collapse

* "Unable to verify referring url. Please go back and try again" Problem Logging In?

If you get an "Unable to verify referring url. Please go back and try again" error when you try to log in, you need to be sure you are accessing the board with a url that starts with "https://ecauldron.com".  If it starts with https://www.ecauldron.com" (or "http://www.ecauldron.com") you will get this error because "www.ecauldron.com" is not technically the same website as "ecauldron.com". Moving to the more secure "https" means it is more picky about such things.

Author Topic: Does the size of the universe prove [the Christian] God doesn’t exist?  (Read 1945 times)

RandallS

  • Site Admin
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Location: NE Ohio
  • Posts: 10200
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 265
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Hellenic Pagan
I'm not sure it is a great argument for the non-existence of God, but it is a new one....

"Scientists now know that the universe contains at least two trillion galaxies. It’s a mind-scrunchingly big place, very different to the conception of the universe we had when the world’s major religions were founded. So do the astronomical discoveries of the last few centuries have implications for religion?"

Read the entire article
Randall
RetroRoleplaying [Blog]: Microlite74/75/78/81, BX Advanced, and Other Old School Tabletop RPGs
Microlite20: Lots of Rules Lite Tabletop RPGs -- Many Free
OSR.SPACE: Old School Tabletop RPG Community

ehbowen

  • Grand Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Location: Houston, Texas
  • *
  • Posts: 1277
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 234
  • A Ways Around the Bend...
    • View Profile
    • Streamliner Schedules
  • Religion: Southern Baptist
Re: Does the size of the universe prove [the Christian] God doesn’t exist?
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2017, 12:33:08 pm »
I'm not sure it is a great argument for the non-existence of God, but it is a new one....

"Scientists now know that the universe contains at least two trillion galaxies. It’s a mind-scrunchingly big place, very different to the conception of the universe we had when the world’s major religions were founded. So do the astronomical discoveries of the last few centuries have implications for religion?"

Read the entire article

Since I know for an absolute fact that the Christian God exists, what it proves to me is that the first Sabbath was a rest, not a retirement....
--------Eric H. Bowen
Where's the KABOOM? There was supposed to have been an Earth-shattering KABOOM!

Sefiru

  • Senior Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Nov 2013
  • Location: In the walls
  • Posts: 1948
  • Country: ca
  • Total likes: 442
    • View Profile
Re: Does the size of the universe prove [the Christian] God doesn’t exist?
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2017, 06:29:47 pm »
I'm not sure it is a great argument for the non-existence of God, but it is a new one....

"Scientists now know that the universe contains at least two trillion galaxies. It’s a mind-scrunchingly big place, very different to the conception of the universe we had when the world’s major religions were founded. So do the astronomical discoveries of the last few centuries have implications for religion?"

Read the entire article

This article makes two assumptions that I have problems with:

1. It defines God almost entirely as Genesis-style creator (ie it frames the issue as "If God did not create the physical universe, then God does not exist,") This is a common definition in the debate between Biblical-literalist Creationists and Atheists. However by the theology of most denominations there is much more to God than that, and the nature of Creation may be entirely beside the point.

2. It equates physical proportions with value. Quote: "Perhaps God values rocks and cosmic dust more highly than humans." Why? Just because He made more of them? Why can't a single planet among trillions be significant?

2b. We also have no way of knowing whether there are other worlds and peoples out there that God gives just as much attention to as humans. He is supposed to be all-powerful and all-good, after all.

MadZealot

  • Adept Member
  • ********
  • Join Date: Nov 2011
  • Location: So Cal
  • Posts: 2462
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 167
  • Eye yam tu papi.
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Bitter Clinger. Sith Lord.
Re: Does the size of the universe prove [the Christian] God doesn’t exist?
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2017, 12:29:56 am »
I'm not sure it is a great argument for the non-existence of God, but it is a new one....

"Scientists now know that the universe contains at least two trillion galaxies. It’s a mind-scrunchingly big place, very different to the conception of the universe we had when the world’s major religions were founded. So do the astronomical discoveries of the last few centuries have implications for religion?"

