I'm Praying For You!!!!!
Jay Rowlett

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From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "jay rowlett"
Subject: Re: FORUM_My_De-Conversion_Story_9371
Date: Sunday, August 13, 2000 1:53 PM

Why?

Why do act in such a condescending manner toward me?

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

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From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "jay rowlett"
Subject: Re: FORUM_My_De-Conversion_Story_9371
Date: Monday, August 14, 2000 11:47 PM

Me neither. I've never heard this one before, but it makes about as much sense to me as praying.

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

Graphic Rule

Graphic Rule

From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "jay rowlett"
Subject: Re: FORUM_My_De-Conversion_Story_9371
Date: Tuesday, August 15, 2000 2:31 PM

It contradicts no laws of physics that positron-electron pairs manifest themselves from a vacuum (nothing) and assimilate again back into a vacuum (absolute nothingness). Thus, if this can happen in our universe, then it is conceivable (and very probable, actually) that some similar "singularity" occurred in the "true vacuum" of which this universe is apparently but a part. That singularity would have required zero energy to occur, and it would have required zero energy for that singularity to escape into a "true vacuum" (any vacuum within our universe being called a "false vacuum"). During the initial stages of chaos (there was no order during the early stages of the Big Bang, according to the widely accepted Inflationary Big Bang model), some imbalances could have resulted in there being more matter than anti-matter, and this is what we see.

The universe is almost entirely random, almost pure entropy, and here and there exist tiny (very tiny) pockets of order. It is these pockets of order that our eyes have evolved to be able to see, such as earth and sun. To say that the universe is complex is a misnomer. We only see the complexity; it is next to impossible to detect those elements within the universe that we cannot see, but the equations and theories fit the observations and make accurate predictions: the universe contains matter we cannot see, and this matter makes up the vast bulk of the universe. This matter is almost entirely random, almost pure entropy. The complexity we see, our nervous systems, the billions of galaxies, is almost insignificant when weighed against the whole universe. The fact that the universe is constantly expanding leaves room for pockets of order to form, and there is thus no violation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics occurring within our universe.

The universe contains almost exactly zero energy, according to the most current understanding within physics. The recent establishment of the existence of "dark matter" and the accompanying proofs that it exists completes this theory: the tests point to the likelihood that there is about as much "dark matter" as is predicted by the notion that the universe contains zero energy. Since you can't get something from nothing in this universe (the conservation of energy; the First Law of Thermodynamics), we can safely assume that if the universe currently contains zero energy, it started with zero energy.

This information is derived from my interview with Particle Physicist Victor J. Stenger.

As for there being a part of me that only a god can fill, that god must first exist before it can do anything. I am too honest to go along with what I know to be falsehood and deception. I have encountered many, many god claims in my life, and I have had to reject all of them as being false.

Perhaps you know something I don't, and have an angle I haven't encountered. If you think a god exists, and if you think it's important for me to know about this god, then you are welcome to present your case to me. If you can make a strong case that a god exists, I'll believe. If you cannot make your case, I ask that you renounce your faith. This is only fair, because I am at a disadvantage in this discussion: it is logically impossible for me to prove a negative existential claim (a claim that a thing does not exist) and it is impossible for me to disprove any existential claim (a claim that a thing exists). Thus, I can only listen to your claims and weigh them with what we know and can accept as fact. Since you are the one making an existential claim (that a god exists), it is your responsibility to back up your claims with evidence and strong argument.

Since your claim is extraordinary, that is, much more complex than what physics tells us is necessary to explain the situation, you will need to present extraordinary proof to back up your claims. In your case, will need to overthrow many of the current models of physics that almost all scientists now take for granted, such as the First Law of Thermodynamics and the Conservation of Energy (such as: How could a god come from nothing? Where did the god's energy come from? and: How come energy was needed to create a self-contained universe that contains zero energy? Where did that energy go?) and the Second Law of Thermodynamics (such as: How come an outside agency is required to explain the order that can easily be explained by the constant expansion of the universe?).

