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Let's try to understand atheism

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sravna

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Dear Members,

Take a look at this site: http://www.godlessgeeks.com/WhyAtheism.htm Fairly well sums up the various arguments of atheists. For the benefit of members, I am going to take the arguments one by one and start a discussion here.

Here is the first one:

"When faced with an unknown, let's first note that it's perfectly OK to say, “I don't know,” or, “We don't know,” — just as it would have been when people in the past asked, “What causes lightning or tornadoes?” or, “Why do things fall to the ground?” or countless other questions for which we now have straightforward scientific explanations. Obviously, just because we don't know how something happened does not mean that a god did it. Relegating an explanation of something to a god is easy; a person doesn't have to think much. Finding an explanation with science often involves hard work and analysis. We can't simply explain something mysterious by appealing to something more mysterious for which there is less evidence.


“God did it” is not an explanation. It tells no more than saying, “Santa did it.”


For the fringe areas of knowledge that we don’t understand, we are using the tools of science to learn the secrets of nature. As we have all seen, science has made excellent advances in our understanding of the universe, and will, no doubt, continue to do so. There may also be things that are too difficult or impossible for us to understand, but that doesn't mean that some god is behind them.



There are three common “god of the gaps” types of arguments for the existence of a god. We have: (1) First Cause, (2)
Argument From Design (including Intelligent Design), and (3) origin of consciousness.

The main problem of the First Cause Argument is the idea that every event has a cause. As we discovered in the 20[SUP]th[/SUP] century, the universe is actually ruled at the bottom level by quantum mechanics, in which it’s possible for particles and events to have no cause. An obvious example of quantum mechanics in action is the radioactive decay of a uranium atom. There is no previous cause for each such event, and we can only predict it with probability. The averaging of quantum effects gives us the Newtonian experience that we have. However, Newtonian physics does not control the universe; quantum mechanics and Einsteinian relativity do. We now know that the universe has an intrinsic, bottom level of uncertainty that cannot be bypassed. Quantum mechanics also shows us that objects can appear out of nothing and then disappear back into nothing. Even in supposedly empty space, virtual particles are continuously appearing and disappearing. This is a real and measurable process, via what are known as the Casimir effect and the Lamb shift. "


Members may post their views. I will also express my views.
 
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Dear Sri Sravana Ji,

The above post contains lots and lots of inaccurate statements and mischaracterizations about Physics.

To start with, no theory, however elegant it may be, does not 'control' anything. It can only try to explain. And may I say, QM can not explain all the physical phenomenon.

So is the 'probability' to explain the events. Universe does not have 'an intrinsic, bottom level uncertainty that can not be bypassed'. It is our current tools that aim to explain such events, have that limitations. Same with the atomic decay.

Seems to me that this is a half baked web site.

You will be fighting the windmills if you try to respond in earnest.

I, for one, will not post in this thread any more. Hope you understand.

Regards,
KRS
 
Atheism lies on the Substratum of Theism.

Something has to exists first before you can deny it.
You cannot deny something that never existed in the first place cos we cannot realize something that doesn't exists.

Atheism needs Theism to stand as much as Theism needs Atheism to stand.

Then only Maya pulls the rug beneath the feet of both and the Humpty Dumpty had a great fall will break the perception of both Theist and Atheist as being opposing to each other.

Theism and Atheism are not contralateral as in opposite sides of a coin but rather ipsilateral(on the same side of the coin)

The opposite side of the coin is the Truth..as long we still see Atheism and Theism as pairs of opposite we havent really flipped the coin.
 
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Shri KRS,

Youself and Shri Sravna can well go hand-in-glow to take up any challenge here, in this thread..

I wish you give your valuable contributions here along with Shri Sravna...

 
Sowbagyavathy Renuka, Greetings.

Something doesn't have to exist for someone to deny it. At the end of the day, both existence and non-existence turns out to be opinions. Neither of the arguments had ever been proved.

So, what is Maya and what is truth? Those two entities are so fluid, it is so hard to even differentiate between them!

Cheers!
 
Dear Shri KRS,

I take your word regarding the inaccuracies in the website. Let me search for a better one. The idea is to more methodically consider the major arguments of the atheists and try to understand their arguments better and so respond better.

Dear Sri Sravana Ji,

The above post contains lots and lots of inaccurate statements and mischaracterizations about Physics.

To start with, no theory, however elegant it may be, does not 'control' anything. It can only try to explain. And may I say, QM can not explain all the physical phenomenon.

So is the 'probability' to explain the events. Universe does not have 'an intrinsic, bottom level uncertainty that can not be bypassed'. It is our current tools that aim to explain such events, have that limitations. Same with the atomic decay.

Seems to me that this is a half baked web site.

You will be fighting the windmills if you try to respond in earnest.

I, for one, will not post in this thread any more. Hope you understand.

