Irish Catholic Forum vs Atheist.ie Feb 16, 2010 23:38:42 GMT
Post by on Feb 16, 2010 23:38:42 GMT
My apologies for butting in (haven't posted here in a long time) but I just wanted to clarify a couple of points.
Atheism isn't in the same category as any of the world's competing religions. There is a distinct categorical difference between competing views over the nature and detail of something that lacks physical evidence, and the separate view that says: without physical evidence we should not be postulating a view at all.
I'm going to use a comparison here to illustrate why I say this. The comparison is purely to illustrate the difference between competing interpretations of something that lacks physical evidence and that of skepticism associated with the atheist position.
The example I'll use is the myth of the lost Island of Atlantis. This is not because I want to denigrate religion in anyway, and I am not drawing a direct comparison between the two.
The reason for my choice is because there are many competing theories about where Atlantis is, what caused it to sink or be lost, and what kind of civilization lived there. But there is no concrete physical evidence that such a place ever actually existed.
My guess is that both you and I share the view that in all likelihood, Atlantis is a myth, and nothing more. We don't need evidence of the absence of Atlantis to conclude this, we just use the lack of actual evidence, and our common sense to conclude that Atlantis probably did not exists. We disbelieve in Atlantis.
That does not mean however, that we share in one of the competing views on the nature of Atlantis. Or that our opinion is in the came category. All of those who believe in competing versions of the Atlantis myth are using speculation and conjecture to arrive at their conclusions. Those of us who do not believe in Atlantis are refusing to speculate or resort to conjecture on something completely lacking in evidence.
I'm sure you wouldn't consider your disbelief in the Atlantis myth (assuming you don't believe in it) to be just one of the competing theories on Atlantis. Equally, as someone who does not believe in god, I don't consider my disbelief to be just one of the competing theories on gods.
I think it's science fiction writers who speculate on "parallel universes." Quantum physicists discuss various "multiple universe theories" which are all essentially interpretations of the consequences of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle.
Crucially, it should be noted that in all multiple universe theories, the set of universes proposed makes up the entirety of everything that physically exists: all matter, energy, governing forces and space time. None of them allows for a location, time or combination of the two "outside" of the universal set. Basically, existence is existence. There is no outside. If god exists, he, she or it is somewhere within.