U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality > Atheism and Agnosticism
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 07-16-2013, 07:24 AM
 
39,164 posts, read 10,865,034 times
Reputation: 5091

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman249 View Post
You've missed the point completely.
..... and I never said that that my amazement about pi is evidence for god.

And I suggest you read grade 10 level chemistry and physics books. Your amazement about water (shrinks when cold, right angles) and air, will be answered by simple scientific concepts (discovered 100s of years ago) found in these textbooks. If you cannot understand them, come back to this forum and I am sure I can help you learn some basic chemistry and physics.

Sorry, but I rather thought you were and in the references to how amazing that it has influence in the hadron Collider, DNA and so on. Your astonishment at this ubiquitous application to the most advanced and remarkable realms of Physics is surely intended to show that the only way to explain how and why this is, is by suposing that God planned it so.

If that was not what you were saying, I can't see what you are saying.

And Mordant's point about water and air is intended to show that a lot of stuff that was once considered equally amazing and inexplicable is now understood even at basic chemistry level, and i am sure mordant can do better than that.

The point being that the applications of Pi to subatomic particles may be explicable in just the same way that geometry and physics are applicable to everything from mountains to the Shard and from aircraft to chair - design.

I'm not explaining this too well, but the point is that argument from ignorance re universal constants (and I am accepting your assertion that many physicists are stumped at explaining why there are such or rather why one rather than another or perhaps 'Who made dem laws, anyway?') may be a convenient gap for a possible god, but is not anything like evidence for a god.
And the argument certainly is to make an argument for a god, and , I suspect, a very specific one, too.

I watched a programme once, the argument being that 'Ok, there is no evidence for a God; none. But you can't explain the basic numerical constant of the universe.

I was left with the feeling that was a damned thin bit of evidence on which to hang the case for God for, if some smat physicist can explain exactly why a universal constant could come about through natural courses (as we have found with everything else that we have been able to explain), then that is God definitively made redundant, and no golden parachute.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 07-16-2013, 08:05 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
41,035 posts, read 18,583,829 times
Reputation: 18681
This discussion is getting impressively complex, also drifting away from the prime consideration here...

Asking what sort of theological questions stump an atheist is like asking what questions about the morality of Star Trek stump you. How can you be right or wrong about the specifics of something that does not actually exist? Batman could beat up the Terminator...I can prove it!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-16-2013, 08:08 AM
 
1,701 posts, read 1,996,068 times
Reputation: 1027
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
This discussion is getting impressively complex, also drifting away from the prime consideration here...

Asking what sort of theological questions stump an atheist is like asking what questions about the morality of Star Trek stump you. How can you be right or wrong about the specifics of something that does not actually exist? Batman could beat up the Terminator...I can prove it!
Hah! Funny observation, but not entirely true. I don't think any atheist would claim to be 100% certain about the non-existence of god .....
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-16-2013, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
41,035 posts, read 18,583,829 times
Reputation: 18681
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman249 View Post
Hah! Funny observation, but not entirely true. I don't think any atheist would claim to be 100% certain about the non-existence of god .....
100 % certainty is not required. We have only legendary, mythological assertions for a god, we do not have the sort of proof we associate with there having been a George Washington.

No one is 100 % certain that there was a Helen of Troy.....can anyone be an expert on her psychological makeup? Can we stage an argument as to whether Helen was better looking than Julia Roberts?

When it is BS, we are all equally expert.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-16-2013, 08:41 AM
 
1,701 posts, read 1,996,068 times
Reputation: 1027
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCapo View Post
To me it doesn't seem odd. If Pi is related to a circle, then pi is related to anything cyclical through that relationship, which basically includes all wave phenomena. So anything that is a propagating wave or has similar properties is intrinsically related to circles, and thus pi. It is because the concept of a circle is so mathematically useful in describing the world around us. It is interesting, but it seems to be definitional. Pi is defined by the relationship of the diameter to the circumference of a circle, so the geometry came first, pi was determined to be a fixed ratio that always describes that particular geometery. Then we found that waves can be represeted as translated circular motion, so now any wave motion is related ( acoustics, vibration, electromagnetism, optics, etc...), then we realize that periodinc phenomena in general can be represented by sums of sinusoids, which are just translated circles. It all comes from the very definition of what it means to be circular.

It is an interesting topic to think on.

-NoCapo
I do not want this to be a discussion about pi, but I must briefly state that I disagree with your understanding of pi. Like I had said earlier, whole books have been written about pi and I cannot begin to summarize everything on this forum. Thousands of PHD theses have been done on just Pi. To say that all the properties of pi - irrational, transcendental and applications in geometry, special functions, complex analysis, simple algebra and number theory - ALL are simply a result of it being related to a circle, is a rather simplistic view of this fascinating ratio.

If nothing, Pi is interesting only because it is one of the few (maybe the only) concept(s) in mathematics that has baffled bright minds for more than 2500 years - it has baffled ancient and modern mathematicians.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-16-2013, 08:49 AM
 
1,701 posts, read 1,996,068 times
Reputation: 1027
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
100 % certainty is not required. We have only legendary, mythological assertions for a god, we do not have the sort of proof we associate with there having been a George Washington.

No one is 100 % certain that there was a Helen of Troy.....can anyone be an expert on her psychological makeup? Can we stage an argument as to whether Helen was better looking than Julia Roberts?

When it is BS, we are all equally expert.
.... this thread was not about any of the things you stated. We were trying to discuss some of the more puzzling aspects of ALL creation (usually found in deism).
So, you are 100% certain about this?

