I am a former pentecostal turned...to anything but religion. I am very grateful for seeing the truth opened up to me (by an atheist). I am trying to find my personal position. At present, I am assuredly agnostic, but leaning toward atheism altogether. I would love to hear what you all have to say regarding the quote/title of this thread.
The title is an excerpt from an article, "'Helter Skelter' author challenges God in his new book". In context it reads:
" The faithful take a beating in Bugliosi's book, but he doesn't spare atheists either.
"When I hear theists and atheists pontificating on how they know God does or does not exist, I can only smile at the irrationality and, yes, vanity of the notion," he writes.
Bugliosi believes that atheists have failed to account for the "first cause" argument for God's existence - that someone or something created the universe. "We know from our human experience that nothing in existence can give itself existence because if it did, then it would have to have preceded itself, an impossibility," he writes. "
The whole article is here:
I look forward to your responses.
As I understand in real proposed and developing quantum gravity theories like loop quantum gravity and causal dynamical triangulation with quantized spacetime following from the theories, allow for the singularity (zero volume) to be a transitory phase in the history of the Universe and therefore allow for time before the singularity. String theory as a theory for quantum gravity might be pliable enough (absent quantized spacetime) to be made to yield to Hawking-Hartle no boundary condition (which says something about the entire Universe, not only about the past, but about the present and future also, that doesn't necessarily match the observations - accelerating expansion breaks symmetry - very well.)
Anyway even if there really would be no boundary to space time, a theist might just demonstratively take a piece of paper, draw a circle on paper and dryly remark "see, no boundary, I made that."
If anything came from natural philosophy before the advance of science it is the insight that logic can be a guiding principle, never a basis for conclusions about nature.
The situation Bugliosi presents describes a theist and a gnostic atheist. I suspect both will have trouble proving their point with empirical, reproducible evidence. While it's fairly easy to bring the idea of any given god to its knees by pointing out all the contradictions, logical inconsistencies, etc it's quite difficult to prove that a god does not exist, period.
As things stand I personally think both positions are somewhat misguided. An agnostic atheist should be willing to admit that we don't yet have the answers (theory only gets us so far) and that we're still searching. That is currently a far more powerful position because it will spur us to seek new evidence rather than relying on some arbitrary explanation of god/anti-god.