Why Did You Choose Atheism?

What ever happened to the old scientists contention that, what was before the Big Bang, was simply beyond the limits of science and would always belong to the realm of religion, much more so than anything that can seriously be called science?

I also find it fascinating how often I will hear someone telling us how the atom is almost all emptiness - yet at the same time we need to build billion dollar machines that suck up the power of a city to smash them. Why isn’t there some cognitive dissonance going on?

I also find it fascinating how well so many smart people, scientists, business people, enthusiasts can talk breathlessly about colonizing the moon and Mars, and all these other wonderful things science/technology has envisioned for these next decades - all the while outside our window we are watching a terrifying civilization upending climatic transition coming at us fast and furious, with no end in sight. Why isn’t there some cognitive dissonance going on?

Self fantasizing is what we do best. It’s served us (well some of us) well, up until we needed to start learn to accept limits on our expectations, along with recognizing our life sustaining Earth’s limits.

But limits is something our human imagination finds utterly incapable of accepting, so it’s left to mother earth to give the reality spanking we deserve for our flippancy towards the reality we find ourselves embedded with in.
(Yes embedded! - try living outside Earth’s atmosphere before formulating your objections.)

Why leave it to religion to make up answers for the unexplainable? Why not try to find answers?

Why do you want cognitive dissonance?

Could you please give a summation of this theory?

[quote=“michaelmckinney1951, post:103, topic:8245”]

Could you please give a summation of this theory?

Chaos Theory

Chaos theory is a branch of mathematics focusing on the study of chaos: dynamical systems whose apparently random states of disorder and irregularities are actually governed by underlying patterns and deterministic laws that are highly sensitive to initial conditions.

Chaos theory is an interdisciplinary theory stating that within the apparent randomness of chaotic complex systems, there are underlying patterns, interconnectedness, constant feedback loops, repetition, self-similarity, fractals, and self-organization.[3]

Consider the human brain!

The butterfly effect, an underlying principle of chaos, describes how a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state (meaning that there is sensitive dependence on initial conditions).[4] A metaphor for this behavior is that a butterfly flapping its wings in China can cause a tornado in Texas.

This explains why a “singularity” in a permittive condition can inflate at FTL (chaos), until expanding space has cooled enough for emergent natural values to begin interacting in accordance with natural mathematical laws (constants) and patterns begin to form.

That’s a very perceptive question in that it correctly assumes I’m attempting to make an additional point contingent on your (and everyone’s inability to answer.)
It’s not that you can’t explain how or why the universe began. The point is no human being can explain this and neither can physics or science in general and so it must be a mystery. How can it be anything but a mystery? However if science concedes that it is a mystery which is anathema for science because “mystery” suggests or at least opens the conceptual door to something ultramundane and that in turn infers a transcendent agent might be at work. Science recoils from the word mystery in this context not because it reminds them of something unknown but because it leads to theological questions and this is a subject most scientists scrupulously avoid.
My point in asking this question is to say that it’s theoretically possible that a non-physical, transcendent agent of unknown origin is responsible for the creation of the universe. Do you think this is possible? If you quickly answer “no” could you please tell me why this is not possible?

Somewhat common misconception. Science does NOT recoil from mystery. Scientists are inspired by mystery. It does not open any doors. Science allows for speculation, in fact it lives on it. It just doesn’t put all speculation in one big bucket and treat it all equally.

Edited: added the word not

[quote=“michaelmckinney1951, post:105, topic:8245”]

If you quickly answer “no” could you please tell me why this is not possible?

God, as an conscious intelligent and motivated agency is unnecessary for creative processes. In fact it actually complicates matters, because with the assumption of a supernatural motivated agency we begin by assuming an 'irreducible complexity" creating elementary particles from which complex patterns evolve.
And that is just not logical. It is naive.

On a list of possible causalities, the existence of a sentient creator god is at “absolute zero”.

This statement sounds absolute and infallible and it’s simply not possible for you or any other human being to claim it as certainty.
My question was “Do you think this is possible?” To immediately reply “No” sounds like dogma.
I agree with you that science welcomes mystery PROVIDED that mystery falls within the conceptual paradigms of it’s various methodologies. Outside of these boundaries and especially when it refers to questions of ultimate origins the idea of “mystery” is philosophically distasteful to most scientists.

How about 0.0000000000000000001% chance?

1 Like

The rigid posture of those opposed to entertaining any thought of the mere possibility of the existence of an immaterial, spiritual reality is very similar to the reluctance of fundamentalist Christians when the theory of Evolution is explained to them.

As this subject seems irreconcilable I’d like to make one more entry on the topic. In reply to a request for evidence that confirms the existence of God there is no such evidence and never can be. However I believe there is evidence that convincingly infers the existence of a transcendent agent of supreme and eternal power.
Two lines of thought support this view in my opinion; one is the phenomenon of “Evolved Emergent Complexity” which is clearly observed in the universe and the other is the idea of “universal consciousness” which is more speculative.
Evolved emergent complexity is the observed tendency for the universe to develop through time more elaborate structures of increased complexity beginning with matter itself. From a universe of mostly hydrogen atoms, the simplest atom to a universe proliferated with all the heavy elements needed for the eventual emergence of life and culminating in the evolution of sentient beings. We can see this inexorable process throughout the universe. It is an unmistakable constant. Something is giving energy and direction to this drive toward evolved complexity.
Now enters the idea of “universal consciousness.” This concept implies that consciousness is not produced by the human brain but is present in the universe as one of it’s primary and original attributes and it’s not consciousness that is produced by the brain but it’s the brain and more specifically the human mind that enters consciousness, a universal consciousness that existed prior to the brain and prior to the evolutionary process that brought the human brain into existence. More neuroscientists are accepting this idea and it explains or at least compliments the observed phenomenon of evolved emergent complexity. The universe seems to be getting smarter, more subtle, more complicated and more complex. Human beings are exhibit A. Humans can be though of as a microcosmic expression of the universe at large and we demonstrate these latent tendencies in full accordance with the universe we inhabit. The cosmos shows clear evidence of intelligible and purposeful direction. One of the ascribed attributes of God is “omniscience” and if “universal consciousness” is a real it explains why we see this relentless process from simplicity to complexity instantiated throughout the universe.

