To avoid ending up with posts that are longer than 30,000 characters and consist of several pages, I will not be quoting each segment of Godexists's post and then responding to them. While I will respond to the whole post, it is both quicker and easier for me to not focus on individual quoted statements unless it's necessary to, and it lets me write a more cohesive post.
Regarding the nature of time. There is no reason whatsoever to assume that time has to have had a Beginning simply because we perceive time as a sequence of segments. A plain old number line
is a sequence of segments, one that has neither a beginning nor an end. So it simply makes no sense to state that time will never end, but that it had to have a beginning because you can count backwards in increments. I can count forever and never get to the largest integer; I can count backwards forever in equal increments and never get to the smallest integer. The simple fact is that there's no way to actually know how time actually worked before the Big Bang.
Your statement that scientific evidence leads us to the belief that there had to be a beginning to time and space is simply wrong. There is no evidence for anything before the Big Bang. Whatever might have come before is basically a big question mark...and that's why it's speculation to say it was definitely such-and-such or so-and-so. And as for the site you linked to, I just got on jtp56 for linking to something without making it clear where to look for the actual information you were talking about. Furthermore, their actual 'evidence' is nothing more than the same statement that the Big Bang theory implies that 'everything' came from nothing that you have been making all along. It implies no such thing; it states that we can infer backwards to a point in time at which everything in the universe was contained in a super-dense, super-hot, and super-small point. Claiming that it winked into existence out of nothing is not supported by the evidence, because there is no evidence before a certain point in time. Making a claim about something that occurred before that point in time is nothing but pure speculation, and it doesn't matter what particular claim one expounds on.
Regarding your "prime cause", you are presenting a statement of logic. Except you are basing that logic on speculative reasoning. Logic is no more valid than its premise; if the premise is speculative, the logic is as well. And that is all that needs to be said here. Unless you can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you have verifiable evidence about the time preceding the Planck epoch, anything you say about it is pure speculation.
stop asking for proofs. They are irrelevant, since there are none , either in regard to claim, God does exist, or he does not.
I'll stop asking for evidence when you stop trying to claim that you know the most reasonable scenario despite your admission that there is no evidence. You said we all speculate...so what? I never claimed otherwise. But the fact is that it is impossible to come up with the most reasonable scenario when we have no evidence before a certain point in time. As I said, reasonableness is in the eye of the beholder when we're talking about speculation.
Why should I have to pick an alternative when I don't have enough information to make a reasoned choice? That's exactly what I've been criticizing! Sometimes, there's nothing to do but say, "I don't know, when I get more information, then I might know." I don't mind speculating about possibilities, but there's no real reason to try to say that one possibility is more reasonable than another when we're talking about an event like the Big Bang. I forget who said it (Einstein maybe), but the universe is not only stranger than we think it is, it is stranger than we can imagine it being.
Regarding evolution, sure, biological evolution began with the first living beings. It would be quite silly to apply biological evolution to a non-biological system. But evolution simply describes a system of some kind changing based on physical laws. We talk about the evolution of the sun, of the solar system, etc...but that doesn't mean that the sun or the solar system or anything else is necessarily alive.
As regards your link to that reasons.org site, you didn't pull all of your quote from the page you linked. I guess it's from the same site, though. Anyway, the page you linked simply took a whole lot of arbitrary values based on results from dozens of other sources and threw them together in an arbitrary probability calculation. It's put together better than what most creationists use, but that doesn't make it accurate or factual in and of itself. Was that calculation peer-reviewed by scientists who were not inclined to accept the validity of it? Honestly, it really seems more like those values were just plugging numbers in based on stuff that sounded reasonable. More importantly, how do we know what the 'probability' of those things occurring is? That's the real question that needs to be asked here.
I didn't say the term "fine-tuning" was used exclusively by creationists. But when scientists use the term, they tend to mean that the theoretical models have to be adjusted very carefully
to account for reality. When creationists use it, they tend to mean that the constants themselves were adjusted very carefully. There's nothing to show that the constants themselves can be arbitrarily changed, let alone fine-tuned. In other words, there's no need to explain "fine-tuning" of the universe's physical constants by chance, physical necessity, God, or anything else.
