Author Topic: Does the universe have to have been created? (metaphysics/religion/atheism)  (Read 1770 times)

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Offline Deborah

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Re: Does the universe have to have been created? (metaphysics/religion/atheism)
« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2018, 03:40:57 pm »
Faith is belief without evidence.  Science is belief with evidence.  That such evidence might be incomplete or even in error does not change the fact that using evidence to establish knowledge is far superior to simply making things up or relying on the mythologies written by people 2000 years before the Age of Enlightenment.


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Offline AnneK

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Re: Does the universe have to have been created? (metaphysics/religion/atheism)
« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2018, 03:43:35 pm »
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But why is your faith in scientific knowledge so absolute?


Because it's based on evidence.  Because it gets update with more evidence.  Because it relies of observation and experimentation.  Because it's based on fact, not faith.  There's not a shred of evidence history or archaeology that supports the bible, for instance, but a lot that conflicts with it.  There are even some parts of it that conflict with others.  When you look at where the stories in the bible came from, you'll often find they were "borrowed" from other beliefs.  You'll also find the old testament was largely written by 3 groups who had nothing to do with the original events.
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Offline Deborah

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Does the universe have to have been created? (metaphysics/religion/atheism)
« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2018, 04:19:26 pm »
I would also challenge the assertion that religion leads to ignorance.
There is no argument that in times past many great scientists were religious.  That is perhaps not surprising since many lived in times and places where not being religious was a capital offense.  Even until recently not professing a religion made one a social pariah.

We can see religious induced societal ignorance at work in a country where about half of the population believes that human beings came about by magic rather than by a process of evolution, where over 20% of the population believes that the universe is 6000 years old, where in many places the law requires those things to be taught in school as an alternative to the truth, where around 50% of the population believes our condition is a conscious choice because God doesn’t make mistakes, where half deny climate change because God is in control.

These things and others are not simply innocent beliefs with no consequence as they lead to policies and laws that are harmful to both society and progress.


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Offline Lady Lisandra

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Re: Does the universe have to have been created? (metaphysics/religion/atheism)
« Reply #23 on: February 11, 2018, 04:36:45 pm »
I believe in the existence of gods, but I don't think they created the universe. It was created by something superior, let's call it the Whole. The Whole created the universe withouth reason, just because it was it's nature, just like the sun heates the ground and makes plants grow, not because it wants to, but because of it's nature. My theory is consistent at some point with the Big Bang theory.

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Re: Does the universe have to have been created? (metaphysics/religion/atheism)
« Reply #24 on: February 11, 2018, 05:06:48 pm »
Because it's based on evidence.  Because it gets update with more evidence.  Because it relies of observation and experimentation.  Because it's based on fact, not faith. There's not a shred of evidence history or archaeology that supports the bible, for instance, but a lot that conflicts with it.  There are even some parts of it that conflict with others.  When you look at where the stories in the bible came from, you'll often find they were "borrowed" from other beliefs.  You'll also find the old testament was largely written by 3 groups who had nothing to do with the original events.

This is part of the problem with this debate, it is endless as people everywhere won't stop focusing on the bible or dogma. That is not the whole of religion, nor even the most important part of religion. At no point have I argued for the bible, and at no point have I defended it at all (I find great fault in many aspects of it). It is this limited view of religion from both positive and negative stances that I find fault in to begin with. Someone (not I) could just as easily discount all of science by latching onto a few more egregious errors over the years (Phrenology for one), all of which were based on observation and correlative evidence.

(I've typed a few things, deleted them. Typed a few more, deleted those. Deciding to bow out here. Because when it comes down to it, we aren't debating the same thing.)
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Offline AnneK

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Re: Does the universe have to have been created? (metaphysics/religion/atheism)
« Reply #25 on: February 11, 2018, 05:11:19 pm »
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This is part of the problem with this debate, it is endless as people everywhere won't stop focusing on the bible or dogma. That is not the whole of religion, nor even the most important part of religion.

I used it as it's the one I'm most familiar with.  However, it shares one trait with all religion, that is it's based on belief, not fact, not evidence.  As for science, it's self correcting.  Errors, even deliberate ones, get detected and corrected.  No one in science is claiming you have to believe something without evidence or contrary to the evidence, as is the norm in religion.
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kitchentablepotpourri

Re: Does the universe have to have been created? (metaphysics/religion/atheism)
« Reply #26 on: February 11, 2018, 09:19:20 pm »
Or is this god just a figment of someone's imagination?  It's certainly not a figment of mine.
Wow, thanks for quoting that small snippet of my post to make me look small, so that you can display your dominance. 

Offline AnneK

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Re: Does the universe have to have been created? (metaphysics/religion/atheism)
« Reply #27 on: February 11, 2018, 09:23:55 pm »
Wow, thanks for quoting that small snippet of my post to make me look small, so that you can display your dominance.

Sorry, that was not my intent.  My point is that religion, "god" included, was created by humans at a time when they had no concept of science and so they had to create something to cause the things they saw around them.

And I'd say to anyone who claims there is a god, prove it, show the evidence that the things that we see around us cannot have been caused by anything other than divine intervention.


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kitchentablepotpourri

Re: Does the universe have to have been created? (metaphysics/religion/atheism)
« Reply #28 on: February 11, 2018, 10:01:23 pm »
Sorry, that was not my intent.  My point is that religion, "god" included, was created by humans at a time when they had no concept of science and so they had to create something to cause the things they saw around them.

