Author Topic: Can one be an atheist for the "wrong" reasons?  (Read 4122 times)

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Offline Strawman

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Re: Can one be an atheist for the "wrong" reasons?
« Reply #174 on: April 12, 2012, 03:31:02 PM »
No "outside" without completely destroying everything that we know about the nature of the universe and stripping words of their meaning. You might see why I have a problem acknowledging any hypothesis that posits the existence of something "outside" that which is necessary for existence as such. At best I can acknowledge that it's a guess based on wishful thinking.
I think this again is a semantic argument. Of course the universe has no "outside" just as it has not front or back or underneath. We lack the vocabulary and perception to describe what is not our universe.

Although, who is to say we are not in one of infinite "bubbles" of existence? There could be higher dimensions that can support many systems with exactly the same laws as our own, and maybe ones with entirely different laws. Again, imagining these universes lined up in rows is of course a false image as they would need a space and time to line up in, which cannot exist: a four-dimensional universe inside another four-dimensional universe would be the sum of one universe. To us these different universes may manifest as the passing of time, or may require the death of one universe and birth of another with different laws. We could not travel to these alternative universes as it would require us to leave our existence behind. But what about a being that has no physical existence?

This now enters what whateverman was saying. Could such a being interact with our universe? Would they be able to gain a physical presence? Would doing so trap them in our universe? Maybe this explains spontaneous creation? Particles of matter and anti-matter separating could be cause by "gods" colliding with our universe; only able to make their escape once all their particles have recombined; or maybe we are witnessing the death and rebirth of gods? Maybe God did create the universe[1] and every atom in the universe is actually the physical manifestation of his body. Of course he would have trouble designing anything or telling us about it if his atoms were scattered all over the universe and he was now bound by physical laws.

Edit: I just thought of an amusing aside to my comments. What if god is trapped in the universe and wants us to bring about the end-times so he can be free again? And we would all be one with god because we'd be part of him. Maybe the after-life is being part of god, and we have to wait until our atoms collide with anti-matter to get there. I think he would be asking a bit much of us to destroy the entire universe though!
 1. by sheer accident or maybe an act of self-sacrifice
« Last Edit: April 12, 2012, 03:55:57 PM by Strawman »
If God exists at all he clearly wishes to reside exclusively in the imagination.

Offline Dante

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Re: Can one be an atheist for the "wrong" reasons?
« Reply #175 on: April 12, 2012, 03:31:52 PM »
Until we are able to find some actual evidence, there's little point in going on about it, as it involves things we don't yet know and can't currently test.

That's not even close to the reasons why it's all BS.
Existence requires space. This is a fact. Space does not extend beyond the universe, for the universe is all that there is. This is another fact. Things cannot exist outside that which is required for their existence. What you're doing is giving undue credit to the "theory"[1] that living beings can breathe vacuum, or that black holes can exist without gravity.
 1. And I use that term very loosely.

And they say theists lack imagination. ;)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/String_theory

Quote
One such theory is the 11-dimensional M-theory, which requires spacetime to have eleven dimensions,[15] as opposed to the usual three spatial dimensions and the fourth dimension of time. The original string theories from the 1980s describe special cases of M-theory where the eleventh dimension is a very small circle or a line, and if these formulations are considered as fundamental, then string theory requires ten dimensions. But the theory also describes universes like ours, with four observable spacetime dimensions, as well as universes with up to 10 flat space dimensions, and also cases where the position in some of the dimensions is not described by a real number, but by a completely different type of mathematical quantity. So the notion of spacetime dimension is not fixed in string theory: it is best thought of as different in different circumstances.[16]

Actually it doesn't. One could conceivably be all-powerful but not exceptionally intelligent.

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Can one be an atheist for the "wrong" reasons?
« Reply #176 on: April 12, 2012, 06:09:43 PM »
That's not even close to the reasons why it's all BS.
Existence requires space. This is a fact. Space does not extend beyond the universe, for the universe is all that there is. This is another fact. Things cannot exist outside that which is required for their existence. What you're doing is giving undue credit to the "theory"[1] that living beings can breathe vacuum, or that black holes can exist without gravity.
 1. And I use that term very loosely.
This argument has nothing to do with whether there is or is not actually anything "outside" the observed and theorized universe; instead, it is an attempt by you to disqualify the entire concept through a priori justifications.  For example, you say that the universe is all that there is.  But how do you know that there is nothing in the universe except what we have already observed and theorized?  By definition, if there is an "outside", then what we think of as the universe is not in fact the entire universe; the "outside" would also be part of the universe, and not "outside" the universe at all.

