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What Designed The Designer?


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#21 Yorzhik

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 05:58 AM

Richard Dawkins' challenge to Intelligent Design is "What designed the designer?"

I don't think the question is much of a challenge, because the question is outside the scope of Intelligent Design; as an explanation for certain features of biology.  Just as the question "how did life begin?" is outside the scope of Evolutionary Theory; as an explanation for biological change and diversity.  Surely Dawkins' knows that in science some questions are outside the scope of a theory, therefore he presents no challenge.

What do you think?

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The problem with the atheist approach is that it violates the natural laws to go back beyond a certain point in time. God is supernatural by definition, thus there are no natural laws He violates.

And while that doesn't prove God, it does prove the atheist approach is wrong.

#22 Isabella

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 04:01 PM

I appreciate your parsimonial reasoning, but you're isolating origins of the universe from the wider spiritual and moral system of the God Theory. While secular science might currently be inconsistent with the God Theory, in no way does secular science refute it. So, although you choose secular science over creation science, there is no dilemma between atheism and theism that must be decided.

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I realize that for religious people, God is more than just a theory to explain why we’re here. But for someone who is agnostic or atheist, there is no spiritual attachment to the concept of a creator. And at that point it really is just a matter of choosing which option seems more reasonable. To me, the spiritual aspect of creationism just makes me more convinced that God is entirely man-made. It’s based so heavily on human fears, it’s not difficult to see why people would be willing to believe it generation after generation. It is a way of dealing with our fear of death, our desire to feel loved and taken care of, our need for purpose and importance in life, ect.

The problem with the atheist approach is that it violates the natural laws to go back beyond a certain point in time. God is supernatural by definition, thus there are no natural laws He violates.

And while that doesn't prove God, it does prove the atheist approach is wrong.

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I could use the same wording as you, and say that the generation of matter and space was an event beyond natural laws. In other words, it was an exception. Making an exception to a natural law doesn’t necessarily mean the whole theory has to be thrown away. There are several laws of kinematics (dealing with velocity, force, acceleration, ect.) that completely fall apart when we get to the subatomic level. Electrons are an exception to these laws, but does that mean electrons don’t exist?

I disagree that violating a couple laws proves an entire theory wrong, especially when the theory is concerning the formation of the universe in which these very laws exist. In our extremely limited setting of this planet, we have concluded that matter cannot be created or destroyed. But in conditions beyond the realms of this universe, that may not hold true.

#23 Yorzhik

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 04:51 PM

I could use the same wording as you, and say that the generation of matter and space was an event beyond natural laws.

But you couldn't come to the same conclusion.

I disagree that violating a couple laws proves an entire theory wrong,

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Um... yes it does. Once you rely on material explanations only for the basis of a theory, your stuck with them.

If you want to say the laws don't apply, you'll have to show evidence for that first before you can rely on your theory.

#24 jason78

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 08:36 PM

I could use the same wording as you, and say that the generation of matter and space was an event beyond natural laws. In other words, it was an exception. Making an exception to a natural law doesn’t necessarily mean the whole theory has to be thrown away. There are several laws of kinematics (dealing with velocity, force, acceleration, ect.) that completely fall apart when we get to the subatomic level. Electrons are an exception to these laws, but does that mean electrons don’t exist?

I disagree that violating a couple laws proves an entire theory wrong, especially when the theory is concerning the formation of the universe in which these very laws exist.

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Classical mechanics is a great theory for describing how macroscopic objects. Electrons and other subatomic particles needed a whole new theory to describe them. Applying kinematics to electrons gives nonsensical results. They aren't macroscopic objects and don't behave the same way.

Maybe one day scientists will have a complete workable theory as to how the universe started. Until then, I think that the Big Bang theory is the best idea we have on how the early universe must have looked.

In our extremely limited setting of this planet, we have concluded that matter cannot be created or destroyed. But in conditions beyond the realms of this universe, that may not hold true.

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I hate to nit pick ;) Matter and energy can not be created or destroyed, but can be changed from one form to another. You can check out stuff like pair production for further details.

Even weirder is the hypothesis that the total sum of energy in the universe may be zero.

#25 Isabella

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 11:16 PM

But you couldn't come to the same conclusion.

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Why couldn’t I? You conclude that God is beyond all natural laws and thus is in no way entitled to follow them. I conclude that the event which started the universe, whatever it may have been, was beyond the laws regarding matter and energy that we have on earth.

