Tuesday, October 27, 2009

An atheist says to the Christian

Atheist: I’m an atheist.
Christian: Which would also make you a naturalist.

Atheist: Correct. Nothing exists that is not matter or energy.
Christian: And this is something that you just believe, like one of Dawkins’ faith-heads.

Atheist: That’s correct. What? No. No I don’t just believe this. I have proof that nothing but matter and energy exist.
Christian: So you wouldn’t believe that nothing but matter and energy exist if that wasn’t empirically verifiable.

Atheist: That’s right. I’m NOT like a faith-head. That’s what Dawkins was talking about. I’m a Bright and you’re not.
Christian: And what would that proof be?

Atheist: What proof? Proof for what?
Christian: Proof that nothing but matter and energy exist?

Atheist: Well, the 1st Law of Thermodynamics.
Christian: But that only comes into effect after matter and energy were created.

Atheist: Well, there isn’t any proof for God.
Christian: How do you know? I thought you couldn’t prove a negative.

Atheist: That’s right.
Christian: So you don’t actually know that God doesn’t exist.

Atheist: Well, I’m pretty sure that He doesn’t exist.
Christian: But you state dogmatically that matter and energy are all that exists when that is pure speculation. Why do you do that? You’ve told me on other occasions that you don’t accept anything unless it’s been shown to be true by the scientific method of inquiry.

Atheist: Ya. So?
Christians: Naturalism hasn’t been proven by the scientific method of inquiry. It’s takes faith to believe it, and an anti scientific mind-set to state it.

Atheist: Go away.

18 comments:

Hugo said...

Atheist I’m an atheist.
Christian Which would also make you a naturalist.

Atheist Correct.
Christian So you believe that “Nothing exists that is not matter or energy.” And this is something that you just believe, like one of Dawkins’ faith-heads.

Atheist No, that’s not what I believe. There are things that exist that are not made of matter or energy: thoughts, feelings, emotions, relationships, concepts, etc… But, they are all consequences of things that exist in actual reality, which are made of matter and energy, yes.
Christian So you wouldn’t believe that nothing but matter and energy exist if that wasn’t empirically verifiable.

Atheist All the things that we observe in this material physical natural world are made of matter and energy. This is what we know from physics, chemistry, biology, etc…
That’s right. I’m NOT like a faith-head. That’s what Dawkins was talking about. I’m a Bright and you’re not.
Christian And what would that proof be?

Atheist What proof? Proof for what?
Christian Proof that nothing but matter and energy exist?

Atheist I don’t need to prove that nothing but matter and energy exists because what we know is that all things that manifest themselves in the real world are either matter or energy, and that has been demonstrated thousands of times already.

If you think that something else exists in actual reality, propose an hypothesis, do some tests, write a scientific paper, and people might consider the existence of something other than matter or energy… personally I am not closed to the idea, but it would certainly shake the foundations of many scientific fields so it better be well supported by evidence and experiments.

What unanswered question would that answer by the way? What’s wrong with the current idea that everything is matter or energy?

Don’t say that it does not explain how the Big Bang occurred because it’s simply unknown, the models point to an infinite quantity of energy which is not actual reality, that’s just a conceptual description.

There are also other conceptual descriptions using quantum models and planck time. My knowledge is now good enough on these to believe them. I stick with the "simple" singularity idea for now.

Makarios said...

we know is that all things that manifest themselves in the real world are either matter or energy, and that has been demonstrated thousands of times already.

We also know, by the same criteria that everything that begins to exist (that is not necessary) requires a cause that it external to itself. And that has been demonstrated a bzillion times already.

Hugo said...

everything that begins to exist (that is not necessary) requires a cause that it external to itself.

Fine, what cause energy to start to exist? i.e. what cause the universe/spacetime to start to exist?

If you say "God", tell us how, or else, shut the fuck up and say that you don't know, like any other rational person.

What's up with the "that is not necessary" ?

I hope you're not going to fall on the slippery slope of presuppositions and say that some (unprovent) things are necessary to exists in order to justify the existence of others?

Makarios said...

