It appears you have not yet registered with our community. To register please click here.

Origin XT RPG Network Home

What are your thoughts on religion?


Jan 16 2007, 06:30 AM (Post #1)
Commander in Chief
* * * * * * * *
Posts: 5,699
Cash: 2,145,476,571 / 2,147,483,647
Group: Representative
Joined: 12/23/06 04:45 AM
What do you think about religion in general? What do you believe? Do you believe anything? Why/why not?

I have a lot to say on this, but I want to see a few other posts first.
Post Options

35 Pages  1 2 3 > »  
Jan 16 2007, 06:37 AM (Post #2)
Masked Insanity
* * * * * * * * *
Posts: 11,179
Cash: 76,637 / 1,231,613
Group: Representative
Joined: 10/16/02 07:09 PM
Oh snaps...you gone 'n done it now...stongue.gif.

Everyone is pretty familiar with my 'belief system'. Basically I think religion is pointless and baseless in all aspects (even this so called "Faith" crap), and was spawned by man's need to have something to look up to other than himself. Simply put, I think religions are created by strong-minded but weak-willed fools.

Thus I have no belief system or religion. I'm one of those "I'll believe it when I see it" people you hear so much about. sbiggrin.gif
Post Options

Jan 16 2007, 07:30 AM (Post #3)
Here for the cute boys ;)
* * * * * * * * *
Posts: 16,853
Cash: 9,337,572 / 95,912
Group: Nobility
Joined: 5/08/05 04:11 AM
You've really let the cat out of the bag now, and you are going to pay for it. Everyone's arguments are known, so here I go again:

Religion is not pointless as Haven says above. It's pointless simply because he doesn't partake in it to begin with, so he labels it that way. I know it sounds rude but you can look at religion as a club with open registration -- those who take part in it say that it is the most fulfilling thing in their life, and those who really could care less about it say it's just about the stupidest thing that human kind ever created. My take on having one half in and one half out of the club? I think that it's a great idea, but with many flaws, nonetheless. The past has been crooked, and things have happened, but haven't all? I just think that outside the whole persecution deal and what not, the lessons that are taught in religion aren't too bad.

Now the other aspect with Haven definitely disagrees with me on is faith: You need faith in order to survive in a religion because otherwise, you wouldn't be doing it. One thing that I really admire about religion is the faith that the believers partake in. It's very respectable. But anyway, I invite the thoughts of others, and if anyone does decide to bash on religion, do realize this key point: You can bash religion all you want, and bring in all the scientific evidence that God does not exist because science is true and what not -- and guess what, I agree with that. But you'll never be able to get it into a religious person's head because of faith.

End of story.
Post Options

Jan 16 2007, 07:43 AM (Post #4)
Masked Insanity
* * * * * * * * *
Posts: 11,179
Cash: 76,637 / 1,231,613
Group: Representative
Joined: 10/16/02 07:09 PM
I guess I can't argue with anything Al said...o_o. The only thing I'd like to point out is that when I mentioned faith in my first place, I actually didn't mean faith itself was crap.

To clarify, I meant that faith is good and all that great stuff, but it is my opinion that faith is misplaced when you describe it by religious standards. I 'believe' that a person should have faith in nothing but themselves. Putting faith into something that could easily be false is a shame when any individual could be placing more 'faith' in themselves and advancing further...making themselves better people without the help of a god or the morals endowed by a religion.
Post Options

Jan 16 2007, 10:13 AM (Post #5)
Führer of the Boards
* * * * * * *
Posts: 4,928
Cash: 258,218 / 71,934
Group: Nobility
Joined: 10/06/04 01:27 AM
Without going into to much depth, I was raised a Catholic, and despite my knowledge of science, I still have faith that God exists.
Post Options

Jan 16 2007, 08:39 PM (Post #6)
Here for the cute boys ;)
* * * * * * * * *
Posts: 16,853
Cash: 9,337,572 / 95,912
Group: Nobility
Joined: 5/08/05 04:11 AM
QUOTE (Odd @ Jan 16 2007, 12:43 AM)
I guess I can't argue with anything Al said...o_o. The only thing I'd like to point out is that when I mentioned faith in my first place, I actually didn't mean faith itself was crap.

To clarify, I meant that faith is good and all that great stuff, but it is my opinion that faith is misplaced when you describe it by religious standards. I 'believe' that a person should have faith in nothing but themselves. Putting faith into something that could easily be false is a shame when any individual could be placing more 'faith' in themselves and advancing further...making themselves better people without the help of a god or the morals endowed by a religion.
*

The faith that embodies religion, usually Christianity, is that God has a plan for the person who believes in him, and that whatever happens, that plan will be followed out. If the person is meant to be criminal for the rest of their life or the president of the United States, then so be it -- that's the path, and people have faith in God for that because God is assumed to be doing the right thing for people.

I do agree with you that you can have your own ways of making yourself better. I was raised by very good parents who never used the Christian faith to justify any of their actions when it came to it. Some families do use it and if it makes them a better person, then that's fine by me.

I would just view God as a standard to try to achieve. I would know that I would never get there, but being the best that I can be is probably the best thing I can do.

QUOTE (Catastrophe @ Jan 16 2007, 03:13 AM)
Without going into to much depth, I was raised a Catholic, and despite my knowledge of science, I still have faith that God exists.
*

Why is that?
Post Options

Jan 16 2007, 09:38 PM (Post #7)
Commander in Chief
* * * * * * * *
Posts: 5,699
Cash: 2,145,476,571 / 2,147,483,647
Group: Representative
Joined: 12/23/06 04:45 AM
Alright, I mentioned that I am Catholic, but before that, I am a theist. Science does not prove or disprove God, it is only due to that Occam's razor policy that it rejects God if it can. So far, evidence for God has yet to be reached, so to follow the scientific method is to say that God is invalid (which doesn't necessarily mean false, but it can be done without). When it comes down to it, all arguments on the theistic side say "God might exist" and on the atheistic side "God might not exist".

To many, the idea of God seems ridiculous and unbased, but that is usually after a good amount of skepticism. I believe that even if God doesn't exist, he serves as a good model for man. Speaking scientifically, the best evidence supporting God is complexity of the universe, and life especially.

I posted this on another topic, but I don't think too many people read it, so I will post it here. Credits to Jonathan Ante (I think his name is.)

QUOTE
"Biblical Creationism: Fact or Myth?
Scientific Evidences for Skeptics to Ponder"

Do you know what life is? I believe it's like a science experiment. We're here to find out why we are here. Unless you know a better reason, I'd say, it is to be skeptical and figure things out.

In case you didn't know; "skeptic" is a Greek word that means "to examine". We need to examine all the evidence and make up our minds what the truth is. I think that a lot of people get college degrees but devote themselves to one particular school of thought. They follow those thoughts without question and enjoy the mutual companionship of their closed group of peers. Most never realize that their grand theories are founded on mere presuppositions that have little to do with the facts.

I think that a lot of people would believe in God right now if He personally appeared to them. If God appeared to anyone, in any form, it would be enough to convince them it was really Him! But then we wouldn't have a choice; no opportunity to grasp love's concepts. God does not want to force us to follow Him; just be willing to make that choice for ourselves!

Think about it; all the ancient religions taught that the universe had no beginning, ... but one. Some taught that gods came out of sort of a watery substance and that the earth was made through great upheavals and violence between the gods. A religion is worthless unless it is grounded in scientific facts! If there is such a religion today, then we better find out what the truth is in all this!

