Author Topic: Does the universe have to have been created? (metaphysics/religion/atheism)  (Read 1772 times)

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Offline Torchickens

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Ex nihilo is the argument that something was created out of nothing.

I wonder if the universe was never created at all, or if the universe created itself (which links in with pantheism which may argue that 'God is the universe'). By never created at all, it doesn't mean the universe doesn't exist, but rather is an automatic manifestation, from a logical world.

Mathematically this could maybe work by re-imagining the concept of zero. Instead of nothing, it is instead two 'polarities'; +∞ and -∞ (but probably here you have to alter the meaning of infinity here to mean 'everything' as ∞-∞ is not necessarily 0), which together are zero, and always have been zero. This could explain why in physics charged atoms/molecules (known as ions) eventually decay until they have stable polarities.

All matter in the universe could also be a combination of polarities.

There is a fundamental problem with this thinking though; logic must have some kind of existence/form (a machine wouldn't work without its engine). There are questions about metaphysical nature of logic itself, which is confusing to talk about because we feel we are already part of a logical world in which we can come up with mathematics/logical axioms.

Additionally this argument doesn't address the dilemma of consciousness; why is it we project consciousness from ourselves and not everyone at the same time (or from no one)? Could there be an intelligent being which chooses who we are born as? If you had a clone who was physically the same as you, would you experience their consciousness too? Perhaps it depends on relative time; according to relativity we may all experience time at a slightly different rate due to factors like our relative velocity (maybe? I'm not qualified enough in physics to answer this.).

There is also the fact (from what has been tested from science so far) that the speed of light is a constant (3x10^8 m/s), which may raise an argument of whether it is a remnant of intelligent design.

This universe could also be one of many universes, not the 'highest' (if one exists), like the popular simulation idea.

Thoughts?

Offline HappyMoni

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Well if there a creator, who/what created the  creator? To me a creator explains nothing. I think there is an emotional need to have a creator for many. I think of looking at a field of grass or a forest  and everything is so specifically placed. Some are tall, others short, the spacing, it is tempting to think it was designed by something to be just so. No not really. I am who I am because of a very specific set of circumstances. If my parent had had a headache the night I was conceived I might not have happened at all. I could have very easily been born genetically  female had a different sperm fertilized the egg. No, I am not designed or destined to be. Don't buy it. If someone does though, I'm fine with it.
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Offline AnneK

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To fully understand the origin of the (a?) universe requires going beyond where current science can take us.  There are a few different ideas involving multiple universes that come and go.  For example, some consider a black hole in our universe to be a big bang in another.  There's another theory where universes are like bubbles in a foam, that independently form, grow and collapse.  There are also some theories that depend on quantum physics.  Please note that not currently understanding does not imply a creator.  As mentioned above, if you have a creator than something (someone?) else must have created the creator.  If this creator has supposedly always existed, then it much more likely that the universe or some trigger mechanism has always existed.  To claim the universe was created by some supernatural being is to yield to deliberate ignorance.

The bottom line is we don't currently know and may never know, but to attribute it to a "god" is nonsense.
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Offline Roll

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My stance is simple on this. For there to be nothing, you have to have something. Lack of existence, predicates existence.

I could mangle some Kant as a roundabout explanation, but I prefer to leave it simple. ;D

Quote
The bottom line is we don't currently know and may never know, but to attribute it to a "god" is nonsense.

But many of the greatest philosophers and critical thinkers in history, in fact many of the people who defined the very logic and reasoning modern agnostic and atheist philosophy is based on, found justification for belief in god--that was not just a product of culture at the times (they would dismantle everything, and build it back from scratch). The teleological argument is a perfect example of this. Of course if you mean explicitly something such as the anthropomorphized view of the Christian God and related dogma, that is a different matter entirely (in which arguments for are entirely a matter of faith regardless), but that requires a semantic distinction versus "a god" in general. Even more, many great minds in the truest sense have expressed beliefs that line up neatly with definitions of a god, even if they do not ascribe to any dogmatic beliefs.

Perhaps some of the greatest work into the nature and reality of existence was Descartes, all cliches aside, and he was quite devout in even a dogmatic sense. While Descartes's faith does not in the least define or influence my own, I believe it would be a mistake to dismiss his belief as nonsense simply by the strength of everything else he has done. (Basically, he's got some cred. ;D)
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Offline AnneK

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Quote
found justification for belief in god--that was not just a product of culture at the times

Well, you'd better get busy explaining the existence of this god.  If you can't do that then claiming this god created the universe gets you nowhere.
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Offline Shambles

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Out of the current theroys im swayied by the mutiverse theroy and the consept of higher dimentions, the universe could have been started in a higher dimention but all we see is the ripple. I do like the simulation theroy that we are basically ai's and fits in nicely with the probible likeyhood that its far more likely than we happen to benthe 1st evolved life around our area of space.

