Like ... Energy Poping
Out Of Know Where
... Theoredicaly
Dan

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From: Positive Atheism Magazine
To: Dan
Subject: Re: PA-via_Positive_Atheism_Index
Date: Tuesday, September 21, 1999

You haven't read much of our site. This question is covered extensively in our Letters section and briefly in our FAQ.

You presuppose that the universe "came" from "somewhere"; the possibility exists that it has always been here. Since Einstein, the possibility has existed that time is not what we previously thought it was; since Schrödinger, causality is not what it appears -- to a brain that has spent 99 percent of its existence adapting to life on the African Savannah.

Also, if you require a creator to explain the existence of the universe, then you must be consistent and ask what caused the creator's existence. Can a god just suddenly "pope out of know where"? You ask what caused the universe's existence, and posit the existence of a god as your explanation. I now ask you what caused your god's existence? (Be sure to show your work.)

If you don't like my question, you might understand why I think your question is dishonest: they're both the same question. If you rightly ask yours, I rightly ask mine.

Stephen Hawking talks about the Big Bang being "boundariless" and explains that it is erroneous to think in terms of the universe having a "beginning."

This explanation is an improvement over earlier Big Bang models because it does not have the problem of seeming to contradict the First Law of Thermodynamics.

It also lacks the monumental problem of positing the existence of a creator who is more complex than the universe is, and more powerful than the universe is big. If the universe is big and complex enough to require an outside "cause" to explain its existence, then a creator would, all the more, require that its existence be explained. It is much less likely that something much more complex and powerful than the universe would exist, than it is that something as complex and powerful as the universe would exist.

Your "proof" of the existence of a creator is flimsy in that you flat-out deny the First Law of Thermodynamics and then show the dishonesty of placing that false opinion into the mouths of scientists. From your flawed "proof" of the existence of a creator, you jump to the Bible. Wait a minute! How did we get there? Even if you could prove that the universe was created (you can't), how does it follow that the Bible god did it? Every argument from design holds equally true for any and all god-claims. You cannot use the argument from design to prove the validity of one god-claim over another.

The only way you can even talk about creation is first to reveal a creator. If you can show that a creator exists, then we can talk about "creation"; otherwise, the universe exists and that's all we know right now.

Show us your god, and then we can talk.

Nevertheless, I cannot go to school for you. It is not my responsibility to teach science or English to you. If you want to live in your little delusion, that's fine with me. Please, though, leave the rest of us out of it.

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine

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From: Positive Atheism
To: Dan
Subject: Re: Me again
Date: Thursday, September 23, 1999

No. I point out that Stephen Hawking has an explanation. Because he has an explanation, this means that the option you give is not the only one: there are other possibilities and we are not stuck with having to accept yours (as if having only one explanation forces us to believe that explanation). Before we can ask "Where did the universe come from?" or "What caused the universe to exist?" we must verify that the universe did, indeed, have a beginning and was, in fact, caused.
 

The universe exists. That's all I know about that question.

I doubt the universe has a purpose for existing, because the universe is not a sentient being.
 

You say that I say that, but I do not think that at all. I don't know anybody who does.
 

How do you know it was a god?

How do you know the god was omnipresent? (How can a god be anything-present? Without matter there is no "where" for a god to be!)

How do you know the god was invisible? (How do you know if the god even exists if it is invisible?)

How can you tell? (Please show your work!)
 

If the question "Where did the universe come from?" is answered by saying "God" then the question "Where did God come from?" is a valid question. Thus, I ask it: Where did your creator come from? If you expect me to believe that the universe was created by a god, then I expect you to tell me who or what created your god?

Again: If the universe is so vast and complex that it couldn't simply "pope out of know where" then the god that you say created the universe must be that much more vast and complex than is the universe. If the creator is that much more complex than the universe, then it is that much more important for you to explain to me how the creator came into existence. Should I believe that the creator just "poped out of know where"? You tell me that I cannot believe this about the universe, yet you seem to expect me to believe it about your god!
 

Yes. Your argument is based upon what is known as the "straw man" ploy. You describe your opposition's argument inaccurately in order to make our position sound very stupid (by stating that we believe things that we don't actually believe). In other words, you lie to us about what we do and do not believe. After this, you proceed to "knock down" the "straw man" that you have built up. You don't refute what we say, but instead you refute what you (falsely) claim we say. You refute your own (false) understanding of our position without ever describing our actualx position.

Another game you play is called the "false dilemma." With this, you present exactly two courses for the argument to take. Since one of these options is your false "straw man" representation of our position, it is only reasonable (according to the "false dilemma" ploy) to accept the other alternative -- your position.

I have yet to engage with a creationist who did not utilize these forms of falsehood in making his or her case for Christianity. This is the very reason I left the Christian church: I could not handle the fact that I had to lie in order to to defend the faith, and that I had to call other deliberate liars my "brothers" and "sisters." I could not reconcile this with what the man who supposedly said "I am the truth" is also alleged to have said: "By their fruits you shall know them." Truth then became more important to me than even Jesus; and I decided to follow truth wherever it may lead. I followed truth and it led me to atheism: I cannot tell you that a god exists without getting that filthy feeling that I have just told you a lie.

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine

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From: Positive Atheism
To: Dan
Subject: Re: Me again
Date: Thursday, September 23, 1999

These questions are invalid, because they are based upon false premises. If you want them answered, find somebody who is willing to lie to you.

Finally, I agree with you that I have nothing to say to whether or not you believe something. The only thing I can rightly speak to (and the only thing I'm really interested in when discussing something) is whether or not a claim is factual or falsehood. Right now, I have been given no reason to think that the claim "a god exists" is truthful.

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine

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