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what do athiests believe?
Posted: 24 December 2011 12:36 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Hey inquiring believer here - just wondering what athiest believe?  What do you believe got us to this point?

If I were to put it simply I see believers as seeing it as the following - you have flour, eggs, milk and sugar on a counter - if you do nothing… wait 13 billion years you will still have flour, eggs, milk and sugar on the counter - (if preserved in a vacuum) you need the baker to turn them into cupcakes

I see athiest seeing flour, eggs, milk and sugar on a counter - do nothing… wait 13 billion years and not only do you have cup cakes but you have eyeballs, fig trees and a Large Hadron Collider (if preserved in a vacuum) actually you don’t even need the eggs, milk or sugar - or counter - some would also say you don’t need the flour and of course you don’t need the baker

while flour,eggs and milk sounds like ridiculious ingredients of the cosmos - the actual ingredients are far less complex - bosons, quarks and leptons

is my little analogy way off the mark?

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Posted: 24 December 2011 04:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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sobpatrick - 24 December 2011 12:36 AM

Hey inquiring believer here - just wondering what athiest believe?  What do you believe got us to this point?

If I were to put it simply I see believers as seeing it as the following - you have flour, eggs, milk and sugar on a counter - if you do nothing… wait 13 billion years you will still have flour, eggs, milk and sugar on the counter - (if preserved in a vacuum) you need the baker to turn them into cupcakes

I see athiest seeing flour, eggs, milk and sugar on a counter - do nothing… wait 13 billion years and not only do you have cup cakes but you have eyeballs, fig trees and a Large Hadron Collider (if preserved in a vacuum) actually you don’t even need the eggs, milk or sugar - or counter - some would also say you don’t need the flour and of course you don’t need the baker

while flour,eggs and milk sounds like ridiculious ingredients of the cosmos - the actual ingredients are far less complex - bosons, quarks and leptons

is my little analogy way off the mark?

IMO, yes.
Why should a baker make cupcakes if he can’t eat them? Or were they made for human consumption 14 billion years later? A little stale wouldn’t you agree? Not only that, why make a universe full of cupcakes when there is only 1 house on the block. I can come up with other twists on your analogy, but…................

I suggest that you check out how the elements in the universe were spontaneously created and combined in the cosmic oven(s). No baker was required.

[ Edited: 24 December 2011 05:04 AM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 24 December 2011 05:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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sobpatrick - 24 December 2011 12:36 AM

Hey inquiring believer here - just wondering what athiest believe?  What do you believe got us to this point?

If I were to put it simply I see believers as seeing it as the following - you have flour, eggs, milk and sugar on a counter - if you do nothing… wait 13 billion years you will still have flour, eggs, milk and sugar on the counter - (if preserved in a vacuum) you need the baker to turn them into cupcakes

I see athiest seeing flour, eggs, milk and sugar on a counter - do nothing… wait 13 billion years and not only do you have cup cakes but you have eyeballs, fig trees and a Large Hadron Collider (if preserved in a vacuum) actually you don’t even need the eggs, milk or sugar - or counter - some would also say you don’t need the flour and of course you don’t need the baker

while flour,eggs and milk sounds like ridiculious ingredients of the cosmos - the actual ingredients are far less complex - bosons, quarks and leptons

is my little analogy way off the mark?

Yes , a little off. The analogy of flour, eggs, milk ,and sugar is Ok, but possibly over simplified-even though most atheists would get your meaning.  The basic “ingredients” of the cosmos were made during the so called big bang, and basically, over centuries some investigaters have discovered that the elements/ingredients operate in a certain way; this certain way has “built” the universe and, current laws of physics. The essential proof of this perhaps, is that we can manipulate these ingredients and they always work in the same way. The concept of a baker or higher power is not really needed, because the ingredients do what they do on their own.

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Posted: 24 December 2011 05:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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1. Don’t you think you should be asking this question to Evolutionists?

2. Do you think we have never heard these weak arguments before? You’re obviously another victim of straw-man arguments.

3. It’s Atheist not “Athiest”. You should have listened to your spell checker.

4. Do you really genuinely want an answer or is this just another provocation?

5. I give you up to a max of 40 posts before you quit posting and go running back into your blind hole where you feel safe.

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Posted: 24 December 2011 05:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I must admit there is a certain fractal symmetry in the cup of a cupcake…. cheese

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Posted: 24 December 2011 05:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Write4U - 24 December 2011 05:15 AM

I must admit there is a certain fractal symmetry in the cup of a cupcake…. cheese

I’m sure if there was a creator that he made us just so we can make him cupcakes.

