Do Not Publicly State
That God Does Not Exist
Ben

Graphic Rule

From: "Positive Atheism Magazine" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To:
Subject: Re: Why God exists....
Date: Thursday, March 01, 2001 12:01 AM

You did not even read the response I prepared for you!
 

Because no theist has been able to provide a reason why I should believe gods exist.
 

If you use the word creation, then yes, you are presupposing that this thing was created. However, as far as the universe goes, I see no need to posit supernatural intervention, which would require that I explain the existence of a supernatural entity, when (1) I have been shown no reason why I should think that such an entity either exists or has intervened at any time, and (2) the existence of the universe is easily explained through natural means, without having to topple any known laws of physics.
 

Geppetto and Pinocchio (Illustration: Enrico Mazzanti, from the first edition of 1883  - "Pinocchio runs the danger to make one ugly end.")Watch your language!

1. I am not "devoted" to any proposition. I told you that I submit to liberal scientific method, which allows for the fact that we're fallible and are capable of learning new information and discarding what is found to be falsehood.

2. I do not hold the belief that gods do not exist: I have yet to encounter a reason for believing that gods do exist (or Santa Claus or Pinocchio, for that matter). There's a big difference.
 

You see, this is what happens when you lie about your opponent's position: you get caught playing the Straw Man game. By lying about my position (saying that I am "strongly devoted to the belief that God does not exist") then it becomes tempting to try to refute your fantasy of what my position is.

A more honest approach is to pay very close attention to what I told you is my position, and to try to refute my actual position.

Playing shell games with the truth is the fastest and surest way to lose credibility with me -- both for your self and for your position. I get this particular con so often from Christians that I am tempted to suspect that dishonesty is built in to the Christian system of ethics -- as long as that dishonesty is used to try to convince people that Christianity is a religion of truthfulness.
 

I don't know which scientists you've been talking to. The scientist I spoke with, particle physicist Victor J. Stenger, whose expertise is to conduct research into the possible origins and nature of the so-called big bang, told me that the actuality which started the whole thing required zero energy to take place, and that the appearance of explosion is better explained by describing how that actuality, once it began to exist, tried to fill a vacuum, and thus the appearance of an explosion. But to think that there was all this tremendous amount of energy bottled up and wanting to escape, he tells me, is erroneous.

Also, since you make such a big thing of pointing out that humanity's ability to reason is limited, are you suggesting that we ought not use our abilities to reason? Are you suggesting that there is a superior method for obtaining information? If so, I'd need to justify giving assent to this other method, and I'd also like to know about the mechanics of that method, such as how I can avail myself of it, and how I can verify, by means of the only method of obtaining information that I currently know of, that this method is not only valid but superior to human reason.
 

Do I sense a superiority complex?

You're the one who brought up the big bang, why don't you go to the library and get a book on basic physics and find out? The Inflationary Big Bang Theory, the one that I find to be the most credible, has existed, virtually unchanged, for over twenty years.
 

Again: Get yourself a book on basic physics and learn about physics from physicists -- not from preachers. Physicists are scientists, out to discover truth and follow it wherever it may lead; preachers have an agenda, which is to convince people that the dogma is truthful -- even if it means lying to people about something as basic as physics.
 

Once more: Get yourself a basic book on physics. There's even a really good comic book series out that accurately explains scientific principles, such as the principle of conservation of energy, which says that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, but can be changed from one form to another.

You are the first person, however, who has tried to tell me that atoms are neither created nor destroyed. I am astonished that the preachers have stooped to this level, as well as to the level of teaching you to parrot what you did about Josephus and Tacitus in your previous letter.

Nice try, though! I'm sure there exist many people who would accept these lies at face value and would then conclude that yours is a position of truthfulness.
 

Even if what you had said above were true, that the big bang did need energy to get started, we would not be forced to accept your conclusion that this was done by a god.

Unfortunately for your position, modern physics has made a very strong case that the universe not only started off with zero energy and in a state of almost complete chaos, but has shown, several different ways, that the universe today contains approximately zero energy and is today almost complete chaos -- but not quite complete chaos -- having very tiny pockets of order known as stars and planets and other structures which make up an infinitesimal amount of the otherwise completely random universe.

If the universe can be shown to have started with zero energy and zero order, then you would need to show what role a god could have played in the existence of the universe. The old myth that one of the gods sneezed places more energy and order into the formation of the universe than the physicists do -- even if the god's sneeze had all the energy and creativity of a hamster's sneeze.
 

That's precisely why I reject the god claim: I have no valid evidence.

