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Arcesious
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Jae-- Vacuum energy and the Casimir effect may help you.

Thanks for the links Samuel. Maybe Prime, the physics guru can make more sense of it than I. :p

In fact, the very idea that the Big Bang somehow created mass and energy violates the principle of mass-energy conservation, and I much doubt it's still considered scientifically valid.

In the same vein as Jae though, I wonder how this addresses the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. Going back in time, things become more and more orderly. The galaxies were closer together, the temperature was greater. Not to mention Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson, two astronomers running a radio telescope in New Jersey earned a Nobel prize for detecting the echo of the Big Bang in 1978. In 2006, two more scientists earned another Nobel for their work studying the blackbody radiation which further suggested an epoch event from which the spectrum emerged. The measurements agreed with predictions a spectrum that would be created made by a hot Big Bang.

 

PhysOrg.com

NASA.gov - COBE satellite

Wiki

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Tk, I don't think that the inflationary universe model is in question in ET's case, merely the source of the energy required to make the Big Bang happen - that is, did it come from nowhere, or from a theological first mover, or from the energy similar to what cause the Casimir effect, or some other mechanism?

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Hah Catholics aren't REALLLY Christians? Sounds to me like the ole "No true Scottsman" argument. Claiming that the ones who formed the basis of your religion are not truly Christians is just sad. Technically they would have more right to say that Protestants are the ones who are not real Christians.

 

See all I have seen in this thread is a lot of "You prove it doesn't exist" from Arcesious. Yet he has not given any proof, nor any sources, nothing better than My invisible and untouchable diety did it, now you have to prove that something that cannot be seen, touched, tasted, or even felt doesn't exist.

 

Don't get me wrong, I believe in God. But I believe in God because of my faith. Science has nothing to do with why I believe in God. I have faith in a power greater than myself. If you want to try to pursuade people to be christians using science, be prepared to defend with REAL and DEFINATIVE evidence.

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Would you care to show proof of the existence of matter/energy prior to the Big Bang? There is absolutely no proof that matter is created from these electromagnetic oscillations, and it begs the question, even if there was proof, of where the energy for these oscillatons comes from.

Would you care to show proof of the existence of some divine being that created everything? The laws of conservation of matter-energy are quite explicit that matter-energy is neither created nor destroyed. The energy for the oscillations was always there, and will always be there in one form or another. If it is acceptable to state that an infinitely complex being has existed for infinity, then it should also be acceptable to take the less complicated approach and state that the matter-energy in the universe has existed for infinity.

 

@tk102 - I'm not saying the Big Bang didn't happen, I'm saying that the energy that was necessary for it to happen always existed, and was converted into matter after the Big Bang.

 

Thank you to Samuel Dravis for the links on Vacuum Energy and Casimir Effect.

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Tk, I don't think that the inflationary universe model is in question in ET's case, merely the source of the energy required to make the Big Bang happen - that is, did it come from nowhere, or from a theological first mover, or from the energy similar to what cause the Casimir effect, or some other mechanism?
The source is a bit dated and not terribly academic, but still might be a fun "what if" read. Enjoy!

 

Zero Energy Universe

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Please clear a few things up for me. You say that only Christianity is correct

We can debate that too. I say Christianity is right and every other religion is false.[/Quote]I requested you tell me which denomination within the Christian faith is correct and you wrote:
None of those other denominations are correct in my opinion. i guess i'm not really part of a specific denomination am I? but the closest denomination i am to i guess is Lutheran, but they don't have everything straight either. I only consider the denomination of Christianity right that also applies itself to science and studies the bible itself deeply. although that denomination doesn't really have a specific name.
So just so I’m clear and I may be completely wrong in this regards are you saying all religion is false including Christianity except for your narrow view of it? Sorry, if that is offensive, because I personally would consider such accusations against myself truly distasteful, but that is what you have written. Did I get this wrong? What proof do you have that you are correct? Before you say the Bible and leave it at that, may I also have the chapter and verse you are using to come up with this? As tk102, Corinthian and Rogue Nine have pointed the importance of knowing the version of the Bible you are using, can I have that too?

