Challenging the Worldview of Atheistic Materialism

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Challenging the Worldview of Atheistic Materialism

Atheists often make the argument there is no evidence for the existence of God. Personally, I think there is. However, for the purposes of this thread, I would like to take a different tack and put the atheist on the spot by asking him or her: "What evidence does the atheist have that the physical constitutes ultimate reality? Does the atheist really have sufficient evidence to maintain a purely materialistic worldview?"

Note: I realize that some atheists may object to idea that atheism implies materialism. If you are such an atheist, you need not apply. Clearly, you have a lurking God-belief.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley wrote:What kind of

Paisley wrote:

What kind of evidence would suffice as a nonphysical cause or intentional act of will?

Sorry. I'm already breaking my vow of silence. I'm doing so because this is an honest question, and I think it deserves an answer. However, if you wish to actually debate any of this, please start a new topic. I'm not coming back to this one, as it seems to have been reduced to, "My conception of atheistic materialism is dead!," which of course it is, and has been for almost a hundred years.

There are two things that would work as evidence of some sort of intentional, conscious power. One would prove the existence of God. The other would prove the existence of some sort of higher power that may or may not meet our definition of God.

The first is a good old-school impress-the-heathens miracle at the end of which God gets on his Divine Megaphone and tells us deluded atheists, "Hope you naughty little fucks like the smell of brimstone. Suckas." It better be good, too. Hollywood has raised my expectations pretty high.  I don't want some pussy-assed Armageddon with angels and demons that look like something from that horrible Constantine move. I want something impressive, that makes me think, "How did they do that? The CGI is amazing!" I want something that I'll go to again, just to watch the incredible visuals. I want blood porn even pornier than the movie 300. I want an Armegeddon that'll sweep all the technical Oscars.

I ain't holding my breath. Sounds like you aren't, either.

The other is much less definable, and this is where our differences come in, and why I believe there will be no fruitful discussion here.

We may one day have a way to think about and study consciousness in a truly scientific way. I personally believe that there is a hard science concerning intelligent thought and self-awareness waiting to be discovered, of which are only now beginning to see the slightest glimmerings. At the moment, though, our understanding is amazingly lacking, considering self-awareness has been with us at least as long as our conceptions of God.

However, so far our study has been limited to studies in the evolution of intelligence, the study of the mechanics of the brain and neural interaction, attempts to model thought via electronic circuits and computer programs, and other half-assed activities. Early in the study of consciousness, introspection (such as you describe using yourself in your quest for union with God) was used extensively, attempting to acquire objective data for subjective experience. This ultimately proved fruitless, though it did broaden the study of psychology quite a bit, which was good.

We have no definable structure with which to study consciousness. I believe we will, within the next hundred years or so. (Perhaps much sooner. Application of information theory to physics and biology is still a new area, and I believe will represent a revolution similar to that of quantum mechanics. I further suspect that quantum mechanics is perhaps a specific instance of information theory, but that's a non-debate as so far there's no evidence, nor even a working hypothesis yet.)

Once we understand consciousness, and only then, will we have a framework and set of metrics by which to judge whether a particular event is the result of intention, or merely a result of the structure of the universe. Until then, any talk of external intention, or even pantheistic intention, is just like my suspicion that quantum mechanics is a specific instance of information theory. Pure speculation, and not a rational conclusion, as there's not even a working hypothesis.

I hope that answered your question sufficiently. Perhaps it also explains more clearly why I believe not only that there is no evidence for God, but there cannot be any evidence for God. In the future, we may have the acumen and subtlety to detect His presence. But for now, He is beyond our empirical perception. Speculation of His existence is natural but not rational. Speculation of his nature is even less rational.

But for now, it's a matter of faith, and self- (soul-?)searching. It's your own conclusion that matters in your conception and subsequent relationship with God. But it matters only to you, and those who reached a conception closely resembling your own. (Here, Eloise is a well-educated, well-thought, and eloquent speaker for a belief similar to your own, as I'm sure you've discovered.)

As I said, I'd be happy to continue this particular discussion in a new thread, assuming you are willing to actually discuss with an open mind. Not open to changing, necessarily, just open to understanding. Leave behind argument for the sake of argument, and I'd be extremely pleased to carry on discussion with you.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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Fish wrote:An assertion is

Fish wrote:
An assertion is not evidence. 

You continue to refuse to point to any evidence that quantum events occur at all.  So are you saying that there is no evidence for quantum events?  What evidence do you have that anything behaves this way?

I have already provided you with a documented source on quantum indeterminancy.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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nigelTheBold wrote:I wasn't

nigelTheBold wrote:
I wasn't really that impressed, other than the shear chutzpah of the concept, and the fact that it makes much more sense than the other searches for God through quantum theory.

Basically, look for anything by Seth Lloyd. One is Programming the Universe: A Quantum Computer Scientist Takes On the Cosmos. He's an enjoyable read, at the least. I think you'll like him.

But is does he describe this "self-programming quantum computer" as having consciousness?

nigelTheBold wrote:
I will sincerely and honestly say: Good luck in your ultimate goal. If there is a God, and he is quite like your understanding of Him, I hope the union with Him is all you hope it will be.

Thank you.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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nigelTheBold wrote:I wasn't

nigelTheBold wrote:
I wasn't really that impressed, other than the shear chutzpah of the concept, and the fact that it makes much more sense than the other searches for God through quantum theory.

Basically, look for anything by Seth Lloyd. One is Programming the Universe: A Quantum Computer Scientist Takes On the Cosmos. He's an enjoyable read, at the least. I think you'll like him.

But is does he describe this "self-programming quantum computer" as having consciousness?

nigelTheBold wrote:
I will sincerely and honestly say: Good luck in your ultimate goal. If there is a God, and he is quite like your understanding of Him, I hope the union with Him is all you hope it will be.

Thank you.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley wrote:I have already

Paisley wrote:
I have already provided you with a documented source on quantum indeterminancy.

... and what that means is that the state of something does not equal all its measureable values. How is that evidence for anything? It's part of a theory. Once again, gaps do not equal gods.

What is it with people saying "quantum theory" and figuring nobody's smart enough to read, so they'll be dazzled with my "quantum indeterminancy" [it'a actually "indeterminacy" - no "n"]? 

And on a positivist website! We love science here. Love it. It works better than anything else to find the the nature of everything. Check it out.

There's no way to take someone out of their comfortable, willful ignorance. They have to walk away from that themselves. So to answer your original question, there's nothing to fix. You just get to continue to live a complicated and heavily rationalized lie.

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Paisley wrote:I have already

Paisley wrote:

I have already provided you with a documented source on quantum indeterminancy.

No you didn't.  You provided a quote from a wiki article asserting that quantum indeterminacy is true.

What evidence makes you believe that it is true?


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HisWillness wrote:Why? So

HisWillness wrote:
Why? So you can fill the gaps with god? Anything I don't have an explanation for is automatically god? Listen to yourself.

This is a typical "materialism of the gaps" response. Remember, it cuts both ways. 

HisWillness wrote:
There is none. The assertion that quantum mechanics implies a non-physical cause is complete nonsense. Speculation is not evidence - even if you're a Nobel prize laureate.

Saying that it doesn't have a physical cause is tantamount to saying that it has a nonphysical one.

HisWillness wrote:
Now I'm sure you're high. Quantum mechanics is an explanation of phenomena (to use the word you're comfortable with). There is no mention in any description of quantum theory of a non-physical world. None. It all rests on trying to understand the physical.

Science works under the assumption of metaphysical materialism. However, it does not make the claim that the physical constitutes ultimatereality.