I believe the God of the Bible is the most logical explanation for our universe as we know it today. Consider these next few statements of rational logic. First, there has to be a cause for every effect. The universe had to come from something. There is no natural explanation for how the sun, moon, and stars could come from nothing! Therefore, for every effect, there has to be a cause! This Cause has to come from outside the universe; outside of nature. In other words;...supernatural. When I state "supernatural" I mean; a limitless being outside of time and space. Think about it! The only religion that ever stated otherwise was the biblical concept of Genesis! God always existed, but the universe did not!

Second, the Cause must be independent of it's effect. It can not be required to depend it's existence upon the universe. For nothing can change from a state of nothingness.

Third, the Cause must be infinitely powerful! If it were limited, it would have to be confined by some other thing. It can not be limited by nothing and if it were limited, it would not be independent any longer. The effect can not be greater than the cause. The Cause has to be greater than the effect! It has to be greater than all the forces of the universe combined!

Fourth, the first Cause must be eternal. The creator must exist outside of time. The God of the Bible stated this in Exodus 3:14 and John 8:58. All the other religions honored harvest gods, war gods, moon gods, sun gods, animal-headed gods, fertility gods and goddesses. In fact, most of these gods were restricted to time as well as location. (1)

Fifth, the first Cause must be spiritual. Only an entity outside the universe could have created it. It must be beyond the physical elements. John 4:24 states that God is Spirit.

Sixth, the first Cause must be all-knowing. The creator created the universe. Albert Einstein wrote, "The harmony of natural law... reveals and intelligence of such superiority that compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an insignificant reflection." (2)

Last, the first Cause must be a Person. There is design in the universe. For it is balanced by the four fundamental nuclear forces. If altered by the slightest one millionth of a degree, all the stars would cease to exist. The Person would have to be a creator with desires, because the creator did not need the creation in order to exist. Rather, the universe was created out of pleasure! It is not unreasonable to suggest that the Bible is the best explanation.

THE OTHER SOLUTIONS...

There are only three possible theories as to the reason the universe is eternal. Some religions teach that the cause and effect are equal; "God and the universe are one". This contradicts what I stated earlier that for every cause there must be an effect. "Duality" is not logical! Astrophysicist Steven Hawking stated, "People go overboard on eastern mysticism simply because it is something different that they haven't met before. But as a natural description of reality; it fails abysmally to produce results." (3)

The Steady State Cosmology Theory is the scientific equal to eastern religious thinking. The scientific version had three originators: Herman Bondi, Thomas Gold, and Fred Hoyle. It suggests that a "creation field" be added to Einstein's general relativity equations to demonstrate that matter was being created at a rate precisely counterbalanced by the universe's expansion; so that the average density of the universe remains constant.

Einstein initially agreed with this explanation and added his "cosmological constant" in order to alter his computations and preserve the idea of a universe without a beginning. However in 1931, Einstein was forced to admit his "mistake" due to the observations of Edwin Hubble. (4)

In 1929, Edwin Hubble discovered that all distant galaxies are retreating from us at a speed that is directly proportional to their distances from us. This means that if a galaxy is twice as far from the Milky Way, it is moving twice as fast from us. This discovery is now known as "Hubble's Law". Robert Jastrow; founder of NASA's Goddard Institute and is current director of Mount Wilson Observatory; where Hubble made his discoveries stated, "The Hubble Law is one of the greatest discoveries in science; it is one of the main supports of the scientific story of Genesis." (5) Keep in mind; Jastrow is a self proclaimed agnostic. (6) Today, the Hubble Telescope has discovered that the universe's expansion is now decelerating from an initial surge. The universe is exploding rather than expanding! This theory was soon discarded.

The second theory was called "Plasma Cosmology". It suggested that most of the universe is composed of electrically conducting gasses. Hannes Alfv'en, the originator, suggested that plasma indirectly creates a repelling effect between galaxy superstructures, causing the expansion of the universe. Unlike the Big Bang Theory that suggests an explosion started at a single point; Alfv'en believed it was a series of "mini-bangs". He suggested that the universe expands and contracts to one percent of it's present size. Yet, for some unknown reason, the plasma blows the universe apart again, thus maintaining eternal equilibrium. (7)

The "Quasi-Steady State Cosmology" theory is a spin-off of Plasma Cosmology. Originated in 1993 by Fred Hoyle, Burbridge, and Narlikar. The theory suggests that the "creation field" (from which matter is born) only exists in certain areas of high mass density. The fields alternately increase and decrease during the history of the universe. This results in slow and fast expansion. They claim that the universe is one trillion years old and that we are living in the middle of a short term slowdown in it's expansion rate. This gives the appearance of an equilibrium between collapse and accelerated expansion that would be too rapid for galaxies to form.

Both of these theories do not account for the composition of the spectrographic studies or for how the universe came out of nothing. These theories also haven't been able to explain the smooth background radiation now observed coming from every point in the sky. (More on this later.)

The last theory is much like the previous one and the refutation of them both is to be equally regarded. The "Cyclic Cosmological Theory" is the belief that the density of the universe will expand to the point of a critical anti-matter amount and then reverse itself into a big squeeze. At this point, it will "re-bang" itself into a new universe again.

One can't take either of these views seriously; Einstein's theory of relativity states that once matter crunches itself into a ball, (like a black hole) nothing, not even light can escape. This is due to the magnetic pull. It takes a projectile to reach the speed of 25, 000 miles per hour to leave the earth's gravity. For a body to be massive enough; like a star, it collapses under it's own gravity. Incidentally black holes exist. An example of that would be Cygnus X-1; it turned out to be a collapsed super giant whirling around an invisible object every five days.

If matter can not re-bang itself from a black hole, it can not do it if the universe was a black hole either! "Even if someday such a theory could develop, it won't be in regular cycles of expansions and contractions; rather it will be even greater and more chaotic ones!" (8) And this still does not explain how something could come out of nothing. George Smoot; team leader of the Cosmic Background Explorer Satellite System of NASA, stated that all these theories will die out when the originators die out. Science simply doesn't support them any longer. (9)

It is perfectly alright for someone to state his metaphysical opinions about what caused or didn't cause the universe, but it is wrong to state that science provided the information. Astrophysicist Barry Parker states "We do, of course, have an alternative. We could say that there is no creation, and that the universe has always been there. But this is more difficult to accept than creation! (10) All the other options point to a biblical God and natural science ends where the Bible begins!". (11)

The Big Bang theory describes a creation event that defies atheism and pantheism but harmonizes with the Bible. It is the only theory that observational evidence does support. It wasn't till recently that anyone had reason to believe that there was a biblical beginning.

In 1933, George Lemaitre' became the father of the Big Bang theory. Back in 1927, Lemaitre' predicted that a primeval atom, otherwise known as a singularity, might still be detected in a form of remnant radiation. Other Big Bang theorists such as George Gamov, Ralph Alpher, and Robert Herman; have stated that the heat radiating from the explosion might still exist. Unlike a volcano or a microwave oven; in which heat can escape into the atmosphere, there is nowhere outside of the universe where heat can escape.

In 1965, two astrophysicists; Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson at AT&T Bell Laboratories in New Jersey found the radiation while attempting to refine one of the world's most sensitive radio receiving devices to measure a true temperature of absolute zero. It was their hypothesis that absolute zero could be determined by directing the radio antenna towards the sky and measuring the temperature within space. No matter where they pointed the receiver, the level of radiation remained at 2.7 degrees Kelvin. They found this to be very frustrating because no matter what day or night, nor what season it was, the temperature of the radiation remained unchanged. In 1978, Arno and Robert, each, received the Nobel Peace Prize for discovering this amazing fact! This later became known as Cosmic (which means the entire universe) Microwave (which means radio waves measuring less than one meter) Background Radiation (which means radiation measured everywhere).

