Re: 7 Questions That’ll Make Atheists Think.

Someone did a youtube video with the above title and gave the text for the questions in the video description, so I figured I would reply (I’m bored).  And by the way no conservatives/republicans replied to the question in my last blog.  I would appreciate it if at least one would say “No, there is no instance of that because pundits and politicians are being disingenuous and engaging in the behavior they condemn while acting self-righteous.”

Or just a no would suffice.

But anyway, the youtuber gave sub-questions to most of the questions for if your answer was yes or no, but most of the time my answer was neither so I will ignore most of the sub-questions.  Here goes:

“1. Do you believe energy has always existed?”

I don’t pretend to know one way or the other.

“It is scientifically believed that energy can’t be created or destroyed, henceforth law of conservation of energy. For something to be labeled as science, it should be able to be observed, tested, and then repeated. Since it’s seemingly impossible to be able to observe whether something is eternal or not, (since you’re not eternal you can’t observe it) which means it’s seemingly impossible to be able to test whether it’s eternal or not since you can’t observe it, which definitely means you can’t repeat it if you’ve never tested it. “

What is being referred to here is a law of science, not a theory.  Laws are statements which are universally true so far as we have observed.  Any scientist knows they’re not meant to be absolutes (at least not anymore, they were considered god’s laws once upon a time).  They are just an axiomatic framework for mathematical descriptions of the universe.  Ie if you want to calculate the trajectory of a rocket, gravity is treated as a constant because as far as we know it is one.  The wind on the other hand is a variable because, well, it varies.  If gravity starts observably changing we’ll start considering it a variable.

“2. Has matter always existed?”

I have no idea.  Most of these questions are only “hard” to answer if the words “I don’t know” aren’t in your vocabulary, or you are incapable of admitting your own ignorance.  The fact is nobody knows the answer absolutely to questions like that.

“3. Do you believe a mass of matter and energy rotated until it exploded?”

I wouldn’t use the word explosion since it’s misleading and implies a chemical explosion – I do however believe the universe expanded from a hot, dense state.

“3A. Did that mass of energy and matter create itself?”

I have no idea.

“3A-A. Do you believe that all matter and energy in the Universe was created by a Big Bang 14 billion years ago?”

The big bang theory extrapolates the past expansion and cooling of the universe based on the observed current expansion and cooling of the universe, it does not make any claims about the origins of the universe or matter/energy.  When physicists imply such claims they usually are doing so to make money by surrounding their book with controversy and the actual contents of the book are usually much more scientific.

“3A-B. Were you or anyone existing today, existing at that point to observe this occurrence?”

Nope.  But if I walk into a room and a baseball is in flight from the direction of kid A to kid B, I can infer that kid A threw it at kid B.  The big bang theory is the same thing just with fewer variables.

“3A-C. If you didnt exist to observe it, how can you test it today? And wouldn’t your tests be based on the assumption that it happened since no one was there to observe it?”

No, “my” tests would be based on predictions of things not yet observed like the red shift of light from distant galaxies, the observation that the universe is in fact expanding and experiments to understand both the nature of a vacuum and the properties of matter in extreme conditions (which produces things like anti-matter which would make one hell of a bang).

“3B. Can you repeat an occurrence that no one has observed?”

Nope.

“3B-B. If you do attempt to repeat it, wouldnt the outcome be based on the assumption that it happened like you thought it did?”

That’s a mouthful.  But the outcome would be based on whatever you were testing.  The conclusion on the other hand would be based on the evidence and hopefully you would be able to make experimental predictions based in the real world to support your hypothesis.  Either way you can’t prove 100% that anything happened a certain way.  I can’t technically “prove” that gremlins weren’t digesting my food for me until the second before I looked at the enzymes and acids in my stomach under a microscope.  Science can’t give absolute proof.  It can however establish to a high degree of probability that something is true.

“4. If I work to solve a math problem, and I start solving it at the middle of the equation will the outcome be an assumption based on the fact that I skipped half the equation?”

I can’t answer for all forms of math but in the simplest terms if the equation is 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 =   then going backwards or forward wouldn’t matter.  And if it’s (1+1)x(1+1) =   then again it wouldn’t matter.

“4A. If I started watching a movie half way through, will I truly understand the outcome since I missed the beginning the movie?”

It’s more like “if I watch the second half then watch the whole movie will I understand the end of the movie?”  You will if you have a brain.

“Do you see that the ending is contingent upon the beginning and the beginning on the end? If you don’t have the beginning the end result will be an assumption, which cannot be regarded as science, but religion. I assume there’s an intelligent designer because I can’t prove 100% that there is one. I believe theres one however.”

I’m pretty sure mathematicians review their equations and test the beginning of an equation against the end and visa versa.  They don’t write the end half on stone tablets and put it in the math bible and refuse to change it.

“5. Since the beginning of your theory can’t be proven, nor is it a part of science, how do you expect people to think it’s not a religious belief, and why don’t you think it’s a religious belief since your theory can’t be proven, nor is it a part of science”

There is a great deal of evidence to support the big bang, the fact that it would have logically occurred in the past doesn’t mean scientists can’t or haven’t used it to make predictions about how the universe should exist today.

“For any of the previous or following questions, if you’re going to fill in the gap by saying we don’t have the answer now but we will in the future, answer me these questions.”

I’m not going to do that, but I’ll answer the questions anyway.

“6. Isn’t that just the same as saying “god did it?” You’re not answering the question, nor are you admitting you don’t know the answer, you’re simply filling in your ignorance by giving an unreliable answer based on an assumption.”