"Fine, what cause energy to start to exist? i.e. what cause the universe/spacetime to start to exist?"

As you’ve said many times, we don’t know. Well, I believe that I do know but I can only “prove” it beyond a reasonable doubt, not beyond all doubt.

However, your incessant speculations aside, we do know what didn’t cause the universe to begin. What didn’t cause it to begin is anything material or natural.

What did cause it was / is beyond and transcendent to space, time, matter, energy and the laws of physics.
===========

If you say "God", tell us how, or else, shut the fuck up

That’s silly. We don’t have to know HOW something works in order to know that it does work.
===================
What's up with the "that is not necessary"?

Well, anything that begins to exist has an explanation of its existence; either in the Necessity of its being (it can’t NOT exist) or in an external cause.

If you can think of any exceptions I’m open to hearing it / them.
------------

Hugo said...

Well, I believe that I do know but I can only "prove" it beyond a reasonable doubt, not beyond all doubt

No, you don't know, period.
You would win a Nobel Prize if you knew...

we do know what didn’t cause the universe to begin. What didn’t cause it to begin is anything material or natural.

That's your mistake, right there, but let's keep reading a bit…

What did cause it was / is beyond and transcendent to space, time, matter, energy and the laws of physics.

We don't know how the universe came into being, therefore you conclude that the cause is not natural, and must not respect the laws of physics. That's wrong.

You need to justify these claims. You agreed that we don’t know what created the universe, so this means that you agree that any hypothesis is improvable right now... so why would a non-natural explanation be better than a natural one?

HUGO: If you say "God", tell us how, or else, shut the fuck up
MAK: That’s silly. We don’t have to know HOW something works in order to know that it does work.

That comment is out of scope, you do not understand the point.

The question here should be “how can matter or energy be created?”, I cannot answer, you cannot answer, and answering that God created energy and matter is useless.
That’s the point.

anything that begins to exist has an explanation of its existence; either in the Necessity of its being (it can’t NOT exist) or in an external cause. If you can think of any exceptions I’m open to hearing it / them.

I cannot explain how energy started to exist.
Should I conclude that energy always existed?

Makarios said...

You would win a Nobel Prize if you knew...

That’s why I said, “Not beyond all doubt.” My belief only goes as far as the evidence will allow.
===================
"You need to justify these claims."

I do and I have. http://makarios-makarios.blogspot.com/2009/09/irrefutable-mmm-maybe-not.html
==============

Why would a non-natural explanation be better than a natural one?"

Nothing natural existed - no space, no time, no energy, no matter. If you think otherwise, where is your proof? So far the evidence that we have points to everything coming from nothing.

What’s undecided is why and how.
==================

"answering that God created energy and matter is useless."

I'm giving you quote after quote, day after day, by both believer and non believer alike who say that a supernatural Creator IS and option. Even Dawkins himself says that a good case can be made for a Deistic creator.
=============
“I cannot explain how energy started to exist. Should I conclude that energy always existed?”

Isn’t that exactly what you do conclude? The fact is, there is no reason that any universe should exist must less a life sustaining universe. Something brought it into being. And that something was not natural or material. At least not according to available information. And to say any more than that is just using atheism of the gaps.

Gorth Satana said...

Looks like Makarios has started another "make your own straw man" thread! It'll be great fun. You can put words into the mouths of your opponents! I'm not an atheist or a Christian so I'll be putting words into the mouths of both the atheist and the Christian.

Let's begin:

Christian: I'm a Christian.
Atheist: Hello.

Christian: Atheists are stupid like their stupid leader Dawkins.
Atheists: I'm an atheist. All atheism is is a disbelief in gods, atheists don't have a leader.

Christian: Grr. I’m not sure that I can do atheists any longer. If I don't understand something, that means God did it!
Atheist: What? Ever heard of "argument from ignorance"?

Christian: Atheists all hate science!
Atheist: Hang on, what?

Christian: 'Cos you can't use science to prove science, it's unscientific to use the scientific method.
Atheist: I'll make a blog post about it.