 

Now, Christianity wasn’t an official religion until after Jesus Christ died on the cross, I know. [/Quote]You are correct

But there were prophets such as Moses, who wrote part of the bible before that time, and Christianity wasn’t actually named, but it was a religion.[/Quote]Yes, it was a religion and it was called Judaism during Moses time.

 

Arcesious I have no problem with your post if you would just qualify your remarks with a “this is my opinion” or “this is how I believe.” Stating you are right and everyone else is wrong is not what I would consider a discussion. It sound more like you are trying to preach to us. My views on religion are not what I would consider main stream, but they work for me as I’m sure yours must be working for you. That said, I have no way to know that mine are correct and neither do you. It is a matter of faith and nothing more. If you believe they are right for you then you must have faith they are correct, but others views on religion or the lack there of are just as valid for themselves. Many believe there is an attack on Christianity in this country, so they are attacking right back. My question then is how attacking another person’s beliefs any more right than having your own attacked. I believe the Bible says something about turning the other cheek.

The source is a bit dated and not terribly academic, but still might be a fun "what if" read. Enjoy!Zero Energy Universe
It was technical enough for me. Have problem getting my mind wrapped around something from nothingness, just the accountant in me. Good read even if I’m not intelligent enough to understand it all.
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It was technical enough for me. Have problem getting my mind wrapped around something from nothingness, just the accountant in me. Good read even if I’m not intelligent enough to understand it all.
Well, the good news is that if you're a religious person, you already believe in "something from nothing". They're just presenting a different "something from nothing" which is theorically testable/falsifiable :D

 

Glad you enjoyed the read. Take care.

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I'd love to hear what "pure Christianity" is. Roman Catholicism = Christianity up until the time of the Reformation, friend. The Catholics were the ones chose which books went into the New Testament so you could say they made the Bible you know and love.

 

*cough* Er, no it's not. :)

 

Sorry, but the definition of Christianity is a monotheistic system of beliefs and practices based on the Old Testament and the teaching of Jesus as embodied in the New Testament. Christianity teaches that Jesus is the Son of God prophesied in the Old Testament and the Gospel is revealed by Jesus in the New Testament. Catholicism falls within that category. Now if you want to change your remarks to say the Protestant’s are correct we could leave the Catholic Church out of that discussion.

 

Um, that's a very interesting way to define a religion. Do you even know anything about what Catholicism teaches?

 

Mr. Arcesious, you really need to read up thoroughly yourself on the history of Christianity. The first pope was the apostle Peter. Now do you know which religion has popes? That's right Catholicism. That was the first Christian church. And believe me good sir, it was well-organized for 1400 years before Martin Luther ever sought to reform it.

 

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Peter was never the first pope. Catholicism believes that, but Christianity never has. In fact, the core of Christianity and its books were mostly estabilished before the Roman Catholic church came along. I'd ask you to do some research yourself, my friend.

 

You need to realize that Christianity and Catholicism are two seperate things. Roman Catholicism was the part of Christianity that was made the state religion of the Roman Empire and given power, whereas "pure" Christianity, in the Bible, is a much different religion. Sure, Catholicism was kind of like the mutation of Christianity, but the two are not equal.

 

Arsescious, Catholics are just as much of a Christian as a Baptist or a Lutheran or any of the other denominations. I'm not a big fan of Catholic Doctrine, but they're still Christians.

 

From a certain point of view, yes.... they have become so large and split from most Christian doctrines that its hard to see the line between "denomination" and "new religion", but I see your point.

 

The Book mentions God placing Adam within the Garden of Eden BEFORE it says that he brought forth birds and beasts and plants.

 

Could you show me where you are referring?

 

Ask any Catholic if they believe Christ died for their sins to save them, and they'll say yes.

 

They also used to exchange money for salvation.

 

As far as I know, that's the basic criteria in the Bible for determining salvation ("Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved"). Just because they don't call it 'getting saved' or 'having a personal relationship with Christ' doesn't mean they don't experience that.

 

I think this just might be a common misconception.

 

Mark 16:16 : "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved...."

 

So no, it isn't just about believing. The Bible is very clear about that.

