Extreme Atheism - leads to a Proxy God by default.

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Quantum Quack, Apr 18, 2019.

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  1. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    That sounds suspiciously like the particle/wave duality, but that would still not imply a god, but merely a duality of two superposed states....one probabilistic state and a final collapsed state into physical reality.

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  3. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    It doesn't have to lead there, but for me, it does. How could a universe be born out of nothing, and also randomly deterministic? I think it takes more faith to believe that, than it does to believe that a higher power, an ''intelligent designer'' created it. Neither side has proof of their theories, unless atheists go with ''absence of evidence means absence of a god.''

    This has me thinking, what is an ''extreme'' atheist? My thought is you either believe in God or you don't. One could label him/herself as an ''agnostic,'' as such a person leaves the door open to the possibility of a god existing. But, atheism doesn't really need any bells and whistles added to it, as if it has denominations, like religion.
     
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  5. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Well, that's firstly if you feel you have to believe something regarding the creation or otherwise of the universe. One isn't forced to believe anything at all, and could remain entirely agnostic on the matter.

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    However, for anything to survive / be stable it presumably (?) has to have some form of order? If we accept that, then if an infinite universes are created by whatever mechanism gave rise to ours (if we accept that it was created) then all those that survive (or are stable) will be the ones that have some form of order. So ours having order shouldn't be unexpected. Can you imagine anything to exist without some form of order? If there are no laws, or rules to govern something's existence... I actually can't imagine it. There is no coherence.
    And whatever the source/cause, there need be no intelligence behind the creation (if there was one), no purpose, no design at all. Invoking one just seems unnecessary.
    Furthermore, how does determinism itself lead to ID more than any other style of order? How would it not be as equally applicable to an indeterministic universe? A probabilistic one?
    I just can't see the link.
     
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  7. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    This is just my opinion, but I can't see us being here for no purpose. We are all connected in some way, which is why we feel one another's pain, why we have empathy, why we care about the planet, etc. So, if there's a purpose, it couldn't be random at the same time. Unless we believe that humans inject their own sense of purpose into their personal existences. That's not entirely out of the question, but why are we all alike in many ways, albeit our vast differences? It just doesn't seem random or undetermined, to me. We see things different, I guess.

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  8. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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    I'm too ignorant to understand a purpose in life. I'll leave that for evolution to manipulate human DNA to make me smarter than a banana (if I find the time that is.)

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/find-the-dna-in-a-banana-bring-science-home/
     
  9. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    No. It isn't obvious at all. I think that the idea that "there were no other options" doesn't even make sense in its context.

    Newton wrote to Hooke that he had lost interest in the natural sciences and intended to turn his attention to "other studies" that he enjoyed more. So there's an option right there, his remaining a natural scientist and devoting his attention to this-worldly matters. I expect that he felt some pressure from others, such as Hooke and the rest of the Royal Society, to do exactly that.

    According to Whiston, Newton condemned those who had "laughed themselves out of religion". Newton could have easily joined in that laughter. The late 17th and early 18th centuries was precisely when deism was becoming prevalent among the more avant-garde intellectuals. Newton was a smart guy and well aware of his intellectual surroundings, so he obviously was aware of it. That was another available option.

    Sure, which shows that Newton had no difficulty following his own star and disagreeing with the orthodoxy of his time. My point is that he could have done that even more easily by joining the deists, the skeptics about revealed religion. Instead he moved in the exact opposite direction, focusing on what he believed was revelation and devoted huge energies to trying to decipher what he believed were its hidden meanings.

    He was already doing that by questioning the trinity and the theology of the early church. So he doesn't seem to have been deterred by those kind of concerns. He just kept the more controversial side of his thinking private. Joining the deists wouldn't have been any more dangerous to his career, if he kept it private. Deists were already widespread, including in the royal court.

    Avoiding religion as much as possible and devoting himself to science wouldn't have presented any threat at all. It would have been the safest path for him. He had already won acclaim in that sphere and had become a celebrity, the 'Einstein' of his day.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
  10. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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  11. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    I've encountered many who do. I don't know whether they represent a majority or a minority of atheists though.

    I think that atheists often like determinism because they see it as "scientific" and love snuggling up to science. And it reduces everything that happens to a tight mechanical system that doesn't seem to leave any room for miraculous divine interventions. (That's why many of them seem opposed to 'free-will'. They see free-will as another miraculous intruder into the system.)

    Yes. The idea of causal determinism seems to shove the ultimate explanation for everything that subsequently happens in the entire universe back to the initial creation event. I'm hugely skeptical about that and question whether the universe really operates in that deterministic fashion. (That's why I'm inclined to make a distinction between causality and determinism.)

