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Two simple questions for atheists/naturalists

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posted on May, 21 2012 @ 03:10 AM
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Please note:

I am not presenting this question as a platform for debate. I'm not attempting to argue for the existence of God. I'm not attempting to "prove" God exists. I actually really just want to understand the atheist/naturalist worldview more holistically. I'm genuinely interested in hearing the perspective of atheists/naturalists/or whatever "ist" might be relevant to the question. Obviously, feel free to debate amongst yourselves - I just want my personal intent to be clear.

With that being said ...

It can be assumed that the laws of physics preceded matter because matter assumes laws to form in the first place (without the electromagnetic and strong nuclear forces there could be no atom, without gravity there could be no planetary bodies, etc).

My questions (indicated in bold) being:

Where did the laws of physics come from? Where did the four forces of nature come from? Where/what is the organizing principle which gave rise to the laws of nature? I mean, did the laws themselves self-assemble?

Self-assembly they say. I guess I can't wrap my head around the idea (which doesn't mean its untrue of course, only that I find it a dubious and unsatisfactory explanation).

It seems to me, organization suggests intelligence. But to take this thought even further ...

Even IF the forces/laws of nature self-assembled during the 'planck epoch', would it not make more sense for the materials of the early universe to self-assemble randomly, inconsistently?

How does unguided, undirected self-assembly account for the uniformity of nature?

And doesn't the process of assembly itself, whether it be self-assembly or assemblage via some telic entity imply a purpose, a goal - to some degree? That might be a stretch, but the idea seems intuitive.

At any rate, looking forward to your replies!


P.S. I'm headed to bed so if I don't respond, no worries - I'm not bailing, just nodding off. I'll be back

edit on 21-5-2012 by followtheevidence because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 21 2012 @ 03:23 AM
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I think allot of people who claim to be Atheists dont know there's actually another logical stance to take, which is called Agnosticism.



Agnosticism is the view that the truth values of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claims—are unknown or unknowable
More info

Which brings me to your question. . Its unanswerable, we can argue both sides but in the end there's actually no current way of knowing, its all a big guessing game.



posted on May, 21 2012 @ 03:31 AM
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reply to post by followtheevidence
 


Dear followtheevidence

In my opinion it doesn’t matter either way.

If your god is caperable of putting these laws in place it is impossible for us as human beings to understand such a being ie, GOD.

Therefore all is relevant from start to finish.

Also why would such a being be in anyway interested in us?



posted on May, 21 2012 @ 03:31 AM
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reply to post by followtheevidence
 



Originally posted by followtheevidence
Where did the laws of physics come from? Where did the four forces of nature come from? Where/what is the organizing principle which gave rise to the laws of nature? I mean, did the laws themselves self-assemble?

Self-assembly they say. I guess I can't wrap my head around the idea (which doesn't mean its untrue of course, only that I find it a dubious and unsatisfactory explanation).

It seems to me, organization suggests intelligence.


The laws of physics doesn't just apply to us on Earth, they apply to the entire universe. Sure, it could all be intelligently designed but if that was the case, why have the massive voids that are existant in our solar system, our galaxy?

You wouldn't be here if energized bodies of matter didn't circle large mass objects. Our solar system, our galaxy and the atoms in our bodies wouldn't exist if these laws were not followed.

If, and I mean IF this is intelligent, it seems very rudamentary and that is giving God a lot of credit.

I think we are a product of what we are able to achieve, nothing more.... nothing less.



posted on May, 21 2012 @ 03:33 AM
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Originally posted by n00bUK
I think allot of people who claim to be Atheists dont know there's actually another logical stance to take, which is called Agnosticism.



Agnosticism is the view that the truth values of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claims—are unknown or unknowable
More info

Which brings me to your question. . Its unanswerable, we can argue both sides but in the end there's actually no current way of knowing, its all a big guessing game.


That's how I look at things, myself, with a side-view that karma does exist, or, at the very least, is nice to think about and work with lol

I've no issue with someone, be they religious or non, but definitely dislike (in a big way lol) anyone that uses religion or NON religion as a breeding ground or reason to hate, in any circumstances.

And I've seen that on both sides, from religious people to atheists. It's not cool and helps no one, because, in the end, until you yourself die and face what's there, you don't KNOW. you believe... but you don't KNOW, and there's a big difference between the two.

