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Old 2006-08-27, 17:00   #1
mfgoode
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Lightbulb Does God exist?


I am introducing this topic based on a correspondence with Mr. Perry Marshall
of CosmicFingerprints who has very kindly sent me 5 convincing proofs to the effect that God does exist and did so before the formation of our universe.

I hope to present here his e-mails to me, one every day. These are of a scientific nature and not just theological speculations on the veracity of pet scriptures considered to be the ultimate for belief in God.

At the same time I intend it to be a free for all and all are welcome to air their views be they theistic or atheistic or a belief in pure Nirvana (a state of Bliss or consciousness) or plain extinction after death.

So all are welcome atheist or zealot to enable the consensus to be one of a spirited discussion on the realities of life and death an unavoidable end for all for us..
Whereas I also hope to take part, besides my contribution daily, I leave it to you, more able, to conduct a discussion in the peaceful spirit it is presented.

Okay I kick off with the 1st installment.

Where did the Universe come from?

Part 1: Einstein's Big Blunder

Malcolm,

100 years ago this year, Albert Einstein published
three papers that rocked the world. These papers
proved the existence of the atom, introduced the
theory of relativity, and described quantum
mechanics.

Pretty good debut for a 26 year old scientist, huh?

His equations for relativity indicated that the universe
was expanding. This bothered him, because if it was
expanding, it must have had a beginning and a beginner.
Since neither of these appealed to him, Einstein introduced
a 'fudge factor' that ensured a 'steady state' universe,
one that had no beginning or end.

But in 1929, Edwin Hubble showed that the furthest
galaxies were fleeing away from each other, just as the
Big Bang model predicted. So in 1931, Einstein embraced
what would later be known as the Big Bang theory, saying,
"This is the most beautiful and satisfactory explanation
of creation to which I have ever listened." He referred
to the 'fudge factor' to achieve a steady-state universe
as the biggest blunder of his career.

As I'll explain during the next couple of days,
Einstein's theories have been thoroughly proved and
verified by experiments and measurements. But there's
an even more important implication of Einstein's discovery.
Not only does the universe have a beginning, but time
itself, our own dimension of cause and effect, began
with the Big Bang.

That's right -- time itself does not exist before
then. The very line of time begins with that creation
event. Matter, energy, time and space were created
in an instant by an intelligence outside of space
and time.

About this intelligence, Albert Einstein wrote
in his book "The World As I See It" that the harmony
of natural law "Reveals an intelligence of such
superiority that, compared with it, all the
systematic thinking and acting of human beings is
an utterly insignificant reflection."

Pretty significant statement, wouldn't you say?

Stay tuned for tomorrow's installment: "Bird Droppings
on my Telescope."

Respectfully Submitted,

Perry Marshall

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Old 2006-08-27, 22:58   #2
jinydu
 
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It seems you have presented two arguments for the existence of God.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mfgoode View Post
This bothered him, because if it was
expanding, it must have had a beginning and a beginner.
You have presented evidence (more specifically the Big Bang theory) that the Universe had a beginning. But then you make what I think is an unwarranted jump: You claim that this beginning implies the existence of a God. That seems like a definite non-sequiter, one that is in fact discredited later in the post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by mfgoode View Post
Not only does the universe have a beginning, but time itself, our own dimension of cause and effect, began with the Big Bang.
That's right -- time itself does not exist before then. The very line of time begins with that creation event.
If there was no time before the Big Bang, then the Big Bang was the first cause; there is no need to invoke anything outside the Universe to create the Big Bang. The Universe simply started existing at t = 0 and has existed ever since.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mfgoode View Post
About this intelligence, Albert Einstein wrote in his book "The World As I See It" that the harmony of natural law "Reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection."
Einstein would often use the word "God" as a synonym for "natural law". As far as I know, he didn't really believe in a God as a supernatural and conscious entity. But that is besides the point.

The argument here seems to be that the elegance and simplicity of natural laws show that the laws were created by a supernatural intelligence. But there are several problems with this reasoning:

1) It is a non-sequiter. Maybe the natural laws just started existing at the instant of the Big Bang without anything to create them. And the simplicity of natural laws doesn't necessarily point to the existence of a Creator; an omnipotent God could have just as well created a Universe governed by complicated and ugly laws.

