Here is Paul's comment:
I have a couple of questions that I would like answered, and you seem like the type to answer questions. First of all, what are your thoughts on supernatural phenomena (weird stuff people claim happens, i.e., someone’s ear being cut off, and growing back on)? Is it all just a big hoax?
Secondly, I know that evolution details how the earth came to it’s present state, and the big bang, (do they still call it that?) started all that, but what could have caused the big bang? And how did whatever caused the big bang come into existence? As far as I know, science clearly states that nothing can be infinite, and all things have an end and a beginning. So, if nothing is infinite, than how did the universe get started? Wouldn’t something had to have caused time to exist first, something that wasn’t governed by time, and so couldn’t even be described by adjectives like infinite?
I just have these questions, and no one can really answer them, except with some lame thing like “It just goes on and on”. And what does happen when we die? I know our bodies clearly decompose, we can see that much easily.
But what about our consciousness? It seems to me that consciousness is somewhat of a mystery in and of itself. Scientists can make a body, and they can put blood and oxygen in it, but yet they can’t make it live? So, if a consciousness isn’t something like a body, something that decomposes, what happens when the consciousness dies? Does it really just cease to exist? I can’t even imagine not existing. It just seems so foreign, to not exist.
Lastly, I don’t really get the term “gnostic atheist”. From what I’ve read, gnostics claim to “know” something, that other people don’t. So, if you’re a gnostic atheist, does that just mean that you “know” hands down, that there is not, and has never been, any kind of god?
First, here is Johnny's reply:
First of all, what are your thoughts on supernatural phenomena (weird stuff people claim happens, i.e., someone’s ear being cut off, and growing back on)? Is it all just a big hoax?
Do you have an actual documented example of something you would consider supernatural phenomena? Unless there is documented studies, physical evidence, or repeatable through scientific testing – its pretty much a big hoax.
Secondly, I know that evolution details how the earth came to it’s present state, and the big bang, (do they still call it that?) started all that, but what could have caused the big bang?
Huge misconception here. Evolution DOES NOT explain the Big Bang and/or Abiogenesis — here’s a post with three short videos to help understand the difference.
And how did whatever caused the big bang come into existence? As far as I know, science clearly states that nothing can be infinite, and all things have an end and a beginning. So, if nothing is infinite, than how did the universe get started? Wouldn’t something had to have caused time to exist first, something that wasn’t governed by time, and so couldn’t even be described by adjectives like infinite?
Science does not know all the details of the Big Bang and the singularity; but we know more and more all the time. Instead of assigning supernatural properties to it, science continues to seek answers; science knows it doesn’t have all the answers, but is doing everything possible to answer as many questions as it can.
And what does happen when we die? I know our bodies clearly decompose, we can see that much easily. But what about our consciousness?
We don’t know. But all evidence indicates that nothing happens. Consciousness ceases to exist when the brain dies. We have no evidence of something ‘on the other side’ – no one has come back to tell us or prove to us that ‘the other side’ exists. Thus the easiest, and most logical explanation is that there is no ‘other side.’
And here is GMNightmare's reply:
Ah, now that is a respectful post. Thank you. I’ve actually been meaning to rewrite my article to make it a little less aggressive and explain some more, so answering your questions will help guide that.
Q.1) Supernatural phenomena
I’ll cover aspects of ghosts and such first. Most of these, mysterious circumstances are just that, mysterious. People are quick to jump to conclusions, that this weird thing they couldn’t explain must be a ghost. Quite often than not, it’s just their mind jumping to conclusions, natural instincts (*mind speak* hey hey, I heard a noise, something might be there that could eat us and it’s dark and I can’t see very well, run!) If you don’t know what caused it, you can’t then claim it to be a ghost did it. I mean, it was just claimed you don’t know!
And now we’ll cover medical miracles. I have never seen evidence of one. Many people like to claim, oh, they survived a deadly disease it’s a miracle, but that makes no sense. Some people do make it past deadly diseases, by coincidence or luck. There are always survivors, people do survive cancer naturally to a small percentage. Being in that small percentage is nothing magical.
And what about all the people who didn’t? Does god just choose who he wants to save from illness if this is what really happened? Here’s the real question in regard to this: why won’t god heal amputees? There has never been a case of an amputee being healed, now that would be a real miracle. There is a whole website completely devoted to that question, just type it into google.
I want to quickly say something over this, just in case we have a misconception here. Evolution only says what is happening to life, it doesn’t explain how life originated. Abiogenesis and other theories like that cover how life originated from chemical cocktails.
Now I’m going to jumble up your questions a bit to make them easier to answer, they build upon one another.
Q.3) “Science cleary states that nothing can be infinite, and all things have a beginning”
I’m sorry to say, but science does not say that. Okay, I’m not really sorry, but nowhere does science actually say that. Now I’m going to cover some advanced thinking here, so try to stay with me here:
Space is infinite? No. Although it’s commonly said to, what is space? Nothing. Space = nothing, you can’t have infinite of something that doesn’t exist. And this brings us to what is really said:
There is a finite amount of energy in the universe. There is a finite amount of stuff, in an unbound container. god breaks this, as god isn’t nothing, he must be stuff, and it’s claimed he is everywhere in the unbound container.
