The Copernican Principle as a philosophical notion posits that humans occupy NO privileged or exceptional position in the universe. This has been the prevailing/reigning paradigm of scientific and societal thinking over the past 4 hundred years. This has been supplemented over the past 40 years, by atheistic/secularist thinking, called the Mediocrity principle, which asserts that humanity is NOT special in any way and that human origin and development have likely been duplicated on billions of other sites throughout the cosmos.
Atheistic attempts at denying the existence of God and His role in the creation of the Universe and intelligent life on earth, have been anchored on these two rather flimsy/vacuous arguments. We know of course that Copernicus was correct in insisting that the earth is not the center of anything, but would that also validly imply that human's on earth are simply another life form whose meaning and purpose is equal to that of, let's say the common slug or the rat scampering about the town dump?
Scientist most recently have advanced the idea of a MULTIVERSE... thus in effect suggesting that since intelligent life evolved on earth, that intelligent t life would have to have evolved as well on other planetary systems. Conceptually, the idea is intriguing, but empiric evidence may not be forthcoming until an encounter of the third kind actually occurs. Until such time, it would still be a blessed formulation to anchor one's belief that man's existence is the central piece of cosmological creation.
You can believe humanity is the center of the universe and simultaneously be atheist. You can also simultaneously believe in the multiverse, advanced alien civilizations, and God. So what you've presented are not in fact the only two possible beliefs.
@Calculus: Your first statement is belied by the fact that most if not all of the atheists that I have had conversations with, at least on HubPages, have asserted in no uncertain terms or conditions that they reject the idea of humanity's central purpose in cosmological creation. They strongly believe that human existence, neither has any intent, purpose, nor incipient importance other than that they are just accidental formation of subatomic and atomic particles....and so by the way, are the other living entities that they share earth with.
Belief in a multiverse may be contrary to the anthropic idea that the universe was "designed" specifically for the sake of human life.... thus a belief in a designer/creator (call Him God).
Wow, the multiverse theories in no way suggest that anything was created for the use of humans alone, it's just a theory that there is more than one universe... I don't see why that would in any way suggest anything more than the existence of one universe does. There is just as much evidence that those multiple universes were created for earthworms as they were created for humans... which is to say none.
As a matter of fact, the theories in no way suggest any purpose at all. Just that multiple universes may exist.
Is there a specific reason you keep ascribing particular beliefs to atheism, when the entire concept is devoid of belief? No belief that we are central; no belief we are not. No belief there is a god, no belief there is not. No belief in a specific purpose for mankind; no belief there is NO purpose.
No belief does not indicate a belief that something does not exist. Whether a god, a purpose, a centrality to our place in the universe; until evidence is found a belief either way is irrational.
Again you are discombobulating... you of all people know that you and the other atheists on HubPages have constructed those statements. May I suggest you review every conversation we have had in the past, in other forums etc... and you will find there nuggets of sentences, phrases, and paragraphs that fully subscribe to the idea that atheists find no purpose in human existence... because they are just accidental travelers on a non-descript planet that may not exist in another 5 billion years or so.
An outright lie instead of an insinuation. You cannot find a single instance (in context) where I claimed there is no god. Or that there is no purpose to the universe. Or that any of the wild claims you continue to make are actually false.
Now, I WILL say that if you can understand the difference between a claim there is no purpose and a statement from an atheist that they can FIND no purpose outside of what they make up themselves, you will have taken a giant step.
Only that the logic/observation you claim as support is false; none of them HAVE and supporting evidence. But that doesn't make them false, only unknown.
So the question remains; are you making up your own definition of the word, outside what those that claim it for their own, use? Or are you still making claims about other people that you cannot support and that are false on the face of them?
An outright lie? The implication being that I must be so thoroughly delusional about what I am seeing and interpreting from your posts . Am I surprised that you would hurl the "lie" word on me?.. Heck no.
