Debate and Discussion

Does Atheism "make sense" to you?
ozoneocean at 10:31AM, Aug. 12, 2007
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Shar
Well although there is no scientific proof against the existence of divine or mystical beings overall there is within science certain laws of nature that theese beings would brake.

And since we use science to describe the world today they cannot exist within the parameter. One such example would be the law that energy cannot be created or destroyed which celestial powers would breake if they were to create something from nothing.
That's unfortunately fallacious… Sorry but it doesn't work in this instance. You see (and this applies to TNT as well), you start off by defining what the “celestial” being is. It just doesn't work, you're both attempting to use logic to reason out an area where you just don't have the data, even your conception of “laws” of quantum physics falls down because what we know of these things changes over the years, they're not as immutable as you'd tend to believe. Besides, why wouldn't a divine being function within the laws of the physical universe? It doesn't have to be a magical creator monster lol! that's simply your conception (off the top of your head) of what a “god” should be. Using what you both know of the world you already set the idea up to fail. Not too clever really.

But that's irrelevant! I don't want to go over old sodden ground like this, you won't turn me into the defender of crazy religion against rational science. lol! No thanks. ^_^

What Shar said about a social dimension is interesting, but it's still defining yourself very strongly in relation to other things. Sure, you have to define yourself and beliefs that way to an extent, I understand that, but in the end it still seems like religion is mostly defining your Atheism. And it really sounds to me like what you're talking about isn't essentially Atheism but Humanism. Atheist Humanism to be sure, but mainly Humanism, which is a bit of a different subject…
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:27PM
Vindibudd at 10:35AM, Aug. 12, 2007
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TnTComic
It is impossible to prove something does not exist. Think about it. Prove something doesn't exist? That is some backward thinking right there.

Yet that is exactly what Atheists claim about a higher being, that it doesn't exist, and furthermore, that they can prove it.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
Shar at 11:02AM, Aug. 12, 2007
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Vindibudd
TnTComic
It is impossible to prove something does not exist. Think about it. Prove something doesn't exist? That is some backward thinking right there.

Yet that is exactly what Atheists claim about a higher being, that it doesn't exist, and furthermore, that they can prove it.

Actually theists are the ones that have advocate a higher being. We cannot disprove something that hasen't already been stated. Therefore the burden lies with the theist since they are the ones claiming them.

—————————————————————————————–

On the whole subject of what a celestial being i consider that besides the point. The thing is that scientific laws are invariable. Saying that they don't work within our limits is what i was trying to say about them then not being logical.

But moving on toward your point about humanism.

Since atheism is removing the religous aspect from your life you need something else to fill it with.

There are many ways to do this. Nihilism does it by considering that there is no reason for anything and therefore becoming selfdestructive. Kierkegard (Not sure how that's spelled) Says that everything in the end leads to suffering. But as i tried to say earlier not all atheists are the same.

I am once again only speaking from my own viewpoint. I am a strong believer in humanism really but i don't see how religion would affect my position as a atheist. As far as i know i don't form my opinions to work against religion. If something a religious person says i find to be well i will also advocate it. But i won't say the opposite only because it is from a religious source.

Humanism is defined as where human interests and values predominate other things.

But atheism is about denying god. It has no impact on what social attitude you have. I myself am a humanist. Which once again leads me to the subject of generalization. As priveiously stated atheists are the hardest group to organize. Because we are all different. We do not have a common goal we are trying to reach.

Atheism is the belief that there is no god. All things beyond that is merely up to personal opinion.

It doesn't have a hidden agenda of social convertion. It simply deals with religious issues. To look at atheism in a political way or life defining way i would consider wrong. It doesn't change your way a religion would. It removes the parameter of religion completely.
I'm With Shar.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:33PM
Vindibudd at 11:22AM, Aug. 12, 2007
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Shar
Vindibudd
TnTComic
It is impossible to prove something does not exist. Think about it. Prove something doesn't exist? That is some backward thinking right there.

Yet that is exactly what Atheists claim about a higher being, that it doesn't exist, and furthermore, that they can prove it.

