The "Freethinking" Atheist

Paisley
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The "Freethinking" Atheist

The term "freethinking" presupposes a belief in "free will." However, in the deterministic worldview of atheistic materialism, there is no free will. In other words, every thought or belief that an atheist has or entertains was completely predetermined and could not have been otherwise. This hardly constitutes the idea of freethinking.

The bottom line is that if there is no free will, then there is no freethinking. Moreover, the term "freethinking atheist" is actually an oxymoron. That being said, I will kindly ask the atheists on this forum to refrain from describing themselves as freethinkers. Intellectually honesty demands this.

Thank you. Smiling  

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


Paisley
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nigelTheBold wrote:But,

nigelTheBold wrote:
But, Paisley sounds just like my old philosophy professor, whom my physics professor said was "full of shit." Not that it means anything.

You're right. It doesn't mean anything.

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


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Geezzz P. Hey, none of this

Geezzz P. Hey, none of this debate means jack shit much ! Unless one is "religious" I suppose .....  

  From wonderful Eloise ! 

"Well, here we are, Mr. Pilgrim, trapped in the amber of this moment. There is no why." Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five


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Eloise wrote:It's shorthand

Eloise wrote:
It's shorthand for Consciousness causes Collapse as a theoretical solution to the measurement problem and it's in reference to your assertion that quantum indeterminacy implies the caprice of a conscious will.

I'm not saying that one cannot reasonably consider CCC, only that it is most assuredly debatable that it should be concluded per se.

Okay. But this is not what you said previously.

Eloise wrote:
Now if we separate these terms better and focus just on quantum indeterminacy, then this is what NigeltheBold has been debating with you. Quantum indeterminacy does not necessarily point to a transcendent CcC observer, to get there you must leap some really obvious alternatives such as incompleteness of the theory or superposition states as real reality.

But quantum indeterminacy does necessarily point to indeterminism and indeterminism undermines materialism because the term means that some physical events happen "without cause."

Incidentally, if you do not believe in the existence of a conscious will, then why do you identify yourself as a panentheist?

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


Paisley
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I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:Geezzz

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:

Geezzz P. Hey, none of this debate means jack shit much ! Unless one is "religious" I suppose .....  

Apparently it means a lot to you. If it didn't, then you wouldn't bother to comment.

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


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Hey P, I've keeping a folder

Hey P, I've keeping a folder regarding fun you. Here's a bit from the beginning  ....

10 -  "Freewill" philosophy has never intrigued me much. What am I missing?

I AM both free and not free, in the Yin Yang of my being, the expression of what I AM, GOD, doing my dance.  I will now make a decision, while the ALL  of what my life is, is a force, I cannot control.

What are you trying to teach us, my concerned friend Paisley ???
-----------------------------------------
P replys, "That free thinking presupposes free will."
--------------------------------
16 - Paisley says "Sorry...no free will, no free thinking. Based on the deterministic worldview of atheistic materialism, you're just a "robot with consciousness."

Ummm OK, now what ? Surrender to something ? I just honestly don't get your point ?

  I really want to understand ....(?)
-----------------------------------------------------
20 -  SLAVES TO THE "AWE" WE ALL ARE (yup)  , now what ? (scratch head)
--------------------------------------------
26 - I AM a ROBOT , but I like it .... don't you ?

   When's the celebration start? , Robot "ball room" dancing anyone ?  ....  
-------------------------------------------
29 - What isn't analogous ?  What are we fighting about ? Oh yeah , LIFE .... but why ?

--------------------------------
#75 - magilum 

This would only be a problem for an omniscient being. And we're dealing with two different questions, the influence of society and the chain of causality, which makes your argument equivocation.

Once again, the "panentheist" raises an infantile non-topic that awkwardly betrays a Christian apologist's stench.

"We don't have to justify the things that don't make any sense anymore."
~former Scientologist Greg Barnes

-------------------------------------------

76 -  "Hi" MAG, you very handsome equivocation destroyer .... >  the things that don't make any sense  <  (laughing)     WOW, WAIT,  that ain't funny (smash)      but I laugh, I AM nervous ..... ENERGY/MATTER , hummm, and whatever? , and condemned to be ME ..... GOD FUCKING DAMN IT ..... (smile) 

-------------------------------------------

  nevermind , it's all here in this educational thread. Thanks again Paisley ..... 

   YEP , Obviously and absolutely, GOD DONE IT !!!!   

   Pantheism is sexy god sexy .....

 


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Paisley wrote:I AM GOD AS

Paisley wrote:

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:

Geezzz P. Hey, none of this debate means jack shit much ! Unless one is "religious" I suppose .....  

Apparently it means a lot to you. If it didn't, then you wouldn't bother to comment.

  Yes and No. I was defending Nigel for his honesty and kindness, while also saying debating god in religious terms is pointless. We are God , god fucking damn it ! Yeah it matters, fuck dogma , every bit of it .....   

ahhhh, now doesn't that feel better .... All is equal, > ONE <.             ?   ummm ? what is the ONE ? SIMPLE , to have the Christ in you, as you and Jesus are EQUAL ..... Wow "SAVED", zero superstition. NO MASTERS ..... FREEEEEEEE  WILLLLLLLL , LOVE the Enemy , Heal them .......   send love , let's celebrate !!!!!!!! No WARS ...... no division  

                                                Hey a MIRACLE !

