; If my covenant be not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth

I checked several versions and could not find anywhere that it says anything close to what you have stated, especially in the literal translations of the book... I hope you are aware that depending on who translates the book it can be misinterpreted or changed to fit whatever views they want it to, it would be more HONEST to take what the Bible says LITERALLY translated and then having someone who knows the language to tell you what the cultural significance of the words mean.

3. The Earth isn't suspended because in space there is NOTHING to suspend it from, also suspended means hang (something) from somewhere. In space things float and are pulled around by other objects constantly or drift, Earth and the sun are basically pulling on each other, the sun obviously has a greater pull but having objects pulling on each other causes them to wobble so that the center is not in the middle of even the object with greater pull, hence elliptical orbits and stars wobble with object around it which is how astronomers determine if a star has planets.

4. IS AN OBSERVATION AND DOESN'T IMPLY SCIENCE, even the most unscientifc person, who has never had a science education of any kind can tell you that just by living on the planet, to say anything else would just be idiotic.

5. This quote is out of context and also a misquote since it doesn't say that the mountains rise and fall it states that waters covered the mountains.... but considering the story of Noah, I really do thing you are maybe not fully read on the Bible yourself and are copy and pasting things taken from some website who is making a failed and lame attempt to say the Bible contains ANY sort of science, it's laughable and sad for you, at the same time.

6. Considering that just by mere observation people could see, without science, that when you touch rotten things you will get sick if you don't clean yourself, I mean 10,000 years of civilization and observation, you'd hope everyone would learn this. And considering the verses afterwards it clearly states how unscientific this verse was when they call many creatures unclean without understanding why then you can't say this observation is science, it's reaching, and hard.

Deuteronomy 23:13 And thou shalt have a paddle upon thy weapon; and it shall be, when thou wilt ease thyself abroad, thou shalt dig therewith, and shalt turn back and cover that which cometh from thee...

REALLY???? WTF? HA HA!

7. A Circle is not a sphere, and when you stand on the top of a mountain and look around what do you see? A circle..... I can't face palm (as the kids say) or shake my head at you enough....

Explain to me how basic observation is science.... it's not, science is asking the question to discover the nature of what it is they have observed. Which they would conclude is God yet science has shown that if God had anything to do with anything they have yet to find ANY evidence that a God had anything to do with anything.

Also on another comment where you quote various creationists with PHDs....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPyKaH09lpc


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Jonny

Then I invite you to visit a Kingdom Hall or attend one of our Regional Assemblies and see for yourself if these quotes are accurate or not.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

1. Guess again:

The premise that all matter and energy began to exist 13.70 billion years ago is not a religious declaration nor a theological one. You can find this statement in any contemporary textbook on astrophysics or cosmology. And it is supported by the vast majority of cosmologists today.

The Borde-Vilenkin-Guth Theorem, for instance, proves that any universe, that has, on average, a rate of expansion greater than one ** must ** have a ** finite beginning **. I'm not making this up. Read the paper in full or watch Vilenkin himself invalidate and impugn beginningless universe models like Eternal Inflation, Cyclic Evolution and Static Seed/Emergent Universe on youtube.

As such, Vilenkin had this to say regarding the beginning of the universe, "It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. *** There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning ***. (Many Worlds in One [New York: Hill and Wang, 2006], p.176) (Emphasis mine.)

Emphatically, then, your fervent belief that the universe is infinitely old, beginningless, or eternal has no basis in any respected mainstream scientific theories of the universe.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

2. Actually Job 38:33 reads, "הֲ֭יָדַעְתָּ חֻקֹּ֣ות שָׁמָ֑יִם אִם־תָּשִׂ֖ים מִשְׁטָרֹ֣ו בָאָֽרֶץ׃", that is to say "Do you know the LAWS governing the heavens, Or can you impose their authority on the earth?" (Emphasis mine)

Likewise, Jeremiah 33:25 states, "כֹּ֚ה אָמַ֣ר יְהוָ֔ה אִם־לֹ֥א בְרִיתִ֖י יֹומָ֣ם וָלָ֑יְלָה חֻקֹּ֛ות שָׁמַ֥יִם וָאָ֖רֶץ לֹא־שָֽׂמְתִּי׃", that is to say, "“This is what Jehovah says: ‘Just as surely as I have established my covenant regarding the day and the night, the LAWS of heaven and earth." (Emphasis mine)

So you see, both passages reference natural LAWS which govern our universe. How is this an example of scientific ignorance?


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

3. Wait, so the sun's gravity doesn't actually hold or suspend the Earth in it's circuit around it?

4,5,6. Could you specifically detail what is scientifically ignorant about these passages? That was, after all, your outrageous claim ...

7. Except that a sphere is an object whose shape is circular from every vantage point. Can you specifically detail what is scientifically ignorant about Isaiah's statement?


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

Apophenia inbred with confirmation bias since it is actually absurd to attempt to scientifically prove that one fossilized animal descended from another; without the evolutionary assumption the “evidence” vanishes.

This realization is what forced the curators of the British Natural History Museum to remove their mendacious display showing the purported evolution of the horse. The same extends to any scene depicting the supposed gradual evolution of man from apes.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

1. You have no clue what mainstream science says on the subject and further mor if you ask any astrophysicist on the planet when did the universe begin they would NOT say at the big bang. In fact the best answer any scientist will give you is they don't know. What does the big bang actually suggest? That the universe is expanding... not from a point but from everywhere. This idea is probably new to you since most explanations not within the scientific community will state otherwise, but in layman terms the known universe started 13.7 billion years ago with the big bang but that the universe itself is undetermined because we CAN'T look past plank time.

2. It's an example of people believing that a deity has made things to happen and that they can't make something unnatural happen without permission from a God, it does not state ANYTHING scientific it's merely common observation. Why is the sky blue is different from the observation that the sky is blue.... Asking the question and looking for the answer is science, saying the sky is blue because God made it so is NOT science. That is the difference.

3. Again, that is not what the word suspend means, it is still moving. at the time that statement was written people believed that the world was not moving but that EVERYTHING else in the observable universe, sun, moon stars, was moving around the earth and the earth was suspended like a lamp on a ceiling.... I could go on and on with this but it's pointless because YOU know I am right.

4. I think I made it clear, observation is NOT science, it's observation and considering what it actually says "For he maketh small the drops of water: they pour down rain according to the vapour thereof" God did it is not science.

"All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again." Simple observation is not science.

All of these passages are saying "God did it" they are observations, not science. It would be like looking into the mirror and saying I am a bird and not a man.... looking into a mirror and saying, I am a person and I look like other people but different making me a different person is not science it's observable fact. Science is the process by which we determine the cause and nature of such phenomenon as rain and snow and mountain and people.... saying God did it contradicts any claims that it's science....

This is gonna be my answer to the rest.

7. That one he doesn't state or even believe it is a sphere, and two MERE OBSERVATION IS NOT SCIENCE!!

Are you serious? Ha ha, I feel like you are trolling all of us at this point because no one can be this.... obtuse.... willfully ignorant... it's fairly annoying that if I give you an explanation you can't look it up. You don't seem to have a grasp of what science is, of what the evidence for things in science are, etc.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

As for Evolution, I think I went over this, but one more time for clarification: There is more than just the fossil record as evidence for the Theory of Evolution being an accepted scientific fact. There is plenty of fossils showing that evolution of many creatures, horses, humans, etc. evolving. The display of horses being taken down, I guarantee, and I don't need to look into it, but if you could cite your sources for this would would make your story falsifiable (meaning I don't believe your view), that it had NOTHING to do with the statement of the evolution of the horse being false, new information has either come out and hey are probably updating the display. "The same extends to any scene depicting the supposed gradual evolution of man from apes." There are enough fossil and DNA records showing the validity of the evolution of man from ape-like (and I emphasize ape-like, not actual modern apes) creatures. You're dismissive statement shows that not only are you ignorant of the facts of evolution but that you refuse to look at them and are unwilling to accept them, to the point of being a sociopath.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

1 .The Borde-Vilenkin-Guth Theorem, for instance, proves that any universe, that has, on average, a rate of expansion greater than one ** must ** have a ** finite beginning **. I'm not making this up. Read the paper in full or watch Vilenkin himself invalidate and impugn beginningless universe models like Eternal Inflation, Cyclic Evolution and Static Seed/Emergent Universe on youtube.

As such, Vilenkin had this to say regarding the beginning of the universe, "It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. *** There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning ***. (Many Worlds in One [New York: Hill and Wang, 2006], p.176) (Emphasis mine.)

Emphatically, then, your fervent belief that the universe is infinitely old, beginningless, or eternal has no basis in any respected mainstream scientific theories of the universe.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

2. Thank you for that. Now, if you could, both passages reference natural LAWS which govern our universe. How is this an example of scientific ignorance?

3. "at the time that statement was written people believed that the world was not moving but that EVERYTHING else in the observable universe, sun, moon stars, was moving around the earth and the earth was suspended like a lamp on a ceiling"

And just where is this taught in the Bible?

4,5,6,7. Actually your claim was that 'not one thing in the bible is anything but the ignorant beliefs of zealot desert dwellers.' I'm still waiting for you to prove how any of the biblical declarations I've cited demonstrate this.

Either prove your claim or recant (or continue carting out red herrings, the effect is the same).


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

And just how does any of this change the fact that it's absurd to attempt to scientifically prove that one fossilized animal descended from another?


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 19 months ago from Tasmania

And how does any of this silly argument make the Jehovah Witnesses' ideas about how the world began any more plausible than any other theory?

Joseph, you cannot cease from cutting and pasting quotes from individuals who have the same religion as yourself.

Just explain to us, please, how your religious organisation considers our physical and finite world came into being. How did the horse, and the cabbage, and the mosquito come into existence in the first place?


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

Joseph, related animals have similar bone structures, now to you it all looks the same but specific bones on specific animals have specific shapes to them that no other animal would have, further more, if we aren't going back too far, certain DNA structures remain on certain bones partly preserved and can be tested for similarities.... now if you had watched any of the short videos I had posted links to it would explain them to you. However, you probably ignored them like you do all other facts that contradict your ridiculous beliefs.... what is it you hope to accomplish by arguing with me on this when you don't have all the facts on the particular subjects I am interested in and you are not interested in?

And if you expect me to take the sources you are citing as credible when they are straight from creationist web sites.... did you not see the videos I posted about this?


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

Let's take this apart piece by piece and then I will probably just ignore you as an obtuse troll.

1. There is no credible scientist on the planet who understands astrophysics that states the universe has a beginning and the best answer any intelligent person will give you is that they don't know, it's unknown and that the Big Bang is NOT the beginning nor do they know what came before that because the concept of before disintegrates at the planck time and has no meaning... The ideas these "scientists" you have quoted, from creationists websites, believe that the universe has a boundary and have not shown or proven that such a boundary exists. Also they have nothing to compare their "findings" (beliefs) to.

2. It's called lack of evidence, it states God did it, but it doesn't state what the laws are or how they function, just that things behave a certain way which is observation not science, and there is no evidence for a God, prove a God first and ask me this question again.

3. This is the words you used, not me, you tell me, I am reading through genesis and it makes ridiculous statements about how the world was formed and I am wondering what in the world is scientific about that.

4,5,6,7 Pretty much in the same way but more so as you are about what science actually entails. The people of that time barely knew what caused anything of this world except what we can ALL see happening. Even a child could explain this without any prior scientific knowledge or education because it's all observation and not science... but it gets better because rather than investigating the cause they simply proclaim that God did it.

I have proven it all because there isn't much to prove, you are merely reading off passages and proclaiming them science which is in fact idiotic. If we go further, there are claims of people being eaten by fish and living (I am aware that it's a parable and not an actual truth claim but people actually believed these stories possible, even though they are not.) I could pick the Bible apart piece by piece showing you how ignorant and unscientific it all is but you would continue to ignore what I have said and we would run around in a circle making me repeat myself. I could post videos and quote ACTUAL scientists not creationist crackpots who have no credibility but you would also fail to watch, read and worse you would fail to understand the words.

I now ask you, write a hub proving anything you have said, send me the link pointing out specific areas that prove what you believe. I will try not to tear you apart to bad and make you look like the fool you already look like anyway.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

1 .The Borde-Vilenkin-Guth Theorem, for instance, proves that any universe, that has, on average, a rate of expansion greater than one ** must ** have a ** finite beginning **. I'm not making this up. Read the paper in full or watch Vilenkin himself invalidate and impugn beginningless universe models like Eternal Inflation, Cyclic Evolution and Static Seed/Emergent Universe on youtube.

As such, Vilenkin had this to say regarding the beginning of the universe, "It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. *** There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning ***. (Many Worlds in One [New York: Hill and Wang, 2006], p.176) (Emphasis mine.)

Emphatically, then, your fervent belief that the universe is infinitely old, beginningless, or eternal has no basis in any respected mainstream scientific theories of the universe.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

2-7: Sigh ... yet more red herrings. Seeing as how you've failed, yet again, to prove your claim, namely 'not one thing in the bible is anything but the ignorant beliefs of zealot desert dwellers', it's clear as day you simply had no clue what you were talking about.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

"related animals have similar bone structures"

As do all animals of a particular kind. What you can't do, however, is prove whether or not the fossil is merely its offspring, simply its relative or a bona fide evolutionary descendant. Such a determination lies strictly in the eye of the beholder.

"And if you expect me to take the sources you are citing as credible when they are straight from creationist web site"

So you do you expect anyone persuaded by the evidence for special creation by God to remain Atheist! That's just silly ...


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Jonny

I invite you to visit a local Kingdom Hall or attend one of our Regional Assemblies and learn this for yourself :)


Lucid Psyche profile image

Lucid Psyche 19 months ago

"Part of the problem here is that no one, even the most brilliant scientists on the planet, understands or knows what happened “prior” to the Big Bang."

One thing we can deduce from the facts at hand is that there was no natural realm preexisting the physical universe. Time, space, and matter, (the natural realm) which according to GTR are co-relative, began to exist simultaneously and thus could not have caused themselves to begin to exist.

The universe had to have a cause if one accepts The Principle of Causality, which is one of the First Principles of Logic. That cause therefore could not have been "natural" as that word is described in the philosophical and scientific position of Naturalism.


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 19 months ago from Tasmania

@ Joseph, why would I go somewhere to be brainwashed? With nonsense?

You have done just that and look at yourself. You have swallowed the bait, hook, line and sinker. You have lost the ability (and presumably permission from your elders) to think for yourself. I value my freedom, thanks all the same.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Lucid

Brilliant! Very well put!! :)


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 19 months ago from Tasmania

@Lucid "One thing we can deduce from the facts at hand is that there was no natural realm preexisting the physical universe." Preposterous! How would you know? You were not there! But it's funny......


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Jonny

Because, obviously, the universe did not exist before the universe.


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 19 months ago from Tasmania

Not obvious and not proposed by any scientist. It appears that there is ongoing thought on the subject. We can never come to any absolute conclusion about such a difficult conundrum.

However, just as an analogy, before I was born, specifically before the conception of my father's sperm and my mother's ovum, I did not exist.

At the moment of my death, I will cease to exist. Since I am at the center of my universe, my existence goes from infinite nothing-ness, to finite something-ness, to infinite nothing-ness. Fascinating, isn't it?


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Jonny

"not proposed by any scientist"

The Borde-Vilenkin-Guth Theorem PROVES that any universe, that has, on average, a rate of expansion greater than one ** must ** have a ** finite beginning **.

Read the paper in full or watch Vilenkin himself invalidate and impugn beginningless universe models like Eternal Inflation, Cyclic Evolution and Static Seed/Emergent Universe on youtube.

As such, Vilenkin had this to say regarding the beginning of the universe, "It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. *** There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning ***. (Many Worlds in One [New York: Hill and Wang, 2006], p.176) (Emphasis mine.)

Emphatically, then, your fervent belief that the universe is infinitely old, beginningless, or eternal is just that, your belief.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"One thing we can deduce from the facts at hand is that there was no natural realm preexisting the physical universe. Time, space, and matter, (the natural realm) which according to GTR are co-relative, began to exist simultaneously and thus could not have caused themselves to begin to exist."

I disagree. Matter, time and space are not necessarily the only things which are natural. Whether we would call whatever "existed" before the Big Bang natural or not I don't know and whether it makes any sense to say that anything actually EXISTED at all before that point I don't know.

"That cause therefore could not have been "natural" as that word is described in the philosophical and scientific position of Naturalism."

I think its unwise to apply our simple intuitions about causality to something as odd and complex as a Universe coming into existence however even if there was an unnatural or supernatural cause there is no reason to believe that that cause is a living being rather than a set of conditions on whatever pre-existing stuff was before the Universe.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

1. I have already shown you a link that explains how this is just not the case. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3MWRvLndzs

2-7. You have yet to prove why I am wrong on this because as I have stated the people who wrote the Bible state things that not only are not only common everyday observations but come to ridiculous conclusions about how they happen, God did it, there was a flood that covered the entire earth, all languages came from God destroying a tower in Babel, all people came from two people who populated the entire earth (incest).

Further you can try and ridicule the fossil record all you want but like I said the fossil record is no longer relevant to the theory of evolution being true. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIEoO5KdPvg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqepQGOYKZ0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOHzY1fuOz4

Joseph, all you are doing is repeating yourself now, you have provided no evidence for anything, we have shown you repeatedly why all your statements are false and at best childish and just cherry picked from creationist propaganda, and we are fully aware that you would rather look to failed scientists who profit more from preaching to you of God than those who actually do the research. Now all you are doing is to continue, like I said you would, the same tired nonsense with out providing ANY evidence. I am pretty much done with you, you have not convinced anyone here of anything except that you are a brainwashed nut job.

