Why Did You Choose Atheism?

What are we defining here? A foot race is only valid if all runners begin from the same starting line. That’s easy to do on a track field, but starting this discussion from a uniformly accepted definition of it’s central premise is nearly impossible and this is why this discussion rarely changes someones position. This personal terrain of intellectual territory is already staked out and vehemently defended. it’s too bad. We’ve heard the phrase he or she brings a lot of emotional baggage with them, the question posed above brings up an enormous and essentially confusing intellectual “baggage” when people try to formulate their answer.

Problem number one; The question behind the question above is “Do you think there is a God?” How can we hope to answer this question if we have nothing more than a vague and very imprecise definition of the word in question “God?” The word is like no other word in human language in it’s power to act as a verbal trigger for the brain to instantly attach and ascribe preexisting definitions to it’s meaning whether or not these definitions are accurate. A good example would be to ask how many gods are there in the Hindu religion? Fervent believers assert each one is real, something very doubtful. Astrology, and voodoo are believed because of the human mind’s natural habit of defining and categorizing what it experiences. It’s highly prone to error and mistaken beliefs tend to have a long shelf life.
The question posed is “Why did you choose atheism” One might credibly answer “Because I’ve never been offered a clear and convincing counterargument.” It wouldn’t be surprising to hear that response because any rebuttal to the idea of atheism usually comes from one very flawed source, religion. Religion poisons the discussion of whether or not a transcendent agent is responsible for the creation of the universe. Let’s try a mental reboot of how we define the word “God” Setting aside all anthropomorphic projections of who, how, or what he is we might define this entity as being a preexisting (eternal) form of lucid, and self-perpetuating energy whose dominant attribute is love. I use the word love here not in it’s colloquial sense but more in a metaphysical context. Could such a supreme being exist? My answer is yes and in my opinion it’s science not religion that makes the best case for the existence of God. I can offer what I think is a compelling case for the intellectual assertion (not the religious assertion) that an original, intelligible and transcendent supervening power is real.

[quote=“michaelmckinney1951, post:81, topic:8245”]

Could such a supreme being exist? My answer is yes and in my opinion it’s science not religion that makes the best case for the existence of God. I can offer what I think is a compelling case for the intellectual assertion (not the religious assertion) that an original, intelligible and transcendent supervening power is real.

And that would be the abstract LOGICAL function. Not what it is, but what it does.

I understand what you are proposing, but the word God is specifically assigned to a biblical agency and IMO, should not be used in any other context. It implies a sentient, intelligent, and MOTIVATED creator agent. In that context it is a superfluous and unnecessary concept.

The Universe can, and does very well without a motivated agency. It is fundamentally dynamic and has logical mathematical processing of relational values and function as a guiding equation.

The best definition would be a term that describes the fundamental logical progressive sequence of; "input–> quasi-intelligent logical (mathematical) function → output "

I’d like to see something on the order of ; CDT (Causal Dynamical Triangulation)

Causal dynamical triangulation (abbreviated as CDT) theorized by Renate Loll, Jan Ambjørn and Jerzy Jurkiewicz, is an approach to quantum gravity that like loop quantum gravity is background independent.

This means that it does not assume any pre-existing arena (dimensional space), but rather attempts to show how the spacetime fabric itself evolves.

There is evidence [1] that at large scales CDT approximates the familiar 4-dimensional spacetime, but shows spacetime to be 2-dimensional near the Planck scale, and reveals a fractal structure on slices of constant time. These interesting results agree with the findings of Lauscher and Reuter, who use an approach called Quantum Einstein Gravity, and with other recent theoretical work.

I don’t think that mathematics or quantum physics can answer this question. As far as the definition of “God” being only biblical and therefore only legitimately defined in religious terms is to use a conceptual framework that’s outmoded and no longer valid. Why shouldn’t the idea and concept of “God” change, grow and evolve as in every other sphere of intellectual speculation?
It’s very convenient for those who posit the idea of “God’s” non-existence to keep the archaic definition of a biblical father figure as the sole and only idea of what others assert as being a supreme spiritual reality. If I endorsed atheism I would want my definition of God to be as religiously orthodox as possible because it’s easy to criticize a diminished and miniaturized concept of God by identifying (him, her, it) with the silly fables of biblical scripture. It’s easy to poke fun at things that are easy to poke fun at, but this line of criticism doesn’t address a deeper exploration of this question.