There is a difference between what one person says and what you choose to interpret from a saying. If a person said specifically that there is no God, then you should be able to quote them directly. If you INTERPRETED that from a specific statement, that could simply be your misinterpretation.
@Idealistic: I am not into misrepresenting anything or anyone, specially if the discussion is as important as the existence or non existence of God. If you want to delve deeper into this controversy, you might want to (if you have the time and space) to check my conversations with wilderness and other atheists on hub pages. You might find them elucidating.
I can certainly do that.. But keep in mind that MISINTERPRETATION is not the same as MISREPRESENTATION. if you misrepresent something, you are being deliberately dishonest in how you portray someone or something. if you misinterpret it (which happens often in communication), your understanding of what is being said or typed could be incorrect, which in itself is an honest mistake.
I don't see a quote from my posts indicating such a belief as you insist I have...
@wilderness: Oh but I forgot...you're one of those who could not quite decide whether you are an atheist or an agnostic...the confusion probably have arisen in your mind, because you are neither here nor there.
I have explained that several times, perhaps you missed it.
I don't know if there is a god, and don't believe anyone who says they DO know either way.
I used to call that an "agnostic", but more recent conversations have convinced me that "atheist" is the common term used now. Language does change, after all, and one either changes with it or fails at communication.
Belief systems are completely arbitrary and a person's belief system can be literally any set of beliefs. You small sample of forum folks is not enough to make sweeping statements about what all atheists believe. There are as many ways of being a disbeliever as being a believer. I don't quite understand your desire to make sweeping generalities about disbelief in God/gods; nor do I understand some non-believers' insistence on treating all believers as a homogeneous group.
I doubt there are any two individuals whose belief/disbelief system are identical, so arguably there are as many belief systems as there are people who have existed on Earth, roughly 108 billion. What's the obsession with putting everybody in one of two boxes?
@Calculus: My OP is neither an expression of unrelieved obsession nor unmitigated compulsion to put anyone or everyone in two belief boxes. But since we are discussing the philosophic permutations of belief and non-belief in the core importance of humanity's existence vis-à-vis His Creator, and the universe that that creator has placed humans in, then that is where the discussion should reside and percolate.
You impose that restriction, but as I said before, belief in God/gods is not necessary for belief that humans are the philosophical center of the universe. You are free to limit yourself as you please, have a nice discussion and a lovely day.
Your point? That the idea of not being special is abhorrent to you and therefore there is a god out there? That your enormous ego DEMANDS that you are special and therefore there is a god out there? That there may be other universes we cannot detect and therefore there is a god out there?
What are you REALLY saying with this OP?
So... there was a point. I think it was that there are theories with a high probability of accuracy-statistically- but no imperial evidence.
And somehow that proves God exists.
@Melissa: The empirical evidence for the Anthropic Principle have been accumulating all these years, but somehow people (but not astrophysicists) have missed them. Suffice it to say that if some evidence comes to light that the Anthropic Principle is a lot of hogwash, then I would be the first one to say mea culpa. On the other hand, if more evidence surface that the Anthropic Principle is a scientific idea with theistic implications... would atheists say the same mea culpa? I doubt that very much.
What exactly is flimsy bout not thinking humans are the special project of some God? You state that but do not substantiate it.
The two principles I mentioned above just does not cut it as arguments against the existence of God. If one says that the earth is not the center of anything, does that change the fact that the universe/earth seemed, as per the Anthropic Principle, created specifically for intelligent life? If the multiverse theory becomes an accepted scientific phenomena, and intelligent life in those other universes becomes accepted fact then I suppose us humans would have to be humble enough to conclude that yes, indeed humans are not special in anyone's Creator's eyes.