Regards,
KRS
 
Atheists Argument against first cause argument:
"The main problem of the First Cause Argument is the idea that every event has a cause. As we discovered in the 20[SUP]th[/SUP] century, the universe is actually ruled at the bottom level by quantum mechanics, in which it’s possible for particles and events to have no cause. An obvious example of quantum mechanics in action is the radioactive decay of a uranium atom. There is no previous cause for each such event, and we can only predict it with probability. The averaging of quantum effects gives us the Newtonian experience that we have. However, Newtonian physics does not control the universe; quantum mechanics and Einsteinian relativity do. We now know that the universe has an intrinsic, bottom level of uncertainty that cannot be bypassed. Quantum mechanics also shows us that objects can appear out of nothing and then disappear back into nothing. Even in supposedly empty space, virtual particles are continuously appearing and disappearing. This is a real and measurable process, via what are known as the Casimir effect and the Lamb shift. "

Without getting into the nitty gritties of the science behind the argument, if at all it can be called science, let me point out how this rebuttal of first cause argument is fundamentally flawed.

To say that something can exist without cause can only mean two things:

(1) It is timeless, which is the argument given for the existence of God. This is not acceptable to atheists

(2) The second possibility is that it is self caused. But that something had to exist to cause itself. Therefore contradictory

Thus the second possibility is ruled out. If you still want to say something can just materialize out of thin air, you are not talking science and then for you anything is acceptable.

I wonder if atheists can accept the inherently contradictory second alternative, why they find it difficult to accept the logical first alternative?
 
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I wonder if atheists can accept that something can come into existence miraculously, why they find it difficult to accept the logical first alternative?


Dear Sravna,

Actually nothing is a miracle.Everything has a logical explanation..its just that we dont know the answers yet for everything.
 
Dear Sravna,

Actually nothing is a miracle.Everything has a logical explanation..its just that we dont know the answers yet for everything.

Yes Renuka, but the problem is it is contrdictory in a fundamental sense. Therefore it is just not the question of acquiring knowledge.
 
Yes Renuka, but the problem is it is contrdictory in a fundamental sense. Therefore it is just not the question of acquiring knowledge.


I get what you mean.
Ok I will give you an example..

Lets take the case of materialization of Vibuthi for example.
Some gurus and rishis are capable of this.

Believers might say "Oh it's a miracle of God"

Non believers might say "Its fraud"

Logical explanation is :panchikarana(Grossification) of the 5 elements to form a physical object.

But since this cant be proved scientifically due to the lack of ability to detect subtle elements Tanmatras..therefore science might just say its not possible.

Just to add..before microscope was invented no one would have known how bacteria looked like but that didnt mean bacteria didnt exists.
 
I get what you mean.
Ok I will give you an example..

Lets take the case of materialization of Vibuthi for example.
Some gurus and rishis are capable of this.

Believers might say "Oh it's a miracle of God"

Non believers might say "Its fraud"

Logical explanation is :panchikarana(Grossification) of the 5 elements to form a physical object.

But since this cant be proved scientifically due to the lack of ability to detect subtle elements Tanmatras..therefore science might just say its not possible.

Just to add..before microscope was invented no one would have known how bacteria looked like but that didnt mean bacteria didnt exists.

No Renuka you are missing the point. The argument is fundamental. How can something exist without a cause? This is not a question which would find an answer after research and development. You understand what I mean?
 
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I do not want to "convert" anybody. We all are intelligent people here, and come to our own conclusions. Like Mr. KRS said I too would not post in this thread.
 
No Renuka you are missing the point. The argument is fundamental. How can something exist without a cause? This is not a question which would find a answer after research and development. You understand what I mean?

Ok Sravna,

Brahman exists isnt it?
He is the material cause and also the instrumental cause of everything isnt it?
Brahman is the cause of everything but Brahman verily exists and Brahman doesnt need any cause for Brahman's own existence.
 
Dear Renuka,

The answer is the first alternative which I mentioned in my earlier post which is Brahman is timeless.
 
We are not trying to convert karunanidhi or raja by writing what we know about them. Hindus along with parsis and jews do not convert. Hindus are less rigid about 'no entry' compared to the other two.

Even when allowing conversion to augment the fast dwindling population was discussed last year, the religious heads refused to approve conversion by marriage or by choice.

I do not want to "convert" anybody. We all are intelligent people here, and come to our own conclusions. Like Mr. KRS said I too would not post in this thread.
 
We are not trying to convert karunanidhi or raja by writing what we know about them. Hindus along with parsis and jews do not convert. Hindus are less rigid about 'no entry' compared to the other two.

Even when allowing conversion to augment the fast dwindling population was discussed last year, the religious heads refused to approve conversion by marriage or by choice.


Sorry Mr. Sarag, you misunderstood my word "convert". I am not a zealot about my belief. What I meant was just as I want to be left alone with my faith in Brahman, similarly I would leave an atheist with their belief system. I do not want someone else to explain my belief system what ever that be.

Mr. Sarang you wrote:
Sanatana dharma theists do not hate atheists but leave them alone.
 