Read the entire article

I've always considered the Christian conception of God as a being who exists outside time and space. His concern for people on this little blue planet does not imply (or require) a finite universe, nor does it somehow negate or contradict the infinite. What would infinity look like to a being who exists outside it, anyway? I mean, this is God we're talking about.

Quote
Over the last few decades, a new way of arguing for atheism has emerged. Philosophers of religion such as Michael Martin and Nicholas Everitt have asked us to consider the kind of universe we would expect the Christian God to have created, and compare it with the universe we actually live in. They argue there is a mismatch. Everitt focuses on how big the universe is, and argues this gives us reason to believe the God of classical Christianity doesn’t exist.
These guys are as guilty of putting arbitrary limits on God as just about any religion out there. If this is meant as an argument for atheism, it's a shoddy one.

Quote
To explain why, we need a little theology. Traditionally, the Christian God is held to be deeply concerned with human beings. Genesis (1:27) states: “God created mankind in his own image.” Psalms (8:1-5) says: “O Lord … What is man that You take thought of him … Yet You have made him a little lower than God, And You crown him with glory and majesty!” And, of course, John (3:16) explains God gave humans his son out of love for us.
All that demonstrates is God really really likes people. As for being 'made in his own image,' I've never taken that to mean God has ten fingers, ten toes, back hair, and navel lint. How would fingers benefit a God who can create reality itself simply by willing it? I've always taken this to refer to whatever that invisible part of us is that survives and transcends death.

Quote
These texts show that God is human-oriented: human beings are like God, and he values us highly.
Ergo, God doesn't exist. Brilliant.

Quote
You’d expect humans to occupy most of the universe, existing across time.
Who knows, maybe one time we did. Although that'd be quite outside the Biblical narrative. But hey, ancient aliens, man.
Also, who knows, assuming we don't starve ourselves to death, or nuke ourselves all to ass, one day we might get out there a bit. Although that messes with Biblical eschatology. But hey, I'd rather not have the world end.

« Last Edit: November 04, 2017, 12:35:44 am by MadZealot »
Spider Man 3 never happened. And Epstein didn't kill himself.

Owl

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 587
  • Country: 00
  • Total likes: 24
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Other
Re: Does the size of the universe prove [the Christian] God doesn’t exist?
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2017, 12:48:04 am »
I've always considered the Christian conception of God as a being who exists outside time and space. His concern for people on this little blue planet does not imply (or require) a finite universe, nor does it somehow negate or contradict the infinite. What would infinity look like to a being who exists outside it, anyway? I mean, this is God we're talking about.
These guys are as guilty of putting arbitrary limits on God as just about any religion out there. If this is meant as an argument for atheism, it's a shoddy one.
All that demonstrates is God really really likes people. As for being 'made in his own image,' I've never taken that to mean God has ten fingers, ten toes, back hair, and navel lint. How would fingers benefit a God who can create reality itself simply by willing it? I've always taken this to refer to whatever that invisible part of us is that survives and transcends death.
Ergo, God doesn't exist. Brilliant.
Who knows, maybe one time we did. Although that'd be quite outside the Biblical narrative. But hey, ancient aliens, man.
Also, who knows, assuming we don't starve ourselves to death, or nuke ourselves all to ass, one day we might get out there a bit. Although that messes with Biblical eschatology. But hey, I'd rather not have the world end.
The world won’t end, humans will just cause their own extinction.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

Darkhawk

  • Senior Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 4916
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 822
    • View Profile
    • Suns in her Branches
  • Religion: An American Werewolf in the Akhet; Kemetic; Feri; Imaginary Baltic Heathen; Discordian; CoX; Etc.
  • Preferred Pronouns: any of he, she, they
Re: Does the size of the universe prove [the Christian] God doesn’t exist?
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2017, 12:51:54 am »
I'm not sure it is a great argument for the non-existence of God, but it is a new one....