I like that. The same can be said for our layered brains which were evolved over ions of creatures trying to survive through their day to day, eat, rest, stay healthy, procreate, live, seek, learn to survive. That imperative starts at the beginnings of complexity within biological systems.

What’s wrong with recognizing consciousness is the result of our body’s functioning biology and sensory inputs from the world we happen to find ourselves.

Opposed to what you are say, there are a number neuroscientists pointing out that our consciousness is basically the inside reflection of our biological bodies dealing with life.

That outlook feels consistent with the experience of my own day to days. I’m aware of the evolutionary heritage that lies behind my body, and the impulses that drive it and help it survive. All of it makes sense from this Earth Centrist perspective, down to my strengths and weaknesses.

You offer universal consciousness, others offer the geometry of consciousness, yet others offer us the end of space and time altogether - how any of it relates to our actual human lives I still can’t fathom, though I’m trying.

Evolution and having a general appreciation for the strands that make me, myself and I, along with where they originated, having a glimpse of the huge spectrum of creatures this Earth provided a home for, and that made me possible. Life and drama on the grandest scale. That stuff positively informs my days and makes a real difference in my appreciate and dealing with the storm und drang of my own days.

Other than entertaining a possibility, something I do and scientists do, FYI, how do you figure your idea is one that anyone else should bother with? I heard no evidence above, just whining about no one listening to you. I heard nothing that points to what you say, other than our mere existence. An existence that lacks a complete description, a complete path back to it’s earliest origin. So, yes, some door is left open a crack for you to claim whatever you want.

But, why should I pursue your claim?

How will my life change if I follow evidence instead of speculation? My mind is open to possibilities either way.

And here is where your argument fails…

The evidence shows that there is 99.99999999999999% probability that evolution has happened and can be considered axiomatic, both theoretical and factual.

OTOH, the existence of a biblical God has no evidence of any kind other that a book written by various “unknown” people. Even if you can claim a 0.0000000000000001 % possibility that such a being exists, who’re you gonna call for advice, Darwin or God?

There is no equal probability. In fact, claiming such thing is a category error.

Evolution is established science. Belief in a Motivated Creator Agency that requires adoration is “wishful thinking”.

[quote=“michaelmckinney1951, post:111, topic:8245”]

Two lines of thought support this view in my opinion; one is the phenomenon of “Evolved Emergent Complexity” which is clearly observed in the universe

Agreed 100%.

and the other is the idea of “universal consciousness” which is more speculative.

That concept is not “required” at all. A mathematical universe needs not be “conscious” to be a functional “guiding equation” of change.

And again, there is overwhelming proof of mathematical function .

Hence, the concept of God is superfluous and Nature ( the abstract property of the universe) does not deal in superfluous concepts. That is the domain of humans.

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

We know the story as told and objectively verified by science about how everything in the universe began from the Big Bang onward.

CDT does not argue against the BB. It argues for the fractal nature of expanding space after the BB.

Slight adjustment. : -)

Evolution is established by scientific evidence.

Now if only we really let that lesson soak in, as we think about who and what we are.

As for God, I would suggest that the evidence points to God being the product of our minds, the self. And where did that come from you ask?

We people, every one of us who was nurtured through an umbilical cord and born from a woman, carry hundreds of millions, actually billions of years worth of biological tricks and tools and such within ourselves. Our body hears the echos of millions and hundreds of thousands of years worth of hominid, then human generations, we are the sum total of their collective journey. It’s not some abstract notion, our DNA is proof of that much.

Each of us has grand parents of grand parents reaching back to the dim dawn of evolution.

If God be anywhere, why shouldn’t she/he be found within ourselves, and the echos of deep time that resonate within each of our bodies?

I keep wondering, how do people justify constantly looking for God, out there?

[quote=“citizenschallengev4, post:117, topic:8245”]

How do people justify constantly looking for God, out there?

Wishful thinking ? The assumption of a spritiual existence in the heaven of God.

The end has no end, but is a new beginning apart from physical existence and if you have been a good boy it is for an eternity of bliss.
Actually it is just an extension of the same evolved impetus that drives us to stay alive.

Ants don’t have don’t have religion or try to stay alive individually. They will unquestioningly give their lives for the hive. (Hellstrom Chronicle)

p.s. Anyone who has not see this movie, should watch it and consider it’s implication.

It’s not that I was calling for cognitive dissonance -
it’s the idea of holding two impossible thoughts at the same time.
Dreams of working on human travel to Mars, with an awareness of what’s happening to the resource base (Earth) that those dreams depend on.

[quote=“citizenschallengev4, post:119, topic:8245”]

Dreams of working on human travel to Mars, with an awareness of what’s happening to the resource base (Earth) that those dreams depend on.

I agree completely. The notion of terraforming inhospitable planets millions of miles in outer space, while we are busy destroying the most hospitable we know of, is incomprehensible to me.

The logic of this entire scenario borders on insanity.

It reminds me of a George Carlin skit about acquiring “stuff”.