Actually hamburgers are the ones that have advocate a higher being. We cannot disprove something that hasen't already been stated. Therefore the burden lies with the theist since they are the ones claiming them.


There I made that just as relevant to the exchange between myself and TnT as you did to begin with.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
TnTComic at 11:26AM, Aug. 12, 2007
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Nothing we have learned in all our existence backs up the possibility of God. It is purely faith. And really, I don't care if people want to believe in god. What I care about is when they say “disprove it”, as if that lends any credence to their belief.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:31PM
Shar at 11:26AM, Aug. 12, 2007
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Vindibudd
Shar
Vindibudd
TnTComic
It is impossible to prove something does not exist. Think about it. Prove something doesn't exist? That is some backward thinking right there.

Yet that is exactly what Atheists claim about a higher being, that it doesn't exist, and furthermore, that they can prove it.

Actually theists hamburgers are the ones that have advocate a higher being. We cannot disprove something that hasen't already been stated. Therefore the burden lies with the theist since they are the ones claiming them.


There I made that just as relevant to the exchange between myself and TnT as you did to begin with.

Then i suggest you read it anew.
I'm With Shar.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:33PM
ozoneocean at 11:48AM, Aug. 12, 2007
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Shar
But atheism is about denying god. It has no impact on what social attitude you have.

It doesn't have a hidden agenda of social convertion. It simply deals with religious issues. To look at atheism in a political way or life defining way i would consider wrong. It doesn't change your way a religion would. It removes the parameter of religion completely.
Obviously, that's why I said you were mainly talking about Humanism, and basically, a Humanist point of view on Atheism, but not really about what Atheism means. It does indeed change your world view! Ha! You see, that's what I'm talking about.

You talk about “laws” as being immutable, that's not the case, these things change with our understanding and perception of the world, that's what science tires to do: always seeking to help us understand MORE, not finding solid rules and sticking with them…

Ok, getting back to my first paragraph: religions are basically social cultural institutions right? But they've been an integral part of our human society forever, and so at the base of almost all human culture is the assumption that humans are not the ultimate intelligence and that this reality is not the only one that there is. That's not an argument I'm making ok? So don't try and debate me on whether it's true or not, I'm just saying that those ideas are pretty much ingrained.

Now, what Atheism does (I'm NOT talking about the humanist aspect or different flavours of Atheism) is say "No! Human intelligence is ultimate, and this is the only reality". Try and understand that this is not the default condition for humans generally, this is a DIFFERENT way from the “norm” (so to speak) of looking at life. Now consider then that so many aspects of thinking, philosophy, art, and all the rest of it are based on the idea that “there is a god” (so to speak), and an afterlife, and realise that the denial of those aspects does indeed mean having a different world view.

If you don't, then I don't think you've considered the idea well enough.

(and I say that you seem to be defining yourself in terms of religions because it always seems to come out as “they're theists and I'm not”)
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:27PM
Vindibudd at 11:57AM, Aug. 12, 2007
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Shar
Then i suggest you read it anew.

1+1 will never equal 3 no matter how many times you work it.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
Shar at 12:05PM, Aug. 12, 2007
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I think you should read the will to power by nietzsche. He states the same case that we have from the beginning been influenced in all things from morals to social standards by religion.

Also scientific law is defined as:

Scientific Law
Definition: a phenomenon of nature that has been proven to invariably occur whenever certain conditions exist or are met; also, a formal statement about such a phenomenon; also called natural law

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=scientific+law&x=0&y=0

On your current train of thought:

Concerning the ultimate intellect i find that a comforting idea. Believing that i alone control myself and my fate without anything such as religion or descartes demon in control.

But concering the norm of religion i would rather say it is a norm to believe in something. Some believe in the flying spaghetti monster or the invisible pink unicorn whereas as others believe in aliens and some in humans.

We all believe in something. We are never sure of anything simply because nothing is ever fact. We all have our interpretation of the world that we make our decisions based of. The mad man sees a different world than ours and makes his decisions based on that. Which is why they appear logical to him.

