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Another conversation with almost atheist

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Another conversation with almost atheist
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RumraketUser avatarPosts: 1170Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 7:49 am Gender: Male

Post Re: Another conversation with almost atheist

Why was my response ignored?
"Nullius in verba" - Take nobody's word for it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nullius_in_verba
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Sun Jun 19, 2016 12:18 am
hackenslashLime TordUser avatar
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Post Re: Another conversation with almost atheist

Because it was full of those pesky fact things.
Sun Jun 19, 2016 11:09 am
almost atheistPosts: 9Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 9:16 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Another conversation with almost atheist

My apologies for the late post, ironically i'm taking a course on evolution this summer, so i've been busy.

okay i'll go head and number these to make it easier

1. I stand by the claim "something" cannot come from "nothing"

For you to understand why, you must READ WHAT I SAY CAREFULLY. Okay, "nothing" cannot have properties? Do we all agree? Okay good, so if "nothing" can create something, then BY DEFINITION nothing has the ability to create something...therefore, "nothing" is not really "nothing" IN FACT, defining "nothing" is nonsensical to define because "nothing" does not exist.

2. Radio decay is caused by unstable nuclei, just because we cannot pinpoint the exact time it will occur does not negate the fact we know the cause...You must realize there are billions of atoms everywhere, all interacting with one another, thereby, such events are hard to temporally trace.

3. an endless regression is irrational because you cannot reach infinity...Even if we consider an endless regression of causes, then that would mean the causes go backward an infinite amount of times, and forward an infinite amount of times.....that equals an ETERNAL line of causes, i would qualify an "ETERNAL line of causes" as God because existence in and of itself is contingent upon the eternal line.

4. An uncaused caused is rational IF the uncaused caused is eternal...

So allow me to once again present the meant of my argument....Something comes from something,

so....we have two options...

A.....rationally speaking we can rule out the endless regression, even if we accept the endless regression we are still left with an "eternal line of causes"

or

B....rationally speaking to avoid the endless regression, accept that there was one eternal uncaused cause.

So are we going with A or B, either way seems theistic to me.
Thu Jun 23, 2016 12:25 am
Grumpy SantaPosts: 382Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2015 6:27 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Another conversation with almost atheist

almost atheist wrote:My apologies for the late post, ironically i'm taking a course on evolution this summer, so i've been busy.

okay i'll go head and number these to make it easier

1. I stand by the claim "something" cannot come from "nothing"

For you to understand why, you must READ WHAT I SAY CAREFULLY. Okay, "nothing" cannot have properties? Do we all agree? Okay good, so if "nothing" can create something, then BY DEFINITION nothing has the ability to create something...therefore, "nothing" is not really "nothing" IN FACT, defining "nothing" is nonsensical to define because "nothing" does not exist.

2. Radio decay is caused by unstable nuclei, just because we cannot pinpoint the exact time it will occur does not negate the fact we know the cause...You must realize there are billions of atoms everywhere, all interacting with one another, thereby, such events are hard to temporally trace.

3. an endless regression is irrational because you cannot reach infinity...Even if we consider an endless regression of causes, then that would mean the causes go backward an infinite amount of times, and forward an infinite amount of times.....that equals an ETERNAL line of causes, i would qualify an "ETERNAL line of causes" as God because existence in and of itself is contingent upon the eternal line.

4. An uncaused caused is rational IF the uncaused caused is eternal...

So allow me to once again present the meant of my argument....Something comes from something,

so....we have two options...

A.....rationally speaking we can rule out the endless regression, even if we accept the endless regression we are still left with an "eternal line of causes"

or

B....rationally speaking to avoid the endless regression, accept that there was one eternal uncaused cause.

So are we going with A or B, either way seems theistic to me.


1 is a red herring. No one knows what the conditions were "before" the universe spawned or even if "before" is a valid question. Time began with the universe, so can there even be a "before" the universe? Technically, the universe can be considered to be both eternal and to have a beginning.

2. Radioactive decay is still random. One molecule of uranium could decay right now and the one next to it not for a billion years. Nothing determines the time at which a particular atom will decay. Note: This isn't a claim that "Nothing" (as a thing) caused something to happen. This simply means there is no cause but the effect still occurs.

