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Certainty of Atheism


BenMillard

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Certainty of Atheism

proving that gods do not exist

 

Introduction

There have been many, many discussions about religions, gods and the supernatural in D&D but there have been none specifically about the opposing view - that of atheism. By making this topic I hope to provide a location where this imbalance may be addressed and where frequent visitors to D&D will be able to refer to in future discussions about religion.

 

I struck upon the idea of creating this specific topic after watching Jonathan Miller's Rough History of Disbelief programmes. It consisted of three one-hour historical documentaries which traced Atheism from its ancient foundations with the materialist philosophers of ancient Greece, through the Christianisation of the Roman Empire and the resulting Dark Ages to the Reformation. The series ended with the past couple of centuries which have seen the rediscovery and systemisation of the ancient Greek works, creating what could be called Modern Atheism.

 

Additionally, three hours of discussions between Miller and some of the experts he consulted with the series were also broadcast. I watched and recorded all these and took notes on them before I began to draft this topic. The series and associated discussions were broadcast on BBC Four, a digital TV station in the UK. There is a specific page for these discussions, which are broadcast under the title of The Atheism Tapes. The series is being repeated quite frequently but I do not think it will find its way to BBC America or BBC World.

 

In brief, modern Atheism is the standpoint that by default, nothing should be considered true until it is proven to a high degree of reliability through observation, logical reasoning and other methods. Telepathy, ghosts and communication with the dead are not accepted by Atheists as such claimed phenomena are consistantly proven to be inconclusive or can be proven untrue.

 

This attitude of proof preceeding belief as a default response to any idea is perhaps the most key aspect of Atheism.

 

 

Cerbera's Foundation

My own foundation to disbelieving - and even disproving - the existance of god has been through trying to discover the most truthful and fundamental interpretation of the universe possible. The purpose being not so much for the intellectual excercise than for using this as my benchmark from which to decide how I should live.

 

I wrote a short piece for my site to try and optimise my current views about systematic analysis of the foundations of creator-gods on my Misc - Atheism page.

 

As these principles and normal observations indicate a unversal environment which lends itself to study and systemisation, it would follow that until a system is devised to describe any category of events reliably, such a system should be regarded as provisional. If a proposed system is found not to reflect nature as accurately or as extensively as another system, the former should be rejected in favour of the more reliable latter. You can probably tell where this is going.

 

How the three principles apply to a creationist idea of god (which all major theist ideas possess) is described here:-

  • The universe contains absolutely everything.
  • A god created the universe.
  • For a god to have created the universe, it must have existed outside of the universe.
  • It is impossible for anything to exist outside of the universe.
  • Such a god cannot exist.
I created a less clearly defined version of this argument a few days after I published the "Misc - Ideas" piece. After watching the Rough Guide to the History of Atheism I found that Robert Hume, a Scottish philosopher of some acclaim, had come up with very a similar argument over a century before myself. By studying his argument more closely I was able to create the systematised edition which I have just presented.

 

 

Implications and Discussion

If indeed this does disprove the existance of gods, I would be rather surprised. After all, the idea of gods and the supernatural in general has been in existance for around ten thousand years, as proven by ancient ruins and monuments such as Stonehenge, the Nazca plains and so on.

 

I anticipate a very interesting topic. smile.gif

 

 

(EDIT: 2005-01-18) Revised the foundation of this post to be more empirical.

Edited by Cerbera
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Some very interesting stuff said. I tend to agree with you on quite a few of these topics. One question though. Number three on the first list - how did you come to that conclusion, and could you elaborate on it?

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So, how exactly did the universe form then? All the matter in the "Big Bang" was just there one day? That does not make sense. God is real. Atheists are going to hell, no matter how you slice it.

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So, how exactly did the universe form then? All the matter in the "Big Bang" was just there one day? That does not make sense. God is real. Atheists are going to hell, no matter how you slice it.

Leave, now. You have no place in Debates and Discussions, gtfo.

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="kahunab12 @ Nov 4 2004, 17:54"]

So, how exactly did the universe form then? All the matter in the "Big Bang" was just there one day? That does not make sense. God is real. Atheists are going to hell, no matter how you slice it.

 

Leave, now. You have no place in Debates and Discussions, gtfo.

Actually, despite his poor reasoning andsimple stupidity, kahuna has touched upon a point. Consider:

 

* The universe contains absolutely everything.

* The universe has not always existed.

* Therefore the universe must have, at one time, been created.

* In order to be created, it must have been created from something.

* It is impossible for that something to have existed outside of the universe.

* Therefore the universe cannot exist.

 

Both Cerbera's argument and the one I just gave above are different ways of looking at the Cosmological Argument, and both, essentially, fall to the exact same critiques, nad are thus both as strong as each other. Cerbera's conclusion that god cannot exist for in order to exist he would have to exist outside the universe is directly countered by the conclusion that the universe cannot exist for its creation is dependant upon an external factor.

 

The logical course of action then, for us atheists, is to then pursue whether two things are true:

* All things are causal.

* Wether an inifinite regress is possible.

 

If all things are NOT causal, then the universe COULD have come into existence from nothing without requiring a creator God. If all things ARE causal, then we still have more work to do, which brings us to the infinite regress. If an infinite regress is possible, then the universe would never require to be created. It would simply fluctuate between states for infinity, with absolutely no requirement of ever being created or ever ending. In which case God would not be necessary, and would in fact be completely redundant. This is especially true if all things are causal, and an infinite regress is possible, for if the universe has always and will always exist, and if all things must be caused and are thus determined, then a God CANNOT exist, for he could neither create nor change, thus removing his omnipotence and denying him the very thing that makes him a God.

 

So for that reason I focus my efforts on physical determinism and the reality of infinity, for by proving these things, I preclude the very possibility of a God ever existing at any point in time for any reason.

 

 

I wrote a short piece for my site to try and optimise my current views and you can read it here. They three key principles I indentified are these:-

 

    * The universe contains absolutely everything.

    * Because everything is contained, everything must be finite.

    * Because everything is finite and contained, everything must be systematic.

I echo Evis call to hear your reasoning between #2 and #3, because I see a logical leap there. I can think of a number of possible hidden arguments, but I'd like to hear yours.

 

 

After watching the Rough Guide to the History of Atheism I found that Robert Hume, a Scottish philosopher of some acclaim, had come up with very a similar argument over a century before myself.

Don't you just HATE when that happens? biggrin.gif

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So, how exactly did the universe form then? All the matter in the "Big Bang" was just there one day? That does not make sense. God is real. Atheists are going to hell, no matter how you slice it.
Leave, now. You have no place in Debates and Discussions, gtfo.
Actually, despite his poor reasoning andsimple stupidity, kahuna has touched upon a point. Consider:

 

The universe contains absolutely everything.

 

The universe has not always existed.

 

Therefore the universe must have, at one time, been created.

 

In order to be created, it must have been created from something.