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Posted: 24 December 2011 05:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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ExMachina - 24 December 2011 05:17 AM
Write4U - 24 December 2011 05:15 AM

I must admit there is a certain fractal symmetry in the cup of a cupcake…. cheese

I’m sure if there was a creator that he made us just so we can make him cupcakes.

I am a bad baker, so mine would would be “burnt offerings’.

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Posted: 24 December 2011 05:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Write4U - 24 December 2011 05:20 AM
ExMachina - 24 December 2011 05:17 AM
Write4U - 24 December 2011 05:15 AM

I must admit there is a certain fractal symmetry in the cup of a cupcake…. cheese

I’m sure if there was a creator that he made us just so we can make him cupcakes.

I am a bad baker, so mine would would be “burnt offerings’.

That would make you a Heretic! You better get on that cookbook and show your piety. LOL

edit

The op would make great hijacking material. How does anyone here feel about the show the Dr.s?

[ Edited: 24 December 2011 05:32 AM by ExMachina ]
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Posted: 24 December 2011 06:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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This analogy is repeated over and over again and is fundamentally flawed in so many ways. The analogy leaves out the fact that DNA and RNA are unique molecules which have special properties that flour, eggs, milk, and sugar don’t. These molecules carry information, can function as enzymes and most importantly can copy themselves. The analogy also leaves out one of the most important ingredients of evolution.. ie. natural selection. It also makes a very flawed assumption.. that we are trying to make cupcakes from the start. Cupcakes aren’t the goal, they never were. They are just the current product of random mixing. If we end up with donuts, cakes, bagels, bread or whatever.. it doesn’t matter. Whatever the outcome if you only focus on that one possibility then of course it looks unlikely but when you realize that any outcome has the same unlikely probability and there are billions of possible outcomes then the probability is high that you will have at least one of them occur. Finally it assumes that the average person is very good at imagining what a billion years really means.. umm not really.

So lets look at the analogy and do the best we can to reshape a very faulty analogy to try and have it include these things.

Start by forgetting about the flour, eggs, milk , and sugar. Instead start with the recipe (DNA/RNA). You begin with a page that has nothing but a chaotic scramble of letters on it. Now ask a few trillion people to hand copy that page for you. Go through the trillions of pages. Remember the goal is not to make cupcakes its simply to select for something. In this case we will assume that words are what we are selecting for initially. After going through trillions of pages you have a few that have through copying error some short words.. to, it, the, etc. You select those out and throw away all the rest. Now have those trillions of people copy these few pages and when done sort through them again keeping only the ones that by copying error have more noticeable words. Do this trillions of times a day for a few 100’s of millions of days and soon you will find that every page has an assortment of words on them, some making up the complete english language.

Now selective pressures change and now bakery terms offer a survival advantage. Some pages have more of these than others. The majority of pages will be discarded but the few that remain will be copied in much greater number than before because there is no competition for the trillion people making copies. Selective pressures change again and now there is an advantage to any combination of words that suggest the mixing of flour and water.

I wont outline every step but continue this process to its natural end and pretty soon from random assortment, copying errors, and natural selection you have in your hands a perfect recipe for cupcakes but only if t cupcakes have some survival advantage over something like mudpies (In my house they wouldn’t but you get the idea grin )

This isnt a perfect analogy but it points out some of the basic flaws of your cupcake analogy or the 747 analogy or any of the numerous permutations that those with limited imagination use.

Happy Holidays everyone

[ Edited: 24 December 2011 06:57 AM by macgyver ]
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Posted: 24 December 2011 09:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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sobpatrick - 24 December 2011 12:36 AM

Hey inquiring believer here - just wondering what athiest believe?  What do you believe got us to this point?

First of all, being an atheist does not entail any particular belief.  Atheism is the lack of belief that there is such a thing as a god.  (Although there is some controversy over this definition.)  So an atheist could believe just about anything about what got us to this point except that a god was involved.

Second, there is a fundamental problem that must be addressed no matter what the ingredients of one’s cosmology.  I call it the problem with explanations though I suppose there’s a canonical term for it that I’ve yet to run into.  It goes like this. Suppose we’re trying to explain X.  Either there is no explanation for X (X is fundamental) or X can be explained by X1 (X can be reduced to X1).  Now to explain X1 we have the same problem.  Either there is no explanation for X1 or X1 can be explained by X2.  We seem to have two choices when it comes to explanations.  Either they end somewhere with something that just is or there is an infinite regression of ever deeper explanations.  Neither of these seem satisfying.

Some people seem to think that a god is a satisfying fundamental explanation.  There can be no explanation for a god, they think.  This god just is.  What I don’t understand is why this is more satisfying than saying the physical Universe just is.  There just doesn’t appear (to me anyway) a reason to add that extra god level of explanation when there is no evidence to do so.  I do not see the intentionality inherent in the world that others seem to need.

