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Thread: Physics and God

  1. #1
    The Ghost of Laszlo Jamf islandclimber's Avatar
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    Physics and God

    I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives us a lot of factual information, puts all of our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously.


    Erwin Schroedinger


    the man who gave us one of, if not the most, important equation in all of science... It is interesting that most physicists, at least well known physicists are theists, or deists, or agnostics... I have said science requires faith many times in this part of the forum, and I believe this... but science does do as said above in helping us live and better understand the universe we live in...

    but that does not mean it has to run counter to the idea of god or some form of prime mover/ original creator... most physicists would say that even theories such as the big bang theory and the ripples discovered in 1992 show more evidence for the existence of a creator god than against the existence... just in the fact that something had to get the ball rolling...
    for as Frederick Burnham said just after the discovery of the "ripples"

    These findings, now available, make the idea that God created the universe a more respectable hypothesis today than at any time in the last 100 years

    in any case I just find the link between so many famous and well known physicists and belief in some kind of god/creator to be quite interesting.. here is Dr. Henry Schaefer, a renowned chemist, on atheism and science...

    It is relatively unusual that a physical scientist is truly an atheist. Why is this true? Some point to the anthropic constraints, the remarkable fine tuning of the universe. For example, Freeman Dyson, a Princeton faculty member, has said, "Nature has been kinder to us that we had any right to expect." Martin Rees, one of Hawking's colleagues at Cambridge, notes the same facts. Rees recently stated "The possibility of life as we know it depends on the values of a few basic, physical constants and is in some respects remarkably sensitive to their numerical values. Nature does exhibit remarkable coincidences." Science writer extraordinaire Paul Davies adds "There is for me powerful evidence that there is something going on behind it all. . . It seems as though somebody has fine tuned nature's numbers to make the Universe. . . The impression of design is overwhelming." Some scientists express surprise at what they view as so many "accidental occurrences." However, that astonishment quickly disappears when one sees purpose instead of arbitrariness in the laws of nature.

    Against powerful logic, some atheists continue to claim, irrespective of the anthropic constraints, that the universe and human life were created by chance. The main argument seems to be "Since we human beings are here, it must have happened in a purely reductionist manner." This argument strikes me a bit like the apocryphal response of a person waking up in the morning to find an elephant in his or her bedroom. The individual in question concludes that this is no surprise, since the probability of the elephant being in the bedroom is a perfect 100%. Obviously this is a philosophical rather than scientific response to the situation.



    interesting, isn't it... so the arguments atheists use against the existence of god, well, for the most part aren't even supported by the people who came up with the theories that allow these arguments to be made.. which coincidentally as said fall into the realm of philosophy and are pretty much absurd and illogical.. there is far and away more evidence for intelligent design in the universe than the opposite.. this is readily apparent in the sheer impossibility of our existence.. the infinitesimal chance that we would exist obviously and logically points to some kind of creator god and some kind of intelligent design, as do scientific theories like the big bang theory...

    anyways here is a link to a lecture by Dr Schaefer, take a look, you may find it enlightening...

    http://www.origins.org/articles/scha...angandgod.html

    I would be interested in any rational discussion on this... if anyone else is interested post away... science and god, link texts, lectures, essays, your own thoughts and ideas.. but please don't come in here with blanket statements with no argument for them.. at least try to explain and lay out your thoughts and ideas and statements... provide us with reasons for what you think, not just I think this because I do... that is not constructive nor enlightening at all... let's have a real discussion here in the religious section...

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    Registered User DapperDrake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by islandclimber View Post
    interesting, isn't it... so the arguments atheists use against the existence of god, well, for the most part aren't even supported by the people who came up with the theories that allow these arguments to be made.. which coincidentally as said fall into the realm of philosophy and are pretty much absurd and illogical..
    absurd and illogical? I'm afraid not, nice try but no. The reductionist explanation for our existence and the remarkable fine balancing of physics that allows us to exist is perfectly logical and not in the least bit absurd. Occam's razor tells us it's not absurd and it is, in its own right, purely logical - which is perhaps why people might object to it... How can the explanation for these remarkable things be so simple and logical? - well I'm sorry but in physics that's the hallmark of a correct theory.


