Posted: Sep 30, 2010 3:49 am
by Ichthus77
Do you think atheists must thinkn like Dawkins or something ?
-- IIzo

See the title of the thread.

It is not a contradiction to be rooting for something one doesn't know for sure is even true. Happens all the time.

I get accused of claiming to know something by folks who sound pretty sure they know I'm wrong. Ironic.

I guess you have trouble with people not doing belief without jusfitication.

I like how you said "doing" belief. I think all beliefs ought to be justified, but that none are "absolutely" justified--all require faith. This is relevant:

Bud's Brain...takes guts to stick out like that. At Richard Dawkins' old forum, and at the Reason Project, I reported a poster after many attempts to "self-police" and nothing was done about it. Now I usually just ignore offensive stuff (not the person, just the stuff...if they say something relevant, I'll reply) if self-policing doesn't work.


Regarding my knowledge of Greene, it's like my knowledge of virtually every other book I've read. I don't memorize the whole book. Some things stand out. I explained earlier in this thread the reason I even bought the book, which had nothing at all to do w/ the first cause argument. And I'm not going to ignore relevant quotes just to avoid the "quote mine" objection I've heard fifty billion times.

Branes...yep, I don't remember how they are a connection between M and cycles which would make them not mutually exclusive...sorry. Is it important to this discussion? Right after I read the book, if you'd've asked me, I might've known. Then again, much of the book was over my head. I've never even taken a basic physics class, so...

the universe had a beginning is not a given. That the universe as we know it began a finite span of time ago is, but that has nothing to do with what the universe was like before.

Infinitely hot dense quark-gluon plasma or cold dead infinitely large 3branes are two models that fit with what we do know of the expansion that ensued, and there are others,

Began...had a beginning...two very different things, apparently. And, no doubt, before it began...before it had its beginning...there's no telling what it was like (when it wasn't...yet).

With people like Maryann all roads lead to God

Yes, that directly addresses my argument. Well done.


If someone simply has not decided yes or no about whether God exists, and so has no definitive belief that a God exists (or that a God doesn't exist), that does not mean they are an atheist--it means they are agnostic (perhaps there is a better word for it, since gnosis is knowledge, not just belief). If they claim to be an atheist, they are claiming to have a belief that God does not exist. If they don't want to be accused of "believing" something, they shouldn't adopt such a strong title.

If the "some other being" is not subject to entropy, then all the math/logic about entropy does not apply to that "some other being". But math/logic itself would indeed apply, originating from/in it.

It is possible means it is possible. Please not that a lack of belief that something is true is not logically equivalent to an active belief that it is false.

My reason for favouring a non-theistic explanation is essentially inductive:

Evidence that a non-sentient universe exists: massive.
Evidence for a god: none.

The possibilities I was referring to are not reflected in the two you gave (which are not mutually exclusive). If you really believe there is no evidence for a God, then you have concluded that God does not exist, or you have settled on a concept of God which is unworthy of the title.

We could talk about this forever, but that isn't why I'm participating here. I just came here to share the bootstrap gambit, is all....and invite folks to submit something to the Philosophers' Carnival.

It is quite possible (but not necessary - eg see Hawking's "no boundary" proposal) to say the universe began at the Big Bang, and equally to assert that the universe has always existed, if we are careful to distinguish between two conceptions of "the universe".

In the former case we're talking about the immediate universe of connected space-time that we can live in and can observe: the one with c. 10^11 galaxies, mainly empty space, about 13.7 billion years old, has various Laws that describe how various aspects work etc.

In the latter case we're talking about everything that exists that could include other universes/metaverses/ominverse/whatever-we-choose-to-call-them-verses. So something, say space and time, have always existed, and our universe is simply one branch of that universe.

To distinguish between them we could talk about our immediate universe (lower case) as opposed to the Universe (upper case). The universe began to exist. But there are parts of the Universe that have always existed.

Why didn't Greene talk about any of this? What is Hawking's "no boundary" proposal?