Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

Healthy skepticism of ALL worldviews is good. Skeptical of non-belief like found in Atheism? Post your challenging questions. Responses are encouraged.
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Re: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#46

Post by Kenny » Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:47 pm

Philip wrote:
Ken: Feel free to provide evidence to support any of this stuff you sayin’ tll then I think I will just admit to not having an answer, instead of making stuff up or calling it magic.
Ken, then please explain what happened and what exactly appeared at the moment of the Big Bang. And what pre-existed it. NO physical things - not even space itself existed. So ALL physical things came from something other than the physical, as nothing physical yet existed. That says nothing about Singularity or what it was. But that these things burst forth from a single point, all at once, and those things did not evolve - their designs and functionality were in place at the moment of the Big Bang event - refute that. Refute how these things could come from a non-intelligent cause. As the designs and functions of what immediately showed up check every single box, and spectacularly so, for what would involve intelligence.

Ken, please describe the necessary attributes and parameters for whatever had to be the source of the universe. What are the options? I call assigning a non-intelligent, blind, random series of happenstances so statistically improbable as to be considered impossible, as - yes, "magic!" At the very least, you either have to believe in an eternal, all-powerful intelligence, or blind, random luck to created the astounding. I call that belief in the equivalent of "magic." What do you call it? But please, Ken, describe the attributes and necessary parameters - whether assigned to Singularity or whatever ultimately preceded it. Just saying "it's not magic" doesn't describe it - what other words would YOU use?
Sounds like you are asking me to unlock mysteries science has yet to. There are a million scenarios that could have happened prior to the Big Bang; maybe everything contracted to the singularity before expanding what is known as the big bang; I don’t know. if I listed possibilities all you would do is tear it apart and point out the logical flaws and I wouldn’t defend it because it isn’t what I believe. What I do believe is that matter has always existed in one form or another, that there was never a point in history when nothing physical existed. This idea that stuff just popped into existence doesn’t make sense to me.
I also don’t believe things exist in a spiritual/nonphysical world. If what is described as the spiritual world were ever discovered to exist, it would become just another part of the physical world.
I also don’t believe in the “magic” explanation you provided, and I don't believe your God explanation either, they both sound unrealistic to me; the idea that something physical has always existed sounds more logical to me.

Ken
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Re: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#47

Post by Kenny » Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:51 pm

Kenny wrote:
RickD wrote:
Kenny wrote:
RickD wrote: Did you just ask Kenny, the king of "nothing is objective", if it's anecdotal?

:lol:
Ive never claimed nothing was objective, I've always said some things are objective, and some things are subjective. The disagreement I and many on this forum have had was based on what is objective or subjective.
What things are objective?

If a tree falls in the forest and there is nobody there to hear it, does it make a sound? Yes. When gravity pulls something to the surface of the Earth, the impact will cause an audible sound, and witnesses are not necessary for this to take place. that is an example of an objective truth.
RickD wrote: Ok, I think I understand where you're coming from. Things can be objectively true, but you just don't believe morality is objective. Is that accurate?
Yes
RickD wrote:Would you agree that "my truck is a Chevrolet", is an objective claim? By objective, I mean it's either a Chevrolet, or it's not, and nobody's opinion can change that fact.
Yes.

K
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Re: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#48

Post by Philip » Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:29 pm

Ken: What I do believe is that matter has always existed in one form or another, that there was never a point in history when nothing physical existed.
Then you do not believe what science prolifically teaches.
Ken: This idea that stuff just popped into existence doesn’t make sense to me.
But it's what science says happened. But I seriously doubt that is your problem with it - the popping bit. It's the popping into existence part, uncaused. Yeah, I agree, that makes no sense at all. But popped it did, according to science. In fact, science prolifically asserts that there was initially, prior to the Big Bang's beginning, NO matter at all! Initially, standard Big Bang Theory - and there are many, many studies that the data correlate in support of it - the pre-universe was permeated only by energy. Some of this energy, as the Big Bang began, congealed into particles, which SUBSEQUENTLY assembled into light atoms like hydrogen and helium. And energy is NOT a physical thing. So those physical things that came into existence instantly, did not previously exist. So, that they "popped" into existence with astonishing power, is a rather apt term, because they did so in an instant. One SECOND after the Big Bang began, the universe was filled with PREVIOUSLY NON-EXISTING neutrons, protons, electrons, anti-electrons, photons and neutrinos. During the first three minutes of the universe, the light elements were born during a process known as Big Bang nucleosynthesis.
Ken: I also don’t believe things exist in a spiritual/nonphysical world.
OK, Ken, as you don't believe in the Big Bang models that have so much supportive data, it's clear that if scientists are correct, per the Big Bang, then there WAS a point of the non-physical, from which all physical building blocks subsequently came into existence. So, what are we to call that non-physical reality? Science says it was non-physical - but you don't believe that? Ken, that there was once no physical world is one of the most curious things that science asserts is true. And there are many studies to show this.
Ken: If what is described as the spiritual world were ever discovered to exist, it would become just another part of the physical world.
Huh? How so? Why?
Ken: I also don’t believe in the “magic” explanation you provided...
And neither do I, Ken!
Ken: ... and I don't believe your God explanation either, they both sound unrealistic to me; the idea that something physical has always existed sounds more logical to me.
Well, science and a whole heap of correlating scientific data is against what you believe on that one! And if the prolific confirming data and physicists are correct, then the cause of the universe isn't physical in nature. And it wasn't simply some massive explosion of a density of energy - as the things that instantly emerged, instantly had designs, purpose, and were just the right elements needed to create our universe. AND those first appearing things immediately began to obey precise laws - showing phenomenal intelligence, design, and immense power. The Source, Ken, whatever it was, you must at least admit that it had God-like abilities - nothing about it revealed random, blind chaos, or imprecision - far the opposite. And it wasn't physical!

