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What are the concepts behind the belief sytem of Atheism?

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posted on Jul, 21 2015 @ 09:55 AM
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originally posted by: uncommitted
Did I actually say you can believe in something without faith? I don't think I did, but actually on reflection of course you can. I believe my TV is on, I don't need faith to back that up as I can hear it.


Um, you KNOW the tv is on, because you can hear it. That sound is audible evidence of it being on. There is no faith needed to know that the tv is on, provided that your hearing works.


If I should choose to believe in God then yes, faith would be needed to sustain that belief in my opinion. Others may say that evidence to substantiate that belief is all around us, all evidence of a divine creator. I have some empathy with that view but it doesn't mean that I cling to it.


I mean, I have nothing against someone who does believe as such. I just think it is lying to yourself. It's a violation of the Null Hypothesis and Occam's Razor. Doing that isn't necessarily wrong, it's just that you really shouldn't violate them without a good reason to do so.


You can be very strange. Why do you say 'your God'? I never suggested I had my own God. Why is it always prefaced by Christianity to you, do other faiths not worship God? Please don't use your usual cop out that Christianity is the only faith you will as it's the only one you feel qualified to speak about, the concept of God is bigger than one faith.


Because people have gotten mad at me on these boards for generalizing god. Plus god is defined even MORE differently depending on what religion you are speaking about. Then there are religions that don't believe in a singular god or are just spiritual with no belief in an overall chief deity. Monotheism may reign as the chief belief in the world, but it isn't the only belief either.

You say god is bigger than one faith, well religion is bigger than one god. Hence why I focus on just YOUR god, because that is what we are talking about. Your god. You may want to believe that YOUR god is also represented by other religions' god, but I see it differently.

Not every religion believes that god is some all powerful force that is undetectable by science. Buddhists are mostly 100% on board with science and are 100% willing to adapt their beliefs in the face of new scientific evidence. If I were to ask a Buddhist, I'd bet they'd be more than happy to help look for evidence to cement their beliefs.


Your idea of a 'frank discussion' seems to always circle back to you getting other people to agree you are right - that's not really a discussion if you ask me.


That's not true, I've been convinced to change my mind on a topic before. I've admitted errors. Just because YOU haven't personally seen this, doesn't mean it hasn't happened. I consider myself VERY open minded and like to consider many possibilities, but if I've written it off already, believe this, I've already considered it and the evidence for it and found it to be lacking in quality.




posted on Jul, 22 2015 @ 01:04 PM
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originally posted by: luthier
Do you have any source for Barnes being of any religious backround at all? What religeon is he? What religious claims has he made?

No, I don't have a source for a specific church or pictures of him receiving communion. He does seem to like teaching at the University of St. Thomas' 'St. Thomas Summer Seminars in Philosophy of Religion and Philosophical Theology' and Purdue Summer Seminar on Perceptual, Moral, and Religious Skepticism, though.

In all fairness, the 'Creationist Slant' comment was my impression of his tone and writing. He seems to shirk the Creationist label though despite his thing for teaching FTU at philosophy of religion seminars. Maybe he's just disingenuous and takes money from anyone that'll pay him?

You are telling me peer review is not important? What do Stengers peer reviewed papers have to do with cosmology? If he wanted to be validated in his claims why didnt he write a paper to be reviewed by the scientific community in cosmology?

Where exactly did I state that peer review isn't important? What do Stengers papers have to do with Cosmology? Cosmology wouldn't exist if it weren't for some of his work on fundamental particles, that's what! They're all physicists, they CAN and HAVE reviewed his work. By your logic, then Barne's papers criticizing evolutionary biology should be ignored as well. Well never mind, I agree with that...they should because the science was atrocious and he comes off as uneducated. Though it is completely out of his field, on the other hand Cosmology is about physics, Stenger was a particle physicist. And honestly, why are we so hung up on Stenger? As I said from the get go, he was just one individual whose work I was more familiar with. It doesn't mean I think he's the end all be all of Physics. I know much smarter people in his field and see them at family get togethers. Now granted, that doesn't make me more knowledgeable on the topic but it certainly gives me an avenue to pick the brains of some pretty brilliant people and get their take on certain topics. The best information I get? Resources to study and form my own opinions on. So Stenger...he was just one of the first to come to mind because of his prominence in this argument before he passed away. At this point I regret mentioning his name because you won't let it go.

Can you list any peer reviewed scientists of cosmology who have argued strongly against the FT? If so I am perefectly willing to read them.

