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Old 10-05-2011, 01:33 PM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
13,143 posts, read 19,199,152 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
Ladies and Gentlemen, after spending the first 20 years of my life as a theist, my second 20 years as an atheist, I believe I have now become agnostic.

This has come about because I can't refute the following basic logic:

Each explaination I know of for the existance of everything is illogical and runs counter to what is normally considered consistent with the laws of physics. The putative explainations are:

1. The multiverse always existed.
2. The multiverse suddenly sprang into existance without cause
3. Big sky daddy made everything poof into existence.

The last one certainly doesn't seem logical to me, and runs counter to my notion of the way the world works.

But so do the first two.

While it is certainly possible that we will someday find an explaination that makes the first two possibilities seem more plausable, it is also theoretically possible that we will someday find an explaination for the third possibility to be plausable.

Right now I can't think of a logical argument that would allow me to discount option three that wouldn't also discount options 1 and 2.

Of course I still don't see any evidence for the Abrahamic god, and I think the evidence that he is a work of fiction/mythology is very credible. But I can't eliminate the possibility of a God in general.

Please feel free to refute the above argument so that I don't have to eat 20 years of crow from my agnostic friends Otherwise, I will become Boxcar The Agnostic.

Thanks.
We have to face the facts.. we are just a bunch of apes and although we are pretty smart compared to other animals on this planet, our perspective is woefully inadequate when put to the task of understanding all that is.

That doesn't mean we shouldn't try, or that our species (or whatever we evolve into) can't eventually come to a complete understanding, but it's just plain stupid to play know-it-all now when we are essentially equivilent to 3rd graders with PHD aspirations at the moment. Agnostic may be the best we can do for now...
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Old 10-05-2011, 02:53 PM
 
6,039 posts, read 9,459,503 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
Ladies and Gentlemen, after spending the first 20 years of my life as a theist, my second 20 years as an atheist, I believe I have now become agnostic.
So are you an agnostic atheist or an agnostic theist or an agnostic deist?
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Old 10-05-2011, 04:43 PM
 
Location: OKC
5,426 posts, read 5,729,586 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercury Cougar View Post
So are you an agnostic atheist or an agnostic theist or an agnostic deist?
I'm a materialist, a physicalist, and person who does not believe there is a God.

But I'm also a person that knows he has no clue about the way the universe began, and every theory that I can possible think of is about as crazy as the "God dun it" theory.

Call that whatever you like.
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Old 10-05-2011, 04:52 PM
 
Location: OKC
5,426 posts, read 5,729,586 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rifleman View Post
Yes. It's that (ahem....) I........... am God. Always Was, Always Will Be.

Actually, I, as a well-trained scientist, obviously cannot completely discount the remote possibiity of there being a one-true God. However, man has always created Godz of Convenience, to explain away the (transiently) inexplicable. Thus Zeus, Thor, Woden, and so on. And Jesus and his Daddy.

But I'm also faced with all the logical disclaimers that effectively annihilate the silly & humorously improbable Godly explanations (all the "Insta-Poofy", walking-on-water-into-wine type stuff, which is just plain silly! It's a sign of a desperate mind-set, IMHO.)

Still, given my relentlessly and completely open scientist's mind, I'd have to go with the {laughable} option that yup, there is a God having a good yuk at my intellectual efforts (actually, I'd hope He sees them to be at least rational and valid in the larger debate...). But one has to marshal and best utilize one's very limited time resources, and I choose to now go with what I've clearly seen as The Most Likely and Rational Option. Otherwise, imagine what is to me a vast waste of time supplicating and subjugating to a non-exiting mythical entity. It's sorta OK if there is one, though I'm still not sure why we'd have to go through that step other than to keep the local church in funds. Can we not just keep our intense personal beliefs to ourselves? You betcha we can, and that's a respectful direction and pursuit. Keep it out of my kid's education, and off the law books, is all.

Now, should better evidence ever be better presented (unlikely, given the technical inertia and momentum of facts that now flow in support of an atheistic universe...), I wll re-focus my ideas, if I feel a need. Until then, I'lsl till pick big, gaping holes in the silliness of the fundy Christian version.

Don't you agree, Boxcar?

Peace, my brother! (Oh, and a free Gideon's Bible is en-route to you!)
I agree with much of what you have to say, and for goodness sake keep you Gideon's Bible!

But here is what led me to my new position:

I agree that the possabilility of a poof-God is very remote.

But I see no basis to claim that any of the other possible alternatives are any less remote.

They ALL seem remote to me.

What do you judge to be the "most likely and rational option"? Because to me they ALL seem equally unlikely and equally irrational.
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Old 10-05-2011, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Golden, CO
2,108 posts, read 2,498,884 times
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I don't have the problem some people have with a multiverse that "just is". I purposefully don't say that the multiverse "always existed" because that phrase has no meaning when we talk about things beyond our universe because the time/space (they are one thing) we are familiar with belongs to our universe.

I think the reason I don't have a problem with it is because I am very familiar with the weird and non-intuitive "world" of physics, as I was once a physics major and I earned a physics minor. Lots of things about physics don't make intuitive sense because our intuition comes from our everyday experiences, and different rules of physics apply when we look at extreme situations (i.e., the subatomic level, speeds approaching the speed of light, temperatures approaching those like in the Big Bang, etc).

Heck, very few of us can even wrap our minds around the fact that space and time are fundamentally the same thing.

Why can't the multiverse just be? Why must it have a beginning or a creator? Because physics at the human scale and at earth speeds doesn't work that way? How egocentric is that!
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Old 10-05-2011, 05:29 PM
 
Location: OKC
5,426 posts, read 5,729,586 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hueffenhardt View Post
I don't have the problem some people have with a multiverse that "just is". I purposefully don't say that the multiverse "always existed" because that phrase has no meaning when we talk about things beyond our universe because the time/space (they are one thing) we are familiar with belongs to our universe.

