1. Sanctimonious Prick
    Thumb Up

    God Exists?

    Howdy,

    I was once a 'born again' Christian.

    A violent act occurred one night that changed my belief.

    From that moment on, I did not believe in God or Christ.

    (sounds stupid, but true)

    Since then, I've been pretty much what one describes as 'agnostic.'

    What freaks me out now though, is that the Universe and everything in it can be mathematically explained. Which sort of suggests there is 'design.'

    I'm having a hard time getting my head around it all.

    What do you think?

    1. Waseem Alkurdi

      Re: God Exists?

      @Sanctimonious Prick

      A violent act occurred one night that changed my belief.

      From that moment on, I did not believe in God or Christ.

      Let me first question this statement. Do you think God or Christ doesn't exist simply because some event occured*?

      I'll quote the experience of the priest who preached mercy, yet tortured a child in the back room (that child was either Charles Dickens or Roald Dahl - I'm not sure whom it was, but he mentioned it in his autobiography).

      Is it reasonable to say God doesn't exist because a priest did something un-Godly? I think not.

      * I assume that "event" means "traumatic experience" because you said "violent act".

      ____________________

      Disclosure: I'm a Muslim

  2. pɹɐʍoɔ snoɯʎuouɐ
    Pint

    the wrong way around....

    what it is, you are looking at it the wrong way around.

    The maths is ruled by the physical existence of the universe. Maths describes it, it does not explain it.

    The mathematical formulas are developed to describe a phenomenon, in fact Newton had to develop a whole new field of mathematics to describe Newtonian physics (calculus).

    Its easy to look at parts of the universe and think that they appear perfect as though designed, but when you look closer its far from perfect. for example, the big bang. If it had been a perfect rapid expansion, then all the matter spread out would be perfectly spaced apart and then gravity would be pulling on everything in a uniform way, keeping everything perfectly spaced apart. It is because it was no so perfect that matter started to pull together to create larger objects. All it would have taken is one single atom to be out of place and we have a universe....

    If you were to design anything, your aim would be for perfection. But when you look at the universe and all its content very far from perfection.

    as for your "sounds stupid, but true", I have heard many stories from people for what made them question religion. A youtube channel "godless Engineer*" does many interviews with people who have turned away from religion. One story was from a guy who even after going through university he was still very religious. It was when he got a job for a film studio and had to do some research for some effects. He had look up some stuff on dinosaurs and it was this research that made him start to question his own faith. In the end, he went back and read his bible and realised that nothing stands up to a reasonable level of scrutiny.

    Myself, I have been atheist since I was about7 or 8. It was when I was told to shut up asking questions at school (church of England). The particular subject was Genesis, the 'Let there be a space between the waters.".... I just thought it was wrong to be told to accept without question.... But here in the UK its a lot easier being an atheist than it is across the pond. In some places its less of a trauma to come out as gay than it would be to come out as atheist.

    if you are looking for a good read, try Richard Dawkins, "The God Delusion" I am sure after reading that it will put to bed any lingering issues you have with religion.

    * godless engineer maybe a little too sarcastic for the person recently departed from faith....

    1. Sanctimonious Prick

      Re: the wrong way around....

      Thank you, pɹɐʍoÉ” snoɯʎuouÉ.

      I understand what you said, and I very much appreciate it.

      Religion is a belief and nothing more.

      Who's the next greatest mathematician?

    2. Waseem Alkurdi

      Re: the wrong way around....

      @pɹɐʍoɔ snoɯʎuouɐ

      Some thoughts in the middle of a boring lecture, so I apologize if I was too broad and non-specific.

      what it is, you are looking at it the wrong way around.

      The maths is ruled by the physical existence of the universe. Maths describes it, it does not explain it.

      I see that it's the other way round: The universe is "rational" (using the term loosely) because it could be described in "rational" terms (math).

      In other words, the universe is designed and perfect because it has order, because it could be described with laws and models of math and physics that convey the sense of design and perfection.

      Its easy to look at parts of the universe and think that they appear perfect as though designed, but when you look closer its far from perfect.

      Good. Why did you assume that what we see as bad design is indeed bad design?

      There's a frequently-quoted example of the blind spot in the human eye.

      The orientation of the human eye was thought of as being wrong. This gave rise to claims that the eye was the product of randomness, not of design.

      However, new research shows that this isn't the case. This "non-design" had a particular (vision-enhancing) function (see here for details)

      TL;DR: We may see something as a "defect". It would be rash to claim it is "bad design". Instead, we should wait for research to rule out any design.

      It was when I was told to shut up asking questions at school (church of England).

      I HATE IT WHEN "GROWN UPS" DO THAT!

      They think they are defending religion. They are the one who's making religion into the mess it is now.

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. jake Silver badge

    All this babble.

    The fact of the matter is that over the last umpteen thousand years, humans have postulated gods or a god exist. In all those thousands of years, there is not a single shred of evidence that a god or gods actually do exist. Also, in that entire time, the concept of god or gods has been used by the wealthy, the powerful (and until very recently the learned class), to subjugate the GreatUnwashed.

    Based on the above, the proverbial thinking man could easily come to the conclusion that god or gods is/are an invention of man. In other words, man made god in his own image.