 

It is impossible for that something to have existed outside of the universe.

 

Therefore the universe cannot exist.

 

Both Cerbera's argument and the one I just gave above are different ways of looking at the Cosmological Argument, and both, essentially, fall to the exact same critiques, nad are thus both as strong as each other. Cerbera's conclusion that god cannot exist for in order to exist he would have to exist outside the universe is directly countered by the conclusion that the universe cannot exist for its creation is dependant upon an external factor.

 

The logical course of action then, for us atheists, is to then pursue whether two things are true:

 

All things are causal.

 

Wether an inifinite regress is possible.

 

If all things are NOT causal, then the universe COULD have come into existence from nothing without requiring a creator God. If all things ARE causal, then we still have more work to do, which brings us to the infinite regress. If an infinite regress is possible, then the universe would never require to be created. It would simply fluctuate between states for infinity, with absolutely no requirement of ever being created or ever ending. In which case God would not be necessary, and would in fact be completely redundant. This is especially true if all things are causal, and an infinite regress is possible, for if the universe has always and will always exist, and if all things must be caused and are thus determined, then a God CANNOT exist, for he could neither create nor change, thus removing his omnipotence and denying him the very thing that makes him a God.

 

So for that reason I focus my efforts on physical determinism and the reality of infinity, for by proving these things, I preclude the very possibility of a God ever existing at any point in time for any reason.

 

 

I wrote a short piece for my site to try and optimise my current views and you can read it here. They three key principles I indentified are these:-

 

The universe contains absolutely everything.

 

Because everything is contained, everything must be finite.

 

Because everything is finite and contained, everything must be systematic.

 

I echo Evis call to hear your reasoning between #2 and #3, because I see a logical leap there. I can think of a number of possible hidden arguments, but I'd like to hear yours.

 

 

After watching the Rough Guide to the History of Atheism I found that Robert Hume, a Scottish philosopher of some acclaim, had come up with very a similar argument over a century before myself.
Don't you just HATE when that happens? biggrin.gifAh, the step between #2 and #3 in my first principles is actually a very small one. As the universe is of finite size and is totally contained, it is a fairly stable environment. Fairly stable environments can normally be described using systems because this is the purpose of systems. I do not infer that the universe is conciously or intelligently systematic, nor that it requires maintainence of this stability.

 

It is stable due to it being entirely finite and entirely contained. Therefore can be described reliably, systematically.

 

 

My counter to creationism being required to explain the finite nature of the universe is not complicated. Because the universe contains everything and is finite in every way, all properties of everything are therefore finite. If any property of any entity was infinite it could not be contained within the universe - and therefore could not exist.

 

The implications of this are somewhat confusing but the result is that there is still no possibility of any gods. As all aspects of everything must be finite, inventing an infinite being to create them is impossible. As all aspects of all things are finite, trying to create something to fill the perceived "gap" between the finity of the universe and the (incorrectly) assumed infinity of things like time is not required. Time can only exist by being finite to be contained within the universe. Much like width, length and height must be.

 

The universe is the finite entity which contains everything, whatever everything might turn out to be. Nothing can exist outside of the universe because the universe contains absolutely everything.

 

 

(I fixed the formatting in the quote. Good to see you in a less combative mood than usual, Mort. Cheers for the link, too. People who I have not quoted directly have been read by me and are acknowledged duely.)

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It is impossible for anything to exist outside of the universe.

Such a god cannot exist.

 

So tell me, Cerbera, if the universe contains absolutely everything, and it was created by something then the something would have to be more powerful the its creation, right? And the creation could never understand the creator. Our mines could never understand something that powerful that could exist outside the universe. You know we only use about 10% of our brain if that much. we can hardly understand what is in this universe so how can you even comprehend what is outside of it?

Thats why God had to make a mini human God of itself. That is the only way we could deal with something that is so powerful that could exist outside the universe. And with limited brain power, we will never understand. That is why we was created with limited brain power, look at the damage we have done. We always think the wrong way. Always trying to take the credit away from the creator. We can't run on full power, its to dangerous.

 

Such a god can exist, its just powerful for you to understand.

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When I see God, i'll know he/it exists. When I see a ghost (seems like everyone has but me) i'll know they exist, but until that day, I dont buy it. If you ask me, it seems rediculas that a single man/thing could just go poof and make an entire universe in 7 days. If you god-believers really would just sit down and actually think about what these churches are telling you instead of just doing what other people consider as normal, then maybe you could realise how bogus this sounds. Just think, is it really possible for a single man/thing to sit there and control EVERYTHING that goes on in the world at any given time? Be logical. God did not "create" anyone either. Its call sperm and egg. Genetics.

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You just said that God did not create anyone, the first "human" came from a sperm and an egg. Where did the sperm and the egg come from? It's just simple logic my friends. Matter can not be created, nor destroyed. It's a simple scientific formula. The way you guys are arguing, your making it seem like all the matter in the universe was just there, from no where. Who's to say that the universe never stops?

 

Lets touch on a few key points that you are trying to tell people.

At first, you said that the universe contains everything. You know this... how? Right, you don't. Nobody can comprehend the sheer size of the universe no doubt, but we have no idea if it ends, and if it does, where does it end. No human will ever know if the universe ends. Even traveling at light speed, It would take 100,000,000 years to reach the other end of the milky way galaxy. You cannot comprehend the amount of matter and mass that exist in the universe. So who's to say it was just there one day?

 

Many say science. Well, that's the problem. Everything that science states is against what your arguing for. As I stated earlier, matter can not be created, nor destroyed. So, how was it just there? All the matter that is whirling around in space, and all the matter that makes up every celestial object in the universe is the same matter that came from the big bang. Where did it come from, I ask you.

 

Now, we'll go onto intelligent life. Where did it come from? Some argue evolution, some argue fertilization, and some argue with many other invalid points. The problem is, for these life processes to happen, something had to create the first sperm and egg, the first microbiological organism, the first walking human. Life did not just form one day, and atoms didn't get together one day and say, "Hey, lets form an organism!"

 

 

Just think, is it really possible for a single man/thing to sit there and control EVERYTHING that goes on in the world at any given time?

Who's to say that God can control everything at once? Which is why prayers can't always be answered. If you do to much, the universe comes dependent, and if you do to little, the universe ceases to believe that such a being every existed. That's where you guys come in, but I still find it ridicules that you can say "It was science."

 

 

The universe contains absolutely everything

Where did that crawl from? How do you know that the universe contains everything? Have you been to all 4 corners? Or in case of a circle, around the perimeter? No, you haven't. The reason you guys can get away with what you believe around here, is because so many other people around here believe the same. Sure, there is no real way to prove there is a god, but there is no way to prove there isn't one, either...

 

 

My counter to creationism being required to explain the finite nature of the universe is not complicated. Because the universe contains everything and is finite in every way, all properties of everything are therefore finite. If any property of any entity was infinite it could not be contained within the universe - and therefore could not exist.