 

I may not agree 100% with different sects of Christianity (I don't adhere to everything the Baptists say, either), but that doesn't mean I'm going to put those sects down as somehow wrong or inferior. There are many, many things that can be learned from all the different branches of Christianity.

 

My, but then we come very close to "there is no truth", or "all religions lead to God", don't we?

 

Basically, Christianity boils down to a paraphrase of Rabbi Hillel's famous comment. Love God, believe in Christ as savior for our sins, and love our neighbors. The rest is all commentary.

 

And be baptized for the remission of your sins. And devote your life to Him. And some other minor things. I'm not arguing that those things aren't trademarks of Christianity, but I'd advise you to please not define Christianity to someone's statement (like this person's) especially when it does not seem that you really know exactly what the Bible teaches.

 

If it is acceptable to state that an infinitely complex being has existed for infinity, then it should also be acceptable to take the less complicated approach and state that the matter-energy in the universe has existed for infinity.

 

I think it takes just about equal faith to state either.

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Um, that's a very interesting way to define a religion. Do you even know anything about what Catholicism teaches?
I don't know your question is very vague. What are you saying they don't fall under the definition of Christianity? I was defining Christianity, not Catholicism. However according to most of the world Catholicism does fall under the definition of Christianity. Are you saying they don’t believe in Jesus Christ?
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I have a strong belief that you cant Have Such an intricate design such as man, animals, even the whole universe, our galaxy without a designer... And i agree with the first post athersits say that they will one day come up with a theroy that disproves god well its been over a hundred years since atheism was introduced and still nothing imo that says everything about them. They say one day but its been a pretty long time and still nothing. In my eyes this wont change.

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I have a strong belief that you cant Have Such an intricate design such as man, animals, even the whole universe, our galaxy without a designer...
Because of its complexity? Surely then what ever designed these things must have been more complex that the things themselves, correct?

 

Therefore, something more complex than the universe can exist without a designer, but anything less complex must have a designer? Just want to make sure I'm understanding the argument correctly.

 

And i agree with the first post athersits say that they will one day come up with a theroy that disproves god well its been over a hundred years since atheism was introduced and still nothing imo that says everything about them.
Well, I'm sure atheists say a lot of things, but no self-respecting person of science would presume to disprove something that is not testable. IMO, such statements are just as foolish as those that claim to have irrefutable evidence of god's existence.

 

They say one day but its been a pretty long time and still nothing. In my eyes this wont change.
So the default winner is "god did it"? One explanation demands evidence but the other doesn't? Again, just hoping to clarify.

 

Thanks in advance for your response.

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I think it takes just about equal faith to state either.
I strongly disagree. We have falsifiable, testable, and repeatable tests that have shown that the law for conservation of matter-energy is as valid as possible. Never have we seen the creation of matter-energy ex nihilo, so why does it take any faith to presume that this law has always been true? It takes an amazingly greater amount of faith to believe that something infinitely more complex than the entire universe that has always existed created it all out of nothingness. (which couldn't really have been nothingness if this creator existed in it...)

 

I have a strong belief that you cant Have Such an intricate design such as man, animals, even the whole universe, our galaxy without a designer...
Simply because you don't believe it does not make it so. I can choose to believe that gravity is not a real force and if I were to really put my mind to it I could fly out of my window. This means little because if I jump out that window I don't care how much faith I have in my new belief I'm still going to end up face first on the ground.

 

If you believe that there is a designer who is so powerful as to shape the very universe we exist in, then would you care to ponder why this designer also has such a low success rate with it's creations? (>99% of all creatures that have ever existed are now extinct.)

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He/She put us here in Confidence. Not nesciarly excpeting us to thrive but to atleast stay true to what our writings say. Now i am not a closed minded person. Hell i kinda think budhasim has some good ideas and beliefs.

 

And I know that just because i dont belive it doesnt make it not possible Im just saying that with everything that we know all of the intricate designs all the factors IMO add up to His/her excitence.

 

Thats just it though isnt it? We really dont no much and we cant jump to assumptions.

 

 

The Low sucsess rate is that He/She cant just intervine when he/she pleases. Us men Us Mortals need to help ourselves IMO thats what i belive part of the reason we were put here. Some need to fail so others can succeed.