HisWillness wrote:
Paisley wrote:
Incidentally, you have taken a metaphysical position by expressing a belief in the physical.

Incidentally, metaphysics is to physics what astrology is to astronomy. What has metaphysics ever really helped us with? Anyone?

This is irrelevant. The point is that you are taking a metaphysical position - namely, materialism (a.k.a physicalism).

HisWillness wrote:
Paisley wrote:
Quantum events are events without physical cause. As such, they are without physical explanation.

Quantum events are phenomena. Speculating as to their cause is a good start, but it does not imply that they are without a physical explanation. Why do you immediately jump to the non-physical to explain things that are physical? That's just not reasonable.

This simply displays a materialistic bias. You accuse me making a "God of the gaps" argument while allowing yourself the luxury of making a "materialism of the gaps" one.

HisWillness wrote:
Here's something to help you bone up on the only real controversy in quantum theory (which is still an explanation of the interaction between physical entities, no matter how many times you say it isn't):

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qm-relational/

The relational hypothesis of quantum mechanics (RQM) is simply one of many interpretations. I'm not necessarily agreeing or disagreeing with it. However,  you should note that RQM has the philosophical implication of being an "anti-reality" view - the view there is no real objective world.

Quote:
While the relational interpretation implies that nature is fundamentally local, the view should not be confused with certain brands of local realism. Properties of objects are not defined before they are observed, but recall that "observation", in RQM, is a very general term, referring to any interaction whatsoever, since there is no a priori split between conscious, macroscopic observers with PhDs in theoretical physics, and arbitrary interactions between particles. Indeed, the worldview suggested by RQM may be characterised as a weak form of anti-realism, inasmuch as unobserved properties are indeterminate, non-existent (or conversely, no property predicated of an object is necessarily a valid predication for all observers).

If all properties are relational, then what can be said of the objects they relate? Nothing: for any description is a property, which, in RQM, is a relation (source: Wikedpia "Relational quantum mechancis")

Quote:
In philosophy, the term anti-realism is used to describe any position involving either the denial of an objective reality of entities of a certain type or the denial that verification-transcendent statements about a type of entity are either true or false (source: Wikedpia "Anti-realism")

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley wrote:This is a

Paisley wrote:
This is a typical "materialism of the gaps" response. Remember, it cuts both ways.

Wow. That's just ... wow. No, that's a new one. Congratulations. You're equating "I don't know" (my honest and rational statement with regards to mystery) with "I don't know, therefore God." It doesn't cut both ways. Not even close.

Paisley wrote:
Saying that it doesn't have a physical cause is tantamount to saying that it has a nonphysical one.

Saying that it doesn't have a physical cause doesn't make it true. I still have evidence of a physical world, and you're still interpreting mystery as a place to put gods. I still have evidence of a physical world, and you still have no evidence of gods. Harp about "cause" all you like in the quantum context - it's starting to reveal a deep and abiding ignorance of the topic.

Paisley wrote:
Science works under the assumption of metaphysical materialism. However, it does not make the claim that the physical constitutes ultimate reality.

Yes it does. A positivist understands reality to be that which is falsifiable by evidence. The approach is more successful than any other at revealing reality.

Paisley wrote:
The point is that you are taking a metaphysical position - namely, materialism (a.k.a physicalism).

Yup. I'm definitely taking a positivist position alright. I have lots of reality on my side, and you're still mixing up mystery with gods.

Paisley wrote:
This simply displays a materialistic bias. You accuse me making a "God of the gaps" argument while allowing yourself the luxury of making a "materialism of the gaps" one.

You could say "ignorance in the gaps" if you like. I'm ignorant of what is mysterious, I'll give you that. I don't actually assume anything about the mystery in question. It's more reasonable that the explanation is physical, but you never know - nature could surprise me. I'll wait for evidence and further theoretical work either way. I don't have to say "Oh, it's for sure God" any time something's mysterious.

Paisley wrote:
However,  you should note that RQM has the philosophical implication of being an "anti-reality" view - the view there is no real objective world.

That's a jargon term that you've extrapolated beyond its context. Do you have anything else?

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
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HisWillness wrote:... and

HisWillness wrote:
... and what that means is that the state of something does not equal all its measureable values. How is that evidence for anything? It's part of a theory. Once again, gaps do not equal gods.

And what this means is the evidence indicates the world is fundamentally indeterminate.

HisWillness wrote:
What is it with people saying "quantum theory" and figuring nobody's smart enough to read, so they'll be dazzled with my "quantum indeterminancy" [it'a actually "indeterminacy" - no "n"]? 

What are you...the grammar police? Stop nit-picking about typos.

HisWillness wrote:
And on a positivist website! We love science here. Love it. It works better than anything else to find the the nature of everything. Check it out.

I thought this was an atheist site, not a logical positivist one.

HisWillness wrote:
There's no way to take someone out of their comfortable, willful ignorance. They have to walk away from that themselves. So to answer your original question, there's nothing to fix. You just get to continue to live a complicated and heavily rationalized lie.

The bottomline is that you are forced by your own philosophical inclinations to take an agnostic position in regards to the absolute truth. And, unless I am missing something, to admit to agnosticism is to admit that one is "without knowledge." If you are without knowledge of the absolute truth, then you are ignorant by definition. So I fail to see why you are making all this hoopla.  

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley wrote:I thought this

Paisley wrote:
I thought this was an atheist site, not a logical positivist one.

 

Wow, just wow...

 

Paisley wrote:
The bottomline is that you are forced by your own philosophical inclinations to take an agnostic position in regards to the absolute truth.

 

WTF is the absolute truth? More importantly, is it possible to be any more full of shit?

Respectfully,
Lenny

"The righteous rise, With burning eyes, Of hatred and ill-will
Madmen fed on fear and lies, To beat and burn and kill"
Witch Hunt from the album Moving Pictures. Neal Pert, Rush


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Paisley wrote:The bottomline

Paisley wrote:

The bottomline is that you are forced by your own philosophical inclinations to take an agnostic position in regards to the absolute truth. And, unless I am missing something, to admit to agnosticism is to admit that one is "without knowledge." If you are without knowledge of the absolute truth, then you are ignorant by definition.

So you figure 100% knowledge or 100% ignorance? No middle ground? You're right that the positivist position is not 100% knowledge, just constantly working towards more knowledge. You got that one right. Where there is mystery, I'm ignorant. I admit that unreservedly. But I don't pretend to know what I don't know.

Paisley wrote:
So I fail to see why you are making all this hoopla.

Because the truth matters.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


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HisWillness

HisWillness wrote:
Congratulations. You're equating "I don't know" (my honest and rational statement with regards to mystery) with "I don't know, therefore God." It doesn't cut both ways. Not even close.

I'm equating, "I don't know, but a physical explanation is forthcoming" with a "materialism of the gaps" argument. It cuts both ways.

HisWillness wrote:
Saying that it doesn't have a physical cause doesn't make it true. I still have evidence of a physical world, and you're still interpreting mystery as a place to put gods. I still have evidence of a physical world, and you still have no evidence of gods. Harp about "cause" all you like in the quantum context - it's starting to reveal a deep and abiding ignorance of the topic.

Quantum indeterminacy is supported by the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics - the most widely accepted interpretation of QM by physicists. Calling me ignorant is not going to change this fact.

Quote:
The Copenhagen Interpreation, due largely to the Danish theoretical physicist Niels Bohr, is the interpretation of quantum mechanics most widely accepted amongst physicists. According to it, the probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics predictions cannot be explained in terms of some other deterministic theory, and does not simply reflect our limited knowledge. Quantum mechanics provides probablistic results because the physical universe is itself probabilistic rather than deterministic. (source: Wikipedia "Quantum mechanics")

HisWillness wrote:
Yes it does. A positivist understands reality to be that which is falsifiable by evidence. The approach is more successful than any other at revealing reality.

