Author Topic: In the beginning was......WHAT ?  (Read 5299 times)

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Offline Foxy Freedom

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In the beginning was......WHAT ?
« on: September 24, 2013, 09:47:27 AM »
Two more facts for your Christian friend to dismiss.

Christians like to say that something cannot come from nothing so god did it.

In fact something is trying to come from nothing ALL the time. It is part of the basic structure of the universe that it does that. Around black holes particles are actually successful in coming into existence.

Christians are quite fond of this word - nothing - and they like to say what it means and what it's implications are. With each new scientific discovery Christians like to change their definition of what the beginning was and what nothing was. No air, no space, no time etc. Some early definitions of nothing came about through Greek and Roman philosophy and that led to the dramatic opening of the bible translated into English as - in the beginning god created heaven and earth.

It might come as a surprise to some that the full stop was not originally there. The exact translation of the original which should be in your bible as a footnote is, - when god began to create heaven and earth, everything was watery chaos...(the last two words are a paraphrase of a long sentence). The bible actually says that everything was a watery chaos before god did anything then later god separated the waters into heaven and earth etc.

This should also give an idea of the meaning of the flood story of Noah. The original chaos of the universe is being allowed back to destroy everything.

So when your Christian friend says everything cannot come from nothing, remind him 1) it does and 2) the bible does not say the universe came from nothing.

No doubt the next excuse will be that the original waters were their way of saying quantum fluctuations because they look like rippling water.
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Offline Jonny-UK

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Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2013, 01:47:31 PM »

In fact something is trying to come from nothing ALL the time. It is part of the basic structure of the universe that it does that. Around black holes particles are actually successful in coming into existence.

This is not quite true. Matter can be formed from energy but it takes a large amount of energy to create subatomic particles.
If I recall correctly this matter is a matter and anti matter pair that can collide back together to return to energy.
I think that when this happens near to a black hole, one particle falls into the black hole but the other escapes appearing to be emitted from the black hole.
As far as i recall this is all in line with E=MC squared.
A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawkings is a great read on this sort of subject.
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Offline Foxy Freedom

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Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2013, 02:06:13 PM »
Jonny,

I was trying to keep it simple for religious visitors. The energy of formation is actually zero and occurs everywhere is space. The gravity of the black hole only separates the particles so they cannot get back together. The formation of the universe worked in exactly the same way. The energy needed to create it was zero. No one had to do anything.
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Offline Jonny-UK

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Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2013, 02:20:52 PM »
Sorry FoxyFreedom,
I see what you are getting at now, e=mc2 remained balanced so hence no extra input from any magical source  ;)
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Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2013, 03:40:52 PM »
It might come as a surprise to some that the full stop was not originally there. The exact translation of the original which should be in your bible as a footnote is, - when god began to create heaven and earth, everything was watery chaos...(the last two words are a paraphrase of a long sentence). The bible actually says that everything was a watery chaos before god did anything then later god separated the waters into heaven and earth etc.

I've heard this before.  It's good stuff.  Can you point me to any references on it?
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Offline Foxy Freedom

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Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2013, 04:49:16 PM »
I think there is a discussion of this sentence on YouTube by Yale university, Old Testament studies part 1 or 2.

The only first hand proof is a knowledge of Hebrew. In Hebrew the difference between linked sentences and independent sentences is grammatical. You cannot add a full stop as in the English translation. Most bibles are honest enough to give literal translations in the footnotes.

The idea of water being the original substance also appears in the Babylonian creation stories.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2013, 05:58:29 PM by Foxy Freedom »
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Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2013, 09:05:14 PM »
What do you think the importance of it is? I can't see it changing anything, even if true. The statement "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." is immediately followed by another statement about Earth, which makes the period look right. If you are debating Hebrew grammar, there is probably a typo somewhere, which is disputed. There seems to be controversial typos everywhere. If you take the first sentence as a dramatic summary, then the next ones explain how God did it.
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Offline Foxy Freedom

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Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2013, 09:59:46 PM »
The point is that it is made to look right in English but it is not. It is only in a translation that you can add the full stop and make the next part look like an explanation because the religious people who translated it into English wanted it to look like that.

