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why are you an atheist?

Started by randomvim, September 11, 2016, 03:14:56 AM

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Alexmahone

Quote from: Cavebear on March 15, 2018, 01:56:29 AM
Wasting a Sunday (or any other day) is never good.  But do you have any other reasons for considering yourself an atheist?

I guess there are two major reasons:

First, I don't believe the mythological accounts of any religion. I spent my childhood in India where I was exposed to a lot of Hinduism, like the fascinating tales of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. But if your story has talking animals, demons with ten heads and people who can fly without the aid of modern technology, that's a sign that it may not be historically accurate.

Second, I don't believe prayer has any benefits apart from the placebo effect. And the placebo effect works only if you believe someone is listening to your prayers, and I don't think there is good reason now to believe so. Moreover, the presence of so much evil and suffering in the world rules out the presence of an omnipotent and benevolent being.

That said, I am open to the possibility that after we die, we may be reborn, perhaps in an other universe, but I'm sure there can be no evidence for this.

Baruch

Quote from: Alexmahone on March 15, 2018, 08:14:51 PM
I guess there are two major reasons:

First, I don't believe the mythological accounts of any religion. I spent my childhood in India where I was exposed to a lot of Hinduism, like the fascinating tales of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. But if your story has talking animals, demons with ten heads and people who can fly without the aid of modern technology, that's a sign that it may not be historically accurate.

Second, I don't believe prayer has any benefits apart from the placebo effect. And the placebo effect works only if you believe someone is listening to your prayers, and I don't think there is good reason now to believe so. Moreover, the presence of so much evil and suffering in the world rules out the presence of an omnipotent and benevolent being.

That said, I am open to the possibility that after we die, we may be reborn, perhaps in an other universe, but I'm sure there can be no evidence for this.

Congrats on being from a great culture.  But one doesn't have to curry favor with us ;-)  And yes, mythology is for children (Santa Clause isn't scientifically or historically accurate), but people never grow up, they simply adopt more sophisticated toys.  I enjoy Hindu stories, but this is easier because they are foreign.

The placebo benefit (which is a real benefit in psychosomatic medicine) is the positive effect on the person making the prayer (or the doctor's bedside manner), not on any supposed subject of prayer.  That is what magic is, auto-hypnosis or subject hypnosis.  In this case, subject hypnosis works in group worship, but not so much on a distant target.  And of course it works in politics too effectively.  Without light hypnosis we would have no culture, no language.

In paganism, there is no reason to believe that deities are benevolent.  And monotheism is clearly a metaphysical crash.  Clearly any or all deities are not benevolent.  No, if you knew Mahayana Buddhism, you would know that there is only the Present, that time as such is an illusion.  But illusions can be pragmatic.  In fact, to control people's beliefs about the past and the future ... is the basis of politics.
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ Å,a’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Unbeliever

Einstein also believed time to be an illusion. I wonder if he was Hindu? But the only God he believed in was that of Spinoza.
God Not Found
"There is a sucker born-again every minute." - C. Spellman

SGOS

Quote from: Unbeliever on March 16, 2018, 01:53:50 PM
Einstein also believed time to be an illusion.
So he said, and I can certainly see from the point of relativity that time could be an illusion, and even from my personal experience, in that before I was born and under periods of anesthesia, time didn't exist, so it may only be an illusion of the living, but time seems to continue without the living.  As Einstein points out, the illusion of time is a very convincing illusion.  It  doesn't exist just for schizophrenics.   Theoretical physics is helpful.  It explains a lot, but some things often remain unaccounted for in theory.  If time is just an illusion, it seems like a dicey thing to include in the most important theory Einstein came up with.  Well maybe time itself is not part of the theory, but speed certainly is, and speed seems to be rather dependent on time, and aspects of time are rendered in some of Einstein's own explanations of relativity. "Tme as an illusion," is fun to play with in intellectual and spiritual exercises.  But the jury may not be in yet.

Baruch

Quote from: Unbeliever on March 16, 2018, 01:53:50 PM
Einstein also believed time to be an illusion. I wonder if he was Hindu? But the only God he believed in was that of Spinoza.

Yes, Einstein knew I was a demigod, even before I was born.  That takes genius!
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ Å,a’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Sal1981

Quote from: Unbeliever on March 16, 2018, 01:53:50 PM
Einstein also believed time to be an illusion. I wonder if he was Hindu? But the only God he believed in was that of Spinoza.
I think time exists as a sort of "fabric" of space, i.e. change and processes, and that only time is measurable through the "arrow of time", which is rate of change thanks to entropy. I don't think time exists ontologically. I gets kinda funky with relativity too.

A good indication that time is an illusion like this, is non-locality of time, there's no universal time reference, but only point references.
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool" --- Richard P. Feynman

Baruch

Quote from: SGOS on March 16, 2018, 03:49:23 PM
So he said, and I can certainly see from the point of relativity that time could be an illusion, and even from my personal experience, in that before I was born and under periods of anesthesia, time didn't exist, so it may only be an illusion of the living, but time seems to continue without the living.  As Einstein points out, the illusion of time is a very convincing illusion.  It  doesn't exist just for schizophrenics.   Theoretical physics is helpful.  It explains a lot, but some things often remain unaccounted for in theory.  If time is just an illusion, it seems like a dicey thing to include in the most important theory Einstein came up with.  Well maybe time itself is not part of the theory, but speed certainly is, and speed seems to be rather dependent on time, and aspects of time are rendered in some of Einstein's own explanations of relativity. "Tme as an illusion," is fun to play with in intellectual and spiritual exercises.  But the jury may not be in yet.