You have not improved this situation any by lying to me in order to convince me that yours is a position of truthfulness.

Valid evidence is truthful evidence. The truthfulness of a proposition is not proportional to the vehemence with which it is expounded: the truthfulness of a proposition is proportional to the amount of scrutiny it can withstand within that world-level open forum known as science.

Besides, for you to use the language "refuse God" presupposes two things: (1) that I somehow secretly know that a "God" exists, but refuse to admit this "fact"; (2) that this "God" exists, and is not merely the claim of so many religious hucksters trying to pull the wool over people's eyes -- turning people up-side-down and shaking them until no more money falls out of their pockets.
 

I don't know anything about "creation" because I have been shown no valid reasons for thinking this mess was created. I have posted several discussions about how the universe could possibly have come to be. If you are interested, you might wish to type the word universe into our search engine and see what you come up with.

If nothing else, you will know what my positions are and are not on this matter, and you will know not to make the mistake that so many creationists make in misrepresenting what scientists, particularly physicists, say about science. Who knows? You might even find the crack in my position and figure out a way to undermine it in such a way that I am forced, by my submission to liberal scientific method, to accept your premise that a "God" exists. Stranger things have happened.
 

It's there for all to see, and anybody who is able to overturn what we currently know, in the way that you suggest, will most certainly win the next Nobel Prize for physics.
 

Like I said, the latest on the Inflationary Big Bang has remained virtually unchanged for about twenty years. A few discoveries have been able to further confirm the Inflationary Big Bang model, such as independent verification of the elusive "dark matter" which, by its nature, escapes direct observation: twenty years ago, its existence merely fit the theory; now, its existence has been shown in way that are different from its existence simply fitting the equations of the Inflationary Big Bang model. In other words, the Inflationary Big Bang Theory accurately predicted the existence of "dark matter" whose existence has been independently verified in pretty much the amounts suggested by the Inflationary Big Bang Theory.

We have this information posted on our website for all to see, with numerous links to more thorough presentations of these ideas elsewhere on the Web, and with numerous bibliographies. Victor Stenger has a whole website about this, and the National Academy of Sciences has a whole section of their website discussing creationism.

So for you to goad me like this makes you appear really desperate.
 

That's backwards from what I've always known science to be, and is backwards from what most if not all scientists will tell you. In the liberal scientific method, I come up with an idea, and a method for proving my claim to be false. I then submit my idea and my experiments and observations to the scrutiny of others, for the specific purpose of seeing if they can show me to be wrong about my ideas. Only those ideas that not only survive that process but also show the ability to make successful predictions (such as evolution being able to predict the mutations of the flu virus with enough advance notice to manufacture vaccinations before the bug even hits), get to be called scientific theories.

Again: I don't have "beliefs"; rather, I submit to liberal scientific method as being the most valid way to test claims and determine truth that I have yet encountered.

How you can call this "beliefs" and still consider yourself an honest person escapes me.
 

I don't have any theories or hypotheses on creation, because I have absolutely no reason to think this jumble was created.

If you have any hypotheses on creation, you are welcome to submit them to the scrutiny of the world scientific community. If you can solve this problem as simply as you suggest in your letter, we could save a lot of money on things such as particle accelerators. And those Nobel Prize diplomas are really pretty!
 

Again: I have never publicly stated that gods do not exist.

Also, you show your ignorance about science when you use the words prove and scientifically the way you have here: that's not how science works.

You set a cunning trap, here, when you demand that I prove or even show that "creation is obtainable without God" because the word creation presupposes the existence of a creator. What you do, here, is no different from demanding that I prove the existence of a square triangle, and then castigating me for being unable to do this. You might as well ask me if I have stopped beating my wife

Finally, if you would simply look up what the physicists have said for the past twenty years, and why they say it, you would see that they have accomplished the basic gist of your demand -- after translating out the crafty language with which you twist our position into one that nobody believes. The physicists have not only shown that the universe can have come into existence without any outside energy or ordering mechanism, but have also shown that any outside energy or ordering mechanism would imbalance the very equations which show what independent tests have confirmed: that the universe today contains approximately zero energy and that it is almost entirely random (almost complete entropy). The observations and the applicable laws of physics point to the likelihood that it started out with zero energy and complete chaos. There is room for pockets of order to form because the universe is expanding.

This is what Professor Stenger told me the physicists are saying. If you can overturn this to the satisfaction of the world community of physicists, you get the next Nobel Prize.

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine
Five years of service to
     people with no reason to believe

Graphic Rule

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