The correct translation is that everything began as water before god did anything.

« Last Edit: October 05, 2013, 10:36:24 PM by Foxy Freedom »
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Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2013, 12:33:00 AM »
An easy way to see where god does something is by the position of the word "let". Everything before the first "let" already existed.

It is similar to an ancient Egyptian creation myth where a god comes out of the water and to Babylonian myths about the separation of the waters. The idea of water as the original substance was common in the area at the time.
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Offline Foxy Freedom

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Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2013, 07:54:36 AM »
I have found the exact reference in the Yale University lectures. The sentence is discussed from 28:30.  The lecturer describes the structure of the sentence and shows how it means that god imposed order on pre-existing material. The whole video is worth watching for the context of other religions in the area.



I have also looked at some modern Hebrew bibles online. Some do have a full stop but it is just religious people seeing what they want to see after the original meaning has been overtaken by superior knowledge.
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Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2013, 09:16:33 AM »
When I was trying to see your point of view, I noticed in the Hebrew that chaos and abyss were the same word "theum" and "theu". The sentences don't make much sense, until you are told that Theum is Tiamat, the Babylonian Chaos and Water god. That's not immediately obvious. I dunno if we can convince the average Christian to interpret the mess, prior to "let", in the correct way; but pointing out that Theum = Tiamat, is a brain slicer.

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Offline Randyjp

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Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2013, 08:20:38 PM »
I am new to this site, and upfront I will let you know I am a Christian.  I am sure some of you are licking your chops.  That being said, I do not profess to know it all...like some do.  I always go back to a quote from a pseudo-theologian..."To believe greatly is to doubt greatly."  I am going to jump in here and get my feet wet.  Foxy, you are correct about what you are saying about Genesis 1:1...A good translation would read something like..."When God began to create the heavens (better translated sky waters) and land, the land was chaotically empty..."  I am not going to defend that this speaks to God creating out of nothingness.  What I do want to know is how you define "nothing"?  Webster defines it as "not anything; not a thing."  Is that a reasonable meaning?

Offline Fiji

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Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2013, 03:44:16 AM »
^^ If you indeed want to go by "not anything; not a thing." then Genesis goes out the window. Genesis 1:1 doesn't say that god created something from nothing.
In the Ancient Hebrew creation myth, you have a bunch of chaos which their god of choice then sorts out. This idea of jumbled mess + god = world appears in many creation stories.
IIRC, the Nordic and Aboriginal myths diverge here. In Norse myth, "in the beginning", to borrow a phrase, there was ice and that began to melt ... essentially going from order to chaos.[1]
To the aboriginals, vast stretches of water had no meaning, to them, the world solidified from a dreamlike state.
To pacific islanders, watery expanses were nothing particularly mysterious. Their creation myths speak of an "expanse", an original intelligence and some unarranged matter.

So, there's nothing really astounding about the Ancient Hebrew creation myth. They used elements of what was around them (ie. the Mediterranean, as desert dwellers, that must have seemed quite daunting), combined them with pre-existing stories from older cultures near them, et voila, Genesis.
 1. which neatly explains the origins of Viking Metal ;)
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Offline Randyjp

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Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2013, 09:35:50 AM »
Fiji--As i said, i would not argue creation out of nothing out of Genesis 1.  As you have noted the Genesis account has elements of other creation stories.  I would like to begin the discussion here on the definition of nothing.  Foxy has stated that Christians like to "say what it means and what its implications are."  I am trying to come to a common definition, so we can be on the same page.

Offline Foxy Freedom

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Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2013, 10:01:43 AM »
I am new to this site, and upfront I will let you know I am a Christian.  I am sure some of you are licking your chops.  That being said, I do not profess to know it all...like some do.  I always go back to a quote from a pseudo-theologian..."To believe greatly is to doubt greatly."  I am going to jump in here and get my feet wet.  Foxy, you are correct about what you are saying about Genesis 1:1...A good translation would read something like..."When God began to create the heavens (better translated sky waters) and land, the land was chaotically empty..."  I am not going to defend that this speaks to God creating out of nothingness.  What I do want to know is how you define "nothing"?  Webster defines it as "not anything; not a thing."  Is that a reasonable meaning?