Does it?
It certainly seems to function perfectly. How did it all start? Cosmology and astrophysics give us a very accurate though not entirely complete picture of what happened. 13.6 billion years ago that ultimate and original black whole singularity exploded and it’s outward and very violent blast turned energy into matter on a staggeringly vast scale. Astrophysicists are always quick to assert that prior to the “Big Bang” nothing existed, nothing at all including the laws of physics, gravity and thermodynamics. If this is true how is that once this original point of matter and energy reached a certain density and temperature it exploded into the Big Bang? Something external to the original singularity had to be exercising a controlling and governing influence on this super dense and super hot object or it would have never exploded. In other words it’s infinite density and temperature violated what ever the physical laws that enabled it to form in the first place and yet we’re told by astrophysicists that nothing, absolutely nothing had any form of prior existence to the Big Bang. Time itself began with the Big Bang we’re told but if something existed prior to the emergence of time itself it infers a power that is by definition timeless and something timeless is something eternal. The point is this; something exerted a controlling effect on the singularity causing it to explode and bring the four dimensional space time continuum into existence. Something very powerful and something beyond the flow of linear time seems to have begun our universe.
My second point and I’ll only make two (in this post) is this; Our universe is in an utterly miraculous state of balance. The vast amounts of matter and antimatter produced in the Big Bang was almost formulaic in it’s remotely improbable result of eventually producing a stable , and long lived universe. Lawrence Krause astrophysicist has said of a billion atoms of anti-matter a billion and one atoms of matter cancelled each other out violently leaving the residual normal matter to build our universe. Those are very tight odds. Miraculous balance continues in the near perfect match between gravity and the outward expansion of the universe. If there had slightly less mass it would have lasted for hundreds of millions or tens of millions of years , far shorter time for the evolution of galaxies, planets and complex life. Computer simulations have show this to be true.

The universe is dynamic meaning it has energy but I have no idea what the rest of this sentence means.

[quote=“write4u, post:82, topic:8245”]

It is fundamentally dynamic and has logical mathematical processing of relational values and functions as a guiding equation.

[quote=“michaelmckinney1951, post:83, topic:8245”]

The universe is dynamic meaning it has energy but I have no idea what the rest of this sentence means.

Exactly as posited. Everything in the Universe has a value. These values have relationships. The relationships are guided by mathematical functions.

This chronology results in regular patterns that make up reality, of which we can observe and define a small local part with human symbolic mathematics.

He starts with the boast that he’s here to study who he is, who we are.
Then runs away from the biology, that is, who we are! Instead telling us about “conscious agents” zinging around interpreting reality for us. Yes, it’s loony, no matter how grand his academic credentials are. Anyone supporting it as a notion worth wasting energy on, just for the heck of its audacity, is nearly as bad. Heck have I got a business plan for shrewd investors, let’s advertise a blood test, for every ill you can imagine, all with one drop. Fantastic. Seriously, it’s a wonderfully audacious idea, give me a few hundred million bucks.

  • Donald Hoffman theorizes experiencing reality is disadvantageous to evolutionary fitness.
  • His hypothesis calls for ditching the objectivity of matter and space-time and replacing them with a mathematical theory of consciousness.
  • If correct, it could help us progress such intractable questions as the mind-body problem and the conflict between general relativity and quantum mechanics.

A) from a guy who’s never studied actual wet evolution. It’s ridiculous, as numerous experts help me explain
B) His brag is that the end of Space and Time as we know it is nigh, because the mathematics as we know it breaks down. This is the realm of angels dancing on the heads of pins.
C) Coupling the “general relativity and quantum mechanics” conflict, with the “intractable mind-body problem” is showmanship.
The Mind Body problem is NOT intractable as Mark Solms and Antonio Damasio clearly explicate in their books and talk. I know there are a few other leaders in the field, but so far I haven’t read their books. Besides Damasio and Solms are recognized as leading pioneers in the field, so they speak with authority.

There is no mind/body problem, it’s an ego/god problem that most are suffering from.

The mind is the inside of our body as it interacts with itself and the environment it’s embedded within. Same as all other living creatures here on Earth.