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Sorry Mr. Sarag, you misunderstood my word "convert". I am not a zealot about my belief. What I meant was just as I want to be left alone with my faith in Brahman, similarly I would leave an atheist with their belief system. I do not want someone else to explain my belief system what ever that be.

Mr. Sarang you wrote:

Dear Shri Prasad,

The belief system of the atheists is premised upon the negation of the belief system of the theists. So they are interdependent and one affects the other.
 
Shri Sravna,

As per your first alternate, the possible existence/happening of something without any cause, that scientists could accept, could be nothing but the cause of something that is beyond space and time.

In this physical world when we could find certain happenings without any cause for it, what else can it be other than some unknown energy beyond space and time, beyond our control & knowledge, beyond our scientific capablities to reason and influence to make things black and white for we humans? You have highlighted a very vital point here to help atheists and scientists ponder over it.

As you said, unless this fundamental question is honored and addressed by scientists/atheist, we can not expect any constructive exchange of views.
 
Let me give my two cents here -

As a self-proclaimed Atheist this is what I am against, the IDEA of

1. The existence of the SNA in the form of a Human-Like Personal God (like Jesus, Rama, Krishna, Shiva or the unknown human face for the Muslims) who is All Knowing, All Powerful and Most Merciful.

2. The usefulness of PPB to bribe this SNA. (Item 1 and 2 are the Essence of Theism of all Religions)

3. The truthfulness of JPK. (This is the Core of Hinduism, besides the Casteism)

As a Naturalist, I admire once in a while the majesty of Nature: the Sun, the Moon, the Wind and the likes, as the People of Indus Valley Civilization did between 7000 BC to 1500 BC.

Between 1500 BC till today,

The Vedas came, Puranas came followed by Bible and Koran to the world (to propagate the IDEA mentioned above)... and the world took decidedly a backward step..

Fortunately, SET came by to save many of us...

But, still we have a long way to go to eliminate the fallacy of God, Ghosts, Spirits and Religions...

Wait & watch.

:)
 
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I differ slightly in that I am open, but wouldnt want a non believer or a non practioner to explain


Dear ozone,

I would differ from you still...always keep our mind open, not in the sense to get influenced but to imbibe any message that might come from any direction.

Sometimes God would even want to speak through a Non Believer or Non Practitioner.

God has not disowned a Non Believer/Non Practitioner but sometimes in the rigidity of our love for God we disown even words from a Non Believer/Non Practitioner.

Please dont think I am singing a different tune here and being pro Non Believers..but with all the debates which go on in forum about God exists or not it does make us Believers read up more.

So indirectly Non Believers are also doing a job of Prerana(inspiring) for us.
 
Dear Ms. Renu,
I can understand where you are coming. Looking at adversaries as an opportunity to firmup your resolve is one way of seeing it, but being educated and confident of what you are doing or what you believe in, do you need these tests? Instead would you not want to make more progress in whatever you have already chosen to do? Even if it is a spare time, there are better ways to put that to good use, isnt it?
Sometimes God would even want to speak through a Non Believer or Non Practitioner.
'Only the paranoids survive'; watch out and dont blame some one else for being gullible later. Also, you could
be guilty of setting wrong expectations if you are not upfront about your intention to not change.


I prefer to learn swimming from a person who knows and can swim, not just from one who has read a book on swimming and only talks aout 'how not to swim'.Chances are you might drown.
To me a personal experience is more valuable and motivating, but thats me.


God has not disowned a Non Believer/Non Practitioner but sometimes in the rigidity of our love for God we disown even words from a Non Believer/Non Practitioner.
You are probably right, but to me the intention matters most. If something is given to me
without proper,right intention and good will, I wouldnt want to take it. Also, there is no proof that what is being said is correct, because there is no experience to back it.
God did say - be kind and good, but he didnt tell me to be foolish.
Please dont think I am singing a different tune here and being pro Non Believers..but with all the debates which go on in forum about God exists or not it does make us Believers read up more.
thanks for the clarification. I almost did :)
 
Dear Shri Prasad and Shri Ozone,

Ultimately no one can force a belief into someone. It is the force of logic in one's argument that is going to decide whether it can change someone's beliefs if at all. If someone does change his belief, it is because of his own volition. So the argument of "trying to convert" and "trying to change the belief system" by Shri.Prasad for example misses this point.

Shri Ozone, Coming to your point, there are two sides in this debate but only one truth. We are only in pursuit of the truth. Nobody can say with certainty that no doubt can be introduced in his mind regarding his belief. The state of total realization is the final goal. Till then everyone is a learner in whatever way he can learn. I think what is being discussed is the crux of all the beliefs that one may have and is therefore very relevant for one and all and to the society. So we cannot just shrug off and say I do not care what the other person thinks because what he thinks has an impact on you and others.

Again let me repeat I am only for healthy discussions which can help us gain a better understanding of reality.
 
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