You claim that abiogenesis is a failed theory, and also that panspermia is a failed theory. But you give no evidence to show that this is the case at all, except to say that they don't adequately explain the origins of life on Earth; instead, you claim that abiogenesis requires intelligent intervention, again without evidence. If you do not provide evidence to prove that these theories are 'failed' and cannot explain things at all, then you cannot expect other people to believe you. The same thing applies for your statement that chance is incapable of generating DNA code. Your quote is yet another attempt to 'prove' that something didn't happen by doing an arbitrary calculation of odds to show that it is extremely improbable, except that anything can be shown to be improbable if you manipulate the statistics enough.
Life on Earth has shown a definite and clear tendency to move from less complex to more complex. Therefore, almost certainly, the original forms of life on Earth did not need to be as complex as those that exist now. It makes no sense whatsoever to postulate that the first organisms on Earth were as complicated in terms of DNA as those that exist now. It also makes no sense whatsoever to postulate that the only way something like a gene could form without "intelligent intervention" is for all the DNA of that gene to come together all at once.
Regarding information, I already said that it was not the same thing as matter. Information is a description; it can be used to describe things that don't exist. Therefore, it isn't matter. But the fact that it isn't matter doesn't make it spiritual. Otherwise, every description of everything would have to be spiritual, because descriptions are not material in and of themselves.
I know that humans didn't start out with a very well-developed sense of morality because earlier human civilizations were not especially moral in nature, since laws were invented to help govern the behavior of those civilizations. If everyone believes murder is wrong, why would anyone need to make a law outlawing murder? People only feel guilt about something if they believe that something happens to be wrong. This tendency not to feel guilt unless one believes something is wrong is even shown in the Bible; the ancient Hebrews had no problems with slaughtering the Canaanites in job lots because they believed they were right to do so. That not only undercuts the idea of absolute morality, it demolishes it.
I never said that there weren't people today who were willing to do whatever they wanted and didn't care about what it cost anyone else. It's only been a few thousand years since the beginnings of real human civilization, and it would be ludicrous to expect that all the flaws inherent in the human psyche could be expunged over that period of time without a deliberate, concerted effort to do so. The difference is, older human civilizations tended to condone much worse behavior, even within the civilization itself, than most modern civilizations would be willing to put up with.
Finally, just what makes you think there are no consequences for people who break or manipulate the rules that society lives by? There's lots of consequences, including death. And if there's no afterlife, death is very final. Part of the reason people tend to want to believe in an afterlife is because of how terrifying the cessation of existence can be. Now, think it through; if someone believes that once they're dead, they're gone forever, then how can they use death to escape from punishment? In that case, death is the worst punishment possible, because it's oblivion. Who in their right mind would seek to 'escape' a non-lethal punishment by terminating all of their future existence? That would be like 'escaping' a fine by burning all your money.
I suppose someone could argue that stealing, lying, cheating, murder, etc, against members of the community are all virtues, and try to make a society based on that. But 'try' is the operative word. Such a society could not sustain itself for any amount of time
, because there would be no reason for anyone to work together to accomplish anything, and that's what societies do. People who could not tolerate such a society would quickly leave to find other societies that actually worked, and there wouldn't be enough who could to make it a workable society. Hitler, Stalin, etc, were wrong, because their societies ultimately didn't work; they collapsed under their own weight because they tried to subordinate other societies to them, which failed because those other societies didn't accept being subordinated. That's all that needs to be said about that.
You say that an atheist should blithely accept someone who wants to murder them and their family because you think that atheism is about saying nothing is wrong;
I don't say, atheism says that. I am saying, that if God does not exist, then objective moral values do not exist.
Okay, first off, you are making a statement about atheism. That means you are saying it; the fact that you say you are not saying it is meaningless, because if you were not saying it, you would not have said it. Second, you are not an atheist. Your statement about what atheism 'says' is no different than a non-Christian accusing Christians of ritual cannibalism because of the sacrament of communion. Third, you do not have the right to dictate what other people really believe, anymore than they have the right to dictate what you really believe. Fourth, objective morality does not need to exist in order for morality to exist.