It would be if I did that, yes.  But only if I was using that to justify a firm conclusion not based on evidence.  The big bang theory is inferred from observations and supported by experimental predictions like all science.

“6A. Can you predict the future?”

It’s possible to predict future events to a high degree of probability depending on the number of variables and what you’re talking about, but no I can’t predict that something will be explained someday (though subjectively it often seems likely given the rate of human progress).

“6A-A Does predicting the future based on assumptions contradict the humanistic view? If you believe that what you experience through your 5 senses are the only things that exist, how can you try to predict the future since you can’t see into the future?”

Wtf does predicting things have to do with humanism?  I think this guy means materialism, the view that either matter/energy is all that exists or it’s all that matters since it is all that is observable/knowable.  To which I would say that “exists” is used differently in the sense of abstract concepts.  Unicorns “exist” in the sense that they exist in stories and art etc as a concept in the human mind and an artifact of human culture.  The present exists but it has properties that allow us to extrapolate it’s course and destination.  That you can predict many things with a reasonable degree of certainty is is just obvious, our lives depend on countless predictions.  Predictions are made by looking at the present and the past, not looking at the future.

“6A-B. How so? (Give 100%, infallible, non-opinionated, empirical, proof on how it doesn’t, and how you can)”

See the above (minus the “infallible” part, and the fact that it’s an abstract logical question that doesn’t demand empirical evidence).

“If I say what I believe is an assumption, nothing changes, I believe in the designer of the bible, and every word of the gospels of Christ. I believe the bible for its valid history that even concurs even with secular history, for the fulfilled prophesies, and also for the stories and knowledge of this book. If science claims their findings are assumptions it wouldn’t have scientific data anymore, it would have assumptiontific data.”

So either this guy is claiming that science is bullshit because it deals with the unobserved past and then saying the bible is valid where it deals with the unobserved past, lol, or he’s saying that science is bullshit and the bible is too so why don’t we just believe what we want.  I disagree with both.

“7. If you had to show me one empirically, 100%, factual, non-opinionated, proof for evolution, show it with absolute solid, unarguable, infallible proof now. Video and text responses are accepted.”

There is no such thing as 100% proof even with direct observation, but I would estimate the degree of proof of evolution to be pretty much 99 percent with a long line of 9’s after it.  We can observe the changing of life now and throughout the fossil record, and countless experimental predictions have been made testing the theory, all pass with flying colors.  How exactly life evolves will always be debated and open for revision, but that it evolves and has been evolving for a long time cannot be seriously disputed by any honest or sane person.  Want proof?  Link.

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About agnophilo

Nerd.
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6 Responses to Re: 7 Questions That’ll Make Atheists Think.

  1. lol. Wow. Those questions are pretty bad. Worse is creating a youtube clip offering them as offensive firepower against atheism.

  2. moss_icon says:

    What slays me about shit like this is how the (presumably) religious party projects their own fallacies onto the rest of us. “My position explains how everything came to be, ergo your position is an opposing view of how everything came to be.”   We don’t have an answer for everything. We never claimed to; that’s the whole damn point! One takes issue with the idea of “God” because THAT is the stance that claims to have all the answers, when it is inherently pure speculation. One takes issue with “God” because jumping to an unsupported conclusion is actual worse than simply saying “I don’t know.” The Believer then seems to believe that any admission of ignorance on an atheist/agnostics’ part validates their position. Admitting we don’t know is sometimes the smartest, most informed thing we can do. Just because I don’t know where my socks are does not mean sock-elves exist. It just means I don’t know where my socks are, my ignorance in no way confirms their speculation. 

  3. MiDarkLyfe says:

    Creationist like this are saying “You don’t have all the answers. Ego, you are wrong. I have all the answers. The Bible tells me so.”But the Bible has very, very few answers. Just a few basic questions reveal that.”From what material did God create the universe?””How big is the universe? How big was it when God created it? Has it change? If its size has changed, did God directly create the change, or has the change occured from something God did in the past.””Which ‘beast of the field’ did God create first? How do you know?””Where is the dome of the sky? How high up is it? How much water is gathered there behind it?””In one story of creation from the Bible, God created man and woman at the same time. In the other story, God created man first and then woman. Which story is true? How do you know? Were you, or anyone else there?””If you only use one source for your information, is there a possiblitily that you might not have all the information available? How can you be sure that that one source is correct?””It is said that the Bible was ‘authored by God.’ So what about the books left out of the Bible? Were they authored by God too? They why don’t you refer to them as well? Who chose what to put in the Bible and what to leave out? Do you trust those men from 2000 years ago to do the will of God? Why?”See? I can play that game too.These people who reject science in favor of a stritch following of the Bible fail to understand it was RELIGIOUS people who started the study of science in Western society in order to understand God’s world better.

  4. I love how the person asking those questions seems to already “know” how an atheist would answer them, and uses that assumption to lead to completely illogical conclusions. There’s nothing wrong with admitting that you don’t know something, or even that you can’t know something. Personally, I find the idea that we may not be able to fully prove or disprove something (especially when it deals with concepts like eternity) to be fascinating. 

  5. @moss_icon – Yeah, having no answer is better than having a really bad answer. Unfortunately, though, for many people, religoin’s explantive powers is one of its prime attractions.

  6. moss_icon says:

    @Celestial_Teapot – People fear the unknown and thus, as you say, the “explantive power” of religion provides comfort. A structure. Assurance that there’s some humanity to everything. Cos that is essentially what God is: anthropomorphic nature. The universe given a human face, human mind, human ‘soul’ to create a comforting sense of familiarity for us. I kinda consider it an intellectual placebo for intellectual hypochondria.

Speak yer mind.

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