" Religion was my greatest invention!" - Satan
It's your opinion. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. You MIGHT be right, but you could also be wrong. Perhaps the wisest course would be to keep an open mind.
I respectfully disagree with your entire "premise." That is all.
It makes no "sense" to me, for all the carrying on about "reason" & "logic." There are deeper "truths" than these, which the true heart of everyone knows.
The "true heart" is your immortal soul & spirit, the part of you that has never been separated from the Creator God, despite the "illusion" of separation that we humans are so dad-blamed attached to.
I haven't seen any evidence that these do NOT exist -- so I'd say we have a "Mexican stand-off," wouldn't you?
A "fact" & a "truth" aren't necessarily the same thing. For instance, if you say, "My mother-in-law is 85 years old," that is a "fact" that can be shown by her official birth certificate. But if you say, "My mother-in-law is a hateful old hag," that may or may not be the "truth," subject to "interpretation."
I'm happy for people to get comfort from the support of an imaginary friend. It doesn't cost me in any way shape or form.
You're referring to 'nutters' - most people who follow a faith are moderate and peace loving. The insane minority would find some other reason to justify their dogma and aggression if religion didn't exist. I mean, you do, don't you?
Have you been to Libya Sean?
oh, well if you had a bad experience at the hands of some extremist nutters, then yes, we should definitely ban organised religion the world over.
1. You claim God absolutely does not exist. 2. You have limited knowledge 3. It's possible God exists outside your knowledge. 4. Therefore you can 'believe' God does not exist, but cannot prove it. 5. Ergo, atheism is a belief, not an ob<x>jective truth.
That's nonsense. It's like qualifying the statement "the Earth is flat" as an objective truth when it's patently false. Atheism (Nihilism, really) cannot co-exist with Theism; one of them has to be true and the other false.
My argument is based upon the best of what we do know in science. The premise that the universe began to exist is not a religious statement nor a theological one. You can find that statement in any contemporary textbook on astrophysics or cosmology. And it is supported, as we've seen, by the vast majority of cosmologists today. So I'm simply saying that the best scientific evidence we have today supports the truth of that premise. And from that, the rest of the deductive argument follows. So in no way is this an appeal to ignorance, to try to punt to God to explain what we don't understand. It is a natural conclusion from the logical validity of the preceding premisses. In other words, it's simple, mundane logic.
The premise that the universe began to exist is not a religious statement nor a theological one. You can find this statement in any contemporary textbook on astrophysics or cosmology. And it is supported by the vast majority of cosmologists today.
The Borde-Vilenkin-Guth Theorem, for instance, clearly states that any universe, which has, on average, a rate of expansion greater one must have a ** finite beginning **. I'm not making this up. Read the paper in full or watch Vilenkin himself refute beginningless universe models like Eternal Inflation, Cyclic Evolution and Static Seed/Emergent Universe on youtube while proving that our universe had to have a finite beginning.
As such, Vilenkin had this to say regarding the beginning of the universe, "It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. *** There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning ***. (Many Worlds in One [New York: Hill and Wang, 2006], p.176)
Moreover, Quentin Smith, a philosopher of science at the University of Western Michigan reinforces this further when he states, "It belongs analytically to the concept of the cosmological singularity that it is not the effect of prior physical events. The definition of a singularity entails that it is impossible to extend the spacetime manifold beyond the singularity. This effectively rules out the idea that the singularity is the effect of some prior natural process." ("Theism, Atheism, and Big Bang Cosmology")
As such, your fervent belief that the universe is infinitely old, beginningless, or eternal has no basis in any respected mainstream scientific theories of the universe. It's just more atheistic folderol and wishful thinking.
This creates the necessity for there to exist a first uncaused-cause for something cannot come from nothing as I've already shared. I've also explained that this first uncaused efficient cause must also, by necessity, be transcendent, beginningless, timeless, spaceless, immaterial, unchanging, omnipotent and personal. As it turns out, such is the very definition of God.
You don't guide your life by the precepts of logic and reason? (That would explain a lot, actually, lol)
Like I said, it explains a lot, lol. Given your predilection for the irrational and the insane, I assume you take Evolution as fact, no? lol :)
Except for the fact that the evolution of one organism into another has never been directly observed. The argument here is that this takes millions of years - which no one has ever witnessed because, well, it takes millions of years - but the fossil record, which is supposed to show a series of infinitesimally gradual changes from one being to another over the course of millions of years, shows the opposite but it is hoped that the “missing” fossils of these intermediate species will one day be found. In summary, the sole evidence for evolution is the assumption of evolution. If that's not circular reasoning, what is? :)
We all know that something can't come from nothing. (Not Hawking’s pseudo-definition of “nothing” but the concept that describes the absence of anything; the state of nonexistence.) If it could, why doesn't everything or anything? Why aren't dinosaurs, for instance, popping out of thin air, devouring everyone in sight? Why aren't we afraid of elephants suddenly popping into existence in the sky and raining down on us; crushing everyone walking down the street? If nothing can in fact produce something why would it discriminate? In the end, such an argument is a case of special pleading.
Since something can't come from nothing, then the natural questions that follow are, “Where did the universe come from 13.70 billion years ago?” and “What caused it to come into existence in the first place?”
(1) Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
(2) The space-time universe began to exist 13.70 billion years ago.
(3) Therefore, the space-time universe has a cause.
(4) The cause of the universe is a transcendent, beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent and personal being.
(5) A transcendent, beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent and personal being is the definition of God.
(6) Therefore, God caused the universe to exist 13.70 billion years ago.
Whatever this cause is, it must possess certain necessary properties in order for it to be the cause of the physical space-time universe. For instance, first and foremost, this cause must itself be uncaused. Why? Because an infinite regress of causes is impossible. (Lookup “Hilbert's Grand Hotel” if you're interested in a more in-depth analysis.)
Second, this uncaused cause must transcend space-time because it itself created space-time. It is therefore, spaceless.
Third, since this uncaused cause exists beyond space and time it is must be a non-physical or immaterial cause. Why? Because physical things exist only in space – they have dimensions.
Fourth, this uncaused cause must necessarily also be timeless for the simple fact that it itself doesn't exist in space-time.
Fifth, it must also be changeless. As I'm sure you're well aware, all matter exists in a state of constant flux. This is especially apparent at the atomic level. Since this uncaused cause is immaterial it is not subject to the same forces that affect matter, therefore, it is unchanging.
Sixth, this uncaused cause is obviously unimaginably powerful, if not omnipotent, for it brought matter, energy, space and time into existence completely on its own.
So, to sum up, whatever it is that caused the universe to come into existence 13.70 billion years ago it must be beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging and omnipotent.
But we're not done for there is one more property of this uncaused cause that we can deduce from what we know of the universe. For this we have to take a closer look at cause and effect. Here's what I mean: if a cause is sufficient to produce it's effect then the effect must also be present. The two are joined at the hip, so to speak. You can't have one without the other.
Let me borrow from an illustration to make this clearer. “Suppose that the cause of water’s freezing is the temperature’s being below 0°C. If the temperature were below 0°C from eternity past, then any water that was around would be frozen from eternity. It would be impossible for the water to just begin to freeze a finite time ago. Once the cause is given, the effect must be given as well.” (http://bit.ly/WQtgZY)
The issue is, if we have in fact a timeless, transcendent cause why isn't the effect permanent as well? In other words, if this timeless, transcendent cause actually caused the universe, why hasn't the universe always been around? How can a cause be eternal but its effect commence a finite time ago? We know the universe is about 13.70 billion years old but we've also deduced that whatever caused the universe must be transcendent and timeless.
The only way this is possible is if this timeless, transcendent, uncaused cause were also a free agent – a being with free will who can act of its own volition. As we all know, free will is the hallmark of personhood.
So here we arrive at this uncaused cause of the universe 13.70 billion years ago that is beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent … and personal.
This is the very definition - of God :)
I've given you a ton more evidence than there is for Evolution yet you swallow that tripe whole; hook, line and sinker. Why discriminate?
Well, call me an idiot. But first read Lee Strobel's book "The Case For Christ". He is a lawyer, and former athiest, who set out to prove that God didn't exist. Instead he found overwhelming evidence that God really does exist and the Bible is true. Have a nice eternity.
You haven't read the book and you won't so from my perspective your the one with a problem. You can return to living your life based on assumptions.
Your missing a point here, if it makes people happy or gives them comfort in a time of need, then religion is a great thing. Even for a non-believer i truly respect others beliefs and deeply admire them for their faith. I have never been able to have much religious faith so i respect that they could believe something they cannot physically see or touch or hear
religious teachings are open to interpretation by imperfect and sometimes prejudice human beings, which creates problems. The flip side is that religious teachings can make people more peaceful tolerant, and loving. They can cause hate, too its all how one deciphers any holy book
Doesn't the word "religion" imply a certain level of organization--a sacred document/person and a set of beliefs/practices which its adherents follow?
That's as opposed to "spirituality," which may be more amorphous, not necessarily following a particular person, creed, or practice--yet still feels attached to the meaningful sacralization of life.
This is a joke, right?
Because you can't possibly be that poorly read in history.
Yes, I am, as one who has studied medieval history and earlier.