And, just as YOU don't KNOW, others do not, as well, on both sides. So there's no sense in arguing about it, or trying to spread chaos by pushing it on people.

(and the "you" in this case is not referring to the OP or to n00b, but is a generic "you")



posted on May, 21 2012 @ 03:35 AM
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1. No one can answer that. No one knows.

The answer is probably incomprehensible to us at this point in time.

2. Can you expand on what you mean by "uniformity of nature" please? Then I will be able to give my opinion.
edit on 21-5-2012 by SpearMint because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 21 2012 @ 03:36 AM
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we all know that something has never and will never come from nothing.
was everything we know then created by an omniscient cloud man?
hardly.
organized religion is, in my opinion, and out-dated and out-moded concept.
my best guess, for that is all it is, would be that the laws of nature have simply always been. i know this may be a difficult concept, but our understanding of how "things really are" is so strictly finite that we may never fully understand.
adressing your second concept, i feel self-assembly is a silly idea so therefore moot. perhaps with the exception of nanomachines (which are theoretical as well)
any way theres my shot in the dark.



posted on May, 21 2012 @ 03:39 AM
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reply to post by followtheevidence
 


Originally posted by followtheevidence

It can be assumed that the laws of physics preceded matter because matter assumes laws to form in the first place (without the electromagnetic and strong nuclear forces there could be no atom, without gravity there could be no planetary bodies, etc).
Anyone anywhere can assume anything at anytime, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it is true.




I actually really just want to understand ......
You may be trying too hard. Obviously, you are not looking at it the same way as I am.......

Where did the laws of physics come from? Where did the four forces of nature come from? Where/what is the organizing principle which gave rise to the laws of nature?
I have no idea where they came from, and I'm fine that. I am content with accepting the fact that I will never know the answers to thousands(+/-) of questions.

However, because of that, I really have no choice, but to answer your question, with a question of my own: You believe that the forces of nature, and the laws of physics came from your god, correct? So where did your god come from?



P.S. I'm not an atheist. I don't believe in categorization.



posted on May, 21 2012 @ 03:47 AM
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Originally posted by followtheevidence

Where did the laws of physics come from? Where did the four forces of nature come from? Where/what is the organizing principle which gave rise to the laws of nature? I mean, did the laws themselves self-assemble?


Let's try the reverse situation: What would happen, if one of these laws and forces (I will come to the organizing principle later) were altered?
Well, there is this Anthropic principle-idea: We are able to talk about those laws and forces because they are the way they are - minimal differences would make life as we know it impossible. So you could say that this universe won the "jackpot" (or how ever you would call the infestition with lifeforms) of life. Maybe many, many more had to exist without the observer.

Organizing principle: "An organizing principle is a core assumption from which everything else by proximity can derive a classification or a value" Source

Proximity in the development of life is inevitable if life exists on the same ressources - oxygen, light, water.
There are different species of bacteria which can sustain on really freakish ressources (sulfur, geothermal heat, etc) which would be highly deadly for human life.
So, if you have enough species derived from a source which could life well with the given ressources, there is some organization principle possible. If you have hundreds of different ressources for simple life, you would have a melting pot without clearly definable organizations.

Still, no need for a god.





How does unguided, undirected self-assembly account for the uniformity of nature?


Simple: the organism which can use its ressources the best or is able to achive more ressources than his competitors will have more offspring.
A tree using C3 photosynthesis (info) does have higher yield of the suns powers than flowers using C4 (in normal circumstances as C4 has it advantages in drought or high temperature-climates). So there are more C3s than C4s. Therefore more uniformity.

It is a game with limited ressources - and winning strategies are often copied. Therefore more uniformity for all and everything.
edit on 21-5-2012 by ManFromEurope because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 21 2012 @ 03:48 AM
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Something else that occurred to me after posting my other reply:

You, in the OP, wondered about the laws of physics and all that jazz, and say that the universe organized itself according to those laws (paraphrase)

the question I would ask is, how do we know that the thigns in the universe formed themselves according to the laws of physics?
After all, we came up with physics after the fact. Who says that, in the beginning of things, the laws were different? Or that the laws even exist as we see them? Are the things we see actually in existence? No one has been able to prove where consciousness comes from, let alone that the laws of nature are really as they are lol

The point is, we came up with these laws and everything we "know" after the fact. We don't know for sure, REALLY FOR SURE, that this is how it's always been or how it will always be, or if it even exists as things appear.