3. Infinite regression is irrelevant. We're only capable of getting to the tiniest moment of time from the beginning of our universe. With time beginning with the universe there may simply not be anything to regress.

4. An uncaused cause is rational in the example of radioactive decay. This doesn't imply a "causal agent"... no agency pointed a finger at an atom and commanded it to decay. It's simply something that happens on it's own, something rather banal in quantum mechanics. And no... this "uncaused cause" isn't "eternal", it's a one shot event for that atom.

"Something comes from something"

Assuming we're already in a universe which provides the somethings and ignoring quantum mechanics where something can appear from some form of "nothing", this is kind of partly quasi-true.

"A - .rationally speaking we can rule out the endless regression"

I'm fine with that. We can't even show there was a "before" before our universe began.

"B....rationally speaking to avoid the endless regression, accept that there was one eternal uncaused cause"

False. As shown, you don't need some eternal "causer" for uncaused causes to happen. You can have one shot isolated events.

"So are we going with A or B, either way seems theistic to me"

I choose C. Neither.
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Thu Jun 23, 2016 4:58 am
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatar
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Post Re: Another conversation with almost atheist

almost atheist wrote:A.....rationally speaking we can rule out the endless regression, even if we accept the endless regression we are still left with an "eternal line of causes"

or

B....rationally speaking to avoid the endless regression, accept that there was one eternal uncaused cause.

So are we going with A or B, either way seems theistic to me.


How are either one is those theistic? Perhaps I missed it, but what is your definition for a god(s)?

Beyond that, why is the un-caused cause eternal? You did not justify that claim. It seems just as likely that if the un-caused cause happened to be correct, it does not have to be eternal. There does not seem to be anything inherent to an un-caused cause that would make it eternal as well.
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Thu Jun 23, 2016 5:24 am
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RumraketUser avatarPosts: 1170Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 7:49 am Gender: Male

Post Re: Another conversation with almost atheist

almost atheist wrote:My apologies for the late post, ironically i'm taking a course on evolution this summer, so i've been busy.

okay i'll go head and number these to make it easier

1. I stand by the claim "something" cannot come from "nothing"

"Nothing" is not being called upon to do anything. Rather, it is "something" that creates itself. Do you see what I mean? We are not suggesting that "nothing" is somehow taking actions and making something appear. Rather, maybe something can create itself? Why not?

If there really was a transition from nothing to something, then it seems to me the only solution to this (if we accept that all things must be caused) is that something created itself absolutely simultaneously with it beginning to exist.

almost atheist wrote:For you to understand why, you must READ WHAT I SAY CAREFULLY. Okay, "nothing" cannot have properties? Do we all agree?

Yes. Nothing is not any thing, it does not have any properties. It does not have any color, it does not have a shape, it does not have a location and it cannot take any actions. It is the total absense of any and all properties. It can not do anything. We agree.

almost atheist wrote:Okay good, so if "nothing" can create something, then BY DEFINITION nothing has the ability to create something...therefore, "nothing" is not really "nothing" IN FACT, defining "nothing" is nonsensical to define because "nothing" does not exist.

I agree, there probably cannot even be such a thing as "nothing", since that would in some sense imply a contradiction between the definition and it's existence. If it has no properties at all, then it cannot exist, since existence is a property. So by definition, there cannot BE nothing. That means something must always have existed, it can't not.

From philosophy alone we can rule out a need for god to create something.
"Nullius in verba" - Take nobody's word for it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nullius_in_verba
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
Thu Jun 23, 2016 8:47 am
hackenslashLime TordUser avatar
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Post Re: Another conversation with almost atheist

almost atheist wrote:2. Radio decay is caused by unstable nuclei, just because we cannot pinpoint the exact time it will occur does not negate the fact we know the cause...You must realize there are billions of atoms everywhere, all interacting with one another, thereby, such events are hard to temporally trace.


And the Casimir effect?

3. an endless regression is irrational because you cannot reach infinity...Even if we consider an endless regression of causes, then that would mean the causes go backward an infinite amount of times, and forward an infinite amount of times.....that equals an ETERNAL line of causes, i would qualify an "ETERNAL line of causes" as God because existence in and of itself is contingent upon the eternal line.


