The God Delusion - Chapter 3

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otseng
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The God Delusion - Chapter 3

Post #1

Post by otseng »

Dawkins presents several arguments used to argue for God's existence:

- The Unmoved Mover
- The Uncaused Cause
- The Cosmological Argument
- The Argument from Degree
- The Argument from Design (Teleological Argument)
- The Ontological Argument
- The Argument from Beauty
- The Argument from Personal Experience
- The Argument from Scripture
- The Argument from Admired Religious Scientists
- Pascal's Wager
- Bayesian Arguments

Does Dawkins adequately refute the arguments for God's existence in this chapter?

I'll also repost McCulloch's questions:
  • Does God provide a natural terminator to the infinite regresses?
  • Is there any validity to Anselm's Ontological Argument?
  • Is the Argument from Beauty valid?
  • Is the Argument from Personal Experience valid? Is it being used or is this Dawkins' strawman?
  • Is the Argument from Scripture valid? Is this another strawman?
  • Does anyone use the Argument from Admired Religious Scientists?
  • Let's not re-do Pascal's Wager
  • Is there any validity to Bayesian Arguments promoted by people such as Stephen Unwin?
  • Did Dawkins leave out or misrepresent any major argument for God's existence?

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Post #71

Post by QED »

achilles12604 wrote: So why are there still areas with nothing?
Ever heard of Dirac's sea? Paul Dirac was the first to visualized the vacuum as consisting of a sea of virtual electron-positron pairs that make brief excursions into existence everywhere. The wiggly line in my avatar (a Feynman diagram) is in fact a virtual particle mediating the interaction between a couple of real particles. It seems that "nothing" simply can't exist.
achilles12604 wrote: Also, why did the universe have a beginning? If there was "nothing" before the universe (either due to the mega verse or multi verse theory) shouldn't this universe have started infinity ago?
The evolution of this universe might well be simply one instance of a repeatable process. There are no particular reasons to suppose that its instantiation is totally unique.

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Post #72

Post by achilles12604 »

QED wrote:
achilles12604 wrote: So why are there still areas with nothing?
Ever heard of Dirac's sea? Paul Dirac was the first to visualized the vacuum as consisting of a sea of virtual electron-positron pairs that make brief excursions into existence everywhere. The wiggly line in my avatar (a Feynman diagram) is in fact a virtual particle mediating the interaction between a couple of real particles. It seems that "nothing" simply can't exist.
If nothing can not exist, the I guess that destroyes the idea that the universe is essentially "nothing" as we were dicussing. The "nothing" of the universe would never have existed. Thus it would become impossible for the universe to have begun from "nothing".


achilles12604 wrote: Also, why did the universe have a beginning? If there was "nothing" before the universe (either due to the mega verse or multi verse theory) shouldn't this universe have started infinity ago?
The evolution of this universe might well be simply one instance of a repeatable process. There are no particular reasons to suppose that its instantiation is totally unique.
An infinate regression?
It is a first class human tragedy that people of the earth who claim to believe in the message of Jesus, whom they describe as the Prince of Peace, show little of that belief in actual practice.

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Post #73

Post by Cathar1950 »

achilles12604 wrote: If nothing can not exist, the I guess that destroyes the idea that the universe is essentially "nothing" as we were dicussing. The "nothing" of the universe would never have existed. Thus it would become impossible for the universe to have begun from "nothing".
How do you know that if it came from nothing it would never have existed?
That isn't something you can know. Obviously the universe exist and if there was nothing then obviously it can come from nothing.
So it does not follow that it is impossible for the universe to have begun from nothing. It is not a valid argument unless you know and can show it isn't possible.

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Post #74

Post by achilles12604 »

Cathar1950 wrote:
achilles12604 wrote: If nothing can not exist, the I guess that destroyes the idea that the universe is essentially "nothing" as we were dicussing. The "nothing" of the universe would never have existed. Thus it would become impossible for the universe to have begun from "nothing".
How do you know that if it came from nothing it would never have existed?
That isn't something you can know. Obviously the universe exist and if there was nothing then obviously it can come from nothing.
So it does not follow that it is impossible for the universe to have begun from nothing. It is not a valid argument unless you know and can show it isn't possible.
Actually I believe the universe did come from nothing. However, I was making the point that it could not SPONTANEOUSLY come from nothing without cause. I was also debating the idea that energy is the easiest and natural result of "nothing" existing.

Let me review the logical progression of my discussion with QED and you will better understand where this particular point came from.

First, we presented the idea that the energy in the universe could cancel out leaving nothing.

This lead into a discussion about how much energy and order it takes to create something from nothing. I put forth scientific websites which described human attempts to create energy and once it was accomplished, how much outside energy was required to do this task.

I then put forth the question, if creating energy was so difficult, why was it able to happen suddenly creating this universe without any cause at all?
QED put forth the idea that "nothing" was unstable and therefore the universe was created.

However, this leads right back to my question . . .

If "nothing" is unstable, and the universe was composed from nothing spontaneously splitting into energy, then this occurence should have happened and infinite amount of time ago. Also it should have continued until there was no more "nothing" within the confines of the universe.

As neither of these results are true

1) The universe is not infinitely old
2) There are still pockets of space where absolutely nothing exists

I have having trouble accepting what QED is putting forth. . .

Hence I asked him about it. Make more sense now.
It is a first class human tragedy that people of the earth who claim to believe in the message of Jesus, whom they describe as the Prince of Peace, show little of that belief in actual practice.

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Post #75

Post by bernee51 »

achilles12604 wrote:
As neither of these results are true

1) The universe is not infinitely old
The universe as we know it has the appearane of not being infinetly old.
achilles12604 wrote: 2) There are still pockets of space where absolutely nothing exists...
I was working under the assumption that 'space' is apt of teh universe. In an expansionary universe matter and space, which make up the universe are expanding inot 'nothing' not sopace.
"Whatever you are totally ignorant of, assert to be the explanation of everything else"

William James quoting Dr. Hodgson

"When I see I am nothing, that is wisdom. When I see I am everything, that is love. My life is a movement between these two."

Nisargadatta Maharaj

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Post #76

Post by achilles12604 »

bernee51 wrote:
achilles12604 wrote:
As neither of these results are true

1) The universe is not infinitely old
The universe as we know it has the appearane of not being infinetly old.
achilles12604 wrote: 2) There are still pockets of space where absolutely nothing exists...
I was working under the assumption that 'space' is apt of teh universe. In an expansionary universe matter and space, which make up the universe are expanding inot 'nothing' not sopace.
Second point.

Yes this is the theory.

But if Nothing is unstable and the path of least resistance is in fact to have energy from nothing, then the "nothing" should have all spontaniously transfered into energy an infinate amount of time ago. Right? There shouldn't be any "nothing" at all left anywhere. Right?
It is a first class human tragedy that people of the earth who claim to believe in the message of Jesus, whom they describe as the Prince of Peace, show little of that belief in actual practice.

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