 

 

 

 

 


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Paisley wrote:Eloise

Paisley wrote:

Eloise wrote:
It's shorthand for Consciousness causes Collapse as a theoretical solution to the measurement problem and it's in reference to your assertion that quantum indeterminacy implies the caprice of a conscious will.

I'm not saying that one cannot reasonably consider CCC, only that it is most assuredly debatable that it should be concluded per se.

Okay. But this is not what you said previously.

Previously where?

Paisley wrote:

Eloise wrote:
Now if we separate these terms better and focus just on quantum indeterminacy, then this is what NigeltheBold has been debating with you. Quantum indeterminacy does not necessarily point to a transcendent CcC observer, to get there you must leap some really obvious alternatives such as incompleteness of the theory or superposition states as real reality.

But quantum indeterminacy does necessarily point to indeterminism and indeterminism undermines materialism because the term means that some physical events happen "without cause."

No it doesn't. Wavefunction Collapse necessarily points to indeterminate fundamentals (that is unless incompleteness of QT comes to light which is somewhat unlikely but not entirely ruled out, yet). Quantum indeterminacy, though, which is basically an observation of the discontinuity between the empirical reality of the macro world and the micro world*, does not necessarily point to indeterminism philsophically - it does cast serious doubt on our understanding of causality, I totally grant you this, but that's the extent of the implication of indeterminacy on its own.

*if there was a deterministic cause beneath the planck scale we couldn't pick it out from the noise because of the limits on information encoding given by the uncertainty principle, ie we'd use a lot of energy to get into this distance scale which would in turn only compress the information into an irretrievable state - this is why hidden variable theories can only be indirectly tested.

 

Paisley wrote:

Incidentally, if you do not believe in the existence of a conscious will, then why do you identify yourself as a panentheist?

I am Panentheist and I believe the accurate definition of 'conscious will' is nothing like our presupposed/historical notions of it at all (very important), and natural and fundamental to the universe.

Theist badge qualifier : Gnostic/Philosophical Panentheist

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I read Eloise, and my heart

I read Eloise, and my heart goes  bumpidy bump ! ..... I AM in true LOVE !    


BobSpence
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Paisley wrote: BobSpence1

Paisley wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
Paisley wrote:
I am not a mathematician but I am fairly certain that quantum mechanics is based on probability theory, not chaos theory. Quantum mechanics (at least according to the Copenhagen interpretation) is probabilistic and therefore indeterminate. Chaos theory is deterministic. Here is documentation to support my argument. If you disagree, then I expect to see some documentation that support yours.

Based on QM, the physical universe is probabilistic, not deterministic.


Of course QM is not 'based on' chaos theory, but chaos theory does suggest at least one plausible idea of what is the 'reality' governing the observations of Quantum Theory, as myself and Nigel pointed out.

This is mere speculation. And until this speculation is formed into some kind of theory and actually tested and verified, then quantum indeterminacy prevails as the present state of affairs.

As is virtually every other idea of the 'reality' behind QM itself, not to mention the class of 'hypotheses' which combines total lack of evidential justification with virtually zero explanatory power, namely those assuming some form of super conscious entity, whether a 'conventional' God or a pantheistic one.

Quote:
BobSpence1 wrote:
Actually chaos theory can't strictly be applied to a world governed by quantum theory at the base level, since QM implies that any attempt to approach the degree of precision of measurement required to predict the outcome of a chaotic process will hit the Planck limit and the uncertainty principle.

Then I guess chaos theory cannot be a plausible explanation for quantum indeterminancy. Also, Bell's theorem states that there is no deterministic theory (i.e. there are no local hidden variables) that can effectively account for all the predictions of quantum mechanics. This includes chaos theory (which is a deterministic theory).

Quote:
Bell's theorem is a theory that shows that the predictions of quantum mechanics (QM) are not intuitive, and touches upon fundamental philosophical issues that relate to modern physics. It is the most famous legacy of the late physicist John S. Bell. Bell's theorem states:

"No physical theory of local hidden variables can ever reproduce all of the predictions of quantum mechanics."

source: Wikipedia "Bell's theorem"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell%27s_theorem

You really missed the point there. The proposed chaos theory explanation proposes that the uncertainty is not actually based on 'true' randomness, but is actually only the apparent randomness of a background chaotic process. Nothing inconsistent there, my point was only that the strict mathematical model of chaos assumes that all variables are definable with infinite precision. Replacing the Planck scale precision with Heisenberg uncertainty just adds a tiny amount of apparent randomness to an already unpredictable process.

Quote:
BobSpence1 wrote:
So, whether because of chaotic feed-back or quantum uncertainty or a combination, the Universe is indeterminate, the outcome of any process can only be expressed probabilistically, sometimes within very tight limits, sometimes only approximately, some cases with no useful limits at all, like what will be the strength and path of the first major Hurricane in the North Atlantic in 2010.

To be indeterminate is to be without cause by definition. If you say the universe is indeterminate, then it is indeterminate and not deterministic. It's one or the other. There's no middle ground here (not unless you are going to make an appeal to Buddhist thought).