This makes no sense, and it doesn't make your case. What's the problem with infinite regress? Show your working out.

4. An uncaused caused is rational IF the uncaused caused is eternal...


So the universe is eternal and uncaused. Where's the problem?

so....we have two options...

A.....rationally speaking we can rule out the endless regression, even if we accept the endless regression we are still left with an "eternal line of causes"

or

B....rationally speaking to avoid the endless regression, accept that there was one eternal uncaused cause.

So are we going with A or B, either way seems theistic to me.


False dichotomy. In both cases, you're ruling out infinite regress, and you've yet to justify that in any robust sense.
Thu Jun 23, 2016 7:42 pm
Nesslig20User avatarPosts: 259Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 6:44 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Another conversation with almost atheist

At this point you are still repeating the same arguments several of us have just refuted. And you still didn't answer my questions.

1. What do you think about my explanation of the synthesis of ribonucleotides (see here)? Sufficient or not. If not, please explain.

2. During the discussion you said that a zero energy universe is pseudoscience and you cited a wikipedia article of zero-point energy which you said was pseudoscience. However you made two errors.

One: The zero energy universe isn't the same as the zero point energy.
Two: I looked at the wiki article, it doesn't say that the zero point energy is pseudoscience. What it does say is and I quote:
As a scientific concept, the existence of zero-point energy is not controversial. However, the ability to harness zero point energy for useful work is considered pseudoscience by the scientific community at large.[14][15] Zero-point energy is, by definition, a minimum energy below which a thermodynamic system can never go.[14] Thus, none of this energy can be withdrawn without altering the system to a different form in which the system has a lower zero-point energy.[16] Nevertheless, there have been numerous claims of devices capable of extracting usable zero-point energy. None of these claims has ever been validated by the scientific community.[17]

Thus the existence of zero-point energy is scientifically established. The pseudoscience the article is referring to is about claims that this energy can be utilized, which it can't but the energy still exists.

Would you honestly correct yourself on these errors? Yes (you admit you were wrong) or No (You won't admit you were wrong)?

3. If humans didn't come from apes then why are humans still apes? You said you didn't feel like we had enough evidence to conclude common ancestry. Well I don't feel that either way, I can demonstrate that. We can go much deeper in the systematic classification of life, the best evidence of common ancestry. Are you interested in that?

4. This is a point I liked to go deeper during the discussion about macro evolution. Would you accept that macro evolution (speciation) has been observed? Yes or no and if not I can show you several instances in which they have.

almost atheist wrote:My apologies for the late post, ironically i'm taking a course on evolution this summer, so i've been busy.


I hope you have a good teacher. Also keep in mind what evolution actually is:
Descent with inherent modification / change in allele frequencies within a population over generations.

almost atheist wrote:okay i'll go head and number these to make it easier

1. I stand by the claim "something" cannot come from "nothing"

For you to understand why, you must READ WHAT I SAY CAREFULLY. Okay, "nothing" cannot have properties? Do we all agree? Okay good, so if "nothing" can create something, then BY DEFINITION nothing has the ability to create something...therefore, "nothing" is not really "nothing" IN FACT, defining "nothing" is nonsensical to define because "nothing" does not exist.


If defining nothing is nonsensical then why are you talking about it as if you know what it is (have you ever observed a nothing to know that it has no properties)? You shot yourself in your own foot here. This point has been refuted in this post in many different ways by many different people.

One of my previous response was this:
"This is what I was saying during our discussion. Terms change as our understanding improved. Long time ago an empty glass would be described as a glass that has nothing in it and sometimes it is still described that way, but the glass isn't empty and even a vacuum, seemingly nothing to our eyes is still something. So we have to define what we mean by nothing that is consistent. Maybe nothing is not what we think it is."

This is what science does, words have usages and if the usage doesn't concords with reality like the a empty vacuum was once considered nothing turns out not to be nothing. A better example would be atom. Atom once meant "indivisible" or "unable to cut" meaning it referred to the the units of matter that couldn't be divided, but now atoms are consistent of smaller units (protons, neutrons, etc) and an atom is mostly "nothing" (emphasis on the quotes). Based on this you could say that the modern idea of atoms aren't really atoms since they are still divisible, but no, we use that word now in this way.

