I was wondering about the different theories Atheists have about how our Universe came to be, what happened before the big bang? Or did that even happen? Obviously a theist generally believes God made everything happen, what are your thoughts?

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Phil -- we should all have our favorite fairy tales .... [GRIN]

It should work that way and it can if honorableness is a virtue for the participants. Even then, though, we can sometimes become blinded by devil's advocate positions and forget what we are doing.

I find it interesting that I am often perceived as being very invested in holding certain positions and that it is important to me. What I'm doing, though, is trying to test, exercise, validate, or undermine whatever is being discussed to see if it withstands scrutiny or would work in the real world. I can walk away at any time because my investment is in getting to the truth of things. If not this time, maybe the next. But it's hard leaving a discussion that has been purposively unclear or less than honest. I have learned over the years that it is sometimes better to leave early than get involved in the emotions rather than the issue.
Like when there's a pair of JWs on your doorstep.

Funny, I'm never home when that happens. ;-)

I appreciate your earnest attitude. A true seeker is nice to find. It's very difficult to adjust one's worldview, so your willingness to accept change is refreshing. As I've always said, "Once the unknown becomes known, the obvious response is to adjust." On a personal, practical, level, that's all freethought is about.
Hey Phil,

Sorry about being a stickler for details. :-) I can only know what you write and I understand that our true meaning may not come across at times.

You've read my opinion about reductionism, so it appears we need to agree to disagree on our differences in that regard. Otherwise, we seem to agree.
Fred: The remark about reincernation was about theists, not atheists. Read it again but this time read it for exactly what it says. I hope your error in interpetation was innocent.
Phil: Read the description of this discussion topic. It asks for beliefs and theories. So why are you so offended by them here? Additionally, one need not be a physicist to know there is a scientific principle to the effect that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Moreover, on the subatomic level, particles have opposite signs (positive and negative). These particles behave according to scientific principles. You are supposed to be a chemist. Why are you acting like you don't know these things?
But neutrons have no charge. So, are you saying that 0/+ is one opposition, that 0/- is another, and that +/- is a third? As for the equal and opposite action/reaction, it is clear at the level of Newtonian physics but I'm not sure if that is true once we reach the subatomic or quantum level. [I don't know enough quantum physics to be sure about that off the top of my head.]
I am not saying that a nuetron is an opposite. It has neither a positive nor a negative charge. It is in between the opposites of positive and negative just as the color, purple, is in between the colors red and blue.
Neutrons have opposites you know. Anti-neutrons.
Hi Stephan. This is the bigger picture of what I am talking about. Physicists today subscribe to the existence of antimatter. It is supposed to be the opposite of regular matter.
Opposite only in the non-scientific sense though. Anti-particles such as anti-neutrons and anti-protons are only a different assembly of quarks. It behaves the same in every character except for charge.
Not completely true. The weak force acts on matter and anti-matter slightly differently.

As to physicists 'subscribing' to the existence of anti-matter, this suggests it is a point of contention. On the contrary, we regularly make anti-protons and collide them with ordinary protons to learn more about subatomic particles. We have known about positrons (the anti-electron) for about 70 years and even use them in PET scans. Anti-matter is NOT a purely theoretical construct.




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