Its all very interesting atm imo
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Offline Deborah

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The best answer, based on current science, is I don’t know what, if anything, pre-existed the known universe.


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Offline Roll

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Well, you'd better get busy explaining the existence of this god.  If you can't do that then claiming this god created the universe gets you nowhere.

 I have no need to explain the existence of god, because I did not assert any such thing.  :-X That is not the same as not dismissing it as nonsense however.

Though 100% purely for fun, I will give it a shot nonetheless! I would start with a similar concept to my belief on existence. What we would call a god (not necessarily/most likely not/almost certainly not an anthropomorphic god) existed because something had to exist. (And logically, the simplest assumption is always preferred. The inherent existence of a singular entity is a simpler assumption than the inherent existence of a complex multi dimensional universe no matter what you call it. See: any teleological argument. So this is actually more in keeping with any standard of rational logic.) Said entity becomes the original mover, regardless of intent or purpose. Again, this was purely a lark, not a legitimate argument I'm going to waste time defending.

I mentioned not mangling Kant before, and I'll also avoid mangling Hume here. I will say though, I believe his (brilliant) treatise on cause and effect can be applied quite liberally to pretty much everything, and it is a fallacy to dismiss something such as the general concept of a god-like entity (again, non-anthropomorphic being a key distinction here) because many of the supposed flaws in logic also exist at some point in science (seriously, we don't actually know how 99% of medicines even do what they do, we just list observed effects). Of course that is not the same as saying you shouldn't roll your eyes when someone tells you an angel spoke to them through a piece of toast or that they found a new book of the bible out in the woods. (Or that millions of alien ghosts slain by an ancient space warlord flew into a volcano and now form human souls, and weigh precisely 1.5 ounces.)

I remember George Carlin had a bit where he referred to a god and dismissed him using the imagery of a sky wizard. That is a supremely narrow minded view of the potential of what we would call a god, and falls prey to the very same ignorance ingrained in the limited view of the nature of god within some religions. One is simply a negative reflection of the other, even though there exists a vast array of concepts of god that are not addressed by that view (the anthropomorphic sky wizard) from either direction. In general though, these other views are far, far more difficult to find logical fault with (at least no more than anything), so it is inconvenient to acknowledge them and easier instead to just make fun of people who go treasure hunting for noah's ark.

Anywho, don't want to go down a deeper rabbit hole on this. I've got school work to do! ;D
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Offline Rakel

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Astronomers have collected many images of galaxies being created and destroyed all the time. Einstein showed the world that Energy and Mass are interchangeable. What is there to question?

I get a Big Bang out of answering questions like this.  ::)




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Offline Chloe

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Lack of existence, predicates existence.

          Quite! We have Western Cultural Tradition buffs here too? About the most accurate thing Fritjof Capra said, in his epilogue to "The Tao of Physics", is Science does not need mysticism and mysticism does not need science, but man needs both. . . .

          My fav theoretical "explainist" is Francis Bacon who anticipated our modern quantum particle view (Einstein relativity) by about 500 years!  From Idols Which Beset Man's Mind:

          "For man's sense is falsely asserted" (by Progagoras' "Man is the measure of all things") "to be the standard of things: on the contrary, all the perceptions, both of the senses and the mind, bear reference to man and not to the universe; and the human mind resembles those uneven mirrors which impart their own properties to different objects . . . and distort and disfigure them" Novum Organum,i,41. . . . "the human understanding, from its peculiar nature, easily supposes a greater degree of order and regularity in things than (it) really (finds) exists . . . Hence the fiction" Ibid,i,45

           Is it mere coincidence human kind stands precipitously on a razor's edge between the infinitely small and infinitely large? We are nothing more than a highly organized PRODUCT of a universe we were otherwise specifically evolved, designed and constructed (created?) to, put most simply, better "perceive" for basic survival?

