How an atheist can find God
Posted: 12 June 2009 01:18 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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In their book, ‘The View from the Center of the Universe’, chapter 7, ‘Where Do We Come From?’, Joel Primack and Nancy Ellen Abrams write:

“If the theory of cosmic inflation is right, it has two major implications for any future scientifically-based, meaningful cosmology: first, given the wrinkled spacetime that emerged from the Big Bang, gravity alone created the galaxies, and therefore no outside force imposed order on chaos as in the old myths, and even in Plato’s cosmology.  Second, the wrinkles became the blueprint for the large-scale structure of what would only later become our universe, and therefore the blueprint for our universe existed before the Big Bang.  But this “blueprint” was not planned by any intelligence; it was a random slice of random quanatum events, immortalized and enormously expanded. 
The blueprint required no Demiurge or Craftsman, to use Plato’s terms, to implement it.  (This, however, says nothing about larger or subtler concepts of God.) - end quote

unsmoked comments:  This is as far as I’ve read in this book, so I don’t know if these authors are going to discuss ‘larger or subtler concepts of God’ in later chapters.  Meanwhile, here is my own theory on how an atheist can find God.  I say ‘atheist’ because, of course, everyone else has already found God, or grown up with him imbedded in their psyche by parents.  You can’t pour water into a full jar, especially if there’s a lid on it.  If cosmologists Primack and Abrams are correct, most religious people are worshiping ‘a random slice of quantum events.’

In a nutshell, here is how an atheist can find God:

1.  Find out what God is not.  For example, God is not a random slice of quantum events - not Plato’s Demiurge or Craftsman.

2.  Make a list of things that you think a machine or computer or robot will never be able to do.  For example, in my case, I don’t think a machine will ever be able to laugh.  I mean a genuine laugh, because it thinks something is funny - like a laugh that might cause it to fall off the desk and break itself.

3.  Make a list of things that machines can do.  For example, when religious people come to your door to proselytize, and you ask them a question, notice how they flip through the pages of their Bibles, or their memory of the Bible for the answer.  This is what the machine in front of you right now can do.

Use your imagination and notice that in the future, robots will make good fundamentalist Christians.  If you attack them, they will go into their George W. Bush Shock and Awe mode.  A drone will fly over your house and blow you to smithereens.

Avast!  If you find yourself sexually attracted to your own sex, the cyborg ‘Rorschach32’ will discover you in kindergarden and banish you to an abandoned coal mine.  If you teach science instead of mythology you will be placed in a large pickle jar labeled ‘monkey man’.  If you try to get on a plane with a bottle of Pinot Noir in your carry-on, you will be compacted in the X-ray machine and recycled.

Will machines ever be able to write poetry?  Will they ever be able to doubt themselves?  The first of the Cyborg Ten Commandments is MACHINES DON’T DOUBT.  Like Christians and Muslims who doubt, machines that doubt are dressed up in a lemon costume, melted down and recycled.

According to Hoyle, God laughs, God doubts, God writes poetry.  But it’s OK if you doubt this.  That’s a good sign! 

“I absolve you!  I absolve you!”  (Antonio Salieri in the film ‘Amadeus’.)

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“The simple fables of the religious of the world have come to seem like tales told to children.”  - Nobel Prize recipient - Francis Crick

“It is time we recognized the boundless narcissism and self-deceit of the saved.” - Sam Harris

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Posted: 12 June 2009 01:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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I found him, he was hiding out behind my dumpster.

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‘Every reflecting mind must acknowledge that there is no proof of the existence of a Deity’

‘If ignorance of nature gave birth to gods, knowledge of nature destroys them’

Percy Bysshe Shelley

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Posted: 12 June 2009 01:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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eudemonia - 12 June 2009 05:25 PM

I found him, he was hiding out behind my dumpster.

I take it he was laughing and writing poetry, but what about the doubt?  Could you go back and check on that?  I’ve met a few Christians who laugh and write poetry, but never one who manifested the big 3 - laughter, poetry, and doubt.  Wait, Joel Osteen and his wife on the way to the bank?

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“The simple fables of the religious of the world have come to seem like tales told to children.”  - Nobel Prize recipient - Francis Crick

“It is time we recognized the boundless narcissism and self-deceit of the saved.” - Sam Harris

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Posted: 12 June 2009 02:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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if there is a place that the Osteen’s never doubt…it is on their way to the bank!

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‘Every reflecting mind must acknowledge that there is no proof of the existence of a Deity’

‘If ignorance of nature gave birth to gods, knowledge of nature destroys them’

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Posted: 12 June 2009 04:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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unsmoked - 12 June 2009 05:18 PM

the blueprint for our universe existed before the Big Bang.

That’s a bad start for this book, since scientists agree with the current theory that time began with the big bang. Thus, a sentence like “before the big bang” has no meaning. It is like saying that love is blue.

