Re: [atheists-27] Why (Almost All) Cosmologists are Atheists

From: Zhibo L.
Sent on: Sunday, March 24, 2013 10:57 AM
Matthew, good points and good question "why are we atheists." I've always been curious about this answer from other people as well.

My answer is I consider myself an "atheist" more so on the grounds of semantics, after long discussions with a good atheist friend. Though, what I really consider myself is an agnostic--one who does not know whether there is a god or not. Again, it's purely a semantic difference here. If to be an atheist is to say "I do not believe in god," then I'm an atheist. However, a belief is not the same as "I know there is no god." For to "know" in this case is to say I'm absolutely certain there is no god. And I can be absolutely certain of nothing, not even "I think, therefore I am." <- this is another topic, i won't get into here> Thus, I still consider myself an agonistic.

The word God is an overloaded term which means many different things to different people. If you define god as an all good, all powerful, all knowing creator of everything that sent Jesus down to absolve our sins, then I can safely say I'm 99.99% certain this god does not exist. But, if you say god is simply the creator of our universe, and that's all we know (it could be limited in power, intelligence, or even dead by now), then I would be fully agnostic in this definition, for I have no evidence or experience to suggest that this god does or does not exist.

I'm also a fan of quantum physics, though it's way above my IQ grade, I read the dumbed down laymen's books of it. In this relatively new field of physics, it opens up a lot more possibility for there to exist this creator/god. For example, in recent science news, physicist are now searching for proof that we live in a simulation. Here's one such article http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/10/11/physicists-may-have-evide_n_1957777.html

If it turns out to be true that we live in a matrix like simulated world, then there is a God(s)--with respect to the definition that it is our Creator(s). What then do we make of such a group called the atheists?





From: Mathew Goldstein <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Saturday, March 23,[masked]:56 PM
Subject: [atheists-27] Why (Almost All) Cosmologists are Atheists

An obvious topic for an atheist email group is to answer the question why we are atheists.  Some people treat this as a question about personal history: When I was xx years old such and such happened.  But I see this as primarily being an intellectual question.  

I am a philosophical naturalist, and my belief that there are no gods (note that I am asserting positively that my belief is there are no gods, I am not merely asserting I don't believe in any gods) is just a by-product of my conclusion that we live in a material world, to quote from a Madonna song.  Like all of my conclusions about what is true or false about how the world works, this is justified based on "looking at", or "reading from", what the overall empirical evidences depict, or say.  In other words, if the overall empirical evidences favored the conclusion that there is one or more gods, then (and only then) I would be a theist.  

Here is as article by Sean Carroll that illustrates how to go about properly justifying beliefs from the empirical evidences, an essential skill that I think far too many people fail to practice, and that I think is worth reading: Why (Almost All) Cosmologists are Atheists http://preposterousuniverse.com/writings/nd-paper/





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