Ken, had you not previously realized that you believe in a beginning that contradicts science? Now you know why Einstein's mind was blown when he realized his "Steady State" universe theory was terribly wrong.

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Re: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#49

Post by Kurieuo » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:13 pm

What is the evidence for believing given everything that exists God doesn't? It seems counterintuitive to me from the get go to deny God's existence. We also have the most powerful evidence which is the natural world with all its laws, functionality, and goings on.

I don't know if this makes sense to you Kenny, but I really, truly, just don't understand how people believe God doesn't exist or isn't necessary -- except via a willful denial either consciously or some subconscious level.

What they replace such a coherent theistic picture of the world with, grounding of their morality, whatever beauty and goodness they see in the world, their cosmogony, their origins story, ultimate meaning in life, is often moreso lacking in evidence, proof or impetus. For me, it requires far greater faith to believe in a metaphysics where everything just is, no explanation necessary.
  • I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else. — C.S. Lewis
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Re: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#50

Post by Kenny » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:21 pm

Philip wrote:Ken: What I do believe is that matter has always existed in one form or another, that there was never a point in history when nothing physical existed.
Philip wrote:Then you do not believe what science prolifically teaches.
Do you know of a scientific theory that supports this claim? Not a speculation by a specific scientist, but an established scientific theory?
Philip wrote:TKen: This idea that stuff just popped into existence doesn’t make sense to me.
Philip wrote:But it's what science says happened. But I seriously doubt that is your problem with it - the popping bit. It's the popping into existence part, uncaused. Yeah, I agree, that makes no sense at all. But popped it did, according to science. In fact, science prolifically asserts that there was initially, prior to the Big Bang's beginning, NO matter at all! Initially, standard Big Bang Theory - and there are many, many studies that the data correlate in support of it - the pre-universe was permeated only by energy. Some of this energy, as the Big Bang began, congealed into particles, which SUBSEQUENTLY assembled into light atoms like hydrogen and helium. And energy is NOT a physical thing.
Actually energy IS physical. And according to the law of Thermodynamics, it can neither be created or destroyed but only converted in form
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy
Philip wrote:So those physical things that came into existence instantly, did not previously exist. So, that they "popped" into existence with astonishing power, is a rather apt term, because they did so in an instant. One SECOND after the Big Bang began, the universe was filled with PREVIOUSLY NON-EXISTING neutrons, protons, electrons, anti-electrons, photons and neutrinos. During the first three minutes of the universe, the light elements were born during a process known as Big Bang nucleosynthesis.
Again do you know of any scientific theories that claims a point in history when nothing existed?
Ken: I also don’t believe things exist in a spiritual/nonphysical world.
Philip wrote:OK, Ken, as you don't believe in the Big Bang models that have so much supportive data, it's clear that if scientists are correct, per the Big Bang, then there WAS a point of the non-physical, from which all physical building blocks subsequently came into existence. So, what are we to call that non-physical reality? Science says it was non-physical - but you don't believe that? Ken, that there was once no physical world is one of the most curious things that science asserts is true. And there are many studies to show this.
Again; this is new to me. Do you have any established scientific theories that says this?
Ken: If what is described as the spiritual world were ever discovered to exist, it would become just another part of the physical world.
Philip wrote:Huh? How so? Why?
People used to look at epilepsy, seizures, and diseases and assume Gods and demons and the magic world were responsible. People used to look at Lightening and Thunder and assume Gods and demons the magic world were responsible. Now that we have a physical explanation for them, they are no longer a mystery.
Ken wrote:Ken: I also don’t believe in the “magic” explanation you provided...
And neither do I, Ken!
Ken: ... and I don't believe your God explanation either, they both sound unrealistic to me; the idea that something physical has always existed sounds more logical to me.
Philip wrote:Well, science and a whole heap of correlating scientific data is against what you believe on that one! And if the prolific confirming data and physicists are correct, then the cause of the universe isn't physical in nature. And it wasn't simply some massive explosion of a density of energy - as the things that instantly emerged, instantly had designs, purpose, and were just the right elements needed to create our universe. AND those first appearing things immediately began to obey precise laws - showing phenomenal intelligence, design, and immense power. The Source, Ken, whatever it was, you must at least admit that it had God-like abilities - nothing about it revealed random, blind chaos, or imprecision - far the opposite. And it wasn't physical!

