Why do atheists believe in magic?

Aug 22, 2009
6
0
#22
It seems like atheists want me to believe that the universe just magically appeared. This is a hillarious theory which most people laugh at. Th euniverse is just too balanced and too orderly.
Most atheists are in love with themselves and can't believe in anything greater than themselves. Therefore magic is the answer. For example, the missing link seems to have appeared then disappeared as if by magic. Therefore it must be real.
 

The Parakeet

Retired Moderator
Jan 19, 2009
639
2
#23
I'm not sure where you get such a dark view of atheists. That's a fairly classic straw man position that doesn't really match up with reality.

A number of atheists I know believe in things greater than them (loyalty, knowledge, bravery, the works of H.P Lovecraft :) ). Regardless, there is no magic in the position.

The missing link is a straw man talked about by people who don't understand evolution at all. Of course we haven't found THE "missing link". Think of a chain. When you find one link, it just means that there are 2 more on either side you have to find. We have found cool fossils of what were probably our ancestors. There was a huge discovery that actually was touted by a few newspaper as the real missing link (wasn't a big deal to the scientific community since it was just another fossil on the line...but big newspaper headlines sell papers).

So...yeah. No magic involved. It's actually really logical and easy to see if you have a non-biased source (scientists really wouldn't care if evolution was overthrown tomorrow, they have overthrown or tweaked many theories in the past when they found contradicting evidence).
 

Dirk

Anarchist
Apr 27, 2009
1,943
5
Disunited Queendom
#24
Wow, love the unconcealed insult. I really appreciate that.

This missing link stuff is so misrepresented. I just face-palm when i hear the question "where's the missing link, then?"

There are bloody millions of links that we've found. More than enough to secure the a**es of evolutionists. :p
 

deanhills

Secretary of State
Mar 15, 2009
2,187
2
#25
So...yeah. No magic involved. It's actually really logical and easy to see if you have a non-biased source (scientists really wouldn't care if evolution was overthrown tomorrow, they have overthrown or tweaked many theories in the past when they found contradicting evidence).
Perhaps the sincere perception by atheists is "no magic", but because of their limitations (it is impossible for them to really grasp the Universe as it is much larger than them, also scientists have a very limited life span) and overly focus on "scientific evidence", they may have been missing on lots of additional information.
 
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The Parakeet

Retired Moderator
Jan 19, 2009
639
2
#26
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*Edit - I misread a bit of the post and went on a diatribe. I like it though...so it's staying.

On topic, Dean that's not really right. There have been times when scientists were resistant to change out of faith in the old guard. The important thing is, that a review of scientific history shows that someone always figures it out and publishes it a bunch. Then someone else picks it up and pushes harder and gets more evidence.

There are scientists studying just about every field. There are real studies on homepathy, astrology, psychics...really just about anything not truly wrong or insane (I mean like...Timecube or flat earth society wrong). We don't hear about it much, since it usually doesn't amount to much. But people really are doing everything imaginable to understand the universe.

It's actually the reason I threw my hat in with science and skepticism. Someone could easily overthrow the theory of evolution or the big bang tomorrow. It might take them a few years to really prove it (always have to have repeat the observations) but they could prove it and get a noble prize and permanent history.

I can't honestly think of a religious, philosophical, or political field where someone could do that. Force a drastic shift in the entire field, prove a bunch of the old guard wrong, and be heralded as a hero.

Plus scientific evidence captures a lot more than you'd think. There really isn't much that it wouldn't cover. Besides, if something can't be measured, recorded, or felt...then does it really exist :). That and a fair number of scientists would classify themselves as deist. There's a fair number of religious ones too, so it's a real hodgepodge.


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*Moderately Irrelevant Old Post

Not really Dean. There's no magic involved. Or it's not really "magic." I'm actually a little confused at just what this magic ping pong mentioned is. The Universe itself isn't that magical or grand if you think about it. I mean...it is huge. Almost impossible to imagine. But it's still within our grasp to understand a lot of things. It's really shocking to see just how much the field of astronomy and cosmology has advanced in the past hundred years or so. There's also a lot of crazy stuff that seems magic, but is real (neutron stars, black holes, all of relativity theory). It works with all the fancy mathematics we have now, usually has verifiable results, and generally fits with what we know.