Good for you.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"even if there was an unnatural or supernatural cause there is no reason to believe that that cause is a living being"

Why not? How do you know this is not possible?


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

Except that inflationary models are more than just up against the dilemmas of the best ways to get the inflation initiated , the right way to get it to shut down without excessive turbulence , as well as how to get it to permit galaxy development , but , more to the point , they themselves need a terrific degree of fine-tuning leading up to inflation. As such, the presence of design is not avoided .

Just to illustrate , a shrinking universe won't yield the adequate “bounce” properties when it transitions from its tightening to amplification phases . Baum-Frampton is a non-starter as they quite simply haven’t puzzled out how to have zero average growth along geodesics granted the asymmetry in the broadening and tightening stages of their model . Moreover , they merely took into consideration a subset of the whole reality they proffer .

The Aguirre-Gratton model attempts to circumvent this challenge altogether by turning around the arrow of time at the boundary . However if you try this , it follows that the mirror universe on the reverse side of the BVG edge in absolutely no sense corresponds to a past from which our present universe developed . As a result our universe would certainly begin-to-exist .

Withal , the Aguirre-Gratton model is in no way offered by its creators to be a model of our universe ! Much rather , they hope that it may work as a springboard for the beginning of our universe by way of some other sort of physical operation .

Wheeler's concept , meanwhile , not only succumbs to the stumbling blocks generic to all oscillating models , but insofar as it posits singularities at the termini of each and every phase , it is far from being a brand of oscillating universe whatsoever , but simply of multiple independent worlds .

Glaringly , then , the absolute beginning of our universe continues to be unavoidable .


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

2-7: Sigh ... yet more red herrings. Seeing as how you've failed, yet again, to prove your claim, namely 'not one thing in the bible is anything but the ignorant beliefs of zealot desert dwellers', it's clear as day you simply had no clue what you were talking about.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

"the fossil record is no longer relevant to the theory of evolution being true"

It most certainly is because the Theory of Evolution is a HISTORICAL claim; it's a claim about how life began and why it has such extraordinary variety.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

I didn't say it was impossible. Hypothetically anything is possible. However the burden of proof is on those who claim to know what this First Cause is. As I have explained in other hubs and in conversations we have had in order to posit this first cause as a living being we must violate everything we know about things which are alive. The very definition of life must be changed if we are to include a timeless, spaceless, changeless and immaterial being. I see no evidence that such a being exists and indeed no evidence that such a being COULD exist outside the realm of hypothetical possibility.

I make no claim to know the origin of the Universe and prefer to leave it to scientists to figure out. All types of supernatural spookiness typically invoked as an explanation actually explain nothing, this is because they are not based on evidence but are based, at best, on assumptions about causality and more probably on preconceived religious biases.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

Argumentum ex incredulitátem. Your lack of imagination is only proof of that, nothing more.

So “where did the universe originate from 13 .70 billion years ago?” or “What triggered it to come into existence to begin with?” No matter the cause , it needs to possess a number of key characteristics .

Foremost , this cause must per se be uncaused . Why? Simply because an infinite regress of causes does not have any basis in reality ; it can’t be turtles all the way down . (http://bit.ly/1o2W0vq )

Next , this uncaused cause needs to transcend space-time since it itself created space-time . It is , as a result , spaceless .

Third , considering the fact that this uncaused cause exists beyond space and time it is must be a non-physical or immaterial cause . Why ? Because physical stuff exists only in space – they possess dimension .

Fourth , this uncaused cause must invariably also be timeless for the simple fact that it itself doesn't exist in space-time .

Fifth , it must likewise be changeless . As I'm sure you're well aware , all of matter is present in a state of continuous flux . This is particularly observable at the atomic level . Given that this uncaused cause is immaterial it is not governed by the same forces that alter matter , and so , is unchanging .

Sixth , this uncaused cause is without a doubt unimaginably powerful , if not omnipotent , for it produced matter , energy , space and time into existence entirely on its own .

So , to sum up , whatever it is that brought about the universe to come into existence 13 .70 billion years ago it needs to be beginningless , spaceless , immaterial , timeless , unchanging and omnipotent .

Still we're not done for there are two more attributes of this uncaused cause that we are able to ascertain from what we perceive of the universe . Before we identify these , though , we first want to take a finer look at cause and effect . Here's exactly what I mean : if a cause is sufficient to yield it's effect then the effect also needs to be present . The pair are joined at the hip , so to speak ; you can't have one without the other .

Permit me to borrow from an illustration to help make this sharper . “Suppose that the cause of water’s freezing is the temperature’s being below 0°C . If the temperature were below 0°C from eternity past , then any water that was around would be frozen from eternity . It would be impossible for the water to just begin to freeze a finite time ago . Once the cause is given , the effect must be given as well .” ( http://bit.ly/WQtgZY )

The problem is , if we have indeed a timeless , transcendent cause how come the effect isn’t permanent as well ? Stated another way , if this timeless , transcendent cause in fact brought the universe into being , why hasn't the universe always been ? Just how can a cause be eternal yet its effect commence a finite time ago ? We are aware the universe is roughly about 13 .70 billion years old but as you see we've further deduced that whatsoever brought about the universe has to be transcendent as well as timeless .

The one and only way that is feasible is if this timeless , transcendent , uncaused cause were at the same time a free agent – a being with free will who is able to operate of its own volition . Naturally we all know free will is the hallmark of personhood . m

Last but certainly not least , this beginningless , spaceless , immaterial , timeless , unchanging , omnipotent being must be unimaginably good . Why ? Suppose we admit for the sake of argument that he’s evil . As this being is evil , that suggests he fails to discharge his moral duties . But then exactly where do those originate from ? Just how can this evil being have obligations he is violating ? Who forbids him to do the immoral things he does ? Right away , we discover such an evil being simply cannot be supreme . There needs to be a being who is even greater , one who is absolute goodness himself and thus the source of the moral responsibilities this other prefers to shirk . Therefore , there must necessarily exist a supreme being who is all powerful , all good and all loving ; One who is the very paradigm of good .

So here we arrive at this uncaused cause of the universe 13 .70 billion years ago that is beginningless , spaceless , immaterial , timeless , unchanging , omnipotent and personal being who is all good and all loving .

This is to say - God Almighty.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

Yet again Joseph, you make these claims of how this cant happen and it had to have been done by a creator but you have zero evidence for the claims you have made and as far as all your other tired statements you still are just in plain denial and I cant help you with that. You simply refuse to accept any facts and refuse to provide any real evidence. Good luck with that.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

You're not a fan of deductive logic ... I get it .... :)


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

I did not make a fallacious argument from incredulity.

I never said I could not believe in God because it was impossible.

However I could accuse you and WLC of Special Pleading on behalf of the First Cause being alive, as you are asking us to amend the definition of what it means for a thing to be alive without a shred of evidence as to why we should accept such a thing. Keep in mind that believers have the burden of proof here and that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

Asking you to fulfill your burden of proof by providing some evidence that something could alive without time, space, and the ability to change and grow, is not an argument from incredulity. An argument from incredulity would be refusing to believe AFTER such evidence was presented. So once again I'll ask you to provide evidence of how something outside time and space that is immaterial and that cannot change or grow can possibly fit the definition of being ALIVE.

And also, stop copy and pasting walls of text in, I am not interested in reading the same stupid William Lane Craig Kalam Cosmological horseshit that I have refuted half a dozen times already.

"it needs to be beginningless , spaceless , immaterial , timeless , unchanging and omnipotent"

You still have not responded properly to my objections to this presented in our other discussions, namely that if you remove the Universe God ceases to have meaningful attributes. I submit that this God is fine-tuned to fit the Universe by bullshit theology.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

Joseph, if that is what you want to call it... its funny that you call it that however wrong you might be, I wil just sit back and laugh, but do and say what you like, unless you understand the science behind the universe and have evidence to support your claims, you really just have nothing and wont be convincing anyone here that you know what you are saying or convincing anyone you are right.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"you are asking us to amend the definition of what it means for a thing to be alive"

There's your argumentum ex incredulitátem. Just because you can't conceive of intelligent life outside the human paradigm is evidence of just that, nothing more.

As far as the rest is concerned, I've already addressed the points you raised in my detailed response earlier. That you chose not to perlustrate it is on you, not me.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Demanding a reason to believe, demanding evidence, is not an argument from incredulity.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, if you make a claim without evidence that violates everything we understand about the natural world it is not a fallacy to demand that you provide evidence for us to amend our understanding. Otherwise you could propose any ridiculous nonsense and say the exact same thing. You could say stars are made of blood, the moon is made of cheese and the Universe was created by a magical disembodied Penguin named Marvin and when I ask you to give me a reason or some evidence that such things are plausible simply claim I am engaging in a fallacy.

Try again.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

Like I said, I've already addressed these concerns in my detailed deductive argument. That you insist on not perlustrating it is on you, not me.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

All I can recall of that discussion is you claiming God was not a disembodied mind by saying that God has a "spiritual body" a nebulous concept that you neither defined or offered any evidence for. All of that to avoid contradictions with Biblical verses that clearly suggest God has a physical form. Than you tried to say that despite God being spaceless there was an area that he existed within, some sort of non-physical space.

Of course the concepts you propose are self-contradictory or nonsensical at best. Having a spiritual body still makes God physically disembodied, the term spiritual body being nebulous and meaningless. And God existing in some pre-existing spaceless space not only makes no sense but also begs the question of where this non-physical equivalent of space came from in the first place.

If God created the empty non-physical space he existed in than the problem I proposed simply moves a step backward.

When we ponder God and nothing else, a God without the Universe, his attributes lose all meaning, suggesting that God's attributes require a Universe such as our own to make any coherent sense - and even then omnipotence runs into paradoxes and un-falisfiability and omnibenevolence and omnipotence butt up against the Problem of Evil.

In our discussion about the Problem of Evil you even rejected the idea that God is omnibenevolent because it does not occur in scripture.

My "perlustration" of your ideas is that you back flip, squirm and perform mental gymnastics that would make a Scientologist proud. You have provided no evidence for your concept of God outside of the Cosmological argument and your defenses of said argument have been less than adequate. We still have seen no reason to assume that the First Cause of the Universe is a God and not simply a set of pre-existing conditions. As I stated in our conversation on the matter there is no reason to assume that God is a living being if you are willing to concede that some form of non-space space existed (which you did). All that is required is some pre-existent non-matter substance and the right conditions to cause that substance to create a Universe.

Here's some quotes from you Joe:

"Actually, God is not a disembodied mind. He is a person. Not a physical one of flesh and blood but a spiritual one."

Here you admitted that God does not have a physical body, logically we can deduce that he is therefore disembodied in the sense that I mean the word disembodied (ie without physical body or form, lacking the body of a biological organism)

"It's a non-physical body, yes."

You then ignored the scriptural evidence that God indeed has a physical form, as he can be seen, and sometimes interacts with in person, human beings. You are no doubt aware that human beings can only see light in a very small portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Unless these bodies were faux bodies that God cooked up for the occasion. God found the smell of burnt offerings to be a pleasing aroma evidenced in numerous passages of scripture.

You believe that a mind did the creating but that is not what most scientists believe and that is not what the evidence bears out thus far. Thus as an atheist, a skeptic and an intellectually honest person I withhold my belief until sufficient evidence is provided. Disbelief is the default position. You have provided nothing compelling Joe.

And once again: Demanding evidence is not an argument from incredulity. Incredulity is an unwillingness to believe, I am more than willing to follow wherever the evidence leads.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

" I am more than willing to follow wherever the evidence leads."

It leads to special creation by a Supreme Intelligence. After all, if exceptional intellect is required to merely duplicate the breathtaking daedal designs and systems present in nature (Biomimetics) then much more the original being replicated. Creation thus represents unshakable proof of our Creator's existence.

"A little knowledge of science makes man an atheist, but an in-depth study of science makes him a believer in God." - Francis Bacon

“The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.”–Werner Heisenberg

“In the history of science, ever since the famous trial of Galileo, it has repeatedly been claimed that scientific truth cannot be reconciled with the religious interpretation of the world. Although I am now convinced that scientific truth is unassailable in its own field, I have never found it possible to dismiss the content of religious thinking as simply part of an outmoded phase in the consciousness of mankind, a part we shall have to give up from now on. Thus in the course of my life I have repeatedly been compelled to ponder on the relationship of these two regions of thought, for I have never been able to doubt the reality of that to which they point.”

–Werner Heisenberg, who was awarded the 1932 Nobel Prize in Physics for the creation of quantum mechanics (which is absolutely crucial to modern science).

“Those who say that the study of science makes a man an atheist must be rather silly.”

–Nobel Prize winning physicist Max Born, who was instrumental in the development of quantum mechanics.


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 19 months ago from Tasmania

@Joseph....."Alexander Vilenkin is Professor of Physics and Director of the Institute of Cosmology at Tufts University. A theoretical physicist who has been working in the field of cosmology for 25 years,...."

A Theoretical Physicist ---- why would I or anyone need to take what he says about anything as totally valid and to be believed by everyone? I can respect the man for having his opinion, but that does not make his opinion sacrosanct.

You continue to quote only from individuals for whom "God" is already an accepted premise. You also begin any of your arguments from the position you hold....i.e., you believe that "God" exists.

With such presumption, any opinion is totally biased and cannot therefore be taken as fact or evidence..... it's ONLY opinion.

I come from the totally opposite position, as you already know. I do NOT accept the existence of "God." You and I can never come to agreement on that one, so any other argument becomes equally irrelevant.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"why would I or anyone need to take what he says about anything as totally valid"

Read his proof and see for yourself.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"After all, if exceptional intellect is required to merely duplicate the breathtaking daedal designs and systems present in nature (Biomimetics) then much more the original being replicated"

Except that we know that things like stars, planets and galaxies form naturally. In fact everything, complex or simple, that we've ever observed, is natural and has a natural origin. Things created by an intelligence are the exception, not the rule. Claiming that complexity or beauty in nature must be the product of intelligent design is no different than ancient people saying Zeus throws lightning bolts, it is a God of the gaps.

The angry shaking and lava plume that emerges from a volcano once led ancients to believe that there must be an angry volcanic god inside the Earth. Modern science now has an understanding of volcanoes and yet that understanding does not involve a volcano god. What sets your God apart? What makes your argument from irreducible complexity valid?

"Werner Heisenberg, who was awarded the 1932 Nobel Prize in Physics for the creation of quantum mechanics (which is absolutely crucial to modern science)."

I never denied that some scientists are believers and quoting them is a baseless appeal to authority fallacy. Isaac Newton believed in Alchemy. Intelligent otherwise rational men can be fooled and fall prey to superstition.

"“Those who say that the study of science makes a man an atheist must be rather silly.”"

Did I say the study of science leads to atheism? I don't recall that I did. Useless quote mining as an appeal to authority is useless.

Once again you have copy and pasted some blanket response, in this case as part of a fallacious appeal to authority, and said nothing of substance in response to my position.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"In fact everything, complex or simple, that we've ever observed, is natural and has a natural origin."

A critical aspect we most certainly can conclude from the information and facts at hand is that there was absolutely no natural realm preexisting the material universe. Time and space, together with matter, according to GTR, are co-relative. Since these, therefore, began to exist in unison it's obvious they could not have been responsible for their own existence. Put simply, the universe did not exist before the universe. As such, the universe needed a cause (provided you acknowledge The Principle of Causality , which happens to be one of the primary Principles of Logic) and that cause, as I've already shown, could not have been "natural" or observable.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"Intelligent otherwise rational men can be fooled and fall prey to superstition."

Am I reading you correctly? Are you insinuating that every single scientist or great thinker who believes in the necessary existence of our Creator is simply a dupe? (I sure hope not because that would be the single greatest display of hubris I've ever come across)


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"and that cause, as I've already shown, could not have been "natural" or observable."

This depends on how we define the word natural. And the whole thing depends upon how willing we are to stretch our notion of existence. Meaning that "prior" to the big bang it might not make sense to say that anything existed at all, including God.

Which is why I do not pretend to know the answer to Cosmic origins. Some suggest the Universe could come from "nothing" by which they do not typically mean nothing in the actual sense of the word (as in absolute nothing). Others suggest that there is a multiverse. Still others suggest that some STUFF of some kind existed prior to the Big Bang, energy, or potential, or something.

You yourself have suggested that the Universe is expanding into a pre-existing emptiness that was here before the Big Bang.

All of these ideas are mind-boggling but I see nothing compelling about the explanation that a disembodied mind is responsible. Even if I were to grant the Cosmological argument without condition it leaves us a deistic and nebulous first cause that answers nothing. A vague pantheism or deism which is unfalsifiable at best, an unguided process or set of conditions that inevitably led to the Universe at worst.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"All of these ideas are mind-boggling but I see nothing compelling about the explanation that a disembodied mind is responsible."

Why not? How are randomness or amazing chance better explanations?


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

I am suggesting that in the case of the existence of God they have not applied their skepticism or rationality properly. In the same way that Isaac Newton can revolutionize science but get himself bogged down with something like alchemy any person, no matter how intelligent, can be wrong, can be tricked or can be the victim of self-deception. If they forgo their skepticism to gain some personal emotional comfort from the idea that a guiding hand is at work in the cosmos that is fine, I may disagree with their belief but that is their choice.

Deism and pantheism are not usually direct enemies of rationality but as those concepts of God are often unfalsifiable they are useless outside of the realm of personal comfort, they are not rational beliefs to hold in and of themselves. I cannot fault someone who studies the cosmos for feeling a sense of awe or order that leads them to speculate about a god or someone who crunches the numbers for feeling as if the anthropic principle leads them to believe something or someone is out there, a god of some kind. But outside of vague deistic notions and philosophical musings about possibilities these Gods are no more self-evident than Zeus was those ancients who marveled at lightning or the rainbow and believed supernatural forces guided them as well.

