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Agnosticism, Atheism, and the Absence of Secular Religion

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I have never struggled with the axiom that religion creates wars (secular religion's that is) but I still struggle to grasp the concept of there being no higher being. My backing for this is 1) the concept of creation and 2) "miracles" that I have seen in my own life.

1) The big bang theory and theory of evolution are technically fact now. I agree with them but I struggle with the fact that some higher power had no hand in them. As it pertains to the big bang my basic question is how did something (everything, I should say) come from nothing?

2) It just seems like you can only have so many coincidences in life. In my case, when I was young I got caught in a storm and a the top of a dead tree broke off and fell straight down towards me. At the very last second, inches before it hit my face, a great gust of wind blew it to my right into a set of bushes and I ran inside unscathed whereas the branch could have likely knocked me out or killed me. Maybe it's coincidence though.

Furthermore, my Great Grandma was a woman of much faith and one her major predicaments was she prayed for God to change a flower she had into a rose before she traveled to my uncles wedding where she wanted a handicap accessible room in her hotel (she was old). The flower never changed and when she got to the hotel they did not have a room available. Thus, she decided to leave and just go back home, skip the wedding. Then, when she was about to leave, an employee who went by the name of Rose came up to my Great Grandma and told her they had a room available. What's more, when she got to the room the wall paper was covered in roses and so were the bed sheets. Her theory is that God sent her a rose just not in the way she expected. Was it all just coincidence though? You hear of many situations like this; I'm not talking dreams and crazy stuff like that where a miracle is debatable, but where someone experiences a large amount of coincidences (coincidences implying that they are dealing in reality).

That's my struggle with the axiom that there is no higher being. I don't think these miracles prove that there is one God, or many Gods, or that one religion is right (so don't take the argument in that direction) but they seem to substantiate the claim that some higher being/power has its hands in reality. What say you guys? I'm going to play devil's advocate on you, fyi.

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1) The big bang theory and theory of evolution are technically fact now. I agree with them but I struggle with the fact that some higher power had no hand in them. As it pertains to the big bang my basic question is how did something (everything, I should say) come from nothing?

2) It just seems like you can only have so many coincidences in life. In my case, when I was young I got caught in a storm and a the top of a dead tree broke off and fell straight down towards me. At the very last second, inches before it hit my face, a great gust of wind blew it to my right into a set of bushes and I ran inside unscathed whereas the branch could have likely knocked me out or killed me. Maybe it's coincidence though.

1) The Big Bang Theory does NOT say everything just suddenly appeared out of nothing. The theory states that at a finite time ago the universe expanded from an incredibly dense and hot state, the theory makes no claim on what preceded this event or what caused it. The god did it explanation just dodges the question , because if everything must have a cause then what caused god? If god is eternal why cant the universe?

2. It is a logical fallacy to state "I cant explain something therefor it is explained by this"

I like this video about coincidences

It is understandable to desire an explanation for every action or event. The fact that we may be ignorant of the causes is not a basis to identify some supernatural cause as the cause. It is alright to just say I don't know.

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What about all the times when things just barely didn't work out for you? People rarely try to remember those, but they happen perhaps just as much as miracles.

I can't answer the big bang theory, but consider this idea about the emergence of life.

Some creationists argue that life is so complex and the chance of various incidences emergin so incredibly implausible, that God must exist. Ignoring that there was a 1 billion year gap in between the emergence of the first cellular organisms and the first multi-cellular organisms (a long time for unlikely things to happen), consider the fact that in order for man to remark at the wonder of his existence he must exist.

So if there's a 1 in 100 billion billion chance of mankind emerging in any given solar system, remember that only the 1 in 100 billion billion solar systems will actually produce a man to sit back and realize this fact.

So, things are mysterious about life, but the idea that an intelligent creator is behind it is much more the product of subjective desires than objective facts. There's a burden of evidence in that respect that is overwhelmingly against the actual existence of God.

Consider Pascal's wager - If God is real, then I have to believe in him. If God is not, I hardly lose out whether I believe in him or not. Well, since there is no objective evidence for what is God's nature (even if you think there is evidence that he is 'out there'), then it is just as likely that God wants you to not believe in him.

It boils down to the fact that there is no good evidence for God to exist, objectively, but that there are plenty of reasons for why people would choose to irrationally believe in God. That contrast provides the easiest way to finally reject belief in God.

Edited by ZSorenson
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It's a shame that you had to be standing under that tree - if God had not needed to intervene in your life, he would have had the free time to save that bus-load of children from going over that cliff.

Bad things happen to a lot of people, to varying degrees. In fact, bad things happen to so many people, that statistically speaking, a few of those people will face near-certain death, and still survive. For the vast majority of people who face a situation similar to yours, though, the tree branch falls on them, and they die. Because the dead cannot talk, they do not start forum posts about their unfortunate brushes with danger.

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1) The big bang theory and theory of evolution are technically fact now. I agree with them but I struggle with the fact that some higher power had no hand in them. As it pertains to the big bang my basic question is how did something (everything, I should say) come from nothing?

Not at all true. (the Big Bang theory part)

The theory of evolution has supporting evidence coming from thousands of sources, and multiple fields of science. Biology and Geology. It is complex with testable outcomes.

The Big Bang theory is not any of these things.

It simply 'fits best'. It is the most accepted theory, but I don't think a single scientist would be so insulting as the compare the two. The evidence for the Big Bang stems mostly from the Hubble effect and its implication of an expanding universe. There seems to be contrary evidence multiple places in the visible universe.