Um... yes it does. Once you rely on material explanations only for the basis of a theory, your stuck with them.

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We rely on scientific explanations, but not necessarily the same set of them... and I’d hardly call that stuck. A law by definition shouldn’t change, but sometimes it does because of a new discovery.

Classical mechanics is a great theory for describing how macroscopic objects. Electrons and other subatomic particles needed a whole new theory to describe them. Applying kinematics to electrons gives nonsensical results. They aren't macroscopic objects and don't behave the same way.

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Yeah, that’s what I was getting at in my example. Macroscopically, equations like v=d/t and F=M*a are considered laws. But when we get to a certain point, the laws don’t work anymore and we need to broaden our horizons a little. In the case of electrons, we have the Heisenberg uncertainty principle and other equations to make sense of how they behave. Similarly, we can’t possibly understand how energy and matter behave outside of our universe.

#26 larrywj2

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Posted 10 October 2009 - 02:49 AM

Why couldn’t I? You conclude that God is beyond all natural laws and thus is in no way entitled to follow them. I conclude that the event which started the universe, whatever it may have been, was beyond the laws regarding matter and energy that we have on earth.


God being beyond natural law is not a conclusion. It is required if accepting as fact that God is. If true, He is beyond nature, being the creator of it. If so, He is more than what was created and cannot be explained within the laws of the creation.

You counter that your belief is basically similar. The universe was created by some unkown force that is beyond nature. A valid and rational supposition. The force would be (equal to God) impossible to understand, existing beyond our universe's laws.

In both cases the force of creation is beyond our present knowledge.

Therefore I ask;
Why do you claim the non-God created universe is a more logical conclusion than a God-created universe?

#27 ikester7579

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Posted 10 October 2009 - 03:09 AM

Matter does not create itself.

#28 Adam Nagy

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Posted 10 October 2009 - 08:20 AM

I've heard Ravi Zacharias put it this way and I paraphrase:

No matter what you take in this world and slice it down into whatever quantity you please. The explanation for itself is always outside of itself. You can take things and slice them down and slice them down but always what is left has an answer for itself outside of itself.

I have never heard this refuted because it is such an obvious truth.

As an example; Let's say that the Large Hadron Collider produces things that we've never seen before, matter and energy behaving in ways that "upset" all of our current understanding of physics. Let's just suppose that it can and will perform beyond our wildest expectations. Let's say it demonstrates conclusively that matter and gravity can slip back and forth between other 'dimensions'. Wouldn't that just be mesmerizing? But guess what. You would still be stuck with the question; "Where did that come from?"

The "What designed the designer?" question is really an exercise in reason that demonstrates our limitations and our reliance on something far greater than what we can see, hear, touch, smell or taste.

The immaterial spiritual all-powerful all-knowing un-created creator is not just a possibility but a necessity, once people allow their self imposed confusion to be boiled away.

So what designed the designer? I'll tell anyone the answer to that question the moment someone shows me the quantity and condition of matter that explains its own existence without having to go any further. ;)

#29 Yorzhik

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Posted 10 October 2009 - 12:33 PM

Why couldn’t I? You conclude that God is beyond all natural laws and thus is in no way entitled to follow them. I conclude that the event which started the universe, whatever it may have been, was beyond the laws regarding matter and energy that we have on earth.

On earth? What evidence do you have that the natural laws are difference somewhere else in the universe? Taken further, what evidence do you have that the conditions required for these other laws can exist? If you don't have the evidence, you'd have to admit to blind faith.

We rely on scientific explanations, but not necessarily the same set of them... and I’d hardly call that stuck. A law by definition shouldn’t change, but sometimes it does because of a new discovery.

And what evidence do you have that the laws change in such a way under under certain conditions that a universe can pop into existence?

Yeah, that’s what I was getting at in my example. Macroscopically, equations like v=d/t and F=M*a are considered laws. But when we get to a certain point, the laws don’t work anymore and we need to broaden our horizons a little. In the case of electrons, we have the Heisenberg uncertainty principle and other equations to make sense of how they behave. Similarly, we can’t possibly understand how energy and matter behave outside of our universe.

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That's the point. If you say you can't possibly understand how energy and matter behave outside of our universe, then you have blind faith.