The thing is though. You are approaching this from the general christian view. Not all religions have a afterlife. Take buddhism for a example.

Fear is probably our strongest emotion and what drives most people. Fear of prison. Fear of hell. By removing one of our fears i believe i can live life more fully.

On the subject of “They're theists im not”.

Well speaking from a atheistic standpoint that is the difference i have to make. But i don't do things simply to be the opposite of a theist. That's the difference i try to point out. I know that i am different from a theist simply because i am the exact opposite of their opinion regarding religion but not regarding anything else. But the problem is that religion has such a large effect on a persons social life.

The question would rather be. What difference do i have socially when compared to a theist. But that question is relative.
I'm With Shar.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:33PM
Shar at 12:07PM, Aug. 12, 2007
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Vindibudd
Shar
Then i suggest you read it anew.

1+1 will never equal 3 no matter how many times you work it.

And Appeal to ridicule proves nothing.
I'm With Shar.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:33PM
TnTComic at 12:19PM, Aug. 12, 2007
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ozoneocean
You talk about “laws” as being immutable, that's not the case, these things change with our understanding and perception of the world

Yes, it is the case. That's the very definition of a law, in science. That's why Laws are very simple in science. And its also why there can't possibly be a god, because by definition, god could violate those laws. You can't create something from nothing, for example. A very basic law that is always true. God violates that very basic idea. Which brings us back full circle to page 1 in this discussion. You can't believe in god and science with a full of understanding of both.


ozoneocean
Now, what Atheism does (I'm NOT talking about the humanist aspect or different flavours of Atheism) is say "No! Human intelligence is ultimate, and this is the only reality".

The hell it does. That is your interpretation of it, and its incorrect. Atheism simply says “there is no god”.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:31PM
Vindibudd at 12:21PM, Aug. 12, 2007
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Shar
Vindibudd
Shar
Then i suggest you read it anew.

1+1 will never equal 3 no matter how many times you work it.

And Appeal to ridicule proves nothing.

Or you could simply explain what being a theist has to do with the inconsistency of the position of an atheist who says that something cannot be disproved while simultaneously trumpeting that he has disproved the existence of God. Or you can always just come back with the incalculably devastating pithiness of “Read it again.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
Shar at 12:41PM, Aug. 12, 2007
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Vindibudd
TnTComic
It is impossible to prove something does not exist. Think about it. Prove something doesn't exist? That is some backward thinking right there.

Yet that is exactly what Atheists claim about a higher being, that it doesn't exist, and furthermore, that they can prove it.

Forgive me if im wrong but isen't this what you said ?

A strawman neither proves anything.
I'm With Shar.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:33PM
ozoneocean at 12:49PM, Aug. 12, 2007
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Shar
Also scientific law is defined as:
Ah… that's a very poor definition. I'm sorry, but that is just silly, both you and TNT are wrong there. That is in fact quite unscientific! You see what you do in science is try and work out certain grounding points that you can use to build theories on to take you further, but those are always open to questioning. I can't believe you two don't know this stuff! Calling scientific “laws” immutable sort of boarders on the blind faith of the religious… I don't want to offend you, but it does. And if you're going to be discussing things from the level of a highschool understanding of physics, then we're not going to have a good discussion…
Not to say I have any advanced knowledge in this regard, but come on, immutable? so what… That sort of F*ks up Einstein and Relativity doesn't it since his “laws” don't quite mesh with Newton's… etc. I WILL NOT go into that further though, this really is totally irrelevant.

Sorry Shar, but one thing I'm NOT doing is approaching the idea from a Christian viewpoint. I'm not religious, and I'm not Christian. Both you and TNT have fallen into the trap of arguing against me as if I was a religious advocate trying to poke holes in Atheism. lol! How dull.
TNT
The hell it does. That is your interpretation of it, and its incorrect. Atheism simply says “there is no god”.
You're not a dolt, I KNOW you aren't! my “interpretation”, as you call it is the implication of what not having “Gods” means.