In 1990, NASA spent $200 million dollars producing the COBE (Cosmic Background Explorer) satellite. It gave a cosmologist a chance to make more accurate measurements of the radiation. The Microwaves matched perfectly the characteristics that the universe was once a great fireball that detonated all over the vast empty regions of what is now our universe. It is now a scientific fact that no other theory other than the creation event could have created the universe! The results were 99.97% accurate! (12) Astrophysicists John Barrow and Joseph Silk stated that there are no known sources that can account for the source of this radiation other than the cosmic background at a constant observed level. (13)

In 1979, Dr. Alan Guth determined that the size of the universe doubles and at given intervals as the result of the initial speeds of the universe from the time that the universe began; have slowed down due to the decrease of heat in subatomic particles. (14) At the time of the explosion the temperature was too hot for particles to form and in less than a trillionth of a second later, the temperature cooled below one hundred thousand degrees Kelvin to form quarks and electrons. As the temperatures continued to fall, the quarks clumped together to form protons and neutrons, producing hydrogen our first element. At the time of the explosion, the entire universe consisted of a region a trillionth of the size of a proton. It expanded in velocity of about one fourth the speed of light. Any uneven radiation could have been smoothed out by the rapid force of expansion! The evidence is found in COBE satellite data. (15) The universe could have come from nothing, but that does not explain where the thermonuclear reactions came from, or the fact that this explosion was not random, but rather a finely tuned explosion that produced the elements necessary to create intelligent life! George Smoot wrote; "The Beginning is as inescapable for cosmologists as it is for theologians." (16) Robert Jastrow wrote; "The essential element in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis are the same; the chain of events leading to man, commenced suddenly and sharply, at a definite moment in time, in a flash of light and energy." (17)

The evidence of design by a creator is discovered more clearly as we understand how the universe works. Scientists understand how the universe's laws are set within extremely narrow and critical parameters. Physicist Freeman Dyson stated; "The more I examine the universe and the details of it's architecture, the more evidence I find that the universe in some sense must have known we were coming." (18)

Where did all the natural laws of design come from? It is superstitious to believe the laws of nature govern themselves and the universe without cause! I have a supernatural explanation, do you have a natural one?

The observational evidence listed in the next few pages will prove that the laws of astrophysics were designed by a highly intelligent creator; God. First, the carbon atom should not exist or be exceedingly rare. In order for the carbon atom to form, it needs to be at a precise level of resonance. Resonance is the nuclear behavior of excitement within the nucleus of an atom. The electron rotates around its own axis at a fixed rate and cannot be stopped or changed except by destroying the electron. If the speed of the electron is increased, it so drastically alters its properties that it results in a completely different particle. Nuclei is normally configured for stability and minimum energy. It can be excited as the result of colliding with other nuclei. When this happens, the proton moves into a higher orbit. A helium nuclei will collide with another to form beryllium. Then another helium nuclei collides with the short lived beryllium to form carbon. If the resonance was just a bit lower, carbon could not form. If the resonance was just a bit higher the energy level would destroy the carbon atom instantly. (19) When Hoyle calculated the odds that such resonances could occur by chance, he stated that his faith in agnosticism was greatly shaken. (20) Princeton's physicist Freeman Dyson stated that lucky accidents such as chains of carbon atoms, still could not form water, organic molecules, and the hydrogen to bridge between the molecules. (21) Even Carl Sagan admits that the laws of nature can not occur at random; "It is easy to see that only a very restricted range of laws of nature are consistent with the galaxies, stars, planets, life and intelligence." (22)

Second, if the ratio between the proton (which is 1836 times heavier than the electron), and the electron slightly different; there would be no chemistry, or life, or any physicists to wonder about it all! Stephen Hawking says; "The remarkable fact is that the values of their numbers seems to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life." (23)

Third, if the four fundamental nuclear forces in nature (gravity, electromagnetism, weak interactions, and strong nuclear forces) had been a slightly different strength; life would not be possible. Within the nucleus of an atom, there are two opposing forces, attraction and repulsion. On one hand, there are electrical repulsions which would tear the nucleus apart. On the other hand, there are forces of attraction which bind the nuclear particles to each other. When an extra neutron is added to the nucleus, the nucleus breaks up, forming two smaller nuclei, which fly apart, releasing a vast amount of energy. This is what occurs in nuclear fission. The sun would cease to burn or explode. (24, 25)

Fourth, the natural processes alone can not explain the specified complexities of the encoded information in DNA. Hoyle, Gold, Orgel, and Arrhenius calculated the odds that all the functional proteins necessary for life that might form in one place at ten to the forty thousandth power. (That's 1 with 40, 000 zero's after it) Since there are only ten to the eightieth atoms in the entire universe; this suggestion was an outrageously small probability!

Fifth, the odds that the relative strengths that two forces could balance each other (gravity: which holds a star together and electromagnetic force: which allows a star to radiate energy) in every star were altered by a mere ten to the fortieth power, we'd have a world in which all stars were either red dwarfs or blue super giants; making it impossible for planets to support human life. (26)

Sixth, we have no modern theory why, contrary to the second law of thermodynamics, our universe got into such an orderly state. The odds are ten to the tenth power times ten to the ten to the thirtieth power! (27)

Seventh, astrophysicist Richard Morris stated; "If our universe had been expanding at a rate that was slower than one part per million, then the expansion would have stopped when the universe was only thirty thousand years old, and when the temperature was still ten thousand degrees." (28) If expanding at a slightly faster rate, the universe would be devoid of stars and galaxies, and hence, the building blocks of which life is made. (29)

Eighth, there is a slight excess of matter over anti-matter. In 1932, Carl Anderson discovered anti-matter in a lab at Caltech. Emilio Segri and Owen Chamberlain generated their own anti-matter and demonstrated that when energy is converted into matter, anti-matter is equally created. Nobel prize winning physicist Steven Weinberg explained how rare this small excess of matter must have been; "If there had not been a small excess of electrons over anti-electrons, and quarks over anti-quarks, then ordinary particles like electrons and quarks would be virtually absent in the universe today. It is this early excess; estimated at one part per ten billion, that survived to form light atomic nuclei three minutes after the explosion, and after a million years, formed atoms which later was cooked into heavier elements found in stars, which ultimately provided the material of which life would arise." (30)

Ninth, the centrifugal force perfectly balances the gravitational forces of the moon's orbit around the earth. If the earth's gravity had been too weak, the moon would leave the earth's gravitational pull. If the gravity was too great, the moon would have crashed into the earth! This is also true of the earth's rotation around the sun and that of all the planets in our solar system, as well as all the galaxies to the farthest ends of our universe!

(These are only nine of twenty five total. For more information, see reference #6 in bibliography)

Our universe was born as the result of natural laws that do not seem to change. For those who think science needs more time to evaluate this situation, is not 15 to 20 billion light years enough time? (The universe is approximately thirty billion light years across. With the doubling effect of expansion at given time intervals, it is estimated that the age of the universe is approximately 15 billion years.)

