I myself come from an extremely devout conservative family. I was raised as a Catholic and became "born again" during a Summer Vacation Bible camp when I was in the sixth grade. I made all the sacraments, went to CCD (like Bible study classes), attended Christian Conferences and week long camps, and even went to a Private Catholic College. My husband went into the military shortly after we married and I think that was the beginning of my de-conversion. I attended LSU and lived all over the deep South. This really opened up my eyes to a world very different from where I grew up. I began questioning after attempting to find a church that "fit" us. Listening to pastors talk about beating their kids, using Bible quotes to condone it, and then sitting through masses about tithing and speaking in tongues, I started to see how crazy religion was. I guess I identified as non-denominational for a while because I didnt want to have anything to do with man made religion. Then it was watching documentaries and specials on Jesus and I started questioning the Bible and whether or not he could have existed and raised the dead, and walked on water, turned water to wine, etc....My conclusion upon getting my degree in Science Psychology was no he couldnt have, those things are improbable. If that was my conclusion then every other "story" in the Bible was improbable and where did that leave me?
My de-conversion was a process and progress if you ask me. I didnt just wake up one day and say "I think I'll be an atheist". I was a long sometimes painful process that led me here. I could never "go back" EVER, too many things about this world and Universe point to happen stance, probability, and accident. We are Serendipitous, the outcome of a happy accident. I'm fine with that, I'm happy with that! I no longer need a man in the sky subconsciously re affirming my every choice and "making" me feel guilty when I make a poor decision. My brain is far evolved from the mythology and going back is no longer an option.
The repercussions from my de-conversion have been slight. My Mom cried when she found out and told me I was going to Hell, now she just tries to get me to listen to Christian radio stations and referred to my recent raise and promotion as an "answer to her prayers". I deal with the religious rhetoric because she is family. I now look back often, especially when she looks at something purely scientific and attributes it to God, and wonder how I could have ever believed such nonsense.
RE: "the material realm" - actually, "realm" implies a kingdom, though it can be extended to mean field of interest. As far as we're concerned, the material realm is the only game in town, unless of course you can prove another --
Interesting sign I saw on another website yesterday: "Do you believe you know the difference between belief and knowledge?"
You know which one I mean, don't you Tao?
I don't need to prove it. You just did! "the material realm is the only game in town" is a proposition. Propositions are not material.
Secondly, if all time, space, and matter came into being, then it was caused, and whatever caused it was therefore timeless, spaceless, and immaterial.
If not all dimensions (including time) 'came into being' then they weren't caused. As far as matter goes, well we know markwars weren't caused.
Propositions are just ideas, which reside as patterns in our brains, which are, in fact, material.
If something did not come into being then indeed it was not caused. And, according to the latest cosmology, the time/space/material universe and it's concomitant dimensions came into being a finite time ago. According to Vilenkin, that includes any multi-verse if it exists.
Propositions, ideas, moral facts, the laws of logic, relations: there are many things which are not material. Any patterns in the brain only shows interaction with them.
Our instantiation of spacetime containing matter came into being - but M-theory indicates that the 11 dimensions did not. Talk to Ed Whitten.
If you believe that our neural patterns only 'interact' with ideas - then where are the ideas?
You have ignored markwars.
So does Ed think that there are dimensions that do not require time or space? They exist timelessly and are spaceless and they can cause something? Please point me to a reference.
Whether the brain interacts with the laws of logic, numbers, and propositions, etc.(which can result in ideas) only proves there is interaction. So, my point is that mere interaction does not disprove Mind/Body Dualism and that there is a realm that is not material.
If a markwar (whatever that is) never had a beginning, then indeed it does not have a cause.
Time and space ARE dimensions - why don't you just read the link already provided. Time isn't timeless nor subject to time - it is time, and just one of the 11 dimensions. This is where relying on a has-been with a 30 year old grasp of physics really lets you down.
The laws of logic, numbers, etc are just ideas contained within the brain. They are neural patterns. We can cut them out of your head like a tumour - which DOES disprove mind/body dualism.
Markwars began to exist without cause - I told you that already; Harkwars are things that exist without beginning (eternal). We've been over this.
The latest cosmology indicates that there was a Big Bang that released space/time and energy, but that cosmology does not insist that space/time and energy were created at that point - there is no evidence for how long it may have existed before its release, and could, as easily as your supernatural entity, have "always been."
@Archaeopterix - M-theory now indicates just that - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Membrane_(M-Theory)
Actually Heather, I read that earlier, and though I didn't want to interject my concerns into the conversation you were enjoying with Kevin, I was a bit bothered by the caveats preceding the article. I'm sure the same information exists on sites more reliable and with a greater degree of authentication, but if I were going to argue those points - and this is just me - I would rather look for a stronger source.
Tell it to Vilenkin!
You mean the guy who developed the mathematics to show that quantum tunneling could spontaneously pop space & time into existence in the form of a cosmos without a cause-effect relationship?