And I'd say to anyone who claims there is a god, prove it, show the evidence that the things that we see around us cannot have been caused by anything other than divine intervention.
Fair enough; however my intent is not to save anyone’s soul, and I really don’t feel the need to prove God’s existence, because I simply don’t care whether you believe in God, or not. I am not religious, but I do believe that God is real, and I was merely sharing my opinion; you are more than welcome to disagree with what I said, but it really doesn’t mean anything to me, because God doesn’t need me or anyone else to come to their defense; they are God, and I am sure they can handle it if someone doesn’t believe in them.

Here’s a thought

Human: I don’t believe in God, there is no scientific proof!
God: (doesn’t care enough to comment since God does not seek approval or acknowledgement from us; God just is, just as the universe just is, and there is a lot going on out there that we don’t even have an inkling about (and just because we don’t know about it, it doesn’t make it less real).

Human: I do believe in God; I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God exists!
God: (doesn’t care enough to comment since God does not seek approval or acknowledgement from us; God just is, just as the universe just is, and there is a lot going on out there that we don’t even have an inkling about (and just because we don’t know about it, it doesn’t make it less real). 



Offline Paul Muad-Dib

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Re: Does the universe have to have been created? (metaphysics/religion/atheism)
« Reply #29 on: February 12, 2018, 04:41:29 pm »
Where do people get the idea from that things have to have been created in the first place out of something.

We live in a world in which energy is neither created nor destroyed, only changes state. As far as we know, this could be the way it's always been and always will be, maybe there was always something there and it had no creator, it just is on the macro scale and on the micro things change state in and out of visible existence. We already know this to be the case with certain subatomic particles.

The idea something cannot come from nothing doesn't hold up if what you think of as nothing is actually something, you just can't see it. It's like a kid's idea of where anything comes from, someone has to "make" it. But there's nothing presiding over changes of state but the laws of physics by the looks of it. If you believe in evolution life didn't just happen, it used materials and conditions already existing to arrange itself into a sustaining chemical reaction. The means to make it was always there, waiting for the right conditions. 

We probably just think there has to be a creator or a creation because we have limited scope and try to anthropomorphize everything.


Offline Deborah

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Re: Does the universe have to have been created? (metaphysics/religion/atheism)
« Reply #30 on: February 12, 2018, 05:28:10 pm »
Citing Christian creation doctrine doesn’t solve the problem of something from nothing anyway.  That doctrine states that the earth was created from nothing.  It was simply spoken into existence from a void.


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Offline MaryT

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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?

The physicist Pascual Jordan published a hypothesis that the MATTER in the universe was created ex nihilo.  His idea was very like the polarities you describe.  He believed that matter, being equivalent to energy, was produced by creating an equivalent amount of negative energy.  This negative energy was an attribute of the kinetic energy of the expansion of space. 

Some argued that amounts of kinetic energy are relative, and that by quantifying the negative energy of space expansion, Jordan did not understand that fact.  However, I am sure that a physicist of Jordan's standing understood basic kinetics.  I think that his dubious politics may have led to him being underrated.  Anyway, the theory of relativity is largely based on some things NOT being relative, such as the speed of light c and, significantly, the rest mass/rest energy of matter particles.

Obviously, Jordan was not a Big Bang theorist.  Steady State cosmology, even more than Big Bang cosmology, seems to suggest that there was no Creator, as it implies that the universe always existed in pretty much its present form.  I am a dinosaur, so I don't believe in the Big Bang theory.  For one thing, to me it implies that since we are looking into the past, the most distant galaxies should be closer together if there was a Big Bang.  I once had the opportunity to say that to Sir Patrick Moore (this entire post is just an excuse to name-drop).  He pointed out that the most distant objects in the universe have a different appearance to nearer ones.  I said that the Big Bang still didn't make sense to me.  "Nor me", he replied with a smile.  I know that some cosmologists say that the shape of space explains why distant galaxies do not seem closer together.  To me that seems like bending the facts to suit the theory but what do I know.

As to logic, I'm not sure that it is an entity that requires creation or even that some kind of universe could not exist without it.  As to consciousness, I agree that it is still mysterious.  There are theories but none so compelling that most scientists find them convincing.  Even if a computer program is created that successfully mimics human thought, I don't think that it would necessarily mean that we understand consciousness.  As to universal constants implying intelligent design, I don't follow the necessity but in any case some physicists think that they may change over time.

As to many universes, I currently think that quantum mechanics is consistent with me having my own personal 4D universe, interacting with the 4D universes of every other person and particle in the universe, including those of my own body.  After all, even early quantum physicists found that while one particle can be described as moving in 3D space, two interacting particles need two 3D spaces.

I rather liked the idea that the universe is a computer simulation.  At least a nine-year-old playing a computer game might be placated by prayer or praise.  Sadly, Zohar Ringel and Dmitry Kovrizhi say that they have proved otherwise.

After all that, I still don't discount the idea of a Creator.  Ancient Hebrews were aware of the problem of a Creator existing without being created Himself but knew that they had to draw a line somewhere.  God told Moses to call him Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh, "I Am That I Am".   In my logical moments I am an atheist but I pray every day.  What else can we do while at the mercy of this awesome universe?




« Last Edit: April 25, 2018, 02:58:33 pm by MaryT »

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