Hello randyjp,

The idea of nothing has changed over time because people have had different ideas about concepts or things which are "not". This is what leads to confusion. It depends on what you call a thing, what discoveries are made, or what definitions you use about "things".

 The dictionary definition can be taken as a literal definition - not a "thing" in the sense of not an object or matter. It is the true meaning of the word "nothing".

I hope you watched the video about the creation story. It is very interesting. When you compare the Genesis account with other creation stories of the time, it is clear that water existed before god did anything in all the stories. In Genesis the list of actions of god are all defined by the word "let", a description of the event, and a naming of the result. The chaos of water has none of these.
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Offline Randyjp

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Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2013, 10:29:52 AM »
Foxy--you made 2 points in your opening statement...Point 1- christians mistranslate, or misuse what is in Genesis 1.  It really does not speak to creation out of nothing. (My paraphrase of your point.). I am no disputing this point.  Point  2-  (and this is where i take exception). You state "Christians are quite fond of this word- nothing- and they like to say what it means and its implications."  What is YOUR definition of the word "nothing?"

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Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2013, 10:35:35 AM »
I accept the dictionary definition- not a "thing" not an object or matter.
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Offline Randyjp

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Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2013, 11:49:00 AM »
Before I continue my train of thought I want to be clear about something.  One of the things that has me really irritated by some folks on this site is the label given to ALL Christians.  I have read posts that label all Christians as illogical, delusional, wishful...on and on it goes.  There are some of us who think of our Christianity very logically, fact based.  It would be as though I labeled atheists as immoral.  One size fits all works no better for Christians than it does for atheists.  To carry on a debate about the issue of "In the beginning was...WHAT?" based on Genesis is not going to fly here.  I know that.  The place of the Bible as a premise for debate or argument is not going to be agreed on.  I realize logic and fact is what is called for on this site. Now moving on....
Having defined nothing as "not a 'thing' not an object or matter" ( I guess thing in quotes means it is qualified), then isn't it really people like Lawrence Krauss, when talking about "nothing," like to say "what it means and its implication"?

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Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2013, 12:19:05 PM »
The ordinary definition includes the scientific definition of Krauss which is a refinement of the idea not a contradiction of it. The scientific definition is based on the evidence as it is found, not what we choose it to be.

Scientific definitions have always become more exact through discovery. An easier example is the discovery that air was a thing in the 17th century. This meant that nothing was a lack of air from that time.

I could say that nothing means pink elephants but it would not be based on evidence. That is the way Every Christian, I have ever met, thinks.

Another example is the word "theory" which has a more exact meaning in science than in everyday life.

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Offline Randyjp

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Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2013, 12:23:55 PM »
My understanding of Krauss' definition of nothing (and I am not a quantum physicist, so my understanding could be wrong) is something like empty space or a quantum vacuum.  Is that the case?  And if I am off base...please explain.  I would really like to understand.

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Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
« Reply #20 on: October 10, 2013, 12:30:33 PM »
It might come as a surprise to some that the full stop was not originally there. The exact translation of the original which should be in your bible as a footnote is, - when god began to create heaven and earth, everything was watery chaos...(the last two words are a paraphrase of a long sentence). The bible actually says that everything was a watery chaos before god did anything then later god separated the waters into heaven and earth etc.

I've heard this before.  It's good stuff.  Can you point me to any references on it?

Genesis 1

Young's Literal Translation (YLT) http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+1&version=YLT

"1 In the beginning of God's preparing the heavens and the earth --

2 the earth hath existed waste and void, and darkness [is] on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God fluttering on the face of the waters,"
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Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
« Reply #21 on: October 10, 2013, 12:33:15 PM »
Another example is the word "theory" which has a more exact meaning in science than in everyday life.