So that brings us to your cupcake example.  It is just a variation on the 747 in the junkyard canard.  I notice you specify the ingredients preserved in a vacuum.  Why?  Things change left to their own environment.  Things do the things that they do with out any intention behind it.  Your ingredients would change and there would be results.  These results may not be what you intended but they would be something.  The only ingredient missing is the one that produced the results that you wanted.

So when you look at the existence of humans, ask yourself.  Are you trying to add an ingredient that would guarantee this result - perhaps because you are so impressed with them that you couldn’t envision a world without them?  Are you really that unsatisfied with the idea that what we see is just the way things happened to turn out? 

I have some sad news for you.  One way or the other, the Universe is going to end.  Long before that, humans will disappear.  We will have been but a fraction of a fraction of a blink in the age of the Universe.  We will have occupied but a fraction of a fraction of a spec floating in the expanse of the Universe.  If there is a hidden intentionality to the Universe, we’re not its main focus.  I leave you with the wise words of Douglas Adams…

... imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, “This is an interesting world I find myself in, an interesting hole I find myself in, fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!” This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it’s still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything’s going to be all right, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise.

[ Edited: 24 December 2011 03:42 PM by the PC apeman ]
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Posted: 24 December 2011 12:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Sobpatrick, yours is another version of the “watch in the forest” argument.  Those such as yours and the watch try to conflate human construction of a simple produced good in a short time with that of a god producing a universe over thirteen billion years. 

Please check out the discussion section here, titled Science and Technology, thread “Good Skeptic/Science Interview”, posts #24 specifically

This one is a theist argument against the idea one can start with some simple amino acids, and life can evolve from that. He says that when a live cell is in a nutrient rich fluid, at a good temperature, then one pokes the cell with a needle causing the inards to leak out, there you have all the molecules needed for a living cell, and the cell can’t be put back together again. What do you think skeptics?
Disproving Atheists in 82 seconds

and the refutation in post #25. 

If you follow the reasoning, I’m sure you’ll see that your argument is silly and irrational.  As such, if you are a logical person, your only choice will be to convert to atheism.

Occam

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Posted: 24 December 2011 12:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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LOL... Disproving atheists in 82 seconds?..  Using Humpty Dumpty?  That’s precious… LOL

[ Edited: 24 December 2011 03:58 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 24 December 2011 12:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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1) Atheists don’t believe in a god. That’s all you can say about them/us as a group. They might believe in ghosts, fairies, unicorns, socialism, or any other manner of nonsense.

2) Life cannot be simplified into a cupcake analogy. Saying that “physics builds into chemistry builds into biochemistry builds into biology” is still a gross oversimplification and doesn’t come close to explaining how particles form atomic elements each of which are governed by their own special rules of interaction and form compounds with their own properties which form biological macromolecules and on and on until you have life capable of consciousness. Each new level has emergent properties even though it was built from a “less complex” level.

3) I think you’ll find abiogenesis an interesting topic. The Miller-Urey experiments were about 60 years ago, and they showed that amino acids could form from water, methane, hydrogen, and ammonia in (what was then thought to be) the conditions of primordial Earth. It’s only been 58 years since that experiment and the Earth had 700 million years to gestate the first cells.  Giving up and saying, “Musta been God wot done it” may be a bit premature.

Anyway, thank you for the question and the respectful way you asked it.

(edited for grammar)

[ Edited: 24 December 2011 01:22 PM by Charles Collom ]
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Posted: 24 December 2011 01:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Charles Collom
Each new level has emergent properties even though it was built from a “less complex” level.

A succinct definition of evolution.

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Posted: 24 December 2011 06:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Cellular development is hardly sugar, flour, and eggs.  Your question makes no sense and shows a considerable lack of knowledge concerning evolution, among other scientific subjects.  Besides, Evolution is only one thing among many things that humanists/atheists/freethinkers believe and the various things we believe often vary from person to person and to what degree.  For example, my view of other animals may vary greatly from what others, including a vet, on this site may believe, but at the same time, I am hardly a militant animal rights person.  So you are asking a single question that no where near covers all the various views.  It’s only one part.

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Posted: 24 December 2011 07:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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You left out an important ingredient in your cupcake analogy that played a role in the development of life on Earth.  Any system that becomes more complex over time needs to have long term sources of energy input so that more energy is coming into the system than is leaving the system.  More energy was absorbed by the Earth from the sun than radiated out from the Earth.  The sun’s loss was the Earth’s gain.  This input of energy drove life and the evolution of life into more and more complex forms.

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