View Poll Results: Will humans ever really understand why the universe exists? In time, yes, we will know exactly why the universe exists. 31 27.19% The true origins of the univesre, and specifically WHY it exists, will never be fully understood. 65 57.02% Undecided at this time. 18 15.79% Voters: 114. You may not vote on this poll

## Will humans ever really understand why the universe exists?

 Quote by robertm Given a list of the supposed attributes and effects of the deity/fairy (pink tutu, wings, takes your teeth, etc...) one could easily determine the presence or traces of said deity/fairy (missing tooth in a locked room, video, appearance of money, etc...).
Yes, but how would you get a proper probability of existence out of measuring those things? I still don't see how you can come up with an actual number.

 Quote by octelcogopod Still not the same thing. You believe there isn't an invisible pink elephant over your head. No amount of absence of evidence may you conclude there is not one. God is a myth, a tale.. And not believing in him is not equal to faith or anything like that. It just means no evidence of god exists, so I don't believe in it.
This is unproductive.
Can you be more precise? What exactly are you disagreeing with me on? Atheism is the belief that there is no god. The simply fact that you don t see god does not mean he does not exist. We never really see everything at once. All we can say is the non-observed instances of god  s interfering in the world. Our observations are limited to a certain place at a certain time. Our perspective is necessary limited when we try to make inference from observation to the whole set.

 Quote by Pupil You're using a definition no (or incredibly few) atheists use. Atheism is a lack of belief (see post 149, 150, 152, and this). I detest having to explain this over and over again, but no amount of evidence -- for anything -- gives absolute certainty. You can not say invisible blue Ogres aren't floating above your head, that the sun will rise, Zeus exists, or that you aren't a brain in a vat with absolute certainty. You do the best with the evidence presented and make conclusions from there. Atheism is a lack of belief in the claims about God, and by definition nothing more.

Atheism is the belief that there is no god. What you have in mind is agnosticism. What you just say can be conclude as saying induction cannot give us certainty. People who believe in atheism is making a ontological claim(claims about what actually exist) on the non existence of god.

 Quote by vectorcube Atheism is the belief that there is no god. What you have in mind is agnosticism. What you just say can be conclude as saying induction cannot give us certainty. People who believe in atheism is making a ontological claim(claims about what actually exist).
No, as I said before, agnosticism is a subset of atheism. Again, atheism is a lack of belief in a god. If you claim absolute knowledge there are no deities, it is strong atheism. If you claim you don't know, it is weak atheism or agnosticism. That is how I define it, how Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, Dennett (the four horsemen of atheism most people know), Dillahunty, etc...define it. Reminds me of a quote:

"Calling Atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair color." - Don Hirschberg

 Quote by Pupil How do you know our conception of these things is wrong?

By inferring knowledge from experiments that go very far beyond the abilities of limited human sensory perception. Physicists are 'looking' at the universe(whatever that is) through a mental picture dressed in mathematics without a reference to your daily experiences. It has been clear for more than a century that the true nature of reality is much weirder that your sensory experience tells you.

 Quote by WaveJumper By inferring knowledge from experiments that go very far beyond the abilities of limited human sensory perception. Physicists are 'looking' at the universe(whatever that is) through a mental picture dressed in mathematics without a reference to your daily experiences. It has been clear for more than a century that the true nature of reality is much weirder that your sensory experience tells you.
I would agree that we use other instruments besides our regular five to probe reality, but for all that it's unclear to me how that invalidates what we have learned from our regular senses. Using these extrasensory instruments has certainly helped us figure more out, but that doesn't make the fundamental things we learned with just our five senses wrong.

 Quote by kldickson Technically, you can't prove something doesn't exist; the burden of proof is on the person who makes the positive assertion, that is, the assertion that some hypothetical 'thing' exists.

The only ones making definitive claims that god exists or does not exist are atheists, that's why you attract negative attention. There is no scientific or rational basis for your definitive assertions. Lack of belief is not equal to:

"God does not exist!"

"God is a myth"

etc.

These definitive statements reveal that you are holding a strong Faith that what you aasssert is true.

 I don't think there's any sort of 'creative process' behind the universe. I wouldn't draw any sort of conclusions about these things until we have more data; part of the problem with theists is that they're trying to fill gaps in a brick wall with, well, very flimsy spackle that is easy to punch holes through. As we fill in more bricks with science, theists will be less prone to put spackle in those holes. We who know better simply leave the holes unfilled to give room for the bricks coming in.

Agreed. I am wondering though why you never question your sources. You are concluding that there is no creative process involved in the emergence of the universe and life, because some creative process allowed the emergence of a comprehensible universe(Science) in which you would deny the existence of such creative process. If abiogenesis is true(i.e. as you say Nature created life), it begs the question why do quanta behave in a way that creates life(say the first RNA molecule). I don't think there is any rational basis to deny the existence of a guiding creative process behind everything that we see, even if you were to call that Nature(though it fails to explain the emergence of a universe with such precision set parameters that is able to exist and evolve for 14 billion years).

 Quote by Pupil I would agree that we use other instruments besides our regular five to probe reality, but for all that it's unclear to me how that invalidates what we have learned from our regular senses. Using these extrasensory instruments has certainly helped us figure more out, but that doesn't make the fundamental things we learned with just our five senses wrong.

