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Foxy Freedom

    Posts: 2928
  • Darwins +320/-14

I thought it might be useful if I mentioned some of the things I have learned from this site.

First, I was already an anti-theist when I signed up. I have always been atheist but my attitude was live and let live until someone I previously knew at school was forced to go to church every week by her obsessive parents. This caused her to have a breakdown and worse and worse followed. I decided from that time that I had to publicise atheism and speak out against religion. Luckily my family had been atheist for generations and they were also all anti-theist by then.

Strangely enough the main house where we lived was haunted by ghosts but it didn't stop us being atheists. Mostly it was my sister who saw them from time to time. Her attitude was usually something like "there's a ghost in the hall, what's for dinner?". I used to hope that when some pompous person visited, a ghost would appear and scare them. Some of the people I didn't like much were actors. They were never like the image they portrayed. I was surprised how often celebrities were boring people. It made me realise that personal development is important both for self and to inspire fans, and that celebrities should be as close to their image as possible. One actor was a real *^%#%^*. He kept saying, Fetch this. Fetch that. Do this. Do that. I told him to do it himself and sat waiting for a ghost to appear. Nothing. What a disappointment. They almost never appeared on the ground floor.

One person I liked was Patrick Moore. I was introduced by a friend. Patrick Moore was exactly as he appeared on television. He had made up some sayings which he called Moore's Law. One of these was "every loony toon thinks every other loon is a loon". I think another was "every loony toon thinks he is not a loon". One I thought up at the time was "every loony toon wants you to be a loony toon too". Some of these are mentioned in his autobiographical books.

What have I learned?

About Atheists. There is a wide range of valid disbelief, and some belief in disbelief without any reason at all (I call people who believe that, religious atheists). What people disbelieve is usually the same as what they previously believed. It is the joke about Protestant atheist or Catholic atheist. I think there is a difference between disbelieving in a god and dismissing a god. To disbelieve in a god I would have to know what the beliefs were about that god. To dismiss a god I would not have to know the beliefs. For example I dismiss Zeus and his companions without knowing much of the beliefs. One way I can tell that I dismiss them rather than disbelieve in them is because of the fact that I find it surprising that anyone took Zeus and co seriously. But people really did build giant temples to those gods and did take them seriously. Sometimes theists say that atheists have a belief and I think they are referring to the people I call religious atheists who believe in things like conspiracy theories and UFOs. The amusing thing is that these religious atheists are probably the people who become theists when they have a personal experience which they cannot explain.

About Theists. A word that theists use a lot is "simple". They think simple explanations are the best. This makes it difficult to explain concepts to them. The best form of debate with them is to show contradictions in their thoughts and to get them to admit they don't know the answer. One problem with this is that if they see something they don't like they ignore it. Their worldview is more important to them than individual facts. They also prefer a fixed worldview to a best fit worldview and are afraid of any kind of indefinite idea. For example theists don't like to say that the process of abiogenesis is unknown or that they don't know the answer to the problem. Morality has to be fixed and absolute for them rather than a social agreement based on culture and evolution. They don't like the idea that science is developing and not fixed, even though the natural laws which operate on earth are now firmly established. Scientists only argue about the details which the average person does not know or worry about. It is only the frontiers of science, understanding the earth in its wider context of the universe, which will change. Abiogenesis and life on other worlds is one of these.

About myself. I have become more atheist in that I now also reject the idea of an unknown deist god outside the universe. My reasons for this are that no entity can think or do anything where time does not exist. It can have no form where space does not exist. It cannot act where energy does not exist. It cannot cause anything where causality does not exist. Our universe itself is fundamentally random and non causal which means that a deist god is acting exactly as it would if it did not exist. Anyone who claims that the universe is the mind of god is actually making the equivalent statement that god acts as though he does not exist. Randomness is a measurable quantity. I have also tried to think about the scientific universe using the simple terms of the theist. It is now known that the full pattern of causality and non causality as we experience it today in our universe, took about three minutes to form. All the evidence points to causality being the product of our self assembling universe. Recent research following the discovery of the Higgs has shown that the mass of the Higgs is consistent with the self assembly of the universe. Any scientist or religious person who now claims that the universe had a cause, has to prove both that the universe needed a cause, and that their particular cause is the correct one. Krauss has already provided a scenario for the beginning of an inevitable random universe from nothing. Claiming that the universe has a cause is now an unnecessary assumption. So far there is zero evidence of any cause for the universe. Recent claims for collision circles in the universe have not been proved yet. The problem is that if you want to find a face on the moon or circles in the sky, you will. After the pattern of causality was stabilised in the universe, the something of the universe began to form. The something formed from nothing three minutes after the Big Bang.

That is where I am at the moment.
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