Christian: Because I misunderstand what you're saying, your blog post with bounce off my super shield of magical belief!
Atheist: Do you have any evidence or proof for this magic that you believe in?
Christian: Yeah! I misunderstand science therefore magic exists. Also, science doesn't explain something yet therefore magic is real.
QED.
Atheist: ... This is gonnna take more than a few blog posts...

Hugo said...

@MAKARIOS

Rod, I do believe you when you say that your "belief only goes as far as the evidence will allow." But the problem is that you do not understand the evidence!

Look, once again, you wrote something stupid like this:
"Nothing natural existed - no space, no time, no energy, no matter"

Who told you that nothing natural existed? You don’t understand the model...

What I understand from Big Bang Theory is that there was a singularity of infinite energy at time 0. That’s the simplest I can put it. You think this equals "nothing"?

Because that’s the issue here; you say that nothing natural existed before the Big Bang, but WHO KNOWS? You’re the one talking about before the Big Bang, I would never do that, and no scientists would ever do that...

I am telling you that my belief is that there was only energy, why do you keep on saying people like me believe that everything came from nothing?

You say you agree that we don’t know what happened at the Big Bang, but no, actually you don’t agree that we don’t know, because you DO know. You say that there was something non-natural before the Big Bang, that’s not saying I don’t know, that is proposing an hypothesis.

But again, you do not only propose the hypothesis, you accept it, and consider it to be the most probable, and consider it to be proven beyond reasonable doubt, for you.

Now, concerning the option of a supernatural creator, of course no one can rule it out, but it goes back again to the idea that it answers nothing.

If you want to tell me that the infinite amount of energy at time 0was placed there by God, fine, but so what?

I won’t believe it because it’s not observable, as the infinite amount of energy is not observable itself, it’s only a concept. But God is a also concept humans have in their mind... so why not, I am going to become a theist from now on and claim that God put that infinite amount of energy there, that he created it out of nothing (because of course he can do that of course, why not), and that’s it, I have a Big Bang Theory enhanced by a God! Yeah, I believe in God now!!!

And that’s what Dawkins mean by a good case for a Deist God, it’s a God that does nothing except start the Big Bang ... *sigh*

Finally, last paragraph:
Isn’t that exactly what you do conclude? The fact is, there is no reason that any universe should exist must less a life sustaining universe. Something brought it into being. And that something was not natural or material. At least not according to available information. And to say any more than that is just using atheism of the gaps.

Yes, I can conclude that energy always existed since I don’t know how it was created and at an infinite time in the past that’s all we had. Of course that’s just a model, I am sure something created all this and caused this, but I don’t know what or how.

You say you agree, but at the same time, you don’t, because you say that the same "something" I am talking about must be non-natural. Oh, and that’s according to the available information, bullshit...

We said that we don’t know and now you say that because we don’t know, that unknown must be non-natural. And you call that atheism of the gaps? Wow, I love the irony, since you’re the one filling an unknown with your supernatural god...

feeno said...

OH boy, can I play.

Christian: I believe in God.
Atheist: Well I don't believe in God, besides he's a jerk.

Christian: The Bible says God loves you and wants you to be in Heaven with him.
Atheist: I don't believe in Heaven, and why does he send people to Hell. what a jerk he is.

Christian: But the Bible said God proved his love for us by sending Christ to die for us even tho we were yet sinners.
Atheist: I don't believe the bible is God's word for one minute, and quit judging me. Jesus tells us in the book of Matthew that we shouldn't do that.

Christian: Would you like to go to church with me?
Atheist: What, no way, there's to many hypocrites there.

That was fun, thanx Mak, Hugo and Gorth. Peace be with you all, feeno

Gorth Satana said...

OH boy, can I play.

Everyone can play! It's the straw man thread!

Chris Mackey said...

Christian: I believe in God
Muslim: I believe in God but I use the standard Arabic word for God, "Allah"

Christian: In your holy book, that I don't believe in, Allah is a jerk!
Muslim: ...
Mormon: Hey guys! Read my holy book!
Muslim and Christian: Shut up, new guy!

Makarios said...

Hugo: You think thisequals "nothing"?

