Ask an atheist..?

Is there a God? If so, what is She like?

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ReliStuPhD
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Re: Ask an atheist..?

Post by ReliStuPhD »

Thanks for the replies, both of you. At this point, you've given me enough that I'll have to revisit the KCA to see how it (or, more precisely, its proponents) would respond. At the very least, I think there's a lot of explaining to be done with respect to #2 in light of the objections you've raised.

And just on a personal note, thanks for salvaging what was shaping up to be a uniquely frustrating 'debate.'
thedoc
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Re: Ask an atheist..?

Post by thedoc »

Ginkgo wrote:
thedoc wrote:If I may return to point 2. The universe began to exist. for a moment, I believe that the beginning of the universe was hypothesized from the initial understanding that the universe was expanding and they "ran the film backwards" and discovered that everything came back to a point.
I think this is basically the Hawking thought experiment.
thedoc wrote:
Now it has been observed that the expansion is speeding up. I haven't seen any speculation on this as to how it might effect the beginning, but what if the expansion has always been speeding up and if you "Run the film backwards" might you come to a time when the universe was steady, or at the bottom of a compression before expanding again.
This is problematic. My understanding is that it is not possible to run the universe backwards. There are a number of reasons for this. Having said that without supplying any detail, I think it is reasonable to suggest that at some stage the universe was homogenous. A universe that is dominated by dark energy will ultimately result in the following:

http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_deat ... e_universe
thedoc wrote:
Either case would eliminate a beginning and leave you with a universe that has always been. Then the question becomes "Does something that has always been (and you must define "has always been") have a cause?" You are also left with the question does the expansion stop and begin to compress again in never ending cycles?
As I said previously, science doesn't deal in first causes. There are a number of theories that explain the universe in terms of having no beginning or end. As you suggest the Big Crunch is one of them.

http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Crunch

Perhaps I wasn't clear, I am not suggesting that the universe can run backwards, it seems that time only runs in one direction. My reference was from a program where they suggested that if a film could be made of the universe expanding, the film could then be run backwards to illustrate that everything started at one small point. I believe that current theory suggests that either there is some attractor that is pulling everything apart or some force that is pushing everything apart. In either case it is possible that a point will be reached when that force is no longer able to control the motion of the universe and the process will reverse. It is also not clear that the universe will contract to a point or just some stage of equilibrium before expanding again.
Ginkgo
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Re: Ask an atheist..?

Post by Ginkgo »

thedoc wrote:

Perhaps I wasn't clear, I am not suggesting that the universe can run backwards, it seems that time only runs in one direction. My reference was from a program where they suggested that if a film could be made of the universe expanding, the film could then be run backwards to illustrate that everything started at one small point. I believe that current theory suggests that either there is some attractor that is pulling everything apart or some force that is pushing everything apart. In either case it is possible that a point will be reached when that force is no longer able to control the motion of the universe and the process will reverse. It is also not clear that the universe will contract to a point or just some stage of equilibrium before expanding again.
Sorry my misunderstanding.

Yes, quite possible in theory.The dominant force that is driving the universe to a heat death at the moment is dark energy. I guess if gravity were to somehow become the dominant force then this might reverse the process.

"Big Bounce", "Big Crunch" and "Big Rip" are a number of interesting theories that speculate on the ultimate fate of the universe.
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Lev Muishkin
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Re: Ask an atheist..?

Post by Lev Muishkin »

mtmynd1 wrote:
Lev Muishkin wrote: When in doubt humans tend to choose unfalsifiable assumptions and take them as truth; astrology, homeopathy, god, gods, spirit, deity, the list is too long to enumerate.
it ain't no thing.
I don't believe this. Your own words can easily be added to your list.

So where does that put you, Lev? One of the (estimated) 7.3 BILLION hu'mans, each of which has their own opinion, period. Build a belief system using any information we are drowning in and with your chosen words create for yourself a life raft to keep you afloat long enough to find there are no answers to anything which cannot be denied as long as there are other hu'mans to dispute you.

Each and everyone of us are responsible for our own life to live in any way possible that assures at least some degree of satisfaction with what we are doing; we are doing as well as we are capable and with as much joy as we can muster at times of depression or fear that normally haunts us on a near-daily basis.

As we have created our gods to speak to and we've created our philosophies to occupy us with diversion, it is also a fact that we have created our various means of escapism to deny or put to some rest those same fears and confrontations with depression that we are unable to eliminate from our lives.

We are creatures of duality subject to the winds of change that are beyond our hu'manly efforts to control.
QED. You can 'believe" what you want. That is EXACTLY the problem with humanity.
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Lev Muishkin
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Re: Ask an atheist..?

Post by Lev Muishkin »

uwot wrote:
ReliStuPhD wrote:"everything that begins to exist has a cause."
That isn't logically necessary. 'Everything that is caused to exist has a cause.' is different to 'Everything that begins to exist has a cause.' A beginning isn't a cause.
QM
Blaggard
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Re: Ask an atheist..?

Post by Blaggard »

Everything in the Universe did not have a cause that is an a priori assumption that does not match up with reality.

"The universe is infinite as is human stupidity. Although I am not too sure about the first one"


Albert Einstein.
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Lev Muishkin
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Re: Ask an atheist..?