It is possible to be right about a great many things but have a blind spot to other areas.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"How are randomness or amazing chance better explanations?"

I do not have an explanation though Joe. I admitted I do not know. For all we know we are in a simulated Universe, a Cosmic video game. Or perhaps the Universe is an eternal chain of Big Bang - Big Crunch events. Or perhaps the death of the last Universe birthed the new one. Or perhaps, as I once speculated, there was a God, who sacrificed his life to create the Universe, his death causing the singularity that began our Universe and his body providing the matter and energy necessary. Such possibilities are fun to speculate about but without evidence there is no reason to choose one over the other.

I may be completely opposed to Yahweh and believe we have enough evidence to dismiss him as fictional (as we do all other ancient deities) but I am not closed off to the idea of a "god" in general. I simply see no evidence and thus disbelieve.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

" I simply see no evidence and thus disbelieve."

So what would it take for you to actually believe in God's existence?


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Scientific evidence would be the most helpful, something demonstrable, objectively verifiable. If a scientific study showed God healing amputees for example (something similar to the Baal v Yahweh experiment performed in the Bible, where God sent fire from Heaven). Or if God appeared to everyone all at once, although we'd never be able to test God's attributes to their full potential, omnipotence, for example, cannot be proved it can only be disproved. A God could come down and rearrange our galaxy right before our eyes but that wouldn't tell us they were ALL powerful. However I would believe in that being if it was here and objectively shown to exist. Have you ever seen the Twilight Zone episode To Serve Man? Aliens descend from the sky and meet with human beings, they allow tests to be performed, they take human beings to their planet, they offer plenty of evidence for their existence (of course in the end they are only here so they can eat humans). If God did something like that it would clear the whole thing up pretty damn fast.

A personal experience would also help, if God appeared to me, although initially I would be skeptical of any such phantasms eventually interacting with such a being would probably convince me. Even if others could not see him as long as he could affect reality around me in a way that others could observe that would be evidence that there was something there beyond just a figment of my imagination.

Now whether or not I would worship this being is entirely dependent on its character. I doubt very much that a God with a character deserving of worship would actually demand or want to be worshiped.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"A personal experience would also help"

And what of the personal experiences of thousands if not millions of people?

"I doubt very much that a God with a character deserving of worship would actually demand or want to be worshiped."

What makes you say that?


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"And what of the personal experiences of thousands if not millions of people?"

I cannot accept the personal experience of others. I believe it was Thomas Paine who said that revelation was necessarily first person. As I said I would not even be sure, at least initially, that my own experiences were valid and real until further scrutiny and interaction forced me to accept them. Because the human mind is susceptible to self-delusion, hallucination, etc. Besides that whose experiences do we decide to honor? What about the people who claim aliens have abducted them and performed experiments? What of those who claim to be reincarnations? What of those who seek Nirvana and enlightenment? If we went by claims to revelation alone we would have to accept every religion and several forms of ridiculous pseudoscience (New Age stuff) even though they all contradict one another.

That is why I said I would be skeptical of any such experience if I had it and have to see confirmation that others could observe the affects of this thing. I would, at the very least, have to test this entity on my own terms to determine if it was real. I certainly wouldn't start a religion or join one or go around preaching about something I couldn't prove to someone else. It would be my personal experience, no one else's.

Of course the aforementioned observation would help... think of it like the movie Ghost with Patrick Swayze, any old kook can claim to see a ghost but if it starts moving things around for everyone to see we might stop and say "maybe there's some reality to this". The James Randi Foundation has been offering a million dollars to anyone who can prove the supernatural or paranormal under test conditions, they do this in honor of Harry Houdini, famed magician and skeptic who famously offered 10,000 dollars to anyone who could prove the supernatural. Houdini used to go around debunking Mediums and psychics as James Randi has, so far no one has collected the money.

There were instances after I stopped being a Christian when I felt awe, beauty, majesty, deep spiritual longing and felt as if something or someone was in contact with me. There was also a time when I sought to recover memories from past lives and with remarkable ease wrote down a series of past lives that seemed to come unbidden out of my mind. I do not think that these experiences reflect anything real, rather I realized quickly that they were self-deceptions created by my mind because of how badly I wanted to believe in something.

If interested you can read a bit about my experiences as a post-Christian believer in my hub After Faith: Vestigial Beliefs http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/After-Fait...

And some about the internal God that many believers plaster over any actual God that may or may not exist here: http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Externaliz...


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

Here is one of the biggest problems I have with the idiotic and baseless assumption that in order for the universe to exist and order to exist there needed to be a creator/intelligent designer to make it happen. One, that one exists to begin with and two how do you know one exists because you are unable to and willing to imagine or investigate the possibility of how the universe could exist with out the need for one and third and most importantly, if a deity of ANY kind was necessary for the universe to come into existence and to create this order in it... how did this creator come into existence. Because if it was necessary for a creator to create the universe then it would also be necessary for the creator to be created as well.... there is YOUR red herring. I giant clue for which you are missing altogether. You see, just because YOU don't understand how the universe came to be or even where it's going, two questions that no one yet has the answer to, you also need evidence to even suggest that a creator even exists and logically does not. You see WE only imagine that one exists by comparison to what we have done in our own existence. However, another thing for which you have missed is the fact that how we compare what is constructed or designed to what is natural is we have nature to compare it to, like finding that watch on the beach. You see we know that watch on the beach was created because we first of all know what a construct or designed object is and everything else around it is different from it because we use the materials from nature to construct it from. Does a flower grow or is it built? Do crystals form or are they constructed? Who constructs these things or do they occur naturally. The further out we go the more we can see that everything not touched by man or animal is natural... I say animal because beavers, ants and birds also use natural objects to make constructs... we observe nature and have often learned from it to be able to make our own constructs in comparison.

But what of God? Here is the other question about God's existence. If God is the creator of everything and he is infinite then what did God DO before he created ANYTHING and go as far back in time as you like before he created anything.... can you imagine it? No because it's silly.

You sir are silly and just because you can't imagine a universe without God does not mean the universe needs a God. If God had no dwelling before he created it where did he live and how long did it take him to decide to create it? Knowledge is a collection of information and if information did not exist before God created it then how could he know anything in order to create it....? think about that. How did you acquire knowledge? Did it just happen or did you learn things from observing the world around you or what people told you from the information they acquired from what they observed until the first person who had only the world to look at and name and understand by observation.... the did people 300 years ago have computers? or did a God create them and give us knowledge of them? No we observed nature and observed what nature could do and manipulate nature to do our bidding. All the way down to the smallest atom. How about cows and produce? they didn't always exist in the form we see them as now, they were also not created by a God.... WE MADE THAT HAPPEN, there are no wild cows, they do not exist in the wild, many wild plants that produce fruit are terrible to eat but over time we learned to manipulate nature through natural selection (a concept from evolution) to make food more edible and wild animals more tame to get Dogs from wolves, cows from wild cattle, and bananas which have only existed in the form they are in for the last 100 years.... look that up.

And we also created God, yes we did, look back in archeological history, the oldest living religion is Hinduism.

And Jesus? I will let Dr. Richard Carrier explain that to you:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwUZOZN-9dc

Why is it that all the stories about Jesus only exist in the Bible and the Bible was written 30 years after his death meaning no one who wrote the Bible would ever have know about, met or even encountered Jesus.... and as for word of mouth... ever play the telephone game?


Lucid Psyche profile image

Lucid Psyche 19 months ago

@Joseph O Polanco ... Thanks Joseph. I considered myself to be an atheist throughout my college career and for sometime thereafter. I'm reasonably familiar with the positions my comment has evoked. For me, if I'm to be an advocate of logic and science, I must then stand by established / accepted science and fundamental principles of logic without which btw rational thought is not possible.

There's also the absolute nature of physicalism / naturalism / materialism. Any evidence or reasoning to the contrary must be summarily dismissed or else ignored. This is to be expected.

If I can initiate a thought process in one single person that might allow an unbiased approach to the evidence then that's a success. I'm gratified when anyone is able and willing to begin their own adventure into a more expansive reality.

:)


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"Any evidence or reasoning to the contrary must be summarily dismissed or else ignored."

There is evidence that suggests the supernatural?

The reason that such claims are usually dismissed is because they do not meet their burden of proof or are logically unsound. Every argument ever made for the existence of God fails under scrutiny and in hundreds of years of scientific study nothing supernatural has ever been verified. That isn't to say it isn't out there but the default position is to disbelieve until sufficient evidence is presented.

I believe that if we did discover the supernatural or discover that there was something or someone "before" the Big Bang we would simply absorb that into what is natural. The word nature might well be defined as "everything that exists". Even if what is discovered is weird and seems to violate the laws of physics we are unlikely to invoke spooky superstitious notions of the supernatural. For example quantum mechanics often behaves counter-intuitively but we do not claim it is supernatural.

This is because even if a god exists, even if the supernatural exists, both words carry with them a lot of superstitious baggage. If we found a being that fit the general description of a god we would no longer want to refer to it as a god because that would lump it in with the thousands of obviously false gods humanity has worshiped over the years.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

Interesting perspective. How would your life, then, be any different from Moses', Abraham, Jacob or the Apostle Paul if you ever did have a personal experience with God?


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 19 months ago from Tasmania

I suggest in the case of each of those people you quote, if they were real people of history, (and do we know for sure that they were real?), they were really delving into their own psyche, the inward journey which reveals all truth to each one of us, if we are willing to simply take the first step. That is the "god" each of us can appeal to.

The Christian message has removed that option, i.e., looking into one's own motives and truths, and substituted an outward, false, controlling journey instead.

This latter journey encourages denial, false understanding, dependence on someone/something else, and the controlling influence of a judgmental and punishing deity.

Joseph, will your bosses allow you such freedom of thought and expression?


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

I doubt I would go around telling people I had access to any undeniable truth. As I said if its just a personal revelation that it is necessarily limited to me. It might enrich my life and I might even admit to it to others but as for doggedly trying to convince them I don't think I'd bother. As it is I generally only try to convince people when its a position I can defend and belief in something I cannot objectively verify to others, even if its appeared to me, is not something I can defend in a rational argument.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

People are easy to manipulate and you can actually make people see or believe anything you want them to, it's why people believe they see big foot, loc ness monsters, chupacabra, believe they have been abducted by aliens, why there are so many different religions where people have personal spiritual experiences with their various religious icons, why people believe they see ghosts and demons and such.... the human mind is a very fragile thing as well and why there is so many people with mental illnesses like schizophrenia... so how do you distinguish that which is imagined or hallucinated with that which is real? A personal experience with ANY deity cannot at this point be considered to be a real experience and for me, with the strange almost religious dreams I have had where Jesus told me I was the next messiah.... if I believed that this dream was real what would YOU think of that? You'd think or know I was a nut job. If Jesus really existed and came to live in our modern times we would have him committed, YOU JOSEPH, would have him committed. The claims the Bible makes on anything can only be called claims because NONE of the stories have been confirmed to have happened, not one... some of the characters may have been real only in the sense that they were people that did live at the time and have been confirmed but considering other facts and how modern stories and ancient stories are written in comparison I can only conclude BASED on reality but still fictional. I will hint at many events that took place during Jesus' time being actually so far apart that Jesus himself could not have experienced them when the Bible claims they did and considering again that the author of the Bible himself including PAUL the APOSTLE could never have known Jesus and therefore much of the life of Jesus could not have taken place.... how much of it is fictional and how much of it is fact? (telephone game) I look to the Jewish historians who are fairly anal about their history and them having no record of Jesus themselves and the stories they claim have been grossly misinterpreted... they do not believe that the red sea itself was parted but the parting of the red sea is a metaphor for a battle between conscripted Jewish warriors and the Egyptian warriors... There is more to the Bible if you are willing to question it's origin and how and why it was originally written.... why is it that the ceremonies and beliefs and behaviors of Jews and Christians are so different if they are based on the same book? Someone is obviously getting it wrong.... I also argue that Jesus was NOT a Jew because he did not live life as a Jew did nor were his people since they did not recognize Jewish practices like passover, a very important date.... much of Christianity is so wrong compared to the religion it supposedly came from that I could no longer believe that Jesus was either a Jew or a real person. And thanks to other more research historians I could scrutinize I become completely convinced of the fictionality of Jesus.

Back to God, having a personal experience just isn't enough, I need actual evidence that suggests one, his possibility, and two his necessity, and three his actual existence.... not one of those conditions has been met and even when considering that rationalizations of Christians like Joseph and my family and even various failed scientists who hang on to their unjustified beliefs in a God and many of Christians' inability to accept the explained phenomenon like Evolution, and the Big Bang (for which they have laughably accepted as of recently because they can fit it into their explanation of God creating the universe) for which many still deny it just pushes me away from even taking them or their religion seriously, in any sense. I think if they accept science (because it actually works) more easily into their accepted religious world view I might have become an atheist later on in life because they might use science to explain God, used evolutionary biology and astrophysics to explain his methods.... but no they dig in their heals to facts and evidence because they feel like it contradicts their Biblical world view... saying the great flood didn't happen causes them to foam at the mouth, saying life existed millions of years before man causes seizures.... it's pathetic and causes me to feel sorry for believers and when their dogma causes undeserved harm to humanity it causes me to feel contempt for their beliefs.... Joe, thanks for helping me become a stronger ATHEIST.

Thanks Titen, it was fun, I have to unfollow this hub now.


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 19 months ago from Tasmania

@Artblack01 - I have enjoyed your contributions. Hope to see you here again.

Thank you, wishing you well.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"Thanks Titen, it was fun, I have to unfollow this hub now"

Thanks for your contribution to the discussion Art :D


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

You're a weak atheist, not a strong one. In order for you to be a strong atheist you'd need to prove does not nor cannot exist.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"if God appeared to everyone all at once"

What if God did this three hundred years ago? Would you believe in his existence?


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 19 months ago from Tasmania

Joseph, would you want to believe something you were told happened 300 years ago?

Could you prove or disprove it happened? How could you? I asked "prove or disprove." Not whether it was feasible or not.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

If God had done this 300 years ago we'd probably see news reports from every culture all over the world, we'd see stories about remote Amazon tribes suddenly becoming followers of this God, we'd have independent historians from every corner of the globe telling the same story and believing the same things. If this happened we'd expect to see everyone all over the world move toward a unified God concept, a unified doctrine that God would have cleared up during his appearance.

Now obviously if God appeared today it'd be a lot easier to verify that, what with everyone having cell phone cameras and such but yes if the evidence were strong enough and the world looked the way we might expect of such an event I would believe it if it happened in the past.

Of course if such a God exists there's no reason for it to limit its visits or appearances on Earth. It's why some atheists call God the reigning hide and seek champion.


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 19 months ago from Tasmania

If any god appeared before us, at any time, past present or future, that god would be finite, physical, made of the same stuff as outselves.

Jo and every othe apologist for religion claims their god is spirit, infinite. So Jo's question is illogical and irrelevant, surely. Not saying you are Jo. Just the question ........


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"If God had done this 300 years ago [...]"

And if he had done this a few thousand years ago, would you believe in his existence?


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"If any god appeared before us, at any time [...]"

Small problem: No one can see God and live (Exodus 33:20).


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

This would depend on the quality of the evidence and even then the farther back we go the harder it would be to establish something supernatural or miraculous.

I know where you're going with this, Jesus, but of course Jesus did not appear to everyone on planet Earth. The evidence that Jesus even existed doesn't even appear until about three decades after his death and then only appears in the writings of the faithful. Even if we were to accept the Gospels, for some bizarre reason, only ONE gospel, John (written 70 years after Jesus' death), actually makes the claim that Jesus is God.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Except that Abraham saw him in person.

So did Adam and Eve.

So did the person writing in Revelation.

Etc etc.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"I know where you're going with this, Jesus"

Actually I was thinking more about the ancient world. The entire world of Moses' era had either witnessed or heard about what Jehovah God did to Pharaoh and the Egyptians.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"Except that Abraham saw him in person.

So did Adam and Eve.

So did the person writing in Revelation."

Where is any of this taught in the Bible?


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Did they?

Because last I checked up there was NO archaeological evidence that the Jews were ever in Egypt during the time that Moses supposedly existed. At any rate, and as previously stated, the entire ancient world is just as big as the entire actual world, yet we did not discover the Americas to find tribes of Jews, we found Native Americans, so God did not appear to everyone.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Read your Bible and find out Joe.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"Read your Bible and find out Joe."

You made several claims ala argumentum assertio. It's YOUR responsibility to prove them, that or simply retract them.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"last I checked up there was NO archaeological evidence that the Jews were ever in Egypt"

Argumentum ex silentio. Fischer's "Historians' Fallacies" categorically asserts, "Evidence must always be affirmative. Negative evidence is a contradiction in terms--it is no evidence at all. The nonexistence of an object is established not by nonexistent evidence but by affirmative evidence of the fact that it did not, or could not exist."

"the entire ancient world is just as big as the entire actual world"

Prove it.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Genesis 17:1

God appears before Abraham.

Genesis 18, God visits Abraham in person to tell him that Sarah will conceive a son.

Revelation contains a detailed description of the one seated on the throne, although you might argue that this is a description of Jesus rather than one of the Father, if you believe in the Trinity that's irrelevant though since they are both God.

Daniel chapter 7 says that God has white clothes and hair like wool.

Ezekiel sees a vision of God seated on a throne as well, it's in the very first chapter.