The multiverse theory is irrelevant to the existence of gods. We can look for intelligent life right here in our own back yard. If you want to look for intelligence equal or better than our own we can look for evidence of it in our neighbourhood. Kepler 186f for example, a new planet found in the inhabitable zone of a smaller much longer living star recently found by the Kepler save telescope. Which has only been focus on a tiny fraction of our nearest neighbours. It appears that such planets have a far greater chance of developing intelligent life because the planet will stay in the habitable for many times longer than our earth will.
Is this the kind of evidence you dismiss so you can feel that you are the centre of your gods attention? Couldn't gods attention be divided up many times just as you think is done on earth with us?
@Dr:The question of whether other sentient life forms have evolved in other planetary systems in our own Milky Way galaxy is of course the topic of much conjecture....and they are going to stay in the realm of conjecture until such time that an encounter of the third kind is experienced from both sides.
The question of whether God exists is not dependent on anything except on our ability to be faithful to our spiritual longing. Now science may in fact give us some clues here, there and everywhere about why sentient life evolved on earth but not to the extent that empiricists would be fully and thoroughly satisfied. In that vacuum , our sense of transcendental connections come into play. Granted that not all of us have the desire to be connected in that way in as much as they have decided that physical connections are their only way to interpret their existence.
God's existence is dependent on man's ability to desire an imaginary spiritual world?
You either have a very different concept of what a god is than most theists or have decided to walk the atheist road and decided that god is nothing but a construct of man's imagination.
@wilderness: You obviously have not experienced anything "spiritual" as millions and millions of the rest of humanity have. A pity... a life that neither provokes nor invokes; an existence that neither haunts nor daunts.... so totally tethered to the physical and material, that the only thing that matters is that you are made of atoms.
You obviously have a very narrow definition of "spiritual" from which a great many of the worlds cultures would be excluded entirely.
It is true, that I intentionally bypass such things as hallucinations or imagination in determining what is real. A defective or improperly operating brain does not produce reliable information.
Nor do brains operating on LSD, peyote or any other drug that disrupts normal operation, produce reliable information or conclusions. That would seem to eliminate all (100%) of your "spiritual" experiences; either outright hallucinations from a damaged or partially inoperative brain or simple imagination.
But you're not alone; a great many people have used hallucinogenic drugs to produce "spiritual experiences" that have no connection to any reality outside that one specific cranium.
@Wilderness: Thank GOD (or your lucky stars) that you were or are not into hallucinatory drugs, or that your brain functioning is in such tip-top shape.
Now for me and the the rest of humanity that have not been blessed by God to have had that kind of life as you have, will just have to plod through the rest of our delusional lives, not experiencing the natural serenity and equanimity that comes with knowing that we are just simply the sum of our component physical parts.
Oh, I have great faith that the rest of you, with very few exceptions, can throw aside the delusions and live in reality. It is but a matter of wanting to, though that DOES mean giving up on the desire for mystery, for eternal life, for a great father-figure to watch over you and help you through the hard times.
But you can do it if you try hard. You could even search for your entire lifetime for knowledge and reality in those component physical parts, KNOWING you will never find it all (or even a small portion of it all) but happy to be learning instead of just making it up as you go. A lot more work of course, but you DO end up with truth instead of lie.
The sarcasm in my post just missed you by a mile.
Be that as it may... your giving a thumbs up to the idea of humans just being simply the sum of their component physical parts fly against the well known mathematical doctrine called "INFINITESIMAL". It its simplest form, the doctrine states that every line( in our case, the human body) is composed of a string of points, or "indivisibles" which are the lines (body's) building blocks, and which can not themselves be divided.
What the doctrine is implying is that one can not divide the whole to its component parts without degrading and devaluing the whole, in as much as the whole is MORE than just the sum of its component parts.
I'm sorry, but I don't think I am any MORE before I get a haircut than after. Or before trimming my toenails than after.
All these fine sounding philosophical "discoveries" are great for the imagination, and often makes one think a little. But they are not real, and you really need to stop presenting them as real theories considered to have an actual connection to reality. They are imaginary, and will remain imaginary.