You're still confusing "phenomena" with "reality." Also, one does not have to identify himself as a "positivist" or an atheist to do science.

HisWillness wrote:
Paisley wrote:
The point is that you are taking a metaphysical position - namely, materialism (a.k.a physicalism).

Yup. I'm definitely taking a positivist position alright. I have lots of reality on my side, and you're still mixing up mystery with gods.

Two things:

1) No one has ever proved that the world is completely deterministic.

2) Quantum theory says that the world is fundamentally indeterminate. Until it is falsified, the current evidence suggests that materialism is wrong.

HisWillness wrote:
You could say "ignorance in the gaps" if you like. I'm ignorant of what is mysterious, I'll give you that. I don't actually assume anything about the mystery in question. It's more reasonable that the explanation is physical, but you never know - nature could surprise me. I'll wait for evidence and further theoretical work either way. I don't have to say "Oh, it's for sure God" any time something's mysterious.

Good! However, I think the idea of God and a spiritual worldview will always have currency as long as there is mystery in the world.

HisWillness wrote:
Paisley wrote:
However, you should note that RQM has the philosophical implication of being an "anti-reality" view - the view there is no real objective world.

That's a jargon term that you've extrapolated beyond its context. Do you have anything else?

No, I haven't taken anything out of context. I believe the anti-realism of RQM (relational quantum mechanics) is one of the implications of Bell's theorem.

As I undertand it, Bell's theorem basically states that if you want a real objective world, then you have to give up locality. If you want locality, then you have to give up a real objective world. RQM wants locality, so it gives up a real objective world. On the other hand, Bohmian mechanics wanted a real objective world, so it gave up locality.

Quote:
This theorem has even been called "the most profound in science."[1] Bell's seminal 1964 paper was entitled "On the Einstein Podolsky Rosen paradox."[2] The Einstein Podolsky Rosen paradox (EPR paradox) proves, on basis of the assumption of "locality" (physical effects have a finite propagation speed) and "reality" (physical states exist before they are measured) that particle attributes have definite values independent of the act of observation. Bell showed that local realism leads to a requirement for certain types of phenomena that are not present in quantum mechanics. This requirement is called Bell's inequality. (source: Wikipedia "Bell's theorem"

Quote:
Local realism is a significant feature of classical mechanics, general relativity and Maxwell's theory, but quantum mechanics largely rejects this principle due to the presence of distant quantum entanglements, most clearly demonstrated by the EPR paradox and quantified by Bell's inequalities.[3] Any theory, like quantum mechanics, that violates Bell's inequalities must abandon either local realism or counterfactual definiteness. (The vast majority of physicists believe that experiments have demonstrated Bell's violations, but some local realists dispute the claim, stating that there may be experimental problems that affect the validity of the experimental findings). (source: "Principle of locality")

 

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 Paisley wrote:I'm

 

Paisley wrote:
I'm equating, "I don't know, but a physical explanation is forthcoming" with a "materialism of the gaps" argument. It cuts both ways.

No. I'm flat out saying "I don't know". Even if I was waiting for a physical explanation, wouldn't that be more reasonable than waiting for one of an infinite number of non-physical possible explanations? There are literally an infinite number of possible non-physical explanations for everything, including gods, leprechans, and mystic crystals. What's more probable?

Paisley wrote:
Quantum indeterminacy is supported by the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics - the most widely accepted interpretation of QM by physicists. [...] Quantum mechanics provides probablistic results because the physical universe is itself probabilistic rather than deterministic.

Wait, were you contending before that the physical universe must be completely deterministic in order to align with a materialist view? Like, without a margin of error? Because of course it isn't. The physical universe is probabilistic, as is stated in the quote.

Paisley wrote:
Two things:

1) No one has ever proved that the world is completely deterministic.

This is about 100% certainty again, isn't it? Why not just say that you're uncomfortable with uncertainty? You keep coming back to this, and I would never say that 100% certainty is possible, so I'm not sure why this is important.

Paisley wrote:
2) Quantum theory says that the world is fundamentally indeterminate. Until it is falsified, the current evidence suggests that materialism is wrong.

I'm not sure how you strike out materialism with indeterminacy. Quantum events funamentally have no cause (as I believe you've stated). What's more, they have no cause PERIOD. No physical OR non-physical cause. No cause.

Paisley wrote:
Good! However, I think the idea of God and a spiritual worldview will always have currency as long as there is mystery in the world.

Sure, but as an explanation for phenomena, it will always suck.

Paisley wrote:
As I undertand it, Bell's theorem basically states that if you want a real objective world, then you have to give up locality. If you want locality, then you have to give up a real objective world.

Yikes. That's a heavy simplification of a probabilistic system. You're going black-and-white again. It's also a massive misunderstanding of materialism within a postive context. There really isn't a conflict here: physical systems interact with a high degree of consistency. That's a probabilistic statement. The physical world is measured with a margin of error every time. That doesn't mean it's not consistent, and it certainly doesn't mean that the indeterminacy at the subatomic level tears reality asunder. You seem to be attacking the idea of some absolute matter, which I wouldn't hold as possibly observable, even by empirical evidence at a visible scale.

I think you may have been attacking a different materialism than the one I was defending, although I'm not sure what that would be.

 

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nigelTheBold wrote:I ain't

nigelTheBold wrote:
I ain't holding my breath. Sounds like you aren't, either.

I agree that our religious institutions are inept. But this is not going to preclude me from following my spiritual intuitions.

nigelTheBold wrote:
We may one day have a way to think about and study consciousness in a truly scientific way. I personally believe that there is a hard science concerning intelligent thought and self-awareness waiting to be discovered, of which are only now beginning to see the slightest glimmerings. At the moment, though, our understanding is amazingly lacking, considering self-awareness has been with us at least as long as our conceptions of God.

I basically agree.

nigelTheBold wrote:
However, so far our study has been limited to studies in the evolution of intelligence, the study of the mechanics of the brain and neural interaction, attempts to model thought via electronic circuits and computer programs, and other half-assed activities. Early in the study of consciousness, introspection (such as you describe using yourself in your quest for union with God) was used extensively, attempting to acquire objective data for subjective experience. This ultimately proved fruitless, though it did broaden the study of psychology quite a bit, which was good.

I don't know if contemplative practice (what you are calling introspection) is wholly amenable to the scientific method. But I believe it is indispensable for spiritual growth and the mapping out conscious states.   

nigelTheBold wrote:
We have no definable structure with which to study consciousness. I believe we will, within the next hundred years or so. (Perhaps much sooner. Application of information theory to physics and biology is still a new area, and I believe will represent a revolution similar to that of quantum mechanics. I further suspect that quantum mechanics is perhaps a specific instance of information theory, but that's a non-debate as so far there's no evidence, nor even a working hypothesis yet.)

I disagree. There has been work on formulating "quantum mind" theories (e.g. Roger Penrose, Henry Stapp, Evan Walker, etc.).

nigelTheBold wrote:
I hope that answered your question sufficiently. Perhaps it also explains more clearly why I believe not only that there is no evidence for God, but there cannot be any evidence for God. In the future, we may have the acumen and subtlety to detect His presence. But for now, He is beyond our empirical perception. Speculation of His existence is natural but not rational. Speculation of his nature is even less rational.