    I think that most atheistic determinists would take that route. They are still determinists and still attribute everything that happens to the laws of physics and to initial conditions at t = 0. But they assume that the initial conditions were randomly determined. That still doesn't explain the laws of physics though, which seem quite rational, logically consistent and so on. (The ancient and medieval Neo-Platonists would attribute that to the "laws' having a rational divine source.)

    Yes, atheists do seem to want to deny that there is any plan, purpose or inherent value to natural events. (Although they seem fine with attributing a rational structure and logical consistency to those same natural events.)

    I don't think that most of them are. I think that most of them believe that meaning, purpose and value are things that human beings create and project on the universe (where things just... happen). [I'm inclined to agree with that.] But I'm not sure how they would explain how that happens in a totally deterministic universe. (In that metaphysical scheme, our inventing values and projecting them would have to have been something preordained at the very beginning.)
     
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  12. Bells Staff Member

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    Or perhaps you should ask him how he meant it after you google it. Given the "

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    ", it should have been self explanatory. But perhaps you need extra cues.

    I disagree. I think he had a lot more to lose than he had to gain. And he had no reason to leave. He kept his religious opinions to himself for a reason, that outing his beliefs could see him suffer.
     
  13. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Some consider the ''whore of Babylon'' to be a jab at the Catholic Church. My understanding of it, anyway.
     
  14. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    I've noticed you state ''they'' when referring to atheists. Are you not an atheist? If so, were you ever an atheist? Am I mistaking you for someone else, entirely?

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  15. Goldtop Registered Senior Member

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    How exactly would you describe or define that duress in those writings? Can you provide examples?

    How about Thomas Aikenhead, would that be good evidence for being under duress?

    Except Pope Francis holds the Trinity, while Newton was against it.
     
  16. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    I really don't understand why Newton's personal beliefs would be a definitve example and proof for the existence of a god. It merely proves the existence of religion at that time.

    Since Newton there have been hundreds of great minds which are/were atheist. Shall we just discard all those personal non-beliefs in favor of the belief of a single genius (or two)?

    To name a just few;

    Albert Einstein
    Richard Feynman
    Sigmund Freud
    Stephen Hawking
    Peter Higgs
    David Hilbert
    Fred Hoyle
    Pierre-Simon Laplace
    J. Robert Oppenheimer
    Sir Roger Penrose
    Henri Poincaré
    Bertrand Russell
    Carl Sagan
    Victor J. Stenger
    Leonard Susskind
    Harold Urey
    Eugene Wigner
    and
    Something religions are very good at.

    To see the rest of prominent atheist scientists:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_atheists_in_science_and_technology
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
  17. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    I tend to do that when I want to discuss a view without necessarily identifying with it. It's a stylistic way of maintaining a bit of distance.

    If I have to pick a one-word label for myself, I think that I'd choose 'agnostic'.

    It's complicated.

    I would define 'atheist' as one who believes that the proposition 'God exists' is false. That's a controversial thing to say on the internet, but it's the definition of 'atheist' that's typically used in the academic world.

    Personally, I don't believe that the Bible's Yahweh, the Quran's Allah, or Jan's Krishna literally exist. So I guess that I consider myself an atheist when it comes to the deities of what I take to be religious myth.

    But... when it comes to the arguments that natural theology has traditionally used to argue for the existence of God: What is the source of cosmic order? Why is there something rather than nothing? and all the rest, I have to admit that I don't have a clue what the answers are. (I don't think that anyone does.)

    I am reasonably confident though that whatever the answers are, they have little or nothing to do with ancient Hebrew tradition or whatever it is. My inclination is to treat these questions as the most fundamental (and hence most interesting) metaphysical questions. But I don't associate them with religious worship or anything like that.
     
  18. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    I thought Einstein identified as a pantheist, so not really an atheist. He might not have believed in a personal god, but he believed in a different type of higher power.
     
  19. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Big LIKE.

    My personal belief lies in a Universe which functions in accordance with inherent relative values, latent potentials, and consistent mathematical interactions (constants).
     
  20. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, it's all about God's grace, indeed. Before I continue, what do you mean by ''extreme'' atheism? It implies that there are ''degrees'' to atheism? I'm thinking you mean something else, so thought I'd inquire for clarity.

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  21. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    He is on the list with an example of his perspective.
    How about a mathematical function? Can't get a higher power than that.
    Both determinism and indeterminism are based on the mathematical function.
    Chaos theory is based on the mathematical function, the self-assembly of patterns from initial chaotic conditions.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
  22. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Math? Yuck. I hate math. Sounds like hell to me.

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  23. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    I find the initial premises for God to be lacking. The Universe just is, it has evolved over time as all indications point to.

    Or, a nebulous spirit/man god just appeared and was required to put everything in motion? The focus of which was one planet in an almost limitless Universe. He knows all, is all powerful but doesn't use any of that power and those powers don't even have much meaning for the most of the Universe where man isn't.

    God, the invention for a problem that doesn't exit.
     
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