I think the reason I don't have a problem with it is because I am very familiar with the weird and non-intuitive "world" of physics, as I was once a physics major and I earned a physics minor. Lots of things about physics don't make intuitive sense because our intuition comes from our everyday experiences, and different rules of physics apply when we look at extreme situations (i.e., the subatomic level, speeds approaching the speed of light, temperatures approaching those like in the Big Bang, etc).

Heck, very few of us can even wrap our minds around the fact that space and time are fundamentally the same thing.

Why can't the multiverse just be? Why must it have a beginning or a creator? Because physics at the human scale and at earth speeds doesn't work that way? How egocentric is that!
Just to be clear, I don't think there "must have been a creator."

But it seems as though the multiverse can't "just be" because there's no reason for it to "just be", and there's no sound theory for how or why it would "just be."
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Old 10-05-2011, 06:44 PM
 
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The burdens of providing proof is rightly placed upon the theist and athiest communities never the agnostics.
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Old 10-05-2011, 07:08 PM
 
Location: Golden, CO
2,108 posts, read 2,498,884 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
Just to be clear, I don't think there "must have been a creator."

But it seems as though the multiverse can't "just be" because there's no reason for it to "just be", and there's no sound theory for how or why it would "just be."
After re-reading my post, I think the tone of my last couple of sentences did not reflect the tone I meant.

You suggested the multiverse can't just be because there's no reason for it to just be. That doesn't seem to follow for me, perhaps you could elaborate. To me, "just being" doesn't need a reason. If it is, it is. Not having a reason "to be" doesn't negate it "being". Why must something have a reason to exist before it can exist? I don't think it does.

You also said there is no sound theory for why it would just be. What if there is no reason why? Then it would not be a valid criticism that we don't know the reason why if there never was a "why" to begin with. What if it just "is" with no reason for it?

You also said there's no sound theory for how the multiverse would just be. What if there is no "how"? What if it just is? What if there was no sequence of events that brought the multiverse into existence, but the status quo just is that it exists?

Look, we don't know for certain that a multiverse exists. That would be a fair criticism. But, if it does exist, I don't think it needs a reason to exist. I don't think there must be a why or how for its existence. There is clearly a how for the formation of our universe. But, there need not be a why for our universe, nor for the multiverse. I see no reason why the multiverse can't just be.
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Old 10-05-2011, 09:33 PM
 
Location: Earth. For now.
1,225 posts, read 1,776,022 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
I'm a materialist, a physicalist, and person who does not believe there is a God.

But I'm also a person that knows he has no clue about the way the universe began, and every theory that I can possible think of is about as crazy as the "God dun it" theory.

Call that whatever you like.

I, as well, do not believe in a "God." But I am not a materialist. I tend to think that our own senses are quite limited. (I often refer to the thought experiment that, if we were totally blind, we would posit a science based upon the supposition that sound is the fastest means of communication. Hence, anything faster is, by definition, "paranormal.")

Our physical senses are quite limited. I am willing to accept that there is something beyond our senses that may very well be "non-material." After all, we currently don't have a clue what 96% of the universe is actually made of. Dark Energy and Dark Matter seem to be beyond our understanding right now.

But this doesn't mean Dark Matter doesn't "exist." It has an influence upon the universe. It's effects can be measured, but it cannot be seen nor measured directly. Somehow, it's there. But whatever the hell it is, we can't currently figure it out.

That seems to correlate to "paranormal" events. To dismiss them may be the greatest expression of materialist hubris.
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Old 10-06-2011, 03:10 AM
 
39,107 posts, read 10,849,315 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astron1000 View Post
I, as well, do not believe in a "God." But I am not a materialist. I tend to think that our own senses are quite limited. (I often refer to the thought experiment that, if we were totally blind, we would posit a science based upon the supposition that sound is the fastest means of communication. Hence, anything faster is, by definition, "paranormal.")

Our physical senses are quite limited. I am willing to accept that there is something beyond our senses that may very well be "non-material." After all, we currently don't have a clue what 96% of the universe is actually made of. Dark Energy and Dark Matter seem to be beyond our understanding right now.

But this doesn't mean Dark Matter doesn't "exist." It has an influence upon the universe. It's effects can be measured, but it cannot be seen nor measured directly. Somehow, it's there. But whatever the hell it is, we can't currently figure it out.

That seems to correlate to "paranormal" events. To dismiss them may be the greatest expression of materialist hubris.
This sort of argument is often used to justify speculation. It is actually a pretty good analogy if used to explain that there is a lot out here that we don't know as we once didn't believe powered flight was possible or that we could ever discover what colour dinosaurs were, or whether 'Anasatasia' really was related to the Romanoffs. But it is a false analogy if it is used to try to validate supposition. The analogy fails as a lot of what was believed to be possible, such as alchemy, phrenology and phlogiston turned out to be usustainable theory. The analogy also fails because a blind race could well discover light particles even if they couldn't see them and even use them in practical ways, just as we use x- rays.

Using fallacious analogies like this to make some favoured viewpoint, (such as speculation beats science) look plausible is just poor reasoning. Sorry, I'm not wishing to put anyone down or get aggressive, but false reasoning has to be shown to be false. Sorry again.

The cut off point has to be what is merely possible or not yet disproved and what has some decent evidential support for. It is probably hard for me to understand why the idea of 'something' (read something with intent) started everything off appeals to people so much that 'I don't know' somehow turns into 'I believe this, though'. Is is some instinctive or ingrained thought? I don't know that, either, but my favoured theory is that it is too much 'God - talk'.
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