          The construct of 'gender" the 1st real division of labor? The dislike of "homosexuality" in The Bible due solely to lack of "sowing seed", furthering procreation? Lord knows we 'ave the reverse problem today! (too many people)
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Re: Does the universe have to have been created? (metaphysics/religion/atheism)
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2018, 01:21:51 pm »
In my opinion the importance of believing in a creator is about having faith in the absence of proof; faith is important since it brings hope, hope of limitless possibilities, and that bad times are only temporary.  Personally, I don’t believe that God cares whether we believe in their existence or not; I mean they are an omnipotent being, and probably not crippled with some of our less flattering traits such as jealousy and ego. Anyway, it’s interesting to ponder the why’s and what if’s; it kind of gives me a headache though when I start to think of how this whole shebang got started.

Offline KathyLauren

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Re: Does the universe have to have been created? (metaphysics/religion/atheism)
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2018, 01:24:00 pm »
In Buddhist cosmology, there was no beginning.  The universe has always existed, therefore it never needed to be created.

There is no conflict of this with modern science.  Although science has no knowledge of anything before the "Big Bang", it does not assert that there was nothing.  One possibility that most scientists consider plausible (though currently unsupported by evidence) is that the Big Bang was just a rebound after a preceeding "Big Crunch".  This is consistent with the Buddhist view that the universe is cyclic.

With no need for a beginning, there is no need for a creator.
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Offline AnneK

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Re: Does the universe have to have been created? (metaphysics/religion/atheism)
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2018, 02:13:23 pm »
The problem with the big crunch idea is that the universe appears to be expanding at an increasing rate.  A big crunch requires that it expand at a decreasing rate, eventually reaching a maximum point and then start contracting.  Of course, you have to consider dark matter and dark energy in this too, neither of which we know anything about.

The origin of the universe may always be unknowable, but that does not imply a creator, only a lack of knowledge.
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Offline AnneK

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Re: Does the universe have to have been created? (metaphysics/religion/atheism)
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2018, 02:15:28 pm »
Quote
I mean they are an omnipotent being, and probably not crippled with some of our less flattering traits such as jealousy and ego.

Or is this god just a figment of someone's imagination?  It's certainly not a figment of mine.
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Offline AnneK

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Re: Does the universe have to have been created? (metaphysics/religion/atheism)
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2018, 02:20:59 pm »
Quote
With no need for a beginning, there is no need for a creator.

One other thing, a "beginning" is a function of linear time, which we appear to experience in everyday life.  However, Einstein showed that time is not linear, but affected by gravity.  So, to understand whether there was a beginning, we have to fully understand time.  Of course we also have to add in the weirdness of quantum mechanics to really have some fun with this.   ;)
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Offline Roll

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Re: Does the universe have to have been created? (metaphysics/religion/atheism)
« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2018, 02:50:57 pm »
Or is this god just a figment of someone's imagination?  It's certainly not a figment of mine.

I can't picture anyone enjoying the movie Van Wilder, but it doesn't mean they don't exist. ;D

One other thing, a "beginning" is a function of linear time, which we appear to experience in everyday life.  However, Einstein showed that time is not linear, but affected by gravity.  So, to understand whether there was a beginning, we have to fully understand time.  Of course we also have to add in the weirdness of quantum mechanics to really have some fun with this.   ;)

But Einstein's discovery shows one thing more than anything else: Humanity's perception of reality is flawed. We are tiny, insignificant beings in the scheme of things. By the nature of that incomplete perspective how can we possibly discount that what we would, by any reasonable standard, consider to be a god does not exist? (Though again, I speak of a non-anthropomorphic "god like entity", much as Einstein often did.) M
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Offline AnneK

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Re: Does the universe have to have been created? (metaphysics/religion/atheism)
« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2018, 02:57:01 pm »
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How can we possibly say that we would consider a god does no exist?

It's easy.  I have often said I have no use for any such god and view religion as deliberate ignorance to explain the world/universe with fairy tales.  Religion came about at a time when there was no such thing a science and everything had a spirit etc.  There's no need to continue with it, when science and knowledge can show so much.
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Offline Deborah

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Re: Does the universe have to have been created? (metaphysics/religion/atheism)
« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2018, 03:07:41 pm »
The problem with faith is that it requires one to believe things in the total absence of any evidence.  This leads to incredulity towards things that actually do have evidence and in turn leads to an extremely ignorant society such as we see in the USA and in the Middle East.


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Offline Roll

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Re: Does the universe have to have been created? (metaphysics/religion/atheism)
« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2018, 03:29:54 pm »
It's easy.  I have often said I have no use for any such god and view religion as deliberate ignorance to explain the world/universe with fairy tales.  Religion came about at a time when there was no such thing a science and everything had a spirit etc.  There's no need to continue with it, when science and knowledge can show so much.

