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Refuting the Top 4 Arguments for God!

Updated on December 6, 2016

Intelligent Design

Many religious people simply cannot imagine a universe without a creator. I'll admit I used to feel like the thought of a universe without a God seemed to be like a fire without fuel. It just didn't make any sense.

However, I now have a couple of refutations to this popular argument for God's existence. Firstly, intelligent design implies that everything is designed brilliantly or with a high degree of complexity which could only arise from a previous and higher degree of complexity. The first problem with this argument is that it begs the question. That question being, what intelligent designer created the intelligent designer?

Secondly, there are countless examples of nature showing us not so intelligent designs. For example, the arteries which supply oxygenated and nutrient rich blood to our retinas actually sit in front of our retina. In other words, light has to pass through a bunch of arteries just to get to the retina. That would be similar to a camera designer putting the wiring for the photo-sensor in front of the sensor, effectively blocking detail! Not so intelligent after all. But, this can easily be explained away by any religious person. They can say that God altered everything to be worse after the curse resulting from human sin. But I'd say that the argument still stands because there are countless examples of not so intelligent design. Take for example the trillions upon trillions of galaxies out there. All intelligently designed to be completely void of life and entirely obsolete to God's plan. Seems a bit strange.

Pascal's Wager

Pascal's wager arises from the simple fact that you cannot prove that God does or does not exist. So rather than finding the truth of God's existence through reason and evidence, you put that to one side. Instead, the existence of God becomes a wager. Basically you have two options in this bet. You can bet that God does not exist, if he does, you lose everything. Or, if you bet that God exists, and he does, you get an eternity in paradise and don't lose anything. This argument comes down to a sort of fear appeal starting from the question, what if you're wrong?

My answer to this wager, to this question of what if I'm wrong, is that this argument can be applied to all Gods. Let's take Islam for example. There are roughly 1.6 billion Muslims in the world. So what if you're wrong about the existence of Allah? Would it not be a wise wager to place your bets on the Christian and the Muslim God? If you place your bets with both, then you can't lose anything, except maybe your intellectual honesty. But that's where we get if we apply Pascal's wager.

What if you're wrong about all the Greek, Roman, and Egyptian Gods?

Richard Dawkin's on Pascal's Wager

Morality

Real moral obligation is a fact. We are really, truly, objectively obligated to do good and avoid evil. Either the atheistic view of reality is correct or the religious one. But the atheistic one is incompatible with there being moral obligation. Therefore the religious view of reality is correct.

I can approach this from a couple of angles. First morality is God given, we don't get it out of a book but rather through the circumstances of creation. The first humans ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and from that point on humans were completely aware of their own morality. That's why people intuitively know whether or not an action is moral, given that it is not overly complex. Such as a child hitting another child, you don't have to tell them it is wrong, they know it is wrong. Same goes for adults, we just have an innate sense. If you're religious this sense comes from God's creation.

In a scientific view of the world, our sense of right and wrong comes from evolutionary biology. To explain it simply, we evolved morality because we're a social species that requires a tightly knit tribe to survive. As we evolved together in our tribes we had to be kind and compassionate just to survive. The people who we saw once, we were likely to see again, and there was a good possibility that we would rely on them to survive at a point, so morality is a good way to survive and reproduce. However, morality outside of the tribe is different. Sometimes it increases ones survival and reproduction to be cruel and heartless. And even religion will show this to be true, when God commanded the Israelites to go and obliterate another tribe, it was moral. So from an atheist perspective, we all have morality already, and it's contingent upon what increases the general survival and reproduction of our tribe or in-group.

The second way to approach this is through objective morality. Atheists have developed an objective standard of morality without religion. It's called the non-aggression principle. Through this principle derived from a human's innate sense of right and wrong, we can make objective moral decisions. I know that it is wrong to hit someone because it is the initiation of the use of force, which is immoral.

Common Consent

  1. Belief in God—that Being to whom reverence and worship are properly due—is common to almost all people of every era.
  2. Either the vast majority of people have been wrong about this most profound element of their lives or they have not.
  3. It is most plausible to believe that they have not.
  4. Therefore it is most plausible to believe that God exists.

This argument requires a lot of faith in human rationality, which is rare at best. Keep in mind that historically we have literally burned people alive and sacrificed humans to God's that didn't even exist.

People will believe in anything that gives them a sense of hope. The truth is we're all in an endless cosmic abyss, we're going to die, we're going to lose everyone we love and everything we have. That truth is nearly impossible for people to swallow, and that's one of the main reasons for religion. So common consent only proves that people commonly desire purpose, meaning, and fulfillment in life, particularly from someone or something greater than themselves.

The other problem with this argument is that it implies that all religions are following the path to a common God. Which is practically impossible. All religions believe they are the one true religion, and that implies that they are all mutually exclusive or contradictory. They can only coexist if humans are irrational and unwilling to see the mutually exclusive nature of religion, even with its ubiquitous nature.

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    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 8 months ago from Australia

      Not sure I know the George C Scott version. I'll check it out. That "cue ball bald" star trek guy did a great version too.

      We have a lot in common in many ways. I once had a dislike for Catholic nuns after getting beaten as a child. Later in life I found Hinduism and Bhuddism and took up a lifelong study of all religions ancient, modern and indigenous. My life has been riddled with tragedies but I found these only to be for the refining of my spirit. Holding onto Love at such times caused me to experience many miraculous events.