Yeah, that unbound container can be a tricky concept. But truthfully, we really don’t know if it’s unbound or not, because we haven’t been there… Does space somehow bend back into itself? We really don’t know. Yeah, it can be hard to fathom that space can just continue on forever, but it’s ridiculous to say that some magical being exists everywhere (doesn’t that just make it worse?)
And, energy does not have a beginning. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed. This is one of the primary laws of the universe. It may change forms, but it’ll always be there and can be assumed following all evidence always has. Now we’re going to use this in the following questions…
Q.4) Causer of the Big Bang
The cause of the Big Bang was a bunch of energy, compressed greatly. The energy then went kabooie and expanded out. That’s what caused it, the energy that as I had said, is naturally believed to have always existed and always will.
Beyond that, we do not really know. Using the above knowledge, we could say it has just always liked to repeat the course, but can we ever be 100% sure? Not really.
But remember what I said about supernatural occurrences with ghosts? Claiming we don’t know, then saying god did it… it was just claimed you don’t know!
Time doesn’t actually exist how you think of it. Time is only a measurement, an illusion because you remember what actions you’ve previously taken. It measures decay… and it’s completely arbitrary (IE, you could consider 2.5 seconds to be 1 second). It’s relative, due to decay being affected by the speed of particles.
There was no start of time, time doesn’t really exist. Just like a gallon doesn’t really exist, it’s nothing more than a tool to help manage our life and share information.
So we may like to measure our lives in our notion of time. And for us, yes, we have a beginning and end. But as I said earlier, pure energy does not have those constraints. So if you were looking for something not constrained by “time” as it where, energy is it.
Very much controlled by physical reactions in the brain. I give you diseases like alzheimers. Physical damage damages our consciousness, it is very much tied down. And yes, we’ve as a species developed some marvelous consciousnesses, and we still have very much to learn about.
But as I like to keep saying, claiming knowledge because we lack knowledge… is baseless. Creating life took billions upon billions of years, it’s completely understandable that we can’t replicate it in a lab over an incredibly short period of time when we don’t even know that much about it!
Of course you can’t imagine not existing, your existing. It’s rather a little silly, not that I haven’t tried mind you. Just think about before you were born. Boom, there you go. You know you didn’t exist before you were born, no pain or hardships right? Besides, existing forever would get really boring after a trillion years or so. Hell, some can’t even last 100 without killing themselves off.
Q.8) Gnostic atheism
“So, if you’re a gnostic atheist, does that just mean that you “know” hands down, that there is not, and has never been, any kind of god?”
Yes. And I quote from my article:
This brings us to the question, what is knowledge? Knowing does not mean truth; it means you regard it as true. Knowing is paradoxical in its nature, how can anything be known with exact certainty? It can’t, but for the sake of progress we have to start at some point.
I’ve argued against countless excuses for god. I’ve found fundamental flaws against any kind of omni-ability. I’ve argued against not only the existence but the uselessness of a creator. Essentially, I’ve argued if god cannot be known in this reality then god has no basis in this reality. I’ve even argued the word classification of the word god even.
All and all, perhaps it’s just more honest. I have found flaws and argued against all types of gods, how much more must it take to know? I’ve argued against the whole notion, reason, and existence of god… why can I not be certain there is no god?
The moment you define the term god, is the moment I’ll pick it apart.
And then there was little ol' Neece. I think I want to say a few words on these questions too:
1. Supernatural phenomena: There is zero evidence of any kind of supernatural of any sort in the known universe. Everything that we have observed scientifically in this world is completely natural. That's not to say that people don't have weird experiences that they can't explain given the little bit of data they've got from an event. But no one has ever grown back an ear that has been cut off, or a limb. As GMN says, go to the website Why Won't God Heal Amputees? God doesn't because he doesn't exist and humans have never evolved the ability to regenerate limbs. It's usually safe to rule out anecdotal evidence as simply a story; even if the person telling it believes it, it doesn't make it factual. It's also the case that the human mind fills in the gaps as it processes huge amounts of data at any given instant. This leads to pareidolia which can lead to thinking you've seen or heard something that really wasn't there.
2. I think the guys covered the Big Bang pretty well. I think at this point the main theory is that the Big Bang started as a Singularity where all matter was compressed into a teeny little speck and then expanded rapidly outward. Of course, they are still studying and gathering more data in the cosmos to verify this theory. But no one knows what happened before the Big Bang. Still, that doesn't mean that someday we might not know. And it certainly doesn't mean that anything supernatural caused it. That would be falling on the fallacy of the god of the gaps. The great thing about science is that they keep asking questions and looking for answers. It is a never-ending quest. Scientists don't just throw up their hands and give up when things get tough and say well, then god did it. So far all the answers are completely natural. I can't stress that enough.
And no, science never said that nothing is infinite. In fact, I would remind you that matter can never be destroyed. It just gets converted to energy. And time is just a concept that we use to make our lives easier. It's very real to us, but don't forget the theory of relativity.
3. What happens when we die? We die. Our consciousness dies with the death of our brain. There is no evidence of life after death. It's all completely anecdotal. While it may seem frightening, you didn't exist for billions of years before you were born. So when you die, you will again cease to exist. It's really not much of a mystery. It just seems strange because we have so many myths that cling to the idea of life or lives after death. Again, there is no evidence that our consciousness is eternal. You've got one precious life. Make the most of it here and now!
4. I would also call myself a gnostic atheist. I think it's pretty clear that we live in a completely natural universe. I am confident that there are no gods or supernatural beings or phenomena in the world.