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Old 11-26-2013, 01:11 PM
 
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I was watching the Discovery Channel's series entitled "How the Universe Works" and as is always the case, I could help be lost in the absolute awe of size, power, order and more importantly chaos that is the universe which conversely demonstrates in my mind the utter insignificance and incredulousness of human gods.

As an unrepentant atheist I don't have a problem with some deist speculation that some god like force (whatever that might mean) set off the forces that created the universe out of nothing, but these piddling gods that have nothing better to do that to worry about the souls of an insignificant species on insignificant planet orbiting a diminutive sun in some unremarkable sector of the universe?!?! Come on!

When I consider stars UY Scuti which is 1,708 TIMES larger than our sun, black holes, or the simple fact that the when I look at the heavens I can see back millions of years in the past. I'm sorry but that is simply no competition of parting seas, burning bushes, or even a flood of Noahic proportions.

In short nothing confirms my atheism, as much as a look at our universe.
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Old 11-26-2013, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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I'm with ya, ovcatto, but a good fundie will just shake their head and wonder how the very thing you talk about is anything but proof OF god. You know ... enormous, therefore: god. Impressive, therefore: god. Mind-bogglingly ancient, therefore: god. Beautiful, therefore: god. The look that confirms your atheism, confirms their theism. Where you see emergent order, they see intelligent design. It's all in how you interpret and frame the discussion.
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Old 11-26-2013, 01:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
I'm with ya, ovcatto, but a good fundie will just shake their head and wonder how the very thing you talk about is anything but proof OF god. You know ... enormous, therefore: god. Impressive, therefore: god. Mind-bogglingly ancient, therefore: god. Beautiful, therefore: god. The look that confirms your atheism, confirms their theism. Where you see emergent order, they see intelligent design. It's all in how you interpret and frame the discussion.
Well that's why I didn't post this in the catchall Religion forum and just posted it for us heathens.

But!

When it comes to ID, that goes right the hell out of the window since there isn't a single iota of design when it comes to the chaos of the universe. My planet has an atmosphere because it dodged another planet billions of years ago. Your planet can sustain life because your star just happened to be small enough not to have a gravitational pull strong to do anything more than to keep it in orbit. Or just lucky enough to have a planet like Jupiter to act as velcro to all those astroids headed in your direction... Sorry nothing designed about any of that.
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Old 11-26-2013, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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I do not think that the immensity and complexity of the universe tells us much about how the materials and energy which created it came into being or how they came to be concentrated in an impossibly small, impossibly dense mass before erupting in the Big Bang.

What these sorts of observations do reveal is that contrary to the religious view, humans on Earth aren't terribly special beings. In the hurricane that is the universe, we now know that we are but sparrow farts, our origins the product of an unthinkable number of accidents that could as easily resulted in something else. If we were designed, it was certainly an extraordinarily roundabout way of doing it.

So, while the question or origin remains unsolved, contemplating the universe does put lie to the foolish religious explanations which are grounded upon the idea that the universe, or even just the Earth, was created with humans in mind. As closely as I can tell, the Earth would have been just as satisfied with a dinosaur run planet.
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Old 11-26-2013, 03:42 PM
 
Location: Sto'Vo'Kor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ovcatto View Post
I was watching the Discovery Channel's series entitled "How the Universe Works" and as is always the case, I could help be lost in the absolute awe of size, power, order and more importantly chaos that is the universe which conversely demonstrates in my mind the utter insignificance and incredulousness of human gods.

As an unrepentant atheist I don't have a problem with some deist speculation that some god like force (whatever that might mean) set off the forces that created the universe out of nothing, but these piddling gods that have nothing better to do that to worry about the souls of an insignificant species on insignificant planet orbiting a diminutive sun in some unremarkable sector of the universe?!?! Come on!

When I consider stars UY Scuti which is 1,708 TIMES larger than our sun, black holes, or the simple fact that the when I look at the heavens I can see back millions of years in the past. I'm sorry but that is simply no competition of parting seas, burning bushes, or even a flood of Noahic proportions.

In short nothing confirms my atheism, as much as a look at our universe.
I love that, "unrepentant atheist". I will be using that this Thanksgiving when my bible-thumping family tries to lure me back to the darkside with their ye olde 'fire and brimstone' speeches.

I had to look up this newly discovered massive star, UY Scuti, and I must admit...my mind was blown. I had to take some time out to contemplate that before replying to you. I bet billions more like it are lurking out there in the cosmos, we humans just have not discovered them yet. However, you can be sure that it was Gawd's doing. Yes sir. A swirling, hot mass of gas put there by the Omniscient, Omnipotent Show Off Gawd...who put it there just to show how (totally fricking) AWESOME it is.

Why can't god just make one tiny little trip to Earth to clear up all the confusion? You know, maybe clarify the texts ascribed to it so that believers will quit fighting over whose version of the delusion is correct or incorrect. If god can make stars like UY Scuti and an entire Universe (or universes), then I am CERTAIN a quick trip to Earth to help its wayward children will be a piece of cake. However, it hasn't happened yet. And so on we go, sharing the planet with a set of people who insist on governing 21st century affairs by 5th century parameters.