I must say the utter inanity of the premise as presented in the headline does not incline me to spend a synapse on the article.
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

RandallS

  • Site Admin
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Location: NE Ohio
  • Posts: 10200
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 265
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Hellenic Pagan
Re: Does the size of the universe prove [the Christian] God doesn’t exist?
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2017, 07:01:58 am »
I must say the utter inanity of the premise as presented in the headline does not incline me to spend a synapse on the article.

The idea isn't that bad -- they are comparing the universe one would expect from the attitudes and descriptions of the God described in the Bible with the universe that we actually have. The actual argument is probably most similar in form to the Argument from Evil, it just seems considerably less powerful and far easier to poke holes in.
Randall
RetroRoleplaying [Blog]: Microlite74/75/78/81, BX Advanced, and Other Old School Tabletop RPGs
Microlite20: Lots of Rules Lite Tabletop RPGs -- Many Free
OSR.SPACE: Old School Tabletop RPG Community

Darkhawk

  • Senior Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 4916
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 822
    • View Profile
    • Suns in her Branches
  • Religion: An American Werewolf in the Akhet; Kemetic; Feri; Imaginary Baltic Heathen; Discordian; CoX; Etc.
  • Preferred Pronouns: any of he, she, they
Re: Does the size of the universe prove [the Christian] God doesn’t exist?
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2017, 08:41:05 pm »
The idea isn't that bad -- they are comparing the universe one would expect from the attitudes and descriptions of the God described in the Bible with the universe that we actually have. The actual argument is probably most similar in form to the Argument from Evil, it just seems considerably less powerful and far easier to poke holes in.

I find any argument that ignores the fact that that God is canonically known to communicate in parables and other fictionalised teaching stories to be terribly weak.  I swear, so many atheists have no fucking clue that Biblical literalism is a response to the Industrial Revolution's consequence of disenchantment, just like the modern pagan movement.  (I mean, it's a particularly numbskulled response, but it's blatantly a response.)  And that's just... that's trivial historical knowledge.  You can get that from Wikipedia, for Christ's sake.

They also seem to totally ignore that modern Western science has a strong root in monks seeking to study Nature in order to better understand the divine nature.  And I'm sure they all did Mendelian crosses in high school bio.

Mmph.  Anti-theists who only engage with this weird literalism caricature and ignore the actual living religious traditions involved make me cross.
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

Hariti

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Mar 2017
  • Location: Kentucky
  • *
  • Posts: 906
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 295
  • ( Formerly known as EDF.)
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Hindu with Christian and Pop-Culture Elements
  • Preferred Pronouns: she/her
Re: Does the size of the universe prove [the Christian] God doesn’t exist?
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2017, 01:42:34 am »
I'm not sure it is a great argument for the non-existence of God, but it is a new one....

"Scientists now know that the universe contains at least two trillion galaxies. It’s a mind-scrunchingly big place, very different to the conception of the universe we had when the world’s major religions were founded. So do the astronomical discoveries of the last few centuries have implications for religion?"

Read the entire article

I don't think so. Some (NOT ALL) non-theistic people have trouble wrapping their minds around the concepts of omnipotence and omniscience. The Christian God cannot be disproved, by his very nature, he is in-falsifiable.
"The worshippers of the gods go to them; to the manes go the ancestor-worshippers; to the Deities who preside over the elements go their worshippers; My devotees come to Me." ... "Whichever devotee desires to adore whatever such Deity with faith, in all such votaries I make that particular faith unshakable. Endowed with that faith, a votary performs the worship of that particular deity and obtains the fruits thereof, these being granted by Me alone." - Sri Krishna

ehbowen

  • Grand Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Location: Houston, Texas
  • *
  • Posts: 1277
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 234
  • A Ways Around the Bend...
    • View Profile
    • Streamliner Schedules
  • Religion: Southern Baptist
Re: Does the size of the universe prove [the Christian] God doesn’t exist?
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2017, 04:42:50 am »
I don't think so. Some (NOT ALL) non-theistic people have trouble wrapping their minds around the concepts of omnipotence and omniscience. The Christian God cannot be disproved, by his very nature, he is in-falsifiable.