That is EXACTLY what it means. Surely you’re not so stupid as one atheist who, when I asked “So where was this little speck of energy or matter?” he replied, “There must have been just a little bit of space around it.” Or maybe that WAS you.
=================
“but WHO KNOWS?”

That is what BB cosmology says. Extrapolate backwards and you get to literally NOTHING.
=============
"I am telling you that my belief is that there was only energy,"

Who exactly are you that anyone should care what you believe? And on what evidence are you basing your “belief”? It's just blind faith, because it sure isn’t based on any evidence.
--------------------
"You say that there was something non-natural before the Big Bang, that’s not saying I don’t know, that is proposing an hypothesis.

Well you tell me.

. Something caused the universe to come into being. Yes or no? Or do you think that some things can coming into being without a cause; just pop into existence?

The theory that best fits the evidence is that there was nothing natural in existence - not energy, not matter, not space, not time, not the laws of physics - NOTHING.

. So what’s left Hugo? Something non-natural or ? It’s only your a priori ruling that say only the natural exists that keeps you from examining any and all possibilities. Not very scientific I’d say.
========================

But again, you do not only propose the hypothesis, you accept it,

Because THAT is where the evidence is pointing. Anything else is speculation and I'm used to talking to people who refuse to do that, or so they say.
------------------

"Oh, and that’s according to the available information, bullshit..."

So what evidence is there that it was something natural? None! Just the narrow-minded atheist idea that it can’t be anything supernatural.
====================
"We said that we don’t know and now you say that because we don’t know, that unknown must be non-natural."

That is not why I’m saying that. The best hypothesis going says that nothing natural existed prior to the singularity. What do you want me to do. Ignore what science says just because you don’t like it?

It's a simple case of elimination:
If the cause was not natural then it was immaterial or spiritual

If the cause was before time, them it was timeless or eternal.

If the cause brought time and energy, space, matter and the laws of physics into being, then the Cause is immeasurably more powerful than the mathematically precise universe and its exquisitely Finely Tuned constants and quantities.

The cause is not “scientific” because neither matter nor the laws of physics (i.e., the laws that science has observed and identified), existed prior to the Singularity, then the cause of universe is Personal.

In order to bring the universe into existence out of nothing means that the cause is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent.

That Cause, is what is normally described as God, not because of some wish but because that is what we're left with if the cause is not natural.

This should not be that difficult to follow for a bright boy like yourself.

Everything that begins to exist, including the universe, had its cause from something outside of itself.

There are no known exceptions to this observed and consistently verified rule.

Makarios said...

feeno: What, no way, there's to many hypocrites there."

Well, then one more won't make any difference will it?

Hugo said...

The best hypothesis going says that nothing natural existed prior to the singularity

No, that's what YOU say. It does not make sense, mathematically, to speak of something BEFORE a singularity point.

That's what I will focus on because you push the model too far! Find me one single peer-reviewed paper that explain what can or cannot have existed prior to the singularity?

No? Still don't get it? When we talk of a singularity, we are already talking of something non-natural. We have no way to observe a singularity, because that does not make any sense. So when you say that there must be something non-natural beyond the singularity, you are ALREADY in the conceptual realm.

Another example, to be sure... When you talk about the space where the energy of the singularity must resides, that does not make sense either, for the same reason. An infinite quantity of energy in a 0 volume of spacetime cannot be observed; it's a conceptual description of what the real observations point to.

Chris Mackey said...

Who exactly are you that anyone should care what you believe? And on what evidence are you basing your “belief”? It's just blind faith, because it sure isn’t based on any evidence.

Coming from Rod, a guy that believes in "MAGIC", this is classic!

Makarios said...

“No, that's what YOU say. It does not make sense, mathematically, to speak of something BEFORE a singularity point.”

That’s just a technical cop out. You and I both know that at one point there was nothing and then there was everything.

“At this singularity, space and time and matter came into existence; literally nothing existed before the singularity, so, if the Universe originated at such a singularity, we would truly have a creation ex nihilo.”
John Barro and Frank Tipler, “The Anthropic Cosmological Principle” Oxford: Clarendon, 1986, 442.