Post by Lev Muishkin »

Blaggard wrote:Everything in the Universe did not have a cause that is an a priori assumption that does not match up with reality.

"The universe is infinite as is human stupidity. Although I am not too sure about the first one"


Albert Einstein.
What we know is that there are effect for which no known cause is known. That is a fact.
Whether or not causes may subsequently be uncovered is another matter.

The beginning of the Universe is obscure; cause unknown, but speculated upon.
Cosmologies come and go. Some take longer to die off than others.
Giant Turtles and Divine Creations are two such long debunked cosmologies.
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ReliStuPhD
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Re: Ask an atheist..?

Post by ReliStuPhD »

Blaggard wrote:Everything in the Universe did not have a cause that is an a priori assumption that does not match up with reality.
Of course, that's not what premise 1 states, is it? But to be fair, the statement "Everything in the Universe did not have a cause," grammatically, is demonstrably false, but on a charitable reading, is still an a priori that does not match up with reality (unless you can actually provide an example of an uncaused thing in the universe whose existence is not theoretical).
Blaggard
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Re: Ask an atheist..?

Post by Blaggard »

There are plenty of hypotheses out there which say the laws of cause and effect have been by passed an often will be. If only they were theories... suffice to say we shouldn't assume anyiing as fact because in our neck fo the woods it so.

Quantum mechanics is replete with such theories of probable over definite: I am sure though the ~"truth" will win out though by and by.

The Kasimir effect and dark energy hint that it might be something can come about without cause, if not nothing.
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ReliStuPhD
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Re: Ask an atheist..?

Post by ReliStuPhD »

^ I'm cool with that. :)
Blaggard
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Re: Ask an atheist..?

Post by Blaggard »

Lev Muishkin wrote:
Blaggard wrote:Everything in the Universe did not have a cause that is an a priori assumption that does not match up with reality.

"The universe is infinite as is human stupidity. Although I am not too sure about the first one"


Albert Einstein.
What we know is that there are effect for which no known cause is known. That is a fact.
Whether or not causes may subsequently be uncovered is another matter.

The beginning of the Universe is obscure; cause unknown, but speculated upon.
Cosmologies come and go. Some take longer to die off than others.
Giant Turtles and Divine Creations are two such long debunked cosmologies.

Which in essence means you have just admitted you don't know if there is any such thing as an uncaused event nor do you know if it is a basic law of reality that there hence must be except of course A priori. An priori assumption that has neither a foundation in logic or science I think.

To cite an example though God assuming he exists has no cause, and one in science is vacuum energy which in theory at least appears out of nothing and may indicate energy concerns for which we have no rational hypothesis aside from the non linear science and stochastic or random/probabilistic concerns of quantum mechanics. And of course black holes which can radiate such particles so it is hypothesized. See also Casimir radiation/effect. Van der Waals forces.

Fundamentally: does reality have a cause or is it eternal, is a valid and unanswerable philosophical dilemma atm.
Alternatively, a 2005 paper by Robert Jaffe of MIT states that "Casimir effects can be formulated and Casimir forces can be computed without reference to zero-point energies. They are relativistic, quantum forces between charges and currents. The Casimir force (per unit area) between parallel plates vanishes as alpha, the fine structure constant, goes to zero, and the standard result, which appears to be independent of alpha, corresponds to the alpha approaching infinity limit," and that "The Casimir force is simply the (relativistic, retarded) van der Waals force between the metal plates."[17]
In non maths and physics gibberish he is basically arm waving about the cause of a supposedly uncaused event.

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

We assume that there cannot be an effect without cause, but that may simply be a faculty of the human condition where we simply do not understand what it is the universal laws are, nor can we observe any such counter cases for example. It is wise hence in science if not in philosophy to remain mute on the issue or moot.

Time may well be more fluid and dynamic than we know, despite our conscious perceptions of it.
surreptitious57
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Re: Ask an atheist..?

Post by surreptitious57 »

The cosmological arrow of time can only move in one direction which is forward. Were it possible
to do so in reverse then that would invalidate the Second Law Of Thermodynamics as entropy can
only increase over time. However if the multiverse hypothesis is true then it could be possible for
time to move backwards in another universe as the laws of physics would not be exactly the same
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Lev Muishkin
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Re: Ask an atheist..?

Post by Lev Muishkin »

Blaggard wrote:There are plenty of hypotheses out there which say the laws of cause and effect have been by passed an often will be. If only they were theories... suffice to say we shouldn't assume anyiing as fact because in our neck fo the woods it so.

Quantum mechanics is replete with such theories of probable over definite: I am sure though the ~"truth" will win out though by and by.

The Kasimir effect and dark energy hint that it might be something can come about without cause, if not nothing.
Only the most rabid spiritualist hare-brained thinkers would suggest that QM utterly refutes the law of causes and effect.
Just because we do not understand Quantum events, does not mean they are causeless.

And as "dark matter' is also not identified, similarly does not refute cause and effect. Unknown means unknown, not undeterminable, or undetermined.
Blaggard
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Re: Ask an atheist..?

Post by Blaggard »

I didn't say that so I fail to see where that straw man was leading. The truth will out is all I said, our assumptions based on our own biases may well not lead to truth. You seem to be arguing what I am arguing, but still saying somehow cause and effect must be favoured, which tends to mean you are arguing for little but as originally opined, your opinion.
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