There is one thing that always confuses me with these discussions. The Big Bang isn't a statement on how we came to be. It's a description of how the universe expanded in the confines of our scientific laws. For the moment, there aren't any big problems with it. Evolution isn't a statement on how we came to as life. It's a statement of how the original life diverged into an untold number of species (one of which was us).

The tortured analogy I can think of is this. I see you ride up on a horse. I want to know where you came from. I can look at the horse itself, trace its footsteps, examine the horseshoes, use binoculars to look for local stables or posts, or extrapolate where other similar riders came from. If I really cared, I could trace the bloodlines of the horse back and see where it originally came from, it's parents, etc.

Now...you might have teleported in on the horse in an unimaginable manner. In fact a decent portion of the crowd is blindly certain that you did. They might be right for all I know. There could be a weird anomaly, a hallucination, mass hysteria, or invisible ants moving you. None of these seem likely and there is no logical reason to turn to them.

The most important thing being that I am not trying to answer some philosophical meaning on the nature of life and why the horse and rider have appeared at this time. I just want to know where the heck you came from, so I'm researching it. There's really no magic.

About the only time "magical" thinking comes into play is when we start talking about big stuff. String theory or any of its new friends are all in this category. Most people and most scientists just kind of ignore it for now. It's basically just playing around and trying to come up with cool theories that could explain things. Just about everyone in the field knows that that stuff isn't testable or even that relevant to current studies. It's pie in the sky stuff that some guy thought of in an epiphany.

There's just no magic in the general field. There aren't really many things atheists hand wave away. If they do, then they are usually well aware of them. Or if they aren't aware...well...they're people too. People don't always do things right. No one's perfect.

All in all, it's just an annoying subject. That's why Dirk and I got annoyed. It's a pathetic straw man that gets pulled out by a lot of theists. It's the old "Atheists are just like us but don't want to admit it" idea. It just isn't true...and it's kinda sad really. A number of theists trot it out because they just don't understand how we can't think like them. It's especially sad when it's based off of false ideas on Evolution and the Big Bang.

Sorry for the long post, I tried to keep it coherent.
 
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deanhills

Secretary of State
Mar 15, 2009
2,187
2
#27
It's really shocking to see just how much the field of astronomy and cosmology has advanced in the past hundred years or so.
Exactly! Our knowledge and perception are changing all the time, so our understanding of the Universe can never be exact and finite at any given moment in time. That is what I mean with scientists being too focussed on scientific evidence. As each bit of new evidence opens up what they might have understood earlier, if they had been open to a wider truth.
 

The Parakeet

Retired Moderator
Jan 19, 2009
639
2
#28
Not really. Most of our recent advancements are thanks to cool new toys for the scientists to play with. Plus there's the whole "on the shoulders of giants" thing. Every advancement was generally a logical advancement from the old position. There have only been a few radical changes, and they were because of radical changes in technology.

There's always at least one open minded person for any conceivable field. Like I said, you just don't think of them much. If they were right, then they were just a good researcher. If they were wrong, then they fade into oblivion.

Plus, I don't think many atheists or scientists claim to understand the universe. We just understand how parts of it work. It's theists and philosophers who try to crack the big spiritual ideas. There's generally a lot of respect for the spheres of influence. Science can do a lot to understand the physical aspects of the world. Religion and philosophy can handle morals, ideals, etc. Science usually keeps its nose out of the spiritual side (and it usually gets smacked around a bit when it does). Religion unfortunately keeps shoving its nose into science, making it necessary to smack down large theories and often sound arrogant about the nature of things (when really we're just shooting down their arguments about the physical stuff).

