Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Guest commentary by JDHurf

This guest commentary was sent to me by a well known bloger, JDHURF. I thank him for his contribution and am happy to offer it as it is very reasonable and reasoning. I like the idea of creation understanding rather than more anger:


I enjoyed reading your post on atheism, although I do not agree with all of
it. I am a secular humanist hence I am also an atheist so this post was
certainly relevant to me. I do not believe in a god, a supernatural entity,
or any form of supernatural phenomena. I believe you are mistaken with
large portions or your diatribe; I would like to show you in what ways I
believe you are mistaken and how and why you are mistaken.
However, let me begin with armistice; I do agree with your definition of
atheism: the rejection of a belief in god, not merely the lack of belief,
for as you said that would be agnosticism. Atheism is merely an epithet
used by people to define and describe ones disbelief in a god, or
supernatural entity. Atheism is also a negative-reactionary belief it does
not affirm anything rather it repudiates. Atheism relies on theism to
exist; without a belief in god, there cannot be a disbelief in god, in this
manner atheism is reactionary.

“Atheists love to think that all people are born natural atheists, which is
obviously disproved by the recent studies about brain structure and innate
ideas of God.”

Most atheists, that I know, do not assert that individuals are born atheists
naturally; this cannot be true. The newborn infant has not yet been exposed
to the idea or notion of god and therefore cannot reject and/or disbelieve
such and idea or notion. What atheists and theists alike do say is that
infants are born with out the belief in god, not that they are atheists and
reject the idea of god rather that they do not believe nor disbelieve such
an idea or notion; for they are infants and have not yet developed the
cognitive capability to do either. You mention that the idea of natural
atheists has been disproved by recent studies regarding brain structure and
an innate idea of god. What are these studies? Who has conducted them?
Where can I review these studies and view the results myself? For I am
aware of modern research into such topics through psychology and
neuroscience and I have never heard of such a study and outcome.
I would also like to address your assumption that Big Bang cosmology either
contradicts itself or needs a supernatural force or god to justify it. The
Big Bang does not require the belief that before it there was nothing or
merely a supernatural existence, all it explains is the beginnings of the
universe, as we know it today. The Big Bang theory postulates that the
universe originated in an extremely dense and hot state, and since then
space itself has expanded with the passage of time carrying the galaxies
with it. The theory does not, however, force one to assume that before this
extremely dense and hot state there was nothing or only a supernatural
existence, it is surely fair to assume that material or “real natural”
existence is in effect eternal and has no beginning nor ending in time
meaning that there was no “creation” of the universe merely a growth and
transormation. A few scientific proposal to submit this theory would be as
lined out as follows: 1) chaotic inflation 2) brane cosmology models,
including the ekpyrotic model in which the Big Bang is the result of a
collision between branes 3) an oscillatory universe in which the early
universe’s hot, dense state resulted from the Big Crunch of a universe
similar to ours. The universe could have gone through an infinite number of
big bangs and big crunches. The cyclic extemsion of the ekpyrotic model is
a modern version of such a scenario.
Obviously there is no reason to assert that Big Bang cosmology either
contridicts itself or requires supernatural explanations to justify iteslf.
The theory certainly can be interpreted as the beginning of the magnificent
explosion and expansion of the material universe, that before this extreme
change there was the dense-hot state of a gravitational singularity, and
that prior to this singularity and explosion there was an eternal state of
natural existence; that in any case matter-energy is eternal and
indestructible as defined by the Law of the Conservation of Mass and
requires absolutely no supernatrual force or miracle. Here is a quote from
the humanist Corliss Lamont: “Thus creative matter needs no ultimate
theistic power to sustain it, no Divine Principle to impregnate it with the
capacity of flowering as a whirling nebula containing billions of stars, as
a warming and light giving sun or as a fertile planet that produces all the
wondrous forms of life, and at their apex the human race and it’s
indomitable powers of the mind. Matter is self-existent, self-active, self
developing, and self-enduring. It is auto-dynamic. Intellectually, there
is nothing to be gained and much to be lost for philosophy by positing a
supernatural Creator or First Cause behind the great material universe. If
everything has a definite cause, the God, too, must have a definite cause
and so on ad infinitum. The fact is that regardless of how far we push our
inquiries, at one point or another we are compelled to assume something self
existent that possesses certain powers and potentialities. Otherwise we
become involved in a never ending regress of explanations and assumptions.
God as a First Cause simply constitutes a large-scale miracle gratuitously
intruding at the alleged starting point of everything. Furthermore, the
argument form a First Cause takes for granted that there must have been a
beginning of the cosmos. However, no logical necessity forces us to the
conclusion that there is a beginning in time, and indeed it would seem more
sensible to accept Aristotle’s opinion that the universe is eternal. In
fact, those who postulate a supernatural God as Creator or First Cause
usually attribute to it a state of eternal being and are therefore assuming,
like most nontheists, an eternally existing reality.”
Obviously, there is no reason to assert that Big Bang cosmology or
naturalism is contradictory or reliant upon supernaturalism and theism to
justify itself and ultimately make coherent sense.
I am a secular humanism and an atheist, I believe that the universe is
entirely natural and requires absolutely no supernatural definitions in
order to understand it. Scientifically there is no reason to resort to
supernatural and occult postulates. You put forth one of the most
intelligible arguments against atheism, naturalism, and for theism that I
have read, however, it was flawed and does not, in any case, make a solid
case or prove your thesis. Again I would ask what studies and experiments
you where referring to in the beginning? I want very badly to review these
studies for myself and view the procedures and results, please share.



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