Correct. You can never "prove" or "disprove" him. However, if you change your strategy from proving to seeking...you may be pleasantly surprised at what you find.
--------Eric H. Bowen
Where's the KABOOM? There was supposed to have been an Earth-shattering KABOOM!

Naunau

  • Sr. Apprentice
  • ****
  • Join Date: Jul 2017
  • Location: Madrid
  • Posts: 72
  • Country: 00
  • Total likes: 4
    • View Profile
Re: Does the size of the universe prove [the Christian] God doesn’t exist?
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2017, 04:42:17 am »
Some (NOT ALL) non-theistic people have trouble wrapping their minds around the concepts of omnipotence and omniscience.
I do. I get Solaris-style headaches when I ponder on the idea of this thing understanding us or viceversa, and I imagine effective communication might not be possible. It's also, on top of that, a bit unsettling.

I also find the argument of evil a bit weird. It would seem to me most likely that it causes suffering on purpose, causes other suffering accidentally, and might prevent some other suffering it cares about... if he does, which I guess I can't know.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 04:45:16 am by Naunau »

MadZealot

  • Adept Member
  • ********
  • Join Date: Nov 2011
  • Location: So Cal
  • Posts: 2462
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 167
  • Eye yam tu papi.
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Bitter Clinger. Sith Lord.
Re: Does the size of the universe prove [the Christian] God doesn’t exist?
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2017, 04:47:06 am »
It's also, on top of that, a bit unsettling.


I just hope he's not looking when I touch myself.
Spider Man 3 never happened. And Epstein didn't kill himself.

ehbowen

  • Grand Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Location: Houston, Texas
  • *
  • Posts: 1277
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 234
  • A Ways Around the Bend...
    • View Profile
    • Streamliner Schedules
  • Religion: Southern Baptist
Re: Does the size of the universe prove [the Christian] God doesn’t exist?
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2017, 08:01:17 am »
I do. I get Solaris-style headaches when I ponder on the idea of this thing understanding us or viceversa, and I imagine effective communication might not be possible. It's also, on top of that, a bit unsettling.

I also find the argument of evil a bit weird. It would seem to me most likely that it causes suffering on purpose, causes other suffering accidentally, and might prevent some other suffering it cares about... if he does, which I guess I can't know.

On the other hand, this Person has spent the past several thousand years bending over backwards to try to find ways to relate to us, even at the cost of his own son's life. Can we not spend a few hours thinking upon the question of how we might most effectively relate to him?

As far as evil and suffering: Remember, there are two sides to this conflict. The enemy does not just roll over and give up. He may (and I believe has, several times) pretend to do so, but each and every time he has been plotting another attack somewhere else in the time stream in an attempt to change the course of history.

I believe that Satan has "fired every shot in his locker" up to and including this present moment; that there is nothing which he can do to change the events which we currently see as "in the past." As an example, I believe that he did everything in his power to attempt to get Khrushchev and Kennedy to "push the button" in October 1962. Of their own free will, they did not do so. That choice has been made, and it is final; so long as none of the circumstances leading up to it change the decision of K. and K. will not change, either.

But, if my God were to attempt to reach back in time AT THIS POINT and attempt to "craft a bypass" around the Holocaust twenty years previous, it would leave the opening for a potential "split." Events would be undefined and malleable; literally anything could happen. True, there are many, almost certainly a supermajority, who would choose to follow the new time track. But there are also many...think concentration camp guards and SS officers...who might prefer to "get away" with what they chose to do in the time track we know. That would leave a potential "pocket of infection" in our rear...which could, at any moment, erupt and return to haunt us.

So, IMHO, as we approach a "node" at which my God plans to do something unquestionably good, there is an increasing probability and in fact certainty that evil will erupt in an attempt to change the course of events. Take the hypothetical example of two dozen people murdered by a madman. Is that something my God wants to see? Absolutely not! BUT—just suppose that he was planning to do something very special later this week. Or month. Or...you get the idea. And that these murders were a desperation response to try to set up an alternate course of events so that Satan and at least a handful of his followers could escape justice. Should my God risk losing the good he is planning to accomplish in the long term in order to change events in the short term? A tough call, perhaps...but, IMHO, an understandable one.