It is not my responsibility to educate you on things you already claim to know, such as the contents of the Bible.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"Prove it.'

Contradicting me on this point makes you look extremely stupid. Even grade school children understand that the Earth is the same size today as it was two thousand years ago. Unless you're one of those "expanding Earth" nuts, but I highly doubt you are.

"Argumentum ex silentio."

You are very poor at understanding fallacies. The one making the positive claim holds the burden of proof. You are the one who claims they were in Egypt and that God made himself known to the ancient world, you hold the burden of proof. I am not making a positive claim by pointing out the lack of evidence, merely rejecting your claim.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"Contradicting me on this point makes you look extremely stupid."

Argumentum ad hominem. Try again.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"You are the one who claims they were in Egypt and that God made himself known to the ancient world, you hold the burden of proof."

Read Genesis and Exodus.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

I said it makes you LOOK stupid, that's not an argument ad hominem, I never said you actually were stupid. I don't think you're stupid Joe, far from it, but you do make a lot of bad points that don't make sense and don't do your image any favors for those who might read this discussion.

In essence Joe your own responses on my various hubs are an ad hominem character assassination that you are performing on yourself.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Gonna need more evidence than a book of mythology Joe. I'm not gonna sit here and tell you that the goddess calypso has an island out there somewhere because its in the Odyssey even though the Odyssey does contain some real names and places doesn't make all of its claims true by default.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"Genesis 17:1 - God appears before Abraham."

"Genesis 18, God visits Abraham in person to tell him that Sarah will conceive a son."

"Ezekiel sees a vision of God seated on a throne as well, it's in the very first chapter"

"Daniel chapter 7 says that God has white clothes and hair like wool."

"In ancient times, God sent angels as his representatives to appear to humans and to speak in his name. (Psalm 103:20) For example, God once spoke to Moses from a burning bush, and the Bible says that “Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at the true God.” (Exodus 3:4, 6) Moses did not literally see God, though, for the context shows that he actually saw “Jehovah’s angel.”—Exodus 3:2.

Similarly, when the Bible says that God “spoke to Moses face-to-face,” it means that God conversed with Moses intimately. (Exodus 4:10, 11; 33:11) Moses did not actually see God’s face, for the information he received from God “was transmitted through angels.” (Galatians 3:19; Acts 7:53) Still, Moses’ faith in God was so strong that the Bible described him as “seeing the One who is invisible.”—Hebrews 11:27.

In the same way that he spoke to Moses, God communicated with Abraham through angels. Granted, a casual reading of the Bible might give the impression that Abraham literally saw God. (Genesis 18:1, 33) However, the context shows that the “three men” who came to Abraham were actually angels sent by God. Abraham recognized them as God’s representatives and addressed them as if he were speaking directly to Jehovah.—Genesis 18:2, 3, 22, 32; 19:1.

God has also appeared to humans through visions, or scenes presented to a person’s mind. For instance, when the Bible says that Moses and other Israelites “saw the God of Israel,” they really “saw a vision of the true God.” (Exodus 24:9-11) Likewise, the Bible sometimes says that prophets “saw Jehovah.” (Isaiah 6:1; Daniel 7:9; Amos 9:1) In each case, the context shows that they were given a vision of God RATHER THAN a direct view of him.—Isaiah 1:1; Daniel 7:2; Amos 1:1."

http://bit.ly/1FcdjVA

"you might argue that this is a description of Jesus rather than one of the Father, if you believe in the Trinity that's irrelevant though since they are both God."

I don't so it's not.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"Gonna need more evidence than a book of mythology."

Prove your claim. Prove that the Bible is merely mythology.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"I said it makes you LOOK stupid, that's not an argument ad hominem, I never said you actually were stupid."

Given your animus towards Theists it's a distinction without a difference.

Argumentum ad hominem. Try again.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"In each case, the context shows that they were given a vision of God RATHER THAN a direct view of him."

So God is a liar who presents a false version of himself to human beings. Tell me what advantage does it give God by creating human beings in such a way that seeing him would be deadly? Why would he design us this way?

Also I contend that in the case of Abraham you reading into the text things which are not there. In cases where angels disguise themselves or appear as men we are told that they are angels, such as in the story of Lot. It is true that sometimes angels are assigned to speak for God, such as stopping the sacrifice of Isaac however there is no reason to make this assumption about the events in Genesis 18. It is perfectly reasonable to believe that views of God changed, that at the time Genesis was written seeing God was not problematic.

I would also like to get your opinion on the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and what they saw in the furnace. When I was still going to church the widest interpretation was that they were saved by Jesus but the passages could be interpreted as God or merely as an angel.

"I don't so it's not."

So Jesus is a being of lesser or equal power to the Father? Some sects of early Christianity thought of Christ as a pre-existent angelic being, for example.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

I have to prove that a book with a talking snake and people living in the belly of a whale is mythology?

"Given your animus towards Theists it's a distinction without a difference."

My animus is toward the beliefs themselves, generally not the believers. If you make bad arguments I'm going to call you out on them, there is a difference between that and an attempt at character assassination.

" prove he hasn't been fair in the judgments he's made or the sentences he's carried out."

The story of the 10 plagues, God hardens pharaohs heart so that he can complete all of his "wonders" in Egypt. His final "wonder" is a horrific act of vengeance that punishes the innocent children of Egypt for the sins of the guilty slave owning class who had previously carried out their own genocide. Punishing the innocent for the sins of the wicked, and revenge, are not just or fair.

"You've yet to PROVE God has committed a single evil."

I gave a working definition of evil and applied it to numerous acts that God has committed, so I've already proved it. Of course I do not actually believe God ever did any of these things because the God of the Bible is fictional. However you believe he did these things, which puts you in a precarious position, whether you acknowledge it or not.

"Such as?"

God could have created people similar to the angels. Angels demonstrate obedience to God and benevolence far beyond that or human beings yet apparently possess enough Free Will to rebel against God. Many Christians believe that God is responsible for our natural conscience, that is our natural empathy and our disgust when we see someone treated badly. Yet no one claims this predisposition leaves us without free will.

"They both had EXTREMELY good reasons not to disobey God."

I doubt it, given that neither of them could have any real concept of death.

"Again, dikaiocide is not genocide."

It fits every definition of the word genocide. In your own words: Try again. Genocide: "the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular ethnic group or nation." Yep, fits perfectly with the slaughter of the Canaanites. And no it doesn't matter how monstrously you attempt to dehumanize the group of people.

"so there can be no doubt in anyone's mind that man is not capable of ruling himself independent of his loving Creator.

God's governance of Earth condones slavery so that mankind knows it is not capable of ruling itself? Please explain to me how this makes any sense. It is God's command which establishes slavery in Exodus 21, direct from the mouth of God. So he commanded them to do evil in order to prove that they needed his goodness? Excuse the language but that's fucking stupid.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"So God is a liar who presents a false version of himself to human beings."

Strawman. Try again.

"Tell me what advantage does it give God by creating human beings in such a way that seeing him would be deadly? Why would he design us this way?"

It shows that he is nothing like us; that he is sublime in ways we cannot even begin to comprehend. I think that's a fitting definition for an Alpowerful God.

"It is perfectly reasonable to believe that views of God changed, that at the time Genesis was written seeing God was not problematic."

Actually it's not since no man can physically see God.

"I would also like to get your opinion on the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and what they saw in the furnace."

It was an angel. Daneil 3:28 reads, "“Praised be the God of Shaʹdrach, Meʹshach, and A·bedʹne·go, who sent his angel and rescued his servants. They trusted in him and went against the command of the king and were willing to die rather than serve or worship any god except their own God."

"So Jesus is a being of lesser or equal power to the Father?"

While Jesus has great power and authority it pales in comparison to his Father's, Jehovah. Only He is the Creator of all reality. (cf. Matthew 19:4)


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"I have to prove that a book with a talking snake and people living in the belly of a whale is mythology?"

No because snakes have never been able to talk and people have never lived in a whale ...

"God hardens pharaohs heart so that he can complete all of his "wonders" in Egypt."

Jehovah “let [Pharaoh’s] heart wax bold” -Exodus 7:3 (Rotherham)

The appendix to Rotherham’s translation shows that in Hebrew the occasion or permission of an event is often presented as if it were the cause of the event, and that “even positive commands are occasionally to be accepted as meaning no more than permission.” Thus at Exodus 1:17 the original Hebrew text literally says that the midwives “caused the male children to live,” whereas in reality they permitted them to live by refraining from putting them to death. After quoting Hebrew scholars M. M. Kalisch, H. F. W. Gesenius, and B. Davies in support, Rotherham states that the Hebrew sense of the texts involving Pharaoh is that “God permitted Pharaoh to harden his own heart—spared him—gave him the opportunity, the occasion, of working out the wickedness that was in him. That is all.”—The Emphasised Bible, appendix, p. 919 (cf. Isa 10:5-7)

Corroborating this understanding is the fact that the record definitely shows that Pharaoh himself “hardened his heart.” (Exodus 8:15, 32, KJ; “made his heart unresponsive,” NWT) He thus exercised his own will and followed his own stubborn inclination, the results of which inclination Jehovah accurately foresaw and predicted. (Exodus 8:30-32; 9:34,35) The repeated opportunities given him by Jehovah obliged Pharaoh to make decisions, and in doing so he became hardened in his attitude. (cf. Ecclesiastes 8:11, 12.) As the apostle Paul shows by quoting Exodus 9:16, Jehovah allowed the matter to develop in this way to the full length of ten plagues in order to make manifest his own power and cause his name to be made known earth wide.—Romans 9:17, 18.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"the God of the Bible is fictional."

Prove it. Prove God does not nor cannot exist.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"Strawman. Try again."

No it isn't Either God reveals his true form or he is revealing a DECEPTION, a false image.

"It shows that he is nothing like us;"

If God is nothing like us why is so much of his behavior similar to ancient near-East peoples? Why are war, conquest and slavery on his agenda? And why on Earth would the Bible tell us that we are made in God's image AND that we are nearer to being like God than the angels. Remember that in the Garden there are two trees, the one of immortality and the one for knowledge of good and evil, eating both would make man similar to God which is why we were banished from the Garden.

"it's not since no man can physically see God."

Prove it.

"While Jesus has great power and authority it pales in comparison to his Father's"

How do you reconcile this with the passage from Paul that God raised Jesus to be equal to him and that to Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue confess? Some see this passage as the one that solidifies Jesus as equal in standing to Yahweh.

"I think that's a fitting definition for an Alpowerful God."

But an all powerful God would also have the power to make his true physical form whatever he wants it to be, it does not have to be deadly to us. Making it deadly sounds impressive in a superstitious way, similar to the burning bush, it sounds esoterically impressive, but really it makes little sense.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"God's governance of Earth condones slavery so that mankind knows it is not capable of ruling itself?"

Except that God is not the one governing the Earth. As I taught you before, Satan is. Remember what you learned at 1 John 5:19,20; 2 Corinthians 4:4 and John 12:31?


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

God admits to Moses that he is going to harden Pharaoh's heart so that he can finish his wonders. (Exodus 10:1) These passages leave little doubt that God is doing this intentionally.

At any rate it wouldn't make the 10th plague any less horrific and unjust, killing the innocent for the sins of the wicked flies in the face of the very idea of justice.

"Prove God does not nor cannot exist."

See my hubs: The Creation of God and Deconstructing God's Characteristics for a break down of why that concept of God falls apart. But you've already read those arguments and tap-danced around them with your best mental gymnastics so you may as well not waste your time.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Nevertheless God is the one governing the Israelites and directly giving them rules and laws. And of course God is ruling the Earth, even if he has temporarily granted the thrown to Satan God is still in charge of Satan. God is still in charge of everything, that's what being an omnipotent being means.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"for a break down of why that concept of God falls apart."

How is that irrefutable evidence of God's nonexistence?


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 19 months ago from Tasmania

"It shows that he is nothing like us; that he is sublime in ways we cannot even begin to comprehend. I think that's a fitting definition for an All-powerful God."

Your words, Joseph.

I cannot think of anything more like nonsense than worshiping something that is so sublime that we cannot comprehend it.

Maybe there IS one that is more than nonsense: It's trying to convince others of something you, yourself, cannot comprehend.

What an absolute waste of time!


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 19 months ago from Australia

I can think of a worse case of nonsense: a religious person intolerant of other religions and an atheist person intolerant of all religions trying to have a logical ethical conversation!


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Oz

I'd very much like to hear your opinion on this question: http://bit.ly/1KVaHKw


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"How is that irrefutable evidence of God's nonexistence?"

It only refutes one version of God, the one commonly posited by folks like William Lane Craig, of course it is impossible to disprove all versions of all gods as they are so numerous. That is why I am an agnostic-atheist towards most gods and only a gnostic-atheist towards those gods I think have been sufficiently shown to be fictional (such as Zeus, Yahweh, etc).

A deists God, for example, is very hard to disprove, a pantheistic God even more so because it might be "love" "the Universe" or just a vague nebulous force that bends toward goodness. These sorts of gods are unfalsifiable.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

And just how does it refute Jehovah God's existence?


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

By taking the characteristics commonly given to this God and explaining why they make no sense without the Universe.

Omnipotence: Power is meaningless without time in which to use it and things to act upon.

Omniscience: Knowledge is meaningless when there is nothing for God to even know about yet.

Omnibenevolence: Morality requires that there be more than one moral agent. There is no possible source for God's morality, no progenitor to teach Yahweh right from wrong, no evolutionary framework on which he can build and no other creatures for his benevolence to mean anything

Omnipresence: There was nowhere for God to be present in before the creation of space.

In order for God to have any meaningful attributes, the ones common ascribed to him, it seems the Universe, or some form of Universe at least, are necessary. If it is God and nothing his attributes cease to be meaningful. This disproves this God concept although anyone can always redefine this God so it by no means disproves every possible version. You'll also note that it doesn't just disprove the maximally great traits (omnipotence, etc) but includes beings of lesser power than are beyond space and time and said to pre-date the creation of the Universe.

Of course there are other arguments one could offer against the Biblical God, such as approaching it from the Biblical side, looking at the immorality of the Biblical laws, looking at how it the Bible was put together and how its God has all the hallmarks of a fictional deity. We could also talk about the psychology of belief and the odd paradox that after the relatively peaceful teachings of Jesus his followers went on to be monsters and tyrants in his name (after the Romans took over the faith) and God did nothing to correct the course of Christianity.


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 19 months ago from Tasmania

I am happily atheist and I am tolerant of all religions. But intolerant of individuals who try to belittle my right to not believe. Some regard the religious ideas as nonsense, others regard the same ideas as sane and acceptable. Thus we have a wonderful tapestry of opinions.

The religious person I respect is one who has a genuine, deep, personal belief that tends to support him or her in the walk of life, YET is good natured enough to allow that his/her belief(s) does not need to be taken up by everyone.

Ostinato, if you are one such tolerant and good-natured person, then you have my respect, regardless of your religious views.


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 19 months ago from Tasmania

@Titen-Sxull , once again you speak some good logical points, worth considering in depth. Far better than I could every have put it. Thank you.


Lucid Psyche profile image

Lucid Psyche 19 months ago

Titen-Sxull: "There is evidence that suggests the supernatural?"

Yes. Of course. I refer you to my first comment.

"One thing we can deduce from the facts at hand is that there was no natural realm preexisting the physical universe. Time, space, and matter, (the natural realm) which according to GTR are co-relative, began to exist simultaneously and thus could not have caused themselves to begin to exist."

If there could not be a natural cause by definition, the necessary cause must therefore be "supernatural" ... by definition.

The scientists that discovered cosmic background radiation from the Big Bang were certainly aware of the implications. The physical universe was not eternal as atheistic scientists had always hoped. Scientific discovery made under the auspices of methodological naturalism does indeed prove that the fundamental assumptions of Naturalism are false. As you and others have demonstrated this fact must be summarily dismissed, ignored, glossed over or hopefully buried.

This fact is not by any means the only evidence to support the existence of a super consciousness that preceded and set the parameters for the formation of the physical universe.

As always, I support science and correctly applied logic. However it is no longer possible to offer that support as a Naturalistic atheist. Intellectual honesty is a criterion that is indispensable to true knowledge. Ideology must place a distant second.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"I refer you to my first comment."

Logical arguments are not evidence, no matter how deductively sound you believe your logic is. It seems to me that it sets up a false dichotomy, that anything which is unnatural or not part of our current natural universe, must be the supernatural. You might think the Cosmological argument is an airtight one logically speaking, and of course its conclusion does flow from its premises but it has its problems. The question is whether those premises hold as true to the Universe as a whole as they do within our ordinary intuition about causality. Frankly I don't know the origins of the Cosmos, I wouldn't pretend to assert that it cannot be a God under any circumstances but I see no evidence and thus withhold belief until actual evidence is presented. Even the strongest versions of the argument give us only a First Cause, which, even if we accept that this cause must be supernatural, may as well be an uncaused set of initial conditions that inevitably lead to a Universe. A disembodied all powerful mind violates Occam's razor to an obscene degree.

"If there could not be a natural cause by definition, the necessary cause must therefore be "supernatural" ... by definition."

This simply does not follow. We are just as justified in using a word like unnatural here as we are the word supernatural or simply amending the definition of natural to encompass things "prior" to the singularity at the Big Bang. The idea that anything that is not natural is by default supernatural is a completely false dichotomy.

"This fact is not by any means the only evidence to support the existence of a super consciousness"

All of the arguments for God that I have ever heard have been flawed in one way or another and the one you present here is no different. There is something beyond the confines of our Universe - insert God of the gaps, add a few references to science, shaken not stirred.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"We could also talk about the psychology of belief and the odd paradox that after the relatively peaceful teachings of Jesus his followers went on to be monsters and tyrants in his name (after the Romans took over the faith) and God did nothing to correct the course of Christianity."