      One of my favourite Hindu actual people is Shirdi Baba who used to shelter at night in an old broken down mosque and then in the morning walk to an old Hindu temple and then reverse the process daily. This eventually became a daily festival. By doing this he erased all religious prejudice.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 8 months ago from Michigan, USA

      I LOOOOVE "A Christmas Carol!" But I prefer the version with George C. Scott. The earlier versions are okay, but I'm quite fond of Scott's version of Scrooge.

      As for "Star Wars," I was a fan until J. J. Abrams took over the directing helm. He's in large part responsible for that abomination known as the "Star Trek" reboot. I'll never forgive him and the producers for totally trashing a series I've loved ever since I was a kid!

      I also wish to join Oz in wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays or whatever one chooses to celebrate this time of year. And a Happy New Year, too! :-D

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 8 months ago from Australia

      Paladin

      I assume you will follow the Star Wars series. The main theme is the "Force" which is a religious concept.

      The current xmas season produces a palpable sense of spirituality and good will to those with a glimmer of decency. I'm sure you and others are feeling this unscientific sense. It's almost impossible not to on xmas eve or morning. Try watching the classic USA versions of "A Xmas Carol" to help the mood.

      Wishing you a happy and prosperous xmas and new year.

      "May the Force Be With You" (translation: Happy Xmas)

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 8 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Oz, it seems another reading comprehension lesson is in order. You just claimed

      "...We both see intelligent design as a legitimate theory..."

      No, we don't. A quote of mine from five days ago:

      "...Hypothetically, I suppose that would be true, if there were an actual scientific THEORY of intelligent design, and not just a lot of unsubstantiated and ridiculous hypotheses. You DO know the difference between hypotheses and theories, don't you?..."

      Another quote of mine, from four days ago:

      "...I've never denied that intelligent design is a "possibility." I'm simply saying that it's not a formal scientific theory. It's an hypothesis, and a rather ridiculous one, in my opinion..."

      So, not only do I NOT agree that intelligent design is a "legitimate" theory, I don't agree that it's a scientific theory AT ALL. Or do I need to spell more slowly? ;-)

      As for your link to the Cosmos Magazine article, I must actually congratulate you on FINALLY trying to offer some scientific support for intelligent design. The author, a professor of Astrophysics actually makes what seems to be compelling argument for a "finely-tuned" universe, if not actually intelligent design.

      The problem is that the evidence he presents supports nothing more than a picture of the universe that currently exists (as opposed to not existing), not one that is "fine-tuned" for life. If it were, it wouldn't be on a one-way cooling down toward ultimate heat death (which EVERY astrophysicist knows, but he completely ignores).

      What he and other "fine-tuning" advocates also routinely ignore is that we don't actually know how much life exists in the universe, so we can't even BEGIN to hypothesize that it's "finely-tuned" for it. All we know for certain is that it does exist one tiny, pale, blue dot in a doomed system whose star is destined for life-ending expansion, filled with asteroids -- any of which could strike Earth and end all life -- on the edge of a galaxy on a collision course with another. So much for "fine-tuning."

      What we also know is that much of the observable universe is extremely HOSTILE to life (at least, life as any of us know it), as eloquently explained by Dr. Tyson (another astrophysicist) in his lecture.

      Still, Oz, I give you a B+ this time for actually doing some homework and making a good effort! Kudos!

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 8 months ago from Australia

      Paladin

      Glad to hear you see Donald for what he really is. We have this in common. We also respect Agnosticism. We both see intelligent design as a legitimate theory.

      I merely disapprove of the crusty cranky "old man dawkins" approach which is to ridicule anything to do with all religion and to create divisive dissent on a topic that has its roots in humanity.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 8 months ago from Australia

      Yet more support for intelligent design from the science community:

      https://cosmosmagazine.com/physics/a-universe-made...

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 8 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Oz, you've made similar references to myself and Trump before, but I more or less ignored them in passing, because they made no sense. But now you claim specifically that I "voted for Donald Trump," and I honestly don't know where you got that idea.

      I've NEVER expressed support for Donald Trump anywhere here on HubPages (or anywhere else online, for that matter). I think he's an egotistical buffoon who's grossly unqualified to serve as student class president, let alone President of the United States. And I certainly didn't vote for him (incidentally, I didn't vote for Hillary, either). You must have me confused with someone else. No harm.

      As for my previous comments that you quoted, since you didn't bother to elaborate on them, I went back and examined them myself. In retrospect, I can see how they could be confusing. So I think further explanation is in order.

      I can see how saying an hypothesis is "possible" but then saying it's "ridiculous" can seem contradictory to some. But the two words aren't mutually exclusive.

      To put it more succinctly and clearly, my attitude toward intelligent design (as an atheist) is that I think it's a ridiculous idea, but that (as an agnostic) I must admit it's a possibility, however unlikely it's ridiculousness makes it.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 8 months ago from Australia

      Here is a related question about religious fundamentalist atheists.

      http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/answer/274...

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 8 months ago from Australia

      It's there in writing!

