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Discussion in 'Inter-Faith Discussion' started by Village Atheist, Jul 25, 2015.

  1. So - this part of the board is called "Inter-Faith Discussion", but it seems rather empty at the moment.

    I don't share your faith, so let's discuss something!

    What do you want to talk about?
     
  2. Raining

    Raining Member

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    Like the belief you have that your organic being is the highest forum of manipulation of mater in the hear and now or time in space?

    Nice your able to express your inter faith.
     
  3. I'm afraid you'll have to explain what you mean there, because that doesn't sound like you're describing a belief of mine.

    Are you sure you're not confusing me with someone else?
     
  4. aspen

    aspen “"The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few

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    Lol, I see you've met our resident antisocial personality. He is the anti-Christian/Christian friendly sort - kinda like a guard dogs who bites - apparently, you have threatened his identity here
     
  5. I didn't see anything terribly hostile or antisocial in Raining's reply.

    I've a feeling that he was trying to go for the cliched "If you don't worship God then you must worship yourself!" claim because I'm an atheist - which, of course, (and apologies to Raining if that's not what he was going for) is nonsense since it misses out the obvious "I don't worship anything" possibility.
     
  6. Doug_E_Fresh

    Doug_E_Fresh gяελ нατ jεsμs ƒяεακ

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    Well, we could always discuss why we disagree on the something rather than nothing belief. That's always a good one to get into as long as everyone is honestly searching for the truth, of course. :)
     
  7. Raining

    Raining Member

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    If you see and wonder, like I do. You will find life all around you. As you may understand, or as your where taught, your the one and only known being on earth that can move things for a reason.

    Let's look at light... What?, you can not see light until it hits a wall?
    I use light to show or prove my point, Light is a form of unseen energy.
    If light or photons are there, you can not see it / them until it collides with other matter. Funny, light is seeming as a harmless practical, but yet it changes everything it touches in one way or another. Some light can be focused or diverted to cause much more change then normal light rays.

    Also, there is light that your human eye can not see, even if it hits a wall. That is what research has taught kids in school.

    I probably should quit posting my views, as they seem forein to most on the boards I post at.
    Not trying to anger you, just talking about or trying to help.

    Earth is like a woman's womb, earth has many layers to protect live on earth. they also say the other planets also protect earth in ways we may not under stand.
     
  8. ezekiel

    ezekiel Member

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    Hi Village Atheist what you thing about life on other planets.
     
  9. Barrd

    Barrd His Humble Servant

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    Q. Life on other planets?
    A. Probably...
    Q. Does that mean that God also created aliens?
    A. Well, of course! No life could exist if God didn't create it.
     
  10. Don't worry about that. I'm not in the least bit angered.

    Although your posts are quite difficult to respond to because they seem quite... metaphorical (for want of a better word).

    Given the size of the universe, I think it's pretty much guaranteed that there's lots of life out there on other planets.

    However, I'm doubtful that we'll ever actually encounter any. Well, nothing bigger than bacteria, anyway. While the size of the universe means there's almost certainly lots of life, that same size also means that the planets containing life are spread out over a huge volume.

    We'd have to be incredibly lucky to have alien life within the reach of our puny little spaceships or listening devices. Either that or our estimates of how common life is would have to turn out to be very badly off. You see, the problem with that is we have such a small sample size at the moment. Can an Earth-like planet support life? Obviously it can, or we wouldn't be here. How likely is it for life to form on an Earth-like planet? We don't have enough information yet to work that one out. Clearly it's possible - or again we wouldn't be here to be asking the question - but it could turn out to be rare or it could turn out that it's pretty much a foregone conclusion that any suitably Earth-like planet will develop life. We simply don't know yet.
     
  11. Born_Again

    Born_Again Well-Known Member Staff Member

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    Okay, I'll bite...... What would you have us discuss? I would like to bring up your use of the word belief..... To believe in something is to have a religion... Wait, that cant be. Atheist don't support religion.... So what would you call it? I obviously am a Christian. But I have also studied your "belief" system as well..
     