    Quote Originally Posted by islandclimber View Post
    there is far and away more evidence for intelligent design in the universe than the opposite.. this is readily apparent in the sheer impossibility of our existence.. the infinitesimal chance that we would exist obviously and logically points to some kind of creator god and some kind of intelligent design, as do scientific theories like the big bang theory..
    Evidence? there is none that cannot be satisfactorily explained by a simpler and more plausible theory.
    The infinitesimal chance of something not happening does not mean that if it does happen we have free licence to start inventing pixies, fairies, angels, and gods to make sense of it.

    The big bang theory says nothing of design, and nothing of intelligence, it merely describes a beginning. What was before that beginning and what precipitated it are not a part of the theory and should not be extrapolated unscientifically. Just because something has a beginning does not mean that it was created by an intelligent being. When it begins to rain does it mean that someone has designed the cloud and "started" the rain at that point? no, its is effect of the dumb process of evaporation and convection and chance combination of other factors.
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    liber vermicula Bitterfly's Avatar
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    The first scientist you quoted was a man of his time: the beginning of the twentieth centur. The second is not a scientist but a historian. And the last, Dr Shaefer, is interesting, but obviously preaching for his parish, ie intelligent design.

    I went to have a look at the article you suggested, and liked it (he seems rather open-minded, in spite of his bias); and there are counter-examples cited in it: Einstein and Hawkings, who don't seem to be convinced that a God is necessarily at the origin of the universe. I think you're focusing mainly on American scientists, who must be representative of their country, and forgetting European scientists, who on the whole are more atheist than theist.

    Furthermore, I find your connection between philosophy and lack of logic ("fall into the realm of philosophy and are pretty much absurd and illogical") more than debatable. All we have for the moment, anyway, are hypotheses, and the theory of intelligent design is just as "philosophical" as any other theory. Especially, it's based on interpretation rather than "evidence".

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    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Islandclimber, I for one found much sympathy with what you present here. As an engineer who not only has studied physics but makes use of it on a daly level (albeit only Newtonian physics) the more I ponder the universe the more I cannot see things as having come together by chance. There is an order to it, a consistency, and a pattern that defies randomness. For such an order to exist it would have to violate the notion of entropy, the second law of thermodynmics.

    Quote Originally Posted by islandclimber View Post
    Against powerful logic, some atheists continue to claim, irrespective of the anthropic constraints, that the universe and human life were created by chance. The main argument seems to be "Since we human beings are here, it must have happened in a purely reductionist manner." This argument strikes me a bit like the apocryphal response of a person waking up in the morning to find an elephant in his or her bedroom. The individual in question concludes that this is no surprise, since the probability of the elephant being in the bedroom is a perfect 100%. Obviously this is a philosophical rather than scientific response to the situation.
    Yes. A couple of years ago I was at university (I think it was Georgia Tech or University of Georgia, I can't remember, but it was in Atlanta, Georgia) who had this offshoot company that had developed a software code of assessing various probalities of highly complex situations. One of the pitches they put out was an analysis of an air plane engine and the question of why don't we by chance dig up and find an air plane engine in the ground. Thoeretically all the parts and mateials of an air plane engine exist in the ground and so they calculated the odds of someday someone digging in their back yard and finding an air plane engine that had come together by chance as 7 billion or 7 trillion (I can no longer remember the decima place) to one. Now an airplane engine is rather complex but life itself with all it's complex subsystems is even more complex than an engine. Now ponder what the odds must be for human life to come together by chance. First the universe must form by chance to have certain forces that allow molecules to interconnect that build carbon based materials, planets and solarsystems to exist at precse locations, equilibrium of forces for stability, proteins that convert into life (whatever life is), genetic codes to formulate that reproduce the life entity, and then a sequence of genetic events that leads to complex life and ultimately to human life. I'm sure I'm even leaving something out, but the odds for that to happen must be trillions upon trillions to one, probably greater than hitting the lottery a hundred times in a row.