#30 Loungehead

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Posted 10 October 2009 - 04:30 PM

I realize that for religious people, God is more than just a theory to explain why we’re here. But for someone who is agnostic or atheist, there is no spiritual attachment to the concept of a creator. And at that point it really is just a matter of choosing which option seems more reasonable. To me, the spiritual aspect of creationism just makes me more convinced that God is entirely man-made. It’s based so heavily on human fears, it’s not difficult to see why people would be willing to believe it generation after generation. It is a way of dealing with our fear of death, our desire to feel loved and taken care of, our need for purpose and importance in life, ect.

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I'm not sure what you mean by "spiritual attachment", so I cannot comment on its relevance. But I don't think it matters.

The God Theory has a different metaphysical basis than that of science, so comparing the competing origins of the universe through secular metaphysics only, ignores the same comparison that can be made through religious metaphysics. And without understanding the religious system in its entirety, you can't really make an informed decision.

The immaterial spiritual all-powerful all-knowing un-created creator is not just a possibility but a necessity, once people allow their self imposed confusion to be boiled away.

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What do you mean by necessity?

If you mean "logical necessity" in terms of truth conditions, then its only necessary by condition of a claim, which does not mean God actually exists. And arguments can also be made that have a logical necessity to which God does not exist. Logic is not enough.

That is why faith is required. Logic does not help us.

#31 Adam Nagy

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Posted 10 October 2009 - 05:15 PM

And arguments can also be made that have a logical necessity to which God does not exist.

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Share one.

#32 larrywj2

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Posted 10 October 2009 - 08:20 PM

Matter does not create itself.

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True. Matter does not create itself. But only true when restricted to the known laws of this universe. To be fair, when we creationists site God as the creator and explain that He cannot be studied from within the universe He created, we must accept the logical possibilty that the universe could have been created by a force of nature beyond this universe. That is in fact our argument. For us, God is the force beyond the universe. For those not believing in God, there is a non-god force that did the creating. In both cases we can only study the creation to research the creative force.

#33 Loungehead

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 04:36 AM

Share one.

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An example is unnecessary to the fact that laws of logic when applied to arguments about God are inconclusive either way. God is simply not a concept that works within logic, because God is prone to contradictions, such as the Stone Paradox.

Here is an example:

1. If God exists, then God exists as an omniscient, omnipotent and eternal being
2. If God is omnipotent, then the power of God is unlimited
3. God can either, create a stone He cannot lift, or God cannot create a stone He cannot lift
4. Either way, the power of God is not unlimited (because either God cannot create such a stone or God cannot lift it), so God is not omnipotent.
:. Therefore, God is not an omniscient, omnipotent and eternal being. God does not exist.

The logical necessity that God exists as an omniscient, omnipotent and eternal being, is contradicted by apparent limits to God's power, which logic cannot resolve. IMO that does not mean God does not exist, anymore than an argument for God's existence would mean God does exist. I think it is wrong to understand God through logic. If so, what would be the point of faith?

But I am curious to know what you mean by God is a necessity "once people allow their self imposed confusion to be boiled away." What confusion am I imposing on myself?

I've been quite happy to accept that God exists in the past. I even recently was on the verge of converting to theism from studying Islam. But the problem for me, as experience has shown, when I accept that God exists through my faith, others want to impose their confusions and absurdities on me; about what else I must believe, which I find ridiculous and cannot accept (and I'm fairly quickly rejected for it). Not only must I accept God, I have to accept a lot of other things (I find have little credibility) using the same faith I use for God. This consequently nullifies my confidence in the value of faith and belief in God, because it seems contrived around social arrangements. To ask me to apply the faith I reserve for God to other mundane things, for me, cheapens faith and reason. That's why I'm an atheist. I don't find the notion of God intolerable. Just the exploitation of that faith by others.

#34 Yorzhik

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 05:09 AM

1. If God exists, then God exists as an omniscient, omnipotent and eternal being

This isn't true. The God of the bible doesn't describe Himself as either omniscient or omnipotent.

Do we go on or does this mean you're trail of logic is already in need of revision?

2. If God is omnipotent, then the power of God is unlimited

The power of God, at least the one in the bible, is limited.

3. God can either, create a stone He cannot lift, or God cannot create a stone He cannot lift

I can't believe you're using this example...

4. Either way, the power of God is not unlimited (because either God cannot create such a stone or God cannot lift it), so God is not omnipotent.
:. Therefore, God is not an omniscient, omnipotent and eternal being.  God does not exist.

Either a stone can be of unlimited size, and since logically 2 infinites cannot cross, the rock/lift problem is just a logical contradiction and cannot be accomplished if God is logical; or, a rock is limited to the size of 1/2 the universe and God can lift as big a rock as can be created.