So in the end are you both so insecure about the idea of Atheism that instead of talking about it, all you'd rather do is defend it? Because that seems to be pretty much the main thrust, especially from TNT, and even you Shar, even when there aren't any attacks, you seem to have no trouble in perceiving them.
 
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Shar at 12:56PM, Aug. 12, 2007
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Argumentum Ad Hominem ?
I'm With Shar.
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Vindibudd at 12:57PM, Aug. 12, 2007
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Shar
Vindibudd
TnTComic
It is impossible to prove something does not exist. Think about it. Prove something doesn't exist? That is some backward thinking right there.

Yet that is exactly what Atheists claim about a higher being, that it doesn't exist, and furthermore, that they can prove it.

Forgive me if im wrong but isen't this what you said ?

A strawman neither proves anything.

Okay, let me break this down for you since you cannot see it for yourself.

Atheist: God does not exist, we have proven it.
Same Atheist: You cannot prove that something does not exist.

Do you or do you not see the conflict in these statements from the same individual?
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
Shar at 1:03PM, Aug. 12, 2007
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I do but that's not what you said.

You said and i quote.

“Yet that is exactly what Atheists claim about a higher being, that it doesn't exist, and furthermore, that they can prove it.”

You made a statement about atheists not a person.
I'm With Shar.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:33PM
Vindibudd at 1:12PM, Aug. 12, 2007
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Shar
I do but that's not what you said.

You said and i quote.

“Yet that is exactly what Atheists claim about a higher being, that it doesn't exist, and furthermore, that they can prove it.”

You made a statement about atheists not a person.

I made a statement about atheists to a person who identifies himself as an atheist but incoherently argues against his own belief system.

I was stressing to TnT that the group of people that he subscribes to are completely wrong by his own definition. I was not pointing out the hypocrisy inherent in atheism in general, as there is, in fact, no hypocrisy in atheism as a concept.

Is it really that hard for you to grasp?
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ozoneocean at 1:25PM, Aug. 12, 2007
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Shar
Argumentum Ad Hominem ?
You're saying that all I'm doing is attacking you in my arguments? …
I'm simply questioning why we can't have much of a discussion about Atheism without assigning people sides all the time: “He's asking about atheism therefore he must be a religious nut and I must defend it!!!”

And again, even in your closing statements (which I didn't address) "That's the difference i try to point out. I know that i am different from a theist simply because i am the exact opposite of their opinion regarding religion… The question would rather be. What difference do i have socially when compared to a theist. But that question is relative.“ it's still ”I'm an atheist because I'm not a theist"… So yes indeed I will question the person and how he chooses to present his ideas when they seems so stolidly limited.

Alright then, I'll try a different tack:
I don't care if you are religious. I don't care if you're not. I don't care if you're actively anti all religions. All those choices are your own business and I don't want to know why you believe the way you do! Please don't tell me.
I also don't want to know what you think I am, or why I believe what you think I do. Please don't tell me that either!

What I want to know is this: given what we do know of the universe (quite limited), is it possible at all that some non-human form of intelligence could arise in some corner of existence that we as humans would be bound to consider a “god”?

-not asking that because I believe in “aliens”, or trying to introduce religion by the back door, this is simply hypothetical because I want to approach the discussion from a different angle.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:27PM
Shar at 4:05PM, Aug. 12, 2007
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“What I want to know is this: given what we do know of the universe (quite limited), is it possible at all that some non-human form of intelligence could arise in some corner of existence that we as humans would be bound to consider a ”god“?

-not asking that because I believe in ”aliens“, or trying to introduce religion by the back door, this is simply hypothetical because I want to approach the discussion from a different angle.”

Anything is possible.
I'm With Shar.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:33PM
Tantz Aerine at 4:25PM, Aug. 12, 2007
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TnTComic
Yes, it is the case. That's the very definition of a law, in science. That's why Laws are very simple in science. And its also why there can't possibly be a god, because by definition, god could violate those laws. You can't create something from nothing, for example. A very basic law that is always true. God violates that very basic idea. Which brings us back full circle to page 1 in this discussion. You can't believe in god and science with a full of understanding of both.