First of all, by saying something is "finite" is saying that it is limited. There are a finite number of apples in a basket. So, if something does end, how can it contain everything?

 

 

Actually, despite his poor reasoning andsimple stupidity

Your calling me stupid because I don't believe in something as ridicules as atheism? That's sad, sad my friend. This country was founded on christianity, and christian morals, how can you forget that?

 

I'm sorry if I'm going off the bible to much, because the bible isn't true word for word, and I think it was ment to be a guideline, rather than something to just look at and believe. How can you guys be so certain that a god does not exist. Well, we won't know, and the only way we will know is in death, and that time comes for everyone of us. I will believe in God until the day I die, and nothing will change that.

 

Thanks for your time, and please, don't bash me. I gave my opinion just as you guys stated yours.

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The only reason you'll get "bashed" is that you don't follow any systematic sense of reasoning. The people discussing topics in here are very much logical thinkers, and since you don't even attempt to offer a scientific counter or justify your claim at all, it is aggravating.

 

I'll post more later...

 

..Friday night smile.gif

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I've had several new thoughts on this issue since I last debated Cerbera on the question, and since I have been invited to participate, I will state them here.

 

Pre-big-bang questions

 

The big bang created matter. Energy created the big bang. Where did the energy come from?

 

This is no new or perfect logic, and we could trace the cycle backward all day, but it is necessary to point out to begin the discussion propperly.

 

 

Law of recursive recall

 

How do you know that you are reading this at this very instant? Various answers I'm sure. But there's a problem: It takes a certain amount of time to become aware of any change in environment. Therefore, by the time we begin to understand any given instant, that instant has already passed.

 

We must thus conclude that we do not understand anything that is happening, but only things which we remember to have happened. Therefore presence of mind in this moment is dependant on upon memory of it in the next. Furthermore, memory of this moment in the next moment is dependant upon memory of that memory in the moment after that. Extend this cycle to its conclusion: self-awareness in any given moment is dependant upon an eternal recollection of that moment. In otherwords, we cannot ever be alive if we will one day be dead. Eternal life is neccessary for self-awareness.

 

 

Articulation of existence

 

How many dimensions are there? For most purposes we assume 3, some theories put it around 6, but either way, there is something important: the number is fixed.

 

This becomes crucial when you ask the question that religion attempts to answer, not how many, but why? Why are there 3 dimensions? Why not 15? Why is the locus of all points equidistant from a central point a circle? Do you really believe that a model of space could not exist where said locus was rectangular, or cubic? Then molecules could be square, and fit together much better, which would mean that this universe model would form more easily.

 

Think of your wildest childhood fantasy, the brink of your imagination. If one were allowed to tinker with all the laws of the universe, one could create a world where the walls produce ice cream, or allow Alice's rabbit hole to become reality.

 

The point is, everthing is dependant upon a set of rules that are completely arbitrary. They apply to everything, and for the big bang to happen they would have to apply to the nothing that pre-dated everything, since matter could not predate the concept of matter. Furthermore, since these rules could be defined in any number of rediculous ways, we must assume that this way was chosen randomly, and no "system" can produce a random result, thus proving the existence of God, or this system was chosen because it was the most logical, which is impossible, since logic itself is defined as part of the system.

 

 

The zero-sum game

 

WARNING: This does not disprove atheism, it simply makes it reeeeely depressing.

 

This is a nother "why" type theorem. Look at this: why don't you, as an atheist, kill someone? well, because you care about how that person feels. But this is no good, because that person won't remember you killed them, as far as they know, they lived a full life. Non-existance is not affected by existance. Now, what about the people who survive, to care about that person? Ditto. All of them will eventually die, as will you. Thus eventually your crime will be erased, as will your good deeds, as will anything else, because the world won't always be.

 

What's wrong with Cerbera's "system" is it produces NULL for every output. Nothing we do changes the course of the system. If so, to articulate it plainly: F*ck it. How can you ultimately prove any action different from another if they all yield the same resultant? All things end in utter nullification, and nothing we do alters that system. Why not just die now? Or later for that matter? Ending your suffering has no effect either really.

 

 

Wanker rule - the ease of the atheist

 

You are not an atheist.

 

Why? Because you are sane. Any contemplation of ones own non-existance, any true beleif in atheism, would result in psychological self-destruction. The horror of eternal death is inescapable.

 

Atheism is popular because it is easy. You drink and smoke and snort and prick your share of c*nt like the grandest whores of the universe. Isn't life grand when you get to define your own morals?

 

I do not imply that Atheists are completely immoral, simply that they do not wish to stand up to scrutiny. With God out of the way, we are masters of the universe, and many people need that power. Thus they publicly deny God, when infact, you will find, they do not subconciously comprehend the fact that they will die. Teenagers and the young are attracted to atheism because they don't need a church to tell them they will never die, their incompletely-developed brains produce this beleif automatically. Even I cannot vouch for my perfect understanding of this fact. Without a need for that comfort, why bother with the rest of religion? Why serve someone you believe can give you nothing?

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Wanker rule - the ease of the atheist

 

You are not an atheist.

 

Why? Because you are sane. Any contemplation of ones own non-existance, any true beleif in atheism, would result in psychological self-destruction. The horror of eternal death is inescapable.

 

Atheism is popular because it is easy. You drink and smoke and snort and prick your share of c*nt like the grandest whores of the universe. Isn't life grand when you get to define your own morals?

 

I do not imply that Atheists are completely immoral, simply that they do not wish to stand up to scrutiny. With God out of the way, we are masters of the universe, and many people need that power. Thus they publicly deny God, when infact, you will find, they do not subconciously comprehend the fact that they will die. Teenagers and the young are attracted to atheism because they don't need a church to tell them they will never die, their incompletely-developed brains produce this beleif automatically. Even I cannot vouch for my perfect understanding of this fact. Without a need for that comfort, why bother with the rest of religion? Why serve someone you believe can give you nothing?

Perhaps you don't have the same feelings after being promised eternal paradise after death (I'm assuming you are christian here) but I don't have a problem with the concept that my conciousness will eventually end. Sure, I avoid death (instinct, of course) and I don't go insane contemplating that.

Oh, and though atheism can be the refuge of those who wish to define their own morals, theism can be the refuge of those who do not wish to contemplate morals. God tells you this, it's right. End of story. But you say you didn't become a christian to evade having moral dilemmas? Well, I say I didn't become an atheist to define my own morals.

 

Law of recursive recall

 

How do you know that you are reading this at this very instant? Various answers I'm sure. But there's a problem: It takes a certain amount of time to become aware of any change in environment. Therefore, by the time we begin to understand any given instant, that instant has already passed.