Theories are important to the scientific process, even faulty, flawed or incomplete ones as a starting place to test and compare.

I have noticed a growing trend in Theists using cosmology, and especially quantum mechanics as support for a higher power. Just as thousands of years ago they used weather, flight, and fire.

Imagine the worshipers of Pele the fire god. The natives of Hawaii had no way of understanding plate tectonics. It requires data from tools they were at best hundreds of years from having, and a desire to know the truth, which as far as they were concerned they already did.

You are falling under the same trap man has for its existence. If it's not explainable, God did it.

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God, for me, is more a problem of personal desires that an actual logical or axiomatic issue. I understand what you mean by the coincidences that have ocurred in your life, for I have lived similar situations myself. For example, once I found out about a book I really wanted to read, but I never found it on any bookstore. I looked into many of the biggest (and most expensive) bookstores around, but never found it so I gave up. The, one day, I was walking bored in the street and I walked into this modest, small, bookstore. I had gone there many times in the past, and sometimes they had interesting books, but nothing truly outstanding. Then, on a lonely bookshelf, I found the book I had been looking for months, and at a very accesible price. I didn't hesitate, and I bought it. Back then I used to believe in god and miracles, even the small ones.

The book I was looking for was Atlas Shrugged.

People believes in miracles and "coincidences" beacause of two reasons:

1- It's easier to give a magical explanation to something that otherwise we could not comprehend.

2- It can make people feel special, safe, protected, and give this feeling that they are not alone, and that god, or whatever it is, cares for them enough to save their lifes at a determined point.

Now, I'm not going to tell you to change your beliefs, not I will call you irrational or insult you. Some people want to believe in such things, and this is alright as long as they don't begin to despice they own individuality, their freedom (if I believed in god, he (or she) would not be a tyrant); as long as they don't sacrifice their lives for their god, or to think that every single things they ask to god, will be magically given.

I stopped believing in god because I didn't want my life to be free, I wanted to earn the right to live it, so, just think about this.

I welcome you opinions.

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I have never struggled with the axiom that religion creates wars (secular religion's that is) but I still struggle to grasp the concept of there being no higher being. My backing for this is 1) the concept of creation and 2) "miracles" that I have seen in my own life.

1) The big bang theory and theory of evolution are technically fact now. I agree with them but I struggle with the fact that some higher power had no hand in them. As it pertains to the big bang my basic question is how did something (everything, I should say) come from nothing?

2) It just seems like you can only have so many coincidences in life. In my case, when I was young I got caught in a storm and a the top of a dead tree broke off and fell straight down towards me. At the very last second, inches before it hit my face, a great gust of wind blew it to my right into a set of bushes and I ran inside unscathed whereas the branch could have likely knocked me out or killed me. Maybe it's coincidence though.

Furthermore, my Great Grandma was a woman of much faith and one her major predicaments was she prayed for God to change a flower she had into a rose before she traveled to my uncles wedding where she wanted a handicap accessible room in her hotel (she was old). The flower never changed and when she got to the hotel they did not have a room available. Thus, she decided to leave and just go back home, skip the wedding. Then, when she was about to leave, an employee who went by the name of Rose came up to my Great Grandma and told her they had a room available. What's more, when she got to the room the wall paper was covered in roses and so were the bed sheets. Her theory is that God sent her a rose just not in the way she expected. Was it all just coincidence though? You hear of many situations like this; I'm not talking dreams and crazy stuff like that where a miracle is debatable, but where someone experiences a large amount of coincidences (coincidences implying that they are dealing in reality).

That's my struggle with the axiom that there is no higher being. I don't think these miracles prove that there is one God, or many Gods, or that one religion is right (so don't take the argument in that direction) but they seem to substantiate the claim that some higher being/power has its hands in reality. What say you guys? I'm going to play devil's advocate on you, fyi.

Why do you assume that because something "good" happened, it was god who did it? What about when something "bad" happens? How many trees fall on people and kill them? Did god do that too? Is that then not a miracle, to be killed by a tree? After all, if the tree had fallen and the person wasn't standing there, he wouldn't have been killed. Why did the tree fall just then? So it must be just as much of a miracle to be killed by a falling tree as to be almost killed by one as to not even being close to killed by one! In other words, the "miracle" explains nothing.

As far as "rose" is concerned, those who are looking for meaning in such coincidences in life will always find them comforting, but they're nothing more than a coincidence.

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Why do you assume that because something "good" happened, it was god who did it? What about when something "bad" happens? How many trees fall on people and kill them? Did god do that too? Is that then not a miracle, to be killed by a tree? After all, if the tree had fallen and the person wasn't standing there, he wouldn't have been killed. Why did the tree fall just then? So it must be just as much of a miracle to be killed by a falling tree as to be almost killed by one as to not even being close to killed by one! In other words, the "miracle" explains nothing.

As far as "rose" is concerned, those who are looking for meaning in such coincidences in life will always find them comforting, but they're nothing more than a coincidence.

A is A makes a good point with this. These things are merely coincidences because you were looking for meaning in them. If these sort of things occurred all day, every day, then that'd be a bit different. But I'd still say you were just a very lucky person and seem to be making choices that put you in the right place at the right time. When these sort of things happen to me I seem them as a coincidence and only that.. because that's all it is.

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