Why is speculative metaphysics not rational?

nigelTheBold wrote:
But for now, it's a matter of faith, and self- (soul-?)searching. It's your own conclusion that matters in your conception and subsequent relationship with God. But it matters only to you, and those who reached a conception closely resembling your own. (Here, Eloise is a well-educated, well-thought, and eloquent speaker for a belief similar to your own, as I'm sure you've discovered.)

Agreed. The belief in God is a matter of faith. But I consider faith (at least as I define it) to be a good thing. And yes, it appears that I may share similar beliefs with Eloise.

nigelTheBold wrote:
As I said, I'd be happy to continue this particular discussion in a new thread, assuming you are willing to actually discuss with an open mind. Not open to changing, necessarily, just open to understanding. Leave behind argument for the sake of argument, and I'd be extremely pleased to carry on discussion with you.

Okay.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley wrote:Quote:The

Paisley wrote:

Quote:
The principle of sufficient reason states that anything that happens does so for a definite reason. ( source: Wikipedia "Principle of sufficient reason." )

If you believe in "uncaused" events, then you are in violation of the "principle of sufficient reason."

Yeah. Modern positivist materialism trumps 17th century speculative philosophy. There's a big surprise.

Being in "violation" of a 300-year-old toothless statement isn't exactly grounds for being charged with irrationality. Leibniz. Seriously.

 

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HisWillness wrote:Paisley

HisWillness wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Quote:
The principle of sufficient reason states that anything that happens does so for a definite reason. ( source: Wikipedia "Principle of sufficient reason." )

If you believe in "uncaused" events, then you are in violation of the "principle of sufficient reason."

Yeah. Modern positivist materialism trumps 17th century speculative philosophy. There's a big surprise.

Being in "violation" of a 300-year-old toothless statement isn't exactly grounds for being charged with irrationality. Leibniz. Seriously.

Logical positivism?

Your logical positivism is inherently self-refuting for two reasons:

1) Logical positivism is based on the verification principle which itself is inherently self-refuting because the principle is neither verifiable analytically nor empricially.

2) Logical positivism dismisses all metaphysical claims on the basis that they cannot be verified. This would necessarily include metaphysical materialism which you and apparently all logical positivists subscribe to.

Tsk, tsk. Those who assert that all metaphysical claims are not verifiable should not be making metaphysical claims.  

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Ummm another daring fun

Ummm another daring fun Paisley post, and question. "What evidence does the atheist have that the physical constitutes ultimate reality? Short answer is anti matter is a measurement of matter .....

Anyway, just another rant. I don't much do "god" debating, I am god. ..... God interpretations are intuitive science and philosophy. Religion is bunk.   

Lots of science philosophy debating here. Interesting. Yin Yang, matter, anti matter, time arrow, minus <--- zero ---> plus,   -1, 0, +1 . I AM all for learning how to communicate, but seriously wise folks, "what does this have to do with "god", as I AM GOD, AS YOU, obviously. More important is how does this help heal the absurdities going on in our world???

AM I wrong in assuming that most everyone here, the A's and the T's can agree by some "agreeable definition" that we and this is "god", as all is connected? Or is that agreement  still impossible, or even somehow untrue?  

This is most frustrating for me. I AM sure you have noticed ..... Geezzz, Buddha the philosopher said, to argue and worry about god is silly religion, but to understand god as meaning "all reality including us" is self awaking, and is ridding oneself of all superstition as found in mythical religion and properly using our deepest inner intuition, as is revealed in both the evolving sciences and 'caring' philosophies. Yes ???  

I realize my simple cut to the chase questions, and out bursts are often annoying; but holy fuck; I AM metaphysically, by my Epistemology and
Empiricism, and innate Existentialism and honest Phenomenology to include my Pragmatism and Positivism, as I weigh the Relativism, while also being aware of the Sophists, FUCKING ANNOYED, .... because my main aim is Stoicism, as all is some how natural and connected, as all is simply GOD, where no dogma is helpful, except to study our error in human thinking.  

Can we maybe then all agree that we are all crazy ? I doubt it ...Damn ... I AM getting happy drunk for relief again ... So much philosophy is worthless B.S.
Thanks and keep trying friends ..... Outlaw war NOW, why not ?  Worry about god another day ..... 

FIX my messages .... beer gulps .... ahhh, I feel much better now .... I love all you devils  ....     


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Paisley wrote:"What evidence

Paisley wrote:
"What evidence does the atheist have that the physical constitutes ultimate reality? Does the atheist really have sufficient evidence to maintain a purely materialistic worldview?"

 

We know material exists(Matter/Energy). That's the evidence.  There is no other evidence for anything else - can you provide counter-evidence?

Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly.
Isaac Asimov


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I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:I

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:
I realize my simple cut to the chase questions, and out bursts are often annoying; but holy fuck; I AM metaphysically, by my Epistemology and
Empiricism, and innate Existentialism and honest Phenomenology to include my Pragmatism and Positivism, as I weigh the Relativism, while also being aware of the Sophists, FUCKING ANNOYED, .... because my main aim is Stoicism, as all is some how natural and connected, as all is simply GOD, where no dogma is helpful, except to study our error in human thinking.  

Can we maybe then all agree that we are all crazy ? I doubt it ...Damn ... I AM getting happy drunk for relief again ... So much philosophy is worthless B.S.
Thanks and keep trying friends ..... Outlaw war NOW, why not ?  Worry about god another day ..... 

FIX my messages .... beer gulps .... ahhh, I feel much better now .... I love all you devils  ....     

The Buddhists call this "mind chatter."

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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daedalus wrote:Paisley

daedalus wrote:
Paisley wrote:
"What evidence does the atheist have that the physical constitutes ultimate reality? Does the atheist really have sufficient evidence to maintain a purely materialistic worldview?"

We know material exists(Matter/Energy). That's the evidence.  There is no other evidence for anything else - can you provide counter-evidence?

Quantum theory reduces matter (mass/energy) to probability waves. Probability waves are mathematical abstractions, not physical objects.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley wrote:daedalus

Paisley wrote:

daedalus wrote:
Paisley wrote:
"What evidence does the atheist have that the physical constitutes ultimate reality? Does the atheist really have sufficient evidence to maintain a purely materialistic worldview?"

We know material exists(Matter/Energy). That's the evidence.  There is no other evidence for anything else - can you provide counter-evidence?

Quantum theory reduces matter (mass/energy) to probability waves. Probability waves are mathematical abstractions, not physical objects.

 

Whether the true nature of reality is that we're made of matter, energy, waves, etc. That doesn't change the fact that is all empirically and/or mathematically derivative. It doesn't require faith, introspection, or the supernatural to be explained and in no way does it support the idea of the existence of a god, deity, universe/god, etc.


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The Buddhists call this

The Buddhists call this "mind chatter." Mr. P   

   Yup, the clever atheist Buddhists win the god race by a 'good old country mile''.

   How can we 'explain something we just can't see'. Ahhh, the 'love bug' (it's god!)

George Strait - Love Bug "LIVE"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRarUfoIzOM

 

 


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sandwiches wrote:Paisley

sandwiches wrote:
Paisley wrote:
Quantum theory reduces matter (mass/energy) to probability waves. Probability waves are mathematical abstractions, not physical objects.

Whether the true nature of reality is that we're made of matter, energy, waves, etc. That doesn't change the fact that is all empirically and/or mathematically derivative. It doesn't require faith, introspection, or the supernatural to be explained and in no way does it support the idea of the existence of a god, deity, universe/god, etc.

If ultimate reality is made of mathematical abstractions (e.g. probability waves), then clearly materialism is wrong. To begin with, mathematical abstractions are not reified objects. Secondly, mathematical abstractions do not exist independently from a mind that abstracts. Finally, mathematical abstractions (e.g probability waves) are not causally efficacious. To argue otherwise is absurd. 