    Unless you have proof that god or gods exist, of course. Do not use "faith" as proof, unless can prove to me that you do, in fact, have that faith.

    Until then, this conversation is pretty useless.

    1. Waseem Alkurdi
      Facepalm

      Re: All this babble.

      @jake

      First, I apologize for the long, long post.

      The fact of the matter is that over the last umpteen thousand years, humans have postulated gods or a god exist.

      "Postulated" means that there's definitely no supernatural entity but humans have made one(s) up.

      There's quite a bit of circular reasoning in this statement, don't you see?

      You assumed that there's no evidence for such an entity, then assumed that humans assumed that a supernatural cause doesn't exist based on that first assumption.

      In all those thousands of years, there is not a single shred of evidence that a god or gods actually do exist.

      Not if you look though. I used to swing between atheism and agnosticism myself, until I looked for the evidence. The first shred of evidence is that something doesn't spring out of nothing. A program can't write itself. "Laws of nature" need an "enforcer" to keep them in effect.

      And is absence of evidence evidence of absence? Not necessarily true, not necessarily false.

      This sword has two edges, mind you.

      One thing to point out though: Evidence for a supernatural deity isn't necessarily of a definitive/conclusive nature. Don't raise your hopes too high; you won't "see God".

      The opposite is also true. We can't "go up there and see that there's no supernatural power" as well.

      Based on the above, the proverbial thinking man could easily come to the conclusion that god or gods is/are an invention of man. In other words, man made god in his own image.

      If these were premises built on facts, then sure. But these aren't premises, but rather built on a mix of opinions stated as facts (<u>The fact of the matter</u> is that over the last umpteen thousand years, humans have postulated gods or a god exist. - that's your opinion until you definitely prove the absence of a supernatural entity).

      Unless you have proof that god or gods exist, of course. Do not use "faith" as proof, unless can prove to me that you do, in fact, have that faith.

      I agree with that - faith by and of itself is no proof (I believe in a ghost under my bed != there's a ghost under my bed)

      Until then, this conversation is pretty useless.

      Ever asked why is this topic still brought up?

      Ever asked why is the concept of a supernatural creator still "not dead", despite numerous figures in the past claiming the "death" of the creator?

      Because there are still strong arguments on both sides. The eternal debate is still going on.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: All this babble.

        ""Postulated" means that there's definitely no supernatural entity but humans have made one(s) up."

        No. That's not what postulate means at all.

        "until you definitely prove the absence of a supernatural entity"

        You are the one stating such an entity exists. I am pointing out that there is no proof (none, zero, zilch) that your statement is correct. The burden of proof lies with you, as you made the claim. Don't tell me, show me.

        "Because there are still strong arguments on both sides."

        No. There aren't.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Humans, with our brain's capacity, have been around for something like 100,000 to 200,000 years. Until quite recently they had few ways to explain natural phenomena and death and what happens afterward. Aside from the potentially reassuring stories of meeting loved in an afterlife it is a great control mechanism. In much of the world there still exist more difficult living conditions than in the west and lower levels of education. In many of those places you'll find religion still has a stronger sway than in much of Europe or NA.

    1. Waseem Alkurdi

      In much of the world there still exist more difficult living conditions than in the west and lower levels of education. In many of those places you'll find religion still has a stronger sway than in much of Europe or NA.

      There's no correlation though.

      North Korea is a fully atheist nation. Is it any richer? China? 90% atheists and not exactly the world's best or most "free" country.

  6. steelpillow Silver badge

    Define "God"

    "That from which I came, that in which I dwell, and that unto which I shall return". Is that a reference to some universal deity or to the physical Universe? The answer to that depends on your religious perspective.

    How does my personal inner experience relate to the information patterns carried by my brain activity? According to Integrated Information Theory, "consciousness is what information feels like once it reaches a certain kind of complexity". But how does that inner experience arise? This is the "hard problem" in the philosophical theory of mind. Neither symbolic information nor experience is a material thing and therefore neither is amenable to the physical sciences or their chemical and biological derivatives. Does that mean they are independent planes of existence or are all three inseparable in the same way that the multiple dimensions of spacetime are?

    Whether you call the Ultimate Reality God, the Multiverse, the M-Brane, Allah, Jehovah, the Tao, Brahmin or the Flying Spaghetti Monster is all the same to me, I care only how It and I relate to each other. Only the thoughtless attribute any anthropomorphic features to it, and that is one thing where both Islam and Judaism have stayed a step ahead of modern Christianity (which fell into the trap of idolatry around the start of the medieval era).

    IMHO the question "Does God exist?" is merely a way of hiding from the fact that you have no idea what that "God" is or what "existence" might mean in that context. Only the thoughtless deny Its existence without stopping to think seriously about whose God they are denying. Most atheists fall into the trap of denying a straw God conjured by their own prejudices, fondly imagining It to be every believer's God.

    Our OP appears to have done what so many of us do, escaped from the one trap only to fall into the other.

    1. Waseem Alkurdi
      Pint

      Re: Define "God"

      Well said, m'lord!

      We really to define what or who is meant by the term "God" when we discuss God's existence.

      The problem is like you and me arguing whether a round, sweet-and-sour fruit that's colored #FFA500 (or a shade of that) is called an orange or a orange (Fr.) or a naranja (Sp.).

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