 

We must thus conclude that we do not understand anything that is happening, but only things which we remember to have happened. Therefore presence of mind in this moment is dependant on upon memory of it in the next. Furthermore, memory of this moment in the next moment is dependant upon memory of that memory in the moment after that. Extend this cycle to its conclusion: self-awareness in any given moment is dependant upon an eternal recollection of that moment. In otherwords, we cannot ever be alive if we will one day be dead. Eternal life is neccessary for self-awareness.

Interesting line of reasoning. I've had some fun contemplating how we can be self-aware in a reality where there is no smallest unit of time, where our minds cannot perceive things constantly. But if you wish to tinker with that, how are you sure that we move through time? What proves to your mind that everything is in motion? Everything could be at one position in time and we would never "know" it because our minds would not be perceiving anything else than exactly what we are thinking at that moment.

 

Oh, and God being self-aware is fun to think about. Apparently he is "outside of time" and does not move through it.

How, then, does he think? If he thinks, then logically every thought he ever had and will have (stretching in eternity both ways) happens at the exact same instant. Having every interaction with the world he will ever have, at the exact same instant.

 

Oh, and if you wish to mess even more with extreme uncertainty, how are you sure that a place you have never been exists? How can you be sure that the entire time-space continum and everything in it was created a millisecond ago? How can you be sure that last night you weren't taken by the government, had your memory of the capture erased, and been placed in a Matrix-like VR machine? How can you be sure that all of your memories weren't created one second ago?

 

Moral of the story: don't mess with how time is measured or extreme uncertainty, because you end up with a lot of things you will have a long time explaining.

 

(Not seriously trying to debate here, just having some fun coming up with some food for thought and failing.)

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@ ctel: Jesus Christ motherfuker, did you even read Cerbera's posts? Who let you near a computer? f*ck off.

 

@soldier: What the f*ck is going on? Are we having some sort of asshole dipsh*t convention here or something? How do you breathe? f*ck off.

 

@kahuna: You've done a little better this time... or maybe it's just that you wrote more content. For starters, read up on evolution. It's remarkably simple. You don't start with a sperm and an egg, those are specialised cells that evolved over many millions of years. The first forms of life were asexual (like bacteria, and in fact, asexual reproduction is still the fundamental basis for all cell growth on earth and is how you make sperm), meaning that they simply consume resources (glucose mainly) until they are big enough to split in two. This means that all of life only needed one single cell to be created. And that has been shown to be quite easy to do by running electrical currents through liquid solutions of carbon, nitrogen, sulphur, etc. So evolution does not at any point require a God. All it requires is the right matter to be present in the right conditions, and over the 3 billion years our earth was forming before the first life emerged, there was plenty of oppurtunity for those conditions to be met.

 

So read up on evolution, then don't ever bring it up into a discussion about God again, unless you are using it to show that God is unecessary (because that's what it shows).

 

Regarding the finite nature of the universe, you may not believe this, but it's possible to deduce things without actually seeing them with your own eyes. I know, it's a strange concept, but consider the existence of a million dollars. have you ever seen a million dollars? Then how do you know it even exists? Now, mathematics and astronomy (which is extremely complex) allow us to deduce the size of the universe, by calculating all sorts of things. For starters, we know that every gallaxy we can see is moving away from us at an accelerating rate. This means that we are in a sphere that is expanding. There is no other way for every gallaxy to move away from us at an accelerating rate. We can also measure the "density" of space, and we know that the universe is becoming les dense, which means that it is comprised of a finite volume of matter, and as it expands, this matter must be spread thinner over the total volume of the universe, resulting in it becoming less dense. Thus we know that all matter within the universe is of finite number. There's also a whole bunch of other stuff that I couldn't possibly list here, like background radiation and noise, that allows us to deduce where the centre of the universe is, and where its edges are. The edge of the universe is a compression of the dimensions. This might be extremely hard for you to visualise, but think of it like a soap bubble. The soap sticks to itself more than it sticks to the air, and so it spreads around the surface of the air inside. Well, in an entirely different way to that, the dimensions of our universe compress near the edges, to run around the surface of the universe. Really you'd have to read up on spacetime and Einstein's theory of gravity to know what I'm talking about.

 

So in summary, maths (which is perfectly logical) tells us that the universe is finite, and that nothing can exist beyond it, because there are no dimensions beyond it in which a thing could exist. If the universe is finite, then it can only contain a finite mass of matter, and thus all matter is of finite quantity. It is not possible for any matter to exist beyond the universe. For our purposes, energy is merely another form of matter (which quantum physics shows to be true).

 

 

Who's to say that God can control everything at once? Which is why prayers can't always be answered.

Then he is not omnipotent, and not outside of time.

 

 

Your calling me stupid because I don't believe in something as ridicules as atheism? That's sad, sad my friend. This country was founded on christianity, and christian morals, how can you forget that?

I'm not an American. I hate your f*cking country. I'll never forget that your country was founded on christianity, don't worry about that.

 

But no, the reason I said you were stupid is because you said a stupid thing. it was stupid because it was devoid of all logical reasoning, and came across as nothing as exalted even as a brain-fart.

 

@Sadistic

 

The big bang created matter. Energy created the big bang. Where did the energy come from?

 

This is no new or perfect logic, and we could trace the cycle backward all day, but it is necessary to point out to begin the discussion propperly.

This is why I argue for an infinite universe. Matter (and thus energy) cannot be created, nor destroyed. All energy in our universe was present in the first instant of the Big Bang, and was converted to all matter in the universe within the first 3 seconds (in a collosal fight between matter and anti-matter). So you are right to ask "where did that first energy come from?" I'd be interested in hearing Cerbera's ideas on this, because he doesn't believe infinity is possible, but I do. In my case, that energy was always there. My theory basically goes like this: The universe has always existed, but is constantly remaking itself, because it consists only of finite energy in infinite time. Now, you might ask "how can time exist infinitely if the universe is finite, and time is a property of the universe?", to which I'd respond "time is a property of energy and existence". It is the fundamental dimension, without which nothing could exist. And it is an intrinsic property of energy. So we have a Big Bang, and the universe is "created", expands until its density becomes too low, then contracts again like a massive implosion, and the resulting compression of all matter results in it reverting to pure energy, until all we have left is energy. Then, with this abundance of compressed energy, matter is formed somewhere, and bam, another Big Bang is triggered, and the whole thing starts again. This cycle of expansion and contraction has always happened, and always will happen, because energy exists and cannot be created or destroyed, and time, which is intrinsic to that energy, thus cannot be created or destroyed either, and so time is infinite.

 

 

Law of recursive recall

 

How do you know that you are reading this at this very instant? Various answers I'm sure. But there's a problem: It takes a certain amount of time to become aware of any change in environment. Therefore, by the time we begin to understand any given instant, that instant has already passed.

