Why are we here? – the question atheists can’t answer

HERE’S a simple but profound question: why are we here? It’s the question that children tend to ask when they suddenly become aware of the mystery of their own existence.

Why is there something rather than nothing? American philosopher William James called this “the darkest question in all philosophy.”

Essayist Jim Holt in his book Why Does the World Exist? criss-crossed the planet talking to cosmologists, physicists, philosophers, eastern sages and theologians about possible reasons for our existence.

Holt described one meeting with a priest, a physicist and a Buddhist monk.

The priest said the universe must be created by God, the physicist invoked
quantum mechanics and the monk believed that the universe just always existed.

Holt said that for religious believers, there was no mystery to the existence of the universe. It exists because God made it.

“But suppose you ask nonbelievers to explain why there is a world rather than nothing at all,” he wrote. “Chances are they will not give you a satisfactory answer.”

Hall asked what options we had for resolving the mystery of existence once we let go of the God hypothesis. Science, he said, might be expected to someday explain how the universe came about. By any attempted scientific
explanation of why hits a brick wall.

“The problem with the science option would seem to be this. The universe comprises everything that physically exists. A scientific explanation must involve some sort of physical cause. But any physical cause is by definition part of the universe to be explained. Thus any scientific explanation of the existence of the universe is doomed to be circular.”

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19 thoughts on “Why are we here? – the question atheists can’t answer

  1. We imitate God in many ways.

    Often people have children out of a need to enrich their lives with Love as I’m guessing is the reason God decided to create us.

    Parents tend to Love their children with a great depth, even with all their faults and sometimes enduring great pain caused by them. They continuously forgive them as God does with us.

    Parents, like God our father, always want the best for their children and sometimes tell them things they don’t want to hear and rebel against.

    In the end though, it’s all worth it.

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  2. Hi everyone. Jimbo here. Sorry I’ve been away so long, but I’ve been busy trying to put up my website, on a limited budget. I hope everyone is well, and God bless you all. Bryan… another deep philosophical question. I think it’s a personal one for me. I know why I’M here. God knows why I’m here.
    It’s on my website (still upgrading) but please feel free to check it out : jimlatta.com
    I’d welcome any feedback. You’ll certainly see where I’m coming from.

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  3. Geloruma got it in one! –> “Going around in circles again.” ……and irrelevantly on any score.

    The physicist and a Buddhist monk know whereof they speak: supported by, among others, the proven Laws of Thermodynamics. (see: Newton, et al.)
    ie:- What exists has ALWAYS existed and will ALWAYS exist, in one form or another.
    (keeping in mind that ‘our’ Universe ~ supposedly initiated by the ‘Big Bang’ ~ doesn’t necessarily correspond to ‘THE’ universe.)

    The priest and the ‘Essayist’ create the bugbear by trying to force the infinite existence into tasty sugar-coated, bite-size chunks with which any nitwit can unthinkingly identify while he’s watching other animated cartoons. Said nitwit may occasionally scratch his crotch (the one between his ears) and declare that ‘the universe’ exists because god decided to make it so.

    But not even said ‘god’ tells us WHY he would ~ or how he could ~ do so. Moses wasn’t THAT stupid! (Lack of animated cartoons/animated elections??)

    Some ‘deeper’ thinkers might ask ‘Why does even god exist’…but our gods are also invented to fit reassuringly into the evolved human skull/1400 cc. (and less than that in women. …now there’s a surprise!)

    Beyond god (an ever-diminishing ‘god’ as Time-and-Space go by) lies ‘Eternity’, but even that’s a fairly shallow and irrelevant ‘entity, since it depends upon measurable parameters…tick-tock-tick-tock… The ‘Alpha and Omega’ is governed by the clock!
    (Revelation 1:8 (New King James Version
    “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, says the Lord, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”)
    And at that point our limited imaginations and machinations run out of puff.

    ….and There!, somewhere beyond that point, the dawn of Infinity makes itself known: a nebulous, foggy dawn; a dawn unbounded by time or space or more than the merest glimmer of a non-comprehensible concept, where not even Relativity has any meaning.
    THE singularity, both-existing and not-existing; pointless and yet the ONLY point.

    This moment.—->

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    • ….”Parents, like God our father, always want the best for their children and sometimes tell them things they don’t want to hear and rebel against.”

      ….and sometimes kill them; are you aware that more kids are killed by their parents ~ usually mothers ~ than by anyone else (or probably EVERYONE else combined)?

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      • I’ve always thought that reality was a common one and commonly accepted.
        There are stats all over the net, but are all a bit haphazardly put together depending on definition,priority, geography etc, ., and I don’t have the time (or skill) to wade through them.
        Neither do I know how to transfer a PDF file onto this blog, and most of the provided info is in that form.

        However, herewith a selection of what I was able to put together; I think it makes the case fairly plainly. —->

        Infants aged under one year are more at risk of being killed at the hands of another person than any other single year age group in England and Wales.

        Every ten days in England and Wales one child is killed at the hands of their parent. In over two thirds (67% on average) of all cases of children killed at the hands of another person, the parent is the principal suspect.
        *******************

        “Killings of children by a natural parent are committed in roughly equal proportions by mothers (47%) and fathers (53%), but where the child is killed by someone other than a [birth] parent, males strongly predominate”.