      I believe if a person voted for Donald they cling to backwoods right wing fundamentalism. Yet you support him and claim to be an atheist or agnostic.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 8 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Oz, I honestly don't know why you posted those comments of mine. None of them contradict each other, or anything else I've said here.

      It seems we truly ARE speaking a different language. I'm speaking English and you're speaking...well, I suppose the jury is still out on that:

      I post a comment repeating that I think that intelligent design is a ridiculous hypothesis.

      Immediately thereafter, you post the following comment:

      "...Ok we are agreeing that Intelligent design is reasonable ..."

      Oy vey! 8-P

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 8 months ago from Australia

      Here are some interesting quotes:

      Paladin_ 12 days ago from Michigan, USA

      "Oz, my agnosticism isn't "newly found." I've been an agnostic as long as I've been an atheist. Indeed, to be honest, I suppose I'd have to admit that I was an agnostic even BEFORE I was an atheist -- because even when I believed, I didn't really KNOW.

      As for agnosticism being a "reasonable and acceptable path," I finally agree with you! :-) In fact, it's the only honest path."

      Paladin_ 13 days ago from Michigan, USA

      "Similarly, admitting an intelligent designer is "possible" doesn't mean one admits to a "controlling entity."

      Paladin_ 2 weeks ago from Michigan, USA

      "As for atheists accepting intelligent design as a "possibility," any honest atheist will admit that nearly anything is possible."

    • profile image

      Oztinato 8 months ago

      Ok we are agreeing that Intelligent design is reasonable and that as Einstein said everything is made up of infinite energy. At last!

      Of course I understand why you get grumpy when the tide turns.

      I have to assume you voted for Trump: a right wing "religious" nutter.

      "Luke(Paladin) I am your father"..................Vadar(religion).

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 8 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Oz, when did "we" -- presumably you and the mouse in your pocket -- establish that intelligent design is suddenly a "respectable concept?" I personally stated that I thought it was absurd. My exact words, again (with special emphasis), for those with reading comprehension difficulties:

      "...It's an hypothesis, and A RATHER RIDICULOUS ONE, in my opinion..."

      As for "infinite" universes, that's not the same thing as "infinite energy" in this universe, which is what you first asserted. But it doesn't matter, because the very idea of a multi-verse is, again, only a HYPOTHESIS! Again -- for those with comprehension difficulties -- that means it's only SPECULATION, and not established scientific theory. Speculation is not evidence!

      Just Helen, I genuinely appreciate your attempts at diplomacy. However, this is only the latest round in a series of altercations between Oz and myself that have been going on for at least a year now. In just about every hub published in the "Atheism & Agnosticism" category, he trots out the same ridiculous assertions about science supporting creationism. Someone (usually me) challenges him to support them, and he always fails. Then, when the next hub is published, he makes the exact same claims, as if nothing had happened.

      If I could be certain that nobody else would come along and be persuaded by his BS, I would be content to leave it alone, but I know far too well how easily people are conned by impressive-sounding pseudo-scientific gibberish (Just ask Deepak Chopra).

      Believe me, it's tiresome and annoying. But, in the end, I think necessary.

    • just helen profile image

      just helen 8 months ago from Dartmoor UK

      Time, gentlemen, please!

      No-one really knows, so why not leave it at that!

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 8 months ago from Australia

      Ok we've now established that intelligent design is suddenly a respectable concept.

      From there we go to here:

      I invite you to study up on multi universe concepts and how the idea of energy changes in various INFINITE universes.

      We are all making hypothesis here. Who doesn't know that?

      We are talking about an intelligent force that surrounds and binds everything. I feel you're faith in old crusty dawkins false ideas is faltering. Perhaps you are afraid of the new scientific theories? Do you watch Star Wars? It's about religion.

      "Feel the Force"..........Yoda.

      PS did you vote trump?

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 8 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Oz, you really ARE a confused fellow, aren't you? I've never denied that intelligent design is a "possibility." I'm simply saying that it's not a formal scientific theory. It's an hypothesis, and a rather ridiculous one, in my opinion. Once again, I'll let Dr. Tyson explain why:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEl9kVl6KPc

      By the way, are we EVER get your explanations of how the ideas you cited actually support intelligent design?

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 8 months ago from Australia

      Paula

      If we read previous posts we will find his very reluctant agreement that intelligent design is now a serious possibility.

      http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/answer/273...

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 8 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Paula, you make an excellent point. Perhaps we'd have better luck discussing physics with the mouse!

      And Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to you, too! :-D

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 8 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Oh, Oz, but you ARE doing EXACTLY what I claim. But -- purely for the sake of argument -- let's give you the chance to prove me wrong. Where, exactly, have you actually EXPLAINED how any of the scientific (or pseudo-scientific) ideas support intelligent design?

      You've offered a couple of links -- the first directly contradicted one of your assertions (about infinite energy in the universe), and the second wasn't even what you claimed it was (an "evolutionist" who believes in intelligent design).

      (Incidentally -- and here's the part that continuously goes far over your head -- even if you HAD been correct and Dr. Hamilton DID state that he believes in intelligent design -- it STILL wouldn't prove anything, because opinions don't constitute evidence!)

      Now, you reach into your gibberish bag and pull out this gem:

      "...Intelligent design theories support intelligent design? Duh, yep..."