The logical necessity that God exists as an omniscient, omnipotent and eternal being, is contradicted by apparent limits to God's power, which logic cannot resolve.

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Or your understanding of the nature of God is mistaken.

#35 Javabean

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 06:33 AM

This isn't true. The God of the bible doesn't  describe Himself as either omniscient or omnipotent.

Do we go on or does this mean you're trail of logic is already in need of revision?
The power of God, at least the one in the bible, is limited.
I can't believe you're using this example...
Either a stone can be of unlimited size, and since logically 2 infinites cannot cross, the rock/lift problem is just a logical contradiction and cannot be accomplished if God is logical; or, a rock is limited to the size of 1/2 the universe and God can lift as big a rock as can be created.
Or your understanding of the nature of God is mistaken.

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You probably should re-read his post. You are missing something very important in it.

You know what I'll just tell you. He said he doesn't believe this is a good argument against the existence of God

#36 Loungehead

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 11:50 AM

You probably should re-read his post.  You are missing something very important in it.

You know what I'll just tell you.  He said he doesn't believe this is a good argument against the existence of God

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Thank you Java.

Please note people: the "example" is not a proof against the existence of God, it is an example of logical argument about God that entails necessary conditions that lead one to conclude God does not exist. Logic is a system to order throughts, propositions and ideas.

This isn't true. The God of the bible doesn't  describe Himself as either omniscient or omnipotent.

I'm not going to debate any of the premises. It would miss the point I'm making about logic.

Either a stone can be of unlimited size, and since logically 2 infinites cannot cross, the rock/lift problem is just a logical contradiction and cannot be accomplished if God is logical; or, a rock is limited to the size of 1/2 the universe and God can lift as big a rock as can be created.

FYI, I have my own criticism of the stone paradox. I think it makes a categorical error by conflating the power to create with power of agency.

But I do think your criticism of the stone paradox is wrong, because God does not need to create a stone of infinite weight and mass in this universe or realm. God could create an infinite realm in which such a stone could exist. However, this is a digression.

Or your understanding of the nature of God is mistaken.

Okay, what's the point of faith?

I find it ironic that as an atheist I hold more value in faith, while as a theist you take more stock in reason. Show me a valid and sound argument that proves the existence of God. I'm sure I could make criticisms against its premises too, because the problem with using logic to examine God is the use of laws reasoning of this universe to analyse something beyond it. Do theists not accept the enigma of God?

#37 AFJ

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 12:32 PM

But for someone who is agnostic or atheist, there is no spiritual attachment to the concept of a creator.

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Hi Isabella. Totally serious question, you are atheistic--do you have a "concept of a creator," at all. If so, what is it?

And at that point it really is just a matter of choosing which option seems more reasonable. To me, the spiritual aspect of creationism just makes me more convinced that God is entirely man-made. It’s based so heavily on human fears, it’s not difficult to see why people would be willing to believe it generation after generation.

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Actually it's based on a little more than that Isabella. You need to check out church and Jewish history, the Dead Sea scrolls, the entire archaeological record in Israel and other middle eastern countries. The thousands upon thousands ancient Greek and Hebrew manuscripts and Biblical fragments. Also the entire world history starting especially from the advents of the Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greek, and Roman Empires and their historical connections with the Hebrews.

Then after that you can check the prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse (Revelation), that are comparable and in many instances self-interpreting. The prohecies in Ezekiel, Joel, Zachariah and in the NT which repeatedly tell of "the time of the end." A time when after the nation of Israel had been "dispersed" among the nations, will again "in the last days" return to her land--only to have every nation rise up against her--"the controversy of ZION."

After that you can verify as to why the Torah is written in ancient Hebrew and Aramaic and why the New Testament is written in no longer spoken Greek. You can confirm that many of the writers of both the OT and the NT were persecuted and/or killed for their testimony--yet willingly gave their lives as a testimony to the veracity of their words, which either were inspired by the moving of the Holy Spirit in them or directly heard via visions, dreams and/or divine beings.


It is a way of dealing with our fear of death, our desire to feel loved and taken care of, our need for purpose and importance in life, ect.

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Isabella, why would you have a fear of death--if you are truly convinced that there is no God or judgment of sin? I am sure it has been a hard process at one point in your life to escape your own inherit sense of guilt and the need to be justified in your actions--you probably still have not escaped your own demand for fairness in the conduct of others toward yourself--whether you give the same consideration for others (which many people don't) or not. This is an almost universally observed "philosophical law" in human beings. I am willing to argue that this is not learned as you suggest but signs of an inherit "Conscience."