2) If the natural laws require a supernatural intelligence to create them, then the laws are not truly universal. Is this Creator bound by the natural laws? If so, then it is not truly powerful enough to be called supernatural. If not, then the laws do not apply to everything, destroying the harmony (see my posts in the "Bible" thread).

3) If harmonious things require a creator and God is harmonious, then who created God?

4) Even if we assume the existence of God, why should God be conscious? After all, the natural laws are not conscious.

Last fiddled with by jinydu on 2006-08-27 at 22:58
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Old 2006-08-28, 04:22   #3
brunoparga
 
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Default Just another question...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jinydu View Post
4) Even if we assume the existence of God, why should God be conscious? After all, the natural laws are not conscious.
If we assume the existence of a non-conscious God, what does that mean?

PS: Even though I quoted jinydu, I intend this question to be open for anyone to answer. (just to make it clear)

Last fiddled with by brunoparga on 2006-08-28 at 04:25 Reason: Directing the question
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Old 2006-08-28, 21:11   #4
cheesehead
 
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God exists as an idea in human minds. All claims (including Perry Marshall's) of other forms of existence can be traced back to that fact. (If Perry's list is the same one I saw a couple of years ago, it also has significant logical flaws and misstatements.)

God is a powerful idea. Millions of people have been willing to kill or to die because they had that idea. God is a pleasant idea. Millions of people have been comforted by the idea of God. Millions of people have been motivated to do useful tasks by that idea. But the same is true of other ideas.

God has no existence other than as a human idea. Because humans have enormous capacity for self-deception (per Richard Feynman, among others), millions of people vigorously oppose the acknowledgement of that.

If there were broader knowledge of human psychology among the general population, I think many, many more people would understand the nature of the God idea. The receptivity to the God idea varies between personality types, so certain people are naturally inclined to belive in existence of God as other than an idea, while other types aren't. Many religious (and political) leaders know that. Some religions and parts thereof oppose the application of psychology to the consideration of human belief in God because they know that would weaken them.

It may have been a combination of my basic personality type and details of my upbring that kept me from being captured by the God idea so thoroughly that I could not examine it skeptically. I think many others, if they were taught how to be properly skeptical of supernatural claims, would come to the same conclusions I have.
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Old 2006-08-28, 21:44   #5
cheesehead
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perry Marshall
100 years ago this year, Albert Einstein published three papers that rocked the world. These papers proved the existence of the atom, introduced the theory of relativity, and described quantum mechanics.
Appeals to authority (e.g., in contrast with appeals to fact or to observation) are common among those who wish to propogate Western monotheism.

For a different take on Albert Einstein's religious views, see http://www.eequalsmcsquared.auckland...nstein_god.cfm

From that site:

"When someone says, 'I believe in God', the first question we need to ask is 'Which God?'
...
Pantheists believe that nature itself deserves to be called 'God' since nature itself deserves our feelings of reverence and awe.
...
Einstein himself, it turns out, was a pantheist.
...
Moreover, Einstein strongly resented having his religious convictions misrepresented:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Einstein
It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.
Clearly, Einstein's 'God' is not at all like the God that most people think of when they hear the word."

Perry Marshall seems to think it's all right to misappropriate Einstein to support the pretense that Einstein would agree with Marshall's belief in God. Mr. Marshall should be ashamed of his fraud.

Last fiddled with by cheesehead on 2006-08-28 at 21:45
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Old 2006-08-29, 17:27   #6
mfgoode
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Lightbulb Does God exist? Part: 2


Since there is still a healthy discussion in the first part I am putting this 2nd. part in a new thread.

Subject: Where did the Universe come from? Part 2
Where did the Universe come from?
Part 2: "Bird Droppings on my Telescope"

Malcolm,

The Big Bang theory was totally rejected at first.
But those who supported it had predicted that the ignition
of the Big Bang would have left behind a sort of
'hot flash' of radiation.

If a big black wood stove produces heat that you
can feel, then in a similar manner, the Big Bang should
produce its own kind of heat that would echo throughout
the universe.

In 1965, without looking for it, two physicists at
Bell Labs in New Jersey found it. At first, Arno Penzias
and Robert Wilson were bothered because, while
trying to refine the world's most sensitive radio antenna,
they couldn't eliminate a bothersome source of noise.
They picked up this noise everywhere they pointed the
antenna.

At first they thought it was bird droppings. The
antenna was so sensitive it could pick up the heat
of bird droppings (which certainly are warm when
they're brand new) but even after cleaning it off,
they still picked up this noise.

This noise had actually been predicted in detail
by other astronomers, and after a year of checking
and re-checking the data, they arrived at a conclusion:
This crazy Big Bang theory really was correct.

In an interview, Penzias was asked why there was so much
resistance to the Big Bang theory.

He said, "Most physicists would rather attempt to
describe the universe in ways which require no explanation.
And since science can't *explain* anything - it can only
*describe* things - that's perfectly sensible. If you
have a universe which has always been there, you don't
explain it, right?

"Somebody asks you, 'How come all the secretaries
in your company are women?' You can say, 'Well, it's
always been that way.' That's a way of not having
to explain it. So in the same way, theories which
don't require explanation tend to be the ones
accepted by science, which is perfectly acceptable
and the best way to make science work."

But on the older theory that the universe was eternal,
he explains: "It turned out to be so ugly that people
dismissed it. What we find - the simplest theory - is
a creation out of nothing, the appearance out of nothing
of the universe."

Penzias and his partner, Robert Wilson, won the Nobel
Prize for their discovery of this radiation. The Big
Bang theory is now one of the most thoroughly
validated theories in all of science.

Robert Wilson was asked by journalist Fred Heeren if
the Big Bang indicated a creator.

Wilson said, "Certainly there was something that
set it all off. Certainly, if you are religious, I can't
think of a better theory of the origin of the universe
to match with Genesis."

Stay tuned for tomorrow's installment: "Why the
Big Bang was the most precisely planned event in
all of history."

Sincerely,

Perry Marshall

For further reading:
"A Day Without Yesterday" - Albert Einstein, Georges Lemaitre
and the Big Bang
http://clicks.aweber.com/z/ct/?9V5S2V2R2zGgQSulRMVf6Q

Cosmic Fingerprints, 67 East Algonquin Road, S. Barrington IL 60010 USA

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Old 2006-08-29, 23:09   #7
jinydu
 
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Once again, you're making the assumption that the Big Bang implies the existence of a God. As said in the first thread, this is a non-sequiter; the Big Bang could have just happened on its own.

Last fiddled with by jinydu on 2006-08-29 at 23:10
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Old 2006-08-30, 03:17   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfgoode View Post

... is a creation out of nothing, the appearance out of nothing
of the universe."
Not only you assume that the Big Bang implies the existence of God, which is indeed a non-sequitur because it presumes that everything that exists has to have been "created". You also assume that time needs to be infinite towards the past, which isn't true.

This is presupposed by the use of the word "appearance". Actually, the nature of time is such that there was an instant zero, before which nothing existed or could have existed because time itself wasn't. At instant zero, the universe already existed. All that is now is but a transformation of what existed then. All that can be is but a transformation. No need for any creator.

Sorry if this makes you sad.

Bruno
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Old 2006-09-02, 14:33   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheesehead View Post
God has no existence other than as a human idea.
1) Where does this statement follow from?
2) Do you believe in objective reality?
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Old 2006-09-02, 16:06   #10
mfgoode
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Lightbulb Does God exist? Part: 3


Here is the third proof:
Welcome your comments.

Where did the Universe come from?
Part 3: Why the Big Bang was the most precisely planned
event in all of history

Malcolm,

In your kitchen cabinet, you've probably got a spray
bottle with an adjustable nozzle. If you twist the nozzle
one way, it sprays a fine mist into the air. You twist
the nozzle the other way, it squirts a jet of water
in a straight line. You turn that nozzle to the exact
position you want so you can wash a mirror, clean up
a spill, or whatever.

If the universe had expanded a little faster, the
matter would have sprayed out into space like fine
mist from a water bottle - so fast that a gazillion
particles of dust would speed into infinity and never even
form a single star.

If the universe had expanded just a little slower, the
material would have dribbled out like big drops of water,
then collapsed back where it came from by the force
of gravity.

A little too fast, and you get a meaningless
spray of fine dust. A little too slow, and the whole
universe collapses back into one big black hole.

The surprising thing is just how narrow the difference
is. To strike the perfect balance between too fast and
too slow, the force, something that physicists call
"the Dark Energy Term" had to be accurate to one part in
ten with 120 zeros.

If you wrote this as a decimal, the number would
look like this:

0.000000000000000000000000000000
00000000000000000000000000000000
00000000000000000000000000000000
0000000000000000000000000000001

In their paper "Disturbing Implications of
a Cosmological Constant" two atheist scientists
from Stanford University stated that the existence of
this dark energy term "Would have required a miracle...
An external agent, external to space and time, intervened
in cosmic history for reasons of its own."

Just for comparison, the best human engineering
example is the Gravity Wave Telescope, which was built with
a precision of 23 zeros. The Designer, the 'external
agent' that caused our universe must possess an intellect,
knowledge, creativity and power trillions and trillions
of times greater than we humans have.

Absolutely amazing.

Now a person who doesn't believe in God has to find
some way to explain this. One of the more common explanations
seems to be "There was an infinite number of universes, so it
was inevitable that things would have turned out right
in at least one of them."

The "infinite universes" theory is truly an amazing theory.
Just think about it, if there is an infinite number of
universes, then absolutely everything is not only possible...
It's actually happened!

It means that somewhere, in some dimension, there is
a universe where the Chicago Cubs won the World Series last
year. There's a universe where Jimmy Hoffa doesn't get
cement shoes; instead he marries Joan Rivers and becomes
President of the United States. There's even a
universe where Elvis kicks his drug habit and still
resides at Graceland and sings at concerts. Imagine
the possiblities!

I might sound like I'm joking, but actually I'm dead
serious. To believe an infinite number of universes
made life possible by random chance is to believe everything
else I just said, too.

Some people believe in God with a capital G.

And some folks believe in Chance with a Capital C.

Tomorrow's installment: "If you can read this email,
I can prove to you that God exists." Sound a little bold?
Tune in tomorrow - same time, same station.

Respectfully Submitted,

Perry Marshall


Cosmic Fingerprints, 67 East Algonquin Road, S. Barrington IL 60010 USA

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Old 2006-09-02, 20:17   #11
cheesehead
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XYYXF View Post
1) Where does this statement follow from?
Fifty years of hearing/reading various arguments for existence of God while applying my knowledge to interpretation of them.

I once made a list of seven or eight categories for such arguments I encountered in on-line forums. Examples: (a) "God is what I use to explain everything for which I have no other explanation." [Note: that isn't how adherents would say it, but that is the boiling-down of what they did say.] This is often termed the God-of-the gaps theory. (b) "God is what I use to justify telling other people what to do." [Note: same disclaimer] (c) "I can't imagine that X can be explained other than by God." [Really a subset of (a), to which a rejoinder is that as soon as someone can imagine X without God, then God disappears ("poof") -- in that regard, that is. Lack of imagination does not constitute proof of existence.] ... and so on.

Generally speaking, any argument for existence of God-outside-human-minds that depends on the believer's inability to perform some mental feat is invalidated as soon as someone else can perform that mental feat.

So far, I've never met an argument that didn't boil down to God's being an idea in human minds.

Furthermore, psychology and other sciences provide more and more evidence about the idea of God (as well as of other supernatural phenomena) in human minds. Example: Recently it was discovered that stimulation of a certain brain area causes the patient to have an "out-of-body" experience. Thus, one phenomenon formerly classified as supernatural is found to have a natural explanation, just as "thinderbolts from Thor" were found to be electrical in nature, requiring no supernatural agent.

Quote:
2) Do you believe in objective reality?
Will you please expand this question in more detail?

But I'll make a stab at what you might mean:

The existence of a table in a room, as more than only an idea in human minds, can be established by various objective means such as instrumental readings.

Last fiddled with by cheesehead on 2006-09-02 at 20:28
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