 

SOME THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

 

Biochemists and mathematicians have calculated the odds against life arising from non-life naturally via unintelligent processes. The odds are astronomical. In fact, scientists aren't even sure if life could have evolved naturally via unintelligent processes. If life did not arise by chance, how did it arise

 

The universe is ordered by natural laws. Where did these laws come from and what purpose do they serve?

 

Philosophers agree that a transcendent Law Giver is the only plausible explanation for an objective moral standard. So, ask yourself if you believe in right and wrong and then ask yourself why. Who gave you your conscience? Why does it exist?

 

Any way i Dont really want to get involved more with this I apoligize if i offended any body but this is what i belive in...

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Anybody who aks me to answer a question after eadign one of my posts in this thread, please realize i've dropped out of debatign this, and now i'm just watchign to see how it turns out. but if i see something of Chrisitnity i can really support well if it's debated i'll debate for it. so basically i'll debate agian here if there's a part that i have enough knowledge and ammo up my sleeve to debate and win.

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He/She put us here in Confidence. Not nesciarly excpeting us to thrive but to atleast stay true to what our writings say.
Which writings? The OT? The NT? The Qu'ran? Some other pagan religion that doesn't have written canon? They are all equally valid in their supporting evidence, so I can't imagine that which one we chose to work from matters really matter, in and of itself.

 

Now i am not a closed minded person. Hell i kinda think budhasim has some good ideas and beliefs.
Agreed. I think 99% of all belief systems have some very good ideas. That doesn't make them a value-add in my book since any of those "good parts" can be rationalized via moral philosophy and don't come with any of those pesky "thou shalt kill peopl that do _______".

 

Keeping with open mindedness though, I would like to think that any rational person will be willing to accept christianity (or any other religion) that had sufficient supporting evidence. That none exist is not a testament to the pig-headness of atheists, nor should it be viewed as such.

 

And I know that just because i dont belive it doesnt make it not possible Im just saying that with everything that we know all of the intricate designs all the factors IMO add up to His/her excitence.
Fair enough. But how do you know that it wasn't the flying spaghetti monster? You can't prove that it was god. I can't prove that it was the flying spaghetti monster. Should we fight over our differing beliefs or should we rationally conclude that neither one of us really knows that the best course of action would be to hold off on adopting either mythological explanation?

 

Hint: I vote for the latter. ;)

 

Thats just it though isnt it? We really dont no much and we cant jump to assumptions.
But you do though. You assume that it was the judeo-christian god and plan your life accordingly. One of us has jumped to an unsupportable conclusion while the other is comfortable not knowing something that is currently unknowable.

 

The Low sucsess rate is that He/She cant just intervine when he/she pleases. Us men Us Mortals need to help ourselves IMO thats what i belive part of the reason we were put here. Some need to fail so others can succeed.
So much for an omni-benevolent god ;)

Can't really love us if he sent some of us here destined to fail. PS: so much for free will too. Afraid you can't have it both ways :)

 

SOME THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

 

Biochemists and mathematicians have calculated the odds against life arising from non-life naturally via unintelligent processes. The odds are astronomical. In fact, scientists aren't even sure if life could have evolved naturally via unintelligent processes. If life did not arise by chance, how did it arise

While I can probably guess at which numbers you're referencing, I'd prefer to simply ask what source you're citing. Somewhere on one of these pages is a buried thread on abiogenesis that could probably use resurrection.

 

Something for you to think about: It doesn't matter how astronomical the odds, it only had to happen once in 13.7 billion years in order for us to be here talking about it now. The fact that we are, tells us that it did. So whether or not it happened isn't up for debate. The question is how it happened. Just so we're crystal clear on what the debate is truly about. ;)

 

The universe is ordered by natural laws. Where did these laws come from and what purpose do they serve?
I'm comfortable not knowing the answer. You?

 

Philosophers agree that a transcendent Law Giver is the only plausible explanation for an objective moral standard.
Yes, some philosophers did/do think that. I'm not sure how that makes the argument more valid though. Clearly people with educations make mistakes and allow bias to cloud their work all the time. Therefore, adding Ph.D to one's name does not tend to blow my hair back.