I was too tired to read all the posts, but this one caught my eye, so please permit me to make an observation in passing (as I think the thread has just recycled itself and will go full circle and come back to the same point if anyone finds the stamina to see it through this new circle):

You assume that God breaks the laws of Nature. You do not make allowances for God using parts of natural laws and knowledge about the cosmos that humans do not have and therefore believe that laws are ‘broken’ about it. Think of it. How often has not ‘magic’ been actually a pretty natural occurrence that humans just did not have the scientific knowledge to explain at one point or another, but later they could? If miracles are called that way because we do not have the knowledge to explain them, it does not mean that God broke a natural law to perform them. It only means that we don't know how he did it. It isn't such an impossible possibility, is it? ;)

Once more, it all comes down to what you believe- either way, atheist or not. It's a matter of belief. Only agnosticism can be said to have a grain of scientificity in it.
 
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Tantz Aerine at 4:44PM, Aug. 12, 2007
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And let me add as an afterthought, that Ozone's interest in the sociological aspects of belief systems is indeed a far more interesting topic. Maybe the matching thread should be made ;)
 
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ozoneocean at 4:45PM, Aug. 12, 2007
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Shar
Anything is possible.
I won't use that answer to infer anything about you since that'd be going against what I said in my last post. But if we were to agree generally that “Anything is possible” (if we apply the situation to reality that is), then one would tend to lean towards the position that it's not such a good idea to block off any alternatives. i.e. “reality” is this way as far as we know, given what can currently know?

And if that's the case (and I'm not saying it is), then would a better description of this style of Atheism be something like Atheist Humanism and Sceptical Agnosticism?
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:27PM
Shar at 1:36AM, Aug. 13, 2007
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But you have to understand that a belief is not permanent.

A atheist doesn't believe in any gods. What you are thinking of at the moment is a antitheist.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRvgSrBoI8k

A atheist can become a believer just as a believer can become a atheist.

But i might agree that from my position my in a social aspect of atheism might be called humanism. But i agree that this is a separate topic.

We are trying to discuss atheism without talking about the religious aspect.

But the problem with your labelling i find is that humanism is not a integral part of atheism. My form of atheism is not changed in any way from the basic idea due to me being a supporter of humanism. For me humanism is simply a further extension of it that follows.

Whereas a idea like sceptical atheist would actually change the atheism in itself.

The idea that because we say something does not exist today as far as we know doesn't mean we deny the fact that it might exist. The difference between this and a agnostic is that a atheist think we can know the truth. Whereas a agnostic says we can't find the truth about such a thing.

Btw sorry for late response but my gf was making angry threats about what would happen if i didn't come to bed :dizzy:
I'm With Shar.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:33PM
Shar at 2:13AM, Aug. 13, 2007
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Sorry for double post but i couldn't see the edit button.

I just also read a amazing quote that i think would be a god addition to my previous statement.

“All children are born atheists; They have no idea of god.” - Baron d'Holbach 1772

:)
I'm With Shar.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:33PM
StaceyMontgomery at 9:17AM, Aug. 13, 2007
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>


Well, sure. The problem, of course, is that you haven't defined “God” in this sentence. So all I have to ask myself is - could there be a technology so advanced that to us poor humans, it seems god-like?

Well sure. Any technology that's a lot better than your own seems magical - or miraculous.

But surely there is more to being a God than simply convincing people that you are a God?
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ozoneocean at 9:48AM, Aug. 13, 2007
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Shar, the reason I “label” you as Humanist so much and reference you as such is because that seems to be what you're actually talking about most of the time. That's pretty much the thrust of it. Interesting though that you should come down to talking about Atheism as a “belief”, when a lot of what people have said is that it's sort of the opposite of belief… I don't know, everyone has different perspectives.

StaceyMontgomery, that's sort of the point, and it's pretty integral. Definition. It's a juvenile approach to Atheism if all it entails for someone is undermining of fantastical ham fisted definitions (some people seem to like doing it that way, not all): picking apart the silly stuff in the bible (for example) is kid's stuff, but just because you can say “the things in this book are nonsensical” it doesn't follow that all related ideas will be automatically nonsensical. -although it's quite a natural human reaction to see things that way.