Not sure which five panelist you are talking about - or which comments specifically - and the NS article is behind a pay wall for me. You’d have to share specifics, but quite possibly.

Max Tegmark does little to impress me because like so many other talking heads he plays with the metaphysical overtones too much. They seem more showmanship who have come upon an engaging shtick that pays well.

Not claiming a lot of what they are saying isn’t true, I’m saying, they leave out too much and their interpretations are just-so stories - rather than serious honest pursuit to understand our evolutionary origins. Biology is the place to look if you are seriously going to boast about being “in search of the self”. We sure as hell won’t find our answers in the metaphysical realm.

I am certainly ready to look at anything you offer and learn some new lessons, or explain why I don’t buy it. But you still owe it to yourself to read Damasio’s “Self Comes to Mind” and then Solms “The Hidden Spring”

[quote=“citizenschallengev4, post:85, topic:8245”]

Not sure which five panelist you are talking about - or which comments specifically - and the NS article is behind a pay wall for me. You’d have to share specifics, but quite possibly

I continued the conversation in Philosophy ; “mind the mind”
I wanted to remove it from religion.

That is where you find the panel of eminently credentialed scientists, discussing the “Reality of Reality”.

The operative word in this abstruse pile of cryptic nonsense is the one that’s next to the last, “theoretical.” Astrophysicists will conger up all manner of possible explanations to account for the ultimate origin of our universe or more specifically what existed before the Big Bang. It’s what’s called a “hot potato.” Physicists and cosmologists don’t want to touch it because once they say we have no idea, the next comment might be, “Well something must have started our universe, maybe it was something science can’t measure or detect. Maybe that original singularity was not so singular.”
Hearing such comments is very uncomfortable for some scientists because it opens the conversational door to the possibility of a transcendent agent, a “motivating agent” as described above for an explanation of our universe was created.
We know the story as told and objectively verified by science about how everything in the universe began from the Big Bang onward. What is still open to speculation and informed opinion is what existed prior to this seminal event. Is it really convincing to simply say nothing existed? If this were true it would be the only example of this ever happening in observed reality in human experience. The reason is we know of nothing in the observed universe that has ever passed completely out of existence or conversely has ever come into existence from nothing because all we can see, measure, or detect is matter and energy and all they do is interchange. Matter becomes energy or energy becomes matter, nothing drops off the radar or disappears without a trace, but we’re expected to give a respectful nod of agreement to the flippant statement that our expanding universe came from nothing. … Hmm,

[quote=“michaelmckinney1951, post:87, topic:8245”]

The operative word in this abstruse pile of cryptic nonsense is the one that’s next to the last, “theoretical.”

Of course it is theoretical. Do you expect proof of something that happened 13.8 billion years ago?
The BB is theoretical. An infinite Universe is theoretical. A Multiverse is theoretical.

That it is theoretical does not falsify the theory.

Have you read the condensed wiki article?
Have you read the numerous PDF papers on this subject? This is serious science and ties together a lot of loose ends .

Have you looked into the work that is being done at the large hadron collider, CERN?

Because there is no evidence of god.
The christian god is stupid because he knows nothing that anyone else does not already know.
The monotheistic god has no positive “god” values only human values/
Everything on Earth attributed to god is really from people or nature.
Science explains all life and events naturally/


Yes W4U, those things are “theoretical” and herein lies the problem which is as much lingual as it is scientific. Things "theoretical are not equal in their veracity. You correctly stated above

but you would’ve been just as correct if you said that it is theoretical does not substantiate the theory either. What it basically says is we think we see a new phenomenon here but we’re not entirely sure, and we need to do more research. Science to it’s credit is habitually reluctant to call something settled truth because the picture of anything studied or researched by science will always be incomplete and gathering more information on any subject is always ongoing. This is why we still hear the phrase “Theory of Evolution.” We know that “Evolution” is real because overwhelming evidence confirms it. We also know the Big Bang “Theory” is real for the same reason. We presently DON’T know that a “Multiverse” is real or whether a cyclic expansion/contraction universe is real, or a universe with eleven dimensions is real. The evidence for these "theoretical ideas are presently no more than circumstantial. The evidence for an expanding universe caused by the Big Bang is overwhelmingly convincing. The Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation survey is proof positive. So you don’t have to ask,

because we already have proof.
I base my assertions above that something exerted a controlling influence on that original singularity that became the Big Bang expanding universe on a verifiable reality.
The Big Bang "Theory is a term that’s been commonly used for decades and yet to call it a theory or “theoretical” is a grossly inaccurate misnomer. The Big Bang did happen. We know it’s real. The same can’t be said about the “theoretical” examples you listed above and that makes their difference critical.