      Hypothetically, I suppose that would be true, if there were an actual scientific THEORY of intelligent design, and not just a lot of unsubstantiated and ridiculous hypotheses. You DO know the difference between hypotheses and theories, don't you?

      As for Gödel's ontological theory, as I've reminded you a million times, you don't NEED to understand the math to critically examine it. It's there in plain English for all to see on my hub (and to understand how miserably it fails):

      https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Gdels-Ont...

      Incidentally, you've also never managed to explain how HIS theory "proves" God's existence, despite months of my encouragement! THAT would be a start!

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 8 months ago from Australia

      Fortunately I'm not doing what you claim.

      However, Intelligent design theories support intelligent design? Duh, yep.

      You or I are both incapable of doing the math for any of this. Godel's ontological theory is in symbiosis with proven math. Hence the argument is in favour of God's existence. We can't choose to pretend we can disprove Godel unless we also disprove his symbiotic math. Otherwise it's what we say in Australia: we are "pissing into the wind". I think that image speaks for itself!!

    • profile image

      Paula 8 months ago

      Paladin...LOL....What's with this "WE'VE now established."....(?) Ya think maybe he has a mouse in his pocket?

      Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!.........Peace.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 8 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Oz, whether intelligent design is a "respectable concept" is certainly open to debate, but that's not the tune you were singing earlier.

      What you've been asserting up to this point is that "new" scientific theories "point to" or "are supporting" intelligent design. Yet you've consistently failed to demonstrate how these 'theories' (most are actually HYPOTHESES) do so.

      For example, you now mention "multi-universe concepts" -- again, simple HYPOTHESES, NOT established scientific theories. And, again, you fail to explain how these "concepts" "point to" or "support" intelligent design. You tell us to "study up" on these ideas.

      This is your consistent pattern, Oz, and it goes back to your earlier claims about Kurt Gödel's ontological theorem. You trot out supposed evidence for your theological beliefs, but never demonstrate that you actually understand HOW it supports those beliefs. Somewhere you read, or someone somewhere told you, that it does, so apparently that's enough for you. No further understanding is necessary.

      However, for those of us who actually care about what's true and not true, we like to understand what we claim to believe.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 8 months ago from Australia

      Ok we've now established that intelligent design is suddenly a respectable concept.

      I invite you to study up on multi universe concepts and how the idea of energy changes in various INFINITE universes.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 8 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Oz, do you even bother to read the articles to which you link?

      The first link you offered, to an article in Scientific American Magazine, directly contradicts your repeated assertion that energy in the universe is "infinite."

      And now you offer another -- a New York Times opinion piece -- which you claim it's a link to a "famous evolutionist who believes in intelligent design."

      No, it isn't.

      NOWHERE in the entire article does Dr. Hamilton (the "evolutionist" in question) declare a belief in intelligent design. To the contrary, while declares he's "open to the idea" of design by "extraterrestrial beings" (which he should be)," he makes clear it's only a HYPOTHESIS, albeit one he finds difficult to dismiss outright:

      "...“I put it forward in an almost joking spirit. But I think it’s a kind of hypothesis that’s very, very hard to dismiss...”

      Even Richard Dawkins, the target of your bile, admits the possibility of alien design, but as I said before -- and I'll repeat once again -- there's a BIG difference between being OPEN to an idea, and accepting it outright (especially without compelling evidence).

      I'll give you a C+ for at least FINALLY trying to offer some support for your repeated claims, but a D- for failing to read what the linked article actually SAYS.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 8 months ago from Australia

      "Strong is the force with you".........Yoda.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/12/opinion/can-evol...

      A link to a famous evolutionist who believes in intelligent design. Such ideas supporting intelligent design would have been unthinkable only last year!! It is now a respectable idea even if atheists hedge their bets with a scientology view of aliens instead of angels.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 8 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Well, Oz, if your "work" was to spout a lot of incomprehensible gibberish, contradict yourself and demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of physics and cosmology, then I'd say your work is, indeed, done -- and done quite well!

      Congratulations.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 8 months ago from Australia

      As I said it's all here already for those without goldfish memories to read. Redundant verbose and repetitive exchanges serve no purpose other than releasing hot air. Some of us have jobs to go to.

      You are well on the way back to the faith.

      My work here is done.

      "Luke I am your father"(etc)........Darth Vadar.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 8 months ago from Michigan, USA

      So, Oz, you're NOT going to explain how these ideas support intelligent design. Got it.

      You're simply going to crow that I've somehow agreed with you -- even though I've repeatedly pointed out that your own link contradicted your assertions. It's as if we're speaking a different language.

      I honestly don't know what else to say about this. I can't help thinking of that great quote about debating creationists -- and we can simply exchange the appropriate nouns to reflect this discussion:

      "...Debating creationists on the topic of evolution is rather like trying to play chess with a pigeon — it knocks the pieces over, craps on the board, and flies back to its flock to claim victory..."

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 8 months ago from Australia

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 8 months ago from Australia

      I hope others are reading these posts!! Energy is infinite and creative as we both have now agreed(or at least you have now stopped denying). Creativity is a sign of intelligence. Ergo science is supporting intelligent design. New theories as mentioned are also supporting intelligent design. Honest agnostics should be believers by now. Baby steps?