Are god and religion a collective manifestation of ego gone wild coupled with structure for budding bronze age civilization? Long ago, people wiped their bums with leaves and stones. They counted large sums on an abacus. Now, we have charmin and computers. I think it's time to do away with the fairy tales and their influence on society for the good of humanity and continued evolution, but a fundie would label me a wayward heathen ho for such chatter. A god by any other name would be an imaginary friend. Adults humor children who speak of them. Adults with 'real' imaginary friends fall into two camps: The religious and the schizophrenic. Sometimes, they are not separate. In fact, I was just reading about how the religious have higher rates of mental disease than the non-religious. I mean, wow...that made me sit down for a minute. Talk about shock!

I wonder if the detachment from reality has anything to do with it. I know some VERY intelligent religious people, but these are the same people who will look you in your eye and tell you that a god created the cosmos and/or they believe a creator died for their 'sins'. These people have never seen god or Vishnu or Jesus or whomever in their lives, aside from stylized representations derived from the texts that they star in...but believers will gladly tell you that you are wrong for choosing not to believe in something that they have no true proof of themselves. I find that so utterly maddening and fascinating. I realize Mao and several others from history were atheists who had their own damaging ideals, but at least communism is a social structure that can be defined and qualified. God has had how many millions of years to leave us some bit of evidence? Some graffiti or something, heck, even the cave people left us that.

Last edited by Doomed_Shroom12; 11-26-2013 at 04:41 PM.. Reason: grammar
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Old 11-26-2013, 05:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Doomed_Shroom12 View Post
I love that, "unrepentant atheist". I will be using that this Thanksgiving.
Please, be my guest.
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Old 11-26-2013, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Somewhere out there.
6,887 posts, read 3,816,490 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ovcatto View Post
I was watching the Discovery Channel's series entitled "How the Universe Works" and as is always the case, I could help be lost in the absolute awe of size, power, order and more importantly chaos that is the universe which conversely demonstrates in my mind the utter insignificance and incredulousness of human gods.

As an unrepentant atheist I don't have a problem with some deist speculation that some god like force (whatever that might mean) set off the forces that created the universe out of nothing, but these piddling gods that have nothing better to do that to worry about the souls of an insignificant species on insignificant planet orbiting a diminutive sun in some unremarkable sector of the universe?!?! Come on!

When I consider stars UY Scuti which is 1,708 TIMES larger than our sun, black holes, or the simple fact that the when I look at the heavens I can see back millions of years in the past. I'm sorry but that is simply no competition of parting seas, burning bushes, or even a flood of Noahic proportions.

In short nothing confirms my atheism, as much as a look at our universe.

Yep, that's very much the way I feel. (Take a look at my blog if you feel so inclined.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
As closely as I can tell, the Earth would have been just as satisfied with a dinosaur run planet.

As indeed it was for 160 million years or so. This fact alone has to make you wonder how insignificant we are. That dinosaurs managed to live very successfully in harmony with the planet for many millions of years, whereas homo sapiens, here for a mere 200,000 years and in the blink of an eye (last 200 years or so) have managed to do a great job of half destroying the planet.
Wow I'm not usually so maudlin, but yes, thinking about the conditions, the size, the scale and deep time needed for us to be here does make you think we are very insignificant indeed.

Last edited by Cruithne; 11-26-2013 at 05:50 PM..
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Old 11-26-2013, 06:20 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Originally Posted by Cruithne View Post

whereas homo sapiens, here for a mere 200,000 years and in the blink of an eye (last 200 years or so) have managed to do a great job of half destroying the planet.
.
If I am taking the above too literally, my apologies, but we aren't destroying the planet at all, merely inadvertently making it less and less able to sustain human life. We might wipe ourselves out via this means, but the planet will happily go on without us, ready to host the giant cockroaches or whichever species replaces us at the top of the food chain.

I bring this up because phrasing it the way that you did "...destroying the planet" is sort of reflective of the attitude we both oppose...that the Earth came into being to host human beings. (Therefore if there were no more humans, the earth would have no purpose.)
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Old 11-26-2013, 06:35 PM
 
Location: Somewhere out there.
6,887 posts, read 3,816,490 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
If I am taking the above too literally, my apologies, but we aren't destroying the planet at all, merely inadvertently making it less and less able to sustain human life. We might wipe ourselves out via this means, but the planet will happily go on without us, ready to host the giant cockroaches or whichever species replaces us at the top of the food chain.

I bring this up because phrasing it the way that you did "...destroying the planet" is sort of reflective of the attitude we both oppose...that the Earth came into being to host human beings. (Therefore if there were no more humans, the earth would have no purpose.)
Well yes I was going to continue along those lines but felt I'd got too maudlin already.

Yes of course, without us the planet would continue along on its merry way. The rainforests would grow back, the ozone layer would repair itself, the trash would rot and the freeways would be buried, the air would become clean, the tectonic plates will continue on their journey and other species would continue to evolve.
What I mean was in comparison with the dinosaurs we have hardly lived in harmony with the planet. As far as I can work out the dinosaurs weren't destroying the earths ecosystem. I could be wrong. They probably emitted quite a bit of methane and warmed the earth at one point....
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Old 11-26-2013, 06:48 PM
 
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I feel the same way as you, ovcatto.

Although an atheist, I loosely "follow" naturalistic pantheism. It rejects any sort of supernatural gods or forces, but recognizes that we're all a part of and interconnected to this vast, complicated, and beautiful universe. It also recognizes that humans are a part of nature and therefore should be protecting it and not fouling it up.






Last edited by Ohio Hello; 11-26-2013 at 07:00 PM..
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