 

So, ask yourself if you believe in right and wrong and then ask yourself why. Who gave you your conscience? Why does it exist?
I prefer to think in terms of "moral" and "immoral" rather than "right" or "wrong". Yes, I do believe in morality because a great deal of neuroscience and supporting behavioral science tells us that we're hard wired for moral behavior (google "mirror neurons" when you have some spare time).

 

Since I do not have any reason to believe that this morality was bestowed upon me by some higher power and modern research shows me that there are sufficient evolutionary benefits to having developed moral centers in the brain, I choose not to make the whole thing more complicated than it needs to be.

 

Any way i Dont really want to get involved more with this I apoligize if i offended any body but this is what i belive in...
None taken. I will admit that I'm slightly peeved that you opted not to answer any of the questions that I posed to you even though I took the time (twice) to write complete responses back to your messages. Good news I'm used to that sort of thing, so I'll be over it soon.

 

Take care.

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You need to realize that Christianity and Catholicism are two seperate things. Roman Catholicism was the part of Christianity that was made the state religion of the Roman Empire and given power, whereas "pure" Christianity, in the Bible, is a much different religion.

I acknowledge that prior to Constantine, Chrisitianity was likely quite different. Careful there with your use of the term "Bible" however. That suggests there was One central teaching back in the day. No such thing. There was the Old Testament and various epistles, letters, and gospels some of which were appended and others omitted. The idea that Pure Christianity existed as homogenous belief is false and overly romantic. There were arguments even among the different sects, calling each other heretics. The Chrisitian Jews for example did not accept Gentiles as followers of Christ. The Gnostics believed that matter (that is, the world the God created) was evil and saw Jesus as a savior from the evil world.

 

The Bible as you know it today and the most cogent aspects of modern Christianity owes its structure to the First Council of Nicaea under Constantine in 325. This is the root of modern Christianity, Catholic and Protestant alike.

 

Sure, Catholicism was kind of like the mutation of Christianity, but the two are not equal.
Of course the church become corrupt with political power and inclusions of such policies and indulgences. Martin Luther was in the right to point out the hypocrisies in the church's doctrines. But given that, let us not attempt to idolize pre-Roman Christianity as something pure. Christianity owes its secular longevity to the Roman Empire which organized it, codified it, and spread it across the known world. Given the infighting in pre-Roman Christianity, the odds were much more likely that Christianity would never have coalesced.
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Mark 16:16 : "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved...."

 

So no, it isn't just about believing. The Bible is very clear about that.

 

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

 

Hi.

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Keeping with open mindedness though, I would like to think that any rational person will be willing to accept christianity (or any other religion) that had sufficient supporting evidence. That none exist is not a testament to the pig-headness of atheists, nor should it be viewed as such.

To be fair, there is evidence, however the evidence is usually too personal to be useful to more than the individual. Without sounding too cliche' I felt the touch of god. But that is MY own experience. And it was enough to convert me from a pure athiest. In fact I used to be on the side debating against the existence of god. It also happens to be why I don't condemn those that choose not to believe. People have to find god in their own way.

Fair enough. But how do you know that it wasn't the flying spaghetti monster? You can't prove that it was god. I can't prove that it was the flying spaghetti monster. Should we fight over our differing beliefs or should we rationally conclude that neither one of us really knows that the best course of action would be to hold off on adopting either mythological explanation?

Or do as scientists do and go with an explanation that makes sense to you, until a better explanation comes along. Kind of how we first believed that all creatures were created at once, then new evidence showed that creatures evolved over time. Then we believed man evolved from ape. Now we postulate that man and ape had a common ancestor, but humans are not decended from apes.

 

Can't really love us if he sent some of us here destined to fail. PS: so much for free will too. Afraid you can't have it both ways :)

Well basing it off of the creation mythology, that free will was given to us to make us more like god. The freedom to worship and make our own mistakes. God gives warnings when you are on the wrong path, to give you an opportunity to correct that. Again though that is a very specific thing, and I certainly don't expect you to believe me when I say I have felt the presence of God and felt his guidance. At least not until you have felt it yourself. I wouldn't when I was an anti-theist(one completely opposed to theism). In fact I quite suspect you'll think of me as just another kook attempting to convert people. In fact I'm not. Should you find god, Great, If not, Oh well. It doesn't bother me.