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 8 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Oz, what, exactly, is "all here for all to see?" If "the science" is now truly "supporting intelligent design," you certainly haven't demonstrated it here.

      All you've accomplished thus far is a mention of string theory, multiverse hypotheses, entropy, Gödel's ontological theorem (which isn't even science) and a few assertions about "infinite" or "creative" energy. Yet you've failed to explain how ANY of them support intelligent design (though you DID offer one link that debunks your assertion about infinite energy).

      Are we simply expected to take your word for it? Perhaps we're supposed to conclude that you've cited all these things in the hope they sound impressive enough to fool the scientifically illiterate. If not, I suggest you actually begin explaining to us HOW these various theories and hypotheses support ID.

      Otherwise, you just look foolish.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 8 months ago from Australia

      It's all here for all to see. The science is now supporting intelligent design.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 8 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Oz, where did I claim that the universe is "running out of energy?" I simply said the universe is gradually and inevitably cooling down to a slow death, which is still the consensus among cosmologists.

      On the other hand, you claimed that the energy in the universe is "infinite." Then you linked to an article that states unequivocally that it's not.

      Hehe. I thought the whole point of cherry-picking was to SUPPORT your argument, not destroy it!!

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 8 months ago from Australia

      You've claimed the universe is running out of energy. Real physics has been quoted now cleared that up

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 8 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Oz, what does ANY of what you just posted have to do with what we've been discussing -- aside from the fact that it contradicts at least one of your earlier assertions (regarding "infinite" energy)? The Scientific American article to which you linked is basic high school physics. With the exception of "dark energy," this is stuff that physicists have known for decades! And none of it has anything to do with your assertions of energy being "creative" or "intelligent."

      The question isn't whether I'm more knowledgeable than Einstein and Plank. The relevant question is whether YOU'RE more knowledgeable than a high school physics student.

      Apparently not...

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 8 months ago from Australia

      Paladin

      If we cherry pick physics to support an anti God view we get a very inaccurate picture.

      https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/energy-...

      Max Planck wrote that the phrase 'entropy of the universe' has no meaning because it admits of no accurate definition.[18][19] More recently, Grandy writes: "It is rather presumptuous to speak of the entropy of a universe about which we still understand so little, and we wonder how one might define thermodynamic entropy for a universe and its major constituents that have never been in equilibrium in their entire existence."

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_death_of_the_...

      Are you more knowledgable than Einstein and Plank? No.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 8 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Thank you, fpherj! :-)

    • profile image

      fpherj48 8 months ago

      Paladin.....I need to interject here, simply to applaud your clear, concise, intelligent manner of conveying fact in an appropriate, comprehensible manner. If not for your perfect grasp of our vocabulary and carefully chosen verbiage, I'm afraid a few weak, uninformed and/or gullible individuals could be malignantly swayed by the utter nonsense & gibberish of the frighteningly delusional person whose complete ignorance is surpassed only by his inability to be silent. Thank you. I so enjoy the wisdom you share.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 8 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Oz, if you believe that constantly denigrating and "stereotyping" religion online is "bigoted," then I daresay your definition of "bigotry" is somewhat elastic (to say the least). And it explains your ridiculous assertion that Richard Dawkins is a "classic bigot."

      So, basically, anyone who persistently disagrees with your foolish ideas is a "bigot." Got it.

      And I see you're continuing your "word salad" approach to cosmology, with incongruous phrases like "universal energy" and "a complex universe with infinite variability in perfect balance." Not only do they make little sense, what little of this gobbledygook I can decipher is unequivocally wrong.

      Specifically, the universe is NOT in perfect balance. In fact, all scientific indications are that it is cooling down to an inevitable slow death (in direct contradiction to your earlier assertion of "infinite energy").

      Of course, that won't matter to us, because long before that happens, our sun will exhaust its supply of hydrogen and expand into a red giant, frying everything on Earth to a crisp. That is, if the Andromeda Galaxy (which is on a collision course with the Milky Way) doesn't first upset the solar system's gravitational balance and send us hurtling toward the sun or spinning off into space (so much for a universe in "perfect balance").

      So, again, you have no idea what you're talking about.

    • profile image

      Oztinato 8 months ago

      Ash

      You have defended stereotyping in your comments. Stereotyping is a form of bigotry itself! Hence please refer to a dictionary.

      Don't email me or I'll report it.

      Ram Ram.

    • AshutoshJoshi06 profile image

      Ashutosh Joshi 8 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Oz share your email, next time I'll email you for proof reading before posting. Essentially you got the message I guess, that offended your bigoted beliefs.

      Btw you should try proof reading your sentences too, you'll be amazed.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 8 months ago from Australia

      Ash

      "We" need to look more carefully at our dictionary definitions. Otherwise "our" sentences won't make sense.

    • AshutoshJoshi06 profile image

      Ashutosh Joshi 8 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Being idosyncratic or sterotypical, one can even relate them as synonymous with faith. There are people presenting defence merely on belief and then there are ones who rationally object to it. Sometimes change is for good, faith may not provide us all the answers and there is no harm in accepting it!

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 8 months ago from Australia

      Bigoted atheists are those who constantly denigrate and stereoytpe religion particularly online. They often specialise in anti religious hubs instead of writing about diverse topics.