I disagree that violating a couple laws proves an entire theory wrong, especially when the theory is concerning the formation of the universe in which these very laws exist. In our extremely limited setting of this planet, we have concluded that matter cannot be created or destroyed. But in conditions beyond the realms of this universe, that may not hold true.

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Are you speaking in terms of your understanding of string theory or are you confessing a possibility of a spiritual dimension?

#38 Isabella

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Posted 13 October 2009 - 02:56 PM

Therefore I ask;
Why do you claim the non-God created universe is a more logical conclusion than a God-created universe?

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Because to suggest the universe was made by something with human emotions, infinite power, and incomprehensible intelligence is a huge assumption to make, considering we have no evidence for any of those things. I think a much more reasonable assumption would be that the universe was started by a relatively simple event, like a transformation of some sort of energy into matter. I think it’s a bit presumptuous to look at the massive universe we live in, with billions of stars and planets, and come to the conclusion that it was all made for us.

On earth? What evidence do you have that the natural laws are difference somewhere else in the universe? Taken further, what evidence do you have that the conditions required for these other laws can exist?

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That’s exactly my point. When someone says the big bang theory goes against natural laws, that might be true for the laws that we know. But before the universe existed (or even somewhere else in the universe), we have no idea what governs the properties of energy and matter.

And what evidence do you have that the laws change in such a way under under certain conditions that a universe can pop into existence?

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Well we live in a constantly expanding universe, so it had to “pop into existence” at some point or another. You think that this was initiated by God, I think it was initiated by a scientific process which has yet to be discovered. We both rely on certain conditions.

That's the point. If you say you can't possibly understand how energy and matter behave outside of our universe, then you have blind faith.

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Either there is a God or there isn’t. It’s one or the other. If I choose to believe that God is significantly less probable than no God based on personal experience and observations, I wouldn’t consider that blind faith. It’s a statistical opinion I’ve come to through my own reasoning. Obviously I can’t be 100% sure I’m right. There’s still a chance God exists.

Hi Isabella. Totally serious question, you are atheistic--do you have a "concept of a creator," at all. If so, what is it?

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I was a theist for a long time, so I know what it’s like to be both emotionally and scientifically involved with your theory. At that time, God wasn’t just a replacement for the big bang theory. He was someone who loved me and was watching over me. This attachment was something I would use as a very circular form of reasoning when justifying my belief in God. Now, when I consider the idea of a creator I think only in terms of the likelihood of some higher being creating life and the universe. I realize there is more to religion than that, as you pointed out with your historical evidence. That evidence, however, is not very concrete and often from a single source only. For example, the entire story of Moses in Egypt is documented in the bible, but not in Egyptian records.

Isabella, why would you have a fear of death--if you are truly convinced that there is no God or judgment of sin?

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Because I don’t like the idea of having a finite amount of time to spend with the people that I love. I’m not afraid or judgement in the afterlife, since I don’t believe in the afterlife.

Are you speaking in terms of your understanding of string theory or are you confessing a possibility of a spiritual dimension?

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I’m saying that if our universe wasn’t always here, there must have been some sort of existing dimension from which it came. Not something spiritual though. Going back to my example of subatomic particles, you could say that they exist within their own realm of physical laws, much different than anything macroscopic. There’s nothing spiritual about it. We can describe electron behaviour by equations, but a different set of equations than we would use for everything else. I think that at the beginning of the universe, or before the universe began, we would need to describe the behaviour of matter (or whatever it was) in an entirely different way that has yet to be discovered.

#39 falcone

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Posted 14 October 2009 - 09:13 AM

I don’t like the idea of having a finite amount of time to spend with the people that I love. I’m not afraid or judgement in the afterlife, since I don’t believe in the afterlife.

There's nothing to be afraid of in death, though actually dying might be a bit unnerving. To paraphrase Mark Twain, I was dead for millions of years before I was born and it didn't inconvenience me one bit.

#40 Javabean

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Posted 14 October 2009 - 11:47 AM

There's nothing to be afraid of in death, though actually dying might be a bit unnerving. To paraphrase Mark Twain, I was dead for millions of years before I was born and it didn't inconvenience me one bit.

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:lol: the only reason why I would want to live forever would be to see all the new technology!!!!!!!!




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