I understand what you’re saying and I understand why you find BB cosmology profoundly disturbing. BB cosmology forces us to ask,

“WHY did the universe come into being?”

That is why Arthur Eddington said,

“I fell almost an indignation that anyone should believe in it. The beginning seems to present insuperable difficulties unless we agree to look on it as frankly supernatural.”
Sir Arthur Eddington, “The Expanding Universe”
====================

“When we talk of a singularity, we are already talking of something non-natural.”

You’re right. Besides the resurrection of Jesus, the singularity that brought our universe into being is the best working definition of a miracle that humanity has ever experienced.
====================

“An infinite quantity of energy in a 0volume of spacetime cannot be observed;”

Energy and space and time came into being at the same time. One did not exist before nor without the other.

Everything that exists today, came into being from nothing, by Something that was not natural.

Makarios said...

Chris: I'm not the one making that type of claim.

If you say that your beliefs are based only on evidence then you'd bloody well admit to when you are placing your faith on speculation.

Hugo said...

HUGO: It does not make sense, mathematically, to speak of something BEFORE a singularity point

MAK: That’s just a technical cop out. You and I both know that at one point there was nothing and then there was everything.

LoL, no it's not "just" a technical cop out, it's THE point on which we disagree.

I do NOT believe that there was nothing and then everything; that's what YOU believe and that's what you think Atheists believe.

Perhaps some Atheists believe that too, because after all I keep on insisting that Atheists only share their non-belief in a god so I don't know what others believe concerning the origin of our universe...

MAK quotes the "The Anthropic Cosmological Principle"

I asked you about a peer-reviewed article. You point to a sentence in a 1986 book. So what? That's the best you can get?
The sentence you quoted is meaningless anyway... i don't care if someone writes something about before the singularity, it's still impossible to describe and just a speculation.

Look, my point was that you won't find a peer-reviewed article that talks about something before the singularity; because mathematically, it does not make sense. You can't observe something before a singularity because if you get to a point like that, your equations break down...

There are theories that discuss what possibly caused the Big Bang however, theories that talk about before time 0; I thought you might bring that up... You'll see that something is very different with such theories (Hint: it concerns the singularity). I'll let you search and perhaps we'll discuss that later when you find out yourself!

MAK: I understand what you’re saying and I understand why you find BB cosmology profoundly disturbing. BB cosmology forces us to ask, "WHY did the universe come into being?"

Disturbing? LoL. No, I don't find Big Bang cosmology disturbing, it's highly fascinating and I always want to learn more about it; and I can't wait for scientists to expand the current theories and go farther and farther in time.

I don't care about the kind of "Why" question you talk about, I am looking forward to know more about the How, because How and Why are more or less the same in science...

MAK quoting Arthur Eddington: The beginning seems to present insuperable difficulties unless we agree to look on it as frankly supernatural.

Wow, going back to a book written in the 30s now !? What the hell Rod! I thought we were discussing a highly complicated scientific issue. An issue that has been changing tremendously in the past 10 years! How can you go back to books written so long ago!? Anyway, the quote, again, is meaningless.

Basically what I understand from Eddington's quote is that, for HIM, the beginning of the universe was the current limit, where the mathematical models he was using were breaking down. Because of that, he felt like he had reached a certain maximum point where only speculation could be made, and when men get to speculations, what do they do... refer to the supernatural of course! Filling the gaps!

HUGO: When we talk of a singularity, we are already talking of something non-natural.
MAK: You’re right. Besides the resurrection of Jesus, the singularity that brought our universe into being is the best working definition of a miracle that humanity has ever experienced

Human experienced the Big Bang? lol, but whatever... now it becomes obvious that you don't understand what a singularity is. I always thought you were simply a bit confused with the models but now, after discussing a bit about it, reading that the singularity brought our universe into existence... wow... that's just too much nonsense. I don't even know what to say honestly...

Look at what you quoted from "The Anthropic Cosmological Principle", they say that AT this singularity... then they also say "IF the Universe originated AT such singularity...". You don't even understand what you quote apparently...