Quote:
indeterminism : a theory that holds that not every event has a cause (source: Merriam-Webster Onlined Dictionary)

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/indeterminism

'Indeterminism' IS NOT 'without cause' by definition. That quoted definition refers to a theory, not a description of a system. An alternative 'definitio from the first part of the same line you extracted the above quote from, says "a theory that the will is free and that deliberate choice and actions are not determined by or predictable from antecedent causes". Two comments on this 'definition': its still referring to a theory, its specifcally in the realm of theories of mind (free will), which is a more narrow regime than that which quantum theory applies to, and it still doesn't directly say 'without cause', it is still compatible with the idea that the antecedent state of the immediate environment is the 'cause', but there is a degree of uncertainty in the exact way the antecedent states combine to determine which of a range of possible outcomes actually occur.

Compare this definition with that for 'indeterminate':

"1 a: not definitely or precisely determined or fixed : vague b: not known in advance c: not leading to a definite end or result";

which is a simple statement of the property of some observation or process. This is a ore appropriate definition here - the outcome of both 'truly random' processes AND chaotic processes both are consistent with this definition, no presuppositions about 'uncaused' involved. IOW, describing a process as having an 'indeterminate' outcome does NOT by definition assume anything about causality.

The definitions of 'indeterminism' all include the idea of the word referring to a theory or doctrine, rather than an attribute of a system or process, so 'indeterminate' appears to be the more appropriate word to use in this discussion.

Of course some theories describable as 'indeterminism' may well define themselves as being based on the idea of events having no cause, or at least no physical cause, but that's a particular viewpoint, by definition, not a property of a process or system. So quoting the definition of 'indeterminism' is not relevant.

Bell's inequality is certainly important, but it does not address causality, rather non-locality, which is a different issue altogether. In fact it is very much anchored in cause-effect, the counter-intuitive aspects being mainly the implication that an observation at one location can have an apparently instantaneous 'effect' (hardly the language of non causality), apparently violating the speed-of-light speed limit, except that it also explicitly excludes the possibility of allowing us to exchange actual information instantaneously. It is only the correlations that appear to require some form of instantaneous connection, there is no way the receiver can deduce the state at the other location unambiguously.

I agree that it does present difficulties to a fully deterministic explanation, of QM. But the chaos theory model demonstrates that indeterminacy is consistent with a world where all low level interactions obey deterministic rules.  I don't actually believe that reality has infinitely fine structure, IOW that something like the Planck length represents a lower limiting scale of a 'physical' structure, in the broadest sense, which has some implications for chaos theories, sure, but certainly not to invalidate the basic idea of extreme sensitivity to initial conditions.

The definition I retrieved from the New Oxford American Dictionary: "Philosophy the doctrine that not all events are wholly determined by antecedent causes." seems to me a more general one, consistent with MW definition 1a.

I currently lean to the view that the the Universe is indeterminate, but not un-causal, but 'cause and effect' relationships don't conform the simplistic notions of philosophers. Science , especially QT, points off in a direction orthogonal to both strictly deterministic concepts and the purely random, or the 'uncaused'. Note that I don't equate 'pure randomness' with un-caused, that show a lack of imagination and insight.

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


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Paisley, I know I haven't

Paisley, I know I haven't addressed all your reponses, due to time constraints, along with a desire to keep each post from getting too long.

If time and motivation permit, I may address the remaining points in your reply.

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


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My next band , the "Bob

My next band , the "Bob Spence" band, ...... yeah Bob ..... can I have more than one band ?

                                             FREE WILL , yes I can !

                                                         


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You're fucking kidding me

Paisley wrote:

nigelTheBold wrote:
But, Paisley sounds just like my old philosophy professor, whom my physics professor said was "full of shit." Not that it means anything.

You're right. It doesn't mean anything.

What? Of everything I post, this is what you reply to? I mean, yes, I was baiting you, but c'mon! Post #291, Man! You know the one, where I give actual references that destroys your assertion that "Quantum Indeterminacy" and "Philosophical Indeterminacy" are one and the same?

This is what I mean by evasion, Paisley. My comments about you weren't ad hominem. They were descriptive of your debating style. That is, you don't debate. You pick and choose things that are completely irrelevent, or taken out of context, are easy to refute with quote-mining.

What you practice isn't debate. It's not even discussion. Although my comments weren't directly related to the  discussion matter, they were completely relevant to the discussion itself.

But, in the same vein, I'll continue with this story.

The funniest thing about this anecdote happened a week later, at a physics get-together in the campus pub. The head of the philosophy department was good friends with my physics advisor. Four or five of us (including those two) were sitting 'round a table drinking beer, except the philosophy professor, who drank wine. He said, "It's required philosophers drink wine. Beer's not pretentious enough." We laughed (we were buzzed enough it seemed funny at the time). Finally, someone quoted our physics professor saying that one of the philosophy professors (from whom I was taking a class) was "full of shit."

The head of the philosophy department laughed. "Yeah. All philosophers are full of shit." He said, "That's our job, in a nutshell."

That's how I nailed you as a philosphy professor (or perhaps a senior majoring in philosophy with a minor in history) -- a flippant comment from a philosophy department head.

I'm tired of your evasions. I'm tired of your passive-aggressive condescension, which is insulting and tiresome. I'm tired of your wilfull ignorance on QM. I'm not tired of you getting spanked quite consistently by Cpt_pineapple and Eloise and BobSpence1, but your refusal to concede even the tiniest point indicates you are unwilling to listen to anything. You accuse us of dogmatism, but you are the one exhibiting dogmatic belief, when you have been shown to be incorrect, yet continue to assert the same proposition.

As before, you win. I concede. I can't continue to pound my head against the granite of your skull and expect to maintain sanity.