Some people believe Hollywood's suggestion that multiple universes exist and converge upon one another like branches of a tree. Given the facts that we know to be true, if other universes do exist, (in finite numbers) there is a high probability they would not support life. Physicist/mathematician Paul Davies stated; "One may find it easier to believe in an infinite array of universes than in an infinite Deity, but such a belief must rest on faith rather than observation." (32)

Some people actually believe that life must have been sent here on a spaceship from a dying civilization and that perhaps the astronaut's bacteria survived the journey. Others have suggested that genetic material was sent to this perfect planet for some sort of lab experiment. Of course these excuses only begs the question: How did life begin in the first place? If natural laws can not explain how life began on this "ideal" planet, how can it be so at any location?

Some people believe in the ultimate game of chance; Quantum Mechanics. This is the belief that there is no reality until someone observes it. If this idea were true then looking through a telescope could alter events billions of years into the past! This suggestion gives it's enthusiast's a chance to speculate that through man's act of observation, he caused his own creation along with the conditions necessary for life!

Of course, this theory creates a which came first; the chicken or the egg problem that can go on forever! This idea still does not address the need for a first cause. Incidentally, physicists have never observed any effects in our visible world and very few scientists take seriously the notion that the universe, so perfectly designed, changed because someone looked at it! Perhaps the whole universe had no existence till it was observed? But who would be outside the universe to observe it? Does this not sound like the transcendent God? Soon as these folks realize that they are wrestling with the supernatural explanation that they have strived to avoid!

Some people believe that life must exist till the end of time, in a closed universe. In order for life to survive in that hot, dense time, when the universe will contract once again; our descendents must evolve to a very different and advanced civilization. Before the end of time, our super computer-like society will achieve the ability to process an infinite amount of information. At that point, which will be called the "Origin Point", we will assume the role of gods. We will process and infinite amount of thoughts, at infinite speed, our evolved supreme civilization will redefine time; ensuring an eternity for ourselves and for every living being that existed in the past. Our future descendents will view the human soul as a program that can be replicated. They will propose that this infinite intelligence will resurrect each of us, so that we might be appropriately rewarded or reformed. (33) People that are willing to consider such wild explanations can only demonstrate how impossible it is for them to avoid the evidence for design. We all must decide whether to credit the design of intelligence to God or to ourselves.

For some, the thought that humans might be the only form of intelligent life in the universe, strikes most with being extremely unscientific. Many scientists have suggested that the universe must be teeming with extraterrestrials by now, (34) in order to conform with the assumption about biological evolution. Robert Jastrow stated; "If life is common, we'll be hearing from those guys soon, because we are in a very conspicuous part of the universe right now. Our television and radio waves are spread all around us. It is reasonable to assume that advanced technological civilizations will be aware of radio physics. There is only one radio spectrum, and it's the same everywhere in the universe." (35, 36) So why have we not picked up any signals yet? If there are so many civilizations, more advanced than ours, certainly they would want to explore and colonize other planets in the galaxy! Ours would be ideal! We have the right conditions for life. So where are they?

Some people ask that if the universe is so vast; why would God make the universe so huge? With all the billions of stars and galaxies like our own, why are we so special? Astrophysicists John Barrow and Joseph Silk states that no one could exist if the universe were any smaller. They point out that life's building blocks: carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and silicon; were not formed until after the first generation of stars have slowly cooked the hydrogen and helium into the heavier elements which planets are made out of. (37) Given the fact that the universe has been stable throughout it's expansion, more time results in a larger universe. Further they stated; "Hence, we realize that for there to be time to construct the constituents of living beings, the universe must be more than a billion years old and consequently, more than a billion light years in size. The universe would have to be just as large as it is to support even one lonely outpost of life." (38)

We have only three choices. Either we decide that the universe, or mankind, or God is running the universe. Those willing to choose an alternative other than God, defies logic. The other two choices have no explanation or theory on which they can stand. Please understand that all the quotes, except one are from scientists who are not bible believing Christians. This report has not been prejudiced by a Christian viewpoint. Those who have rejected the God of the Bible have to base their conclusions inspite of the evidence and not because of it!

Some people believe that God is one with the universe. This idea is not consistent with science because the universe had a beginning. Belief in blind chance requires considerable faith. Taken to it's logical end; it's so pathetic that it's almost funny! Logic dictates that we should devote our short lives to finding the means to know the one outside of time and space. Although the world is filled with suffering and violence; if people seek the answer, they would find out that God has done something about it all. There is good logic in trusting the one cosmic history that fits what we know of God.

Many state that if the Big Bang were true, then it is in direct conflict with the Bible's six day account in Genesis. Yet in Hebrew, "day" means "yom", which has been translated to mean a specific period of time and not to be confused with a solar day. (39) Christian tradition also agree's with this concept, as pointed out by the first century writers; Philo and Josephus. (40) Other writers include: Augustine (41), second century apologist and martyr; Irenaeus, third century apologist; Origen, fourth century bishop of Caesarea; Basil, thirteenth century; Thomas Aquinas. (42) In the twentieth century, this position was held by C.T. Scofield, A.H. Strong, and Gleason Archer.

There are also scripture references that gives a general sense of a time consuming process; including ages:

Psalm 104
Proverbs 8:22-31
Ecclesiastes 3:11a
Micah 6:3
Habakkuk 3:6

Genesis was not written specifically about when and how the universe was created, but who created it! Psalms 111:2 states "Great are the works of the Lord; they are studied by all who delight in them!"

It would be deceptive of God's character to create a universe that would appear to be billions of years old and yet be only six solar days. Starlight can only travel so fast. For the span of the universe to be thirty billion light years across; the universe must be pretty old! This suggestion does not necessarily mean that the biblical concept of Genesis would agree with Darwin's evolutionary dogmas either. However, science and the Bible agree that planets and other animals were created first and that man and mammals were created last.

God created the entire universe plus self-conscious beings like Himself. Having been given a freedom of choice, these persons eventually declared their independence from God and broke His laws; which were necessary for the good life that God planned for them. The situation became very unpleasant for God and so He had two choices. He could have exterminated them; the end, the plan failed. Or, out of His caring concern and love for them; provide a solution. He could not simply forgive anyone because He had to do something about all the injustice in the world. God pronounced a just sentence (Romans 8:1); but also provided a full pardon to all who would take it. He had to be mortal because God can not die and He had to be God because only a sinless person could pay for the sins of another. If Jesus is who He claimed to be, then it is not unreasonable for God to be bound by death! Nor is it unreasonable to suggest that He should have the power and the purpose to rise from the dead! In fact; it would be unreasonable for God to be bound by death! (43)

If the infinite Creator wanted to communicate to all of us earthlings what He was like; how could He show us more clearly than becoming one of us? If He wanted to show us how serious the offense is, to break His moral law, how better than to forfeit His own life? And if He wanted to tell us how much He loves us, how could He do it more dramatic than dying for us?