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I’m familiar with it but not intimately. Machines like this use to be called atom smashers but that term fell out of favor, most likely because the phrase reminded people of what happened in Japan in 1945 and made raising public funds for such expensive research difficult.
My understanding of the results this enormous particle collider produced is that when two objects collide at speeds great enough to shatter their atomic bond subatomic traces of matter and energy are detectable. Matter under these extreme conditions became energy at least in very minute amounts. As far as I can tell this corroborates Einstein’s assertion that matter and energy are interchangeable.

Ok, I agree with all that.

But God is a theory also and using your argument, there is no evidence that confirms the existence of a god, whereas we do have evidence of the BB.

As to change and the creation of “new” stuff, that is a misleading statement.

Stuff only changes it is not created. New stuff is created but not from nothing. It always created from already existing stuff that was deposited during the BB

And it turns out that all existing stuff is a combination of three elementary particles, which are basically quanta of values making up the fundamental building blocks of everything. These values can only be produced in quantum fields and cannot have an independent physical existence unless they self-organize into a pattern that becomes expressed in our Periodic Table of Elements, which in turn make up all existing molecular patterns, which in turn make up the physical reality.

The Higgs boson is one such particle. With the Cern collider set at very specific mathematical measurements, we managed to tease a Higgs boson from its field and were able to make a brief measurement of its “values” before it almost instantly
decayed and disappeared as an independent particle.

The boson is unable to exist as an independent physical particle.

There is nothing in the universe that will ever “confirm” the existence of God. How can we confirm something that can’t be weighed. measured or observed?
As for “change and the creation of new stuff” is concerned, I never used that phrase, it’s too clumsy and inexact.
It’s odd that I’ve heard no credible speculation here about my main point. Assuming we agree that The Big Bang did bring our universe into existence then why did that happen? Why didn’t that singularity remain static and unchanging? What caused that singularity to explode? I hear no answers.

You described an atomic reaction. It would be so easy for you to educate yourself. I’m not going to pick a link for you. It doesn’t seem you are interested in anything discovered in the last 30 years

I see the idea of a deity as being a human creation, not a theory. Humans created gods.

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[quote=“michaelmckinney1951, post:94, topic:8245”]

Why didn’t that singularity remain static and unchanging? What caused that singularity to explode? I hear no answers.

It is explained in Chaos theory.

Mostly likely some chemical reaction caused the Big Bang, but of course, this would reject the theory of something from nothing. I’m not so sure it was not a chemical reaction, in this case gases, which joined together can caused an explosion. Next you’ll ask then who put the chemicals there. I don’t think it was a who and this where science is helpful. The thing is, we must not, as humans, place a humanoid being where we don’t even know the what. Since everything in the Universe is found in us, in animals, in planets, etc etc maybe it’s just stuff that perpetually recycle itself. We see this when a star goes supernova. Eventually, it returns to just being gases in space and something else is created eventually. We’re just not around to see a supernova be recycled, but scientists have seen stars “be born” and again, it’s the same stuff. Maybe the “nothing” is nothing more than gases that can’t been seen or protons and electrons causing a big bang. Who knows, but if we are around long enough, maybe the scientists will figure out the what, but I guarantee you, it wasn’t humanoid.

There are physics forums, books, PBS. But me not explaining the limits of physics somehow means something to you. Please explain

What Is a Theory?

In everyday use, the word “theory” often means an untested hunch, or a guess without supporting evidence.

But for scientists, a theory has nearly the opposite meaning. A theory is a well-substantiated explanation of an aspect of the natural world that can incorporate laws, hypotheses and facts.

The theory of gravitation, for instance, explains why apples fall from trees and astronauts float in space.

Similarly, the theory of evolution explains why so many plants and animals—some very similar and some very different—exist on Earth now and in the past, as revealed by the fossil record. …