1. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    03 Apr '06 01:432 edits
    "What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe?" - Stephen Hawking

    Atheists, how do you answer Hawking? Why is there something rather than nothing?

    I know how theists answer the question. They postulate a creator, and even go so far as to postulate his motives for bringing things into existence. I'm curious about how atheists answer the same question.

    I don't think we need to cover the old "Well, the theists are just moving the target. How do they account for the existence of God?" ground, because I'm not asking for you to justify your view, or support a claim that it's superior to the that of the theists. I guess I'm asking you to shift the target in the same way that the theists do. In what manner do you shift it?

    Do you think protons and the like simply exist, much as the theists claim that God simply exists?

    Atheists claim that there is insufficient evidence for belief in a creator. Does the existence of things constitute at least partial evidence, if not sufficient evidence, for a creator, in an abductive sense?
  2. Standard memberXanthosNZ
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    03 Apr '06 01:501 edit
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    Atheists claim that there is insufficient evidence for belief in a creator. Does the existence of things constitute at least partial evidence, if not sufficient evidence, for a creator, in an abductive sense?
    The existence of things constitutes a proof of things existing. Nothing more.
  3. Standard memberRingtailhunter
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    03 Apr '06 01:55
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    "What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe?" - Stephen Hawking

    Atheists, how do you answer Hawking? Why is there something rather than nothing?

    I know how theists answer the question. They postulate a creator, and even go so far as to postulate his motives for bringing things into existence. ...[text shortened]... ast partial evidence, if not sufficient evidence, for a creator, in an abductive sense?
    If you are comfortable in your chosen faith or non-faith why would it matter to you what others think? Why question others...does it help you to avoid answering your own questions of spirit? I think if you focused more inwardly on your own issues instead of running from them, you would become a much more spiritually fulfilled human being.


    RTh
  4. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    03 Apr '06 01:56
    Originally posted by XanthosNZ
    The existance of things constitutes a proof of things existing. Nothing more.
    I'm not asking about what existence implies. I'm asking how, if in any manner at all, you account for it. I'm asking for a bit of abductive thinking. In this discussion, it is given that existence does not constitute a proof of the mechanism used to account for existence.
  5. Standard memberscottishinnz
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    03 Apr '06 02:00
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    "What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe?" - Stephen Hawking

    Atheists, how do you answer Hawking? Why is there something rather than nothing?

    I know how theists answer the question. They postulate a creator, and even go so far as to postulate his motives for bringing things into existence. ...[text shortened]... ast partial evidence, if not sufficient evidence, for a creator, in an abductive sense?
    Why should one feel any need to account for it? As Xanthos says 'it just is', and it is certainly a logical jump too far to posit an external creation force.
  6. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    03 Apr '06 02:00
    Originally posted by Ringtailhunter
    If you are comfortable in your chosen faith or non-faith why would it matter to you what others think? Why question others...does it help you to avoid answering your own questions of spirit? I think if you focused more inwardly on your own issues instead of running from them, you would become a much more spiritually fulfilled human being.


    RTh
    I am focusing on this issue because it is one for which I don't have an answer. I'm curious about how those who reject theism account for existence.
  7. Donationbbarr
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    03 Apr '06 02:021 edit
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    "What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe?" - Stephen Hawking

    Atheists, how do you answer Hawking? Why is there something rather than nothing?

    I know how theists answer the question. They postulate a creator, and even go so far as to postulate his motives for bringing things into existence. ast partial evidence, if not sufficient evidence, for a creator, in an abductive sense?
    The universe is a necessary existent.
  8. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    03 Apr '06 02:02
    Originally posted by scottishinnz
    Why should one feel any need to account for it?
    Because one feels a need to account for everything else about the universe.
  9. Standard memberXanthosNZ
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    03 Apr '06 02:03
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    I'm not asking about what existence implies. I'm asking how, if in any manner at all, you account for it. I'm asking for a bit of abductive thinking. In this discussion, it is given that existence does not constitute a proof of the mechanism used to account for existence.
    Prove that there was a time where existence could not be proven by the existence of things and I'll have to come up an explanation for the creation of things.
  10. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    03 Apr '06 02:03
    Originally posted by bbarr
    The universe is a necessary existent.
    Is this your abductive conclusion that I'm asking for, or is it a meta-commentary like the other responses so far?
  11. Donationbbarr
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    03 Apr '06 02:05
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    Is this your abductive conclusion that I'm asking for, or is it a meta-commentary like the other responses so far?
    No, I don't think any answer to this question is justified, so I don't have a belief about what (if anything) brought the universe into existence. I'm just giving you an answer that has all the virtues of the theistic answer without the commitment to an extra entity.
  12. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    03 Apr '06 02:05
    Originally posted by XanthosNZ
    Prove that there was a time where existence could not be proven by the existence of things and I'll have to come up an explanation for the creation of things.
    Do you simply have a "don't know, don't care" attitude concerning accounting for existence?
  13. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    03 Apr '06 02:07
    Originally posted by bbarr
    No, I don't think any answer to this question is justified
    Do you think any answer to this question could ever be justified, given any conceivable evidence, or has Hawking fooled us into embarking on a wild goose chase?
  14. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    03 Apr '06 02:10
    Originally posted by bbarr
    No, I don't think any answer to this question is justified, so I don't have a belief about what (if anything) brought the universe into existence. I'm just giving you an answer that has all the virtues of the theistic answer without the commitment to an extra entity.
    Do you have a response to this: Does the existence of things constitute at least partial evidence, if not sufficient evidence, for a creator, in an abductive sense?
  15. Standard memberXanthosNZ
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    03 Apr '06 02:12
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    Do you simply have a "don't know, don't care" attitude concerning accounting for existence?
    If I say that the Big Bang caused the universe then there is the question, what caused the Big Bang? That question can't be answered until the makeup of the material involved in the Big Bang are known. For all we know time may not have existed prior to the Big Bang making the concept of existance before it unanswerable. And if time did exist before the Big Bang we have the question what caused the universe in that form?

    An endless series of questions all stacked upon each other but no final question at the base as a starting point.

    Why waste time trying to answer the unanswerable?
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