As "He_Who_Is_Nobody" explained:
"When this topic comes up, I like to point out the term atom and how it changed from its classical definition of being the smallest thing and being whole, to us now knowing that it is made up of even smaller bits and also mostly space. Science marches on, and our old ideas are corrected."

And Rumraket: "Your definitions don't get to dictate to reality. If that is a defining property of "nothing", then I simply don't believe there is such a thing, or have ever been, something that corresponds to your definition. The claim that something cannot come from nothing is question-begging. Maybe some things can self-create? How do you know?"

almost atheist wrote:2. Radio decay is caused by unstable nuclei, just because we cannot pinpoint the exact time it will occur does not negate the fact we know the cause...You must realize there are billions of atoms everywhere, all interacting with one another, thereby, such events are hard to temporally trace.


Incorrect. There is literally nothing we can use to determine when one atom will decay. Right now, this day a billion years from now? It is indeterministic, or in other words uncaused. This is the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, something I've brought up numerous times. It is a principle of quantum mechanics, which is entirely probabilistic. In other words, quantum mechanics isn't a theory of causality, it is a probabilistic theory of spontaneous effects, which are unpredictable, i.e. random and thus no causation. Funny how the basis of reality is governed by randomness.

almost atheist wrote:3. an endless regression is irrational because you cannot reach infinity...


Funny, because an eternal uncaused cause would also be infinite, but for some reason (special pleading) that is not irrational.

almost atheist wrote:Even if we consider an endless regression of causes, then that would mean the causes go backward an infinite amount of times, and forward an infinite amount of times


No, an endless regression only means backward infinity, but not forwards. A forward infinite would be an endless PROgression.

almost atheist wrote:.....that equals an ETERNAL line of causes, i would qualify an "ETERNAL line of causes" as God because existence in and of itself is contingent upon the eternal line.


I don't qualify that as God even if eternally would be the case, because while the universe has a start, it will expand forever. Thus the universe will eventually expands into infinity (of course never reaching it). We will have an eternal line of never ending cause and effect in the universe, and by your definition, the universe would also qualify as God.

almost atheist wrote:4. An uncaused caused is rational IF the uncaused caused is eternal...


Already refuted that:
"And again to clarify, I don't necessarily take this position that the universe really did came from nothing.
My position is that during the planck epoch, we don't know what happened back then. Physics as we understand it breaks down. Did it came from nothing? I don't know, Laurence posits an interesting hypothesis, which isn't contradicted by an observation and has some evidence backing it up like the zero energy universe and the universe being flat.

However what we do know is that your option of a "uncaused cause" is not coherent. The universe includes time such that you cannot have causation before time since there was not a before time. There is no such thing as before the universe. To ask what happened before the universe is like asking to draw a map south of the south pole. The question doesn't make sense. There was no time when the universe didn't exist, every time there was time it did exist and does and will so the the universe always existed.
And since causation can only happen with time, to say the universe must have a cause doesn't make sense either in the same way the concept of "before time" has.

And I don't know if an infinite regression is irrational (you didn't justify that), but let's assume it is. Even if the universe always existed in the sense that across time the universe did exist, this doesn't make it an infinite regression, nor makes it an infinite regression to say that the universe and time came from nothing. But your option of an "uncaused cause" does since I only assume that you thing this prime cause is eternal. It existed for infinity before the universe did. And I won't even begin pointing out what the fuck existence even means without there being time and space, but by allowing such existence, the prime cause would be itself and infinite regression. If I say to you "I will wait infinity before eating my pizza (allowing for a pizza that will never spoil)" when will I eat my pizza? Answer never, you will never get to an infinity. Same with the prime cause, when did it decided (or not decided, unconscious) after infinity to create a universe? Again this doesn't make any sense. Unless the prime cause was also not eternal and after a finite existence it created the universe. But then again if it is not eternal, how did the prime cause came about if not eternal? From nothing?
So no I don't accept the "prime uncaused cause". "

almost atheist wrote:So allow me to once again present the meant of my argument....Something comes from something,

so....we have two options...

