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Atheist Community of Austin
Atheism is just being incurious

If I really don't care why the world exists, I can easily be an atheist. If, however, I observe the finely turned nature of the physical laws in our universe, I cannot conclude they are random. They were either selected, or there must be an infinity of universes, and I live in the one where the laws happen to result in our universe. If I am now going to postulate a multiverse, I am now faced with a burden of proof that is pretty difficult. In an infinity of universes, I will have lived and died many times in other universes, which makes me eternal. This clearly I am not. If I dismiss the multiverse theory, I am back to the beginning, where the first efficient cause of the universe I am in is what is known as God.

"You can't explain X, therefore God exists." Yawn. The tired old logical fallacy of the argument from ignorance.

The time to believe in something is when there's positive evidence for it.

Wow Don. That's really incurious, which so far is proving my point (not that there is a god, but that atheists are incurious, at least about the existence of god).

What positive evidence would be sufficient? I argue that you have the positive evidence (the physical laws), but you say it doesn't meet your criteria for positive evidence. How did you arrive at your criteria? What are your criteria? Why are they not being met? I would think that that overwhelming evidence of non-randomness would be sufficient positive evidence for anyone that chose to care.

Robert D.,

All of the apologetics I've heard involve some combination of deception, logical fallacies, or emotional manipulation. Please understand that I don't find these convincing. When a theist uses them, he tells me that he has no convincing evidence for his god. Why lead with crap? It gets tiresome because the longer I'm an atheist, the more disappointed I am that believers who claim that they can talk to an omniscient god can't seem to relay something resembling convincing evidence. Am I curious whether or not there's a god. Sure, but after interacting with Christians for 15 years, the lack of evidence there has been a consistent disappointment. By contrast, science has done the real work of investigating things like the Big Bang, the distribution of matter in the universe, creating models for the foundational forces of physics. Science has answers that religions seem to not even understand enough to ask. Those forces are sufficient to explain the order we see in the universe.

Here's an analysis of the fine tuning argument: http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Fine-tuning_argument Iron Chariots is a counter-apologetics wiki maintained by people in the ACA.

I'll paraphrase hitchens on this. It's not that we lack imagination when it comes to these questions. I could picture a universe with a god that is a prankster god and it sends good people to hell and bad people to heaven. There could be any number of gods out their. All being an atheist entails is you do not believe in gods that have been brought forth. That is all. And what matters to us is evidence, if you present a strong case for a god we will consider it.

Not sure what the multiverse has to do wih atheism. But it's clearly not incurious. Don't really see what point you are trying to get across

One can claim freedom and purpose rhetorically as the religious have done. It is unprincipled, what they profess and I don't take them for their word, there is no proof, here's what i mean. In general for all things, nothing has ever been broken as proof of anything in all of human history, in other words, plunder is groundless. And it appears throughout human history that's all that has been happening, we break things to progress. which doesn't work, never has. I can't speak like this to a Christian, too confrontational. On the other hand speaking there is actual resolve but only if it is principled; recognize that plunder is groundless and only leads to further breaking(...this is why the planet is melting). Without this there is nothing that can be done to get us out of this craziness called religion.

Reply to message From: Robert D. (Posted Jul 18, 2012 at 11:28 am)

Robert D said, "If I really don't care why the world exists, I can easily be an atheist. If, however, I observe the finely turned nature of the physical laws in our universe, I cannot conclude they are random."

Robert D. did you mean fine tuned nature of the physical laws in our universe? Isaac Newton believed God created and conserved order in the universe. He believed that a creator designed it specifically for the existence of human life. The discovery of other solar systems outside our own in 1992 proved that our world was not so uniquely designed and that human life could exist throughout the universe. Your comment is an argument without evidence. Where is the evidence for the sky fairy that fine tuned the universe for life? This isn't (and never has been) an argument about science; it's about religion, in fact, it's about the creation story in Genesis. I'll try to explain this in a way that you will hopefully understand why your argument fails. You say there is evidence that points to "fine tuning" of the universe without proving the universe is "fine tuned". Just assume a sky fairy exists that created the world and then fine tuned it for life. First you have to prove it.

"The 1992 discovery of a planet orbiting another star other than the Sun demonstrates that the universe may have indeed risen from chaos, rather than God's hand. That makes the coincidences of our planetary conditions - the single Sun, the lucky combination of Earth-Sun distance and solar mass, far less remarkable, and far less compelling evidence that the Earth was carefully designed just to please us human beings." Stephen Hawking

Some physicists have theorized that only universes with laws of physics that are "fine tuned" could support life. If things were even a fraction different from our universe there would be no intelligent life. That would mean that our physical laws might be explained "anthropically," meaning if they were not as they are there would be no life otherwise to observe them. But MIT physics professor Robert Jaffe and his collaborators decided to test this anthropic explanation. So, they tested whether universes with different physical laws could support life. The MIT physicists have showed that universes quite different from ours still have elements similar to carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, and could therefore evolve life forms quite similar to us, even when the masses of elementary particles called quarks are dramatically altered.

Robert D. said, "They were either selected, or there must be an infinity of universes, and I live in the one where the laws happen to result in our universe."

