I thought this was quite the interesting thought. I was gonna write this
as a response to one of a other discussions, but thought that I'd like
to get a bigger audience in on this one.

Many, if not all, good atheist believe that God simply does not exist. But I beg to ask the question: "If he doesn't exist and nothing in creation lends to the existence of God, why do we have so many thoughts about God? Are not our thoughts shaped by our environment? If our environment does not support the existence of a God, why do so many of us rule him into the equation? Is it that we are inclined to desire a god. Are we naturally inclined to think about one irrespective of our environment?"

The light bulb was created based on something that already existed, light! So I imagine Ben Franklin was inspired by the sun. Even the delusional has inspiration of thoughts based on things that exist. So why do we think about God if he doesn't even exist?

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That's how I've always looked at it as well, although I can now see that the concept of eternity has a much wider background than I had known - so I've learnt something.

@James: I think it could be said that a specific infinite set could have a beginning, but it would not necessarily be true for every infinite set.
The set of all natural numbers vs. the set of all integers.

1, 2, 3... --> ∞
∞ <-- ... -3, -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, 3... --> ∞
I've never encountered your usage before. Is there some source, context, or reference for this that I am simply not aware of?

I know that etymology doesn't restrict modern meanings, but this is essentially the basis for my usage:

late 14c., from L. infinitus "unbounded, unlimited," from in- "not" + finitus "defining, definite," from finis "end"

late 14c., from O.Fr. eternel or directly from L.L. aeternalis, from L. aeternus "of an age, lasting, enduring, permanent, endless," contraction of aeviternus "of great age," from aevum "age"
I'm not physicist or anything. So i might be wrong. But I would think Einstein would disagree with "eternity is but an infinite stretch of time". Eternity would be the place where there is no time. It is the place which exists outside of time. It would actually be as if time stopped. Assuming if one should surpass the speed of light we would hence enter a realm where there is no time. Funny that the bible also says that God is light and in him there is no darkness. I would concur that God is and exists in light, a place where there is no time. He exists in eternity, which transcends time. But yet he intervenes in time. mad kool!!!
doone, This is often forgotten by theists, though they think they have all the answers and that it can't possibly be wrong we have continued to search for answers and of course the more we find out the more we find out we don't know. Props to those who take the journey.
I thought that the infinity lemniscate and the Ouroboros were conceptually the same. I think both fit.

Nowhere does it say infinity has to have a beginning.
Bah! Such imagination and theory. And we'll probably never know the entire story, because we can't go back there to measure the big bang. Arrogant scientists and their dogma!

Oh no, wait. It's not actually written in stone, is it? These scientific ideas are NOT dogma? It's open to discussion and correction and refinement, and it's not all to be taken literally? So how does one really know the truth when it's all just theory? How can we build rocket ships to go to the moon, or cure diseases caused by invisible microbes, or design circuits based on invisible electrons? What contradictions! Is NOTHING in infallible black and white, pure, absolute terms any more? Help!
@Trevauhn: After reading through some of your recent replies to this thread I think you are under some illusion that the abrahamic god is the only one that people have worshipped.

Religion begins with early man ascribing human qualities to various elements of the natural world - animals, fire, lightning, etc. These would not have been thought of as gods and certainly not the work of a singular deity. However, due to a lack of understanding of natural laws these things take on mystical, unknown qualities in an attempt to explain them.

It is a leap, but not an unimaginable one, for these "spirits" to take on more and more meaning in the lives of primitive tribes until they become the aspects of the earliest gods. Once again, note the pluralistic nature of it - there is no evidence to suggest that early man conceived of a singular supernatural explanation for this.

In fact monotheism is a relatively recent invention and, given the nature of the various montheistic faiths that developed around the same time, it can easily be viewed as an attempt to consolidate power or control by certain individuals.

Nothing in this brief history requires divine revelation. It nothing more than the evolution of man as a communal animal, first trying to explain the world in which he lives, and later exerting control over his fellows.
Thanks doone. I can't believe I haven't read any of those books.
all excellent books. Gotta love Joseph Campbell.
@Matt...sir I am not so naive as to think that. When God called Abram out of his father's house; one reason was to separate Abram from the idolatry his father practiced. So no I don't think that Abram's God was the first to be worshiped. What I do believe is God inspired other humans to redefine the culture. There was already animal sacrifice to the sun god, moon god, etc. So instead of throwing out their entire system and sacrificing his son, God redefined what they already knew and added faith. So instead of sacrificing any old animal, it was required that they sacrifice their first and their best. And as a result of doing so he would grant forgiveness of sins. Which would allow them blessings...of course there is more history to be added, but i'll stop for now.


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