What you've done is no different than claiming counterfeit money is no different than genuine legal tender. That is to say, you're conflating Antichristendom with genuine Christianity:

“They refuse any form of violence and without rebelling put up with the many trials inflicted on them because of their beliefs . . . How different the world would be if we all woke up one morning firmly decided not to take up arms again, whatever the cost or the reason, just like Jehovah’s Witnesses!” - “Andare Alle Genti”

“[Jehovah’s Witnesses are] well known as very nice, kind, and meek people who are very easy to deal with, never put any pressure on other people and always seek peace in their relationship with others . . . There are no bribe-takers, drunkards or drug addicts among them, and the reason is very simple: They just try to be guided by their Bible-based convictions in everything they do or say. If all the people in the world at least tried to live according to the Bible the way Jehovah’s Witnesses do, our cruel world would be absolutely different.” - The Moscow Times

“I am not a Witness. But I am a witness to the fact that the Witnesses witness to efficiency and proper behaviour. . . . If they were the only people in the world, we would not at night have to bolt our doors shut and put on the burglar alarm.” - Journal de Montréal in Canada

“If all the religious denominations were like Jehovah’s witnesses, we would have no murders, burglaries, delinquencies, prisoners and atomic bombs. Doors would not be locked day in and day out.” - Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Former Governor-General of Nigeria

“I have come to the conclusion that if Jehovah’s Witnesses were the only ones living on the earth, wars would cease to exist, and the only duties of the policemen would be to control traffic and to issue passports.” - “Gyűrű”

“Suffice it to say that if all the world lived by the creed of the Jehovah Witnesses there would be an end of bloodshed and hatred, and love would reign as king!”- “The Sacramento Union”

“The work of Jehovah’s Witnesses is the revival and re-establishment of the primitive Christianity practised by Jesus and his disciples . . . All are brothers.” - “The Encyclopedia Canadiana”


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"That is to say, you're conflating Antichristendom with genuine Christianity:"

You are committing a No True Scotsman fallacy. You may see the ancients who committed atrocities as counterfeits, you might see the harmful religious people of today as counterfeits, but they believe they are/were sincere and were/are clearly motivated by religious convictions.


Lucid Psyche profile image

Lucid Psyche 19 months ago

Titen-Sxull: "All of the arguments for God that I have ever heard have been flawed in one way or another and the one you present here is no different. There is something beyond the confines of our Universe - insert God of the gaps, add a few references to science, shaken not stirred."

I refer you to this part of your dialogue, "Logical arguments are not evidence, no matter how deductively sound you believe your logic is. It seems to me that it sets up a false dichotomy, that anything which is unnatural or not part of our current natural universe, must be the supernatural."

If we can't define our terms, then no rational discussion is possible. Let me approach it from this angle. There was nothing physical to give rise to the physical ... (time, space, and matter). The First Cause was non-physical if you concede the definition of Physicalism. "Physicalism is the thesis that everything is physical, or as contemporary philosophers sometimes put it, that everything supervenes on the physical."

The First Cause was also not natural if you concede the definition of Naturalism. "a philosophical viewpoint according to which everything arises from natural properties and causes, and supernatural or spiritual explanations are excluded or discounted."

The First Cause was immaterial if you concede the definition of Materialism. "the doctrine that nothing exists except matter and its movements and modifications."

Another difficulty may arise from how you personally define "God". I will only go so far as science and logic will take me. Immaterial, non-physical, timeless, spaceless and sufficient to the existence of the universe whose initial parameters were precisely fine tuned.

" A disembodied all powerful mind violates Occam's razor to an obscene degree."

Does it really? It seems to match the minimal requirements for existence.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"Immaterial, non-physical, timeless, spaceless and sufficient"

And why should we not simply think that there was an immaterial, timeless and spaceless set of conditions which gave rise to the Universe? This is why I said adding that it must be a mind violates Occam's razor not to mention violating every definition of what it means to be alive. I do not think the parameters of this Universe were "precisely fine-tuned" either, unless you think they were fine-tuned for the creation of empty barren planets and trillions of galaxies most of which is empty space and very little of which is traditional matter.

We're also left defining things by what they are not (ie immaterial) as with the example of natural vs supernatural I don't think its wise to act as if the term immaterial, timeless or spaceless requires we invoke anything altogether as spooky as a disembodied mind. I don't hear many legitimate scientists invoking such things, they continue to search for the answer whatever that may be. Of course we can speculate all we want and we can even look at the Universe and work backward to God as the Cosmological argument does, its conclusion a forgone one.

I have a hub in which I break down why the typical creatio ex nihilo Cosmological argument does not work, namely because without a Universe the characteristics of God, such as power, knowledge, benevolence, etc do not make any sense. If we remove the Universe and look at God, alone in the nothingness, he has no meaningful characteristics.

Power - time must exist in which to exert power, and something must exist to exert it upon.

Knowledge - something must exist to be known about or experienced for knowledge to have any meaning (and of course time is needed for thought processes)

Benevolence - more than one moral agent is needed for benevolence to have any meaning.

Life - Life is defined by complex organic chemistry and the ability to change and reproduce, that is what sets it apart from the inanimate. We would have to entirely amend the definition to include this disembodied mind.

Of course you can posit a being without these characteristic but then it would no longer be "sufficient" to fine-tune or spark the Universe. It seems to me that without some serious special pleading it makes no sense to call the First Cause a living being or a mind. What we have is a persistent mystery, the question of Cosmic origins is a big one, but there is no need for this God of the gaps.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"And why should we not simply think that there was an immaterial, timeless and spaceless set of conditions which gave rise to the Universe?"

Because if a cause is sufficient to yield it's effect then the effect also needs to be present . The pair are joined at the hip , so to speak ; you can't have one without the other .

Permit me to borrow from an illustration to help make this sharper . “Suppose that the cause of water’s freezing is the temperature’s being below 0°C . If the temperature were below 0°C from eternity past , then any water that was around would be frozen from eternity . It would be impossible for the water to just begin to freeze a finite time ago . Once the cause is given , the effect must be given as well .” ( http://bit.ly/WQtgZY )

The problem is , if we have indeed a timeless , transcendent cause how come the effect isn’t permanent as well ? Stated another way , if this timeless , transcendent cause in fact brought the universe into being , why hasn't the universe always been ? Just how can a cause be eternal yet its effect commence a finite time ago ? We are aware the universe is roughly about 13 .70 billion years old but as you see we've further deduced that whatsoever brought about the universe has to be transcendent as well as timeless .

The one and only way that is feasible is if this timeless , transcendent , uncaused cause were at the same time a free agent – a being with free will who is able to operate of its own volition . Naturally we all know free will is the hallmark of personhood .


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"Just how can a cause be eternal yet its effect commence a finite time ago ?"

I can't be sure but I think you are confusing the word timeless and the word eternal here. Even if we assume, for sake of argument, that you have shown there is a timless, spaceless first cause I fail to see how calling it by default eternal has any meaning or is logically sound.

"If the temperature were below 0°C from eternity past , then any water that was around would be frozen from eternity"

But I didn't say my hypothetical set of conditions were eternal and I also never said they were changeless. They may have changed the moment that time began moving and set the "foundations" of the Universe so-to-speak.

At the end of the day though we don't know.. What meaning does eternity have in a timeless pre-Universe state of "existence". What can we even say about existence beyond the singularity, what can we even say about causality? This is why i prefer to let people with advanced degrees tackle problems this weird that often have counter-intuitive results.

So your invocation of a mind is based on the assumption that this First Cause and I would argue is based on special pleading that a mind can even exist in such a state.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"What meaning does eternity have in a timeless pre-Universe state of "existence"."

This conclusion obtains if and only if we equate the perception of time with analytical measures of time . This reductionistic perspective is glaringly misguided for a succession of mental events by itself is sufficient to establish relations of before and afterwards , entirely devoid of any kind of material occurrence . Which means that there could be a point in time in which God Almighty fashioned the original cosmological singularity , regardless of whether that instance is not in material time .

"Even if God is timeless sans creation, His creating the universe can be simultaneous with the cosmic singularity. Such an appeal to metaphysics is not illicit because Hawking makes the metaphysical claim that God cannot create the universe because the singularity is not in physical time. In any case, even if we do accept this reductionistic move, all that follows is that God did not create the universe at a time. We can still say that God’s creating the universe was coincident with the singularity (that is, they occur together at the boundary of spacetime), and by creating the singularity God created the universe."

http://bit.ly/1nCfYye


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"This reductionistic perspective is glaringly misguided for a succession of mental events by itself is sufficient to establish relations of before"

Stop talking like you're William Lane Craig's puppet.

A series of mental events requires the passage of time. The function of a mind, biological or otherwise, is not magic, it's electrical signals.

"of any kind of material occurrence"

Thoughts are generally a material occurrence and it would take an awful lot of evidence to prove that thoughts can exist without a material mind. And as I have explained, ad nauseam you have given no reason to amend the definition of life to include beings without physical bodies, outside of time and space. No living being ever observed or ever even postulated by science as somehow plausible has even one of the characteristics of this God.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"No living being ever observed or ever even postulated by science as somehow plausible has even one of the characteristics of this God."

Argumentum ad ignorantiam. That's not how rational thought works. Ideas and beliefs are proven false based on positive evidence of their falsehood not by rhetoric, tautologies, nor by the intelligentsia. Try again.


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 19 months ago from Tasmania

If you persist in quoting from William Lane Craig, Joseph, please allow me to quote from Richard Dawkins: "\

"Don't feel embarrassed if you've never heard of William Lane Craig. He parades himself as a philosopher, but none of the professors of philosophy whom I consulted had heard his name either."

The above quote is copied and pasted from the following Website: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/oct/...

More can be read there to discredit the said Preacher.

The to-and-fro of argument is too much for me personally to follow, but maybe I am not the only one.

Is there really any point in arguing about an imagined super-being?


Lucid Psyche profile image

Lucid Psyche 19 months ago

Titen-Sxull: "And why should we not simply think that there was an immaterial, timeless and spaceless set of conditions which gave rise to the Universe? This is why I said adding that it must be a mind violates Occam's razor not to mention violating every definition of what it means to be alive. I do not think the parameters of this Universe were "precisely fine-tuned" either, ..."

Firstly Occam's Razor is not a Principle of logic. It's merely a guideline to avoid over complicating something that need not be over complicated. I think that you concede that the First Cause is timeless, spaceless, and immaterial. The sticking point is do we have evidence of intelligence?

There are over 100+ extremely narrowly defined constants that strongly point to an intelligence having defined them.

Take the expansion of the universe as one example ... in fact if it had expanded at a rate one millionth more slowly than it did the universe would have collapsed back on itself before any stars had formed. The probability that this and other constants would exist for any planet in the universe by chance assuming there are 10 to the 22 planets in the universe is 10 to the 138. There are only 10 to the 70 atoms in the universe. That for me is the same as saying that there was 0 chance of the universe forming with the conditions necessary for life without intelligent intervention.

Sorry for the quick typing. I could go into more detail (later) but I don't think that it would change anything.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 19 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Oh dear, I didn't realize that Lucid is the new reigning authority of quantum mechanics and held the absolute definition of the amount of matter in the universe! Where can I buy your books?

"That for me is the same as saying that there was 0 chance of the universe forming with the conditions necessary for life without intelligent intervention."

Strangely enough, the universe DID form under its own conditions. And you are only guessing that it contains: "There are only 10 to the 70 atoms in the universe." Wow, where did you come up with that definitive number?


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Jonny

Ignoratio elenchi. You evaluate an argument based on the body of facts and information presented, not its provenance. Try again.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

I didn't say I proved your idea false.

I said you had failed to prove it plausible.

What's the name for the fallacy where someone shifts the burden of proof Joe? Because you've done it so many times my head is starting to spin.

Try again.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"I think that you concede that the First Cause is timeless, spaceless, and immaterial."

I am happy to do so for sake of argument. I do have my problems with the idea of applying our intuitions about causality to something as complex as the start of a Universe.

"There are over 100+ extremely narrowly defined constants that strongly point to an intelligence having defined them."

I don't think they do and more tellingly most of the scientists who study this topic don't either.

"in fact if it had expanded at a rate one millionth more slowly than it did the universe would have collapsed back on itself before any stars had formed."

In what way does positing a mind, a being outside of time and space, help us explain the constants being the way they are? We still do not have a mechanism by which this mind created everything presumably ex nihilo. There is no precedent for a mind being able to even affect creatio ex materia without a physical form, let alone something as unprecedented and counter-intuitive as a creation out of absolute nothing. Perhaps if your cosmic designer were some nerd playing with a super computer creating a simulated Universe but that is far from the God of "classical monotheism".

I can just as easily posit that the constants are the way they are because the pre-existing set of conditions that caused the Universe could not have created any other kind of Universe, or we could just say we got the Universe we got, how fortunate for us, it's not implausible for things proceeded by the necessary conditions for them occur might occur. We know that nature (reality might be a better word) has guided systems, such as natural selection, where natural parameters determine the outcome, it may seem to us in hindsight that this outcome is preordained but that desire for agency and meaning is not necessary. Again I do not know or pretend to know the origins of the cosmos and do not have the scientific knowledge to even take a good guess, but I see no reason to infer agency, or posit a God of the gaps.

"I could go into more detail (later) but I don't think that it would change anything."

Unless you have a better argument than the Teleological and Cosmological I suspect not.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Titen

And just how did I fail to prove it possibly true or believable?


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Joe, I'm not going to repeat my entire argument yet AGAIN for your amusement. You have not shown any reason to think that a mind could exist outside of time and space. Or a reason to change our fundamental definition of what it means to be alive.

You have dodged around the idea of God having a physical body with lame ass excuses about God showing a false image to those he appeared to in visions in the Bible.

You have yet to offer any coherent rebuttal to my argument about power, knowledge and benevolence not being coherent characteristics for a timeless, spaceless, immaterial being without a Universe to grant those characteristics meaning.

In other words I have shown you numerous ways over the months that we've conversed that the Cosmological argument is flawed and that the God concept it supports is highly implausible if not so self-contradictory as to be meaningless.

You have repeatedly misidentified fallacies, accused me of ones I did not commit and demand that I prove things I already proved.

Do you have anything of substance to add or not?


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 19 months ago from Tasmania

Ignoratio elenchi - logical fallacy? Or did you mean "red herring, " Joe?

I suppose an imaginary god could not be mistaken for a red herring, because such a god would be without colour, without form, without a need to swim in water.

So, yes, very fallacious I agree.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"my argument about power, knowledge and benevolence not being coherent characteristics for a timeless, spaceless, immaterial being without a Universe to grant those characteristics meaning."

You're not making sense. How does this make God's existence implausible?


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Because it makes it necessary for a Universe to exist for him to have any of these characteristics. In other words God would be contingent upon the Universe.

This clearly squashes the classical concept of the monotheistic God as a nonsensical contradiction.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"Because it makes it necessary for a Universe to exist for him to have any of these characteristics."

Says you but that certainly isn't the case since he unquestionably possessed the potential for all of those traits.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"since he unquestionably possessed the"

Special pleading. Amounts to, God can break all the rules and be whatever and do whatever because I say so. Your argument may as well be "look God just exists okay, so what if it doesn't make sense"


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

False charge of fallacy.

If God did not possess the potential for all of those traits, how did he create the universe with all of it's distinctive characteristics?


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

It's your burden of proof to show that God even exists and has the characteristics necessary to create the Universe. You made up the idea that God can be outside and beyond all rules of logic and reasoning just because you need him to have those attributes so he can create the Universe, that constitutes special pleading.

Essentially what you are saying here is "if God was not sufficient to create the Universe than how did he create it?" This is another fallacy, begging the question, you have assumed the conclusion that God must have all the characteristics needed to create the Universe before even showing a God exists at all.

I have explained that it is not coherent, without actual scientific evidence, to say that a living being can exist in a timeless, spaceless and immaterial state. I have explained that each of this God's "necessary" characteristics given by believers (power, knowledge, benevolence) make no sense without the Universe. You have, essentially, argued that God gets to break all these rules just because you say so and if not than how did he create the Universe?

He didn't.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"without actual scientific evidence"

Because, as we all know, Science is both omniscient and infallible ...


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"Science is both omniscient and infallible"

What is your point here?

What other kind of evidence could there possibly be that could establish the possible existence of immaterial life?


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 19 months ago from Tasmania

Joseph, your theory sounds confusing and like it's objective is to lure another individual into the Jehovah's Witness Web of Deceit.

Are you willing to admit this your sole objective? Or is not the done thing for members of your organisation to admit the honest truth?

All the argument in this world cannot convince a non-believer of the existence of a god, nor a believer of the non-existence.

However, the desire for human power and control over others, not necssarily to the others' benefit, is very obvious and evident.

What really is your objective??


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Joe, I have warned you before numerous times about copying and pasting your walls of text from elsewhere into our discussions. Said comment has been deleted.

My question stands. What other possible kind of evidence could we use to determine that a living thing can exist without it having any of the characteristics we see in currently living things? Remember that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, so if your answer is that we can prove such a being by mere logic alone that had better be the most sound most irrefutable logic in history.

But I have shown in numerous hubs that the Cosmological argument is a massive failure in the establishing the sort of God you and most other believers claim ti does and that even if successful, proves only a vague deism or even suggests a set of unguided (non-living) conditions that make up the First Cause.

At the very least you would need rational justification for believing that:

A disembodied (or non-physical) living mind is possible and plausible.

A living being that is changeless, spaceless, timeless and immaterial is possible and plausible.