As far as what we experiece in daily life, there is no way our 5 senses could be wrong. As far as the true nature of reality is concerned, your sensory experience is wrong.

 Quote by WaveJumper As far as what we experiece in daily life, there is no way our 5 senses could be wrong. As far as the true nature of reality is concerned, your sensory experience is wrong.
That's precisely what I'm getting at. How is our sensory experience wrong even with regard to the 'nature of reality'?

Also, this is a totally different argument but, you said:

 The only ones making definitive claims that god exists or does not exist are atheists, that's why you attract negative attention. There is no scientific or rational basis for your definitive assertions. Lack of belief is not equal to: "God does not exist!" "God is a myth" etc.
Your first sentence is just wrong. There are theists make claims that God definitely does exist, and atheists (like me) do not claim a God definitely exists or doesn't exist. Those are two counterexamples.

 Quote by Pupil No, as I said before, agnosticism is a subset of atheism. Again, atheism is a lack of belief in a god. If you claim absolute knowledge there are no deities, it is strong atheism. If you claim you don't know, it is weak atheism or agnosticism. That is how I define it, how Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, Dennett (the four horsemen of atheism most people know), Dillahunty, etc...define it. Reminds me of a quote: "Calling Atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair color." - Don Hirschberg

I am just telling you what atheism mean. It is a ontological thesis that there is no god. Your answer about the lack of "belief" has intentional meaning only. The belief of p does not follow that p is either true or false, thus, there is not correspondence to any state of affair in the world. To make it more clear:

There is a distinction between proposition p:

1.belief p

2. p is true.

From 1, p cannot say anything about the world. From 2, p is true amount an existential claim of at least one state of affair that makes p true, or in modal theory, a model for p.

It is you job to show what belief p mean. I say it means nothing, because there is no corresponding state of affair for p. There is no model to render p true.

see:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justified_true_belief

 Quote by Pupil That's precisely what I'm getting at. How is our sensory experience wrong even with regard to the 'nature of reality'?

Experimental observations simply do not support the conclusion that absolute time and absolute space exist. Both Time and Space are relative. I will not delve into quantum theory and derive conclusions that everything is one wholeness and such, as this is still one of the unsettled questions, but your sensory perceptions aren't supported by experiments in QM either.

 Quote by WaveJumper The only ones making definitive claims that god exists or does not exist are atheists, that's why you attract negative attention. There is no scientific or rational basis for your definitive assertions. Lack of belief is not equal to: "God does not exist!" "God is a myth" etc.

 Your first sentence is just wrong. There are theists make claims that God definitely does exist, and atheists (like me) do not claim a God definitely exists or doesn't exist. Those are two counterexamples.

In this thread. I did fail to include "in this thread" only atheists are making definitive statements about god.

 Quote by vectorcube I am just telling you what atheism mean.
No, you're asserting a different definition of atheism, and I'm telling you it is wrong.

 Quote by vectorcube It is a ontological thesis that there is no god. Your answer about the lack of "belief" has intentional meaning only. The belief of p does not follow that p is either true or false, thus, there is not correspondence to any state of affair in the world. To make it more clear: There is a distinction between proposition p: 1.belief p 2. p is true. From 1, p cannot say anything about the world. From 2, p is true amount an existential claim of at least one state of affair that makes p true, or in modal theory, a model for p. It is you job to show what belief p mean. I say it means nothing, because there is no corresponding state of affair for p. There is no model to render p true. see:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justified_true_belief
There are three options. 1) You claim p is true, 2) You claim p is false, 3) You do not affirm or negate the truth of p. The latter two are atheistic (if p = the existence of God).

 Quote by WaveJumper In this thread. I did fail to include "in this thread" only atheists are making definitive statements about god.
I have commented many times in this thread, am an atheist, and do not make definitive statements about God.

 Quote by WaveJumper your sensory perceptions aren't supported by experiments in QM either.
Sensory perceptions are the product of brains which both arise from and operate under the same principals. The distinction and categorization we practice regarding phenomenon are distinct and categorical only in our mental models of reality, which is an emergent property of primate brains. If a theoretical model fails to describe some aspect of our universe it is a testament only to our failure in modeling. The, often vacuous, arbitrary abstractions one fleeces together from sensory input are what is not supported by observation, not the raw electrochemical signaling events themselves.

 Quote by Pupil No, you're asserting a different definition of atheism, and I'm telling you it is wrong. There are three options. 1) You claim p is true, 2) You claim p is false, 3) You do not affirm or negate the truth of p. The latter two are atheistic (if p = the existence of God).

Ok, i am getting too technical and lost you. I have you know that i was not talking about god, but rather the explication of proposition p as a belief. I have you know that p cannot make any ontological claim at all. That is why your definition fail to be meaningful. Again, this is not about god, religion, or anything. This a purely technical matter.

 No, you're asserting a different definition of atheism. No. My definition is the right. Take that!
 Blog Entries: 13 Recognitions: Gold Member Science Advisor Staff Emeritus I don't see this ever getting back on topic.