Offline One Above All

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Re: Can one be an atheist for the "wrong" reasons?
« Reply #177 on: April 13, 2012, 02:25:23 AM »
Dante, I don't understand String Theory well enough to know if it actually posits the existence of something outside that which is a requirement for existence or if it just posits the existence of more spacial dimensions. I know it does the latter, but unless it also does the former, your point is moot.

jaimehlers, then you acknowledge that there is no "outside"; just more "inside" that we haven't observed, correct? I really don't want to think that you just used a strawman[1].
 1. No offense to the member with the same name.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

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Offline Whateverman

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Re: Can one be an atheist for the "wrong" reasons?
« Reply #178 on: April 13, 2012, 06:38:47 AM »
Dante, I don't understand String Theory well enough to know if it actually posits the existence of something outside that which is a requirement for existence or if it just posits the existence of more spacial dimensions.
M-Theory and string theory are almost synonymous these days (aka. string theory posits multiple universes).  FYI only.
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Offline Dante

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Re: Can one be an atheist for the "wrong" reasons?
« Reply #179 on: April 13, 2012, 07:18:45 AM »
Dante, I don't understand String Theory well enough to know if it actually posits the existence of something outside that which is a requirement for existence or if it just posits the existence of more spacial dimensions. I know it does the latter, but unless it also does the former, your point is moot.

I'm no expert either, but even if the extra dimensions are "inside" our universe, and we have no way to detect and measure that dimension, it is effectively "outside" our perception. So, it matters not.

edit: However, I've tired of defendiing an anology that's not even mine, so you can say it holds, or you can say it doesn't hold. I dont really care. It's an effective enough anology to more than a few people.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2012, 07:29:30 AM by Dante »
Actually it doesn't. One could conceivably be all-powerful but not exceptionally intelligent.

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Can one be an atheist for the "wrong" reasons?
« Reply #180 on: April 13, 2012, 10:45:28 AM »
jaimehlers, then you acknowledge that there is no "outside"; just more "inside" that we haven't observed, correct? I really don't want to think that you just used a strawman[1].
 1. No offense to the member with the same name.
That's what I was trying to get across earlier, and why I've been putting "outside" in quotes.  It isn't that it's actually outside the universe, but rather that it's outside what we currently understand to be the universe.  I suppose it's a difficult concept to get across, because the terminology is rather fluid.

Sorry if what I said was confusing.  Does that explain it better?

Offline One Above All

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Re: Can one be an atheist for the "wrong" reasons?
« Reply #181 on: April 13, 2012, 10:50:54 AM »
Sorry if what I said was confusing.  Does that explain it better?

It does, but you should've explained it before. Whenever someone speaks of an illogical concept and uses quotes, it's (usually) because they're ignoring the fact that it's illogical for the sake of discussion.

I'm no expert either, but even if the extra dimensions are "inside" our universe, and we have no way to detect and measure that dimension, it is effectively "outside" our perception. So, it matters not.

Indeed; it matters not. Our perception is irrelevant, because the fact is that there's no "outside" to reality.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.

Offline Graybeard

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Re: Can one be an atheist for the "wrong" reasons?
« Reply #182 on: April 13, 2012, 11:14:03 AM »
Having an idle moment or two, a bit of speculation:

Universe8D

One way to look at the universe is to imagine the axes of a simple x, y graph. If there is anything beyond the universe, then it acts as a y axis to our x axis. Basically, it doesn’t matter what happens to the y axis, as it has no effect on the x axis, which retains all its points as they always were.

The image is of a six dimensional graph that, plus the independent timescale sliders, gives 8 dimensions. The cube ABC is free to move anywhere within XYZ, which are other dimensions. As time in the XYZ cube does not affect time in the ABC cube and both types of time are operating, it is possible that ABC moves relatively in any direction, instantly and at random. (Or, maybe, it is XYZ that is moving, or maybe both.)