A.....rationally speaking we can rule out the endless regression, even if we accept the endless regression we are still left with an "eternal line of causes"

or

B....rationally speaking to avoid the endless regression, accept that there was one eternal uncaused cause.

So are we going with A or B, either way seems theistic to me.


Non of them are theistic and:
Either eternal line of causes or eternal cause is a False Dichotomy

Or

C...rational speaking to avoid the endless regression including an eternal uncaused cause which is also an endless regression, the universe is itself uncaused, there was nothing before the universe (there is no before time) to cause the universe.

Or

D...Some other explanation (multi verse theory) or one we have yet to come up with.
"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science."
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Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:53 am
surreptitious57Posts: 218Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:09 am Gender: Male

Post Re: Another conversation with almost atheist

almost atheist wrote:
endless regression is irrational because you cannot reach infinity...Even if we consider an endless regression of causes then that would mean
the causes go backward an infinite amount of times and forward an infinite amount of times.....that equals an ETERNAL line of causes i would
qualify an ETERNAL line of causes as God because existence in and of itself is contingent upon the eternal line

You are right to say that infinity cannot be reached [ because it has no point of origin ] but why is it irrational ? It is entirely possible that the universe
extends infinitely in to the past. This may be hard to comprehend but counter intuition does not automatically render something false. And if physical
infinity is compatible within the laws of physics then there is no need to introduce God as a means of explanation

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Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:13 am
LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2950Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Another conversation with almost atheist

I'm not sure why this whole "something cannot come from nothing" is a big thing. It's not a killer argument. There are a few points to be made.

- We don't know that there ever was absolute nothingness. The big bang did not necessarily mark the birth of the universe from nothing, it marks the birth of the universe as we know it.

- We don't have any "nothingness" to examine. How can we know something can't come from it? The closest we do have to nothing; the vacuum of space does appear to have something (virtual particles) coming from it.

Essentially we don't know that the universe came from nothing, and we don't know what nothing is like. Something might not be able to come from nothing, and if that was the case then clearly it didn't.

Why can God just exist with no cause when the universe can't?
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Fri Jul 08, 2016 7:06 am
VisakiUser avatarPosts: 765Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:26 pmLocation: Helsinki, Finland Gender: Male

Post Re: Another conversation with almost atheist

Laurens wrote:- We don't have any "nothingness" to examine. How can we know something can't come from it? The closest we do have to nothing; the vacuum of space does appear to have something (virtual particles) coming from it.

Not to mention that the vacuum of space has space, which, as I understand it, is pretty much something.
Fri Jul 08, 2016 8:38 am
LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2950Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Another conversation with almost atheist

Visaki wrote:
Laurens wrote:- We don't have any "nothingness" to examine. How can we know something can't come from it? The closest we do have to nothing; the vacuum of space does appear to have something (virtual particles) coming from it.

Not to mention that the vacuum of space has space, which, as I understand it, is pretty much something.

Indeed, but that is the closest thing to nothing that we can observe.

So far as I'm concerned nothing as in complete void with no spacetime or even any kind of potential anything is just a concept. MAYBE one day it will be more than that, but for now there is no reason whatsoever to postulate that the universe came spontaneously from it.

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Fri Jul 08, 2016 8:44 am
hackenslashLime TordUser avatar
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Post Re: Another conversation with almost atheist

Egggsactly.
Fri Jul 08, 2016 12:38 pm
surreptitious57Posts: 218Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:09 am Gender: Male

Post Re: Another conversation with almost atheist

A singularity is defined as a state of absolute density compressed into a dimension of zero volume. It is also defined as an asymptote meaning
that it approaches such a state without ever actually reaching it. Anything above that state would therefore have dimension so would constitute
something rather than nothing. Even though it would still be infinitesimally small initially at least. It could hypothetically be so small as to be sub
Planck which would make it currently incapable of being measured. But even at that level it would still constitute something rather than nothing

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Sun Jul 10, 2016 3:22 pm
almost atheistPosts: 9Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 9:16 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Another conversation with almost atheist

Okay well this forum is essentially dead which is mainly my fault for my failure to reply in a timely manner, but with that being said, for those who wish to continue, it seems like you guys all have similar same criticisms....

i have a few assignments for you to do

1. explain to me how this a false dichotomy

if something exists it either
A. always existed
B. came into existence

2. assuming you couldn't get passed my first task, then my next task is for you to explain to me how
If A is caused by an unreachable cause, then is it possible for A to exist?