Are you looking for papers written against FTU? You do realize nobody writes a paper to argue against a proposition don't you? You don't prove a negative in science. Or are you looking for articles by Physicists who have published other papers that have been peer reviewed and are refuting FTU? the way you word it just lacks a little clarity.

I found these guys who agree with FT. Barrow, Carr, Carter, Davies, Dawkins, Deutsch, Ellis, Greene, Guth, Harrison, Hawking, Linde, Page, Penrose, Polkinghorne, Rees, Sandage, Smolin, Susskind, Tegmark, Tipler, Vilenkin, Weinberg, Wheeler, Wilczek.

Could you be a little more specific? Some of these names I'm familiar with, Barrow and Tipler for example from the Anthropic Principle, Dawkins(who doesn't say what you think he does) Hawking(who's thoughts are used out of context...he says that the universe gives the impression of fine tuning, he doesn't say he believes it is finely tuned). Who are all of these people you cite and what exactly do they say?

They make no claims about god. That was the beauty of Barnes destruction of Stenger. He made no claims about god and chose to attack his science.

Great, and that's how it should be. It doesn't make his conclusions a fact though. He may have made a strong argument in favor of FTU and may have found flaws in Stenger's argument( I don't believe that is the case but there's really no point debating the topic with you so...) but none of this makes FTU a fact. Nor does it even mean he "destroyed" Stenger. And it doesn't mean there's a god or gods responsible( which is the basis of the entire FTU premise) for the alleged fine tuning either. The entire premise makes many assumptions. Do you disagree with that? It makes no definitive assertions of fact. Do you disagree with this? When you get down to it, the initial premise of the argument is that in order for life to exist, the universe must have such properties that warrant a designer. However in this line of reasoning, the designer of those properties would exist in a state where none of these properties were true. Therefore any properties deemed to require a designer can't be necessary for existence in the first place, as the designer can exist without them. The argument is self-refuting.

So you think Dr. Barnes is not a well respected peer reviewed scientist? Thats ubsurd. He is a pretty young man to have so many peer reviewed publications on advanced concepts of physics and cosmology. By your description you make him out to be theist and philosopher.

Did I say that? Nope... The entire concept of FTU is much more philosophical than scientific though. It's high on speculation and powerful assertion, rather light on facts. Models support the POSSIBILITY of this scenario. No facts are invoked though. This entire statement is an argument from authority...he's young and has published a bunch so he clearly knows more than you therefore must be right.

You can like Stenger all you want. It seems the cosmology area of physics saw Barnes paper as pretty destructive of Stengers book.

Some Cosmologists, who favor FTU disagree. Many others and many Physicists in general agree with him however. It's a hypothesis, its not a theory. It's much more a philosophical topic than a scientific one if you really want to get down to it. The science provides some back bone sure, but the end result is that "this MAY be how things work, but nobody can prove it so...God" It's not much more than God of the Gaps argument with some science supporting aspects of it while ignoring the flaws.

My wife had Paul Davies as a professor. I have studied the subject for 20 years. Does that mean anything? Absolutely not.

Good to know. Your wife's education has no bearing on this conversation. Now, if you've studied the fine tuning hypothesis for 20 years that does mean something. You've got an opinion on it based on what you've read so that definitely plays a part in this conversation whether you want to believe so or not.



posted on Jul, 22 2015 @ 01:04 PM
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originally posted by: luthier


Point out some of Barnes' problems with his refute. If I dont understand it I can ask my little brother. He is a particle physicist who is doing weather modeling after graduating from the University of Chicago about ten years ago. He worked on a project at fermilab for his thesis so if its a problem with the math i am sure he can help me with it.


Come on...and you can tell me its a cop out of that works for you, but, I simply can't take the time to properly refute a 68 page paper and based on your earlier questions, you wouldn't accept it anyway as I'm not a physicist let alone a Cosmologist. So why on earth would I take the requisite amount of time to write a counter refutation to a 68 page paper that just isn't going to fly in the format of a message board? It would take months, just as his took months to put together. If I was going to do that I would publish it and switch careers and go into physics when I'm quite happy in my chosen field as I sort through what my next program, at which university will be depending on what my wife decides when she's finished with her doctorate. It's just completely illogical to take that amount of time when no matter what I provide you're going to tell me I'm wrong. Which in and of itself is quite interesting as you keep stating that you've got no dog in this fight yet keep pushing FTU pretty hard. It's just odd considering you claim not to have a position on it.


Answer me this do you think the scientific community has disproven and dismisses Fine Tuning? I mean peer reviewed papers and scientists not just opinions.