Ken, had you not previously realized that you believe in a beginning that contradicts science? Now you know why Einstein's mind was blown when he realized his "Steady State" universe theory was terribly wrong.
[/quote][/quote][/quote]

If what you say about science is true, how come the people who study science don’t claim or even believe God-like abilities are behind all of this?

Ken
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Re: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#51

Post by Kurieuo » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:36 pm

Kenny wrote:If what you say about science is true, how come the people who study science don’t claim or even believe God-like abilities are behind all of this?
Name the poll. The main one I've been aware to, Pew Research, goes back to 2009. Most scientists believe in God or a higher power, and there are much fewer which specifically declare themselves as Atheist and Agnostic.
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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Re: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#52

Post by PaulSacramento » Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:30 am

The confusion with morality being absoulte/objective or not is that people confuse Good and Bad with WHAT IS Good and Bad.

That these is such a thing as good is objective, common rational and reasoning tell us this.
WHAT IS good can be subjective ( though in reality it isn't THAT subjective in what really matters).

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Re: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#53

Post by RickD » Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:16 am

Kenny wrote:
Kenny wrote:
RickD wrote:
Kenny wrote:
RickD wrote: Did you just ask Kenny, the king of "nothing is objective", if it's anecdotal?

:lol:
Ive never claimed nothing was objective, I've always said some things are objective, and some things are subjective. The disagreement I and many on this forum have had was based on what is objective or subjective.
What things are objective?

If a tree falls in the forest and there is nobody there to hear it, does it make a sound? Yes. When gravity pulls something to the surface of the Earth, the impact will cause an audible sound, and witnesses are not necessary for this to take place. that is an example of an objective truth.
RickD wrote: Ok, I think I understand where you're coming from. Things can be objectively true, but you just don't believe morality is objective. Is that accurate?
Yes
RickD wrote:Would you agree that "my truck is a Chevrolet", is an objective claim? By objective, I mean it's either a Chevrolet, or it's not, and nobody's opinion can change that fact.
Yes.

K
Ok, good.

Since you agree that "my truck is a Chevrolet", is an objective claim, would you agree that the claim, "God exists" is also an objective claim?
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

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Re: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#54

Post by Kenny » Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:47 am

Kurieuo wrote:
Kenny wrote:If what you say about science is true, how come the people who study science don’t claim or even believe God-like abilities are behind all of this?
Name the poll. The main one I've been aware to, Pew Research, goes back to 2009. Most scientists believe in God or a higher power, and there are much fewer which specifically declare themselves as Atheist and Agnostic.
I have no doubt that the majority (over 50%) of scientists believe in God or a higher power but when compared to other fields, the field of science has less who believe that way than those outside the field of science. According to my understanding, the Catholic Church has deep roots in the field of science. But it seems when it comes to those scientists who do believe, they don't use their beliefs as explanations for their scientific theories; they use something else.

Ken
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Re: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#55

Post by Kenny » Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:48 am

RickD wrote:
Kenny wrote:
Kenny wrote:
RickD wrote:
Kenny wrote:
Ive never claimed nothing was objective, I've always said some things are objective, and some things are subjective. The disagreement I and many on this forum have had was based on what is objective or subjective.
What things are objective?

If a tree falls in the forest and there is nobody there to hear it, does it make a sound? Yes. When gravity pulls something to the surface of the Earth, the impact will cause an audible sound, and witnesses are not necessary for this to take place. that is an example of an objective truth.
RickD wrote: Ok, I think I understand where you're coming from. Things can be objectively true, but you just don't believe morality is objective. Is that accurate?
Yes
RickD wrote:Would you agree that "my truck is a Chevrolet", is an objective claim? By objective, I mean it's either a Chevrolet, or it's not, and nobody's opinion can change that fact.
Yes.