3. Assuming your answer to the second task was no, then you just confirmed that a infinite regression is not possible. Now my question to you is

Since we exist, did we always exist, or did we come into existence?

4. Assuming you actually accept the evidence of the big bang, it's logical to think we came into existence, now the question is how??????....did we come from something, or perhaps we came from nothing....now i want you to...
Imagine, something coming from "nothing"

that means that "nothing" has the properties to create something....ANYTHING that has PROPERTIES IS SOMETHING.... thereby that "nothing" you just thought of is actually a something, to be more precise, it would be a void with the potential to create something. So something from nothing is by definition impossible. Thereby my point is, something comes from something.... To avoid the endless regression which we already agreed (hopefully) was irrational we must conclude that there was a "prime something" to start the universe, So before we move on, does everyone agree with logic behind the "prime something" ? better known as the "prime mover"
Sun Jul 24, 2016 1:38 am
DustniteUser avatarPosts: 518Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 9:11 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Another conversation with almost atheist

Image

Literally all the answers to your questions were already stated. I recommend more than a cursory glance this time.
"But this is irrelevant because in either case, whether a god exists or not, whether your God (with a capital G) exists or not, it doesn't matter. We both are, in either case, evolved apes. " - Nesslig20
Sun Jul 24, 2016 8:29 am
Gnug215ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 2559Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 10:31 pm

Post Re: Another conversation with almost atheist

almost atheist wrote:Okay well this forum is essentially dead which is mainly my fault for my failure to reply in a timely manner, but with that being said, for those who wish to continue, it seems like you guys all have similar same criticisms....

i have a few assignments for you to do

1. explain to me how this a false dichotomy

if something exists it either
A. always existed
B. came into existence

2. assuming you couldn't get passed my first task, then my next task is for you to explain to me how
If A is caused by an unreachable cause, then is it possible for A to exist?

3. Assuming your answer to the second task was no, then you just confirmed that a infinite regression is not possible. Now my question to you is

Since we exist, did we always exist, or did we come into existence?

4. Assuming you actually accept the evidence of the big bang, it's logical to think we came into existence, now the question is how??????....did we come from something, or perhaps we came from nothing....now i want you to...
Imagine, something coming from "nothing"

that means that "nothing" has the properties to create something....ANYTHING that has PROPERTIES IS SOMETHING.... thereby that "nothing" you just thought of is actually a something, to be more precise, it would be a void with the potential to create something. So something from nothing is by definition impossible. Thereby my point is, something comes from something.... To avoid the endless regression which we already agreed (hopefully) was irrational we must conclude that there was a "prime something" to start the universe, So before we move on, does everyone agree with logic behind the "prime something" ? better known as the "prime mover"



Sorry, but I don't do assignments.

But let me say this...

Whatever else, if you turn this "prime something" into a "prime mover", or well, God, you're adding infinite complexity to a question that is already complex.

Let's me put it into a weird equation with arbitrary values:

The universe gets a complexity value of 10.
God also gets a complexity value of 10.

Now let's apply that to the two worldviews at hand:

The atheist worldview suggests no God, only the universe. So, it gets a complexity count of 10.

The theist worldview suggests God and the universe, so it gets a complexity count of 20.


There is no way around this. Whether or not God or the universe always existed, God only adds more complexity to the equation, and offers no actual explanation. Putting God into the picture only serves as a mental wildcard to put a very complex question at arm's length.

And to those that would argue that we never see something coming from nothing, so it has to be created, how could it ever possibly then follow that God had to be there to create things? Sure, the atheist could respond with "then who created God?", which may sound like a tired cliché, but it's a valid question. And it's not the atheist that started the line of infinite regression. The theist did. The atheist just asked the counter question.
Some theists then go back into a tirade about "when have we ever seen something come from nothing in this universe?" Well, the atheist could respond by asking when we have ever seen intelligence arise other than in this universe? The universe may be an entity, and entities usually require something to be created. But God is an entity that is supposedly intelligent, so by the logic of theists, for God to exist, there would have had to be something first, and there would have to have been a universe first that would be able to generate intelligence.
This is getting long-winded, but what I am trying to show is that the only option for the theist is to claim that somehow, magically, illogically, God, an intelligent entity, just always existed. There is no evidence for this. There is no argument that can really be made for or against this. It's simply just a just-so statement. It is a faith statement that for some emotional reason satisfies the feelings the theist has from looking into the "void" of this very hard question - one that we may never be able to answer.