Biblical faith is more than intellectual reasoning. It is the logical choice! Other religions have teachings about an historical person, but it is Christianity that's based on what a person did. Of all the religions, no other has left such lucid evidence of God's involvement with humanity. We can either appreciate God's way more deeply or we can stubbornly and foolishly decide to go our own way and see where the outcome will lead. Anyone wishing to make sure that he has taken the first step of faith, should confess his moral failings to God and then in his own words, thank God for sending His own Son Jesus to die for him! From that point on, trust Christ to lead and develop his worth in a way that would never had been known without Him.
Source(s):

Bibliography


1. John Romer; PBS television series; "Testament", Jan. 1991
2. Albert Einstein, "Ideas and Opinions - The World as I See It", (New York:
Bonanza Books, 1974), p. 40
3. Steven Hawking, "Quest for the Secret of the Universe" (New York: Harper
Collins, 1991), p. 120
4. Vibert Douglas, "Forty Minutes with Einstein" (Journal of the Royal
Astronomical Society of Canada, 1956) Vol. 50, p. 100
5. Robert Jastrow, "God and the Astronomers" 2nd Edition, (New York & London:
W.W. Norton & Co., 1992), p. 53
6. Robert Jastrow, interview with Fred Heeren, "Show Me God - What the Message
from Space is Telling Us about God" (Wheeling, Illinois: Searchlight
publications, 1995), p. 123
7. Eric Lerner, "The Big Bang Never Happened - The Startling Refutation of the
Dominant Theory of the Origin of the Universe" (New York: Random House,
1991), pp. 217-218
8. John Barrow and Joseph Smith, "The Left Hand of Creation - The Origin and
Evolution of the Expanding Universe" (New York: Basic Books, 1983), pp. 71-72
9. Fred Heeren, pp. 89-90
10. Barry Parker, "Creation- The Story of the Origin and Evolution of the Universe"
(New York & London: Plenum Press, 1988), p.10
11. Isaiah 40:26, 28
12. Ron Cowen, "COBE: A Match Made in Heaven" (Science News, Vol. 143, #3,
January 16th, 1993
13. Barrow & Silk, p.17
14. Alan Guth; interview with Fred Heeren; June 7th, 1994; p.147
15. Andre Linde, "The Self-Reproducing Inflationary Universe" (Scientific American,
November 1994) p.55
16. George Smoot and Keay Davidson, "Wrinkles in Time" (New York: William
Morrow & Co., 1993) p. 189
17. Robert Jastrow; p.14
18. Freeman Dyson, "Disturbing the Universe" (New York: Harper & Row, 1979)
p.250
19. Robert Kirshner; chairman of Harvard's astronomy department; "The Earth's
Elements" (Scientific American, October 1994) p. 61
20. Fred Hoyle; cited by Owen Gingerich (Engineering & Science; November 1981) p.
392
21. Freeman Dyson, p.251
22. Carl Sagan, "Cosmos" (New York: Random House, 1980) p. 260
23. Stephen Hawking, "A Brief History of Time- From the Big Bang to Black Holes"
(New York: Bantam Books, 1988) p. 125
24. Richard Morris, "The Fate of the Universe" (New York: Playboy Press, 1982)
p. 153
25. Steven Hawking; p. 125
26. Paul Davies, "God and the New Physics" (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1983)
p. 188
27. Ibid., pp. 164, 168, 178-179
28. Richard Morris; p. 152
29. John Barrow & Joseph Silk; p. 206
30. Steven Weinberg, "Life in the Universe" (Scientific American, October 1994) p. 45
31. Hugh Ross, "The Creator and the Cosmos" (NavPress: Colorado Springs, Color-
ado, 1994) pp. 111-114
32. Paul Davies; p. 174
33. Fred Heeren; p. 218
34. Robert T. Rood & James S. Trefil, "Are We Alone? The Possibility of
Extraterrestrial Civilizations" (New York: Charles Scribner & Sons 1981) p. 247
35. Fred Heeren; (interview with Robert Jastrow, December 15th, 1994) p. 219
36. Ibid.
37. John D. Barrow & Joseph A. Silk; p. 205
38. Ibid.
39. Henry Morris, "Scientific Creationism" (El Cajon, California: Master Books, 1991)
pp. 16-17
40. Hugh Ross, "The Fingerprint of God" Second Edition, (Orange, California:
Promise Publishing Co. 1989, 1991) pp. 16-17
41 and 42. Bernard Ramm, The Christian Voice of Science and Scripture" (London: The
Paternoster Press; 1965) p. 165
43. Excerpts from "Show Me God - What the Message from Space is Telling Us
about God" (Wheeling, Illinois: Searchlight publications, 2000)



On another forum, a friend of mine, Frank Matonis wrote this in response from the atheistic perspective. Some of what he says in in response to previous posts, but he brings up many points.


QUOTE
I just can't resist a topic as charged as religion. I think I can offer at least a few interesting points to the debate, especially being the only actual atheist to have posted yet. Why do I proclaim to be an atheist? I used to go by the "safe" label of agnostic, but as time grew on I found the real reason I did it was as so not to be seen as being arrogant. People who are atheists are sometimes said (and this has even been implied in this forum) to be just as stubborn and close-minded as religious zealots. I am not going to disagree with the fact that some atheist are indeed just as ignorant and arrogant as religious fanatics. I have known a few atheists in my day who have had no real good reasons for discrediting God and simply used the label because it put them out of the mainstream, let them fit in with a particular group, or simply projected upon them a desired image, whether it be that of a "responsible skeptic" or just an anti-social badass. This, however, does not mean that just because somebody actually asserts a believe that they are doing so out of pure arrogance. I used to think that proclaiming to be an atheist would instantly equate you to being close-minded, but upon further reflection over time I found nothing to be further from the truth. It is not bad to proclaim a belief if you feel you are right - in fact it is irresponsible not to do so. Ultimately in the debate two things must be realized: The first is that there is either a God or there isn't, so the agnostic's way may be noble for a person who doesn't feel capable or qualified to decide, but it cannot be a correct choice when the debate is boiled down to its basics. (Yes, I realize it is possible to even throw the assertion that there either a God or there isn't into question, but if the universe is so f**ked up as to defy probably the most basic rule of logic that something cannot both exist and not exist, then logic fails and any attempt to assert or argue anything is useless....assuming and hoping it is not useless, I will continue... :^P) The second thing is that there really is very little (if anything) anyone can be completely sure of. Is your mother really your mother? You have no way of TRULY knowing, and any proof could be a fabrication for your benefit. With this in mind, I think it is alright to be an atheist because intrinsic in any assertion is the small possibility you could be wrong. I realize I may be wrong; it simply seems to me to currently be unlikely. What makes an assertion worthy is not if you are completely sure of it, since you most likely cannot be, but if it is very likely given what you have to work with and no other theory fits very well. With these two things in mind I can frame why I am an atheist. In other words I am going to give reasons and evidence that suggest God's existence is not very likely while showing that arguments for the existence of a God do not seem to hold water, or at the very least do not disallow alternate explanations and conclusions (since the ideal argument proving God would have God as the only possible conclusion).

Another thing to remember in the arguments about God is that the burden of proof is on those who assert there is a God, not on atheists and others to assume there is a God until proven otherwise. For example, if I say flying pigs exist, by some people's reasoning with God, you should believe it because you cannot prove otherwise, but this of course is not sound since by this logic you'd have to believe in Santa Claus as well and many other things which likely do not exist. It is God's believers, not atheists, who must make their case. Now, of course, they've tried to, but in my experience none of the arguments seem to point unequivocally to God, and many don't really point to God at all.

One other problem that arises, too, is the definition of God. The first thing you want to do when proving or disproving something is to know what exactly it is you are working with. The definition of God seems to range from very strict religious definitions to those that go as far to label any creative force "God." Under the very liberal definitions thoughtless entities and concepts such as the Big Bang could qualify as God. Though defining God is almost as difficult as proving or disproving "his" existence, I think we can agree on a few things. First off, there are the gods of religions, like the Christian God, who is semi-well-defined. These gods I think are very easy to discredit as since they are so rigidly defined, therefore making it easier to critique their foundations. God in general, though, cannot be allowed to be as abstract as something like the Big Bang or else the very word becomes meaningless since it can be virtually anything. I think then, that if we agree that God is loosely an all-intelligent, all-powerful, all-knowing being who created the universe, the critique can begin.