That this being has some mechanism for affecting change ex nihilo

So far most of what you argued is the result of arguing backward from your conclusion that God must be the explanation and trying to fit your argument around that. It is a god of the gaps and not at all persuasive except to those who already believe, I highly doubt you converted to being a Witness solely because of Kalam.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Jonny

"All the argument in this world cannot convince a non-believer of the existence of a god."

Nonsense:

"My work as a biochemist involved studying the design of certain molecules found in ocean-dwelling cyanobacteria, which are microorganisms that don’t depend on other living things for food. Some researchers think that these organisms were the first living things on our planet. Using energy from sunlight, the microbes use an extremely complex chemical process, which is still not fully understood, to convert water and carbon dioxide into food. I was also amazed at how cyanobacteria can harvest light with incredible efficiency.

I thought about engineers trying to imitate the marvelous mechanisms found in living things, and I came to the conclusion that life must have been designed by God. But my faith was not based solely on what I studied in science. It was also based on a careful study of the Bible.

One of the many things that convinced me was the detailed fulfillment of Bible prophecies. For example, centuries in advance Isaiah described in abundant detail the death and burial of Jesus. We know this prophecy was written before Jesus’ death because the Isaiah Scroll, found at Qumran, was copied about a hundred years before Jesus was born.

That prophecy says: “He will make his burial place even with the wicked ones, and with the rich class in his death.” (Isaiah 53:9, 12) Remarkably, Jesus was executed with criminals but was buried in the tomb of a wealthy family. This is just one example of the many fulfilled prophecies that convinced me that the Bible is inspired of God. (2 Timothy 3:16) In time, I became one of Jehovah’s Witnesses." -Dr. Davey Loos, former atheist (http://bit.ly/16DSMSi)


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"My question stands. What other possible kind of evidence could we use to determine that a living thing can exist without it having any of the characteristics we see in currently living things?"

Asked and answered. Next question :)


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

I have no further questions.


Lucid Psyche profile image

Lucid Psyche 18 months ago

Titen-sxull: "I can just as easily posit that the constants are the way they are because the pre-existing set of conditions that caused the Universe could not have created any other kind of Universe, or we could just say we got the Universe we got, how fortunate for us, it's not implausible for things proceeded by the necessary conditions for them occur might occur. We know that nature (reality might be a better word) has guided systems, such as natural selection, where natural parameters determine the outcome, it may seem to us in hindsight that this outcome is preordained but that desire for agency and meaning is not necessary. Again I do not know or pretend to know the origins of the cosmos and do not have the scientific knowledge to even take a good guess, but I see no reason to infer agency, or posit a God of the gaps."

I'm not positing a "God of the gaps". I've gone no further than correctly applied logic requires. Anything which begins to exist requires a cause. As we've already established that cause must be timeless, spaceless, and immaterial. As for the cosmological constants, your "pre-existing conditions" are vastly improbable unless they were established by an intelligent agency.

"We know that nature (reality might be a better word) has guided systems, such as natural selection, where natural parameters determine the outcome, ...".

That's a loaded statement. Note your use of the word "guided" and "natural" How were those parameters established, what causes them to to continue to operate given the Laws of Thermodynamics which tend to entropy and disorder?

We already know that Naturalism is obsolete given the direct evidence of the Big Bang. Why continue to base assumptions on Naturalistic causes?

I'm not arguing for a monotheistic God either ... I'm just pointing out that any reasoning based on false assumptions cannot be trusted.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"what causes them to to continue to operate given the Laws of Thermodynamics which tend to entropy and disorder?"

Thermodynamics only applies to closed systems, meaning that the whole of the Universe, if we assume it is a closed system (and it may not be) would trend toward entropy. But this does not mean that complexity and order cannot emerge. Saying that systems inevitably trend toward entropy does not mean they cannot become orderly in the first place.

"We already know that Naturalism is obsolete given the direct evidence of the Big Bang."

The farthest you got was establishing that a First Cause, if there was one, was outside of nature and thus unnatural (you used the term supernatural). You haven't disproved Naturalism, you've shown that if your First Cause holds it must be unnatural, beyond nature. I see no reason why when we become aware of something that is beyond the Universe we know, be it another Universe, a First Cause, etc, why we wouldn't alter the definition of what is natural to include it. One thing is for sure we wouldn't want to bring in the idea of the supernatural with all its baggage.

"are vastly improbable unless they were established by an intelligent agency."

But that's the thing, they don't need an agency. See this is why its a God of the gaps and why the Cosmological argument, even if I grant the premises to you, does not get anyone to God. Why must this cause be a living being? And not only a living being but one which violates not only everything to be alive but can also SOMEHOW create a Universe (presumably ex nihilo). You see if I posit a set of conditions that is sufficient to cause the Universes as my first cause I don't need to invoke the supernatural, I don't need to invoke something like a disembodied mind that can magically will things into existence .

I appreciate that you're putting a lot more thought into this than most theists, backhanded compliment though that may be, but I don't see any spectacular move of logic that gets you from this vague First Cause to a disembodied mind. There is no reason to think a mind can be disembodied OR affect the Universe and I've seen no good argument establishing such a thing.

"I'm not arguing for a monotheistic God either"

You are arguing that this First Cause is supernatural and is intelligent. So for all you know this First Cause could be a team of engineers from another Universe, it could be aliens, it could be Doctor Who's TARDIS exploding that creates the Universe. Correctly applied logic, in terms of the Cosmological argument, might lead to a vague First Cause (if we accept all the premises which I am happy to do for sake of argument) but it leads no farther.


Lucid Psyche profile image

Lucid Psyche 18 months ago

Titen-Sxull: "Thermodynamics only applies to closed systems, meaning that the whole of the Universe, if we assume it is a closed system (and it may not be) would trend toward entropy. But this does not mean that complexity and order cannot emerge. Saying that systems inevitably trend toward entropy does not mean they cannot become orderly in the first place."

I'm confining my reasoning to established science and correctly applied logic. If you want to venture into speculation then you have no argument from me. Insofar as I know there is no scientific evidence that one can get around the Laws of Thermodynamics just to preserve the sanctity of any particular ideology.

"The farthest you got was establishing that a First Cause, if there was one, was outside of nature and thus unnatural (you used the term supernatural). You haven't disproved Naturalism, you've shown that if your First Cause holds it must be unnatural, beyond nature. I see no reason why when we become aware of something that is beyond the Universe we know, be it another Universe, a First Cause, etc, why we wouldn't alter the definition of what is natural to include it. "

Lets define Naturalism: "In philosophy, naturalism is the "idea or belief that only natural (as opposed to supernatural or spiritual) laws and forces operate in the world."[1] Adherents of naturalism (i.e., naturalists) assert that natural laws are the rules that govern the structure and behavior of the natural universe, that the changing universe at every stage is a product of these laws.[2]

The natural universe and the natural laws that govern the structure and behavior of the natural universe did not exist prior to the Big Bang and thus could not have caused themselves to begin to exist. The universe began to exist thus it required a cause according to The Principle of Causality, that cause could not have been natural as defined by Naturalists.

Now let's define "supernatural" according to the commonly accepted definition.

1. of or relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe; especially : of or relating to God or a god, demigod, spirit, or devil

2

a : departing from what is usual or normal especially so as to appear to transcend the laws of nature

b : attributed to an invisible agent (as a ghost or spirit)

The part of this definition I would highlight is, " of or relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe" and "departing from what is usual or normal especially so as to appear to transcend the laws of nature"

In a reasonable discussion one should be able to rely on the continuity of commonly held definitions. I can stand by my claim that if all are held to the standard of established science, correctly applied logic, and commonly held definitions ... The First Cause cannot be "natural" and must therefore be "supernatural". Naturalism as defined, and according to scientific discovery made under the auspices of methodological naturalism itself is self annihilating.

"why we wouldn't alter the definition of what is natural to include (it)"

I feel confident that we will, but science itself will have to evolve to expand it's definition of what is "natural".

"But that's the thing, they don't need an agency. See this is why its a God of the gaps and why the Cosmological argument, even if I grant the premises to you, does not get anyone to God. Why must this cause be a living being? And not only a living being but one which violates not only everything to be alive but can also SOMEHOW create a Universe (presumably ex nihilo). You see if I posit a set of conditions that is sufficient to cause the Universes as my first cause I don't need to invoke the supernatural, I don't need to invoke something like a disembodied mind that can magically will things into existence ."

I'm not invoking anything other than the minimum requirement of a First Cause sufficient to the existence of the universe. I need not anthropomorphize that cause or for that matter call it "God". If it has the qualities that some attribute to God that's beyond the scope of my argument. That has to do with belief and it may or may not be adequately justifiable ... not for me to say.

This is a good thread and I appreciate the opportunity to explain where I'm coming from, having had an atheistic YouTube channel for years, I know that vitriol follows from disagreement even before someone's position can be clearly defined. HubPages has been a cut above.

Good luck. Unless there's more, bye for now.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 18 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

"The natural universe and the natural laws that govern the structure and behavior of the natural universe did not exist prior to the Big Bang and thus could not have caused themselves to begin to exist."

The above sentence re-worded:

"God and god's laws that govern the structure and behavior of god did not exist prior to god and thus could not have caused itself to begin to exist."

I really wish we could just get on with the science of the current universe as it doesn't even matter whether or not god or the big bang or something else entirely was responsible for us being in our current and future state.

There is no benefit in knowing how we all got here, it's up to us to make our lives as beneficial as possible.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

“If you want to venture into speculation then you have no argument from me”

All either of us can do, since we are not physicists actually researching this stuff, is speculate. Are you really going to argue that the Cosmological argument is not speculative? It is based upon basic intuition about causality applied to a singularity where our understanding of such things breaks down. It then posits that not only MUST there be something beyond time, space and causality but that our best bet for this is an unaccounted for disembodied mind that must somehow possess the ability to create AND fine tune the Universe. Now you may not go this far in your formulation of it, leaving it nebulous and undefined, which I appreciate, but most of the people who make this argument have a specific God they are aiming for. They are working backwards from their conclusion.

“as I know there is no scientific evidence that one can get around the Laws of Thermodynamics just to preserve the sanctity of any particular ideology.”

You're applying the Law of Thermodynamics to a rapid expansion of time, space and energy that had previously been collapsed into a singularity. The Universe TRENDS toward entropy, it does not have to start from entropy. Unless what you're doing is a version of “the Universe can't come from nothing” but replacing it with “Order cannot come from chaos”.

“The natural universe and the natural laws that govern the structure and behavior of the natural universe did not exist prior to the Big Bang and thus could not have caused themselves to begin to exist.”

But no one can know that there were NO descriptive laws at all the Big Bang and the expansion of our Universe, merely that you don't want to call them natural. It is one thing to say that the laws of nature as we understand them today could not have functioned the way they do now but another thing entirely to say that the pre-Universe (whatever you want call it) had no descriptive properties (laws) to the way “things” behaved.

If there is, for example, a multiverse, I see no reason to say that its supernatural merely because it exists beyond what we currently define as nature.

“The First Cause cannot be "natural" and must therefore be "supernatural" “

It feels like we're going in circles again. I could just as easily claim that this cause MUST BE unnatural because it ALSO fits the definition for that word. My problem for the word supernatural is in the first definition you offered, the mention of it invokes ideas of God and other superstitious baggage that is unnecessary.

Unnatural – 1. contrary to the ordinary course of nature; abnormal. 2.not existing in nature; artificial.

“I need not anthropomorphize that cause or for that matter call it "God".”

Than why believe in it at all? Why even bother when science may find the answer any day now and that answer may be bizarre and counter-intuitive to everything you've just laid out to get to your First Cause? For example the theories of Lawrence Krauss and Stephen Hawking that a Universe can emerge from “nothing”. Or the idea that the actual energy of the Universe is zero, it cancels itself out.

The answer has not been found, so exercises like the Cosmological argument seem pointless to me.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 18 months ago

"There is no benefit in knowing how we all got here"

Except you can't know who you are until you know where you came from.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 18 months ago

"If there is, for example, a multiverse, I see no reason to say that its supernatural merely because it exists beyond what we currently define as nature."

Even if veridical, your metaphysically extravagant Anthropic Philosophy, that is, "if the Universe contains an exhaustively random and infinite number of universes, then anything that can occur with non-vanishing probability will occur somewhere," does nothing to answer the question why there is anything instead of just nothing. It just punts it further down the line.

The existence of this supposed multiverse still cries out for an objective explanation.

To borrow from an illustration by Philosopher Richard Taylor, "Imagine you are walking through the woods on a hike and you come across a translucent ball lying on the forest floor. You would naturally wonder where that ball came from – what is the explanation of its existence? If your hiking buddy said to you, “Don’t worry about it – it just exists, inexplicably!,” you would think either that he was crazy or that he wanted you to keep on moving. But you wouldn’t take seriously the idea that this ball just exists without any explanation of its existence.

Now suppose that the ball, instead of being the size of a basketball, were the size of an automobile. Merely increasing the size of the ball would not do anything to remove or satisfy the demand for an explanation of its existence, would it? Suppose it were the size of a house? Same problem! Suppose it were the size of a planet or a galaxy? Same problem! Suppose it were the size of the entire universe? Same problem! Merely increasing the size of the object does not do anything to remove or satisfy the demand for an explanation of its existence. And so I think it is very plausible to think that everything that exists has an explanation of why it exists." (http://bit.ly/Pm4s92)

“If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.” -C.S. Lewis

That is to say, when compared to the metaphysically extravagant Anthropic Philosophy, Theism is by far much more modest.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"does nothing to answer the question why there is anything instead of just nothing."

This hub explains why the question itself is at fault for seeming unanswerable, because nothing is an impossible state of affairs, its an abstract idea not an actual description or at the very least is a state of affairs never before discovered or observed. There is NO evidence that nothing ever existed.

"The existence of this supposed multiverse still cries out for an objective explanation."

I fully agree. I personally do not subscribe to a multiverse theory, I was giving a possibility not arguing the multiverse is real.

"Theism is by far more modest"

Irrelevant. An answer is not more likely based on its simplicity. Especially something based upon false inference of agency and a gap in our understanding (argument from ignorance).


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 18 months ago

"An answer is not more likely based on its simplicity."

Which is why you've never invoked Occam's Razor ... oh ... wait ...


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Occam's razor is for getting rid of unnecessary assumptions, leaps in logic that aren't called for, not to get rid of complexity.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 18 months ago

"The existence of this supposed multiverse still cries out for an objective explanation."

-"I fully agree."

Which necessarily means Atheism must be false:

(1) Everything that exists has an objective explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause.

(A) If Atheism is true, the universe has no objective explanation of its existence.

(B) If the universe has an objective explanation of its existence then atheism is false.

(2) The universe exists.

(3) The space-time universe does not exist out of the necessity of it’s own nature for it did not exist until 13.70 billion years ago.

(4) Therefore, the space-time universe exists because of an external cause.

(5) The external cause of the universe must necessarily be a beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent and personal being.

(6) A beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent and personal being is the definition of God.

(7) Therefore, the objective explanation of the universe's existence is God.

(8) Therefore, Atheism is false.


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 18 months ago from Australia

Lets never forget that Occam himself was a deeply religious monk like many early scientists.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Okay, let's not forget it, what does that add to our discussion Oz?


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

@Joe

"If Atheism is true, the universe has no objective explanation of its existence."

Atheism is not a truth claim, so atheism cannot be false, atheism is disbelief in gods. Your premise should be "If there is no God the Universe has no objective explanation of its existence" which appears to have a hidden fallacy of begging the question because it assumes its own conclusion (namely that only God can be an objective explanation of the Universe's existence). We also have no reason to assume that this premise is true, as I've said over and over again there MIGHT be a First Cause that is an inanimate set of conditions.

There is no reason to assume that your conclusion is correct this early into an argument, except for in malformed terrible arguments working backwards from a forgone conclusion.

It might be that our intuitions about causation simply do not apply to an event like a Universe coming into existence. Why you will not admit this is beyond me. None of us know that the Universe must have a cause and, unlike your premise, belief that it DOES have a cause does not default God into existence (or make atheism “false”).

"If the universe has an objective explanation of its existence then atheism is false."

See above.

“Therefore, the space-time universe exists because of an external cause.”

Conclusion: The Universe has a cause. This is really where the Cosmological argument reaches its limitations and that's being generous.

"The external cause of the universe must necessarily be a beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent and personal being."

You have failed over and over again to provide a good reason why it must be a personal being. We also do not know that it must be beginningless, as this assumes that an infinite chain of causes is absolutely impossible. You might be able to argue that this thing is an uncaused cause but that does not make it beginningless by default. Spaceless, immaterial, timeless I am happy to grant. Omnipotence is not necessary, the cause must simply be sufficient to cause the Universe to come into existence, whether ex nihilo or by acting upon some pre-existing "stuff".


Lucid Psyche profile image

Lucid Psyche 18 months ago

Austinstar: "The above sentence re-worded:

"God and god's laws that govern the structure and behavior of god did not exist prior to god and thus could not have caused itself to begin to exist."

Really? Is that supposed to be equivalent to my statement using the commonly held definition of Naturalism? And ... how do you know? Are you following established science and correctly applied logic?

Austinstar: "I really wish we could just get on with the science of the current universe as it doesn't even matter whether or not god or the big bang or something else entirely was responsible for us being in our current and future state."

"There is no benefit in knowing how we all got here, it's up to us to make our lives as beneficial as possible."

There's no benefit in being able to discover truth? If you don't value truth then what do you value? Is the ultimate truth of our own being something to be hidden from common knowledge by science itself? I already know the answer to these questions, they are for you to to answer for yourself.