I'm comfortable not knowing the answer. You?

I'm not comfortable with it. I'd prefer to say that we don't know the answer yet, but in time maybe we'll gain a better understanding of how those laws work. I mean we know how a great many of them work. Saying you are comfortable not knowing, is like being one of the people happy not knowing the world was round. Happy to not know that the Earth revolved around the sun. It is in the seeking of knowledge that we make new discoveries. We find more information on how and why it works. Would you be happy not knowing why certain bugs can walk on water but people cannot(well maybe one, but reports on that one are um... contested)?

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Not nesciarly excpeting us to thrive but to atleast stay true to what our writings say.
But people of religion can't even agree what the correct writings are, and those who agree on the writings can't agree what they actually say!

 

When religious text are thrown out to support a religious idea, it always seems to come back to the same argument. You are either looking at the wrong book or you misunderstood what it said. My interpretations are all right and yours are all wrong.

 

Biochemists and mathematicians have calculated the odds against life arising from non-life naturally via unintelligent processes. The odds are astronomical.
So what? Take a deck of cards and deal them all out one by one. You will get some order of those 52 cards. Shuffle and try again, and repeat for the rest of your life. You probably won't ever get the same order again. But guess what, you did get that highly improbable order once.

 

The odds of winning the lottery are also astronomical, but people still win it.

 

Improbability is not a proof that something can't happen. Incredibly improbably things happen all the time.

 

Philosophers agree that a transcendent Law Giver is the only plausible explanation for an objective moral standard.
No they don't.

 

So, ask yourself if you believe in right and wrong and then ask yourself why. Who gave you your conscience? Why does it exist?
I don't know. But luckily there are people that are actually looking into what the answer might be instead of just shrugging and saying "Goddunit." :)
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Would you care to show proof of the existence of some divine being that created everything? The laws of conservation of matter-energy are quite explicit that matter-energy is neither created nor destroyed. The energy for the oscillations was always there, and will always be there in one form or another. If it is acceptable to state that an infinitely complex being has existed for infinity, then it should also be acceptable to take the less complicated approach and state that the matter-energy in the universe has existed for infinity.

 

@tk102 - I'm not saying the Big Bang didn't happen, I'm saying that the energy that was necessary for it to happen always existed, and was converted into matter after the Big Bang.

 

Thank you to Samuel Dravis for the links on Vacuum Energy and Casimir Effect.

 

Big Bang theory currently states time/matter/energy were created. Einstein did the ground-breaking work on that, Hubble, Hawkings and other noted scientists have continued work on that, and their writings on the Big Bang theory are readily available. The laws of physics work until a fraction of a second ( 10^-35 or so) after the big bang explosion. Prior to that point (but still after the big bang event) scientists have acknowledged that the laws of physics break down. Matter and energy in this universe were _created_ at that point, as was time as asserted by Einstein, Hubble, Hawkings, and others. They have not existed eternally, and belief that matter/energy/time has existed eternally is considered obsolete.

 

I said nothing about God in that particular post, actually--I was addressing only the science aspects of matter/energy/time.

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Let me get one thing straight. I've been a practicing Roman Catholic for the Last two years, and I for one am somewhat astounded at the idea that People think that Catholics aren't real Christians. Of Course, though I also know that Martin Luther was just a bit Anti-Semitic but you can take that to the Bank. I frankly am still new to the World of debating but All I can think of to say is that It seems odd that Christianity and Science are incompatible. I should know, since I'm an Evolutionist and a Proponent of The Idea that Adam and Eve never existed, but I'm getting off kilter to my point, if there ever was one. But I think I'm trying to say that I always thought Christianity has always been a successful religion because of how it can be interpreted to its followers, and the religion it self is suffering when one person can accuse another sect of Christianity of not being a true part of Christianity.