      Dawkins is a classic bigot.

      Universal energy is not just explosive but has Created a complex universe with infinite variability in perfect balance. It is creative by any definition. It is The Creator.

      As I said it's hard to talk to you as your ideas are too idiosyncratic. Neither religion or science agrees with you.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 8 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Oz, atheism has nothing to do with "bigotry." Atheism is simply a lack of belief in gods. If a particular atheist demonstrates any "bigotry" (and I can only imagine what you consider that word to mean), it's a flaw of his personality, not a direct reflection of his disbelief in religious nonsense (incidentally, I've heard and read much from Richard Dawkins, and have NEVER heard him express bigotry).

      As for agnosticism being "half way to faith in God," no it's not. Not even close. Agnosticism is simply an acknowledgement that one cannot know with absolute certainty whether or not gods exist -- which is a perfect reason why one should not BELIEVE that they do. So, if "agnosticism" (acknowledging that one does not know) is "half way" to anything, it's the first step on the road to atheism!

      As for your comments regarding energy in the universe, please explain how you know the amount of "pure (whatever that means) energy" in the universe is infinite. Every scientific discussion of cosmology I've ever heard tells me otherwise.

      And your comments regarding "pure energy" being "undoubtedly highly creative" sound like pseudo-scientific gibberish. Energy is neither "creative" nor "intelligent." It's just energy. It demonstrates no inherent pattern nor order. It simply follows the physical laws of nature.

      I see you've scaled back your claims regarding science and the universe being a "simulation." Now you assert that "...science is claiming the universe could well be a simulation..." I'm glad to see you've added the qualifier "COULD BE."

      Though poorly worded (science isn't as monolithic as you suggest), it's now a more accurate statement, because there are, indeed, scientific hypotheses that speculate that the universe COULD be some sort of holographic simulation. But hypotheses aren't definitive facts or even conclusions. They're simply a starting point for further scientific investigation.

      Keep working on it, Oz, I think you may be getting there...

    • Sam Wickstrom profile image
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      Sam 8 months ago from Nelson, BC, Canada

      Like I said Helen, 'To explain it simply, we evolved morality because we're a social species that requires a tightly knit tribe to survive. As we evolved together in our tribes we had to be kind and compassionate just to survive'. When you are old and frail, holding back the tribe, you'd likely rather be killed than be the easy target for a wild animal, or die of some horrible disease that your body is too weak to fight. Euthanasia can be kind and compassionate. Also, its kind to the tribe to admit your frailty and allow yourself to be 'murdered'. It could be that they literally murder the elderly. In which case it comes down to survival and reproduction, we will do whatever we need to do in order to survive and reproduce.

    • just helen profile image

      just helen 8 months ago from Dartmoor UK

      Good answer Oz. I like what you have to say. Creativity is undoubtedly a sign of intelligence.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 8 months ago from Australia

      Just Helen

      The infinite amount of pure energy in the universe is undoubtedly highly creative. It's not just "explosive" but creates infinite order and pattern. Creativity is a sign of sentient intelligence. Creative energy is in fact the Creator.

    • just helen profile image

      just helen 8 months ago from Dartmoor UK

      I agree there's a difference between knowing and believing. I can't 'know' God exists, but experience tells me there probably is. There does seem to be some sort of plan, and events do seem to be ordered. I lean towards the concept of the 'self aware universe', and that all that exists is the mind of God, whatever that means.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 8 months ago from Australia

      I don't believe in atheism 2. It's just way better than plain bigotry.

      It is firmly established that the old definition of atheism is defunct as it now transcends just a simple disbelief in God and is now a political philosophy.

      Science evolved out of religion and religious people.

      If you think science is rubbish and religion is rubbish we have to assume you have your own idiosyncratic ideas. Science is claiming the universe could well be a simulation the same as religion.

      I vaguely approve agnosticism as it's half way to faith in God. It's a more honest approach than the old bitter cranky faiiled dawkins phony atheism.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 8 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Well, Oz, you can keep believing in "Atheism 2.0" if you wish, but even children must eventually give up believing in Santa Claus. Like you, they can keep repeating it's true, but it doesn't make him any more real.

      As for "fundamental atheism," I'm afraid you're going to have to explain what you mean. Atheism is merely a lack of belief in gods, and it doesn't get any more fundamental than that. So, either you're repeating yourself, or you don't know what you're talking about.

      As for "recent science" now leaning "heavily toward agnosticism," you're almost right. And you almost seem as if you're BEGINNING to understand what science has been about all along, because proper science has ALWAYS been agnostic with regard to gods.

      As for your claim that "science now tells us this (natural physics) does appear to look like an amazing simulation created by an overseeing entity" -- well, that's complete rubbish, and you have yet to demonstrate why this could be even remotely true, aside from merely making the assertion.

      Keep working on it, Oz. We may just get you there, yet! :-D

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 8 months ago from Australia

      Paladin

      I sense a change in the wind due to Atheism 2.0

      We all know the failings of both fundamental religion and fundamental atheism. Recent science now leans heavily towards agnosticism.

      In my view and personal experiences God exists. Tragedies and unexplained events add deep mystery to complete intellectual understanding.