Lucid Psyche profile image

Lucid Psyche 18 months ago

Titen-Sxull: "All either of us can do, since we are not physicists actually researching this stuff, is speculate. Are you really going to argue that the Cosmological argument is not speculative? It is based upon basic intuition about causality applied to a singularity where our understanding of such things breaks down. It then posits that not only MUST there be something beyond time, space and causality but that our best bet for this is an unaccounted for disembodied mind that must somehow possess the ability to create AND fine tune the Universe. Now you may not go this far in your formulation of it, leaving it nebulous and undefined, which I appreciate, but most of the people who make this argument have a specific God they are aiming for. They are working backwards from their conclusion."

Established science and correctly applied logic is not speculative. It is what we have to work with if a rational conclusion is to be reached. When that conclusion is not acceptable to an a priori philosophical perspective is when the evasive speculation begins.

I could repeat myself again, but for what purpose? I doubt that anyone is ever convinced through argumentation alone. Your epiphany awaits you.


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 18 months ago from Australia

Lucid

its much simpler. An understanding about God is very basic commonsense.


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 18 months ago from Tasmania

No it's not, Oz. Any understanding about "God" is purely subjective on the part of the believer. Nothing specific can be verified about that "God," because you can only go on what the believer describes for him/her self.

You have started from the presumption that "God" exists, but He/She only exists in your own mind.

So - since your "God" does not exist in reality, He/She is Non-sense, not Common-sense.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 18 months ago

"Atheism is not a truth claim"

But what do you call someone who claims God does not nor cannot exist?

"It might be that our intuitions about causation simply do not apply to an event like a Universe coming into existence"

“Being never arises from nonbeing”, “something will not originate from nothing” are putative metaphysical principles, just like cause and effect, unhindered in their application. Hence, we certainly have excellent grounds , both abstractly as well as scientifically, for reasoning that whatsoever begins to exist has a cause.

Accordingly, there is no reason to arbitrarily assert that metaphysical principles are constrained to the natural universe. Unless, of course, you have evidence which necessarily construes such principles as merely physical rather than metaphysical. Do you?


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 18 months ago

"You have failed over and over again to provide a good reason why it must be a personal being."

Did you already forget? I taught you that if a cause is sufficient to yield it's effect then the effect also needs to be present . The pair are joined at the hip , so to speak ; you can't have one without the other .

Permit me to borrow from an illustration to help make this sharper . “Suppose that the cause of water’s freezing is the temperature’s being below 0°C . If the temperature were below 0°C from eternity past , then any water that was around would be frozen from eternity . It would be impossible for the water to just begin to freeze a finite time ago . Once the cause is given , the effect must be given as well .” ( http://bit.ly/WQtgZY )

The problem is , if we have indeed a timeless , transcendent cause how come the effect isn’t permanent as well ? Stated another way , if this timeless , transcendent cause in fact brought the universe into being , why hasn't the universe always been ? Just how can a cause be eternal yet its effect commence a finite time ago ? We are aware the universe is roughly about 13 .70 billion years old but as you see we've further deduced that whatsoever brought about the universe has to be transcendent as well as timeless .

The one and only way that is feasible is if this timeless , transcendent , uncaused cause were at the same time a free agent – a being with free will who is able to operate of its own volition . Naturally we all know free will is the hallmark of personhood .


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 18 months ago

"Omnipotence is not necessary"

Except that this uncaused cause is without a doubt unimaginably powerful , if not omnipotent , for it brought matter , energy , space and time into existence entirely on its own .


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"But what do you call someone who claims God does not nor cannot exist?"

You call them a gnostic, someone who claims to know whether or not a God exists is a gnostic. Atheism refers to belief, and gnosticism and agnosticism refer to knowledge.

"“something will not originate from nothing” "

Please establish that before the Universe there was absolutely nothing.

"Accordingly, there is no reason to arbitrarily assert that metaphysical principles are constrained to the natural universe."

There are times when our intuitions about these things DO break down, such as quantum entanglement and quantum superposition, the idea that the position of a particle can often only be described by a probability. Or photon wave-particle duality. Or the fact that empty space is not actually empty, the quantum vacuum can cause particles to come into existence SEEMINGLY from "nothing".

"The one and only way that is feasible is if this timeless , transcendent , uncaused cause were at the same time a free agent – a being with free will who is able to operate of its own volition . Naturally we all know free will is the hallmark of personhood ."

Even if I were to grant that "Free will" even exists in any meaningful sense God would still lack every other hallmark of personhood we know of: A mind that is emergent from a physical brain, a body, and any of the qualities that make something alive in any way shape or form. A disembodied mind can only be said to exist by special pleading. For some reason a MIND can break the rules of causality in a way that a non-living effect can't? Doesn't make a lick of sense.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"for it brought matter , energy , space and time into existence entirely on its own"

Even if I grant you your first cause you haven't established any of this all you would establish is that this First Cause caused the Universe to begin existing at the Big Bang. You haven't established that this God created the singularity and all the matter and energy that would go on to be the Universe ex nihilo.

All we can establish is that the cause is sufficient to cause the Universe, that is not necessarily omnipotent, nor does the idea of power have any real meaning outside of time and space anyway.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 18 months ago

"You call them a gnostic"

A gnostic what?

"Please establish that before the Universe there was absolutely nothing."

What else would you call not-the-universe?

"There are times when our intuitions about these things DO break down"

Which is why there is no reason to arbitrarily assert that metaphysical principles are constrained to the natural universe.

"God would still lack every other hallmark of personhood we know of."

The Scriptures plainly inform us that God Almighty possesses a body as well as revealing that he is situated in the heavens. (cf. Matthew 6:9; John 4:24; 1 Corinthians 15:44) Put simply, he possesses corporealness and therefore locality.

Understanding that, in fact, each and every heavenly spirit possesses corporealness makes it substantive when the Scriptures refer to God relative to his spirit creatures:

"Micaiah then said: “Therefore, hear the word of Jehovah: I saw Jehovah sitting on his throne and all the army of the heavens standing by him, to his right and to his left." -1 Kings 22:19

"“I kept watching until thrones were set in place and the Ancient of Days [Jehovah God] sat down. A stream of fire was flowing and going out from before him. A thousand thousands kept ministering to him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him." -Daniel 9:9,10 (Bracket mine.)

The Holy Bible additionally explains that our Creator bears a personal name , Jehovah , and even unveils his personality to us . It reveals that his most distinguished traits are love , justice , wisdom , together with power . ( Deuteronomy 32 :4 ; Job 12 :13 ; Isaiah 40 :26 ; 1 John 4 :8 ) The Scriptures informs us , likewise , that he is certainly merciful , kind , forgiving , big-hearted , as well as patient .

Personality is the blend of traits or attributes that pattern an individual's unique persona . It is the aggregation of all the attributes--behavioral , temperamental , emotional as well as mental--that represent a distinct individual . It is the manifestation of individual values , hopes , aspirations , principles , and behaviors . In effect, personality is to a particular person as culture would be to a group .

Seeing as personality is the quality or fact of being a person as distinguished from a particular thing or creature it follows that Jehovah God is absolutely a person .


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"What else would you call not-the-universe?"

The pre-Universe. See we can't see beyond the singularity of the Big Bang, this is why there's speculation about a multiverse, or a Universe that came before. We don't know what came "before" the Big Bang, we certainly don't know that it was nothing.

"The Scriptures plainly inform us that God Almighty possesses a body as well as revealing that he is situated in the heavens."

So now you're changing your argument entirely? Before you plainly told me that God does not have a physical body. Unless you're saying that he has a spiritual body, which I already explained is a meaningless statement because non-physical bodies are not visible (since we see only a small part of the EM spectrum) and do not fit the definition of being alive.

Once more, here is the definition of life: the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death.

A changeless God cannot grow. God has no reproductive organs or capabilities to speak of. He isn't made of matter at all so can't be set apart from the inorganic matter. He has no biological functional ability and does not and CANNOT permanently die or suffer any loss.

"It is the aggregation of all the attributes--behavioral , temperamental , emotional as well as mental--that represent a distinct individual"

You haven't even gotten passed the Cosmological vague First Cause and you're invoking the Bible and a whole bunch of shit that you've neither established or given any reason to think is accurate.


Lucid Psyche profile image

Lucid Psyche 18 months ago

Just an addendum to follow up on the discussion since I last posted.

"The pre-Universe. See we can't see beyond the singularity of the Big Bang, this is why there's speculation about a multiverse, or a Universe that came before. We don't know what came "before" the Big Bang, we certainly don't know that it was nothing."

Even though we can't see beyond the singularity of the Big Bang, we can reason beyond it. We can know that it had qualities that are not natural according to the currently held definition of Naturalism. That's why there's speculation about a multiverse. It's simply because the straightforward facts discovered under the auspices of methodological naturalism completely annihilate the fundamental assumptions of Naturalism itself. The strictures of Naturalism are absolute. They are not allowed to be incorrect. Something must be done! Hence the multiverse hypothesis (speculation) ... it's a hopeful delaying tactic. Here's the irony ... if it's true it doesn't change anything with regard to a necessary First Cause. Infinity in time, in a physical system(s) is subject to The Laws of Thermodynamics. With an infinite past, entropy is still an unavoidable consequence. The current universe would have reached total entropy. It seems that logically our very existence is predicated upon the existence something that's non-physical and timeless ... and sufficient to the inception of the physical universe in (energy /information).

For the purposes of this discussion I would prefer to say that the physical realm is a subset of the non-physical realm, which we can reason from established science, must exist.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

“Even though we can't see beyond the singularity of the Big Bang, we can reason beyond it”

We don't know whether our reasoning can be relied upon beyond a singularity. We can make the attempt to reason beyond it but at the end of the day we don't know if logical axioms we use to reason things out even hold up beyond the singularity.

“facts discovered under the auspices of methodological naturalism completely annihilate the fundamental assumptions of Naturalism itself”

Again I don't see how they do. You yourself admitted that anything beyond the Universe, which you termed supernatural, could be brought under the umbrella of natural eventually. For me the word natural may as well be defined as “everything that exists within reality” or just reality itself. The issue at hand is the scope and breadth of reality, does it extend into this non-physical “realm”? If this First Cause is outside of our current understanding of reality I would say it makes more sense to broaden our understanding to include that First Cause within nature.

“The current universe would have reached total entropy”

We know that this current iteration of the Universe does not have an infinite past and the current scientific consensus is that its expansion will eventually slow and entropy will take over. Are you arguing that the multiverse must be subject to the Law of Thermodynamics?

“It seems that logically our very existence is predicated upon the existence something that's non-physical and timeless”

We don't really know that even if it seems that way, we certainly would know very little about what this cause is. It might be a whole series of non-living immaterial events, it might be the left-overs of some kind of non-physical Universe, we don't know. When we invoke the non-physical timeless spaceless first cause most ardent theists are quick to stick in their God of the gaps. While you seem to be arguing for a form of deism they are bringing with them millenia worth of religious baggage. I do not have any real problem with deism, though obviously I do disagree with the idea that laypersons can come to accurate conclusions about so strange a thing as the birth of the Cosmos through reason alone.

“which we can reason from established science, must exist.”

So the material realm is a subset of the immaterial realm? It still leaves us defining what is beyond the Universe in terms of what it is not, immaterial, spaceless, etc. Even if I entirely grant this where does it leave us? We still know very little about this first cause and I would argue that words like spaceless and timeless aren't even proper adjectives or attributes of this thing. I do think our reasoning breaks down on this question. If you feel confident in your answer that's fine but I for one prefer to wait and see what real scientists present. I do not think that methodological naturalism necessarily makes scientists beholden to a presuppositional philosophical naturalism so if there is good reason to come to the conclusions that you have scientists should also come to that conclusion some time in the future.


Lucid Psyche profile image

Lucid Psyche 18 months ago

"We don't know whether our reasoning can be relied upon ..."

If our reasoning can't be relied upon then there's no purpose in trying to think about anything or discuss anything. If we can't work from a starting point that's backed by logic and our best evidence then there's no way forward. Nothing, including Naturalism can be relied upon.

I don't believe that. The straightforward facts of science buttressed by sound logic yield a result that is unacceptable to Naturalistic philosophy.

That's the true bottom line.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Way to cut my quote to make me look like I was calling reason itself into question. We know that science has trouble seeing beyond a singularity, assuming that our reason holds true beyond it may seem like a good assumption to make but it may turn out to be misguided.


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 18 months ago from Tasmania

"....but it may turn out to be ...." is the conceptual position which absolute honesty requires of the scientist.

Always, there is the potential for more information forthcoming that will change ones conclusion. This is the position which "believers" find most uncomfortable, I suspect. They strive to see things as absolute, final revelation, to clear up any and every doubt.

This can lead to contradiction, as I see it: claiming to worship infinite, eternal "God," yet unable to allow for the nothingness of infinity. One the other hand, scientific enquiry can simply allow for the possibility of nothingness, even if it cannot be proven to be the case, meanwhile getting on with the business of living and further enquiry.

In other words, being comfortable with hypothesis. Do you see what I am getting at?


adagio4639 profile image

adagio4639 18 months ago from Brattleboro Vermont

Well done Titen. this was a really good Hub. I enjoyed reading every bit of it.

I was always a fan of the bouncing, or Oscillating universe. The idea that the Big Bang was preceded by a Big Crunch of a previous universe that collapsed into a singularity of extreme density. Early advocates of a cyclic model thought that the universe must shrink into a singularity – a point of infinite density and temperature – before exploding in a new big bang. But this idea proved too difficult to explain, and most theorists rejected the concept of a cyclic universe. It seemed really plausible to me. Physicists couldn't stand the idea of the laws of physics would fall away. I guess they didn't like that. It means that the universe is something eternal and has always been there breathing in an out so to speak as a living thing. Much as we take a breath, we reach a point where we exhale only to take another breath. It seemed that the universe was doing the same thing. It expands to a point where it begins to collapse due to gravity returning to the original state where all laws of physics collapse, like a Black Hole where everything that is pulled in, can't escape. Even light cannot escape, finally reaching a point of singularity and exploding outward creating a new universe which then repeats the whole thing endlessly. Since the discovery of Black Holes, it then seemed that this process could be taking place all over the universe with Black Holes pulling all matter into a point of singularity and exploding outward into another universe. In that case we'd have Multi-verse's. I don't think that cosmologists buy that theory today, but it sure sounds plausible to me.

Paul Steinhardt of Princeton University and Neil Turok of Cambridge University claim to have solved the problems that have plagued theories of a ‘bouncing’ universe since the 1930s. According to the pair, we are about 14 billion years into the current cycle of cosmic expansion. Now Steinhardt and Turok say that – according to ‘M-theory’ – the universe need not pass through a singularity between a big crunch and a big bang. Supported by most cosmologists, M-theory says that space–time has eleven dimensions, of which we perceive four: three in space and one in time. Our four-dimensional ‘brane’ – short for membrane – is moving among the remaining dimensions or branes, which are hidden at very small or very large length scales.

The theory says that the matter we see in the universe is confined to our local brane and that matter also exists in other branes. Steinhardt and Turok believe that a big crunch/big bang occurs when two such branes collide. They say that the density of matter is perfectly finite during such a collision, and that a singularity only occurs in the sense that the dimension that separated these branes disappears briefly during the collision.

The effect of gravity on matter in different branes could explain why galaxies behave as though they contain more matter than we can detect – a phenomenon that led to the concept of ‘dark matter’.

The researchers also say that their theory depends upon ‘dark energy’, another concept that is not explained by the standard model. Dark energy is a kind of repulsive gravitation, which was proposed to explain recent observations that show the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate. In the new cyclic model, dark energy is needed to dilute entropy during periods of cosmic expansion.

“If our conjecture is correct, it transforms cosmology because the big bang isn’t the impenetrable barrier it once seemed,” Turok told PhysicsWeb. He admits that the theory needs more work to solve several important technical problems, but says “philosophically, the model is so appealing that I think it will be here to stay for some time.”

The biggest problem I have with theists is fundamentalism. They take the Bible literally rather then metaphorically. The Big Bang happened. We know that the universe is expanding, so that enables science to trace backwards in time to about 14 Billion years ago. When the God of the Bible says, "let their be light", it would be so simple to see that as a metaphor for the Big Bang. Six days to create the universe is crazy. But what does a "day" mean in cosmology? How many billions of years is a day when it comes to the universe? But no...the fundamentalist has to take all of this literally rather than metaphorically. They ignore the poetic value of the scriptures and assign a literal context to them.

The Old Testament is filled with horror stories of blood and violence and rape and extermination. The New Testament is quite different, and the teachings of Jesus are really profound and it would be nice if Christianists would actually practice them. The philosophy of Jesus is worthy of respect and consideration. But...that's never enough for the Fundi. I find Fundamentalism to be the most dangerous aspect of all religions. Muslim, Jewish, Christian. Doesn't matter. They all resort to violence against anyone they consider an apostate.

Maybe the theist could find a way to reconcile their beliefs with the facts and theories put forth by physicists and cosmologists to find room for both religion and science to co-exist, rather than seeing science as a threat to their belief systems. Probably not. But it would be a nice change.


Lucid Psyche profile image

Lucid Psyche 18 months ago

The problems with the cosmic rebound theory are significant. First, there is no evidence that the universe has been banging / expanding / contracting and doing it eternally. Second, there is not enough matter in the universe to pull everything back together. This was confirmed in 2003 by Charles Bennett of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. In fact the speed of expansion is increasing (as you later note). Third, the cosmic rebound theory contradicts The Second Law of Thermodynamics because the theory falsely assumes that no energy would be lost in each contraction and explosion. If the universe had been banging forever it would have already depleted it's available energy. I hope this helps explain why that theory has fallen out of favor.