 

We must thus conclude that we do not understand anything that is happening, but only things which we remember to have happened. Therefore presence of mind in this moment is dependant on upon memory of it in the next. Furthermore, memory of this moment in the next moment is dependant upon memory of that memory in the moment after that. Extend this cycle to its conclusion: self-awareness in any given moment is dependant upon an eternal recollection of that moment. In otherwords, we cannot ever be alive if we will one day be dead. Eternal life is neccessary for self-awareness.

This was quite amusing to read. Kudos.

 

However, if eternity is true in one direction, then eternity is true in all directions. Eternity is synonymous with infinity, except it is restricted to time. So were what you say true, then there can be no beginning, nor end, to self awareness.

 

However, self awareness has a definite beginning.

 

To be even more precise, self-awareness only exists in a moment. I am not self aware in the past. Nor am I self-aware in the future. I can only say that I recall being self-aware in the past, and I anticipate being self-aware in the future. If self-awareness only exists in the moment, then it does NOT rely on the future, nor the past, in order to exist. Consider that when you sleep, you are not self-aware. Likewise when you are otherwise unconscious. I will sleep tonight, and I have slept last night, and yet I am self-aware now. People who suffer from amnesia have permanently lost huge chunks of their past memories, and thus memories of being self aware. And yet they are still capable of being self-aware in the moment. Indeed, they were capable of being self-aware before their amnesia. The same is true of comas.

 

This is true because self-awareness is not a property in and of itself. It is an emergent property of more complex things. These things are what the brain does. What the brain does is entirely physical. Physical chemicals and electromagnetic interactions at the atomic level ensure that the whole brain functions entirely physically and causally. Indeed, what you say holds a certain fundamental truth, that present existence is dependant upon future existence, as it is upon past existence, but this is merely due to the properties of physics and matter, and not the properties of that airy-fairy thing we call self-awareness. Self-awareness only exists when our brains allow it to. You can prove this yourself by getting your sister to smash you over the head with a baseball bat, and trying to see if you remain self-aware throughout your unconsciousness, and it you can recall any of that awareness when you awake.

 

 

Articulation of existence

If the rules are arbitrary (and they are, really), then that is an argument AGAINST the existence of a God, because a God would likely have laws which were not arbitrary. The mere fact that they are arbitrary suggests that they were not chosen by anything, but instead simply arose as emergent properties of existence.

 

 

The zero-sum game

I give you credit for acknowledging that this was not an argument, but was merely depressing in your view.

 

However, in my view, it is rather the opposite. It means that when I die, I will not have to face an eternity (which is an awefully long time) of pain and suffering in hell, nor an eternity (which would eventually get fantastically boring) of servitude in heaven. Instead, I can look forward to dying knowing that it will be the complete and utter end to me, leaving no part of me to grieve or have to suffer as I watch the world decay and my children suffer through life and die, only to join me in grieving and watching their children suffer and die... no thanks.

 

And I'd rather not see my friends go to hell for eternal damnation while I go to heaven, or vice versa. I'd prefer complete oblivion any day.

 

As for morals, well, I don't have to do what anyone tells me to do, so instead I make my own decisions and can take full credit for bringin joy to those around me out of my own volition, and not by some divine reward or threat. Sure, I could kill you, but that'd really be more trouble than it's worth. Instead, we can both mutualy benefit from cooperation. Ever heard of the prisoner's dilemma?

 

So yeah. Long post.

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The big bang created matter. Energy created the big bang. Where did the energy come from?

 

This is no new or perfect logic, and we could trace the cycle backward all day, but it is necessary to point out to begin the discussion propperly.

This is why I argue for an infinite universe. Matter (and thus energy) cannot be created, nor destroyed. All energy in our universe was present in the first instant of the Big Bang, and was converted to all matter in the universe within the first 3 seconds (in a collosal fight between matter and anti-matter). So you are right to ask "where did that first energy come from?" I'd be interested in hearing Cerbera's ideas on this, because he doesn't believe infinity is possible, but I do. In my case, that energy was always there.

 

My theory basically goes like this: The universe has always existed, but is constantly remaking itself, because it consists only of finite energy in infinite time. Now, you might ask "how can time exist infinitely if the universe is finite, and time is a property of the universe?", to which I'd respond "time is a property of energy and existence". It is the fundamental dimension, without which nothing could exist. And it is an intrinsic property of energy. So we have a Big Bang, and the universe is "created", expands until its density becomes too low, then contracts again like a massive implosion, and the resulting compression of all matter results in it reverting to pure energy, until all we have left is energy.

 

Then, with this abundance of compressed energy, matter is formed somewhere, and bam, another Big Bang is triggered, and the whole thing starts again. This cycle of expansion and contraction has always happened, and always will happen, because energy exists and cannot be created or destroyed, and time, which is intrinsic to that energy, thus cannot be created or destroyed either, and so time is infinite.

I hope you don't mind but I paragraphed your response to me to make it a bit easier for our current readership to follow. smile.gif

 

My understanding of infinity is that it is the concept of something having no value. Not just something having an unknown value, a value which is very large, or a value which humans cannot test, but that no value of any sort could be given to this whatsoever. I find this impossible within a universe which we both agree (I think?) must be finite in every way as it is entirely contained. The containment of the universe means that every property of every part must have a definite value, surely? There is no scope for something as completely anomalous as an infinity?

 

Your apparent counter that time is somehow different to other dimensions is something I must disagree with because it is...well, surprisingly ill-defined for something you would come up with. Although your writing style is often combative and aggressive, it is rarely anything less than meticulously thorough but this specific aspect seems to be somewhat inconsistant with that.

 

You suggested: "time is a property of energy and existence"

 

Yet these things would be contained within the finite container of the universe and thus be finite themselves. To me, it seems that you have not explained why time must be infinite but have rather stated that the infinity of time is inherited from two things, energy and existance, of which the former is finite and the latter is manifest of finite dimensions and quantities within the universe. I do not understand how an infinity is derived from to finite things. Have I misunderstood your argument? blush.gif

 

It does not help me understand your proposal of time as being infinite by proposing untestable events it would cause, such as a pulsating universe. What I would need you to do is explain more simply why time must be infinite and how this infinite dimension could exist within the finite container of the universe. A plebian like me is not well versed on infinity, so it may be that such anomalies can exist within a finite container under special circumstances. I just find that unintelligable, though.

 

 

(EDIT) Kahunab: You are profoundly wrong in several respects, Mortukai covered some of them. For a start, you have not thoroughly contemplated the principles I supplied. Whatever everything is, the universe contains it. The universe contains it all. That is the definition of the universe, coming from "uni" meaning "one" and "verse" meaning "container" as in songs and poems having "verses" to "contain" sections of thier text.

 

Uni Verse = [The] One Container [which contains everything.]

 

 

Additionally, America was absolutely not founded on any reglious grounds whatsoever. It is written into the consitution that no church shall have any say in legislation or politics of any sort at all. That is what the "separation between church and state" means. It is there because America was formed as an escape from the governmental church of Britain in the mid-1700s.