The stupid thing? If you'd put this forth as a proposition instead of an assertion of truth, we could've had a great discussion, and actually talked about the points you raise about free will and free thinking (not the same thing).

"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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Paisley wrote:jcgadfly

Paisley wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:
You don't know what QM terms are but you claim to have a qualitative knowledge of the subject? Sounds almost like you're using Wikipedia as a primary source.

I am familiar with the "consciousness collapses" the wave function interpretation. I was not sure what her acronym "CcC" stood for. This is why I asked. Evidently you have nothing better to do with your time than make lame criticisms. I guess this is why you identify yourself as a "gadfly." The name appears to fit.

 

 

I believe you weren't familiar with it until Eloise pointed it out. You've shown yourself unfamiliar with other terms on the subject as well. All I've seen you do is cut stuff from Wikipedia and claim that you have a qualitative knowledge of the subject because you've done so.

So, yes, I'm going to be a nuisance to you until start doing more than simply dismissing arguments and repeating what's been refuted.

If you think the criticism is lame, it should be damned simple for you to eliminate it.  Do your homework before you come in making pronunciations from the mountaintop. Your ass will thank you for the lack of kicks it will receive.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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Paisley wrote:Yes, I have.

Paisley wrote:

Yes, I have. That's why I said "he views the zero-point field of the quantum vacuum as the mechanism for ongoning creation" and provided a quote from the book. He entitled his book "The God Theory" for a reason.

 

Where exactly does he advocate 'uncaused events'?


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BobSpence1 wrote:Paisley

BobSpence1 wrote:
Paisley wrote:
This is mere speculation. And until this speculation is formed into some kind of theory and actually tested and verified, then quantum indeterminacy prevails as the present state of affairs.

As is virtually every other idea of the 'reality' behind QM itself, not to mention the class of 'hypotheses' which combines total lack of evidential justification with virtually zero explanatory power, namely those assuming some form of super conscious entity, whether a 'conventional' God or a pantheistic one.

It seems that you have failed to mention that 60% of the world's most prominent physicists subscribe to the "hypothesis" of the "many-worlds" interpretation (MWI). Of course, there is absolutely no evidence of parallel universes (not unless you count the subjective expriences of New Agers engaging in "soul travel" and/or out-of-body practices). Evidently, rational atheists and logical positivists are permitted to believe in metaphysical worlds but if an individual professes belief in God then he is automatically labelled irrational. Talk about a double standard.

Quote:
For example, a poll of 72 leading physicists conducted by the American researcher David Raub in 1995 and published in the French periodical Sciences et Avenir in January 1998 recorded that nearly 60% thought many worlds interpretation was "true".

source: Wikipedia "Many-worlds interpretation"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Many-worlds_interpretation

BobSpence1 wrote:
'Indeterminism' IS NOT 'without cause' by definition. That quoted definition refers to a theory, not a description of a system. An alternative 'definitio from the first part of the same line you extracted the above quote from, says "a theory that the will is free and that deliberate choice and actions are not determined by or predictable from antecedent causes". Two comments on this 'definition': its still referring to a theory, its specifcally in the realm of theories of mind (free will), which is a more narrow regime than that which quantum theory applies to, and it still doesn't directly say 'without cause', it is still compatible with the idea that the antecedent state of the immediate environment is the 'cause', but there is a degree of uncertainty in the exact way the antecedent states combine to determine which of a range of possible outcomes actually occur.

I will grant you that "indeterminism" is a theory. So is quantum theory. I will also grant you that the first definition in MW refers to indeterminism as it relates to free will. I agree that this definition is in the domain of "philosophy of mind." However, the second definition is a general philosophical definition of indeterminism.

Also, what are you talking about when you say "it still doesn't directly say without cause?" It says "that deliberate choice and actions are NOT DETERMINED by or predictable from ANTECEDENT CAUSES."

"Not determined by antecedent causes" is does not mean the same thing as "without cause?"

BobSpence1 wrote:
Compare this definition with that for 'indeterminate':

"1 a: not definitely or precisely determined or fixed : vague b: not known in advance c: not leading to a definite end or result";

which is a simple statement of the property of some observation or process. This is a ore appropriate definition here - the outcome of both 'truly random' processes AND chaotic processes both are consistent with this definition, no presuppositions about 'uncaused' involved. IOW, describing a process as having an 'indeterminate' outcome does NOT by definition assume anything about causality.

Sorry, but you have just changed the rules. Your initial argument was that QM doesn't describe a process that is "truly random" but only appears to be random. If it is "truly random," then it doesn't have a cause.

Also, the above definition for "indeterminate" states "not definitely or precisely determined." If it is "not precisely determined," then it doesn't have a cause. Something that is "indeterministic" is "not deterministic." Something that is deterministic means that for every event there is a cause. Something that is not deterministic (i.e. indeterministic) means that there are some events without causes.

Also, we have already established that "truly random" processes and "chaotic" processes (at least in the context of chaos theory) do not mean the same thing. Chaos theory is deterministic. Chaos theory is describing a process that appears to be random, not something that is "truly random."

BobSpence1 wrote:
The definitions of 'indeterminism' all include the idea of the word referring to a theory or doctrine, rather than an attribute of a system or process, so 'indeterminate' appears to be the more appropriate word to use in this discussion.

Of course some theories describable as 'indeterminism' may well define themselves as being based on the idea of events having no cause, or at least no physical cause, but that's a particular viewpoint, by definition, not a property of a process or system. So quoting the definition of 'indeterminism' is not relevant.