    interesting, isn't it... so the arguments atheists use against the existence of god, well, for the most part aren't even supported by the people who came up with the theories that allow these arguments to be made.. which coincidentally as said fall into the realm of philosophy and are pretty much absurd and illogical.. there is far and away more evidence for intelligent design in the universe than the opposite.. this is readily apparent in the sheer impossibility of our existence.. the infinitesimal chance that we would exist obviously and logically points to some kind of creator god and some kind of intelligent design, as do scientific theories like the big bang theory...
    Just fathom such odds. Atheists claim to be rationalists. Ha! As an engineer who has to make decisions with limited data one has to make decisions based on probabilities. For someone to believe that such trillions upon trillions could occur verses some organizing intelligent force is irrational. The rational argument is that a God has arranged the universe.

    I still wait for someone to dig up an airplane engine in their backard.
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    quite like george NikolaiI's Avatar
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    I just wrote for half an hour and then lost it...*sigh*

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    Registered User DapperDrake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    Islandclimber, I for one found much sympathy with what you present here. As an engineer who not only has studied physics but makes use of it on a daly level (albeit only Newtonian physics) the more I ponder the universe the more I cannot see things as having come together by chance. There is an order to it, a consistency, and a pattern that defies randomness. For such an order to exist it would have to violate the notion of entropy, the second law of thermodynmics.


    Yes. A couple of years ago I was at university (I think it was Georgia Tech or University of Georgia, I can't remember, but it was in Atlanta, Georgia) who had this offshoot company that had developed a software code of assessing various probalities of highly complex situations. One of the pitches they put out was an analysis of an air plane engine and the question of why don't we by chance dig up and find an air plane engine in the ground. Thoeretically all the parts and mateials of an air plane engine exist in the ground and so they calculated the odds of someday someone digging in their back yard and finding an air plane engine that had come together by chance as 7 billion or 7 trillion (I can no longer remember the decima place) to one. Now an airplane engine is rather complex but life itself with all it's complex subsystems is even more complex than an engine. Now ponder what the odds must be for human life to come together by chance. First the universe must form by chance to have certain forces that allow molecules to interconnect that build carbon based materials, planets and solarsystems to exist at precse locations, equilibrium of forces for stability, proteins that convert into life (whatever life is), genetic codes to formulate that reproduce the life entity, and then a sequence of genetic events that leads to complex life and ultimately to human life. I'm sure I'm even leaving something out, but the odds for that to happen must be trillions upon trillions to one, probably greater than hitting the lottery a hundred times in a row.


    Just fathom such odds. Atheists claim to be rationalists. Ha! As an engineer who has to make decisions with limited data one has to make decisions based on probabilities. For someone to believe that such trillions upon trillions could occur verses some organizing intelligent force is irrational. The rational argument is that a God has arranged the universe.

    I still wait for someone to dig up an airplane engine in their backard.
    Oh come one Virgil, human life did not come together by chance, no one is saying that. life evolved in the environment available to it and human beings are one of the evolved manifestations of that life, that doesn't mean that the first human beings popped into existence by the random concurrence of the necessary components - though perhaps that is how some of the simplest precursors of life came about.

    "First the universe must form by chance to have certain forces that allow molecules to interconnect that build carbon based materials, planets and solarsystems to exist at precse locations, equilibrium of forces for stability, proteins that convert into life (whatever life is), genetic codes to formulate that reproduce the life entity, and then a sequence of genetic events that leads to complex life and ultimately to human life."

    What you're talking about there is the probability of the exact manifestation of life right here and right now on earth exactly as it is. The probability of any complex situation being exactly so are infinitesimally small.

    I look out of my window and I see a unique sky, the clouds have never formed this exact pattern before - the chance of this exact sky coming to be are absurdly small and yet here it is, this exact sky... obviously the logical conclusion, because the chances of this exact sky occurring are so small, is that an intelligent creator made it....

    I hope you see the point I'm rather crudely trying to make here.