(Just for your edification, the "infinitesimal" was the mathematical precursor to modern calculus. It is not a "mathematical doctrine" at all, just a form of math that Democritus began toying with around 400 BC and Newton developed into something useful. It was NEVER intended to be any sort of philosophical discussion point and neither was it ever intended to indicate a point where something could no longer be subdivided; it was always a mathematical construct ONLY, with no minimum values and no maximum subdivision. Zeno, in fact, tried to discredit the new idea BECAUSE subdivisions were infinitely small, without end)
If you delve deeper (other than just going to your old reliable Wikipedia), you might be surprised that the mathematical doctrine your are slamming as imaginary or just fodder for philosophical musings actually shaped the modern world because it became the foundation of much of modern mathematics and technology. In the 17th century scientists, mathematicians, and yes, philosophers across much of Europe embraced infinitesimals as the key to scientific progress, freedom of thought, and a more tolerant society. THUS the "soul" of the modern world hinged on this mathematical concept.
Your contention that this doctrine is "merely" a mathematical construct, is belied by historical facts.
Hmm. And yet...I DID say that "infinitesimals" was the precursor to modern Calculus, developed by Isaac Newton and first published in 1704. "Infinitesimals" as such did not have much impact in mathematics until it was developed into the field of calculus; until that point it was mostly an oddity, difficult to impossible to find a practical use for as it could not truly be manipulated as integrals and derivatives are.
But what use, pray tell, did philosophers have with a mathematical construct (and yes, it absolutely was just that) completely outside their field? In the 17th century, of course; back around the time of Christ there was no "science" as such; all was philosophy, with learned men making up answers but never bothering to test them for veracity.
I hate to tell you this... but you did not dig deep enough.
LOL You can't much more authoritative than HubPages! And HOTD no less!
http://hubpages.com/hub/understanding-a … os-paradox
Read your HUb... not impressed. As you mentioned, Zeno tried to discredit the doctrine but did he succeed? Even the Jesuits banned it from being dessiminated but did they succeed.? An emphatic NO.
I'd have to say that no one has managed to discredit the basics of infinitesimals - not as it eventually grew and morphed into calculus, the mainstay of modern mathematics.
But the point was that I did NOT stop with Wiki, as you seem to have done. That or some philosophical/theological ramblings that make no real effort to connect with either mathematics OR reality.
You might want to read the book about Infinitesimal written by Amir Alexander, wherein he discussed the historical perspectives of that mathematical doctrine.
Why? Will he tell me that infinitesimals cannot exist without a god and therefore there is a god?
I understand and use the concept of infinitesimals (or did before retirement) - hard to understand how learning the history, beyond Zeno, will explain the workings of the concept any better. And I have no interest in some ancient theologian telling me it is a road to god.
Au contraire....Amir Alexander is not a theologian or a philosopher. He is a writer-historian-mathematician who, according to his bio, explores the connections between mathematics, society, and culture.
Am I surprised that you immediately concluded that he is not an empiricist? Heck no. As I see it, herein lies your problem...your mind is so closeted that you are not open to new ideas and perspectives. A pity really... a mind that does not allow itself to be invoked or provoked... a mind that avoids being daunted and haunted.
If this guy has written an empiricist book, it will be the first such you have mentioned yet. You have yet to provide ANY empirical thinking at all - only theology and philosophy, usually with a spin via semantics.
So why would you be surprised when I assume it is not?
@wilderness: You must have been thoroughly anesthesized when I was quoting to you "verbatim" all those empiricist to make my debating points..... if I remember right you called them idiots because they did not seem to agree with your own debating points..
I do believe the nitrous was on the other side of the keyboard. You do understand that calling someone an empiricist does not make them one? And that being an empiricist actually means you depend only on solid evidence for conclusions, not made up dreams?
Because everyone you have quoted to me has failed the test. Possibly because you don't understand what empiricism means.
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