For the atheists, there's more possibilities, and they (those that I know, at least) tend to accept that it's not a known question. They also seem to accept that it may be an un-knowable question.
But what science has shown us is that the universe is more complex than we can imagine (just look at quantum mechanics), so it would seem unreasonable to come to hasty conclusions. The universe may even be so weird that our puny brains may never get close to comprehending it.


The bottom line is: There. is. no. evidence. for. God.


We have the universe. There could be many reasons for its existence. Trying to armchair-philosophize your way to a reason is really only to satisfy some emotional need inside. That is fine and all, but thinking you may actually be able to armchair your way to an answer is wildly unreasonable and insanely arrogant.
- Gnug215

YouTube channel:
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Sun Jul 24, 2016 9:26 am
hackenslashLime TordUser avatar
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Post Re: Another conversation with almost atheist

OK, I'll bite.

almost atheist wrote:1. explain to me how this a false dichotomy

if something exists it either
A. always existed
B. came into existence


Who said it was? Not I, certainly and, since I was the only to use the term 'false dichotomy', I can only assume that you're struggling with reading simple, unambiguous English, so let me help you out.

I didn't say that what you present here is a false dichotomy, I said that presenting only two cases, neither of which considered the possibility of infinite regress, that constituted a false dichotomy. Let's compare the two:

Your original presentation:

A. Eternal line of causes
B. Eternal uncaused cause

Your new one:

Something:
A. Always existed
B. Came into existence.

Setting aside that, although in your original presentation of the first two options you said that you were ruling out infinite regress, while both cases actually contain the word 'eternal', which IS an infinite regress, the simple fact is that these two presentations are not equivalent.

Moreover, the way you have presented this is still flawed, albeit not now committing the false dichotomy. Properly, it should read:

A. Something always existed.
B. There was a time when nothing existed.

I have serious doubts about whether the second is even remotely defensible, and it certainly isn't defensible with Aristotle, which is where all your notions of causation come from. Aristotle has no place in this discussion, any more than he has any place in a discussion on sexual dimorphism in dentition.

2. assuming you couldn't get passed my first task, then my next task is for you to explain to me how
If A is caused by an unreachable cause, then is it possible for A to exist?


What do you mean by an unreachable cause? TBH, this question doesn't parse correctly and, even without reference to how it parses, is barely coherent.

3. Assuming your answer to the second task was no,


Why would you assume that? I'm still trying to work out what the task is although, given what we've seen so far, it looks an awful lot like Kalamity Kraig's apologetic on the infinite, namely that if time were eternal into the past, we could never have arrived at now, which is utterly asinine, and is directly equivalent to saying that there are no points on a line.

then you just confirmed that a infinite regression is not possible.


Good job I didn't do that, then.

Now my question to you is

Since we exist, did we always exist, or did we come into existence?


WE came into existence. That's by-the-by, though, since we're an effect. If you mean our local cosmic expanse, then the answer is that the data support no conclusions as yet, which brings me to:

4. Assuming you actually accept the evidence of the big bang, it's logical to think we came into existence,


The big bang has nothing to do with our coming into existence, except that our existence is contingent upon the cosmos.

now the question is how??????....did we come from something, or perhaps we came from nothing....now i want you to...


We came into existence from something. The jury is still out on whether the universe did or not. The simple fact is, though, that we have plausible mechanisms on the table for either scenario, conversant with the laws of physics, and none of which, thus far, require magic.

Imagine, something coming from "nothing"


I can do better than that, I can describe it:

http://reciprocity-giving-something-bac ... ainty.html

that means that "nothing" has the properties to create something...