But why is your faith in scientific knowledge so absolute? We have not even scratched the surface of the surface's surface of existence, and 99% of what we do is guess work and assumptions based on observation. (Hume, who was an atheist in a time of devotion by the way, said that far better than I ever could, and I highly recommend his stuff on causation.) Even something as simple as table salt has undergone dramatic shifts in the view towards it in science over the course of the past few decades. Science on a regular basis is used to empirically assert many terrible, monstrous things. We make inferences and guesses, dressed in a sufficient technical jargon filled peer reviewed paper to make it seem valid to laymen. (Not to mention, it is often for profit. And I'm not talking about corporate scientists, everyone needs to get that grant money. How is that different from televangelists lining their pockets claiming salvation?)

Not sure if this particular video is any good, but seemed to hit the high points.



While Hume was a skeptic of his day, and focused primarily on questioning zealotry and assumptions of many philosophers of the day (who, remember, were the scientists of the time), the important points are issues with causation and the flaws in inductive reasoning. I hold though that he did not take it far enough, at least in a modern day context, and as we have delved deeper into science that we don't truly understand the issue becomes less of day to day assumptions and more a fundamental flaw in the absolute belief in the scientific industry (make no mistake, it is an industry).

We assume B -> C, but what if the unobserved A -> B, C? Well, okay, slight adjustment. Except.. then what if it was really D -> B and A -> C and we never observed D or A, suddenly B -> has moved from a causal relationship to a potentially haphazard correlation. That is a very important distinction. Which is then an endless rabbit hole, because we simply do not the capability of processing the depths of true causation. Which returns me to the ultimate issue of much of science being guess work, even if reasonable guess work. Theories and models are disproven constantly, it is in fact a fundamental part of the scientific method to begin with, yet we are trained to maintain absolute faith in everything proffered to us regardless. And make no mistake, it is simple faith, every bit as much as any religion is. (At least for 99.9999% of people.) And indeed, Hume also said it would be impossible to live life without making assumptions of causation. (Ie: I'm not going to walk around worried that there might be goblins living in the center of the earth that control gravity with electromagnetic bongo drums are going to cause me to float off into space, and instead just go with the whole physics explanation.) Yet in discussions of rigor, if we are to hold one thing (religion) to a certain standard (disbelief due to lack of absolute evidence), we must hold other things (science) to the same standard.
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Offline Roll

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Re: Does the universe have to have been created? (metaphysics/religion/atheism)
« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2018, 03:40:41 pm »
The problem with faith is that it requires one to believe things in the total absence of any evidence.  This leads to incredulity towards things that actually do have evidence and in turn leads to an extremely ignorant society such as we see in the USA and in the Middle East.

Much of what I said in my post I just put up applies here as well to the first sentence. Most people believe in science with total absence of any evidence, at least not that they understand. That is faith as well. If one type of faith is acceptable, why is the other not?

And the ignorance is absolutely not a product of faith, it is a product of... well, itself. People are people, and they will be ignorant be it bred of religion or science. Look at the Nazis (I know, bringing up the Nazis is not typically a preferred tact, but it is an easy comparison), their ignorance was based entirely on supposed science. Bad science, hypocritical science, but science nonetheless. Look at the countless physicians and scientists attempting to shock the gay away or performing lobotomies because... well, pretty much everything. That was science, not religion. The misuse and negative impact of some religion is truly terrible, but then the same goes for science.

I would also challenge the assertion that religion leads to ignorance. Religion led to science. In fact, much of the origins of modern science and knowledge are built on the studies and teachings of ancient Muslim universities. 9 out of the 10 of the greatest scientists and philosophers in history were religious (though often critical of popular doctrine). From Descartes to Tesla, each expressed varying degrees of faith that was often built upon critical skepticism.
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An Open Letter to anyone suffering from anxiety, particularly those afraid to make your first post or continue posting!

8/30/17 - First Therapy! The road begins in earnest.
10/20/17 - First coming out (to my father)!
12/16/17 - BEGAN HRT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
5/21/18 - FIRST DAY OUT AS ME!!!!!!!!!
6/08/18 - 2,250 Hair Grafts
6/23/18 - FIRST PRIDE!
8/06/18 - 100%, completely out!
9/08/18 - I'M IN LOVE!!!!
2/27/19 - Name Change!


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