How would you possibly define a real “god” presence? You'd simply see it as being “godly”. I like that Arthur C Clarke quote, but why should there be more to that to “being a god”? Please don't tell me that a part of Atheism involves being a jaded “theist”…
 
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TnTComic at 4:53AM, Aug. 14, 2007
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ozoneocean
Shar
Also scientific law is defined as:
Ah… that's a very poor definition. I'm sorry, but that is just silly, both you and TNT are wrong there. That is in fact quite unscientific! You see what you do in science is try and work out certain grounding points that you can use to build theories on to take you further, but those are always open to questioning. I can't believe you two don't know this stuff! Calling scientific “laws” immutable sort of boarders on the blind faith of the religious… I don't want to offend you, but it does. And if you're going to be discussing things from the level of a highschool understanding of physics, then we're not going to have a good discussion…
Not to say I have any advanced knowledge in this regard, but come on, immutable? so what… That sort of F*ks up Einstein and Relativity doesn't it since his “laws” don't quite mesh with Newton's… etc. I WILL NOT go into that further though, this really is totally irrelevant.

Einstein didn't come up with any Laws.

Seriously, if you don't have the requisite knowledge, as you admit, then don't wag your finger at people who do. BY DEFINITION, laws in science ARE immutable. Stop using the armchair scientist bullshit that you got from sci-fi or wherever it came from, some shit in science IS IMMUTABLE. They're called Laws.

Tantz Aerine
You assume that God breaks the laws of Nature. You do not make allowances for God using parts of natural laws and knowledge about the cosmos that humans do not have and therefore believe that laws are ‘broken’ about it. Think of it. How often has not ‘magic’ been actually a pretty natural occurrence that humans just did not have the scientific knowledge to explain at one point or another, but later they could? If miracles are called that way because we do not have the knowledge to explain them, it does not mean that God broke a natural law to perform them. It only means that we don't know how he did it. It isn't such an impossible possibility, is it? ;)

What i'm talking about is the whole creation of the universe thing. The Law of conservation of matter says you can't make something from nothing.
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mechanical_lullaby at 5:43AM, Aug. 14, 2007
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why is this debate still going on?
Ronson
In simple terms, I say it one last time: Your belief in an infinite supernatural god is a personal decision, not a logical choice. It is rationalized but not rational. We are all guilty of similar irrational beliefs at our core because of the inability to know everything.

If you want to continue this debate, I only ask that someone else just cut and past those last three sentences by me after every post.

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:57PM
ozoneocean at 6:20AM, Aug. 14, 2007
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TnTComic
Einstein didn't come up with any Laws. Seriously, if you don't have the requisite knowledge, as you admit, then don't wag your finger at people who do. BY DEFINITION, laws in science ARE immutable. Stop using the armchair scientist bullshit that you got from sci-fi or wherever it came from, some shit in science IS IMMUTABLE. They're called Laws.
Oh dear… It's not that I have anything against you, seriously TNT (I actually quite like you because of these debates), but you have some rigid ideas about things that are just plain wrong. Sorry man, the nature of nothing in the world is set in stone by the fact it has one or a number of “definitions”. I can't argue with you about something so silly, check it up; Einstein's discoveries really did make Newton's Laws a bit “fuzzy”, and that has always happened in science (refining and changing laws), and always will as long as we don't know everything about everything. Etcetera, and anon.
TnTComic
What i'm talking about is the whole creation of the universe thing. The Law of conservation of matter says you can't make something from nothing.
And that's just one possible idea of what a “god” could possibly do… And a pretty basic, silly one really. Like I said before, is this some kind of juvenile version of Atheism that focuses on people debunking stuff in the bible? Because if that's all it means, it doesn't mean much.

And Mecha, the stuff in Ronson's quote is exactly what I've been trying to do for this discussion, but for some reason people just keep dragging in back to the superficial. I'm not sure why but I suspect it's easier and more enjoyable for them to focus on the easier questions.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:27PM

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