It seems to me that all speculative theories have to deal with the same problems. If there was no definite beginning, to this universe or any other model(s) which posit multiple (space, time, matter) universes then you have to account for an infinite amount of time. Not time extending into an infinite future, but rather an infinite past. You also have to think about the energy that could power a speculative system eternally, hence," ... researchers also say that their theory depends upon ‘dark energy’ ...". The key admission here is contained in your quote, "If our conjecture is correct, it transforms cosmology because the big bang isn’t the impenetrable barrier it once seemed,” Turok told PhysicsWeb. He admits that the theory needs more work to solve several important technical problems, but says “philosophically, the model is so appealing that I think it will be here to stay for some time.”

The words I would highlight are, "conjecture" and "philosophically ... appealing".

I have the same problems with fundamentalism that you do! I however extend the charge of fundamentalism to cover an obdurate predisposition toward philosophical Naturalism. Fundamentalism, is intellectually confining especially when valid evidence is ignored. I could offer an example but it doesn't suit the theme of this thread.

I'm going to have some fun conjecturing. I offer the possibility that the theist vs. atheist debate might be a tempest in a teapot grounded in definitions that in a universal context are meaningless.

Given my limited vantage, I think that science and fact is absolutely not a threat to a "theistic" philosophy ... no reconciliation necessary.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"I however extend the charge of fundamentalism to cover an obdurate predisposition toward philosophical Naturalism."

I really can't see why, seeing as how the methodological naturalism that guides science has come up with the best answers we've ever had. which has led to a rapid explosion of technology and discovery. Whereas fundamentalism has never had the right answer to anything ever.

You're comparing super-intelligent minds like Einstein and Hawking to people who think that a rainbow is evidence that God will never flood the Earth again and so we can ignore climate science about sea level rises and flooding.

"I offer the possibility that the theist vs. atheist debate might be a tempest in a teapot grounded in definitions that in a universal context are meaningless."

I have thought this many times. I've also thought that the concept of God is itself a worthless one because of how much baggage it carries with it, because Yahweh is a god, Zeus is a god, Quetzalcoatl is a god. At this point in human history there have been so many gods that are fictional that if we ever found evidence of a being that we might want to consider a god calling it one would be pointless. If Christians, for example, really believe the evidence supports their God why are they calling it God still? If I were their God i'd be insulted to be lumped in with all those fictional constructs, isn't God a jealous God?


Lucid Psyche profile image

Lucid Psyche 18 months ago

I'm not decrying the accomplishments of methodological naturalism but I am much less impressed when sound evidence is ignored just because it conflicts with the fundamental philosophy of Naturalism. A rapid explosion of technology doesn't equate with an understanding of the ultimate nature of experience.

You mistake me if you think that I'm advocating any type of fundamentalism. Einstein was susceptible to human prejudices and so is Hawking. (and) It certainly goes without saying that there are any number of nutball religions that are self-contradictory and irrational. Being aware of the nature of our (and others) human proclivities helps to put them in perspective and provides us with a better chance of thinking beyond them rationally.


adagio4639 profile image

adagio4639 18 months ago from Brattleboro Vermont

@Lucid: "Second, there is not enough matter in the universe to pull everything back together. This was confirmed in 2003 by Charles Bennett of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center."

??? That makes absolutely no sense to me. Not enough matter, in the universe?? How is it possible to determine the amount of matter contained in the universe let alone the amount it would take to repel gravity? That implies that they determined an end to it someplace. A Cosmic Wall and said, ok, that's where it ends, so now we can determine the amount of matter contained inside this structure. How can you determine the volume of a container without knowing it's dimensions? Are you sure you read Bennett correctly? And is his statement confirmed by other physicists and cosmologists. I'm neither, but from a layman's perspective, that doesn't make any sense to me.


Lucid Psyche profile image

Lucid Psyche 18 months ago

Since the universe is continuing to expand and at an accelerating rate my assumption based on what I'm reading is that if there were enough matter in the universe to pull everything back together the data from NASA's space probe would have otherwise indicated.

The amount of matter doesn't have to be determined it's the effect of the amount that's there.


adagio4639 profile image

adagio4639 18 months ago from Brattleboro Vermont

@Lucid " Since the universe is continuing to expand and at an accelerating rate my assumption based on what I'm reading is that if there were enough matter in the universe to pull everything back together the data from NASA's space probe would have otherwise indicated."

So...you're assuming this based on what you read regarding the expansion and its rate of expansion. Is there a math formula or logrhythm that supports this hypothesis. It seems like you're extrapolating this from how you interpret what you read. I just find it really hard to accept the idea that there isn't enough matter in the universe to compensate for gravity. How could you even begin to calculate the amount of matter in the universe? There couldn't be sufficient data to make that claim. It implies a finite universe. I don't think that's the case.


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 18 months ago from Tasmania

Surely, based upon my explanation in a parallel discussion to this one, the Amount of Matter in the Universe is directly related to the Amount of Change that is happening..... exponential and infinite.


adagio4639 profile image

adagio4639 18 months ago from Brattleboro Vermont

Sounds like a reasonable explanation to me. It just strikes me that claiming that there isn't enough matter...in an infinite universe, is absurd on the face of it.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

I think the idea is that many reject the notion of an infinite or eternal Universe, cyclical or otherwise.

We do not know yet whether wormholes might pour matter from other Universe's into our own, if that were the case enough matter and energy might be added to explain a big crunch big bang repetitive sequence (the idea that we are recycling parts from other Universes).

We don't even know where matter comes from, it might be eternal or it might have sprung out of some quantum weirdness from the very fabric of reality (whatever that is).

We just don't know and that is why I find it silly when theists invoke intelligent agencies and then act as if that is the only possible explanation to a question so unsettled that it might never be answered definitively. The premises of the Kalam argument, for example, rest solely upon the acceptance of the view of some cosmologists, namely that the Universe had an absolute beginning at the Big Bang. But modern cosmology does not support a creatio ex nihilo narrative in the sense people like William Lane Craig mean when they say nothing...

But I digress, I'm rambling...


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 18 months ago from Australia

As science is only concerned with a changing entropic universe, the "laws" it studies are all in a state of flux and could change by tomorrow! Hence atheist science truly is the study of "nothing", or what was true yesterday.

Only religion studies the eternal unchanging reality behind the changing universe.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Religion studies the eternal unchanging reality behind the Universe?

And what truths has religion offered us that actually agree with the truths put forward by other religions? Last I checked all forms of religion and supernatural belief contradict one another, many literal wars have been fought over such supposed "unchanging realities". Theists accuse science of being the impermanent thing because it is flexible enough to become better as evidence improves, but really religion is the transient and impermanent one. The answers religion comes up with to explain the "unchanging reality" sure do change and vary with one another.

So when is religion going to coalesce on a single answer Oz? When are the 30,000 Christian denominations, various Islamic groups, and New Age crystal nuts going to all come together under a unified theory of spirituality?


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 18 months ago from Australia

Titen

stop focusing on bad examples and look towards the majority of good. Allow religion to evolve like you allow science to evolve. Religions are embracing more than at any other time.

Really study classic Hinduism for the answers to these apparent riddles.

But remember this: words are limited constructions of a finite knowledge pool, so when studying religion look at the Inner Meaning and you will see great unity.

OK grasshopper?


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

What are some good examples?

Can you give me any examples where religious people of all different faiths are arriving at the same answer and aren't merely pushing out New Age nonsense (Depak Chopra is a good example of pseudo-spirituality in this regard)?

I used to be a pantheistic spiritual nomad who believed in reincarnation and believed that all religions were talking about the same thing (the old Buddha and the elephant story). Now I believe the reason the answer is so different is because the whole God thing is made up. I'm currently working on a hub about how animism and agenticity can easily explain the origin of the earliest superstitions (nature worship) which only later evolved into the anthropomorphic deities with anthropocentric goals.

Animism is almost an ancient form of science, as it helped them understand the seasons, navigation, etc.


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 18 months ago from Australia

Well I don't know how you jumped tracks. Its quite clear all religions are talking in essence about the same thing. Hinduism is a prime example of this understanding. Maybe you threw out the baby with the bath water.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 18 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Oz, I would like to see you answer the question - "Can you give me any examples where religious people of all different faiths are arriving at the same answer and aren't merely pushing out New Age nonsense (Depak Chopra is a good example of pseudo-spirituality in this regard)?"


adagio4639 profile image

adagio4639 18 months ago from Brattleboro Vermont

@Oztinato "Religions are embracing more than at any other time."

??? In light of what we see going on today with the beheadings taking place, and the Charlie Hebdo incident, and the army of religious marauders called the Taliban, and ISIS, it's hard to take that statement seriously.


adagio4639 profile image

adagio4639 18 months ago from Brattleboro Vermont

@Oztinato: "Only religion studies the eternal unchanging reality behind the changing universe."

There's nothing to study there. Science advances knowledge. How does studying something that doesn't change, advance knowledge?


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

" Its quite clear all religions are talking in essence about the same thing"

If you spend any decent length of time debating and discussing religion with people I don't know how you can come to the conclusion that they are talking about the same thing.

There are tens of thousands of denominations of Christianity alone, I've even been told that Catholics aren't even real Christians and neither are Mormons apparently. It is clear to anyone who has studied and debated religion for any length of time that these people are not talking about the same thing, that every individual concept of God and the supernatural is different.

I mean the reason I left Christianity is because I read the Bible and it turned out the God I believed in wasn't the God depicted there even though I had been led to believe it was.

So to reissue my challenge, can you give me actual examples, excluding New Age gobbledygook, where religions are coming together to show us atheists the real underlying fabric of reality that they were actually talking about the whole time?


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 18 months ago from Tasmania

@Oztinato "....so when studying religion look at the Inner Meaning and you will see great unity."

Studying Hindu traditions and their deeper meanings will certainly get you closer to the Inner Meaning than playing around with Christianity - which tends to push the origin, reason and reckoning "out there" at God.


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 18 months ago from Australia

JCL

welcome my ol nemisis! How I miss our former jousts! have taken a shine to your appreciation of Hinduism and see you in a different brighter light.

The Bible is of a different structure: its focus is really on the NT even though there is a large OT attached. The OT is many things and filled with varying kinds of ancient literature but it is also genealogical proof of JC. It is an altogther different kind of scripture of another time and culture.


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 18 months ago from Australia

Adagio

religions are embracing even more as a result of such atrocities. If we try to stereotype entire groups based on a few bad examples it could well be a harbinger of bigotry or religious intolerance.

Adagio means "at a walking pace" in music so we all need to tread carefully.

Ostinato means a repitive rhythmic base line.


adagio4639 profile image

adagio4639 18 months ago from Brattleboro Vermont

Adagio actually means slowly with feeling. I know what ostinato means. I was a music major.


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 18 months ago from Australia

I stand corrected. I think Andante means at a walking pace? I was a Fine Arts major and also taught myself boogie piano.


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 18 months ago from Tasmania

Would a walking pace at the piano be a Woogie?


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 18 months ago from Australia

No it would be a cake walk.


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 18 months ago from Tasmania

Cake - Le Gateau - Walking Pace.... ok. that figures.


Lucid Psyche profile image

Lucid Psyche 18 months ago

Interesting discussion ensuing my last comment. What I'm seeing is that a favored philosophical position can blithely overlook the practical aspects of real applied science when nothing more than pure speculation is offered to counter. That's okay with me. But there is more than blue sky speculation to base a sound philosophical position upon.


adagio4639 profile image

adagio4639 12 months ago from Brattleboro Vermont

Titan: This diagram; " Pastor Josh Feursteins laughable attempt at internet stardom by drawing a circle representing all the knowledge of the Cosmos," that drawing a dot representing human knowledge and asking atheists if God might be out there in that vast circle? (I guess the Purple Unicorn might be out there too. But I don't really bother with either possibility). And he's offering $100,ooo, for doing what? His circle is absurd to begin with. First of all he has the universe as a contained "thing" reducing the Cosmos to a circle, and that within that contained thing, all knowledge of that contained thing exists. The universe is not contained. That implies that it's finite, and I don't see that as a real concept. I would ask him what's outside of that circle? It's like saying what's beyond space? Well...there's more space, and of course whatever knowledge exists in that space which is constantly expanding and occupying more space. There is no beyond space. It's like saying what came before time? It's a stupid question because the very word "before" implies time. There is no time before time. I'm not aware that the universe has limitations to it. I mean, is there some kind of wall that we'd run into at some supposed endpoint? He makes some kind of bizarre wager based on a ridiculous assumption. You'd have to buy into his pretzel logic to answer his question. He's one of those guys that thinks he's being very clever and probably sits' back saying to himself; "Nailed IT! Well, yeah, I'm convinced Fuerstein is an idiot so he nailed that much. What we have is the visible universe that we can trace back about 14 Billion years. But that's only the visible universe. What else is there we're just beginning to understand in terms of dark matter and dark energy. In my view, it's always been here. We mark time from the Big Bang forward, but that doesn't tell us the whole story and I'm constantly dazzled by the new information that we discover or theorize regarding the Cosmos.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 12 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Feuerstein seems to be an attention whore with a pea-brain and no imagination, which is ironic because in that video he asks atheists to open their minds and imagine that God might be out there. Of course he would NEVER open his mind to the possibilities of what might actually be out there and doesn't realize that all the supposed religious "knowledge" of his God is contained in the small dot that represents everything within the human sphere of knowledge.


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 12 months ago from Tasmania

Titen-Sxull, very apt choice of words. Thank you. One minute watching his YouTube was more than enough nonsense.


Wild Bill 12 months ago

Titen,

This was a very well written and insightful hub. While I am a Christian, I do not believe that we have even scratched the surface on what we know about the Universe. The idea that religion and science can negate each other out is ludicrous to me and hopefully all humans can continue to search for new discoveries. Keep up the good work. You are a great writer.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 12 months ago from back in the lab again Author

@Wild Bill

Thank you for your comment Bill! I agree with you that religion and science do not need to be enemies. There were those in the early days of science that just saw it as a way of exploring and discovering truths about God's creation. If there is some higher power out there I hope He/She/It/They would want us to find our own way and make our own discoveries.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 12 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

I only stopped by to comment on something JCL said, further up this thread....about Titen being a "brilliant young man."

That is an understatement. He blows me away. I have a genius level IQ and it's very rare that being on someone's site, reading their work makes me feel like a mental midget. I can read his work and be mesmerized for hours afterwards. He's beyond brilliant.....

I'm sorry Titen, here I am speaking of you as if you are not here! LOL. I suppose it's foolish of me to ask but have you always been aware of your incredible genius? Whatever you do for a living, I doubt anyone could ever pay you what your mind is worth.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 12 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Thanks for the flattering comment, very much appreciated!

I don't think I'm a genius. In many ways I see myself as an average-joe skeptic, especially in terms of education level (I never even finished college)... but I'm glad you find my writing so engaging :D


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 12 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

You may accept it as flattery but I actually just stated a fact. If you are, as you say, "an average Joe," the vast majority of people I know and have ever known, both personally and professionally must be well below average. They not only finished college but went well beyond and several are now college Professors, Drs. professionals in numerous academic positions. Quite frankly, I don't imagine a one of them being able to put forth the sound, realistic, sane, literate and profound arguments/statements you have presented in just this ONE thread.

In addition, your patience, tolerance and courtesy despite the rampant & outlandish ignorance, is a clear testament to your solid character. People fortunate to know you personally must simply adore you. (BTW....I'm MUCH too old for this to be "flirting!".....just believe me. !)


rjbatty profile image

rjbatty 10 months ago from Irvine

Wow, what a firestorm you created with this Hub. I'm really glad I didn't write it (although could have) because of all the comments.

My two cents: Human beings are just not equipped to deal with astronomical numbers and certainly not concepts like infinity or the absence of space/time. We can't wrap our minds around it. For many it's easier just to believe in God. When science becomes highly abstract or theoretical, it's not much different than believing in something supernatural. Yes, there is actually a profound difference, but both avenues require a kind of "faith." Since we are unable to conceive/imagine such imponderables, you can pick your poison. I favor the scientific approach -- although at its limits it exceeds my comprehension. I prefer science because it has a built-in capacity to continually correct itself with new information/discovery. This seems like a more humility-driven approach to our universe than simply saying God is the answer to everything -- end of discussion.

Once again, I'm glad I didn't write this, but I'm glad you did as it's a good piece, something that needed to be thrown out there. I just wouldn't have the stamina to deal with all the feedback.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 10 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Thanks for the comment.

"I prefer science because it has a built-in capacity to continually correct itself with new information/discovery."

I agree. Science also has the advantage of looking for objectively verifiable evidence with results that anyone can understand. Even the more obscure subjects like quantum physics can be learned about and understood and are based on observable phenomenon and actual evidence.

The deeper you dig into religion the more you find excuses and bad arguments, science on the other hand has the math and the facts to back up its claims.


rjbatty profile image

rjbatty 10 months ago from Irvine

Yes, but you'll have to admit that at some level the math is beyond our comprehension. We rely upon a kind of faith that geniuses in the small field of quantum physics are getting into a realm that surpasses the normal intellect. We put our faith into this small realm of geniuses. It's not the same as putting faith into a supernatural being because theories are constantly being cross-examined by other geniuses. But you have to admit that at some level your comprehension is left behind. For ordinary folk such as ourselves, you have to take stock of where science is going and leaving the average level of comprehension to the wayside. Science may ultimately be able to equate quantum physics with Newtonian physics but will we be smart enough to connect the dots? If we are unable to do so, how would we be able to counter the religious center? I just throw that out there as a thought experiment.

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