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley wrote:sandwiches

Paisley wrote:

sandwiches wrote:
Paisley wrote:
Quantum theory reduces matter (mass/energy) to probability waves. Probability waves are mathematical abstractions, not physical objects.

Whether the true nature of reality is that we're made of matter, energy, waves, etc. That doesn't change the fact that is all empirically and/or mathematically derivative. It doesn't require faith, introspection, or the supernatural to be explained and in no way does it support the idea of the existence of a god, deity, universe/god, etc.

If ultimate reality is made of mathematical abstractions (e.g. probability waves), then clearly materialism is wrong. To begin with, mathematical abstractions are not reified objects. Secondly, mathematical abstractions do not exist independently from a mind that abstracts. Finally, mathematical abstractions (e.g probability waves) are not causally efficacious. To argue otherwise is absurd. 

Science does not assert anything about the ultimature nature of phenomena.

Quantum mechanics says that the position and behaviour of particles, as currently observable, is best described/modelled BY a wave function, not that the particle itself IS a wave-function, any more than a thrown rock IS a geometric abstraction we call a 'parabolic curve'. THAT would indeed be 'absurd'.

The underlying nature or principles leading to this observation are yet to be determined and are the subject of ongoing speculation and study and debate.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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A cool Space Cowboy,  Bob

A cool Space Cowboy,  Bob Spence1 , Scientist. Thanks .... Science says ??????   "Religion is all bunk".  Scientist, Thomas Edison

Steve Miller Band- The Joker/Space Cowboy  --- cool Steve

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urw9e3qgooE

 


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Paisley wrote:As I undertand


Paisley wrote:
As I undertand it, Bell's theorem basically states that if you want a real objective world, then you have to give up locality. If you want locality, then you have to give up a real objective world.

Actually, it is the violation of Bells inequality that implies that, and the inequality is violated by quantum spin pairings.

Bell's theorem itself is a simple logical locality restriction - There are less or equal numbers of A that are not C, than there are numbers of A and not B + B and not C. Under the locality principle this must necessarily be true. If you have a number of apples and oranges with or without spots, the number of apples plus the number of oranges without spots is greater or equal to the number of apples without spots, if the number of apples without spots is greater than the sum of fruit without spots then your assumptions have been violated - the unspottedness can not be pinned down to a locality.

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Paisley wrote:daedalus

Paisley wrote:

daedalus wrote:
Paisley wrote:
"What evidence does the atheist have that the physical constitutes ultimate reality? Does the atheist really have sufficient evidence to maintain a purely materialistic worldview?"

We know material exists(Matter/Energy). That's the evidence.  There is no other evidence for anything else - can you provide counter-evidence?

Quantum theory reduces matter (mass/energy) to probability waves. Probability waves are mathematical abstractions, not physical objects.

That's not really what Quantum Theory is about.

Let's have some Quantum 101 on this thread.

1. The solution to Black Body radiation-

Max Planck when solving probably the last big problem of Optics - why the light emissions of a heated object did not accord with the solution of the continuous function given by the 'light is a wave' theory which was considered undeniable - happened across the strangest answer. The answer was that light didn't travel in waves, but in chunks, particles. 

The solution is this - If the light emitted from a heated object is described by the continuous function of Newtonian Optics. Then all heated objects will emit more white and blue light. But they don't. They emit mostly red light. If on the other hand matter binds energy in levels corresponding to the spectrum of light and releases it is chunks (quanta) according to the level of energisation of the molecules of the state, it will emit lots of red light until it gets very hot and the whole object jumps to a higher energisation level whereupon it will gradually turn white hot through similar stages. And this is what happens.

Upon reading Planck's work Einstein quantised light and deduced what we now know as photons.  Yet the double slit experiment was still undeniable evidence that light travelled in waves.  And so was born the literal light wave-particle duality.

2. The Standard Model:

I said matter binds energy in levels, but that is not essentially true, it is just apparent. Since matter is made of energy the above statement is circular and we need a more accurate explanation for what binds energy into matter - enter the fundamental forces.

The fundamental forces are how we describe the interaction principles that underlie energy grouping up in certain states to form matter.  I'll ignore the nuclear forces for now and apply the discussion at hand which is the electromagnetic force. The electromagnetic force binds electrons to probable points relative to the nucleus of the atom. This is a combined explanation of wave and particle duality in one theoretical framework. Here we have atomic structure in classical form as close as can be represented. The electromagnetic force is strong and is a function of distance, thus the closer an electron is to the nucleus the tighter it is bound, this is referred to as a ground state, the wave of probability that the electron exists as also gives us interference patterns around the nucleus, these need to exist or the model predicts the electron and the nucleus must collide due to the strength of the electromagnetic force.

Sounds good enough... afraid it's not. The next problem we have is that the fundamental forces are themselves produced by the energy/matter being in certain states. How do these states come about? working on it.

So lets recap -

Energy breaks from its continuous smooth sameness. A fundamental force is produced. Fundamental forces influence the energy around them to take material forms, more material forms are produced. --- and matter ensues, with many consequences.

So far the basic principle of materialism is not changed by any of this, we are still dealing with matter, we have only modelled it with different abstractions. These abstractions tell us something about what we should be looking for next to describe matter. They also tell us a little about what we should not be looking for. They even imply that some of our material world assumptions are wrong.

However, they do not tell us that we are no longer describing the material world.

I hope that helps to clear up some of this issue.

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Paisley wrote:daedalus

Paisley wrote:

daedalus wrote:
Paisley wrote:
"What evidence does the atheist have that the physical constitutes ultimate reality? Does the atheist really have sufficient evidence to maintain a purely materialistic worldview?"

We know material exists(Matter/Energy). That's the evidence.  There is no other evidence for anything else - can you provide counter-evidence?

Quantum theory reduces matter (mass/energy) to probability waves. Probability waves are mathematical abstractions, not physical objects.

I'm not sure how this would help your counter-argument... Did God make everything a probable existence?  Or, do you ultimately disagree with Quantum theory?  Regardless, QT still accepts that Matter exists...  after all, what has a probability? Matter.  We're talking about it for a reason - it exists.

Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly.
Isaac Asimov


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Yeah Eloise! You is my fun

Yeah Eloise! You is my fun teacher .... ohhh, "hot for teacher"      "Presuppositions!"

   Hey , "Material Girl" , she's so quantum .....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tYLo9FkqNc

   How's this  ? .... all math/language is a description/perception related to the material, or energy/matter/time universe.   ??? 

      


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Paisley,Please provide

Paisley,

Please provide evidence that the world was created in six literal days 6,000 years ago.

Thank-you.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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Paisley wrote:Fish

Paisley wrote:

Fish wrote:
No.  Your initial post asked for evidence of the materialistic worldview, not a rational justification.

As has already been stated, all evidence is materialistic in nature.  The rational basis is derived from this fact.

This is not true. All evidence is not materialistic in nature.

materialism : a theory that physical matter is the only or fundamental reality and that all being and processes and phenomena can be explained as manifestations or results of matter (source: Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary)

The prevailing scientific evidence based on quantum theory does not support materialism.  Quantum indeterminacy says that there are physical events without physical causes.

Scientific materialism is somewhat of a misnomer. Materialism is the metaphysical view that matter or the physical constitutes ultimate reality. Science does not make metaphysical pronouncements. Science simply attempts to explain observed phenomena in terms of cause and effect normally expressed in the language of mathematics. It does not say that all observed phenomena can be explained in physical terms.