Quote:
The question that plays with my mind till this day is the "fine tuning of the universe" argument and how some claim that this serves as a pointer to a god or creator.

In summary, the fine-tuning of the universe refers to the astonishing precision of the universe's physical constants. In order to explain the present state of the universe, scientific theories require that these mathematical constants of nature and the beginning state of the Universe have extremely precise values.

Some of these constants include: speed of light, relative mass of electrons and protons, gravity, pi .. and so on. It is widely believed by physicists that these physical constants are so finely-tuned that even infinitesimal deviations could have caused the Universe to collapse --- and there would be NOTHING.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-16-2013, 09:07 AM
 
1,701 posts, read 1,996,068 times
Reputation: 1027
Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
Sorry, but I rather thought you were and in the references to how amazing that it has influence in the hadron Collider, DNA and so on. Your astonishment at this ubiquitous application to the most advanced and remarkable realms of Physics is surely intended to show that the only way to explain how and why this is, is by suposing that God planned it so.

If that was not what you were saying, I can't see what you are saying.
You are mostly right. My astonishment at pi and many other universal constants (e.g. speed of light) are intended to show that the ideas of design and creation of the universe (usually found in deism) cannot be easily mocked and dismissed outright. But you are wrong in suggesting that I believe that god is the ONLY way to explain it.

I sometimes feel that many atheists shy away from complex ideas that challenge their faith (pun intended) .... and retort to stupid analogies and attacks to try and dismiss something that is extremely complicated. I have simply been saying that this idea of the fine tuning of the universe (not life) is something that has been propagated by many notable minds (astrophysicists, astronomers, mathematicians). And simply the fact that these scientists mention things like fine tuning, design, super-intellect, universal mind - must at the minimum make us a little curios .....
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-16-2013, 09:48 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
41,035 posts, read 18,583,829 times
Reputation: 18681
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman249 View Post
.... this thread was not about any of the things you stated. We were trying to discuss some of the more puzzling aspects of ALL creation (usually found in deism).
So, you are 100% certain about this?
Am I 100% certain about what? My point was that all any of us know about a god is 100 % conjecture, there is no source anyone can turn to to absolutely resolve any disputes. Thus it is impossible to be right or wrong about any of this. I cannot be stumped by a question which has no definitive or definite correct answer.

Keep in mind that the correct answer to a question for which you do not have the answer is..."I do not know" and that "I do not know" is the best possible answer for a question where no one knows the answer, it is the only one which is certainly correct.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-16-2013, 12:46 PM
 
39,164 posts, read 10,865,034 times
Reputation: 5091
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman249 View Post
You are mostly right. My astonishment at pi and many other universal constants (e.g. speed of light) are intended to show that the ideas of design and creation of the universe (usually found in deism) cannot be easily mocked and dismissed outright. But you are wrong in suggesting that I believe that god is the ONLY way to explain it.

I sometimes feel that many atheists shy away from complex ideas that challenge their faith (pun intended) .... and retort to stupid analogies and attacks to try and dismiss something that is extremely complicated. I have simply been saying that this idea of the fine tuning of the universe (not life) is something that has been propagated by many notable minds (astrophysicists, astronomers, mathematicians). And simply the fact that these scientists mention things like fine tuning, design, super-intellect, universal mind - must at the minimum make us a little curios .....
Well, I understand where you are coming from. I'm not saying what you say isn't a case. I'm just saying that it is the sort of question that causes some head scratching, but not for atheists as such. It is not really presenting anything to make us reconsider rather than consider.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-16-2013, 03:33 PM
 
Location: Somewhere out there.
6,862 posts, read 3,789,885 times
Reputation: 4594
I think we have got a little distracted with the topic of 'pi'. I think what sandman has been trying to say is that for him personally, pi and other such mathematical constants have him questioning a few things about what the universe is and how it is put together, and puts perhaps a seed of thought in the back of his mind about how such concepts seem to extraordinarily 'fit together' like a jigsaw puzzle, rather too nicely.
For me the topic of mathematics and physics is not the subject that gets me thinking about such things, rather I accept that they provide an explanation for the universe that didn't exist before (ie in centuries past), although as I mentioned earlier, I can quite easily see how it may raise questions about god in others. I can also see how there are a few scientists and mathematicians who are able to rationalise their profession alongside a belief in god.

I think what sandman was asking was, are there any examples - any thoughts that cross your mind that make you stop and think? That give you that 'wow' factor, or 'how is this possible' factor? Things that even though they may be explainable still seem wondrous, or things that perhaps we still have no explanation for?

For me, as I mentioned, its the development of the heart and first heartbeat that got me. A collection of cells suddenly and spontaneously burst into life and change from being a collection of cells into a living organ - of course attached to a human or other animal. Perhaps being female and being host to this process a few times, it is all the more profound.
Arequipa came up with a whole heap of topics.

I don't know if anybody else thinks this way, but in the days before I took the final plunge and actually admitted I was an atheist (even though actually I'd always been an atheist), I'd often toy with the vague possiblility that a god may have something to do with such enigmas. But since I gave up on the possibility of there being a god (however vague that might have been), such thoughts never really cross my mind at all.
I think this is the basic difference between being an atheist and being an agnostic. Being an atheist is pretty definitive. Thoughts of god just don't enter your head.
These days while I may still marvel at the wonder and mysteries of the universe I simply see them as wonders and mysteries in their own right.

Last edited by Cruithne; 07-16-2013 at 04:06 PM.. Reason: usual typo
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality > Atheism and Agnosticism
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top