I disagree. I don't have a background in physics. But I have already quoted a professor of physicist (Paul Davies) who stated that "quantum events are not determined absolutely by preceding causes." Are you suggesting that he is deliberately misleading the general public? Also, please explain to me why Einstein was taking a hissy fit about quantum mechanics if indeterministic does not really mean "without cause?"

Also, an article in the Stanford Encyclopedia on the "Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics" states that Bohr viewed quantum mechanics as violating some basic principles of classical (newtonian) physics. One of those principles was...and I quote..."the principle of causality, i.e., every event has a cause."

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

BobSpence1 wrote:
Bell's inequality is certainly important, but it does not address causality, rather non-locality, which is a different issue altogether. In fact it is very much anchored in cause-effect, the counter-intuitive aspects being mainly the implication that an observation at one location can have an apparently instantaneous 'effect' (hardly the language of non causality), apparently violating the speed-of-light speed limit, except that it also explicitly excludes the possibility of allowing us to exchange actual information instantaneously. It is only the correlations that appear to require some form of instantaneous connection, there is no way the receiver can deduce the state at the other location unambiguously.

I didn't say that Bell's theorem implied "noncausality". I'm not sure where you are getting this. The point that I was making is that Bell's theorm implies that any deterministic theory of QM cannot reproduce all the predictions that QM makes.

The Bohm interpretation is a deterministic theory. But in formulating a "hidden variables" theory he had to discard locality in favor of philosophical realism.

Quote:
However, Bell's inequality complicates this hope, as it demonstrates that there is no local hidden variable theory that is compatible with quantum mechanics. Thus, one is left with choosing between the lesser of two evils: discarding locality, or discarding counter-factual definiteness (a commonly assumed principle in philosophical realism). The Bohmian interpretation opts for keeping counter-factual definiteness and accepting nonlocality.

source: Wikipedia "Bohm Interpretation"

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

I believe nonlocality and quantum entanglement is what Einstein referred to as "spooking action at a distance." It definitely smacks of the paranormal. I'm not sure of the details of Bohm's interpreation but I do know that Bohm wrote a book "Wholeness and the Implicate Order" in which he expressed his scientific and philosophical views - views exhibiting strong affinities with Buddhism.

BobSpence1 wrote:
I agree that it does present difficulties to a fully deterministic explanation, of QM. But the chaos theory model demonstrates that indeterminacy is consistent with a world where all low level interactions obey deterministic rules. I don't actually believe that reality has infinitely fine structure, IOW that something like the Planck length represents a lower limiting scale of a 'physical' structure, in the broadest sense, which has some implications for chaos theories, sure, but certainly not to invalidate the basic idea of extreme sensitivity to initial conditions.

I'm not sure what you are saying here. But doesn't Bell theorem hold true for Chaos theory (which is a deterministic theory)?

BobSpence1 wrote:
The definition I retrieved from the New Oxford American Dictionary: "Philosophy the doctrine that not all events are wholly determined by antecedent causes." seems to me a more general one, consistent with MW definition 1a.

I currently lean to the view that the the Universe is indeterminate, but not un-causal, but 'cause and effect' relationships don't conform the simplistic notions of philosophers. Science , especially QT, points off in a direction orthogonal to both strictly deterministic concepts and the purely random, or the 'uncaused'. Note that I don't equate 'pure randomness' with un-caused, that show a lack of imagination and insight.

You're basically saying "neti neti" ( Sanskrit for "neither this, nor that" ). This is okay if you're using the term as a mantra in meditation or engaging in apophatic (negative) theology and speaking about the divine nature of God or Brahman. But I don't think this approach should be permitted by someone who professes to be a rational atheist.

Here are your choices:

1) determinism, .i.e. every event has a cause

2) indeterminism, .i.e. some events are without a cause

3) time, space, and causality are an illusion

4) all of the above

5) none of the above

If I missed an option, please let me know.

The Wikipedia article on "indeterminism" defines the term as contradictory to determinism and being "without cause." 

Quote:
Indeterminism is the philosophical belief contradictory to determinism: that there are events which do not correspond with determinism (and therefore are uncaused in some sense).

source: Wikipedia "Indeterminism"

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

The same article addresses indeterminism as it relates to science and states emphatically that QM is indeterministic (at least according to the Copehagen Interpretation).

I have cited numerous sources to support my argument that quantum indeterminism really does mean that quantum events are events without a cause. I can cite more sources if you like but I don't think it will make a difference. 

Wikipedia's article on "Quantum interpretations" has a chart of thirteen different interpretations. In one of the columns, there is a header  labeled "Deterministic?" There are only three entries that qualify as deterministic intepretations of QM. They are as follows: "many-worlds" (MWI), "many-minds" (MMI), and the Bohm Interpretation. If you want a truly deterministic interpretations, those are your choices.

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

 

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


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:Paisley

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
Paisley wrote:

Yes, I have. That's why I said "he views the zero-point field of the quantum vacuum as the mechanism for ongoning creation" and provided a quote from the book. He entitled his book "The God Theory" for a reason.

 

Where exactly does he advocate 'uncaused events'?

Well, obviously he doesn't advocate "uncaused events." God is the cause, hence the title of the book "The God Theory."

As I recall, the esoteric school he studied was Jewish Kabbalah. And although he never used the term, he was espousing a pantheistic God based on the insights of mysticism and physics.