I don't think proponents have proven anything. In science, we don't prove a negative, you prove a positive. There are some...some...compelling arguments but it in no way proves god, nor does it prove the universe is so finely tuned for life. The early universe and 1st gen solar systems certainly weren't conducive to life now were they? And youre not going to find a paper that disproves any hypothesis. They aren't written, ever. Papers are only written to attempt to show cause, to give credence and acceptance and provide enough data to make the leap from hypothesis to theory.



posted on Jul, 22 2015 @ 01:04 PM
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originally posted by: luthier

Ps. I provided some substancial links to the FTU. In one you can find a link of 200 peer reviewed papers on fine tuning from cosmologists. Its the conclusion that it must mean God that is the argument.



Except that none of those papers actually can demonstrate that there is a god or that FTU is factual. It's a hypothesis


It also displays why most people including Peters comments are ad hominem fallacies.


Is this a reference to me? Just for the record, my name isn't peter, it's a screen name on an internet forum so if you're directing a comment towards myself, or others, it's best to use the full handle so one can address it properly. Back on topic... No, there is no fallacious argumentum ad hominem on my end. The closest you can get is a comment regarding my opinion that his rhetoric has a creationist slant. That's not attacking him, it's showing that he has a bias and draws a question as to his motive for his paper and that those motives are legitimate and relevant to the issue at hand as his stated denials of religious bent contradicts his actual activities as I point out in my prior reply. This is not a fallacy. And what refutation have you actually provided regarding any of the science? You have provided none of your own words to demonstrate your own understanding of the subject matter. You lean heavily on the words of others to do your talking for you. It's a cut and paste attack because I refuse to agree with you.



Same with Stenger who got the science completely wrong which is probably why he never published any papers in cosmology.

You don't seem to get it... Stengers work in particle physics lays the groundwork for what Cosmology does. Cosmologists can't look at the values of these fundamental particles and they're supposed impact on fine tuning were it not for the work people like Stenger have been doing for decades. Can you explain in YOUR words why Stenger is wrong? I don't want to hear about Barnes or how he destroyed Stenger. Let's here about why you believe his work is incorrect. It's your complaint with my posts is it not? Let's not be hypocrites then shall we?

Even Dawkins and Hitchins have admitted that FT is a good argument for teleological arguments for god. Obviously not a complete admission or they wouldnt be atheists.



As I said in my other reply, I went through and read the first paper and I'm sorry, but I can't sit here and take apart a 68 page paper in the confines of an internet forum. Call it a cop out if it behooves you to but it's reality. What you're asking of me requires me to write a counter paper and I'm not dumb enough to do so when it's not my field or area of study. If you want me to destroy some of Barnes other work where he failingly tackles biological evolution I'll eat the guy alive.But I'm smart enough to know that physics isn't my bag and I'm not going to waste my time writing a paper that would take months just to suit someone on the internet that claims they've got no dog in the fight despite being so vehement a proponent of FTU. It's a little confusing that you keep saying you don't believe one way or the other but then argue SO hard for FTU as truth. I've read Stenger's work and I've read Barnes work and I've read several other papers on the issue, I've spoken to other prominent physicists and picked their brains about it and I'm just not seeing the same conclusive end result you seem to believe exists...that God is the answer. I see many making a good argument that god is more likely or a distinct possibility but very little in the way of "Yes, god is 100% conclusively true". Most of it is sheer confirmation bias. And any scientist who says that's the case is full of himself because anyone studying even basic undergrad science knows that the one thing science and the scientific method can not prove, is 100% absolute truth.

As for the assertion that Hitchens and Dawkins believe in FTU...I call bull s#. Let's look at their own words shall we?

Dawkins is quite dismissive of the fine-tuning argument.

He states the problem correctly: “Physicists have calculated that, if the laws and constants of physics had been even slightly different, the universe would have developed in such a way that life would have been impossible.” This mystery has become known as the Goldilocks Enigma, because the universe appears to be ‘just right’ for us in the same way as the little bear’s porridge, chair and bed were all ‘just right’ for Goldilocks in the children’s story.

Dawkins concludes, “As ever, the theist’s answer is deeply unsatisfying, because it leaves the existence of God unexplained. A God capable of calculating the Goldilocks values … would have to be at least as improbable as the finely tuned combination of numbers itself, and that is very improbable indeed.” He is left marvelling at the number of people, who seem genuinely satisfied by the ‘Divine Knob-Twiddler’ argument, as he crudely puts it.


Hitchens was a little less critical of it-

Hitchens raised the question as to which was the strongest argument used against atheists and he had no difficulty in identifying it. “The fine-tuning argument we all agree is the most intriguing. It is not trivial – we all say that.” Here he is clearly speaking for his New Atheist friends. Hitchens is emphatic and repeats the point, “We all agree about that.”


He agrees that it's the most intriguing argument. He doesn't say he believes it or that it makes him believe in god though does he?



posted on Jul, 28 2015 @ 02:30 PM
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originally posted by: peter vlar

originally posted by: luthier

Ps. I provided some substancial links to the FTU. In one you can find a link of 200 peer reviewed papers on fine tuning from cosmologists. Its the conclusion that it must mean God that is the argument.



Except that none of those papers actually can demonstrate that there is a god or that FTU is factual. It's a hypothesis


It also displays why most people including Peters comments are ad hominem fallacies.


Is this a reference to me? Just for the record, my name isn't peter, it's a screen name on an internet forum so if you're directing a comment towards myself, or others, it's best to use the full handle so one can address it properly. Back on topic... No, there is no fallacious argumentum ad hominem on my end. The closest you can get is a comment regarding my opinion that his rhetoric has a creationist slant. That's not attacking him, it's showing that he has a bias and draws a question as to his motive for his paper and that those motives are legitimate and relevant to the issue at hand as his stated denials of religious bent contradicts his actual activities as I point out in my prior reply. This is not a fallacy. And what refutation have you actually provided regarding any of the science? You have provided none of your own words to demonstrate your own understanding of the subject matter. You lean heavily on the words of others to do your talking for you. It's a cut and paste attack because I refuse to agree with you.



Same with Stenger who got the science completely wrong which is probably why he never published any papers in cosmology.

You don't seem to get it... Stengers work in particle physics lays the groundwork for what Cosmology does. Cosmologists can't look at the values of these fundamental particles and they're supposed impact on fine tuning were it not for the work people like Stenger have been doing for decades. Can you explain in YOUR words why Stenger is wrong? I don't want to hear about Barnes or how he destroyed Stenger. Let's here about why you believe his work is incorrect. It's your complaint with my posts is it not? Let's not be hypocrites then shall we?

Even Dawkins and Hitchins have admitted that FT is a good argument for teleological arguments for god. Obviously not a complete admission or they wouldnt be atheists.



As I said in my other reply, I went through and read the first paper and I'm sorry, but I can't sit here and take apart a 68 page paper in the confines of an internet forum. Call it a cop out if it behooves you to but it's reality. What you're asking of me requires me to write a counter paper and I'm not dumb enough to do so when it's not my field or area of study. If you want me to destroy some of Barnes other work where he failingly tackles biological evolution I'll eat the guy alive.But I'm smart enough to know that physics isn't my bag and I'm not going to waste my time writing a paper that would take months just to suit someone on the internet that claims they've got no dog in the fight despite being so vehement a proponent of FTU. It's a little confusing that you keep saying you don't believe one way or the other but then argue SO hard for FTU as truth. I've read Stenger's work and I've read Barnes work and I've read several other papers on the issue, I've spoken to other prominent physicists and picked their brains about it and I'm just not seeing the same conclusive end result you seem to believe exists...that God is the answer. I see many making a good argument that god is more likely or a distinct possibility but very little in the way of "Yes, god is 100% conclusively true". Most of it is sheer confirmation bias. And any scientist who says that's the case is full of himself because anyone studying even basic undergrad science knows that the one thing science and the scientific method can not prove, is 100% absolute truth.

As for the assertion that Hitchens and Dawkins believe in FTU...I call bull s#. Let's look at their own words shall we?

Dawkins is quite dismissive of the fine-tuning argument.

He states the problem correctly: “Physicists have calculated that, if the laws and constants of physics had been even slightly different, the universe would have developed in such a way that life would have been impossible.” This mystery has become known as the Goldilocks Enigma, because the universe appears to be ‘just right’ for us in the same way as the little bear’s porridge, chair and bed were all ‘just right’ for Goldilocks in the children’s story.

Dawkins concludes, “As ever, the theist’s answer is deeply unsatisfying, because it leaves the existence of God unexplained. A God capable of calculating the Goldilocks values … would have to be at least as improbable as the finely tuned combination of numbers itself, and that is very improbable indeed.” He is left marvelling at the number of people, who seem genuinely satisfied by the ‘Divine Knob-Twiddler’ argument, as he crudely puts it.


Hitchens was a little less critical of it-

Hitchens raised the question as to which was the strongest argument used against atheists and he had no difficulty in identifying it. “The fine-tuning argument we all agree is the most intriguing. It is not trivial – we all say that.” Here he is clearly speaking for his New Atheist friends. Hitchens is emphatic and repeats the point, “We all agree about that.”


He agrees that it's the most intriguing argument. He doesn't say he believes it or that it makes him believe in god though does he?



Peter, whoever you are. You have created an ad hominem attack on Dr Barnes stating he has a creationist slant. You obviously know nothing about him or listened or read his work. Just for fun I would love you to tear apart his work on evolutionary biology tha way you can actually read the paper. I assume you mean why evolution is true.

Again you have argued absolutely zero I mean zero towards anything that has to do with fine tuning. You make ad hominem attacks about where the scientists work and have been given grants from. (if you are actually a scientist you would understand why this is a rediculous attack)

Most of your arguments are found on atheist forums already. Some i can find word for word.

I am confused as to what you want me to explain? I have already again acheived my goal. To prove not only have you missrepresented fine tuning but you know next to nothing about the hypothesis. The rebuttal to the argument is so theoretical its rediculous.

What we know of right now is the universe is fine tuned for life. That can not be disputed. If you can than go ahead. I dont think you have any argument so far. All you have done is critized the credibility of the authors of papers not their work.

I point out that stenger has zero cosmological papers and you have a rediculous reply about particle physics. My brother has as many papers as stenger and he isnt even 40 yet. Yet he wouod never write a book makeing claims he couldnt support which is what stenger did. He chose to write a book for people on amazon instead of writing a peer reviewed paper?

Another complete fallacy is that scientists dont write peer reviewed papers to other scientists hypothesis. Are you really a scientist? of course they do.


edit on 28-7-2015 by luthier because: edit



posted on Jul, 28 2015 @ 02:59 PM
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a reply to: peter vlar

Again. Tell me what I should explain in my own words. I am confused by your comments. My whole purpose is to show there is a compelling argument that the majority 200 plus papers by cosmologists have found evidence of fine tuning. That only a handful of papers have come against it.

Hawking believes in fine tuning his objection is how it came to be.

The only argument against fine tuning is for theist to use it as a teleological argument. You seem to have absolutely zero understanding that fine tuning is not the teleological argument itself. It is the observation of emperical data that shows what we currently know of the universe is that if things were even a fraction different lofe could not exist. Stars could not exist etc.

You can debate all you day long for extreme theoretical models to disprove it but, it seems rediculous to me to have your argument be as far fetched as just saying god did it. How is grasping at straws to come up theoretical models to disprove fine tuning any different than a theist saying god did it? Fine tuning is an observation of the cosmos as we currently understand it. Just like the out of Africa theory. Can there be more evidence out there probably. Are there hints something else could be going on yes.


again what do you disagree with in fine tuning? That the weight of a carbon molecule could be different and life as we know it could continue? What exactly do you have a problem with? I think Barnes on his interview on common sense atheism makes all tye points i need. He is an expert and highly regarded in cosmology. That is important. Cosmology. Just because i know geometry doesnt mean i can build a bridge now does it? There are some other disciplines that go into it. Steger copped out not submitting a paper against fine tuning to other scientists. He was hoping to sway non scientists.

Barnes podcast on common sense athesim i linked listen to it so I dont have to go over the common arguments by laypeople that are already disproven. Dawkins was who Hitchins was reffering to in we all agree about that. Dawkins is a biologist so he wouldnt debate any physicists on the subject. Hell he was to chicken to debate craig.

Another thing i dont get.... christian apologists actually use reason to talk about god yet athesits seem to loathe them more than your standard bible thumper. I guess some just dont like being destroyed by craig. I am far from a christian or apologist but academically speaking i have to admire craig as probably the best debator in modern times. He has shown a lot of fallacy in arguments.

I wont hold my breath for any specifics from you, it seems you are more inclined to support your favorite atheists than show how their work has meaning in this discussion. Again YOU asked for links you may as well read the ones i gave you. They are ALL from atheist sites so you cant ad hominem me on that too.

Again here is somw of stegers problems. www.uncommondescent.com...

Like you said do you want a 30 page paper? Its already in this link.

Steger misuses entropy for instance in one of his rebuttals. The fallacies are very clear read the article.

Hell dont read it I have nothing else to say here. I will be making a fine tuning thread because of this. You can debate there where I will explain it in my own words and use sources. Try and attack the claims though not the authors.

Gonna go out on a limb here and say St Thomas is catholic school? Catholics believe the creation story is allegory right? That 6000 years is not literal. A catholic creationist is not the same type of person who believes the world was created 6,000 years ago. Just wanted to point oit the difference to those who may not know.
edit on 28-7-2015 by luthier because: (no reason given)




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