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    I'm sure this is probably old and worn but I was thinking earlier-

    Do religious/theistic arguments, through having revelation as a 'truth', however much worth one assigns to it, have an advantage over those of the atheist? For example, the religious person may have, or at least claim to have, the truths of their belief revealed to them; is there such a circumstance in which the atheist may be as certain? The nature of atheism surely denies any claim to such transcendent knowledge.

    I discount empirical evidence as when it comes down to it one can only argue as far back as the big bang on either side in my opinion.

    For the record, I am staunchly agnostic.

    Sorry again if this is done often but I don't really get much opportunity for similar debate in real life, ha.

    EDIT - On deliberation maybe this should be in Religion. Sorry, I am not very good at this!
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    I'm not entirely sure what you're asking, could you clarify please?
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    Of course, sorry:

    It seems to me that, specific religions aside and irrelevant, both the theist and atheist can really only argue back as far as that "first moment", whatever it may be; whilst the theist can and often will argue outside of the phenomenal world familiar to us, in terms of cause and being, the atheist cannot, and thus may be doomed simply to state "the big bang" as their theory of the universe's conception which appears to me a dead end.

    I understand that many do believe in realities outside of our reality but as far as I see it any cause beyond may as well be theistic as talk of a transcendent cause for our being seems to be effectively admitting to some divine power.

    So, I am wondering if there were theories to reconcile this or if I am just following a nonsensical line of thought; it seems to me that the arguments of the theist are able to account for more.

    I hope that made sense =/ I'm really sorry.
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    I maintain that belief in god is an extra cause that is needed prior to the big bang and an extremely complex cause at that.

    It is not a solid philosophical principle that the simplest answer must be true. But the god put forward by many theists would need to have sprung into existance from nothing and it could be argued that he is more complex than the unicverse he is to explain.
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    (Original post by gideon2000uk)
    I maintain that belief in god is an extra cause that is needed prior to the big bang and an extremely complex cause at that.

    It is not a solid philosophical principle that the simplest answer must be true. But the god put forward by many theists would need to have sprung into existance from nothing and it could be argued that he is more complex than the unicverse he is to explain.
    But springing up involves time and space, no?
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    (Original post by happy cola)
    But springing up involves time and space, no?
    It really depends how vaccuously you want to define "god."

    I think he's a useful illusion for some and a dangerous one for others.
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    (Original post by gideon2000uk)
    It really depends how vaccuously you want to define "god."
    What? No it doesn't. No monotheistic traditions that I am aware of - certainly none of the common brand of the Abrahamic faiths posit God in space and time (though He may manifest himself physically).
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    (Original post by phawkins1988)
    What? No it doesn't. No monotheistic traditions that I am aware of - certainly none of the common brand of the Abrahamic faiths posit God in space and time (though He may manifest himself physically).
    In which case... We have a pretty vaccuous god.
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    (Original post by gideon2000uk)
    In which case... We have a pretty vaccuous god.
    What exactly do you mean by "vaccuous"?
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    (Original post by Soc)
    What exactly do you mean by "vaccuous"?
    Well... When something doesn't exist in space or time, it does leave me wondering where it does exist... It comes pretty close to the definition of non-existance.
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    (Original post by gideon2000uk)
    Well... When something doesn't exist in space or time, it does leave me wondering where it does exist... It comes pretty close to the definition of non-existance.
    Surely if we accept that time and space are matter (and hence created) - I know you don't - then it logically follows that the creator of time and space has to exist outside those spheres. As to where god exists, if not limited by time and space, then given the limitlessness, He can exist everywhere.
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    (Original post by Soc)
    Surely if we accept that time and space are matter (and hence created) - I know you don't - then it logically follows that the creator of time and space has to exist outside those spheres. As to where god exists, if not limited by time and space, then given the limitlessness, He can exist everywhere.
    Who created god?
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    That's a self defeating argument though: if god is created, he isn't god.
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    Who created god?
    Does He need a Creator? Do we need to know? Can we know?

    Your question leads us into further speculation, it doesn't make the concept of a God any more or less plausible.
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    (Original post by Soc)
    That's a self defeating argument though: if god is created, he isn't god.
    Isn't that precisely my point.

    We are talking about an un-created, all seeing, all knowing, limitless being. Which came into (some form of) existance out of nothing. No designer, he just is.

    Why can't I with equal plausibility claim that a complex universe (probably less complex than your god) also has no need for a creator?
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    Well, they do. People have a choice in what they believe though. Do you believe a God made this remarkable and ordered world? Or do you believe it is self-creating? Both views are valid. However, as a Christian, the idea of God creating the world fits with my belief in a historical Jesus.

    Feel free to disagree. However my God certainly isn't vacuous. There are many meaningful attributes to Him which can be explored philosophically (or through other means).
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    (Original post by gideon2000uk)
    Why can't I with equal plausibility claim that a complex universe (probably less complex than your god) also has no need for a creator?
    Erm, because their is proof that the universe is a some billion years old (can't remember the exact figure off the top of my head)? As TML points out, you can claim it. But it doesn't make it plausible.
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    (Original post by Soc)
    Erm, because their is proof that the universe is a some billion years old (can't remember the exact figure off the top of my head)? As TML points out, you can claim it. But it doesn't make it plausible.
    The age of the universe is immaterial.

    Additionally it seems more plausible to believe that a simpler cause began the universe, than that an even more complex entity created it.

    The question of what or who or how your creator is created is not an easy one to sidestep...

    The problem is that whilst I only need to explain the existance of one complex entity, you need to explain two.
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    The question of what or who or how your creator is created is not an easy one to sidestep...
    It really is, actually, however evasive it sounds.

    I can possibly accept an infinite universe with an infinite time of existence (although I'd certainly suggest that the universe doesn't seem static and seems to be "evolving", suggesting a beginning [and I still have a few quarrels with the Big Bang theory - the infinite universe theory is more plausible imo]), however I can accept that the same is true for God. I can't explain how God does things, much like I can't explain simply how an infinite universe may never have been created. However it makes sense that a supernatural and superior being would be far more mysterious and incomprehensible to modern man.

    And when one reconciles their belief in creation to other religious beliefs, then that religion becomes much more plausible to that individual.
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    (Original post by gideon2000uk)
    The age of the universe is immaterial.
    It clearly is; given there is proof that the universe has a starting point, Russell's argument (which you are using here) is crap.

    Additionally it seems more plausible to believe that a simpler cause began the universe, than that an even more complex entity created it.
    What is the "simpler cause" in your view?

    The question of what or who or how your creator is created is not an easy one to sidestep...
    I'm not sidestepping anything - you are fundementally misunderstanding the concept of an ultimate creator, but then that's why you're an atheist right?
 
 
 
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