You're a moron, without a clue about what quantum physics encompasses:

The behavior of small particles, where Newtonian physics no longer come into play because gravity becomes an insignificant factor. Read A Brief History of Time.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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Quote:Quantum theory reduces

Quote:

Quantum theory reduces matter (mass/energy) to probability waves. Probability waves are mathematical abstractions, not physical objects.

...You must eat heaping bowls of ignorance for breakfast.

What you've actually described is string theory, one small part of the field of quantum physics and - at this point in time - a largely speculative one.

Essentially, string theory suggests that time itself is stretched-out along it's own dimensional axis (impercievable by us, given our 3-Dimensional state) and all matter in the 'now' exists as a 'waveform' along this 'string' of time.

 

For those of us (like myself) who want to believe that wormholes will someday be a possibility, string theory is an exciting prospect. However:

 - It has not been empirically tested with enough thoroughness to be found a solid 'theory' within scientific nomenclature (yet).

 - It has no basis in theology (it only expands upon physics. It does not overturn it.

 - It is not 'supernatural' in any respect.

 - Practical applications in the field may be limited at best, even with greater understanding and better technology.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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Peace / War ? ..... "the

Peace / War ? ..... "the middle",  suggested a buddha wise one .... "fighting for peace is an oxy  moron  ..... "  so stop it , CHILL OUT .... go meditate, fuck prayers .... there is no caring master but YOU  .....


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Quote:[A Bunch of

Quote:

[A Bunch of Bullshit]...ultimate reality...[/A Bunch of Bullshit]

You know what else you've never bothered doing, Paisley? defining 'ultimate reality'. Since your entire argument for ignorance hinges on this concept, perhaps you could enlighten us by what you mean by such a vague term?

Is it like Ultimate Street Fighter in some way, where it's sort of the same the original, but with more characters, costumes, hidden content, special moves, etc? So the 'ultimate reality' beneath this one would be kind of like it, but the me in that reality would be flying around like superman, shooting lasers from his eyes, wearing badass sunglasses and ruling his own country?

 

I guess that's pretty sweet.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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Eloise wrote:BMcD

Eloise wrote:

BMcD wrote:

Eloise wrote:

BMcD wrote:

Eloise wrote:

BMcD wrote:

when you come down to it, you cannot prove anything beyond yourself exists.

B-Mac you just found a sentient God.

Only if I claim to be God. I don't. I claim no absolute knowledge of my own nature, any more than I claim absolute knowledge of what happens after I die.

No it's actually more simple than that, if solipsism then all evidence points to self as the creator of everything and everything itself aka God. As to what you know and do not know, you know you have an unconscious and subconscious portion of mind, yes? and you know you are not generally aware of the details but you know it contains structured information, yes? Therefore there are things you do not know that you know, therefore you do not know that you do not know what happens after you die, that may be one of the things which you do not know that you know.

I love a solipsistic roller coaster.

But it's not solopsism. I'm not claiming that I'm the source of the information my mind is feeding me.

No, only that one cannot prove to themselves that any external source exists. If you can't believe anything you can't prove then the rational conclusion is solipsism, right?

BTW don't take this too seriously, my intentions in starting this were lighthearted but it seems to be getting a little heated here.

Quote:

I don't know. Unconscious and subconscious? I don't know. Those, two, could be data being fed into my conscious mind from an external source. The only thing I can claim to know is that I exist in some form. Any apparent data regarding the properties or qualities of that existance can all be falsehoods.

Lies are creations too. Sticking out tongue The thing is that by the first quoted statement you have identified only one possible creator for anything, lie or truths or whatever, and it is sentient.

As there is only one possible source of which one can assume to have evidence or vice versa there is no evidence of any other possible source, any alternative to solipsism not ultimately believable through evidence.

I doubt you've actually read Destartes' work at all, Eloise.

First, Solopsism is largely a new age religion, and the fact that people have decided to mix it with the work of Destartes pisses me off. Cogito Ergo Sum is not a literal worldview - it's a philosophical excercize, and one that Destartes used to demonstrate the folley of a metaphysical worldview.

Religious ignorants (like Paisley) who insist that the physical world may not constitute actual reality and therefore studying it cannot be used to produce 'actual' evidence of anything, and therefore God may exist, have their ridiculous assertion torn apart by Cogito on a of fundamental level:

Since the only thing I can be absolutely assured of is my own existence (in whatever form), no information taken from outside sources are guaranteed to have merit - including the very concepts of 'God', 'Creation', 'Divinity', 'Ultimate', 'Love', etc.

 

My guess is that Paisley is going to come marching in and piss me off again by essentially slapping me with a Solopsist label and then ignore any claim I make to the contrary (which caused me to leave her initial post), but I digress.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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Kevin R Brown wrote:I doubt

Kevin R Brown wrote:

I doubt you've actually read Destartes' work at all, Eloise.

Pretty sure you mean "Descartes", and I'd take that bet. Eloise likes her some mathematical philosophy.

Kevin R Brown wrote:
First, Solopsism is largely a new age religion, and the fact that people have decided to mix it with the work of Destartes pisses me off. Cogito Ergo Sum is not a literal worldview - it's a philosophical excercize, and one that Destartes used to demonstrate the folley of a metaphysical worldview.

"Solipsism" - I've never actually heard it discussed as a new-age religion, just a philosophical position (of tongue-in-cheek weight). You're right, of course, that Descarte's position was hardly solipsistic. That phrase specifically could be seen as a response to the Sceptics rather than some all-encompassing philosophy. Unfortunately, after the introduction of that phrase, Descartes goes on to give the lamest proofs of God's existence ever.

Kevin R Brown wrote:
My guess is that Paisley is going to come marching in and piss me off again by essentially slapping me with a Solopsist label and then ignore any claim I make to the contrary (which caused me to leave her initial post), but I digress.

You seem very feisty recently. Is it the Paisley? Don't let him get to you. Go for some substance. For instance, at least arguing with Eloise is educational!

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


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Lets get this misconception

Lets get this misconception out of the way:

Indeterminacy of a physical event does not contradict materialism.

Non-linear feedback systems can display chaotic behaviour, where the state they adopt is truly unpredictable, dependent at some point on the exact value of at least one variable being either side of boundary of zero width. This is assuming classical physics, ie no quantum indeterminacy required. Fluid turbulence was one of the first physical systems which demonstrated this behaviour.

So our failure to identify a 'cause' for a system adopting a particular state out of a range of possible alternatives in no way demonstrates any conflict with naturalism, only with out-of-date metaphysics and/or philosophy which has not got up to speed with modern science and math.

The idea of postulating a 'mind' which 'decides' when or where to initiate some probabilistic event such as quantum wave-function collapse is completely out of proportion to the 'problem' - such a mind is one whose 'choices' have the properties of perfect coin tosses,  whose cumulative effect is precisely predictable, like the half-life of radio-active decay. Seems more likely to imagine some ultimate random background of fundamental Planck-scale energy twitchiness is all that's required.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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I made these topics for you

I made these topics for you Paisley

 

 

Wave functions:

 

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/13362

 

Uncertainty principle:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/13391

 


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Quantum theory and other

Quantum theory and other aspects of modern science have certainly required us to extend our ideas of the nature of physical phenomena well beyond the crude ideas of simplistic 'materialism' which imagines the world made up of just fundamental particles bouncing off each other.

To thereby assume that any world-view that doesn't incorporate a supernatural mind is therefore invalid is just such an enormous and unjustified leap...