In that case, there's even less of a way to prove or disprove the existence of a god or godlike being, or even that what laws of physics you base the OP on exist.

Just something to thin about, outside of the box. Always good to seek answers, right? Problem is, you come up with even more questions lol



posted on May, 21 2012 @ 03:52 AM
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Originally posted by BrokenCircles
P.S. I'm not an atheist. I don't believe in categorization.


Whether you "believe in categorization" or not, you are in a category and always will be. Everyone is.



posted on May, 21 2012 @ 03:53 AM
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Originally posted by ManFromEurope

Originally posted by followtheevidence

Where did the laws of physics come from? Where did the four forces of nature come from? Where/what is the organizing principle which gave rise to the laws of nature? I mean, did the laws themselves self-assemble?


Let's try the reverse situation: What would happen, if one of these laws and forces (I will come to the organizing principle later) were altered?
Well, there is this Anthropic principle-idea: We are able to talk about those laws and forces because they are the way they are - minimal differences would make life as we know it impossible. So you could say that this universe won the "jackpot" (or how ever you would call the infestition with lifeforms) of life. Maybe many, many more had to exist without the observer.


Kinda touches on the reply i just made above with this.

We say the laws are the way they are because, well, we see them!

But if they were tweaked just a little differently, we would see them a whole different way, or not at all; therefore, either the laws are absolute and immovable, OR they are malleable with circumstance.

In other words, do the laws exist because of what we observe and declare are the laws, or are they absolute from the beginning, and, therefore, all things have conformed to follow them?

And to add to this, remember that the laws according to how WE know them have changed much over the years, and are STILL changing, because scientists keep running across things they cannot answer, and need to come up with new additions to old laws, or rewrite them altogether.



posted on May, 21 2012 @ 03:56 AM
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Originally posted by SpearMint

Originally posted by BrokenCircles
P.S. I'm not an atheist. I don't believe in categorization.


Whether you "believe in categorization" or not, you are in a category and always will be. Everyone is.


Sure, in broad terms. We're all human (or at least assumed to be lol) and that's a category.

You are either male or female at birth.. that's a category (though there are exceptions to that as well (i.e. hermaphrodites).

You can paint in broad strokes and everyone falls into a place somewhere.

Things kinda dissolve at a personal level, though. I consider myself a bit of an odd duck in terms of thoughts, and I guess that can be a category, too



posted on May, 21 2012 @ 04:04 AM
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Deep down in my heart I'm an agnostic because I'm not arrogant to claim either or.

Really, that's how I feel and have since I was a child. I'd ask myself, "How do people know?", and along the way I had to headbutt a nearly balanced division of faith that cannot be intimidated, nor changed, and fact bearing individuals who seem to forget the true awe of the science and inevitable nature that they bathe in.

If I was to take a stab at it, I would say that this realm we are in now, with physics, with language, with everything that we have come to adorn and show off, that we are missing the mark by feeling that this physical state, apart of this short-time that we possess on this planet (to our knowledge anyway), is simply "as is", or is something that can only be explained with the facts relevant to this lifetime, but facts all the same. It's a blanket for security.

Our experiences shape our perspective, and many people on this Earth are glued to what they feel is true either way that you look at it. Many are so cynical and apathetic that they lose touch with the beauty and sheer emotion involved in life itself. Many are afraid of the truth, whatever that may be, no matter how much they can deny it and tell themselves they are not. We fear death, because we fear the unknown, and as the world has shown us today, fear itself can control all of our thoughts and actions. This I cannot deny.

I think that it takes character and a true sense of the unknown to admit that one simply does not know, because there will always be a line-up of people who will not hesitate to share what they feel is the supreme truth, based mostly on their experiences, upbringing and location(s). There are many ways to explain all that is around us, and I feel that people prefer to take the explanation that is most simple, and by this I mean something that a person feels they need to be able to fathom, or they can or should be able to wrap their head around.

I like to look at us as being similar to an ant stumbling around in 2d. Aware of it's goal and a sense of built-in clockwork and acceptance for what is around it, but still unaware of many, many other things within its vicinity, or across the ocean, or above in the sky.