They also claim that a complex system can only arise out of something with high intelligence. So, the universe and life can only have arisen out of something even more intelligent and complex; it's nothing more than Intelligent Design. There is no reason why the physical universe cannot be it's own first cause. As we know from both everyday experience and highly structured scientific observations, complex systems develop from simpler systems all the time in nature (with not even low intelligence required.) Life can evolve from bacteria. And our relatively complex universe could have arisen out of the simplest and most mindless of thing of all - a quantum vacuum fluctuation.

The "god did it" explanation does nothing to establish what actually was the cause of the existence of the universe or life in the universe. Scientists discovered and have observed evolution-taking place. Scientists have observed replicating chemical chains forming from non-replicating chains. Scientists have found the answers that have unlocked many of the mysteries of the universe and life in the universe. "God-did-it" or "it's just a mystery" answers nothing. The universe evolved and continues to evolve. The universe is expanding. The majority of the objects in the universe are moving away from the Earth. The farther away an object is from the Earth, the faster it is moving away from the Earth. If we keep looking back in time, therefore further collapsing the universe, we eventually reach a time in which the universe has been so thoroughly collapsed that it no longer exists. At this point in (time and space) will be the singularity.

Robert D. said, "If I am now going to postulate a multi-verse, I am now faced with a burden of proof that is pretty difficult. In an infinity of universes, I will have lived and died many times in other universes, which makes me eternal. This clearly I am not. If I dismiss the multiverse theory, I am back to the beginning, where the first efficient cause of the universe I am in is what is known as God."

The fact that there could be multi-verses (which is a hypothesis) doesn't change the fact that the universe had a beginning. It also does not imply the existence of a supernatural being who created anything. Even though the universe and the human race did not exist forever. If God created the universe or multi-verse then what caused God's existence and what caused that cause and so on. The "god did it" explanation does nothing to establish what actually was the cause of the existence of the universe. the multi-verse is a scientific hypothesis (a model) with no observable evidence. It has been written about in science fiction with other parallel (exact copies) universes some how merging into each other, but that is fantasy. Science fiction author Michael Moorcock popularized the term "multi-verse", which was originally coined by William James. In these contexts, parallel universes are also called alternate universes, quantum universes, parallel worlds, or alternate realities. But if there are other universes they could be nothing at all like ours (not an exact copy) as the MIT study seems to have proven. I think their texts and experiments prove that life on earth was not "fine tuned" but could have evolved under very different conditions. It might have evolved differently, according to the conditions, but it might even have been better.

There are naturalistic explanations for the existence of the universe and life in the universe that are preferable to supernatural explanations that do not explain anything. The theories that involve natural causes have stood the test of time, and there is no reason to resort to supernatural causes.

As an Atheist, I find your ignorance of my personality traits insulting. I am one of the most curious people I know. I crave knowledge, I can't live without it. The time I don't spend reading books to better myself, I spend on the internet reading about different subjects that I find interesting.

Since I moved to East Texas years ago, I've been inundated with the idiocy people around here call religion, which has further cemented my (non)beliefs. I'm always curious about someone else's opinions, and find that the best way to have an intelligent conversation with them (I know, it's hard not to laugh at that statement) is to have background knowledge. Which is why I've been reading through the bible lately. Once I finish that, I plan on getting hold of other religious texts to read and compare. The Quran, the Mormon books, etc.

However, the more I read, the more I'm convinced that, at best, the Bible was simply a collection of poorly-translated tales, both historical and fictitious. I enjoy studying languages, so would love to get ahold of the originals that the King James version was translated from, and see how I can translate it. For instance, I've always though that the snake in Genesis that tempted Eve was simply a metaphor or even a bad translation for Adam's penis.

So to generalize that Atheists are incurious, is to say that a hungry man won't find himself something to eat. I think it's quite the other way around; I've found that the religious people are so set in their beliefs that they get overtly offended when someone questions those beliefs, and can't go into something with an open mind under the risk that it might be changed.

If I'm not learning something new, then I'm not growing as a person. Simple as that.

Jason Said: If I'm not learning something new, then I'm not growing as a person. Simple as that.

Jason, Human knowledge is limited and it has boundaries. Religion helps to define those boundaries, but it uses a brick wall with barbed wire on top as a marker. Go beyond that line, and you put your immortal soul at risk.

Science, skepticism, empiricism, and atheism observe the boundaries of human knowledge by erecting signposts. This way to the known world of human knowledge, and that way to the world of the unknown. No brick wall, just an invitation to those who have the urge (and the courage) to explore.

You're traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind; a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's the signpost up ahead - your next stop, the Twilight Zone!

Chuck Johnson said, "Jason, Human knowledge is limited and it has boundaries."

Duh, what other kind of knowledge is there?

Chuck Johnson said, "Religion helps to define those boundaries, but it uses a brick wall with barbed wire on top as a marker. Go beyond that line, and you put your immortal soul at risk."

So, you're now mixing twilight zone Christianity with government, I presume?

Chuck Johnson said, "Science, skepticism, empiricism, and atheism observe the boundaries of human knowledge by erecting signposts. This way to the known world of human knowledge, and that way to the world of the unknown."

All that kind of knowledge, unknown knowledge, gets you is a trip to the religious twilight zone. It takes human knowledge (that you have to work for) to go real places, like the moon.

Chuck Johnson said, "No brick wall, just an invitation to those who have the urge (and the courage) to explore."

And don't have the brains of a piss ant.

Chuck Johnson said, "You're traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind; a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's the signpost up ahead - your next stop, the Twilight Zone!"

#$%^&* now you're entering the fundie zone!

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