As far as the Christian God goes, the deity seems easy enough to discredit, and discrediting the Christian God helps weaken the base of "God" in general. What makes the Christian God easy to discredit is the fact that this god is supposed to be all-good, all-powerful, and perfect. There is a riddle the ancient Greek Epicurus wrote that gets the point across nicely if analyzed:

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

Now, given the current condition of human affairs, it is easy to see that both an all-good and all-powerful God is not likely to exist, or else our pain-ridden world would be a much nicer place to live in. Now, I know the initial arguments against this little riddle and how those who don't really analyze it begin to bash it. One might argue that our good is simply not God's good. One might also argue that for good to exist there must be evil, or even that God lets us hurt ourselves. In fact, the last argument is one very liked by Christians and is usually referred to as "free will." Ultimately these points miss the main point. Even though good and bad are subjective, the fact we perceive things as good and bad is not. There are things that give us pleasure and things that cause us pain. If what is good for God is pain for us, it is still bad for us, and hence bad exists. An omnipotent God could have made what is good in general good for all. If God is all-good and all-powerful, God could have easily created a universe where good could exist without evil, where everything is good, even if it is "freely" chosen and even if it differs from any action or plan of the God himself, or any other sentient being for that matter. The fact that choosing allows us to experience anything bad could have been disallowed in a universe created by an omnipotent being. If God created everything and has a plan for everything, then God must by definition be responsible for everything, including evil and pain. If we need the lessons of evil to learn something, God could have made it that those things could be learned without evil. If, in the course of reading this you reason that God can't do some of these things, such as have something the opposite of good still be good, then God obviously cannot be omnipotent because there are things beyond his power. For God to be truly omnipotent God must be antecedent to everything, including logic. In fact, God is supposedly the creator of logic the way it is. If God is not antecedent to logic, in other words if God must follow logic, then God is himself limited, and therefore cannot be all-powerful. Ultimately if you believe in the Christian God, if you suffer, God is somehow responsible. Even if it does happen through "free will", it was God that created the very free will that resulted in your suffering. It was God that chose to have a universe with free will, which doesn't then make it so free since you didn't have a choice to have it or not in the first place. An all-powerful and all-good God could have done a far better job in creating a "good" universe, and since we mere humans can find flaws in our condition, it doesn't seem like if a perfect entity planned all of this that they did the best job they could have. Since God created a flawed universe (only one person would have to believe in a flawed universe for this to be a valid point, and I do) where suffering can occur, either God cannot prevent the suffering, God directly or indirectly sanctions the suffering, or there is simply no God. Since the Christian God is omnipotent, perfect, and good, it seems unlikely this being exists since it is apparent this being could have done a better job, so much so as to not have lowly creatures such as ourselves be able to criticize things so easily. There is a lot more to be said about this point, and loopholes to close, but it is too long already and I think the point has been decently made overall. Individual points can be argued as such.

In the general case for God, there have been some classic arguments to establish God. For example, there is the lame First Cause argument. This argument goes that since every effect has a cause, there was a first cause, and that is God. This argument is lame for many reasons. One of which is that it assumes a first cause to begin with. To assume something even has a beginning, like the universe, is actually naive. We are accustomed to change and given our mortal nature are extremely aware of the concept of things having a beginning and an end. This concept may not apply universally, though, and there really is no reason to assume that the universe was not here indefinitely, or even that the true nature of the universe is subject to the concept of time, which itself is a very tricky creature to define. To also put cause and effect into such stark categories is odd in and of itself. Effects can be causes, causes can be effects, and to separate causation into discrete elements as opposed to a constantly flowing whole may not be feasible or even possible. To make matters even worse, not everyone even believes in the concept of causality. I happen to generally agree with the school of determinism, but ironically those who are religious like to avoid it. This occurs because causality implies a deterministic universe, and a deterministic universe governed only by causality at its most fundamental levels eliminates the possibility of free will, which Christians especially love to cite as why a perfect God allows an imperfect world (God’s perfect, we aren’t). Even if causality holds (which I hope it does), the first cause wouldn't necessarily have to be omniscient and omnipotent, or really conscious in any way.