MH

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Posted: 15 June 2009 07:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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‘That’s a bad start for this book, since scientists agree with the current theory that time began with the big bang. Thus, a sentence like “before the big bang” has no meaning. It is like saying that love is blue.’

Not at all. Scientists discuss all the time what was before the big bang. Here is an example-from talk origins.org

“What was before the Big Bang?” question in a similar manner as the infinite regression problem. Our universe was created by an inflation event in some other universe at some arbitrary time in the infinite past. Whether or not this is satisfying is left to the reader to decide.
String theory also proposes some solutions. One of the ideas currently under consideration is the possibility that, before the Big Bang, there existed something like a “mirror image” of our universe. Our universe started out (almost) infinitely dense and hot and will (probably) go on infinitely into the future, thinning out and cooling more and more. This was preceded by a universe which was essentially the same, but with the time coordinate reversed. The “Big Crunch” at the end of that universe then spawned our current universe.
Another String Theory inspired model is the “ekpyrotic” or “cyclic universe” by P. Steinhardt, developed in 2002. It proposes that space and time existed forever in the past and that the universe undergoes an endless sequence of cycles. It periodically undergoes a Big Crunch, followed by a Big Bang, with trillions of years in between each Bang and Crunch. At no time in the cycle do the density or temperature ever become infinite. These oscillations happen because our universe is actually embedded in a higher dimensional space along with other such universes. These universes expand independently according to GR, only to undergo a Crunch as they approach each other in this high dimensional space. When these universes collide and separate, they undergo a Bang and repeat the process.

And there are many other discussions and theories as well.

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‘Every reflecting mind must acknowledge that there is no proof of the existence of a Deity’

‘If ignorance of nature gave birth to gods, knowledge of nature destroys them’

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Posted: 15 June 2009 07:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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unsmoked - 12 June 2009 05:38 PM
eudemonia - 12 June 2009 05:25 PM

I found him, he was hiding out behind my dumpster.

I take it he was laughing and writing poetry, but what about the doubt?  Could you go back and check on that?  I’ve met a few Christians who laugh and write poetry, but never one who manifested the big 3 - laughter, poetry, and doubt.  Wait, Joel Osteen and his wife on the way to the bank?

How about playing skeetball on a New Jersey boardwalk?  Rumor is that God has been seen there on occasion.

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Posted: 15 June 2009 08:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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Hey, where ya been burt? Studying your self-consciousness? wink

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‘Every reflecting mind must acknowledge that there is no proof of the existence of a Deity’

‘If ignorance of nature gave birth to gods, knowledge of nature destroys them’

Percy Bysshe Shelley

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Posted: 15 June 2009 01:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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unsmoked - 12 June 2009 05:18 PM

According to Hoyle, [...]  God writes poetry.

And I’m sure I’m not alone in saying this is one of my favorites:

My name is Yahweh I’ll have you know.
Yahweh 1, all other gods 0.
Don’t make any images if they’re graven,
And don’t use my name if you’re ravin’.
Sunday is just to watch football,
And give your mom and dad a call.
Don’t you kill, and don’t you steal
And if you testify against your neighbor, make it real.
Couple of more points I’ll add as well
If you want to stay out of hell:
Don’t you covet your neighbor’s house
And don’t you covet your neighbors spouse.
That fuckwit Moses, where’d he go?
There’s some more that you should know.
I was nowhere near done.
I was gonna add, “Don’t kill my son,”
So if he shows up around Galilee
Tell him not to be cross with me.
It was Moses’ fault, he left before
I could add points 11 through 34.
And 34 was really great:
Always keep a low marginal tax rate.

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Posted: 17 June 2009 06:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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DemiUrge??? WTF?

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Posted: 18 June 2009 12:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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eucaryote - 17 June 2009 10:07 PM

DemiUrge??? WTF?

It’s been a long time since I’ve read Plato.  I was hoping one of you could tell me what a demiurge was.  Half an urge?
More than an impulse, but not quite an urge?

Child 1:  Daddy, can we stop at the next McDonalds?  I need to pee.

Daddy:  Can’t you wait until we get to Grandma’s.  Is it an urge or a demiurge?

Child 2:  Let’s get onion rings.  I have an urge for onion rings.

Child 3:  I have a demiurge for Wendy’s instead of McDonalds.

[ Edited: 18 June 2009 12:41 PM by unsmoked]
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“It is time we recognized the boundless narcissism and self-deceit of the saved.” - Sam Harris

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Posted: 18 June 2009 12:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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Not to be confused with a semiurge. Thats a tractor trailer sized urge.

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‘Every reflecting mind must acknowledge that there is no proof of the existence of a Deity’

‘If ignorance of nature gave birth to gods, knowledge of nature destroys them’

Percy Bysshe Shelley

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