    As for the odds of digging a naturally formed aircraft engine in your back garden... I think you'll find their software is wrong, i.e It can't possibly be smart enough to workout something like that and they must be working with some crude and inaccurate assumptions
    Last edited by DapperDrake; 10-18-2008 at 11:30 AM.
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    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DapperDrake View Post
    I look out of my window and I see a unique sky, the clouds have never formed this exact pattern before - the chance of this exact sky coming to be are absurdly small and yet here it is, this exact sky... obviously the logical conclusion, because the chances of this exact sky occurring are so small, is that an intelligent creator made it....
    Yes, it is. You proved my point! A point made by most scientists who are not atheists.
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    Registered User DapperDrake's Avatar
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    I'm sure you realise I was actually trying to highlight the flaw in the argument by Reductio ad absurdum so I won't bite, but you do understand my point right?
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    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DapperDrake View Post
    I'm sure you realise I was actually trying to highlight the flaw in the argument by Reductio ad absurdum so I won't bite, but you do understand my point right?
    I understand your point, and you don't seem to understand mine. Your point is wrong because order doesn't happen by accident.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

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  10. #10

    Lightbulb

    order is order because it is order i mean if not it would be called anarchy or chaos. It i makes since that a creator made the sky and the earth how else would there be the resources so needed to humans. what is important is that people respect each others beliefs no matter what god they believe in. I m sure this sounds confusing so ill simplfy it.VIRGILS right!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    000

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    The Ghost of Laszlo Jamf islandclimber's Avatar
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    ahhhh... i just spent 45 min writing a response to previous posts and had it vanish... *tear* well here I go again I suppose...

    Virgil thanks for your posts.. they are great... the study on the aircraft engine in the backyard is interesting... is it posted anywhere online do you know?? and yes I agree, atheists claim to appeal to logic and rationality, but the rational explanation for existence and why we are here and how we are here, when looking at through science and discoveries made by science, is that god/intelligent design does exist... and that is why so many physicists believe this.. they looked at the evidence in their own fields and decided that it decisively pointed to existence of some form of god and not atheism, which is why most physical scientists aren't atheists as stated...

    Dapper reductio ad absurdum is where you take what Virgil's position and show it to reach and absurd and illogical conclusion which you have only done if you believe the existence of god to be absurd and illogical... second your argument is more of a "straw hat" argument.. you brought up an entirely different situation than the existence situation Virgil and I are talking about, the position you set up only superficially resembles the existence position and therefore is not the same thing to argue... try again..

    next Occam's Razor to prove that immensely complex scientific theories and infinitesimally small chances are the simplest solution to existence.. you can't be serious.. I mean there are arguments on your side and often good ones... but using Occam's Razor is silly... it requires almost no complex assumptions to believe that god created the universe and got things rolling whereas to believe that random chance and fluke did so requires huge assumptions and huge leaps in logic... which is why there are no theories in science on the how or why we exist, on what got the ball rolling...

    ontological reductionism is not a valid argument for explaining existence... I don't know why it would be brought up.. it can possibly (and this is still only a slight possibility) explain what is at the base level of existence, the essence, the indivisible building blocks... but it can't even begin to suggest where this essence/ these blocks came from, why they just spontaneously and randomly started combining... please show me a scientific theory on these things and I will be happy to read it... also I would argue that being able to find a finite beginning, indivisible builiding blocks at the root of things, provides more evidence for a god that would have had to create these things to begin existence, to start them combining in the exact ways needed to create the universe in the way it is today... just my honest opinion... the other argument of the universe existing ad infinitum and an infinite and timeless essence beneath this illusion of reality provides an argument in line with hinduism and buddhism, for that suggests that we are all part of the infinite essence, or as those religions call it, the godhead... on some level we all exist infinitely and timelessly...

    again you talk about simpler theories for existence in science, and evidence that god does not exist.. but I have never seen a scientific theory on why or how we the universe began so that is balderdash, and the evidence in my opinion strongly suggests existence of a god or intelligent design.. just the order in the universe, the apparent design of the universe, the arrangement of everything that otherwise has to be random chance.. the evidence is heavily in favour of some form of god existing...

    and yes the big bang theory says nothing of design, it just points to it, suggests it.. says how did this randomly just begin without something there to start it.. are you trying to tell me that it is logical and rational to assume that all these condensed building blocks sitting there for an infinite and timeless period (cuz if there is no god they must have always been there) just up and started randomly expanding and in the perfect way to create order in the universe, to allow life to come to be??? that is so irrational it is absurd...