 

The earliest Presidents were actively opposed to the Church, in fact. Do a bit of history and you will see that the first one stopped attending church completely and subsequent ones were very outspoken in their contempt for the Church. Unfortunately, the more recent leaders of the USA do not seem familiar with its constitution and so I can understand how you could have gotten confused.

 

I am not familiar with the Science of which "everything you [cerbera] says goes totally against" because I am using scientific protocols, although mainly philosophical ones as they are more appropriate for this subject. I suspect the difference between "Science" and "science" is that "Science" is what priests say they know (they always capitalise everything they come up with), whereas "science" is what scientists say they know.

 

The "science" I know of uses systematised definitions exactly as I do, although I am not a scientist myself.

 

 

SadMac: Returning a zero is not an error. Returning infinity is returning an error. Demonstrated here:

 

1 - 1 = 0 (this is not an error)

1 -1 = [infinity] (this is an error)

"There are zero apples up my bottom." (this is not an error)

"There are infinite apples up my bottom." (this is an error)

 

My theory is actually considerably less prone to errors than those of the various theologies which exist. Christianity has been so wrong about so much of our universe that it cannot be considered a valid means for discovering any truth whatsoever. Not only did it get the solar system model wrong, it but they put the guy who got it right under house arrest for his entire life. Then only pardoned him centuries later.

 

Zero and NULL are both legitamate results. Whether or not they are the most accurate results for a particular question is a point of contention but on the issues you raised (there being "zero" purpose for life) no error occurrs when zero or NULL is returned.

 

Thanks for turning up and I hope you will continue to contribute your refined and systematised arguments for the addition of gods to our understanding of the universe. I think Morty covered most of the rest of what you said pretty well.

 

 

(EDIT2) I have not responded to anything else in depth because I have to clear up this very possible fault in my own argument found by Morty before I can respond to the other arguments with any confidence. Ctel needs to refine his argument before I can understand whether it is in agreement with me or not.

Edited by Cerbera
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@ Cerb. Re: combative and agressive style: Haha, I think you'll find that my civility is directly proportional to the intelligence of my opponent and my respect for them as equals. I treat swine like swine, and princes like princes.

 

Now, it's not so much a case of energy being contained "within" the universe, as it is that energy is the universe. The universe is not a container into which energy and matter and dimensions are poured, but rather it is the grand sum of these things. Stuff like dimensions and protons and quantum wavefunctions are all different manifestations of the same energy. So energy is the universe.

 

Now I'm going to go on a little bit of a tangent, but we'll bring everything back together soon.

 

Consider that energy is a bowling ball. Now, of that bowling ball, we can say many things. We can say that it is spherical, that it has a certain relative size and mass, and that it has a colour.

 

But it's just a bowling ball.

 

What? Well, all those things which we can say about it are no more than perceptions relative to an external world. In and of itself, the bowling ball has none of these properties. It is only spherical compared to other things with similar or different geometry. It only has a colour because there are other colours which we can see that it does not possess. Size and mass are purely relative to the sizes and masses of other things in the external world. In and of itself, the only property it has is existence, because non-existence is an inescapable external reference. If non-existence didn't exist (wrap your head around that), then the bowling ball could not be said to exist.

 

Here's where things get tricky: if nothing else existed except the bowling ball, then the bowling ball could not exist either. This is so because in and of itself a bowling ball is devoid of definition, and if it was truly the only thing to exist (meaning that non-existence does not exist either), then void of any reference, its existence would be precisely the same as its non-existence.

 

But that's not the case. Because non-existence does, in fact, exist. So because of this singular fact, the bowling ball can fundamentally and irrefutably be said to possess the property of existence.

 

Confused yet? Good!

 

So where am I going with this? Well, back to energy, consider that the universe is energy, and that all things which exist do so within this universe. So all things are energy, manifest in some form or another. Now, because we have proof that the universe does, in fact, exist, we can know with absolute certainty that non-existence also exists. Were this not true, then the universe would be without definition for there would be no external reference from which it could be defined.

 

BTW, if this doesn't flow too nicely it's because almost every time I sit down to write something I just sit down and write what comes to mind as it comes to mind. There's no planning involved. So forgive me if I'm f*cking with your head too much.

 

So all things are relative. Nothing can exist unless its non-existence is possible as a counter-point reference. The universe cannot exist unless the universe not-existing exists as a reference. Fortunately, the universe is of finite size, and thus everything "outside" that size is not the universe, and thus the universe can exist. Likewise, time cannot exist unless not-time was also existed. Luckily for us, time is a confined to the universe, and so everything "outside" the universe has not-time. But this goes without saying, because time is a property of the universe, or in other words, is a property of energy. Remember, the "universe" is merely a descriptor we give to everything that exists, and all that exists is energy.

 

Now, because existence depends on non-existence in order to exist, and thus non-existence depends on existence in order to exist, neither can exist without the other. (I know, massively confusing, but I'm doing my best to make it simple). What we can know from this, is that because all that exists is energy (or the universe, the words are interchangeable here), and all that does not exist is not the universe, then neither can the universe cease to exist nor can non-existence cease to exist, for without one we can't have the other.

 

Still with me? Cos here's where we get to the crux of the issue (thank God, I hear you say). Because non-existence can only exist if the universe exists, and because we know the universe exists, then the only possibility is that the universe exists eternally. Think about it, neither existence nor non-existence can ever exist without each other. We know existence exists, thus we know non-existence exists, and we know it can't be any other way. Now, time is a property of existence, and by virtue of the existence of non-existence, time must be the only infinite. How can we know this for certain? Well, consider that non-existence knows no time. If, for some reason, at some point, any point, in our universe's time, existence were to end, and thus non-existence would be all that is, and thus could not exist, then because it is a thing void of time, then there could be no time period with which it could coincide with the universe to allow the universe to exist in the first place. Existence cannot "pop in", happen for a while, and then "pop-out" within non-existence, because non-existence does not allow for time or existence within which existence could occur.

 

If you've wrapped your head around that so far, you're doing far, far better than 99.99% of everyone. Or maybe you don't understand it smile.gif

 

So in summary, the fact of non-existence both allows the universe to exist, and also constrains it to exist eternally. Likewise, the properties of existence which we know as fact (such as that matter (energy) can be neither created nor destroyed) are an artifact of this non-existence/existence duality. This duality simultaneously ensures the finite nature of all existence (because if existence was infinite, then non-existence would not exist, and consequently neither would existence), and also the infinite nature of time. So this is what I mean when I say that time is a property of energy, because relative to the non-time of non-energy (non-existence), energy possesses time.

 

Maybe I'll eventually come up with a more succint way to describe what I mean, but a major difficulty is in describing concepts that human experience hasn't really allowed us to understand, such as the existence of non-existence and the requirement of an external reference in order for any definition of a thing to exist.