      We have to ask ourselves why infinitely complex natural physics creates what is in effect a theatrical setting or literal stage for the acting out of such intense human dramas. Science now tells us this does appear to look like an amazing simulation created by an overseeing entity. This now boils down to a godlike alien entity or God. By providing the maths and physics science has filled in a part of out intellectual understanding. We can now grasp more of the big picture.

      Hindus have been describing the universe as an elaborate illusion for thousands of years. They call it Maya. Their scriptures claim that Maya and god are intertwined. That is without consciousness there can be no Maya and vice versa. Behind both is what bhuddism focuses on which is a neutral state of pure consciousness. This is actually a hindu concept too. It is an unfathomable but experiential state.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 8 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Oz, my agnosticism isn't "newly found." I've been an agnostic as long as I've been an atheist. Indeed, to be honest, I suppose I'd have to admit that I was an agnostic even BEFORE I was an atheist -- because even when I believed, I didn't really KNOW.

      As for agnosticism being a "reasonable and acceptable path," I finally agree with you! :-) In fact, it's the only honest path. But, again, that only applies to what one KNOWS, not what one BELIEVES.

      In practice, the difference is that most atheists (myself included) -- if they're proper skeptics -- understand that belief should be totally dependent upon knowledge, but that knowledge should be totally independent of belief (in other words, objective facts are facts whether you believe them or not).

      On the other hand, religious believers far too often conflate the two -- as if belief and knowledge are the same thing, or at least interchangeable. That leads to a lot of the difficulties we're discussing here.

    • just helen profile image

      just helen 8 months ago from Dartmoor UK

      You're right, Oztinato. It was in National Geographic awhile back but I can't find any reference to it.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 8 months ago from Australia

      Just Helen

      You need to provide links to justify the bit about murdering the elderly.

      That said, religion and or a soundly ordered ethical system is needed to set the standard for ideals. Otherwise the result is anarchy. Anarchic social experiments have historically rapidly ended in disaster.

    • just helen profile image

      just helen 8 months ago from Dartmoor UK

      Sam - you say 'To explain it simply, we evolved morality because we're a social species that requires a tightly knit tribe to survive. As we evolved together in our tribes we had to be kind and compassionate just to survive.'

      Well, in some nomadic tribes today the young men take the old (usually women) out into the wilderness and murder them. If the frail elderly are allowed to live they will hold up the nomadic tribes journeying, which could be dangerous if they are attacked by another tribe, or when bad weather set in. We, on the other hand, prolong the lives of elderly suffering people, who often beg to be allowed to die. Which is the moral path to take out of these two options?

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 8 months ago from Australia

      If you cherry pick " backwoods fundamentists" as your only idea of religion you are bound to get a skewed idea about all religion.

      Try to remember that until only one generation ago nearly all scientists were religious.

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      Ashutosh Joshi 8 months ago from New Delhi, India

      The problem is that while agnostics or even athiests might still be open to accepting the concept of god, if it were to be proved but for thiests especially the religious bigots they outrightly reject science or reasoning when it questions existence of a 'divine light', theory of creation of universe, darwinism etc however would very conviniently rope in or quote some random scientist's viewpoint to support their views of so called 'existence of god'.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 8 months ago from Australia

      Paladin

      You don't seem to be aware of what's really happening. Congrats on you newly found agnosticism. I'm sure it will lead you back to the faith soon.

      Helen

      Yes agnosticism is a reasonable and acceptable path in many ways.

    • just helen profile image

      just helen 8 months ago from Dartmoor UK

      As we cannot 'know' the existence of God, the only intelligent path to follow is that of Agnosticism (not-knowing).

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 8 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Seriously, Oz, do you ever tire of being wrong?

      Because one philosopher proposes an idea he personally calls "Atheism 2.0" in some TED talk, you now believe there's some newfangled version of atheism? I'll bet door-to-door salesmen in your town LOVE you! :-D

      There is no "atheism 2.0." There has ALWAYS been a broad spectrum of atheists -- from the more acerbic style of Richard Dawkins to the friendlier approach of Daniel Dennett -- just as there has always been a broad spectrum of believers. It's all a matter of personal style and character.

      As for intelligent design and "agnosticism," you appear to not understand the difference between acknowledging a possibility and embracing it as fact. I can admit that it's "possible" that a jumbo jet will drop out of the sky and land on my head, but that doesn't mean I think it will actually happen. Similarly, admitting an intelligent designer is "possible" doesn't mean one admits to a "controlling entity."

      As for Richard Dawkins' popularity, you're wrong again. His "own kind" have NOT "turned on him." It's true there are some atheists (Regressive Leftists and "social justice warriors") who despise him, but that has more to do with his opposition to their own bigoted, bullying and hysterical ideologies and tactics than it does with his own style.

      As for "atheistic tendancies (sic)" weakening "ethical values such as intellectual honesty," I suppose that depends upon what you mean by "atheistic tendencies." If you mean the tendency to not believe foolish and ridiculous notions without sufficient evidence, then I'd say that is practically the DEFINITION of "intellectual honesty." Therefore, your statement makes absolutely no sense.

      As for "ethical atheism," there is no such variant, because atheism is one, stand-alone idea -- a rejection of religious belief -- not a belief system or philosophy into which one can (or should) incorporate other ideas. Just like believers, any individual atheist can be ethical, or not ethical. Again, it's a matter of personal makeup.