If you imagine
(i)   ABC is our universe and the red dot is single point within our universe with co-ordinates  A’, B’, C’, T2’
(ii)   The red dot can only be described by A,B,C, & T2 as those are the only dimensions it has, otherwise it would like trying to describe a rhinoceros in terms of lampposts, flowers and oceans.


Then
(i)   It does not matter and we cannot know where we are within the greater cube XYZ as, like the x,y axis example above, none of it does, or can, affect us.
(ii)   Only an object that has all the X,Y,Z and T1 coordinates can exist in Universe XYZ
(iii)   Only an object from Universe XYZ that has all the X,Y,Z and T1 coordinates and all our coordinates can exist in both universes.
(iv)   Only an object from Universe XYZ that has all the X,Y,Z and T1 coordinates and all our coordinates can affect us.
(v)   If it had our coordinates, it would be detectable.
(vi)   If it lacks any of our coordinates then it is undetectable and thus, by definition, cannot interact with anything in our universe. (If it could interact, then we could detect it.)

Does this mean that we are inside a greater universe?
We don’t know, we could be the greatest universe and all else is inside us, or some mixture of the two but the same would still apply.

What would happen if a moving object had coordinates, X,Y,Z, & T1, and A,B,C, & T2?
An observer in Universe XYZ would see the object travel from one place to another even if Universe ABC were in the way. He would not see universe ABC
An observer in Universe ABC would see the object in Universe ABC but it would not cross the boundary; the boundary would always be well ahead of it. The boundary of our universe, for us, is probably the sum of the points from which nothing in our universe is visible; likewise from our perspective, the end of the universe is the farthest we can see (c.13Billion LY).

Would observers in both universes see the same object?
No; it is impossible, the dimensions are different, they are different things – see the rhinoceros above.

Would they perceive it as the same thing?
We will never know.

What of String/M-theory that postulates other dimensions here in our universe?
They cannot be physically shown to exist – they can only exist as a concept; a conclusion of probabilities reached from observing our dimensions. This is the major problem with the theory – there can be no direct observations.

What if there is another universe, PQR, next to XYZ?
It would not have any effect on either, nor would any of its objects.
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline Strawman

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Re: Can one be an atheist for the "wrong" reasons?
« Reply #183 on: April 13, 2012, 01:47:06 PM »
Nice diagram Greybeard, but I find it confusing. You introduce three new dimensions without explaining them and how can there be two time dimensions? And how would universe PQR be "beside" XYZ without being part of the same universe?

I like to think of multiple universes in the same way as the faces of a cube. If we imagine six races of two-dimensional creatures, each living on one side of a cube; each having perception of only two dimensions and two specific axes of movement. The XZ race would live on top of the cube. They could travel to the edge of their universe but would be unable to turn the corner. Their perception of a flat universe makes it incredibly difficult even to explain to them what the front-face universe might look like and how the XY race living upon it would move. But if we theoretically unpacked the cube and laid each face flat it would be easy to explain the other faces to each race and even how they are connected, including a seemingly mysterious link between the extreme edges of the diagram.

In the same way, we can unpack our multiple universes and lay them side-by-side for diagrammatic purposes. We can then draw a new "X" axis across all the universes and call it time. If there are series of universes which cannot be attached in the same line we can make new rows and join them with a new "Y" axis representing the fifth dimension.

The fifth dimension represents all the events which make certain future events, which were once possible, no longer possible. Yet they may make new events possible which were not before, so we can still view the graph as square if we assume that for every event made impossible there is one made possible. So we can view 0,0 on the graph as the initial state of all the possible universes to come. If we imagine different initial states we can create a sixth dimension.

The sixth dimension is the "Z" axis on our graph. All along the Z axis are different initial conditions from 0,0,0 to 0,0,infinity. These offer entirely different possibilities.[1]

Beyond the sixth dimension is where it breaks down for me. I suppose I have just built another cube and could start again by unpacking it, but I can't see how there can be anything more once you've explored all the possible events in all the possible universes with all the possible initial conditions.
 1. Although with infinite possibilities all events would re-occur in all possible configurations.
If God exists at all he clearly wishes to reside exclusively in the imagination.