Personally, I thought he had some good ideas. He proposed a new "quantum vacuum inertia" hypothesis. However, the book was watered down for mass consumption. Considering his credentials, I expected something more in depth. 

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


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Thanks P. My dogma detector

Thanks P. That communicated much better. My dogma detector didn't turn on !  I think part your motive is about changing the common dogmatic definition of god, which is what I try to do. " The God Theory". Cool, I like that title. Philosophically, God = Everything .... zero dogma .... thus 'agnostic atheist' etc.

Obviously there is often a misunderstanding of evolving labels, as atheists / pantheists is an example. These two similar groups, are certainly not the Dogmatic enemy that freaks me out. We need to see each other as both being warriors against dogma. A/P partners, and the Buddhists too.

Thanks again for the science/philosophy stuff, mark. (an uneducated Dogma Cop)  Heal them desert dogma sick dogs Paisley !  

    "A Higher Love" !!!   ( * ONE * ) 

                         

 


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Yoo P , you just reminded me

Yoo P , you just reminded me of this clever teacher. I think he's a pantheist.  Definitely helping to destroy 'desert' dogmas. His podcasts had my xian friends blushing ! 

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

         Go, "feel good", N. D. Walsch .....   

 

 


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An apology to Paisley

Paisley,

I apologize for going all Max Cady on you. Your tenaciousness has no bearing on the worth of your discussion, no matter what its source.

I have said I'm out of this discussion, and indeed I am. This post merely serves as an apology for the vitriol in my last post. I still hold to the substance of the post, which is why I am staying out of the discussion, but I certainly didn't need to be such a jerk about it.

But, I just stumbled across an interesting read from physicist Jean Bricmont that is very relevent to this discussion. In it, he basically explains my position (and understanding of the universe) much better than I myself could ever attempt. It's thirty pages, so it's a bit of a read, but I believe he has quite a bit to say on the subject of determinism; chaos theory; and quantum mechanics, mostly the Bohm hypothesis (which was mentioned a few posts above).

You certainly won't agree with him (he declares arguments against determinism are impotent), but as I said, it is an excellent summary of my position and understanding of these subjects. Perhaps it will give some insight into my understanding of the universe.

Anyway, no reply to this post or to the Jean Bricmont paper are needed or expected. It's all simply a hope for better mutual understanding.

"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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nigel

inane contribution, but dunno if you're familar with this - http://redwing.hutman.net/%7Emreed/warriorshtm/ferouscranus.htm


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Paisley wrote:Personally, I

Paisley wrote:

Personally, I thought he had some good ideas. He proposed a new "quantum vacuum inertia" hypothesis. However, the book was watered down for mass consumption. Considering his credentials, I expected something more in depth. 

 

You mean the inertia as a Zero Point Lorentz force?

 

Apperantly he's wrong.

 


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Paisley, you keep missing

Paisley, you keep missing the distinction between 'determine' and 'cause': From the New Oxford American Dictionary:

determine: "cause (something) to occur in a particular way; be the decisive factor in".

We do know the cause of Quantum level events, such as radioactive decay. It is 'because' the energy level of the intact nucleus is greater than that  of the decay products. This is a fundamental principle throughout physics, all things tend to move in a direction which lowers the energy state of the entities moving, or changing stste. Objects tend to move from a state of higher gravitational potential energy to one with a lower GPE, IOW they tend to fall downwards. Moving the other way would require an nett input of energy.

The additional factor introduced by Quantum Theory is Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, which means that actual energy state of the nucleus at any instant cannot be pinned down - it can only be described by a probability function. A stable nucleus is one that has a very low probability of being in an energy state that would be sufficient to make the decay event inevitable, an unstable one is one that has a high probability of being in such an energy state.

Put it this way, we know to a certain level of description (as is the case in our models/theories of any physical process) why nucleii of particular composition decay, and why they decay at the rate we observe. What we don't know is the ultimate 'cause' of Heisenberg Uncertainty.

Quantum uncertainty adds a degree of 'indeterminacy', ie unpredictability, to an caused event, due to the impossibility of 'pinning down' the exact values of the parameters  of the events which are the effective 'causes' of the event. So the issue is the nature of Quantum Uncertainty.

You appear to equate any account involving 'pure chance' as explicitly implying physically uncaused. Presumably because you can't accept totally un-caused events, and you see that 'that the only alternative to 'non-physical' cause is 'mental' cause, and see this as compelling proof of 'consciousness' pervading the Universe, as some fundamental with the same ontological status as matter and energy. Apologies if I have misunderstood your view-point.

Even if I accepted your assertion that 'pure chance' is where the physicalist interpretation fails, surely postulating randomness as a universal fundamental 'thing' which manifests itself at different times and places, just like matter and energy is a more parsimonious concept. Postulating 'consciousness' as the fundamental seems to me to going be way too far and unnecessary, and much less coherent. As I have said before, the exquisitely statistically random nature of quantum uncertainty, hardly seems to fit with the idea of mentality, unless you are happy to equate 'free will' to purely random choice....

 

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

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Oh and BTW, my personal

Oh and BTW, my personal beliefs involve the ZPF and some of Haisch's ideas. I don't agree with everything he says, but it's the main point that counts.

 

Please don't get a fucked up view of them. I thought about them I suggest you do the same.