      And Oz, you SERIOUSLY need to research the relative meanings of "atheism" and "agnosticism." As you said, please refer to a dictionary (including the structure and origin of the words). "Atheism" refers to belief. "Agnosticism" refers to knowledge. They are two different things, and not mutually exclusive.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 8 months ago from Australia

      Sam

      it's not just me who knows Dawkins is now passe. His own kind have turned on him. Its over for him as he represents a failed vision.

      Read up on Atheism 2.0. https://www.ted.com/talks/alain_de_botton_atheism_...

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Oe6HUgrRlQ

      I have no trouble with ethical atheism or Atheism 2.0 and have publicly stated this many times in comments and in my own Hub on Atheism. ergo I am not emotionally clinging to God.

    • Sam Wickstrom profile image
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      Sam 8 months ago from Nelson, BC, Canada

      I'm an atheist. I lack belief in a superhuman controlling power. All of your assumptions are without basis. -

      -

      Dawkins is clever, irreverent, and comedic, to call him vile tells me that you are emotionally clung to the idea of god

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 8 months ago from Australia

      Well I am pleased to see that both of you are embracing Agnosticism! This is real spiritual progress.

      My work here is done.

      Of course it is totally impossible to be both an atheist and an agnostic (please refer to a dictionary). It proves my point that atheistic tendancies weaken ethical values such as intellectual honesty.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 8 months ago from Australia

      Sam

      It's a form of closet agnosticism to be open to intelligent design for example or to bhuddist meditation. The admission of a controlling "entity" is one degree away from admitting that entity could be God and not just a godlike alien. Meditation and prayer are historically related whether we like it or not. Hence by not respecting religion for giving us such gifts is just "wrong" (as with art and science). In other words your reasoning is flawed by poor ethics. Ethics and reason are intertwined because a scientist needs to be ethical when researching or presenting results etc. Atheistic tendancies weaken ethics as no other ethical system is replaced once we remove religion. Anarchic systems result.

      Dawkins is an atheist but his vile approach has now been rejected as old fashioned and divisive. The vile intolerance he exhibits is a natural result of unethical hard core atheism.

      I advise you to look at Atheism 2.0 which is now current and respects what religion can offer. Why stick with an old man's antiquated version of atheism?

    • Sam Wickstrom profile image
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      Sam 8 months ago from Nelson, BC, Canada

      Very good points Paladin! Destroying airy fairy bs as usual, keep it up man!

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 8 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Wrong again, Oz. Once again, you've trotted out a mishmash of scientific and pseudo-scientific ideas and declare that they all "point to intelligent design" when, of course, none of them do. As for Gödel's "God Theorem," it's simply another variation of the age-old preposterous ontological argument, which (as you well know) I dismantle in my hub, "Gödel's Ontological Failure:"

      https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Gdels-Ont...

      (Incidentally, Oz -- each and every time I see you trot out this Gödel nonsense, I'm going to challenge it and offer my own hub as a refutation. So I suppose I can thank you for presenting me with so many opportunities to promote my own work! ;-))

      As for atheists accepting intelligent design as a "possibility," any honest atheist will admit that nearly anything is possible. But that doesn't mean we endorse such notions -- especially when the evidence AGAINST intelligent design is practically endless!

      And while we're on the subject of "intelligent design," it's worth noting that Oz made the fallacious suggestion not too long ago that astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson now "favors intelligent design." The TRUTH is that Dr. Tyson not only does NOT "favor" intelligent design, he absolutely eviscerates it in a 5-minute portion of a lecture that is one of the most popular ID refutations on YouTube:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEl9kVl6KPc

      As for atheism and agnosticism, you are quite correct, Sam. Contrary to popular belief, agnosticism is NOT some wishy-washy half-way point between atheism and belief. Atheism deals with belief. Agnosticism deals with knowledge. Thus, one can be both an atheist AND an agnostic with regard to gods. And I daresay this applies to most atheists.

    • Sam Wickstrom profile image
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      Sam 8 months ago from Nelson, BC, Canada

      Well Oztinato I'm an atheist even if I accept certain scientifically proven philosophies of life and methods of relaxation and stress relief. Because those things have nothing to do with atheism. Atheism is essentially the disbelief or lack of belief in the idea that there is a super human controlling power. Intelligent design however is more probable, but in the sense that the laws of nature were put in place by some entity. In which case cosmic and biological evolution occur from those laws, rather than from a super human controlling power.

      Do you see how I can be an atheist and still be open to these things?

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 8 months ago from Australia

      The new theories point to intelligent design. Of course there will be attempts to put aliens in lieu of God. However what was once debunked (intelligent design) is now accepted in principle as a clear possibility by atheists. This excludes them from atheism and places them in the agnostic category.

      There are many other things (such as acceptance of bhuddism and meditation) that excludes an honest person from calling themselves an atheist when in fact they are agnostic.

    • Sam Wickstrom profile image
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      Sam 8 months ago from Nelson, BC, Canada

      Well the newest arguments aren't for the existence of God. They're for software simulation theory, which is entirely different from religion. So you can go down those newer routes of arguing for God, but you'll have to keep in mind that you're only arguing for a kind of matrix, not any religion or deity.