Offline Graybeard

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Re: Can one be an atheist for the "wrong" reasons?
« Reply #184 on: April 13, 2012, 04:02:03 PM »
Nice diagram Greybeard, but I find it confusing. You introduce three new dimensions without explaining them
I am unable to for the same reasons as your Flatlanders cannot describe the third dimension. Ny explanation, as far as it goes is in the rhinoceros analogy
Quote
and how can there be two time dimensions?
If I could answer that, I would be being pestered by members of the Noble Org. But, in the extreme, because of reltivity, and the link between c and apparent time, we all carry with us our own timeframe.
Quote
And how would universe PQR be "beside" XYZ without being part of the same universe?
I see no reason why there could not be separate universes; they do not have to be nested.

Quote
I like to think of multiple universes in the same way as the faces of a cube. If we imagine six races of two-dimensional creatures, each living on one side of a cube; each having perception of only two dimensions and two specific axes of movement.


Quote
The fifth dimension represents all the events which make certain future events, which were once possible, no longer possible.

« Last Edit: April 13, 2012, 04:04:42 PM by Graybeard »
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline Whateverman

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Re: Can one be an atheist for the "wrong" reasons?
« Reply #185 on: April 13, 2012, 05:07:55 PM »
Yes, that Imagining The Tenth Dimension video has been a favorite of mine for several years now.
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Offline dloubet

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Re: Can one be an atheist for the "wrong" reasons?
« Reply #186 on: April 13, 2012, 09:12:17 PM »
The wrong reason to be an atheist is if you believe that god told you to be one.
Denis Loubet

Offline Strawman

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Re: Can one be an atheist for the "wrong" reasons?
« Reply #187 on: April 13, 2012, 09:30:37 PM »
The wrong reason to be an atheist is if you believe that god told you to be one.
Paradox Win!

@Graybeard
I see, so your explanation is quite similar to mine. I still don't understand the double time thing though.
I realise a flaw in my cube flatlanders: I confined them to cardinal directions, so if the cube was tilted slightly they would die or be unable to move!

The tenth dimension video is very good but I lost it after the sixth dimension, maybe I need to watch it again.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2012, 09:54:59 PM by Strawman »
If God exists at all he clearly wishes to reside exclusively in the imagination.

Offline jeremy0

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Re: Can one be an atheist for the "wrong" reasons?
« Reply #188 on: April 13, 2012, 11:32:24 PM »
@Joebbowers

Quote
Bold mine. That's it right there. We are born with a natural inclination to attribute unexplained phenomena to an intelligence. For future reference and I will be referring to this unnamed unknown intelligent being behind the scenes as Om.[1]Even babies and animals create their own Om. The belief in an Om pulling strings behind the scene is there from birth. Your parents and society foster and direct that belief towards the specific Om that they were raised to attribute those unexplained phenomena to. For some it's Jesus or God or Allah or Jehovah, or other gods, for others it's leprechauns, pixies, fairies, or other supernatural creatures, and for still others it's Lady Luck or fate (with or without a capital F).

It's called hyper-active agent detection, and it's the foundation for all magical thinking.

This is actually the best I've heard yet.  What's amazing is, that the unexplained things that now have a foundation, get passed down to the next generation.  At least until someone goes against it and creates another one in its place (see my posts on the egg - I don't actually believe it, but could have just as easily replace catholicism with 'the egg theory'.) 

What's more amazing to me is, when scientific evidence or a more fitting explanation for the unexplained come in, people are so grounded in their previous beliefs of the previously unexplained that they will go against logical reasoning and factual evidence just to keep that belief.  It's a remarkable human err..

Ah - nevermind.  Since posting this somebody did have a wrong way to become atheist...
« Last Edit: April 13, 2012, 11:35:24 PM by jeremy0 »
"If you find yourself reaching for the light, first realize that it has already touched your finger."
"If I were your god, I would have no reason for judgement, and you have all told endless lies about me.  Wait - you do already. I am not amused by your ignorance, thoughtlessness, and shallow mind."

Offline One Above All

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Re: Can one be an atheist for the "wrong" reasons?
« Reply #189 on: April 14, 2012, 05:22:54 AM »
Does String Theory take into account the possibility that we're not actually in the third dimension, but that there are "lower" dimensions besides that which we perceive as a point?
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.

Offline Strawman

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Re: Can one be an atheist for the "wrong" reasons?
« Reply #190 on: April 14, 2012, 11:30:02 AM »
Does String Theory take into account the possibility that we're not actually in the third dimension, but that there are "lower" dimensions besides that which we perceive as a point?
Good question, I would like to give you a Darwin for it but don't know how.
I don't know what those lower dimensions would look like but they could be responsible for the uncertainty principle, if they exist.
If God exists at all he clearly wishes to reside exclusively in the imagination.