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


Paisley
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BobSpence1 wrote:Paisley

BobSpence1 wrote:
Paisley wrote:
If ultimate reality is made of mathematical abstractions (e.g. probability waves), then clearly materialism is wrong. To begin with, mathematical abstractions are not reified objects. Secondly, mathematical abstractions do not exist independently from a mind that abstracts. Finally, mathematical abstractions (e.g probability waves) are not causally efficacious. To argue otherwise is absurd. 

Science does not assert anything about the ultimature nature of phenomena.

Agreed. But I didn't say it does. The key word in my post is "if." However, that being said, materialism (a.k.a physicalism) is a metaphysical position, not a scientific one. 

BobSpence1 wrote:
Quantum mechanics says that the position and behaviour of particles, as currently observable, is best described/modelled BY a wave function, not that the particle itself IS a wave-function, any more than a thrown rock IS a geometric abstraction we call a 'parabolic curve'. THAT would indeed be 'absurd'.

The Copenhagen Interpretation states that nature is fundamentally indeterminate (this is what the wave-function is describing). What this implies is that there are uncaused events.

Quote:
indeterminism 1 a: a theory that the will is free and that deliberate choice and actions are not determined by or predictable from antecedent causes b: a theory that holds that not every event has a cause 2: the quality or state of being indeterminate; especially : unpredictability (source: Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary)

That uncaused events are being observed is evidence against materialism because materialism requires that all natural processes and phenomena to be explained in terms of the physical.

Quote:
materialism 1 a: a theory that physical matter is the only or fundamental reality and that all being and processes and phenomena can be explained as manifestations or results of matter (source: Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary)

Also, Neil Bohr (one of formulators of the Copenhagen Interpretation) established the "complementary principle" which states that matter exhibits a "wave-particle duality." So, your assertion that the wave is merely a description is apparently disputed by one of the framers of the standard interpretation.

Quote:
(Complementary Principle) Matter exhibits a wave-particle duality. An experiment can show the particle-like properties of matter, or wave-like properties, but not both at the same time.(Neils Bohr)

source: Wikipedia "Copenhagen Interpretation"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copenhagen_interpretation 

Quote:
The underlying nature or principles leading to this observation are yet to be determined and are the subject of ongoing speculation and study and debate.

All scientific theories must be falsifiable by definition and therefore tentative and subject to change. That being said, quantum theory as it stands right now states that nature is fundamentally indeterminate.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


Paisley
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BobSpence1 wrote:Quantum

BobSpence1 wrote:
Quantum theory and other aspects of modern science have certainly required us to extend our ideas of the nature of physical phenomena well beyond the crude ideas of simplistic 'materialism' which imagines the world made up of just fundamental particles bouncing off each other.

Translation: "We had do redefine materialism because QM simply revealed that it was no longer tenable."

Sorry, but this is not going to fly. If you cannot explain natural phenomena  in terms of of other physical phenomena, then materialism or physicalism simply is not true.

BobSpence1 wrote:
To thereby assume that any world-view that doesn't incorporate a supernatural mind is therefore invalid is just such an enormous and unjustified leap...

A worldview (e.g. atheistic materialism) that does not incorporate the mental as fundamental or at least on equal-footing with the physical is simply no longer tenable.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


Paisley
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Kevin R Brown

Kevin R Brown wrote:
Paisley,

Please provide evidence that the world was created in six literal days 6,000 years ago. Thank-you.

If you have mistaken me for a biblical literalist, then I'm afraid you're sorely mistaken. Besides, you're off-topic. The worldview of atheistic materialism is the one being scrutinized in this thread, not the theistic one.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


Paisley
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Eloise wrote:So far the

Eloise wrote:
So far the basic principle of materialism is not changed by any of this, we are still dealing with matter, we have only modelled it with different abstractions. These abstractions tell us something about what we should be looking for next to describe matter. They also tell us a little about what we should not be looking for. They even imply that some of our material world assumptions are wrong.

However, they do not tell us that we are no longer describing the material world.

I hope that helps to clear up some of this issue.

Yeah, what are some of "our material world assumptions that are wrong?"

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


Paisley
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Kevin R Brown wrote:Paisley

Kevin R Brown wrote:
Paisley wrote:
Quantum theory reduces matter (mass/energy) to probability waves. Probability waves are mathematical abstractions, not physical objects.

...You must eat heaping bowls of ignorance for breakfast.

What you've actually described is string theory, one small part of the field of quantum physics and - at this point in time - a largely speculative one.

No, I'm not describing string theory. The wave function and its collapse is part and parcel of the standard interpretation of quantum mechanics.

Quote:
Copenhagen interpretation is an interpretation of quantum mechanics, usually understood to state that every particle is described by its wavefunction, which dictates the probability for it to be found in any location following a measurement. Each measurement causes a change in the state of the particle, known as wavefunction collapse.

source: Wikipedia "Copenhagen Interpretation"

http://www.rationalresponders.com/comment/reply/13046/162211?quote=1#comment-form

 

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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daedalus wrote:Paisley

daedalus wrote:
Paisley wrote:
Quantum theory reduces matter (mass/energy) to probability waves. Probability waves are mathematical abstractions, not physical objects.

I'm not sure how this would help your counter-argument... Did God make everything a probable existence?  Or, do you ultimately disagree with Quantum theory?  Regardless, QT still accepts that Matter exists...  after all, what has a probability? Matter.  We're talking about it for a reason - it exists.

Theism is not under fire in this thread, atheistic materialism is. You have to explain to me how uncaused physical events (this is the implication of probabilistic events) support the deterministic worldview of atheistic materialism.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


Cpt_pineapple
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BobSpence1 wrote:Quantum

BobSpence1 wrote:

Quantum mechanics says that the position and behaviour of particles, as currently observable, is best described/modelled BY a wave function, not that the particle itself IS a wave-function, any more than a thrown rock IS a geometric abstraction we call a 'parabolic curve'. THAT would indeed be 'absurd'.

 

Experiments suggest that it IS a wave function.

 

 

Kevin R Brown wrote:

Quote:

Quantum theory reduces matter (mass/energy) to probability waves. Probability waves are mathematical abstractions, not physical objects.

What you've actually described is string theory, one small part of the field of quantum physics and - at this point in time - a largely speculative one.

 

That's not String Theory, it's QM.

 

 

Is it just me, or is Paisley going back and forth as to whether or not the wavefunctions are physical?

 

 

 

 


I AM GOD AS YOU
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  Science: the study of G

  Science: the study of G awe d .... 

   I don't know how you science buffs would rate this simple video series, but I really enjoyed it. Got any other related fav vid  links for beginners ?

  "The Elegant Universe" 


  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/elegant/program.html


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:'So the

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
'So the moon exists because a mouse is present to observe it?' - Albert Einstein

'You're not thinking, you're merely being logical' -Neils Bohr

What's the point of the quote? Are you arguing that some things simply defy logic or that logic can solve all things?

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
The most obvious impact of the Quantum is wave functions. These are waves of probability, and cause many a confusion among the community. Coincidentally these people usually have little training in physics.

What I'm referring to of course is the interpretation 'Consciousness Causes Collapse (CCC..)' often confused with the Copenhagen interpretation (in a nutshell 'measurement causes collapse' MCC...). These are too completely different interpretations and are often substituted/confused with each other.

All advocates of CCC have little training in physics? I would argue that Walter Heitler, Fritz London, Henry Pierce Stapp, Eugene Wigner, and John von Neumann are not exactly ignorant of QM.

Quote:
Consciousness-created adherents include light/matter physicist Walter Heitler, Fritz London, famous for his work on quantum liquids, Berkeley S-matrix theorist Henry Pierce Stapp, Nobel laureate Eugene Wigner, and world-class mathematician John von Neumann.

source: pg. 24 "Quantum Reality" Nick Herbert

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
Of course the most common use of CCC is used by certain theists (not mentioning any names..) to assert God. What they fail to realize however, is that CCC would disprove God!