I don't think it's pointless to crave knowledge or believe in things that others do not, but I think that the nature of science, and the nature of spirituality and belief are perhaps separate things, or were perhaps one. Something that we've lost through the ages, or something that culture and ego has inevitably separated through the strands of time. It makes sense how a human who works constantly, or attempts to ignore, or quell fears and the unknown comes to conclude on the things that it does. If only we could fathom it all.



posted on May, 21 2012 @ 04:46 AM
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I then ask you this simple question;

Do you think it was possible that anything existed before the laws of nature came?
How is your god able to create something, when even he couldn't be there?



posted on May, 21 2012 @ 06:31 AM
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reply to post by followtheevidence
 


I actually really just want to understand the atheist/naturalist worldview more holistically.

Understanding a naturalist viewpoint is very simple; we simply accept that the world is pretty much as it appears to be. There is no higher power casting nets of illusion to prevent us from discerning His feet of clay. We take life as it comes.


It can be assumed that the laws of physics preceded matter because matter assumes laws to form in the first place.

It can, but it would be a great mistake to do so.


Where did the laws of physics come from?

They appear to be intrinsic to the physical universe we inhabit.


Where did the four forces of nature come from?

See previous answer. However, there are only three forces, not four.


Where/what is the organizing principle which gave rise to the laws of nature?

Why do you think there should be one?


Self-assembly they say. I guess I can't wrap my head around the idea.

Yes, God squeezes every diamond into a perfect crystal lattice with His omnipotent Fingers.


How does unguided, undirected self-assembly account for the uniformity of nature?

It doesn't.

This thread should be in the Origins & Creationism forum.


edit on 21/5/12 by Astyanax because: I had to wipe some dog-drool off my shoes.



posted on May, 21 2012 @ 06:40 AM
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Self-assembly they say. I guess I can't wrap my head around the idea.

Yes, God squeezes every diamond into a perfect crystal lattice with His omnipotent Fingers.




lol first hting I though of at this was that a lot of those who follow religions based on a god-figure in the lead definitely dont tend to become diamonds, or even diamonds in the rough


The second thought I had was of the massive crystal chambers that can be found around the world

Like this one:



Amazing stuff, those chambers. Very sobering and cool

And not formed by the hand of a god, but GROWN. Neat lol



posted on May, 21 2012 @ 06:42 AM
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reply to post by followtheevidence
 




Where did the laws of physics come from? Where did the four forces of nature come from? Where/what is the organizing principle which gave rise to the laws of nature? I mean, did the laws themselves self-assemble?


As an atheist I am perfectly content with saying that I don't know. The questions themselves may be malformed, as the laws of physics don't really exist in any real sense, they are merely descriptions of the way the Universe is observed to work - it's not as though they are written down in some cosmic legislature.

I don't know the answers, and that's quite all right... What I do know is that I'm not satisfied with a magical or supernatural answer to your questions as such answers tend to lack evidence and also tend to make poor explanations (Zeus was hardly a good explanation for lightning) and so all I can do is admit that I don't know.


reply to post by n00bUK
 


Agnosticism and atheism are not mutually exclusive positions, most atheists are agnostic in that they do not claim to KNOW that god's do not exist. I myself am an agnostic-atheist in regards to many god concepts, however I am also a gnostic-atheist in regards to gods like Zeus, Yahweh, or Odin. The issue is very nuanced and some people reject any and all of the labels.


edit on 21-5-2012 by Titen-Sxull because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 21 2012 @ 08:29 AM
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Originally posted by MAC269
reply to post by followtheevidence
 


Dear followtheevidence

In my opinion it doesn’t matter either way.

If your god is caperable of putting these laws in place it is impossible for us as human beings to understand such a being ie, GOD.


Not from the bottom up, no. However, if He created these laws He created understanding itself, reality itself. He would then not be constrained by our inabilities. If He so chose, He could find a way to communicate His truth to us.


Therefore all is relevant from start to finish.

Also why would such a being be in anyway interested in us?


That's the thing about love - even insignificant creatures can be loved.



posted on May, 21 2012 @ 08:38 AM
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Originally posted by SpearMint
1. No one can answer that. No one knows.

The answer is probably incomprehensible to us at this point in time.

2. Can you expand on what you mean by "uniformity of nature" please? Then I will be able to give my opinion.
edit on 21-5-2012 by SpearMint because: (no reason given)



The assumption is that the same natural laws and processes that operate in the universe now, have always operated in the universe in the past and apply everywhere in the universe: Uniformitarianism.


More here

Thanks for the reply!



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