  12. It's up to you. I'm happy to discuss anything, really. Obviously the elephant in the room is our different beliefs, but we don't particularly have to talk about that.

    The point is that I'm a guest here, and I don't want to come barging in with demands or questions or challenges. I mean I'm certainly up for robust debate if others are, but I'm also happy to just chat about things (current events, news, and so forth). So I'm trying to take the lead from you (that's "you" in general, not "you" personally!) as to how things should go.

    "Religion" is a tricky word to define, because people use it to mean all sorts of different things. It seems to me that for something to be a religion it must be more than just a belief or even a set of related beliefs. There's also social and behavioural aspects to it. So I'd probably define "Religion" as "A set of social and behavioural structures derived from a group of shared metaphysical beliefs within a community, that lends self-identity to that community." Obviously you might disagree with that definition, but it seems to fit the word "Religion" as most people generally use it. Whether it's Christians praying or Hindus lighting candles around a shrine to Ganesh or Buddhists meditating or Muslims fasting during Ramadan, it involves people actually doing something - usually something communal, although these things are all done in private as well - because of their shared beliefs, rather than simply having those beliefs; and it's about those shared somethings building or strengthening a communal identity ("We are Christians", "We are Baptists", "We are Catholics", etc.)

    So with that in mind, I wouldn't classify atheism as a religion in general. There's no social or behavioural strructures associated with it. It's not usually related to a community identity. It's simply a single metaphysical position: "I've heard various claims that one or more gods exist. I don't believe those claims." It's debatable whether that even counts as a belief in itself or whether it's just a statement indicating a lack of particular beliefs.

    Having said that, there are some atheists who clearly want the social and communal aspects of religion - often but not exclusively people who were formerly part of a different religious community and miss it - and who try to build such things around atheism. The so-called "New Atheism" movement, led by Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris springs to mind. Personally, I don't feel the need for such a thing (I'm a member of many communities, but none of them are defined by my atheism) but if others do then that's fine by me. As long as they're not jerks about it (which sadly many are).
     
  13. ezekiel

    ezekiel Member

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    Village Atheist : I think that life are on thousands of planets in space. I also think that many planets have been planted by beings from other planets and they watch over their progress. I also think we may see them in our life time.
     
  14. I'd love it if we were to unabmbiguously detect alien life in my lifetime, but I don't share your confidence that it will happen.

    The idea of planets being seeded with life by some kind of progenitor race is an old one, and is popular in sci-fi. It's certainly possible that that happens somewhere in the universe. That those progenitor would stick around and watch over the progress of their "children" is a something I have more trouble with. The distances and time scales involved are - quite litrally - astronomical!
     
  15. Doug_E_Fresh

    Doug_E_Fresh gяελ нατ jεsμs ƒяεακ

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    @Village

    I'd like to know what you think about the science related to the idea of the universe having some point of beginning of existence. What are your thoughts on that? Do you think that it did have a beginning? or has it always been (eternal)?
     
  16. Dan57

    Dan57 Active Member

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    Without the natural order of things, nothing would exist.. Is the order of things just happenstance, or was it arranged? I personally can't fathom how everything could have just accidentally come together, so I believe in intelligent design. I was an atheist when I was young because I couldn't believe in something I couldn't see, but now from what I see that exist, I'm convinced it was all created.
     
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  17. ezekiel

    ezekiel Member

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    Village Atheist : I would think that to travel from star to star or from star to a black hole and ride the north wind are very possible. With such a craft that creates the same frequency that a star and its black hole creates and this connections would be like riding the net from one web site to another. NASA has placed probes that studies these portals mainly the one between earth and our sun. You think they will plublish the findings and research.
     
  18. What are these "frequencies" that you're describing? It sounds like you're talking about the spectrum of electromagnetic energy given off by stars, but I don't know how "creating" the same frequency (i.e. being the same colour as a star) would be of any use in terms of propulsion. Could you explain what you mean?

    Ah - this I do know. The "portals" that NASA are talking about are areas where the magnetic fields of the Earth and Sun align with each other temporarily. This allows the Solar Wind to pass through unimpeded by the normal magnetic interference that blocks it and results in spectacular auroras.