There's also the whole "Pink Invisible Unicorn" idea. There could very well be a pink invisible unicorn in my garage. How would I know if it was there? It doesn't interact with anything and nothing I can do will let me find it. Religious people and philosophers will waste parts of their lives trying to understand this mysterious beauty. Scientists and atheists give them a weird look and say "What does it matter?". :). If there is something magical about the universe that we can't detect at all, then it basically doesn't exist (for all intents and purposes). We'll ignore it until we can find it. Burn one bridge at a time :).
 
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deanhills

Secretary of State
Mar 15, 2009
2,187
2
#29
Religion unfortunately keeps shoving its nose into science, making it necessary to smack down large theories and often sound arrogant about the nature of things (when really we're just shooting down their arguments about the physical stuff).
Does it matter however, as there seems to be a clear separation between state and religion, and religion has very little power. All they can really do is a bit of noise. Right now they have so little power, they can't stop science. Only people who can, are in Government.

There's also the whole "Pink Invisible Unicorn" idea. There could very well be a pink invisible unicorn in my garage. How would I know if it was there? It doesn't interact with anything and nothing I can do will let me find it. Religious people and philosophers will waste parts of their lives trying to understand this mysterious beauty. Scientists and atheists give them a weird look and say "What does it matter?". :). If there is something magical about the universe that we can't detect at all, then it basically doesn't exist (for all intents and purposes). We'll ignore it until we can find it. Burn one bridge at a time :).
This was the exact one I was talking about! Science only dealing with that which they can see, measure and count. And sometimes missing out on progress as a result. Maybe tomorrow they will find a clue to the Unicorn, and then discover if they had paid more attention to it before, they may have been much further ahead than where they were.
 

The Parakeet

Retired Moderator
Jan 19, 2009
639
2
#31
The only thing to keep in mind with the unicorn idea is that it probably isn't there.

Seriously...if there is a remote chance that it's there we would look for it. In this analogy, I already did some tests (Infrared, ultraviolet, cat-scan, X-ray).

If you look at astronomy, you'll see that they did just kinda fool around and make big discoveries because they thought that there might be a little chance.

For example, the cosmic microwave background (a major piece of evidence for the Big Bang), was found because 2 guys were playing around with a microwave telescope and noticed it.

Our system of using emission spectrum to source the elements a star contains is because 2 guys wondered if their spectrometer could pick up what a burning building across town was made of by using the spectrometer alone.

We know everything we do about neutron stars, white dwarfs, and other cool stuff (hard to imagine stuff) because a guy thought that he should really try to link quantum physics to astronomy.

We just sorta cross the bridges as they come to us. The important thing is that there really isn't much same in a good new theory. If it's good, then we modify it and figure out what went wrong the last time. If we abandoned it, then it will stay abandoned until we have a reason to revisit it.

That's the beauty of not really having an agenda. If the evidence pointed to a God (a common religious one at least...a fair number view the laws of the universe as a type of deist god), then we'd support God. Pretty simple.
 
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Mar 15, 2009
369
1
#32
Most atheists are in love with themselves and can't believe in anything greater than themselves. Therefore magic is the answer. For example, the missing link seems to have appeared then disappeared as if by magic. Therefore it must be real.
And people like you think they know everything about the universe, life, morals, atheists, right and wrong, the afterlife... everything they know can be summed up with: goddidit and "the bible says so."

And yes, I do love myself.
 
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Mar 24, 2009
2,751
6
Undisclosed
#33
And people like you think they know everything about the universe, life, morals, atheists, right and wrong, the afterlife... everything they know can be summed up with: goddidit and "the bible says so."

And yes, I do love myself.
Now that is funny!;) Glad to see you two getting on so well.:D And understanding each other right off it seems.:D
 
Sep 20, 2009
13
0
#40
Scientists can't prove that God does not exist, neither can theists prove scientifically that God does exist.
That's not accurate.

Depending on how 'God' is defined, he can be disproven. See Helios dfor an example of a god who has been disproven.

If a thing exists, it should be possible to prove it exists*, even if a test to do so has not yet been conceived,


*Insomuch as one 'proves', anything in science
 

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