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Old 02-14-2013, 12:07 PM
 
7,780 posts, read 13,502,036 times
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Hey all.

First, for those of you who don't know me. I am a Christian and certainly believe in the God of the Christian Bible.

This thread is not intended to proselytize as I realize that is against the rules. I have many old friends here (who are atheists) and I just wanted to explore an idea that came up in an apologetic course I am currently taking.

In the class, we were discussing the Cosmological Argument for God and were looking at the scientific community's belief in a non-eternal universe (it had a beginning).

First, would you agree that the universe had a beginning?

Second, if time, space, and matter (the natural world) were all "started" with the Big Bang and the creation of the Universe, does it seem logical to you that something supernatural (not necessarily God, but something outside of the natural world) has existed eternally? Or at least potentially eternally?

I don't know that I've expressed myself well in that last question but perhaps the forthcoming discussion will bring other thoughts to the surface.

I guess what I am trying to understand from the atheistic viewpoint/opinion, is if there is something "out there" that exists eternally and is beyond the natural, then how could someone honestly call themselves atheist instead of agnostic. Admittedly this is using my logic and opinions which are necessarily biased, hence my approaching you guys with my question.

Hope we can have a friendly dialog without arguments or condescension from either side.

Thanks!

 
Old 02-14-2013, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Niflheim
1,302 posts, read 1,673,613 times
Reputation: 1065
My view.

I have no religious beliefs what so ever.
Nothing is eternal and the universe did not begin with the big bang, that event was simply an event in a larger cycle.

Just as the universe as we know it today is still expanding, it will get to the point where it contracts again in to a infinitesimally small point and the explodes again.

It is just an organism on a gigantic scale that we can not comprehend.

See it as a heart beating. expands, contracts, expands...
My $0.02
 
Old 02-14-2013, 12:50 PM
 
Location: Nashville, Tn
7,916 posts, read 16,796,945 times
Reputation: 5454
I haven't posted anything on this forum for ages but I'll give it a try. Yes, I agree that the universe we live in certainly had a beginning in which even space and time began which is approximately 14 billion years ago. Due to Einstein's discoveries regarding the nature of time itself I tend to believe that there is no such thing as "eternal" because time is not what we thought it was before the theory of relativity. The problem we face in addressing such questions as what started the universe in the first place is that it's nothing but speculation and we simply don't have any verifiable evidence whatsoever so the answer is that we just don't know. I've never found the concept of a conscious entity we call God to be a viable explanation for either our existence or the existence of the universe, it just appears as a manmade idea to explain the unexplainable.
This is the reason that I call myself an atheist, it's the fact that I reject the idea of a planned purpose put in place by an intelligence so great that we can't comprehend it and that this entity has put human beings into a central role in playing out a conflict between good and evil. That seems to be putting ourselves up on a pedestal above all other living things which comes across to me as rather self centered and somewhat egotistical. Besides our large brains and certain mental abilities I doubt very much that we're going to outlast such perfectly adapted creatures like cockroaches, ants, and countless other species because our existence is much more precarious due to our self destructive nature and our inability to live in harmony with nature.
As far as something else that may have caused the emergence of live and our universe I certainly do think that's a possibility since we don't know what caused the big bang or how the universe will end or whether it exists in some kind of cycle that repeats itself but if something like that does exist I believe it's just a natural phenomenon that we haven't been able to discover and that it has no purpose or conscious direction, it just is.
 
Old 02-14-2013, 01:12 PM
 
10,538 posts, read 15,599,643 times
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Alpha8207;28245433]Hey all.

First, for those of you who don't know me. I am a Christian and certainly believe in the God of the Christian Bible.

Do you doubt yourself, and have to self-re-enforce it?

In the class, we were discussing the Cosmological Argument for God and were looking at the scientific community's belief in a non-eternal universe (it had a beginning).

First, would you agree that the universe had a beginning?

Which universe? Nothing is wrong with beginning of this particular universe. Physical things have beginning and end.

Second, if time, space, and matter (the natural world) were all "started" with the Big Bang and the creation of the Universe, does it seem logical to you that something supernatural (not necessarily God, but something outside of the natural world) has existed eternally? Or at least potentially eternally?

Never forget, that Big Bang is nothing more than a theory, with multiple scientists that doubt it or find major holes in it. This is an assumption, maintained by mainstream science, for reasons whatever. Next, there is no time. Time is human mind concept. Simple logic tells you, that for universe to come out of what it came out of, that something had to exist and come out of something else, and so on. Ad absurdum. Hence, there should be something, that exists beyond what you discussing, contains all of it in itself, and is eternal, unlike the physical universes. Logical? Ask Thomas Aquinas.

I don't know that I've expressed myself well in that last question but perhaps the forthcoming discussion will bring other thoughts to the surface.

I guess what I am trying to understand from the atheistic viewpoint/opinion, is if there is something "out there" that exists eternally and is beyond the natural, then how could someone honestly call themselves atheist instead of agnostic. Admittedly this is using my logic and opinions which are necessarily biased, hence my approaching you guys with my question.

Yes. I agree with you. Logic, like I said, clearly shows, that for this universe to appear, it has to come out of something. If it came out of nothing, that act defies basic fundamental laws of physics, and is qualified as a miracle. If it came out of something, then that something should pre-exist current universe, and, like I said, this chain can go on and on and on, until it is absurd to discuss. Hence, logically, either God created universe out of nothing by a miracle, or, universes, appearing and disappearing (read about Kali Yuga), have to be in something, that is, for all practical characteristics of it, eternal. That is called the Realm of Permanence, with eternal substance being a source to all those universes, manifesting themselves into the physical ones you observe. Science is, basically, evading this topic, as it becomes progressively illogical and damaging to many scientific degrees to keep digging into it.
Now, let me pick your mind. Besides physical universe, what else do you observe? You observe intelligence, right? Can't deny that. Now, LOGICALLY, if this universe has intelligence, and we had eternity of them, then all or many of them should have intelligence present, right? Here's the thing. THAT intelligence is as eternal and present in EVERYTHING as much as substance is eternal and present in matter. And THAT Intelligence is what you cal God. Not the Guy on the throne angrily staring at you.

Hope we can have a friendly dialog without arguments or condescension from either side.

Thanks!
 
Old 02-14-2013, 01:26 PM
 
Location: WV and Eastport, ME
11,180 posts, read 10,999,497 times
Reputation: 7419
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpha8207 View Post
Hey all.

First, for those of you who don't know me. I am a Christian and certainly believe in the God of the Christian Bible.

This thread is not intended to proselytize as I realize that is against the rules. I have many old friends here (who are atheists) and I just wanted to explore an idea that came up in an apologetic course I am currently taking.

In the class, we were discussing the Cosmological Argument for God and were looking at the scientific community's belief in a non-eternal universe (it had a beginning).

First, would you agree that the universe had a beginning?

Second, if time, space, and matter (the natural world) were all "started" with the Big Bang and the creation of the Universe, does it seem logical to you that something supernatural (not necessarily God, but something outside of the natural world) has existed eternally? Or at least potentially eternally?

I don't know that I've expressed myself well in that last question but perhaps the forthcoming discussion will bring other thoughts to the surface.

I guess what I am trying to understand from the atheistic viewpoint/opinion, is if there is something "out there" that exists eternally and is beyond the natural, then how could someone honestly call themselves atheist instead of agnostic. Admittedly this is using my logic and opinions which are necessarily biased, hence my approaching you guys with my question.

Hope we can have a friendly dialog without arguments or condescension from either side.

Thanks!
Just because a Big Bang happened 14B years ago does not imply that there was a superman there to light the fuse.
 
Old 02-14-2013, 02:11 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
17,247 posts, read 19,545,740 times
Reputation: 13007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpha8207 View Post
First, would you agree that the universe had a beginning?

Second, if time, space, and matter (the natural world) were all "started" with the Big Bang and the creation of the Universe, does it seem logical to you that something supernatural (not necessarily God, but something outside of the natural world) has existed eternally? Or at least potentially eternally?

I don't know that I've expressed myself well in that last question but perhaps the forthcoming discussion will bring other thoughts to the surface.

I guess what I am trying to understand from the atheistic viewpoint/opinion, is if there is something "out there" that exists eternally and is beyond the natural, then how could someone honestly call themselves atheist instead of agnostic. Admittedly this is using my logic and opinions which are necessarily biased, hence my approaching you guys with my question.
Our universe may have had a beginning. But this does not mean it's impossible for there to have been other universes.

My belief is that something has probably always existed and is eternal. Therefore, there is no need for a supernatural God to have caused our universe to exist.
 
Old 02-14-2013, 02:44 PM
 
Location: The Big O
590 posts, read 664,052 times
Reputation: 435
The word universe needs to be defined. A century ago, our galaxy was thought to be the universe. After other galaxies were discovered, the universe was thought of as an area that includes everything. After the Big Bang became widely accepted, it was realized that the universe is not a static place and instead came from a single point. This opened the door to other universes that didn't originate from our single point.

Is there a very "beginning" of everything? That question may be an invalid question as we do not really understand yet how time behaves. In a few hundred years, maybe there will be an answer, maybe not. In my opinion, the only honest answer to your question is "I don't know".
 