    Bitterfly, Schroedinger wrote that in 1954 not at the beginning of the century but after both relativity theories and quantum mechanics.. and you counter with Einstein but he was of the same period... also Einstein is widely regarded regarded as having been a deist.. he believed in god and thought there was rational explanation for god in science, or one could be discovered in any case.. Hawking also denies any assertions that he is an atheist and often seems to be either a deist like Einstein, or agnostic.. so 2 poor examples...

    also I would like to know where I can find something showing that most euro physical scienstists are atheistic as opposed to theistic and deistic... several of the scientist's he mentions believing in god are European...

    and lastly I am not saying science proves the existence of god.. that would be silly.. what it does is point to the existence of god much more strongly than to the non-existence of god.. and this is why so many physicists are theists and deists... it is more rational and logical that god does exist...

    Nikolai, that is too bad you're response disappeared, I would have enjoyed reading it, as per usual with your posts

    Zola, I like the face at the start of your post.. hehe...

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    Registered User DapperDrake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by islandclimber View Post
    Dapper reductio ad absurdum is where you take what Virgil's position and show it to reach and absurd and illogical conclusion which you have only done if you believe the existence of god to be absurd and illogical... second your argument is more of a "straw hat" argument.. you brought up an entirely different situation than the existence situation Virgil and I are talking about, the position you set up only superficially resembles the existence position and therefore is not the same thing to argue... try again..
    I know, I didn't say it was a good or well put example, in fact I think I said it was crude. but the basic principle of my argument was by reductio ad absurdum (although I seem to of failed).


    Quote Originally Posted by islandclimber View Post
    next Occam's Razor to prove that immensely complex scientific theories and infinitesimally small chances are the simplest solution to existence.. you can't be serious.. I mean there are arguments on your side and often good ones... but using Occam's Razor is silly... it requires almost no complex assumptions to believe that god created the universe and got things rolling whereas to believe that random chance and fluke did so requires huge assumptions and huge leaps in logic... which is why there are no theories in science on the how or why we exist, on what got the ball rolling...
    "it requires almost no complex assumptions to believe that god created the universe"

    Oh what would I give for a raised eye-brow smilie right about now. I would say that God is a pretty complex assumption. Occams razor as I understand it says, more or less, the theory that requires the least external assumptions to be added to it is probably correct. Or to put it another way the simplest solution is best.
    Now to my mind it is a simpler theory that we arose naturally by chance than that a supernatural all powerful being created us.
    However I can see we disagree here so lets not argue about our difference of opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by islandclimber View Post
    again you talk about simpler theories for existence in science, and evidence that god does not exist.. but I have never seen a scientific theory on why or how we the universe began so that is balderdash, and the evidence in my opinion strongly suggests existence of a god or intelligent design.. just the order in the universe, the apparent design of the universe, the arrangement of everything that otherwise has to be random chance.. the evidence is heavily in favour of some form of god existing...
    whoa there, I didn't say there were any theories for existence in science or anything like that, nor did I say there is evidence that God does not exist. What I said was that the so called evidence for intelligent design can be explained away by simpler theories in each case.

    Quote Originally Posted by islandclimber View Post
    and yes the big bang theory says nothing of design, it just points to it, suggests it.. says how did this randomly just begin without something there to start it.. are you trying to tell me that it is logical and rational to assume that all these condensed building blocks sitting there for an infinite and timeless period (cuz if there is no god they must have always been there) just up and started randomly expanding and in the perfect way to create order in the universe, to allow life to come to be??? that is so irrational it is absurd...
    I don't pretend to know how things started or what was happing, if anything, before the big bang. Though it seems to be to be simpler to assume some inscrutable natural cause than to say that it was God who set things in motion, after all, where did God come from and how long was he sitting around before he decided to start things off, what was he doing before that? how did he do it? and a thousand other questions arise.