    It has nothing to do with interstellar travel though. These are "portals" as in openings in the magnetic field, not "portals" as in sci-fi gates connecting far regions of space together.
     
  19. I think it's a fascinating subject. I'm not an expert in the field (my speciality is biology, not physics), but from what I've read the science regarding the early universe seems to be pretty sound. Certainly the evidence for the curved nature of four dimensional spacetime on which it hinges is pretty solid.

    At the moment (as far as I know - as I say, I'm no expert) there seem to be three contenders for what happened before then...

    1) Standard "Big Bang" singularity model. Our four dimensional spacetime is curved, and that curvature gets more pronounced as we move back in time. At some point, the curvature gets infinite and we can go back no further. This point of infinite curvature is the singularity. It's kind of the "beginning" of the universe, but the reason I used quotes around that is because a beginning implies a kind of linear time where there is time before the thing begins and time after it has begun. But with curved spacetime that's not the case, because time is a dimension within the curved universe that measures the position of events within it, not something that can be applied to the universe itself. The best analogy is to think of the Earth. Wherever you're standing on the Earth you can travel north or south. Think of travelling north as going forward in time and travelling south as going backward in time. We can keep going south until we reach the South Pole but can then go no further. Whichever direction we go from there is north. By definition there is nothing south of the South Pole - but this isn't a paradox, it's just because of the curved nature of the Earth's surface. Asking what is south of the South Pole is meaningless. According to this theory, the universe is similar. You can keep going back in time until you get to the singularity, and wherever in the universe you started from you'll end up there. But from there, all directions in spacetime lead to it's future just like all directions from the South Pole lead north. So asking what happened before the beginning of the universe is like asking what is south of the South Pole. The question is meaningless. This is the most prominent scientific model for the beginning of the universe, and it fits the maths, but there are some observations that have been made that - while they don't actually contradict this model- the model doesn't explain.

    2) M-Brane model. This more recent theory postulates that our four dimensional spacetime is a bubble that has budded off a larger multidimensional spacetime. If this is true, it means that our universe isn't the only one that exists - there are others too. Our universe therefore had a definite beginning. Whether the multidimensional spacetime that contains our universe also had a "beginning" (or whether such a thing is even a meaningful thing to ask given its nature) is a complete unknown. So far, the mathematics of M-Brane theory seems to work out, but we've not yet found any evidence to either prove it right or prove it wrong.

    3) This one is an alternative to the standard model that relies on Loop Quantum Gravity - something I don't even pretend to understand. From what I've read about it, it's quite different to the standard model although the results are very similar (which they would have to be, of course - all models have to have results that are similar enough to match what we observe!) The key difference is that in this model there is no singularity at the start of the universe. Instead, the universe is cyclical with an infinite number of "Big Bangs" and "Big Crunches".

    So to relate these to your question, each of these has a different answer:

    1) Time is a property within the universe, not of the universe. Therefore it's meaningless to describe the universe as having "begun" at some point in time.

    2) The universe is part of something bigger. Our universe itself is one of many and it had a beginning, but we don't know enough about the "something bigger" to make definite pronouncements about that.

    3) The universe is eternal and has no beginning. However, given its cyclic nature, we can treat the beginning of our current cycle as the "beginning" of the universe.

    As for which of those three models is closest to the truth, I've no idea. I kind of lean towards preferring the M-Brane model, but that's only for aesthetic reasons. I don't claim to be a good enough cosmologist to argue the relative merits of the three.
     
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  20. Doug_E_Fresh

    Doug_E_Fresh gяελ нατ jεsμs ƒяεακ

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    So then by your understanding, space, time, matter and energy are properties within the universe, not of the universe itself? That makes sense as to why you probably believe there is no need for God to be involved in its creation. I wonder though, how does one wrestle with the fact that these things just "are"? If universe/multiverse have no cause, no "change agent", how does one answer the question as to why there is something at all, rather than nothing at all? It seems to me that everything has a cause. Even space, time, matter, and energy would then be "caused" by the universe/multiverse in some way.
     
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