K
Ok, good.

Since you agree that "my truck is a Chevrolet", is an objective claim, would you agree that the claim, "God exists" is also an objective claim?
Yes.

K
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Re: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#56

Post by Kenny » Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:51 am

PaulSacramento wrote:The confusion with morality being absoulte/objective or not is that people confuse Good and Bad with WHAT IS Good and Bad).
So we have a clear understanding, perhaps you can define "Good" and "Bad" then describe what is good, and what is bad.

Ken
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Re: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#57

Post by PaulSacramento » Fri Jul 21, 2017 6:00 am

Kenny wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:The confusion with morality being absoulte/objective or not is that people confuse Good and Bad with WHAT IS Good and Bad).
So we have a clear understanding, perhaps you can define "Good" and "Bad" then describe what is good, and what is bad.

Ken
Do you prefer right and wrong or does that put us in the same boat?

Would you agree that there are some things that a person simply should NOT do, like Rape babies?

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Re: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#58

Post by Philip » Fri Jul 21, 2017 6:26 am

Ken, Matt Strassler is a Matt Strassler, theoretical physicist whose research has been related mainly to the Large Hadron Collider, though he's also written many scientific papers on a wide variety of topics in string theory, quantum field theory and particle physics. He earned his Ph.D. at Stanford, was a full professor at Rutgers University, a member of the American Physical Society. He's been a visiting scholar and professor at Harvard, and a Simons Foundation fellow at the Galileo Galilei Institute in Florence, Italy.

Here's what Strassler says about matter:


Matter and Energy really aren’t in the same class and shouldn’t be paired in one’s mind.

Matter is always some kind of stuff, but which stuff depends on context.

Energy is not ambiguous (not within physics, anyway). But energy is not itself stuff; it is something that all stuff has.

The term Dark Energy confuses the issue, since it isn’t (just) energy after all. It also really isn’t stuff; certain kinds of stuff can be responsible for its presence, though we don’t know the details.

Photons should not be called `energy’, or `pure energy’, or anything similar. All particles are ripples in fields and have energy; photons are not special in this regard. Photons are stuff; energy is not.

The stuff of the universe is all made from fields (the basic ingredients of the universe) and their particles. At least this is the post-1973 viewpoint.


Ken, name just one THING that is made of matter, that pre-existed the Big Bang. Just ONE!

A multitude of studies and data have confirmed what is believed about the Big Bang:

http://www.reasons.org/articles/putting ... o-the-test
http://www.reasons.org/articles/cosmi ... y-happened

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Re: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#59

Post by RickD » Fri Jul 21, 2017 7:02 am

Kenny wrote:
RickD wrote:
Kenny wrote:
Kenny wrote:
RickD wrote: What things are objective?

If a tree falls in the forest and there is nobody there to hear it, does it make a sound? Yes. When gravity pulls something to the surface of the Earth, the impact will cause an audible sound, and witnesses are not necessary for this to take place. that is an example of an objective truth.
RickD wrote: Ok, I think I understand where you're coming from. Things can be objectively true, but you just don't believe morality is objective. Is that accurate?
Yes
RickD wrote:Would you agree that "my truck is a Chevrolet", is an objective claim? By objective, I mean it's either a Chevrolet, or it's not, and nobody's opinion can change that fact.
Yes.

K
Ok, good.

Since you agree that "my truck is a Chevrolet", is an objective claim, would you agree that the claim, "God exists" is also an objective claim?
Yes.

K
Ok, great.

Would you then agree that a man raping an eight year old girl, is objectively wrong? Meaning, regardless of anyone's opinion, it is wrong to rape an eight year old girl?
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

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Re: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#60

Post by Kenny » Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:41 pm

PaulSacramento wrote:
Kenny wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:
Kenny wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:
Personal revelation is a viable form of evidence to you? not anecdotal?
According to my understanding, anecdotal evidence is generally considered the least reliable type of evidence because it is often based upon heresy or faulty reasoning. For me a personal experience would be more convincing.

Ken

Anecdotal evidence is evidence from anecdotes, i.e., evidence collected in a casual or informal manner and relying heavily or entirely on personal testimony.

Many people view personal revelation as anecdotal, that is why I ask.
Skeptics tend to discount personal revelation for this matter, unless, of course, it is THEIR personal revelation.
That said, some skeptics would even discount their own since, as they put it, senses and reasoning can be mislead.
When I said personal revelation, I meant MY personal revelation. I am not one the type to assume my senses and reasonings would be mislead.

Ken
You assume others senses and reasoning would be?
Yes! I do assume somebody else's senses and reasoning could be mislead

K
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