    Quote Originally Posted by islandclimber View Post
    Bitterfly, Schroedinger wrote that in 1954 not at the beginning of the century but after both relativity theories and quantum mechanics.. and you counter with Einstein but he was of the same period... also Einstein is widely regarded regarded as having been a deist.. he believed in god and thought there was rational explanation for god in science, or one could be discovered in any case.. Hawking also denies any assertions that he is an atheist and often seems to be either a deist like Einstein, or agnostic.. so 2 poor examples...
    I disagree, Einstein and hawking are simply two men who are much too smart to make sweeping statement such as "I do not believe in God" and yet neither of them are Christians and neither of them has asserted that there is a supernatural, personal, God.

    By the definition we seem to be using on these forums they are atheists, I.e. if you don't believe in a personal supernatural God then you are an atheist.

    However by the other definition which rarely gets used they are not atheists and neither am I, that is the belief or doctrine that there is no God. i.e actively believing there is no God as opposed to simply not actively believing there is one.

    Einstein's beliefs are humanist by the way rather than deist, though he is often misunderstood by Christians to be deist.
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    The Ghost of Laszlo Jamf islandclimber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DapperDrake View Post
    I disagree, Einstein and hawking are simply two men who are much too smart to make sweeping statement such as "I do not believe in God" and yet neither of them are Christians and neither of them has asserted that there is a supernatural, personal, God.

    By the definition we seem to be using on these forums they are atheists, I.e. if you don't believe in a personal supernatural God then you are an atheist.

    However by the other definition which rarely gets used they are not atheists and neither am I, that is the belief or doctrine that there is no God. i.e actively believing there is no God as opposed to simply not actively believing there is one.

    Einstein's beliefs are humanist by the way rather than deist, though he is often misunderstood by Christians to be deist.
    as I stated many times and Hawking claims not to be an atheist, so he is not an atheist.. that is just common sense... he is agnostic at times saying he cannot know and other times he states things that clearly suggest he is deist...

    you're definition of atheism according to discussions on this site is wrong... it is irrelevant what people on this site suggest is the definition of atheism.. whether it is a personal supernatural creator god or a pantheistic god that is part of all nature or is all of nature... all those beliefs are some kind of theism... Einstein if anything was humanistic like you say.. I agree, and my labelling him as deistic is slightly misleading if you assume his idea of god is a personal creator god which he repeatedly denied... but he did believe in the buddhist idea of a godhead, a kind of pantheism.. he even stated if he did believe in a god it was the god of spinoza not a personal creator god.. stated that cosmological religion, the religion of the future that fit what was needed was buddhism.. einstein realized that there was something hidden behind all of science and that this infinite godhead that was in everything, well, he thought it could be understood and explained with science...

    by the way, your post, I quite like.. and agree with much of it.. but the problem is, we do have a difference of opinion.. well not that it is a problem... I think the chance that, if our universe is finite, a god created it is the simplest solution and not the one in trillions upon trillions chance that it happened randomly and by accident... that is why i find all the evidence there is in science points towards existence of some form of god..

    the simpler theories on the evidence for god existing, what are they?? that is what I wanted to know?? the big bang, how did it begin without a prime mover like god?? is there a theory on this??

    now on the questions of what was god doing before, how long was he there, all those things, well god is necessarily in a timeless and infinite state.. temporal and spatial definitions require time of course and being in a finite state.. therefore the questions you asked can have no answer... how long is infinite?? can that be answered?? no... the problem with any argument without god is the same, how long were those infinitely condensed building blocks sitting there?? why did they just randomly decide to explode and start combining??? all of these can be asked of a god, and of building blocks supposedly behind everything.. but at least in the case of god, there is some reason why it would begin, whereas there no rationality or logic as to why it would be begin with the other argument...

