would like responses to the following quote, in effort to educate others

I had a friend who leads a group of addicts.

he asked this on facebook.

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This was given to me by a client today in the spirituality group I taught. It was a hand written note, and the clients definition of Atheism:

"Atheism-Belief that there was nothing and nothing happened to nothing and then nothing magically exploded for no reason, creating everything. Then a bunch of everything magically rearranged itself for no reason at all."

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1) your thoughts. on a rational level,  as if in conversation in person/ or online with this statement.

2) how does this quote make you feel? as atheist? (or whatever you are) 

3) what does it say to you about how welcome you would be in that group? or with that person?

4) what would YOU want the group leader to do if this was said/read in a group for recovery?

answers will be stripped of even your internet nick for reasons of privacy. 

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Postscript.

It is so splendid a description of Big Bang cosmology that I want to copy it for future use.

Thank you, Redacted, for posting it.

If you can find its author, thank her/him too. Very few religious folk think and write so intelligibly.

 

This quote takes a theistic view of creation...

There was god, and god created the world and the universe, and then magically arranged everything in his all-knowing, all-powerful wisdom.

...and then replaces god with nothing and calls that atheism.

It makes perfect sense that a theist would have a hard time seeing things any other way.  So here goes...

1) My response: Wow that sounds pretty ridiculous put like that.  I don't get how they can believe that.  Maybe you should get to know a few...see how they explain this whole nothing out of nothing magic thing.  

I might also privately ask this individual about what he's going through and why it was important for him to define atheism.  He may be using it to cope with whatever he's feeling or experiencing at that time.  Seek first to understand.

2) It just reminds me that it's hard for people to understand that atheism is not a black void of nothing, but rather a world view that can be full of inquiry, beauty, world exploration, and many yet to be discovered unknowns.

3) I think I might still be welcome, but that I might have a difficult time finding the understanding and support I seek.

4) It would really depend on the context, but perhaps remind others that we're all going through something similar and we might deal with it in different ways, and that it's important that we all come together and focus on our similarities rather than divide ourselves on our differences.  Do some perspective-taking: how would you feel if your belief or view was described for you in this way?  Definitely send the message that such comments aren't helpful or welcome in the group.

He may be using it to cope with whatever he's feeling or experiencing at that time.

Despite the many times I have heard that evaluating both the emotions and the reasons for people's remarks (and actions), I often need to be reminded to evaluate the emotions. I guess it's a guy thing.

Thanks, Colleen.

Haha, full disclosure...I have my MA in Clinical Psychology :)

"Atheism-Belief that there was nothing and nothing happened to nothing and then nothing magically exploded for no reason, creating everything. Then a bunch of everything magically rearranged itself for no reason at all."

Let's take this step-by-step:

1. "Belief" - we don't have beliefs. We have views based on the best available evidence - usually scientific theories that have been reviewed and well-tested, or at least cogent hypothosies that haven't been proven wrong yet and offer an explanation of observations. (You may take the time now to define and explain what a scientific "theory" is at this point since most people don't really know what the term means.

2. "there was nothing" - No. This is not proven. Prior to the Big Bang (the dominant theory on the origins of the universe at this time), nothing is known. It is postulated that time and space were created at this point from a singularity. Is a singularity nothing? No. It's more like "everything" in one point.

3. "nothing happened to nothing" - No. Something certainly happened - the big bang and the start of the inflation of the universe. Why this happened we don't know.

4. "then nothing" - see number 2 above

5. "magically" - No. We don't accept magic as an explanation for anything. There are lots of things that are unknown or unexplainable at this time, but we don't just give up and call it magic.

6. "exploded" - Expanded. Not really an explosion, but that's how it's described to make is understandable to laypeople.

7. "for no reason" - We are fairly confident that there was a reason, we just don't know what it was. We continue to work on that question.

8. "creating everything" - This is part of the big bang theory. Space, time, and all the matter that we know of in the universe was born in this event. This is our best guess at this time based on the evidence. We could be wrong, but this is why we continue to test our hypothesis - to find the truth.

9. "Then a bunch of everything magically rearranged itself" - Again, magic doesn't apply here. The "rearranging" or coalescing of the matter as it cooled is not magic and seems to have followed well-known rules know to scientists for a long time.

10. "for no reason at all" - No. We don't need a magical reason here. An expanding system fill with cooling matter will naturally change as the energy state changes - from highly ordered (hot uniform "stuff") to less-ordered stuff due to gravity, fluid dynamics, etc.

So, the entire condescending and incorrect statement, although satirical, is entirely incorrect in everything it says and is meant to make belief in an intelligent creator to be the best logical choice, and it only achieves this if one already believes in a omnipotent god.

If said to me I would feel like I'm being insulted by a less-intelligent quote-monger. I would not feel welcome. If I felt that I still wanted to be part of this group, I would speak with the leader to get an answer to the basic question: "Is belief in god required to be part of the group?". If yes, I would leave. If no, then I would entice them to rescind that statement and others like it from now on.

1) That statement makes no logical/grammatical sense.

2) It makes me feel sorry for whoever said it because they obviously need to go back to grade school.

3) It says to me that I would just avoid that person because they are stupid in a non-curable sense.

4) I would petition said group leader to remind the group that everyone is entitled to their opinion no matter how unrelated to any logical fact.

Seriously dude. This is just dumb. On a very magical level. SCIENCE RULES. O_o

"Atheism-Belief that there was nothing and nothing happened to nothing and then nothing magically exploded for no reason, creating everything. Then a bunch of everything magically rearranged itself for no reason at all."

The confusion lies in 1) interpreting atheism as a belief system, which it is not.

                                     2) attaching origins of the universe to atheism, which is incorrect.

                                     3) associating the physical evolution of the universe to atheism, again erroneous.

Keep it simple: atheism is the position held by someone who sees no verifiable evidence to support the existence of invisible beings, gods included.

Not to answer your questions, but does interjecting a being with all of the same attributes accomplish something?

We have the above Atheism-Belief that there was nothing and nothing happened to nothing and then nothing magically exploded for no reason, creating everything. Then a bunch of everything magically rearranged itself for no reason at all.

And we have various responses to it.

I'm reminded of the words of a long-ago college roommate who was finishing his degree in literature: Some prose is remembered and much, though factual, is forgotten.

I was at the time finishing up a degree in mathematics.

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