You will also need to explain how an almost entirely random universe could be so complex as to require an even more complex creator to explain its existence, and then explain the existence of that even more complex creator (and then explain the creator's creator's existence, etc.). I don't envy you in the least.

Finally, in this brief exchange, you mentioned prayer. I don't know what this is, but what I've heard about it, it involves instantly communicating one's thoughts to somewhere "outside" our universe using no observable medium or method known to physics. If we could discover a vehicle such as this, our world would be rich, indeed, as all nations spend a sizable chunk of their economies engaged in communication. As it currently stands (and the best minds of history have come up with nothing better than this), I pay an Internet provider and the electric company money so I can use this computer I bought, so I can send a message over some vast communications network costing us (collectively) billions of dollars. It costs money because we don't get something for nothing -- as far as we can tell. We must physically install cables and fiber optics systems; we must physically develop, build, launch, and maintain satellites; I must physically move my fingers on this keyboard (or move my diaphragm and vocal cords into a voice recognition system) and click my mouse -- just so I can remind you that this is the only known way to communicate with any entity -- and remember that the most intelligent entities that we can prove exist are our fellow humans.

If you are ready to disprove almost all that we know, I'm ready to listen. I have better things to do with my time and money than to spend it communicating with my fellow humans, and I am skeptical enough about the integrity of many of my fellow humans that I would rejoice at the opportunity to communicate with any entity more advanced than the human. Unfortunately, I currently have no reason to believe that any such entities exist, and I have every reason to believe that communication requires some controllable physical medium plus the output of energy from my body in the form of interaction with those various physical media.

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

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From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "jay rowlett"
Subject: Re: FORUM_My_De-Conversion_Story_9371
Date: Wednesday, August 16, 2000 5:04 PM

I don't understand this question. The definition for vacuum is "space completely empty of matter (but not achievable in practice on Earth)." Don't ask me why, that's just what they call this condition: a vacuum.
 

This begs the question that they "came from" somewhere. I;m not saying they "came from" anywhere. I'm saying they can materialize out of absoute nothing and then assimilate back into nothing. Since the energy equals zero, nothing is gained and nothing is lost.
 

This is how scientists talk -- even when discussing such established concepts as gravity and relativity and evolution. In science, all claims to knowledge are subject to revision and nobody has the final word. This is the best we've been able to come up with since we realized there's no such thing as Santa Claus and that we must do our own thinking and our own work if we want anything to get done.
 

It is not my purpose here to provide for you an education in basic science or logic (or how to write).

Now, here is a classic example of a theistic twist-o leap of faith that happens often in this forum: "I misunderstand what you just said, so I'll misrepresent it, twisting it into an impossible enigma, and then use that enigma to "prove" the existence of my pet deity."

If a positron is positive energy and an electron is negative energy, then a positron-electron pair equals zero energy. Get it? With a positron-electron pair, you are not getting something for nothing, because the net result of this "something" equals zero.
 

If your god cannot be conceived or explained, then why do you bother talking to me about Him? Why don't you just shut up, leave me alone, and remain in your own little world, devoid of cognition?
 

Whatever.

Judging from your abuse of logic in this and your past exchanges, I can see how you could come to accept this falsehood -- especially if you had been told to believe this by a preacher.

I know atheists who think that the Bible is so absurd that nobody in their right mind could possibly believe it. I don't go that far, though, and realize that there are people out there who can and do believe that a god could and would command the following:

Numbers 15:
32. And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day.
33. And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation.
34. And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him.
35. And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp.
36. And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the LORD commanded Moses.

I think that if there actually were a volcano god such as Yahweh, and if we actually believed that there were a god such as Yahweh, then it would be extremely self-destructive of us not to go along with it.

Anyway, have a nice life. If you wish to write again, please stop misrepresenting our position. We can only defend our actual position, we are not here to defend people's fantasies of what they'd like to think is our position.

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

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