 


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Teacher Paisley. I need to

Teacher Paisley. I need to clarify. In one of your threads?, I said basically, "God of Abe must die, and Pantheism too, all to be 100% Atheist .....

Meaning that would be the END of all religious theisms, and so need for any labels of god  separation. Therefore Atheism must also die !

igod as YOU, as EVERYTHING, eternal, infinite. Wow the AWE! Go science of the parts, and philosophy.

                                                    G A W E D

                                                       O N E

                                                         

 

 

 

 

 


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More Hot Water, and Praise for Atheists

 

I apologize for not replying to those who commented on my earlier post. I seldom have convenient Internet access, so I rarely have the time (or money) to do much on-line.  I also apologize for the formatting glitches in the present post. For some reason, text that I prepare on my word processor doesn't transfer over well, and the buttons for editing what I've posted do not show up on my screen.

 

In Post 292, I mentioned my 6+ years of debunking Kent Hovind and defending atheists. Among the links I gave were one to trebob27’s youtube video featuring correspondence in which Hovind had waived copyright. Another link was to Carl Marychurch’s An Analysis of Kent Hovind.

 

I’m one of the regulars in that site’s guest book, and —not surprisingly— my activities draw flak from some of my co-religionists. One of the latest blasts was (11 June 2008)

 

For the creator of this website, the Evangelist who confronted Dr. Hovind, and other gossipers and slanderers against Dr Kent Hovind: …[I]t is hypocrites like you who give Christians a bad name. It was not God's will that you create such a disgraceful website as, had you been a real evangelist, you would have concentrated on saving people for God, not wasting so much time making a large, false website about a man whose teaching is getting under your skin and preaching against him.

 

The reason you, and many others, are so against Dr. Kent Hovind is because he is obediently doing God's work and opening the eyes of many people, and you are a tool of Satan against him. God has given him much wisdom. It takes much courage to do God's work when practically the whole world is against you. … You need to repent, for God will judge you and you will receive your reward according to your own works. The lies against the truth have blinded you and you have back-slidden.

 

Not necessarily representative of what they say, but by no means unprecedented. What words of mine occasion such vitriol? Here are a few examples. I have no objection to anyone positing them elsewhere, but that permission is not mine to give. According to the terms that we contributors accept upon creating an account, all material we post in RRS forums becomes the property of RRS.

 

The first example is from ca. January 2007. Several months earlier, I’d carried on a discussion in the guest book with an ethical atheist who believed unapologetically in free will. After acknowledging that he didn’t know how to square that belief with his materialism, he had said something that I could have applauded. Unfortunately, I’d given him the last word, so I couldn’t see my way clear to comment on it until months later, in response to some of Hovind’s supporters. They had implied that we Christians must not expose Hovind even though we know him to be a liar and slanderer, so I responded

 

The professing atheists who post here typically come much closer to the spirit of the Gospel [than Hovind’s followers do], such as in this quote from a post that an atheist made several months ago regarding morality:

 

I see morality ... in terms of a choice. I choose to believe that the lives and well being of others have value. I try to act and believe in a way that respects the lives and well being of others not because a higher power tells me to, or because of any desire for reward or fear of punishment, but because I choose to.

 

Here speaks a person who wants to know and do what is right out of love for others, because he knows that to do otherwise would harm them. Such a person simply isn’t interested in an offer of Divine permission to do wrong even if it comes bundled with eternal life, and especially if comes at the price of having to shut up about the wrongdoing of fellow believers.

 

At about the same time, I had written

 

I omitted something important from my previous posting, in which I explained why a missionary like me helps Carl Marychurch expose Kent Hovind. I gave two reasons: (a) doing so is an act of justice toward those whom Hovind has wronged with his lies and slanders, and (b) I want Hovind’s nonchristian detractors to know that if they should become Christians, they won’t have to smile and put up with defiantly sinful Christians like Hovind (or mass murderer President Rios Montt of Guatemala) who reject appeals to repent—the Bible tells us to expel them (e.g., Matthew 18:15-17 and 1 Corinthians 5:11).

 

I neglected to mention that I believe Hovind is a dangerous hate-monger, a belief only made stronger by the arguments that his adherents use in his defense. For example, that Hovind cannot possibly be such an objectionable sort because he brings thousands to Christ. This is nothing more than the “God is with us, so how can we do wrong?” delusion that’s been employed to justify endless evil in the name of Christ.

 

Therefore, I don’t blame Hovind’s nonchristian detractors for fearing him, or for fearing that if they become Christians, they’ll in some way be lending their good names in support of such evil.

 

The same atheist whom I mentioned earlier has given several excellent responses to excuses made for Hovind’s “lying to save souls”, so I once told this atheist (ca. October 2006)

 

 [Your] comments on the “lying to save souls” phenomenon are on target. [It’s] part of a tendency in all branches of fundamentalism—Islamic and Jewish, as well as Christian—that some call antinomianism. …[A]s I’ve seen it used in a “Christian” context, it means the belief that once we’ve been “saved” by Jesus, [we’re exempt from] any moral laws. I once heard it expressed as, “accept Jesus to get your butt into Heaven, then you can do anything you want”.

 

…Antinomianism is one of the things that makes fundamentalists dangerous, especially when their leaders feed them the message that nonbelievers are stupid, brainwashed people whom Christians have the right and duty to rule over. The consequences are written in blood throughout history; I needn’t elaborate.