Another argument for God is the old "watchmaker" argument. This old argument goes that if you see a watch on the beach, there must have been a watchmaker. On the larger scale, since the universe has what some call clockwork perfection and intense complexity, there must have been a "universemaker" who planned everything this way. Many versions of this argument involve probability. For example, many theists like to say there is way too low of a chance for everything to have happened the way it did, such as earth forming to support life, and that everything must have been planned by a creator. This dubious belief is what creationists call "intelligent design" and is what they want taught in schools in place of evolution. The fact is that none of these arguments seem to point exclusively to God. To start off, the universe, when examined as a whole, is not very complex. Most of the universe is empty space or very simple configurations of matter and energy, such as hydrogen gas. The designer seems to have put a lot of waste in its creation. Most of the basic laws seem to follow reasonably from logical and mathematical properties of space and quantity. For example, the inverse square law for gravitation makes perfect sense when considered geometrically (yeah, this is a whole subject in itself, but we'll skip the details for now). Ultimately most of the universe can be consider empty and useless, so the "great complexity" theist attribute to the universe is already not so great when you consider more than 99% of it is empty or primal. Even so, we can move on and examine the complex parts, such as earth and life, which are supposed to be so statistically unlikely to have formed randomly. It would seem that most of the complex building blocks, like heavier elements, were formed in a simple fashion from a process of fusion in really large stars – stars that, in themselves, are pretty simple element-fusing machines. After supernovas, these elements form into other star systems and planets, as in the case of our earth. Nothing spectacular yet. Life seems to be where things start to get sticky. Take a human for instance. We operate under some pretty stringent conditions. We need a very narrow temperature range to function. We also need tons of different compounds like vitamins, minerals, water, specific gases in the atmosphere, and many other things in just the right quantities to survive. A strand of DNA encodes billions of bits of information and seems far too complex to just have formed randomly. Ecosystems harmonize so much that disrupting one part can cause the whole thing to come crashing down. Theists use arguments like these to come up with astronomical figures for the chances that these things would just happen on their own, by chance. For example, the chances of a bunch of molecules randomly coming together in space to form human is terribly unlikely, and one might as well even say impossible. Since the chances are so low, they say, it makes perfect sense that it was planned to be this way, hence there must be a creator. They comment on how perfect everything seems to be to accommodate us, so the most logical conclusion is that it was planned, just like your couch is designed to comfort your arse. On the surface this seems to have an appeal to it, probably because it implies a God and since it seemingly conforms to Occam's Razor, but upon scrutiny it can be seen that there is no way this necessarily needs to be the case. The first thing that can be used to scrutinize this can be illustrated with a classic Christian argument. In one book I've read, a theist goes out of his way to liken the earth to a banana. He talks about how the banana is pretty much engineered by God for humans. It fits our hands well, peels so nicely as to expose its fruit while leaving a no-mess grip, and simply tastes great providing nutrients our body needs to live. It must have been designed, he claims, since something like this is too well-made to have randomly developed. The earth, he says, is like this banana. Upon reading this I noticed how he ignored the coconut and the pineapple, two foods which are hell to eat without devising a plan and which were certainly not designed for easy human consumption. The theists who follow this philosophy, too, seem to ignore that amongst this so-called perfection are many problems. Anybody who's endured an upstate New York winter knows the earth isn't climatically perfect for human beings. Upon getting a cut you might realize that your skin could have been made out of better materials that don't rip so easily. Retardation and cancer show us that DNA isn't a miracle molecule, and that it takes very little to screw it up. Isn't it ironic that the best tasting foods are bad for us and that exercise is not the most pleasurable thing? Sickness, natural disasters, war, poverty, pain, hate, and even pineapples and coconuts all illustrate that the world, if designed, could have been done a lot better. In fact, we humans, through technology, have managed to improve upon "God" now and again. Cars are far superior to walking, walking is made safer and more efficient with shoes, medicines we create combat the illnesses that were apparently "designed" for our perfect world, DNA is being mapped and improved upon, and the list goes on and on. It would seem that when you think of all of the things you could fix if you were all-powerful, you would realize that the supposed intelligent-designer some people love to hail isn't so intelligent after all. This doesn't handle the probability issues, though. Some might argue that this world is more than enough and maybe the best the almighty creator could do, or even that he wants the things this way, and that it is sill very unlikely for things not to have been planned. Let's look at this. Is it really so hard to believe all of this could have happened on its own? Considering the vastness of space, the vast amount of time allotted, and the tendencies for systems infused with energy (by our sun in this case) to grow more complex through simple interactions, I don't think it is so hard to believe. From what we see of space through just mere observation seems to point to the fact that complexity at even our level (what we'd call life and at a higher level sentience) is very rare at best. The chances of life forming might be very low, but with billions of stars to work with in our galaxy alone, and trillions of galaxies, it seems like the possibility it would happen once somewhere isn't all that far-fetched. If you then factor in the enormous amount of time it took for life to get to our state, 3 or 4 billion years by some estimates (10 billion or more years relative to the universe under the Big Bang theory), it seems that that would make for sufficient time for simple processes to, by trial and error and “randomness” in great quantities, become more and more complex. Even though taking into account the vast number of star systems and the time it takes for complexity at the level of a human being to happen helps to make the event more likely, it still seems like there should be more - that things are the way they are because there was a logical reason for them to be. In other words, that given the condition and laws matter and energy are operating under, something like the formation of life almost necessarily happens. The right conditions may not happen often, but if it can be shown given those conditions the rest of the complexity follows and things really can't turn out any other way, then the more evolutionary argument can gain even more of a chance of being possible. In this case, many scientific observations have shown just that. For example, given certain elements, like methane, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and others, amino acids and proteins form naturally, and these are the building blocks of life. Over a long period of time it is not unreasonable to believe that just a few of these proteins could have formed a small chain of molecules, forming the first DNA. DNA, by virtue of its structure, makes an easily self replicating molecule. A few DNA molecules in a primordial soup would have proliferated…making sense that there would be more and more of these molecules to work with. In specific cases for DNA molecules that formed in pools with lipids, the lipids would natural form chains around these molecules, and these would be the basis for the first cells. Now there is plenty of biology to this, much of it I've only glanced over, but it seems that a lot of the initial functions of life in simple creature like single-celled organisms are more just mechanical reactions between chemicals that have reached states of equilibrium. This seems to suggest that, in fact, these creatures operate by virtue of their constituent parts and that these processes are simple and can organize themselves naturally just by having a few basic elements. Once DNA was protected and put in a stable environment (like a cell), it was only a matter of time before cells would join and "mistakes" in DNA replication would lead to diversity. Over vast stretches of time and chance events, like times in earth's history when UV radiation was more prevalent, radical new DNA would form strange new configurations. These configurations would either die or live, and if something happened to make them live better, they would likely strive and replicate some more. Giving this enough time, which there was plenty of, it doesn't seem unreasonable for complexity to grow to the levels we are used to seeing, like animals and plants. When viewed this way life seems more like a natural progression from the right conditions. These conditions are unlikely and do not happen often, but in a universe so vast they are bound to occur eventually (especially since the building blocks are so simple). Does this evolutionary model explain everything? The answer is no, it doesn't, but it explains enough that it is hard to ignore. Many parts of it can be demonstrated, and are even demonstrated for us by things like mutating diseases. Looked at in this way life is not so much a far off chance as it might seem. Given adaptation and diversity, it would seem more likely that life conformed to the planet instead of the planet having been designed to conform to life. This process was not without its errors – in fact it was mostly error. The vast majority of life this planet has seen is extinct. Even if this is all fine and good, some theists try to go even further with this watchmaker argument. Under a broader argument, they try to advance the concept that even if evolution and life is naturally-occurring, the very fundamental laws of the universe were planned as to have life occur, like as if our universe was programmed by the Almighty. Some of them cite physicists who claim (probably rightfully so) that if certain "constants" (I use the term loosely) in nature were changed, like the charge of an electron, the whole universe as we know it would not be able to exist as we know it(for example, atoms would not form). The chances for the laws to be just so is so astronomical, they say, that even though evolution might be possible, it was an intelligent designer who started the whole mess in the first place. This view has its issues as well. First off, who is to say that if the laws were a little bit off that different things (even different sentient entities) wouldn’t form - that a new order of things would organize itself? Maybe atoms wouldn't form, but perhaps some radical but equally-amazing building-block structure would. This view also ignores the fact that there might be a simpler reason why the laws are the way they are. Perhaps they weren't planned, but simply by virtue of logic or mathematics could not be any other way. We have yet to get to the true constituents of the universe (things like string theory are trying) and if we do, maybe the laws we see have to be a certain way simply by construction. Another view ignored is that say the chance of everything happening the way it did is very low - that doesn't mean that it cannot happen. In fact, say, for argument sake, the universe has cycled many many times with natural laws differing each time. The universe could have had an astronomically high (perhaps even infinite) number of cycles in which the conditions were not right, and finally this time the conditions were right, or at the very least, the condition by chance or circumstance became right. The only time we could exist to observe the laws is if the laws are perfect for our creation. All of the other failed times, or any other existence or "time" in our existence that lacks these laws would not be observed. It may seem amazing that the laws work out just perfectly, but if they don't there is no one to notice, or possibly some very different entities to notice. The fact that we are noticing means it must have happened, and just because the chance might be really low doesn't mean it can't happen - it obviously did. The fact we are noticing is also not very amazing – the only way we could even do so is if worked out this way. To use some statistics to fight statistics, it is a statistical principle that given enough time and a large enough sample even the most unlikely things can come about. For example, there are several instances of people winning multi-million-dollar lotteries more than once. The chances are astronomical, but even the near-impossible can occur with enough sampling. As said before, this whole issue may be even simpler and less cumbersome than the view using statistics: It may be simply that the laws are the way they are because they simply could not be any other way. If something along these lines can be shown (once again string theory might be a candidate) then chance is completely taken out of it since in such a universe the chances for the laws turning out the way they did would be 1, completely certain. This would also be very nicely in tune with the principles of determinism and causation, which we’d ideally like to preserve or else reasoning could lose meaning. Having sound logic and mathematics form the basis of the universe makes a lot more sense and is far more simplistic (for those who like Occam's Razor) than a designer. Even more fundamentally wrong with the design argument is that if complexity implies a designer, then the intelligent designer they speak of (God) would seem them to beg a designer itself, a “designermaker”, if you will. Really, who watches the watchers? Proponents of this also ignore the fact that even if our known existence was designed, why would that designer necessarily have to be God. If humans create artificial intelligence, it will on some level have to have been designed. This life could then claim to be designed, but for this new life to regard humans as God would be silly indeed (at least by our working definition). Hoo boy, this is much longer than I thought and there is still so much more to say. I suppose I will end this here and add more later if anyone seems interested (there are so many more arguments to analyze, and things to clarify within the current arguments as to better make my case). I guess I will address a few of things that were written in here previously (hopefully someone is actually reading this, or else I am doing this all in vain!) as a final paragraph.

