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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/its-simply-not-plausible-that-the-universe-30498432.aspx

Subject:  Re: Atheism Date:  1/22/2013  1:09 AM
Author:  warrl Number:  667676 of 757834

It's simply not plausible that the universe appeared out of nowhere/nothing.

Quite plausible actually. And I'm no atheist - more of an extreme pantheist.

There's a decent amount of evidence that all the matter and energy in the universe adds up pretty close to zero - close enough to think that if we had accurate and precise measurements of everything, it probably would be exactly zero. Nothing from nothing leaves nothing. And we have observed physical phenomena that would not occur - according to our current understanding - if particles did not continue to appear (in balanced pairs that add up to zero) out of nothing, so we are pretty sure that stuff DOES appear out of nothing.

The chances of that happening, what with the magnificence of the universe and everything in it, is practically nil.

Incorrect. Particularly if one thinks that any of quite a few multiple-universe hypotheses - either simultaneous or sequential universes - is likely to be true. Either there's something the physicists haven't figured out yet tying the "fundamental constants" together and causing them to be compatible with complex life, or the set of values we have is just as likely as any other set of values. But if a universe doesn't have a set compatible with complex life, that universe goes unobserved and unmarveled-at - no matter how marvelous it may be.

On a smaller scale, yeah it seems unlikely that this particular planet would be so suited for us. But we've found out there are a LOT of planets. (786 known confirmed planets as of June 2012, all of them in the 1% of the galaxy that is closest to us - and thousands of candidates within that same space still awaiting further examination.) The more we learn, the more likely it appears that sapient life would develop SOMEWHERE. And wherever it develops, that sapient life would refer to that place as "this particular planet" and to themselves as "us". Making "this particular planet would be so suited for us" shift from an improbability to something that is obviously true.

We have no reason to think that the world we live in was designed for us, when it's just as valid and vastly more likely that we were adapted for that world (because if we didn't adapt for it, we wouldn't be in it).

But that's what atheists believe.

That's what atheists who happen to know a bit about physics believe.

It's also what astrophysicists believe, whether they are atheists, monotheists, polytheists or pantheists, because it fits the observed facts better than other testable theories humans have come up with.

Remember, the scientists - proper scientists doing science - only try to read and understand what is written in the rocks, in the stars, and in living things. A Christian would have to believe that God wrote the world - and does not lie.

(A large chunk of credit for that paragraph, by the way, belongs here: http://www.echoschildren.org/CDlyrics/WORDGOD.HTML )

It's far more plausible that a Creator actually did create the magnificence we see before us.

Ah, so you make things better - in your opinion - by giving a name to the nowhere/nothing that the universe appeared from. Or possibly to the trigger that caused it to appear.

I don't have a problem with that. I just don't understand why you are offended when someone else finds that naming unnecessary and unhelpful to them.

(I also don't understand why some atheists are offended when someone DOES find that naming necessary or helpful. Let alone center a major effort around whether a certain word does or does not appear as an irrelevant decoration on a common document which consists primarily of irrelevant decorations and which nobody actually reads.)

Me, I leave the origin of the universe out of my theology (along with the origin of gods) because it isn't important to relationships between gods and men. I also am not troubled if someone worships a different god than I do because maybe the relationship with a god that they need is significantly different from the relationship with a god that I need. Humans, I have noticed, are not all the same; one will look at a picture and see beauty while another will look at the same picture and see ugliness; why should we all see God in the same way?
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