Offline One Above All

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Re: Can one be an atheist for the "wrong" reasons?
« Reply #191 on: April 14, 2012, 11:36:11 AM »
I would like to give you a Darwin for it but don't know how.

You need to post a few times (50, IIRC) before you can do that.

I don't know what those lower dimensions would look like

Of course. A point is the smallest thing we can conceive.

but they could be responsible for the uncertainty principle, if they exist.

Doubtful. Point particles, AFAIK, are only theoretical. Other particles have 3 dimensions, so I doubt they (beings living in a dimension lower than what we perceive as the first dimension) could affect them.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.

Offline jeremy0

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Re: Can one be an atheist for the "wrong" reasons?
« Reply #192 on: April 14, 2012, 05:59:27 PM »
Does String Theory take into account the possibility that we're not actually in the third dimension, but that there are "lower" dimensions besides that which we perceive as a point?
String theory is basically a new, unknown 'tie' to wrap up the different pieces into things like M-Theory and the other theories we have came up with (big bang, black holes, wormholes, time warps, riips in space time, etc.)  The idea is that there are tiny wormholes, black holes, and 'threads' everywhere - it's just so small that we don't realize it.  It's like looking at a razor under a very good microscope - no matter how perfect you try to get it, the more you zoom in the more bumpy and jagged it gets.  This is the same for string theory - it's the last 'loose end' to explain physics but also tie it all together.  AFAIK they did say that quantum physics is much like neurons.  So we could say that once we understand these things it may seem just like neurons in a brain..  which is at least interesting.
"If you find yourself reaching for the light, first realize that it has already touched your finger."
"If I were your god, I would have no reason for judgement, and you have all told endless lies about me.  Wait - you do already. I am not amused by your ignorance, thoughtlessness, and shallow mind."

Offline Graybeard

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Re: Can one be an atheist for the "wrong" reasons?
« Reply #193 on: April 18, 2012, 04:43:40 PM »
Does String Theory take into account the possibility that we're not actually in the third dimension, but that there are "lower" dimensions besides that which we perceive as a point?
No. The numbering of the dimensions was done by man. Height, width, depth (and time) - these are the ones we can perceive - if we postulate any more, they must take a higher ordinal number, regardless of their properties.
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline jeremy0

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Re: Can one be an atheist for the "wrong" reasons?
« Reply #194 on: April 18, 2012, 05:39:22 PM »
Reading through this one page has been 'educating'..
"If you find yourself reaching for the light, first realize that it has already touched your finger."
"If I were your god, I would have no reason for judgement, and you have all told endless lies about me.  Wait - you do already. I am not amused by your ignorance, thoughtlessness, and shallow mind."

Offline One Above All

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Re: Can one be an atheist for the "wrong" reasons?
« Reply #195 on: April 25, 2012, 05:33:26 PM »
No. The numbering of the dimensions was done by man. Height, width, depth (and time) - these are the ones we can perceive - if we postulate any more, they must take a higher ordinal number, regardless of their properties.

Another question - does each dimension experience its own time? Wouldn't that mean that each dimension would have its own timeline, and thus shouldn't M-theory be predicting an infinite number of dimensions?
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.

Offline jeremy0

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Re: Can one be an atheist for the "wrong" reasons?
« Reply #196 on: April 30, 2012, 12:08:48 PM »
I haven't read up on m-theory, but I will state the obvious - some religions may look at it and say that god is living in another dimension, or a parallel reality..   and if that's the case, then going all the way back to the vikings and canaanites, they were more accurate in their description of things than we are today.  does this mean I can believe in Thor and Odin again? (these are jokes, btw - pardon my dry, dry humor - like eating crackers)

That being said, there would have to be a way to travel between realities to have any intervention.  I want a sci-fi movie based on this..
« Last Edit: April 30, 2012, 12:10:41 PM by jeremy0 »
"If you find yourself reaching for the light, first realize that it has already touched your finger."
"If I were your god, I would have no reason for judgement, and you have all told endless lies about me.  Wait - you do already. I am not amused by your ignorance, thoughtlessness, and shallow mind."