Old 02-14-2013, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Yuma, Az
344 posts, read 339,986 times
Reputation: 424
I'm not convinced that the universe had a beginning. It seems logical that it did, but I'm not totally convinced of it. I think the Big Bang probably was just one phase in the existence of the universe, but I'm no cosmologist.

I have always said that I believe it is possible that there is some "superior entity" of some kind that created the universe. I think it is unlikely, but possible. I have rated the chances at 10%. That is purely a guess based on my gut feeling.

From the atheist point of view, at least from my atheist point of view, those things I have just mentioned are pretty much irrelevant to the concept of a god. I think the argument against the Big Bang, as well as evolution almost entirely comes from the same place; a need for not just a god, but a prayer-hearing, miracle-giving god.

Nevertheless, when it comes to either the Big Bang theory, or evolution, both could be disproven and as far as I can tell, it is still a daunting task to envision that Christian god. Gone would be a few minor details that work to refute the existence of a god. What is needed is evidence to support the existence of a god. And for all practical purposes there is none.
 
Old 02-14-2013, 03:36 PM
 
5,733 posts, read 4,636,428 times
Reputation: 1860
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpha8207 View Post
Hey all.

First, for those of you who don't know me. I am a Christian and certainly believe in the God of the Christian Bible.

This thread is not intended to proselytize as I realize that is against the rules. I have many old friends here (who are atheists) and I just wanted to explore an idea that came up in an apologetic course I am currently taking.

In the class, we were discussing the Cosmological Argument for God and were looking at the scientific community's belief in a non-eternal universe (it had a beginning).

First, would you agree that the universe had a beginning?
Not at all, it may or may not have. How would you define 'The Universe?' Why can't the matter/energy be eternal? As such maybe the Universe as we now know it had a begining but that does not necessitate matter/energy as not being eternal.

Quote:
Second, if time, space, and matter (the natural world) were all "started" with the Big Bang and the creation of the Universe, does it seem logical to you that something supernatural (not necessarily God, but something outside of the natural world) has existed eternally? Or at least potentially eternally?
The questioned should not be whether it is logical since something that is coherent does not necessitate correspondence. Of course it is logical but what evidence is there that there is a God that is eternal and suprenatural. The Big Bang model (the standard one) does not necessitate a prior 'nothing' in the philosophical sense. The nothing of the physicist is not no-thing but some state, whether quantum or otherwise, from which matter and space and hence time arose. And that is if we take the SBB as the model that explains our universe - there are many different models.

Quote:
I don't know that I've expressed myself well in that last question but perhaps the forthcoming discussion will bring other thoughts to the surface.

I guess what I am trying to understand from the atheistic viewpoint/opinion, is if there is something "out there" that exists eternally and is beyond the natural, then how could someone honestly call themselves atheist instead of agnostic. Admittedly this is using my logic and opinions which are necessarily biased, hence my approaching you guys with my question.
I don't know any atheist that would say they think 'something' is 'out there' beyond nature. Atheists do not have a belief in god/s simply because they see no evidence to grant such a belief. Obiviously, logically speaking something must be eternal or nothing would exist at all. As such the Universe could be just one in many Universes or the sole universe going through some type of matter/energy cycle. If anything we should logical hold to the concept that matter/energy are eternal. The Big Bang model just brings us back to a point at which no further evidence is available and where the laws that describe the way matter and energy relate break down. But that does not mean that matter/energy just disappear into a philosophical nothing.

I would like to ask you how do you account for your belief that God created out of nothing the Universe? It seems whatever problem there is with the big bang coming from 'nothing' is your problem as well - particualrly since you also believe that this God is not ontologically the same as the matter in which he created - where did the material come from?
 
Old 02-14-2013, 04:20 PM
 
Location: Sitting beside Walden Pond
4,609 posts, read 4,113,999 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpha8207 View Post
First, would you agree that the universe had a beginning?
No. I have no idea how the Universe got here.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpha8207 View Post
Second, if time, space, and matter (the natural world) were all "started" with the Big Bang and the creation of the Universe, does it seem logical to you that something supernatural (not necessarily God, but something outside of the natural world) has existed eternally? Or at least potentially eternally?
I have no idea if time, space, and matter were ever "started".


Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpha8207 View Post
I guess what I am trying to understand from the atheistic viewpoint/opinion, is if there is something "out there" that exists eternally and is beyond the natural, then how could someone honestly call themselves atheist instead of agnostic.
I have never believed there is anything "out there" that exists beyond the natural. The natural world is all we have. Enjoy your life while you have it.
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