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At the moment, that strikes me as somewhat tautologous but that could well be because I have not understood it correctly. I always plan out what I type when I type out something detailed and technical. It benefits me as the process of systemising, optimising and checking for consistant terminology makes what I have written more reliable and makes it easier for other people to read and understand exactly what it is I'm blathering on about. smile.gif

 

I normally scribble long stuff out on paper, then type it up into a text editor, then as I put in the formatting, links and other stuff I check through for things like spelling and grammar. I then put it into a post and preview it, check for code errors and fix them. If I am including any quotes I get the authors and dates and put those in, then do a final check and post it. Sometimes I edit extra stuff on the end, which I declare with an (EDIT) thing.

 

If you can optimise your argument to the extent that it can be expressed within a few bullet points, you have reached a very accessible level of publishing your argument.

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Whew, quite a bit of discussion:

 

On the idea that my articulation of existance theory worked against God: No. A systematic assignment of these rules could not be arbitrary, but a concious preferrential choice could appear arbitrary. God's greatest quality is what he has in common with man, he can understand art and poetry, posess taste and preference. God could DESIRE the universe to have a particular setup.

 

The argument I originally presented Cerbera is not here, but if you would like it, simply view the film American Beauty. The film poses no direct argument against atheism, other than simply stating in passing that there is an afterlife. What it does is paint the universe in a light which reveals a sense of spirituality in all of its workings. It is a brilliant piece of film, and I recommend it regardless of reasoning.

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People. Hello? We allready know how it happened! People in Switzerland has on a European center made a station that allow them to speed up two items ( I can't remember what they are called ), up to the speed of light, and then let them ram each other, and when that happens, a big bang is created. wow.gif

 

We know how it happened, these two things was speeding around the 'nothing', then one day they collided, and BANG! We got ourself a universe.

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If not, then there wouldn't be a universe... and it doesn't make God suddenly exist.

 

PLUS there is a whole other teory about how the universe works:

 

The universe works like two balls with a line that keeps them together, constantly, these two balls moves away from each other, but when the line gets too tight, it will make the balls slam in to each other and 'restart' the universe.

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I seem to recall a certain theory about there being a great many universes floating around, and it is through the collision of these different universes that others are born.

 

Thus, this removes rather nicely the problematic concept of there being nothing before the Big Bang. There was something - there were two other universes. After collision, we get our universe, and so the process goes on.

 

Can't really see how they could prove it, but I find it very interesting nevertheless.

 

Not as detailed a post or as thoughtful as some others in this thread, but it might lead to suitable debate.

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I seem to recall a certain theory about there being a great many universes floating around, and it is through the collision of these different universes that others are born.

 

Thus, this removes rather nicely the problematic concept of there being nothing before the Big Bang. There was something - there were two other universes. After collision, we get our universe, and so the process goes on.

 

Can't really see how they could prove it, but I find it very interesting nevertheless.

 

Not as detailed a post or as thoughtful as some others in this thread, but it might lead to suitable debate.

I thought I got the definition right when I said this:
Uni Verse = [The] One Container [which contains everything.]
You cannot have two universes. The universe contains absolutely everything, whatever that might actually turn out to be.

 

On my training course I am sat next to a 41 year old man who is an active Christian and who I was able to have some really informative discussions with about that particular type of God. He is actually a really nice guy so I have mainly been letting him tell me what he knows about God and I just nudge the occasional spanner in the general direction of the works rather than throwing it right in. smile.gif

 

We talked about whether the Bible would be admissable as proof for the Devinity of Christ or the existance of God and found it inconclusive because I did not want to stick the knife in. When I questioned him about the various miracles, particularly the Virgin Birth, he admitted that such events could not be categorically proven. We agreed that the evidence was limited to the statements of witnesses recorded in the Bible and that these may have been included...selectively.

 

The course is every weekday for two weeks so I am anticipating it as being a very constructive excercise in learning more about what it is I am trying to disprove. I might reserve the bullet-points until next week so that I can be really specific about all the parts of his beliefs which they make impossible.

 

Of course, what might happen is that I will realise the utter falsehood of my argument and become an Born-Again Christian! tounge.gif

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Well, if all this stuff is true... Which is possible... Then the universe had to be made out something, by some kind of scientific reaction... Correct? But if there was nothing around before the universe..or outside of the universe. Then how exactly did this universe come to be? There was nothing there before right? So what is all of this stuff made of? How did it all just appear out of thin air? *or thin nothingness.*

 

So, my conclusion is that for right now.. Man will never know if god created the universe, or whether or not he exists..through science. It's just not possible right now.

 

 

P.S.: While were at this whole universe conundrum. Who says what we know is the universe in it's entirety. We could be on a whole different plane of existence on the same universe and not know it..

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Well, logically, you are correct that there is no way to know if god created the universe.

 

However, it is possible to know that the universe was never created, and thus needed no god. Thus is the power of infinity.

 

If you are religious, then you are already familiar with infinity, because you believe in eternal life. You might even believe that God has always existed, and is himself eternal. Well if you can believe that god was never created, then why can't you believe that the universe was never created? Saying "god created the universe" doesn't answer the question of existence, it merely pushes it back. It is perfectly analogous to an old hindu (I think) belief, that the world was supported on the back of a giant elephant. So if you asked "but what holds the elephant up?" you'd hear "another elephant". And if you asked "but what holds that elephant up?", you'd hear "another elephant beneath it". Only this time you are asking "well where did the universe come from?", and hearing "god created it", and so I might ask "but where did god come from?". And if your answer is that he has always existed, then why can't the universe have always existed?

 

But that's working backwards from a flawed assumption (that god is even possible).

 

Working forwards, we see something like this (bear with me, I'm pulling an all-nighter and I've been up for 26 hours):

 

-Nothing can be said to possess an innate property, if there is no external reference. By definition, inherent properties can only be understood within the context of things which are not inherent. It is impossible to describe a property that a thing could possess if that thing were the only thing to exist (I'm using the word "exist" in two terms, one as meaning the distinction between existence and non-existence (which I'll denote with "(1)"), and one as meaning "simply being that which is" (which I'll denote with "(2)"), and just now I was using the second version). Thus the very property of existence(1) is conditional upon the external property of non-existence(1). As a simple analogy, consider what the universe would be like if light did not exist(1) in any form. Would there be darkness? No. There could be no darkness because there is no light. Without light, darkness could not exist(1), it would simply be that which is. If you don't believe me, think about it from the other perspective. What if there was another property, similar to light, but not the same thing, that does not exist? How could we understand it? How could we understand the opposite of it, if it does not exist(1)? We can only understand darkness, because light exists(1). Hence without non-existence(1), there can be no existence(2), and vice versa. Otherwise, whatever did exist(2) without the other could not be said to actually exist(1).

 

A: Thus existence(1) is contingent upon non-existence(1).