    now, just to clarify I am not a theist, deist, atheist, or agnostic... and my religion and faith and beliefs are not at all part of any organised.. the closest they could come to would be what I believe Siddhartha originally taught and has been twisted into current buddhism, which is still imo one of the most compassionate and wonderful religions on the planet... but still out of sorts with what siddhartha originally said... if we followed the label you suggested for lack of belief in a personal/supernatural god, I would be an atheist... but I would reject that label... in a sense I would be a pantheist with somewhat atheistic tendencies.. but I have trouble agreeing with the large majority of atheists, because they are far too reactionary and fall far and away from logic and rationality on so many issues because they are so concerned with the terrible monster that religion is.. look at Dawkins and his followers... my problem with this is too many people want to label themselves as something and I am not quite sure why... to find somewhere they fit in? but I find this argument based upon physics and god quite interesting especially considering the vast number of eminent physicists who do believe in some kind of god... that is why I am interested in other opinions on it, or theories that show otherwise, any other links to pages on this, etc...

    so thank you to all who have replied so far...

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    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by islandclimber View Post
    Virgil thanks for your posts.. they are great... the study on the aircraft engine in the backyard is interesting... is it posted anywhere online do you know??
    I'm afraid not. It was not presented or generated in response to anything to do with an theism/atheism debate. It was prepared to show how variables can be managed to find an optimum design. It stuck in my brain becasue I thought it was a perfect argument for times like these.

    Quote Originally Posted by DapperDrake View Post
    Oh what would I give for a raised eye-brow smilie right about now. I would say that God is a pretty complex assumption. Occams razor as I understand it says, more or less, the theory that requires the least external assumptions to be added to it is probably correct. Or to put it another way the simplest solution is best.
    Now to my mind it is a simpler theory that we arose naturally by chance than that a supernatural all powerful being created us.
    However I can see we disagree here so lets not argue about our difference of opinion.
    Dapper, I think you're not understanding Occam's razor correcty. All Occam's razor says is that when arguments are presented with many justifications, only the fewest should be used. It's really a statement of being succinct. To be honest, it's not much of a theory. I'm not criticizing you here, but like Island says, you have better arguments to make. Like for instance, how do you prove a negative. There is no proof for a negative.

    I believe the whole argument comes down to this: If you look at the order in the universe one either sees God or sees chance. As one who was an atheists in my youth, I have grown to see that order does not come about by chance.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

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  15. #15
    Registered User DapperDrake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by islandclimber View Post
    if we followed the label you suggested for lack of belief in a personal/supernatural god, I would be an atheist... but I would reject that label...
    I don't like that definition either, and I reject the label too. Its just that using the stricter definition on this forum often leads to misunderstandings, in my experience anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by islandclimber View Post
    but I have trouble agreeing with the large majority of atheists, because they are far too reactionary and fall far and away from logic and rationality on so many issues because they are so concerned with the terrible monster that religion is...
    I can't agree more! I was an atheist leaving school but upon delving into the arguments and philosophy behind atheism I was disgusted to find that atheist books are all full of illogical and almost venomous arguments that I was quite happy to reject almost out of hand. That, and many other things eventually lead to me becoming a Christian, for about five years anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil
    I believe the whole argument comes down to this: If you look at the order in the universe one either sees God or sees chance. As one who was an atheists in my youth, I have grown to see that order does not come about by chance.
    Well I won't pretend I don't wonder about this myself or have doubts about my beliefs. It often strikes me that the human condition is just too remarkable to not be special and that God must be involved. But that is just a feeling I often get, I can't support it in argument and the vast majority of the time I don't believe it.

    Edit: One thing though, you say "I have grown to see that order does not come about by chance." well I don't see order, I see chaos. At least, chaos with a certain regularity about it.
    Last edited by DapperDrake; 10-18-2008 at 07:51 PM.
    Suicide carried off many. Drink and the devil took care of the rest. - R L Stevenson

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