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To be fair, there is evidence, however the evidence is usually too personal to be useful to more than the individual.
I don't know that we could empirically define that as 'evidence' for the existence of any deity, let alone the judeo-christian god. The fact that people have spiritual experiences is evidence that we are capable of having spiritual experiences. The experience itself says absolutely nothing about the cause or the source of the experience.

 

If you choose to believe that the cause/source is the judeo-christian god, then that is certainly your right, however we cannot apply the scientific method to that belief. On the other hand, if you believe that the cause/source is biological, then you can certainly apply the scientific method to that belief. If one belief isn't testable and only has benefit for one person, then it would appear to have a lot less utility than a belief that is testable and has benefit for everyone. My 2 cents.

 

Without sounding too cliche' I felt the touch of god. But that is MY own experience.
Well, at one point, I felt the "touch of god" too...actually more than once. I still have those spiritual experiences, I just no longer attribute them to an external source.

 

And it was enough to convert me from a pure athiest. In fact I used to be on the side debating against the existence of god. It also happens to be why I don't condemn those that choose not to believe. People have to find god in their own way.
What is a "pure athiest"? Kudos for your open-mindedness.

 

Or do as scientists do and go with an explanation that makes sense to you, until a better explanation comes along. Kind of how we first believed that all creatures were created at once, then new evidence showed that creatures evolved over time. Then we believed man evolved from ape. Now we postulate that man and ape had a common ancestor, but humans are not decended from apes.
I submit that we're splitting hairs, but your point is absolutely valid (having a "best answer based on the evidence" is the same thing as "not knowing for sure" in my book :D)

 

Well basing it off of the creation mythology, that free will was given to us to make us more like god. The freedom to worship and make our own mistakes. God gives warnings when you are on the wrong path, to give you an opportunity to correct that.
I'm afraid this doesn't address my point though. You can either believe in predestination (god has a plan for you) or free will (your choices are your own and have consequences). Predestination presents problems for god's alleged omni-benevolence. Free will presents problems for god's alleged omnipotence. Regarding god's alleged onmiscience, well, I think the book of genesis discounts that ;)

 

Again though that is a very specific thing, and I certainly don't expect you to believe me when I say I have felt the presence of God and felt his guidance. At least not until you have felt it yourself. I wouldn't when I was an anti-theist(one completely opposed to theism). In fact I quite suspect you'll think of me as just another kook attempting to convert people. In fact I'm not. Should you find god, Great, If not, Oh well. It doesn't bother me.
Nope, the "kook-alarm" hasn't gone off yet.

 

I'm not comfortable with it. I'd prefer to say that we don't know the answer yet, but in time maybe we'll gain a better understanding of how those laws work. I mean we know how a great many of them work. Saying you are comfortable not knowing, is like being one of the people happy not knowing the world was round. Happy to not know that the Earth revolved around the sun. It is in the seeking of knowledge that we make new discoveries. We find more information on how and why it works. Would you be happy not knowing why certain bugs can walk on water but people cannot(well maybe one, but reports on that one are um... contested)?
Well I respect that you've choosen to interpret what I said that way, but in my opinion, it's not up to you to determine what I meant.

 

I agree that the pursuit of knowledge is both noble and necessary, but I don't loose sleep at night because there are certain questions that I don't have answers to. I don't feel compelled to make up answers and portray them as being absolute truth when I encounter something that I cannot explain (i.e. the meaning of life, how the universe was created, where our morality comes from etc).

 

To sum up: I think you're confusing "acceptance of the unknown" with "blissful ignorance". They are not the same thing.

 

Thanks for your response. I enjoyed the read.

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you know... after readign these past few posts i finally understand the veiws of athiests. I can see why they debate agaisnt relgiosn and beliefs and such. Maybe this udnerstandign i have fianlyl realized will help me debate better because i understand why they vewi what i say int he way they do.

Tommycat i know hat you mean when you say you have felt led by God's touch before. If only it was possible to soemhow show those who don't believe in what we believe what we've experienced that makes us so devoted to our belief in God.... but that'll never happen is the problem. people aren't telepathic and the internet doesn't have a telepathic option.

i guess i havn't really proved anything in my post here but that wasn't my intention. whatever this post contributes i hope it helps athiest sunderstnad us a little better for why we believe what we do.

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