I suspect he was joking.  Space-time was crucial to explain STR and without it, would make GTR impossible.  Newtonian time is an illusion (aka absolute time) just as Newtonian space is an illusion (aka absolute space).  But it is a good illusion at low speed, and in weak gravitation.  Minkowski saved Einstein's chestnuts (he invented space-time, not Einstein), and then conveniently died before he could take more credit.  Minkowski had been one of Einstein's math teachers in college.  As it was Hilbert (another math professor) who nearly invented GTR before Einstein, they were in a friendly race.  What helped Einstein was he as bad at math, and thought in terms of logical/physical puzzles, not the pure etherium of a true mathematician.  Hilbert remarked that the average undergrad in his college knew more geometry than Einstein, but they only color within the lines, Einstein never would, on any subject.
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ Å,a’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

SGOS

Quote from: Sal1981 on March 16, 2018, 08:49:08 PM
A good indication that time is an illusion like this, is non-locality of time, there's no universal time reference, but only point references.
It's difficult to imagine (not the same thing as being false).  At best, I can imagine non-locality only before the singularity.  There is no place for the singularity to occur because there is no universe, and space-time does not yet exist.  But when the singularity does occur, space-time comes into existence along with matter.  I've only been told this, but I can accept it.

With the creation of matter, places come into being, if only relative to each other, and we can travel from place to place because time now exists.

I just googled and had non-locality explained to me, but this is as far as I can imagine it.  In the universe, places exist relative to each other, but what place the universe occupies is still encumbered by there being nothing anywhere else that has a place, which suggests to me that the universe is nowhere.  Consequently, every place in the universe is also nowhere in this bigger picture.

This rather satisfies me for the moment, even if I'm imagining it wrong.

trdsf

Quote from: Sal1981 on March 16, 2018, 08:49:08 PM
I think time exists as a sort of "fabric" of space, i.e. change and processes, and that only time is measurable through the "arrow of time", which is rate of change thanks to entropy. I don't think time exists ontologically. I gets kinda funky with relativity too.

A good indication that time is an illusion like this, is non-locality of time, there's no universal time reference, but only point references.
It is part of space, insofar as we can refer to four-dimensional spacetime.

The explanation of what happens inside the event horizon of a black hole is that you gain the freedom to move along the time dimension, but lose the freedom to move along one spatial dimension, which means you're drawn towards the singularity inside a black hole in more or less the same way that you're drawn towards the future outside a black hole.

The nature of time, however, remains elusive.  Hawking suggested, as a proposal rather than a full theory, that time automatically flows in the same direction as the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which would make it almost trivial.

I once worked out, when ten-dimensional space was theorized to be at the bottom of superstrings, that you could get three dimensions out of ten by intersecting nine of them each rotated around the tenth, and that tenth unrotated and unintersected dimension would be the one we experience as time.  Alas, eleven seems to be the number, so my geometrical approach was no more than an interesting cogitation.  But the math was pretty.  :)
"My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total, and I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction of the Constitution." -- Barbara Jordan

Unbeliever

Space/time my exist only as an emergent quality of the universe, much as wetness is an emergent quality of water. And, just as water looks continuous and smooth from our perspective, it's really made up of very tiny particles. I've recently heard about an idea called causal set theory that posits a similar granularity to space/time:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6uHQhGC65U


QuoteThe causal sets program is an approach to quantum gravity. Its founding principles are that spacetime is fundamentally discrete (a collection of discrete spacetime points, called the elements of the causal set) and that spacetime events are related by a partial order. This partial order has the physical meaning of the causality relations between spacetime events.


http://www.einstein-online.info/spotlights/causal_sets.html

God Not Found
"There is a sucker born-again every minute." - C. Spellman

Baruch

Alfred North Whitehead tried to build an entire philosophy out of Space-time (as understood in the 1920s).  Einstein said, keep everything as simple as possible, but no simpler.  So far, nobody has been able to describe mass-energy or charge etc directly from space-time alone.  They are always something added.
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ Å,a’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

SoldierofFortune

Nowadays i have been researching on the simulation argument which is kind of a theistic idea...
I have decided that it is worth thinking on it.

Baruch

Quote from: SoldierofFortune on April 10, 2018, 08:24:42 AM
Nowadays i have been researching on the simulation argument which is kind of a theistic idea...
I have decided that it is worth thinking on it.

Where were you when Drew_2017 was posting a year ago?  That is his exact hobby horse.
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ Å,a’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Unbeliever

Quote from: SoldierofFortune on April 10, 2018, 08:24:42 AM
Nowadays i have been researching on the simulation argument which is kind of a theistic idea...
I have decided that it is worth thinking on it.

Are you referring to the idea that we might be living in a simulation? Even if we are then whomever is running the simulation may themselves be living in a simulation, and so on ad infinitum. Or somewhere there  may be a rock bottom reality that is not being simulated, and is the base reality from which all other simulations are generated.
God Not Found
"There is a sucker born-again every minute." - C. Spellman

SGOS

Quote from: Unbeliever on April 10, 2018, 01:40:59 PM
Are you referring to the idea that we might be living in a simulation? Even if we are then whomever is running the simulation may themselves be living in a simulation, and so on ad infinitum. Or somewhere there  may be a rock bottom reality that is not being simulated, and is the base reality from which all other simulations are generated.
I recommend The Thirteenth Floor if you can find it.  It's an old movie, but well done.