        “The proportion of child homicides in which the perpetrator is a parent is exceptionally high among infants”. For example between 1995 and 1999 in England and Wales, 80% of homicide victims under one year old were killed by a parent.

        http://www.nspcc.org.uk/inform/research/statistics/child_homicide_statistics_wda48747.html
        ***************************

        U.S. Department of Justice
        Office of Justice Programs
        Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

        Most homicides of young children are
        committed by family members through
        beatings or suffocation. Although victims
        include approximately equal numbers
        of boys and girls, offenders include
        a disproportionate number of
        women. Homicides of young children
        may be seriously undercounted.
        *********************************
        In OZ:-

        http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=12&ved=0CDEQFjABOAo&url=http%3A%2F%2Faic.gov.au%2Fdocuments%2F6%2F6%2F0%2F%257B66025EB4-DC26-4B37-803B-BCC1EA184951%257Dti53.pdf&ei=9SItUsvWJImiiAfVzYGoBQ&usg=AFQjCNF11AlwE1Ee87fgixOG1-1jyXyM6A&sig2=mryeJNvhVACgVLsedc8dLQ&bvm=bv.51773540,d.dGI

        Pretty bloody gruesome

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      • “are you aware that more kids are killed by their parents ~ usually mothers ~ than by anyone else (or probably EVERYONE else combined)?”

        Yes Dabs, v

        Very!

        Exerpted from ‘As precious as a royal baby,’ written by Alan Bailey

        The birth of a new royal baby in the UK has been hailed worldwide. Like everyone else who has held a newborn in their arms, they would have felt the preciousness of the life that pulsated in the tiny body. Every instinct tells us that little ones must be guarded and kept, their future secured as much as humanly possible.

        I remember meeting a lady who had been aborted at seven months and tossed to one side. Someone rescued her and despite the odds, she lived; something many would think was like a miracle. But then, all life seems like a miracle.

        I couldn’t help wondering why life before birth is not as precious as life after birth.

        THE GREAT CONTRADICTION

        Most of us tend to think that civilization helps us to understand and value life. Our ancestors took life cheaply because they failed to understand the true value of life, or partly so.

        How wrong that thinking is! Who wiped out the aboriginals on the island of Tasmania? Yes, ‘civilized people. Who massacred aboriginals on the Australian mainland, or thousands of American Indians? Think of the colonial powers that murdered and exploited lesser developed people around the world.

        Were the Nazis primitives? Is modern war confined to backward peoples? And who kills thousands of babies before they are born? Some even advocate that handicapped infants be terminated in their first year of life.

        JUST HOW VALUABLE IS LIFE?

        The young lady above who was aborted and lived, said in my hearing, “I want people to realize that life is valuable, even if that has hurts or pains. All is precious.”

        Those who destroy life, seemingly without a twinge of conscience, present a riddle to the majority who love life and respect it utterly. But then, the evidence is there throughout history that the human race has something deeply and radically wrong with it.

        Remember that you were made by God. He never branded you as worthless.

        Challenge newspaper—Sept. 2013

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  4. I cannot begin to think about a god who created electrons and neutrons to form atoms to form matter to form the universe and all herein, including us. If so, why? All with the aim of creating human kind?

    My God is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, only in a comparative sense. Only from the perspective of those who lived in biblical times. But still more powerful, present, and knowledged than we can imagine.Then, working with the building blocks of creation, and through the processes of evolution, able to create us.

    The why of it, I believe, is to train us to act as His/Their agents.

    But if it is argued that souls aren’t created of matter, I wonder about that too. Things like thought, telepathy, radio signals, and so on, involve the same electrons and neutrons that make up matter.

    God is a Being, made of matter? God is a spirit, we are told. The spirit of love? And we are created in His likeness. Why then do we need material form? Sorry, too deep for me.

    And the why of creating electrons and neutrons, is beyond me!

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  5. In the absence of any other evidence, science can analyse a cake and tell us how it was made, its composition but cannot tell us who made it, why the maker decided to make it a certain way or even why the maker decided to make it in the first place. This is the problem that people have about explaining the universe and God.

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  6. I think we have to find our own reasons and meaning as to why we are here. The circle of life really does come to play so in order to fufill our lives, and make the best of our time here, we need to find out those purposes. I believe that everyone is born with unique skills and passions, and those combined, contributes to the meaning of their lives. Its up to the individual at that point as to whether they choose to live their lives in pursuing this purpose.

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  7. tsktsktsk]
    “……Hall asked what options we had for resolving the mystery of existence once we let go of the God hypothesis.”
    (a) The god of the gaps argument is NO argument.
    (b) Is his name ‘Holt’ or ‘Hall’?…..schizophrenic multipersonalities or just as confused about WHO he is as he is about WHERE he is?

    Furthermore, for someone who demands specific answers, he has no idea about forming specific questions. How does he KNOW that what he calls “existence” actually exists? ….and on what basis does he insist that it’s a “mystery” (unknown) unless he can do so.

    :- Hall asked what options we had for resolving the mystery of existence once we let go of the God hypothesis.
    APS… HYPOTHESIS:- A proposal intended to explain certain facts or observations’

    There CAN be no such thing as a ‘ God hypothesis.’
    Strawmen….now that’s a different matter.

    afterthought…….can a god of straw have feet of clay?

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