It means nothing of the sort. This puny excuse for reasoning overlooks almost a century of science that tells us that our intuitions, which is what you're mistaking for logic here, are simply insufficient to the task of dealing with the fundamental principles upon which the universe operates. What those principles have told us, categorically and without equivocation, is that 'nothing' simply cannot persist. Where there is nothing, there will be something only a moment later. It's the principle upon which the technology you're employing to inform us that your thinking is several thousand years out of date is predicated. In other words, if it were possible for 'nothing' to persist, the computer you're using to communicate with us would not be.


.ANYTHING that has PROPERTIES IS SOMETHING.... thereby that "nothing" you just thought of is actually a something, to be more precise, it would be a void with the potential to create something.


Bertrand Russell would like a word with you, because you've just invoked a spectacularly new version of Russell's Paradox. Is 'having no properties' a property?

So something from nothing is by definition impossible.


See, you haven;'t actually shown any working out to support this assertion as yet. All you've done is throw some questions out, few of which are coherent, assumed what our answers will be, and then proceeded to declare yourself the winner. Sorry to break it to you, but some of this have given these matters real thought, as opposed to the puny intuitions of somebody who thought that women had fewer teeth than men, and wouldn't be swayed from his conclusion even when a simple act of observation would have put it to bed.

Show your working out.

Thereby my point is, something comes from something....


And the Casimir effect?

To avoid the endless regression which we already agreed (hopefully) was irrational


I've agreed to nothing.

we must conclude that there was a "prime something" to start the universe, So before we move on, does everyone agree with logic behind the "prime something" ? better known as the "prime mover"


No. Next!
Sun Jul 24, 2016 4:23 pm
itsdemtitansBloggerUser avatarPosts: 706Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2015 11:36 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Another conversation with almost atheist

As to how is "either it had a beginning or always existed" a false dichotomy, my understanding is that the universe can actually be both. Granted, I'm an idiot on this subject, but I've heard that since the Universe started from a signularity, time was under the effect of emense gravity and didn't really apply. Because of this, the universe obviously can have a beginning and be eternal at the same time.
Sun Jul 24, 2016 7:30 pm
LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2950Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Another conversation with almost atheist

almost atheist wrote:
1. explain to me how this a false dichotomy

if something exists it either
A. always existed
B. came into existence


It depends how you define the "something" in question. My trousers came into existence once they were finished at the place of manufacture, but the matter that they are made of has existed in some form since the beginning of the universe.

2. assuming you couldn't get passed my first task, then my next task is for you to explain to me how
If A is caused by an unreachable cause, then is it possible for A to exist?


What does unreachable mean? I literally have no idea what that means in this context.

3. Assuming your answer to the second task was no, then you just confirmed that a infinite regression is not possible. Now my question to you is

Since we exist, did we always exist, or did we come into existence?


Define we? I as a person existed from birth, or conception, or whatever, but the matter that I am made of has existed since the beginning.

4. Assuming you actually accept the evidence of the big bang, it's logical to think we came into existence, now the question is how??????....did we come from something, or perhaps we came from nothing....now i want you to...
Imagine, something coming from "nothing" that means that "nothing" has the properties to create something....ANYTHING that has PROPERTIES IS SOMETHING.... thereby that "nothing" you just thought of is actually a something, to be more precise, it would be a void with the potential to create something. So something from nothing is by definition impossible. Thereby my point is, something comes from something.... To avoid the endless regression which we already agreed (hopefully) was irrational we must conclude that there was a "prime something" to start the universe, So before we move on, does everyone agree with logic behind the "prime something" ? better known as the "prime mover"


We don't know exactly how the big bang happened. There may have been something before, there may not have. We don't really know at the moment.

How can nothing not have properties, surely not having properties is a property? Surely it not being something is a property? If you can explain what nothing means using words it must have some properties. Unless you're not being clear about what you mean when you say properties.

Furthermore we don't have any nothing to look at and see whether or not it has any properties. It might be that nothing always becomes something. How do you know what it is? At the moment its a concept that may or may not have any bearing on reality. Have you ever sat and observed any nothing? Have you got any argument to suggest that it is anything other than a concept?

I don't posit an infinite regression by any means, I'd say that the universe has probably always existed in some form. The universe as we know it began at the big bang, who knows what was before that, or whether it was something eternal and uncaused.
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