The good news is that one we do get to the final "node" from which no one can escape, then it WILL be possible to "reach back" into the past and craft new time tracks which will bypass the pain and suffering which we know in the nasty-now-and-now. With perfect safety...because if it appears that that time track is going bad, we can always drop back to this one as foundational. So while we will not be changing this past, we will be crafting a new past which will be better for everyone concerned.

I look forward to this.
--------Eric H. Bowen
Where's the KABOOM? There was supposed to have been an Earth-shattering KABOOM!

ehbowen

  • Grand Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Location: Houston, Texas
  • *
  • Posts: 1277
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 234
  • A Ways Around the Bend...
    • View Profile
    • Streamliner Schedules
  • Religion: Southern Baptist
Re: Does the size of the universe prove [the Christian] God doesn’t exist?
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2017, 08:10:06 am »
I just hope he's not looking when I touch myself.

My own opinion is that my God is a gentleman and that if you do not want his presence in your home and your thoughts, he will respect your wishes.

However, if at some point in the future you change your mind and say that you do trust him and want him to accept you, from that point in the future he will backtrace the timeline of your life to make sure that he is genuinely dealing with your core personality. I think he's been burned before by false repentance...remember Judas? And so, from that point, no detail, no action, and no thought will be overlooked. Yes, it may seem a little intimidating...but when I go to the doctor I WANT her to catch every detail. That's her job.

At some point in the far distant future I believe that every single personality will make that decision. And, at that point, omniscience will be complete...and God will be All in All.
--------Eric H. Bowen
Where's the KABOOM? There was supposed to have been an Earth-shattering KABOOM!

ehbowen

  • Grand Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Location: Houston, Texas
  • *
  • Posts: 1277
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 234
  • A Ways Around the Bend...
    • View Profile
    • Streamliner Schedules
  • Religion: Southern Baptist
Re: Does the size of the universe prove [the Christian] God doesn’t exist?
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2017, 08:36:48 am »
The good news is that one we do get to the final "node"....

Should be "once". Too late to edit. Sorry.
--------Eric H. Bowen
Where's the KABOOM? There was supposed to have been an Earth-shattering KABOOM!

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
21 Replies
2876 Views
Last post June 21, 2014, 08:06:43 pm
by EclecticWheel
65 Replies
9814 Views
Last post July 17, 2014, 10:47:04 pm
by Melamphoros
53 Replies
9742 Views
Last post September 02, 2015, 12:03:18 pm
by Darkhawk
25 Replies
3204 Views
Last post December 28, 2015, 05:50:35 pm
by Lionrhod
10 Replies
3004 Views
Last post January 14, 2017, 01:32:37 am
by Wolf

* Who's Online

  • Dot Guests: 54
  • Dot Hidden: 0
  • Dot Users: 0

There aren't any users online.

* Please Donate!

The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.

* Shop & Support TC

The links below are affiliate links. When you click on one of these links you will go to the listed shopping site with The Cauldron's affiliate code. Any purchases you make during your visit will earn TC a tiny percentage of your purchase price at no extra cost to you.

* In Memoriam

Chavi (2006)
Elspeth (2010)
Marilyn (2013)

* Cauldron Staff

Host:
Sunflower

Message Board Staff
Board Coordinator:
Darkhawk

Assistant Board Coordinator:
Aster Breo

Senior Staff:
Aisling, Jenett, Sefiru

Staff:
Allaya, Chatelaine, EclecticWheel, HarpingHawke, Kylara, PerditaPickle, rocquelaire

Discord Chat Staff
Chat Coordinator:
Morag

Cauldron Council:
Bob, Catja, Emma-Eldritch, Fausta, Jubes, Kelly, LyricFox, Phouka, Sperran, Star, Steve, Tana

Site Administrator:
Randall