One thing I noticed was a disbelief in antimatter. What is wrong with antimatter? It has been shown to exist with the same methods they have shown things like electrons to exist (so if you believe in the electron, you'll have to believe in its antimatter counterpart). All antimatter is is a restructuring of quarks and leptons, which also make up regular matter. A positron, for example, is simply a positively charged electron. Antimatter is produced in nuclear reactions and scientists have actually created antihydrogen atoms. The reason these do not last long is simply because antimatter annihilates when in the presence of normal matter. The matter and antimatter are not lost, but reconfigured into gamma radiation. Duality in the universe actually is very sensible. For example, if you have a finite set of real numbers, that set will have a lowest upper bound. Dualistically, you would also expect this set to have a greatest upper bound, and mathematically it does. Negative and imaginary numbers are dualistic in nature, and physical manifestations seem to follow similarly with symmetries and duals of their own. Critiques have also been put forward about the Big Bang. There are definitely some interesting implications to the Big Bang, and even some flaws that arise. I also believe, as others have me
Post Options

Jan 16 2007, 09:45 PM (Post #8)
Commander in Chief
* * * * * * * *
Posts: 5,699
Cash: 2,145,476,571 / 2,147,483,647
Group: Representative
Joined: 12/23/06 04:45 AM
Sorry, I forgot to check the post length. I'm sorry this is too long, next time I'll be more careful.

...continued from above...
QUOTE
as others have mentioned, that a number of current cosmological theories, even those advanced by “giants” like Hawking, seem to be bulls*it. It was suggested that perhaps the 11-dimensional theory of the universe was one of them…that they were simply creating things to fit facts. In the case of the multiple dimensions, it seems quite the contrary is true when reading about it in more detail, since it seems to explain far too many things to well to be ignored more dismissed out-of-hand (for example, treating space as having 4 dimensions [three “large”, one “small”] explains the electromagnetic force simply and elegantly and in such a manner that has not been attainable or sensible when working with just 3 dimensions). Are a lot of these theories bulls*it, yeah, I’m sure, especially some of the new ones I’ve heard about from Hawking. I guess the beauty of being on the edge of knowledge and in a subject that is as theoretical-to-the-point-of-being-untestable as cosmology is, is that you can pretty much pull anything out of your ass as a theory because no one else is really in any better position to say you’re wrong. With that in mind, let us make sure here not to advance any such bulls*it and I think we might actually make some progress.


Anyway, I consider these the best arguments I have encountered for either side. I have so much more to say, but I've said way too much, so I'll wait. And I don't want to bore you with too much reading.
Post Options

Jan 16 2007, 09:46 PM (Post #9)
Here for the cute boys ;)
* * * * * * * * *
Posts: 16,853
Cash: 9,337,572 / 95,912
Group: Nobility
Joined: 5/08/05 04:11 AM
Can you shorten this...?
Post Options

Jan 16 2007, 09:50 PM (Post #10)
Proud LAGUNA Player!
* * * * * * *
Posts: 5,520
Cash: 196,853 / 0
Group: Nobility
Joined: 3/03/03 01:56 AM
I'm atheist, and a proud one. I think that every religion out there is pretty much bulls*it. Lies, hypocrisy, mindless "theories"..I'm not going to go in depth with why I think this way though. Sorry guys. I'm just sick of explaining myself all the time. However, things involved in religion are sometimes good for the moral values of people, like SOME of the 10 commandments (thou shalt not kill, etc) but it doesn't take a deity worshipping one to have enough common sense that the commandments state.
Post Options

Jan 16 2007, 09:56 PM (Post #11)
Commander in Chief
* * * * * * * *
Posts: 5,699
Cash: 2,145,476,571 / 2,147,483,647
Group: Representative
Joined: 12/23/06 04:45 AM
QUOTE
Can you shorten this...?


I wish I could, but I didn't write most of that, so I don't want to change it. It is interesting though, if you find time to read it.
Post Options

Jan 16 2007, 10:23 PM (Post #12)
Here for the cute boys ;)
* * * * * * * * *
Posts: 16,853
Cash: 9,337,572 / 95,912
Group: Nobility
Joined: 5/08/05 04:11 AM
I wish we had a bigger religious group of people on this forum.
Post Options

Jan 16 2007, 11:01 PM (Post #13)
Masked Insanity
* * * * * * * * *
Posts: 11,179
Cash: 76,637 / 1,231,613
Group: Representative
Joined: 10/16/02 07:09 PM
All three of your admins (even Duke I guess) follow no true religion. It would be hard to sustain any kind of religious group on this forum when you have Jingy and myself running around going "zomg no stop talking". XD

I must also clarify that Atheism is still technically a religion, because the followers absolutely believe there is no god or afterlife. That's why I can't be considered an atheist myself, because I don't 'believe' anything. I kind of hope there is an afterlife myself, but I can't find a logical reason to support that hope. Thus I am either agnostic or nothing.
Post Options

Jan 16 2007, 11:29 PM (Post #14)
Here for the cute boys ;)
* * * * * * * * *
Posts: 16,853
Cash: 9,337,572 / 95,912
Group: Nobility
Joined: 5/08/05 04:11 AM
My facebook status has me listed as 'Agnostic with reservations'.

I know the three admins believe in no religion, but I mean -- Kiro is the only one here with any deep religious devotion. He gets tag teamed everytime we have a discussion like this. stongue.gif
Post Options

Jan 17 2007, 12:32 AM (Post #15)
Commander in Chief
* * * * * * * *
Posts: 5,699
Cash: 2,145,476,571 / 2,147,483,647
Group: Representative
Joined: 12/23/06 04:45 AM
QUOTE
I know the three admins believe in no religion, but I mean -- Kiro is the only one here with any deep religious devotion. He gets tag teamed everytime we have a discussion like this. tongue.gif


Well, Kiro and I have had many religious discussions before, so hopefully I can help him. I'll try to put up a better support for religion if most people on here are atheist/agnostic.

The way I see it, if you believe in God, and you're wrong, you die thinking you will be saved, but since you are dead, what does it matter? If you are right, you'll have a good afterlife. If you don't believe in God, and you're right, you can have a little less guilt in your life, but no major differences really, other than losing all hope when you are dying. If you're wrong, you're screwed.

So, you can take a risk, but it is a risk worth eternity. I choose not to take that risk. However, I won't say that is the primary reason for my beliefs. I'll admit that I was raised Catholic, and having heard something your whole life, you don't want to reject it. But I have questioned my religion before, whichh really only led to my stronger belief in it. When you look at it, even if it turns out God doesn't exist, I believe my life will have been better than if I didn't believe in God. As far as Catholicism, I am really questioning that, but I can still safely call myself a Christian. Even the lessons the Bible teaches are good. The violence inspired by religion is by very few fanatics who make up their own stuff to justify killing in the name of God, despite the Commandment "Thou shall not kill." Breaking that means breaking your religious credibility, so the overall religion should not be judged by these people.

Another thing, religion isn't always something to have a logical debate about (but I think it's fun, so I started this topic). Reason alone does not suffice. A large part of it is an intuitional gut-feeling, you just know. Usually when you question otherwise, you sometimes feel overloaded. I believe that is just your mind's way of accepting a contradiction. This is mainly due to the facts that we don't KNOW the origin of the universe, and we probably will never know.

So I am a Christian, but I do not close myself off to other possibilities.
Post Options

35 Pages  1 2 3 > »