Grrrrrr. One of my biggest pet peeves, that. It probably irritates absolutely everyone, but I often stop people and ask "do you mean theory in the scientific way, or in the "police procedural" tv drama way?", complete with air quotes.

The world could do with a whole lot more of "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
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Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
« Reply #22 on: October 10, 2013, 12:34:12 PM »
Before I continue my train of thought I want to be clear about something.  One of the things that has me really irritated by some folks on this site is the label given to ALL Christians.  I have read posts that label all Christians as illogical, delusional, wishful...on and on it goes.
Assuming that one can label all Christians as having the shared, common belief that there exists an entity in reality that is all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving, and has any involvement in humanity, then I'm sorry to say that I'm in the camp that would label all Christians to be illogical, delusional, and wishful - at least with regards to the question of the existence of said entity.  The only justifications I have seen to accept the claim of this entity's existence all fall under either illogical argumentation or delusional/wishful thinking.
Quote
There are some of us who think of our Christianity very logically, fact based.
And that may very well be the case.  Present some of these facts and explain some of the logic and we'll go from there.
Quote
It would be as though I labeled atheists as immoral.  One size fits all works no better for Christians than it does for atheists.
I'd say anyone who believes that an omnipotent, omniscient, all-loving entity exists is delusional, illogical, or wishful.  I believe that is something that is shared by all Christians.  Ergo, I think all Christians are delusional, illogical, or wishful - at least in regards to the existence of said entity.

The reason that it is inappropriate to label all atheists as immoral is because there isn't a shared basis of worldview that all atheists share that imply immorality.  Unless, of course, you believe that a lack in belief in the existence of god makes someone immoral.  Then we'd probably have the argument over whether a lack in belief in the existence of god necessarily implies immorality.  Likewise, I've now made the claim that belief in an omnipotent, omniscient, all-loving entity is delusional, illogical, or wishful.  If that belief is not shared amongst all Christians, then it would be inappropriate for me to label all Christians as being delusional, illogical, or wishful (at least in regards to the existence of said entity).  If I am wrong that belief in an omnipotent, omniscient, all-loving entity is delusional, illogical, or wishful, then it would be inappropriate for me to label all Christians as being delusional, illogical, or wishful (at least in regards to the existence of said entity).

I'm guessing the point of contention will be the latter, but I'd like to make sure about that because a label like 'Christian' is a very tricky thing.
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Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
« Reply #23 on: October 10, 2013, 12:39:11 PM »
Krauss definition is even more fundamental than that. No space at all. No time. No universe.
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Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
« Reply #24 on: October 10, 2013, 12:59:46 PM »
I have read posts that label all Christians as illogical, delusional, wishful...on and on it goes.  There are some of us who think of our Christianity very logically, fact based.

I do not recall speaking with any xians who don't think that.  And that belief - that xianity is logical and fact based - is just one of their delusions.

 
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Offline Randyjp

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Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
« Reply #25 on: October 10, 2013, 01:08:51 PM »
So according to Krauss, what happens in this no universe to create something out of nothing?

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Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
« Reply #26 on: October 10, 2013, 01:23:27 PM »
No action is necessary. It is impossible to prevent universes from continually forming.

It is important to add that the "something" did not appear until later in the history of our universe. As the universe expanded matter condensed from energy.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2013, 01:38:47 PM by Foxy Freedom »
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Offline Randyjp

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Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
« Reply #27 on: October 10, 2013, 01:41:57 PM »
No action is necessary. It is impossible to prevent universes from continually forming.

So, according to Krauss, something just spontaneously emerges from nothing?

Quote
It is important to add that the "something" did not appear until later in the history of our universe. As the universe expanded matter condensed from energy.
If the universe existed...then something already existed...unless the universe is nothing.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2013, 01:43:48 PM by Randyjp »

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Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
« Reply #28 on: October 10, 2013, 01:47:36 PM »
Yes Universes spontaneously emerge.

Matter was created within our universe from energy. Energy is not a thing.
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