Just curious. Are you an atheist, agnostic or some kind of theist?

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
Here's how. Well, some assertions is that reality must be 'observed' to be real hence God observes everything, After all, what collapsed the wave function before life forms came to be? There are several key problems here:

 

1) According to the De-Broglie formula wavelength=h/p, the wave is so small, that it practially doesn't exist. For example a 46-g golf ball travelling at 30m/s would have a wavelength of 7.310-11 m. (Slightly larger than the radius of an hydrogen atom..) Massive objects require no collapse. The uncertainty of a tennis ball (position/velocity is about 10-33 ...)

What they fail to realize, is that wave functions only apply to small objects. When the wavelength is greater than physical length (such as an electron for example..) And as I will get to later, in an relativly isolated system.

What you fail to realize is that all large objects are composed of elementary particles or waves (i.e. quantum wavicles).

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
2) Simple logic would assert that if God were observing everything collapsing their wave functions, we wouldn't see wave functions at all! This completely contradicts experimental evidence that wave functions do indeed exist and work in probability.

I'm not following your "simple logic" here. However, it appears that you believe that "wave functions" (i.e. mathematical abstractions) are real physical objects.

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
So two major problems right there. Where the second one disproves God. After all, why are we seeing wave functions if God is collapsing them?

Now, the confusion takes place with the Copenhagen interpretation. The wave function collapses when a measurement is made. This measurement need not be conscious. For example, when radiation is shot at a hydrogen atom, information is exchanged and the wave function collapses, that is the atom is now emitting information about it's properties (since the electron jumps back down to it's previous orbital and emits radiation....).

It is not some cosmic observer that collapses the wave functions, it's information.

Several points:

1) Quantum decoherence or "information collapses the wave function" is not the Copenhagen Interpretation (i.e. the standard interpretation). It's just one of many interpretations. Why should this one take precedence over CCC or any other one? 

2) Decoherence doesn't actually provide a mechanism for the wave function collapse. In other words, you still have quantum superposition. This is problematic for the materialistic worldview. In order to advert this problem, the advocates must invoke the "many worlds interpretation." 

Quote:
Decoherence does not provide a mechanism for the actual wave function collapse; rather it provides a mechanism for the appearance of wavefunction collapse. The quantum nature of the system is simply "leaked" into the environment so that a total superposition of the wavefunction still exists, but exists — at least for all practical purposes [9] — beyond the realm of measurement. Thus decoherence, as a philosophical interpretation, amounts to something similar to the many-worlds approach.[10]

source: Wikipedia "Quantum dechorence"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_decoherence#In_interpretations_of_quantum_mechanics

3) What constitutes "information" is arbitrary and has no semantical meaning independent of an intelligent mind. This is tantamount to saying that mathematical abstractions are reified entities.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley wrote:Cpt_pineapple

Paisley wrote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
'So the moon exists because a mouse is present to observe it?' - Albert Einstein

'You're not thinking, you're merely being logical' -Neils Bohr

What's the point of the quote? Are you arguing that some things simply defy logic or that logic can solve all things?

 

The Einstein quote advocates CCC. The moon doesn't exist unless something (in this case, a mouse, observes it..)

Bohr snapped back that he wasn't thinking.

 

Quote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
The most obvious impact of the Quantum is wave functions. These are waves of probability, and cause many a confusion among the community. Coincidentally these people usually have little training in physics.

What I'm referring to of course is the interpretation 'Consciousness Causes Collapse (CCC..)' often confused with the Copenhagen interpretation (in a nutshell 'measurement causes collapse' MCC...). These are too completely different interpretations and are often substituted/confused with each other.

All advocates of CCC have little training in physics? I would argue that Walter Heitler, Fritz London, Henry Pierce Stapp, Eugene Wigner, and John von Neumann are not exactly ignorant of QM.

 

Quote:
Consciousness-created adherents include light/matter physicist Walter Heitler, Fritz London, famous for his work on quantum liquids, Berkeley S-matrix theorist Henry Pierce Stapp, Nobel laureate Eugene Wigner, and world-class mathematician John von Neumann.

source: pg. 24 "Quantum Reality" Nick Herbert

 

I didn't say all. Otherwise, argument from authority. Some Intelligent Design advocates have degrees in Biology, doesn't mean Intelligent Design is right.

 

Quote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
Here's how. Well, some assertions is that reality must be 'observed' to be real hence God observes everything, After all, what collapsed the wave function before life forms came to be? There are several key problems here:

 

1) According to the De-Broglie formula wavelength=h/p, the wave is so small, that it practially doesn't exist. For example a 46-g golf ball travelling at 30m/s would have a wavelength of 7.310-11 m. (Slightly larger than the radius of an hydrogen atom..) Massive objects require no collapse. The uncertainty of a tennis ball (position/velocity is about 10-33 ...)

What they fail to realize, is that wave functions only apply to small objects. When the wavelength is greater than physical length (such as an electron for example..) And as I will get to later, in an relativly isolated system.

What you fail to realize is that all large objects are composed of elementary particles or waves (i.e. quantum wavicles).

 

Large objects can be described under Newtonian/Classical laws.

 Just when the particle is small does QM come into play

 

 

Quote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
2) Simple logic would assert that if God were observing everything collapsing their wave functions, we wouldn't see wave functions at all! This completely contradicts experimental evidence that wave functions do indeed exist and work in probability.

I'm not following your "simple logic" here. However, it appears that you believe that "wave functions" (i.e. mathematical abstractions) are real physical objects.

 

They are. They collapse to a single point.

 

Quote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
So two major problems right there. Where the second one disproves God. After all, why are we seeing wave functions if God is collapsing them?

Now, the confusion takes place with the Copenhagen interpretation. The wave function collapses when a measurement is made. This measurement need not be conscious. For example, when radiation is shot at a hydrogen atom, information is exchanged and the wave function collapses, that is the atom is now emitting information about it's properties (since the electron jumps back down to it's previous orbital and emits radiation....).

It is not some cosmic observer that collapses the wave functions, it's information.

Several points:

1) Quantum decoherence or "information collapses the wave function" is not the Copenhagen Interpretation (i.e. the standard interpretation). It's just one of many interpretations. Why should this one take precedence over CCC or any other one? 

2) Decoherence doesn't actually provide a mechanism for the wave function collapse. In other words, you still have quantum superposition. This is problematic for the materialistic worldview. In order to advert this problem, the advocates must invoke the "many worlds interpretation." 

 

 

Decoherence does not provide a mechanism for the actual wave function collapse; rather it provides a mechanism for the appearance of wavefunction collapse. The quantum nature of the system is simply "leaked" into the environment so that a total superposition of the wavefunction still exists, but exists — at least for all practical purposes [9] — beyond the realm of measurement. Thus decoherence, as a philosophical interpretation, amounts to something similar to the many-worlds approach.[10]

source: Wikipedia "Quantum dechorence"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_decoherence#In_interpretations_of_quantum_mechanics

 

 

3) What constitutes "information" is arbitrary and has no semantical meaning independent of an intelligent mind. This is tantamount to saying that mathematical abstractions are reified entities.

 

The Copenhagen Interpretation is a measurement collapse the wave function. A measurement is information exchange.

 

 

 Information is stored in many things. If, for example, an electron shoots off energy, then it can be determined what level it jumped to in the atom.

 


Paisley
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Captain Pineapple,Why didn't

Captain Pineapple,

Why didn't you answer the question: "Are you an atheist, agnostic, deist or some kind of theist?"

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead