God probably does not exist
Debate Rounds (3)
Although I freely admit that God could possibly exist (i.e. he/she/it doesn't definitively not exist), I believe the chances of such are quite slim. I would consider myself a faery atheist agnostic. The burden of proof in any argument always lies on the people making the claim. A person is guilty until proven innocent. The person who says something happened, or says something exists must prove it. An infinite amount of things do not exist at any given point, and an infinite among of things are not happening as you read this, but only a finite amount of things are happening. Each moment that I type the letter "A" I am not typing the letter "B" or "C" or taking a shower or eating a banana or eating banana pudding. I could list things that I am not doing for a quite a bit longer than things I am doing. Now if you are given no evidence at a given point in time that I am in the process of typing the letter A, it is absurd and irrational to assume that I am typing that letter (there is an infinite list of things I could be doing which are more or less equiprobable but there is only one potential event that I type the letter A, which is that I type it) at that point in time. Furthermore, it is ridiculous and time-wasting (at best) to then to worship my typing of the letter A (one because it is so obviously improbable, but also because it is quite strange to worship single-minded typists). That said, I am not definitively not typing the letter A at any given point in. I could be, but the chances are so slim as to beyond consideration. This is the way I feel about the existence of God. Of course, me typing a particular letter and the worship thereof is a ridiculous idea, but the point still stands and the analogy is clear. This is the essence of Russell's teapot argument (http://en.wikipedia.org......) and an argument which is very compelling. Our system of guilty until proven innocent is one of the things that makes the American judicial system great, and that same logic and reasoning should be applied to all issues worthy of debate (such as this one).
Because of all this, there is very little I can say in this opening in the way of arguing. I can point out the lack of evidence presented to me in favor of God, although hopefully some will be shown to me as this continues. I am doomed to wait for a response, and then respond to the arguments put forward with counter-arguments. Because when we debate the existence of something, the assumption is that it does not exist. Therefore, once someone puts forth the idea that something (be it God, rainbows exists or something has/is/will happened/happening/happen, they must put forth their evidence, and the skeptic must discuss and pry at the aforementioned evidence. It is in this way that we can reach at the truth (or the probability) of such a statement. I eagerly anticipate the response of one of the faithful.
The Universe is the only physical reality that we have any evidence of. It has an estimated age of 13.7 billion years. It began from what is called an infinitely (not literally) dense and hot point. What could roughly be called an eruption occurred and began a process of expansion. At first it was uniformly energy and space and time erupting into existence. At some point a flash point was reached that caused space to hyper expand leaving a much larger space. The massive energy event continued. When "cooling" occurred along with disturbances in the smoothness in the expansion; the energy started to manifest itself as matter. We normally experience only the reverse of this with nuclear fission. It does occur on the quantum level with quarks in a process called quantum chromo dynamics. This is expressed mathematically as E=MC2. These processes continued until we have all we find today. It is also important to understand that time it self did not exist nor did it start until the Big Bang began. Time and space are intimately connected.
Why do we believe the Big Bang occurred? For these reasons:
The second law of thermodynamics (shows that the universe can not be infinitely old, or else it would have run out of usable energy, i.e., it would have reached heat death, or maximum entropy)
The observed expansion of the universe (which, extrapolated into the past, indicates that about 14 billion years ago, the entire universe was about the size of the period at the end of this sentence, and before that it didn"t exist "i.e., it had zero size.)
The predicted (and observed) background radiation in our universe (confirms that the big bang really happened).
The predicted (and observed) ripples in the background radiation in our universe (confirms that the big bang really happened).
The general theory of relativity, predicts an expanding universe (i.e., a universe that contracts as we look into the past, until it reaches zero size, and ceases to exist).
The space-time (singularity) theorem of Hawking and Penrose shows that not only all physical matter and energy and forces, but also all physical space and time of the universe came into existence at the instant of the "birth of the physical universe" (i.e., the singularity at the beginning of the physical universe.)
Normally Cosmologists will say that the Universes emerged from "Nothing". Some have argued that this is a live possibility. They point to a phenomenon called a quantum vacuum. This is a pervasive energy field throughout physical reality that exists at the quantum level and is detectable when you remove all other matter and energy from an environment. The difficulty is that it is dishonest to call this nothing. Secondly, the laws of physics cease to exist when the universe is near the singularity so that should include the quantum vacuum. The quantum vacuum is a product of this Universe. This Universe cannot logically be dependent on it's own product to bring it into existence. The same why you cannot be dependent on your children to travel back into the past, mate, and give birth to you so you can give birth to them. Without the Universe there would not be a quantum vacuum nor any other vacuum. There would literally be nothing physically speaking.
Other people have suggested a chain of universes going back into the past. That would eventually give rise to ours. That fails for two reasons. One reason is entropy. In any process you lose usable energy over time. If you think it through energy would be this way in all the other universes before as well. If it didn't have the habit of decaying it wouldn't have decayed in our Universe either. What this means is that the chain backward can't be infinite. If it were then logically the chain forward would be too.
The second reason is based on the work of three scientists named Arvind Borde, Alan H. Guth, Alexander Vilenkin. They developed a theorem that says that unless certain special conditions were present in the beginning of the Universe then a chain of creation events could not have gone on back infinitely into the past. Alexander Vilenkin has talked about why he thinks the special conditions are unlikely and said this: "It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning" (Many Worlds in One [New York: Hill and Wang, 2006], p.176)Read more: http://www.reasonablefaith.org...
OK, we're starting out with no materials, space, energy, or time to work with. We want to produce a Universe that includes allot of all of those. I think we can safely say we have eliminated a purely natural or physical cause for the singularity and it's proceeding Universe. Can we get some idea of what the cause of the Universe is? We can. One cannot live within and be dependent on time, space, and matter/energy and yet be the ultimate source of them. One way of looking at it would be Macbeth was capable of killing his king but could not kill Shakespeare. Our maker is unaffected by time. Space is no limitation to him or her. For example; Macbeth is in his castle and his mortal enemy is sneaking up on him outside pretending to be a forest, but Shakespeare is everywhere in the play at once because he wrote it. All things came from the maker so all knowledge and power is inferior to his or her power and knowledge.
Finally: am I all on my own here? Does anyone else see it this way?
"Now we see how the astronomical evidence leads to a biblical view of the origin of the world. The details differ, but the essential elements in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis are the same: the chain of events leading to man commenced sharply and suddenly at a definite moment in time, in a flash of light and energy" (Robert Jastrow, God and the Astronomers, p. 14).
The best data we have [concerning the Big Bang] are exactly what I would have predicted had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, and the Bible as a whole.
- Arno Penzias (Nobel Laureate in Physics, 1978)
Scientist George Smoot (who was the scientist who lead the team of scientists who first measured ripples in the cosmic background radiation) says: "There is no doubt that a parallel exists between the big bang as an event and the Christian notion of creation from nothing". (quoted in Fred Heeren, Show me God, p. 139.)
Now, there is still some debate as to what the Big Bang actually was. But the mainstream theory seems to be that a singularity, which is an extremely dense but very small point that ignores many of the laws of physics, exploded 13 billion years ago.
Although I am not an expert in astronomy/cosmology, my understanding of the concept of singularity is a dense point that contained all the matter in the universe. This, coincidentally, is the view of Stephen Hawking; "At this time, the Big Bang, all the matter in the universe, would have been on top of itself." So, to the statement "we're starting out with no materials, space, energy, or time to work with." We have all the materials in the universe to work with. Literally. For the space idea, the Big Bang was just an expansion of all the matter in the singularity. Anyway, opinions of scientists seem to differ enough to make it hard to judge whether we can see the work of a supernatural being in the world. Let me just point out that this was the case right after Darwin's work was published with the diversity of life.
There is a lot to be said about the Big Bang. We don't know all that much, and there are some contradictory opinions among the top cosmologists. Thus, I will simply wait to pass judgement. Just because we do not definitively know whether or not the universe was created by a creator, does not mean we should assume that it was.
Now, if the universe was created by a creator, then who created that creator. By all known ideas about physics, nothing has existed forever. We currently know of nothing that does not obey the laws of physics, except at the subatomic level. General Relativity falls apart as you get down to this level.
I am no expert and in fact know very little about this kind of science. But, there is, definitively, not a consensus among the thinkers of the scientific world. I do not see how we should then decide that God has created the universe. Even if we did, that would also not provide sanctuary for one particular set of beliefs. Given that situation, Islam is just as probable as Hinduism which is just as probable as the Norse myths.
Lastly, to the statement by Arno Penzias, if you had nothing to go on but on the Bible, this is what you would have predicted.
- no evolution
- all species created in their current form
- 6000 year old universe
- destruction of the city of tyre by Nebuchadnezzar
- drying of the Nile
So far, none of these have happened.
In summary, the Big Bang occurred. But, seeing as the evidence does not clearly point to anything supernatural, we can safely assume that there is nothing supernatural involved.
You said Hawking described the singularity as containing all the Universes matter. That is simply incorrect. I'm not sure what he was talking about there. All of the Universes subatomic particles then the atoms that were constructed out of the particles were all formed out of the energy of the Big Bang. The process that started making them was the perturbation and cooling period. It started after the subatomic particles with hydrogen then helium then lithium etc. As I said before it's the effect we observe in nuclear fission in reverse. Just as energy can be created from matter E=MC2 so matter can be created from energy.
As for your criticisms of the Bible: The Bible doesn't necessarily teach that creation occurred 6,000 to 10,000 years ago. That is one view. There are others. Another is that the days are ages. Mine is that the Genesis account is not a literal telling of creation events in a proper sequence. It is a framework. There is a pattern between the first three days and the last three days that match up. The purpose is to prepare Gods people to face pagans and their false beliefs. The sacking of Tyre I'm going to leave in Wikipedia's capable hands:
Ezekiel prophesied the permanent destruction of Tyre. (Ezekiel 26:3"14)
Tyre was an island fortress-city with mainland villages along the shore. These mainland settlements were destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar II, but after a 13-year siege from 585"573 BC, the King of Tyre made peace with Nebuchadnezzar, going into exile and leaving the island city itself intact. Alexander the Great used debris from the mainland to build a causeway to the island, entered the city, and plundered the city, sacking it without mercy. Most of the residents were either killed in the battle or sold into slavery. It was quickly repopulated by colonists and escaped citizens, and later regained its independence. Tyre did eventually enter a period of decline, being reduced to a small remnant. Echoing Ezekiel's words, historian Philip Myers writes in 1889:
The city never recovered from this blow. The site of the once brilliant maritime capital is now "bare as the top of a rock," a place where the few fishermen that still frequent the spot spread their nets to dry.
Older sources often refer to the locations as a "fishing village". However, the nearby area grew rapidly in the 20th century. The ruins of a part of ancient Tyre (a protected site) can still be seen on the southern half of the island whereas modern Tyre occupies the northern half and also sprawls across Alexander's causeway and onto the mainland. It is now the fourth largest city in Lebanon with a population of 14,000 people
If it were me I wouldn't live in that city for all the gold in fort Knox. I suspect it hasn't got much of a future.
I never heard of a drying of the Nile. Perhaps you are referring to the drying of the Euphrates river that will occur during one of the Battles of the end times. It's not surprise it hasn't happened given that it isn't yet the end time.
aasib forfeited this round.
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