 

If A is true, then knowing that the universe exists(1), and that non-existence(1) must also exist(1), then logically the universe must be of finite size, for if it were infinite, then non-existence(1) could not exist(1), and thus neither could the universe (because A is true). Conversely, if non-existence(1) did not exist(1), then the universe must necessarily be of infinite size, being all that exists(2).

 

(I might point out now that the weakest link in this argument is the assumption that the universe contains all that exists. Maybe it's because I'm so tired my eyes are nearly rolling in their sockets, but the best I would be able to do right now is an "argument from definition", by simply defining the universe as being all that which exists, which is a poor man's argument, because then we have to try to show how our current understanding of the universe includes all the things which do exist, and we get sidetracked into arguments of induction)

 

B: The universe is of finite size, being all that exists(1), and nothing that does not.

 

If B is true and Time exists, then time only exists(1) within the universe.

Time exists(1).

 

C: Therefore time only exists(1) within the universe, and cannot exist(1) beyond it.

 

Now, if we do the impossible in an abstract way, and imagine things from a perspective outside the universe, floating around in the non-existence, looking at a huge sphere that is the universe. Now imagine that you can watch time go by super fast and you see the universe spring into existence, get really big, then implode/explode/whatever. So what is the point of imagining that little scenario? Well, for starters, the only way you could understand that is if you actually had a sense of time (even if it was sped up). Without a sense of time, none of that would have been visible to you. You couldn't even percieve an eternally static universe, because that perception requires time and an understanding of the word "eternal". But time doesn't exist in the non-existence. So how could the universe form? How could it end? How could there be any period during which it had a chance to exist? If, at any instance in all of existence(2), there was ever a lack of the universe, or a lack of the non-existence, then niether one would be enabled to actually ever exist. Within the non-time of non-existence, the universe can't begin or end, because these things are dependant upon time being external to the universe. A "beginning" is a thing only able to be understood chronologically. The same is true of an "end". Neither of these things are possible without time. If the universe were to try to end within non-existence, it would form a paradox, where it could not end until time ended, and time could not end until the universe ended, and this would simultaneously attempt to force the concept of an "end" into the non-time of non-existence.

 

Yeah, I know that last part was very complex and confusing, but paradoxes tend to be that way.

 

Therefore if A, B, and C are true, then time must be infinite, simply because the universe (existence) could never being nor ever end. This doesn't necessarily mean that time is linearly eternal, because it could just as easily be circularly eternal (an eternal loop is still eternal).

 

 

So in the end, we have a logical answer to "where did the universe come from?", and that is "it has always existed, and will always exist, because it IS existence". Existence cannot not exist.

 

But god can.

 

Also, man may not ever know if god created the universe. But I do. And he didn't.

 

P.S. Just because something is not possible right now, it does not follow that it will forever be impossible. So maybe one day man will know through science. That's the best part about science. It grows to explain more and more every day. Religion only ever explains less.

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what you are doing is applying God to science, which usually never works. A god outside of the universe to create a universe.. ok. But if the universe suddenly appeared, where did it come from? If it was always here, then how could it have ever started? How can we have approximations of the universe's age? What happens at the end of time.

Obviously, these questions can never be answered with science, so how can we be so sure that there is no god?

I, personally, do not disbelieve in God, I have felt his presence on a few occassions when my dog was supposed to die, but somehow lived. It may be impossible to ever trully know that there is a god.

One reason why I dont preach about the impossibility to know that a god is present is because the idea of a god watching over you and loving you is so much more comforting than the feeling of being absolutely alone in the world.

People look to God to give them strength and love, whats wrong with that? Why should people be looked down upon for simply believeing in a god who loves them and supports them?

I hope that religion never becomes a way of the past, that humans are always wondering, and believing in a higher entity.

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Erm, forgive me if I missed something here, as I resorted to skimming over parts that seemed redundant, but this whole argument seems to be based on whether the universe is infinite or not. The idea of the universe being finite is absolutely absurd, and totally irrelevant whether it's finite or not.

 

Okay, for starters, the idea of a finite universe would imply it has physical spacial dimensions (fixed or dynamic) and boundries of some sort at the edges to keep one from buggering off into nothingness. Or, in other words, a container. And what of the space outside the container? Naturally I assume the argument for this would be along the lines of there not being space or, well, anything outside of the container since everything that could, did, and does exist is held within the universal container. And it is in the general direction of this one dimensional line of reasoning which I point and laugh at.

 

While it may be so that the practical universe is of a fixed size (IE- all of its matter and energy living within a certain radius), this in no way whatsoever precludes areas outside of said region from existence. All this would prove is that no paricles have mustered up the courage to venture out into the great unkown. To say otherwise would be a Flat Earth Society-esque statement. Just because no particle (person) has been past the "edge" of the universe (earth) doesn't mean the universe (earth) ends abruptly at a certain point.

 

Furthermore, the very claim that the universe has finite spacial boundries, in itself, implies there is something outside of the container. Oh, but what's this you say? The universe contains everything? But what of the empty space outside of the container by which the very shape of the container is defined! Sure, it may be empty, and completely devoid of anything, but the mere nothingness of is still something if it contains something with any sort of shape or size. Such an absolute nothing, while being, well, nothing would still have to be included into the practical universe for it to be considered influential or relative to the size or shape of said universe.

 

And, besides, just because nothing is there doesn't mean it doesn't exist. For instance, there are surely sections of the known, practical universe which are lacking any sort of matter or energy for whatever reason. This, however, doesn't mean they don't exist, as they would still be included into the time/space dimensions of the universe. And at some point, particles or energy could choose to wander into such an empty space. And save for a massive brick wall and a sign reading "last exit before universe ends, road closed ahead" at the edge of the universe, what is to stop one from wandering off into the void as well? And please don't tell me there's some wacky law of astro-physics to automagically prevent one from crossing said boundry, nor one to destroy one who crosses it. Such an idea would only go to further my point, as it would mean extra-universal (non)areas are systematically recognized and accounted for by something somewhere. Which would also mean they retain some sort of physical property; even if it is a measurably complete lack thereof.

 

So, in summary, the universe proper contains everything that exists, and everything that doesn't exist. Just as non-life (read: death) is a state of life, non-existence is a state of existence. A universe with finite boundries is one that conveniently ignores the ubiquitous nothing which surrounds it. To say that nothing doesn't exist, and that the universe only holds things is quite absurd. Without nothing, things wouldn't have any room to move about...

 

 

In any case, the whole "GOD" thing is quite simple: everyone is wrong and right at the same time. For religious and atheist folks to argue that either "GOD" or mathematical systems created, control, or are everything is but to argue semantics. Whether you put the face of a mystery spook (usually white Jesus) on it, or accept that everything is comprised of vast numbers of interdependent systems which work in unison for a common result of sorts, it's all the same. So by praying at the alter of any "GOD" or the anti-divine alter of Science, you're putting your faith into some interpretation of the exact same force that made/controls/is the universe, no matter which way you cut the pie (or pi).

 

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