 

The other side of the coin is that many fundamentalists … believe that secular society plans to destroy Christianity, and will succeed unless Christians fight back. As some observers have pointed out, the result of all this has been that secularists and fundamentalists are now trapped in an escalating cycle of mutual suspicion, recrimination, and fear.

 

… I think it’s imperative for Christians to recognize that we’re the ones who have the biblical obligation to extend the olive branch. This situation is about 95% our own fault, thanks in no small degree to about 1750 years of folks like Hovind, and the Bible makes clear that the other 5% is to be expected, accepted, and forgiven rather than avenged. (I do a pretty lousy job of living out this last clause, by the way.) 

 

I used the figure “1750 years” because roughly how long ago the Roman Empire made Christianity its state religion. Many Christians of the time believed it was wrong to accept that status, and I agree.

 

Back to the posts in Marychurch’s guestbook, this one from ca. December 2006:

 

Hovind portrays Christianity as a group of “good” people who have the right and obligation to rule over “bad” ones. His assaults upon the Theory of Evolution are entirely consistent with this [portrayal]: they rarely, if ever, say measured things like ”A careful analysis of the evidence reveals difficulties with the Theory of Evolution that should incline a Christian to trust the Word of God over the product of the mind of Man”. Instead, Hovind asserts that evolutionists are evil, and seeks to demonstrate this by proving them stupid. So stupid, in fact, that their stupidity can only be [the result of diabolical intervention].

 

I do not see this as bringing people to Jesus. I see it as bringing them to a cult of people who want to hear that they have a Divine mandate to dominate those who oppose them, as well as a Divine dispensation to strengthen the cult through means that God condemns when used by anyone else.

 

It is only to be expected that many people flock to Hovind; this message has timeless appeal. And even Christians who object to Hovind’s methods may nevertheless maintain, in all good faith, that those who accept Jesus on this basis are still saved. So the question is then, “How much lying, hate mongering, etc., is acceptable if souls are saved thereby?” This is an equation that we are not asked to solve. The same Jesus who commands us to spread the message of repentance and forgiveness of sins tells us not to be a liars or hate-mongers. And He makes the call.

 

I might add that fundamentalists are not the only ones who dehumanize their opponents by stereotyping them as stupid, brainwashed people who deserve to be ridiculed. And over whom they deserve to have power, of course. More than a few atheists (not just the theists) believe that RRS is doing so by attempting to have theism classified as a mind disorder. And even Thomas Jefferson stooped to advocating ridicule at times. For example, take his statement that kellym78 is so fond of quoting:

 

Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions.

 

Jefferson expressed nobler sentiments in a more rational response. Regarding those who wanted to change the form of government, he said

 

If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.

 

As a final example of things that compel my co-religionists to call me a tool of Satan, here is a post (ca. January 2007) from which trebob has quoted occasionally:

 

Many discussions with Hovind supporters in this guest book follow a characteristic trajectory. The Supporter’s initial post says that Hovind is a godly man whose materials prove evolution wrong. Usually, this is accompanied by an appeal for his Detractors to open their minds to the Truth before it’s too late. The Detractors reply that Hovind’s materials prove nothing because they are simply not credible--even Creationist organizations like Answers in Genesis consider them factually inaccurate.

 

What is more, AiG considers Hovind less than honest. I (who worked as a scientist, but am now a faith missionary of 6 years service) usually add that Hovind has been confronted repeatedly about his lying by other Christians, and remains defiantly unrepentant. Therefore, according to both Jesus and Paul (Matthew 18:15-17 and 1 Corinthians 5:11), we should not only stop saying that Hovind is godly, but expel him from our midst until such time as he repents.

 

Hovind Supporters then respond in different ways, but sooner or later come around to this: that everyone is sinful, and that no Christian should ever judge another, speak badly about him in front of nonbelievers, or expel him, for any reason. This is a very odd response for two reasons.

 

First, Supporters add nothing to Hovind’s credibility —or their own– by implying that they, themselves, would keep mum about Hovind’s wrongdoing were they aware of it. Second, it presents the Good News as a cynical bargain: “You will spend eternity in Hell for your sins unless you accept Jesus. However, having accepted Him, you may continue sinning as you wish without fear of correction by other Christians. The catch is, you must never tell a nonbeliever about a believer’s wrongdoing, no matter what.” An offer that any honorable person would reject with contempt.

 


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nigelTheBold wrote:Paisley,I

nigelTheBold wrote:
Paisley,

I apologize for going all Max Cady on you. Your tenaciousness has no bearing on the worth of your discussion, no matter what its source.

Max Cady? The name of the character role that was performed by both Robert Mitchum (the original) and Robert DeNiro (the remake) of "Cape Fear?"

nigelTheBold wrote:
I have said I'm out of this discussion, and indeed I am. This post merely serves as an apology for the vitriol in my last post. I still hold to the substance of the post, which is why I am staying out of the discussion, but I certainly didn't need to be such a jerk about it.

Okay. Apology accepted. However, there's really no need to apologize unless you really believe in free will and felt you could not have acted otherwise. That you are now feeling guitly leads me to believe that you really do believe in philosophical indeterminism. The implications are obvious and no further commentary is necessary.

Be that as it may, I am not offended. I understand why you are upset. I am dismantling your worldview of atheistic materialism and this is to be expected.

nigelTheBold wrote:
But, I just stumbled across an interesting read from physicist Jean Bricmont that is very relevent to this discussion. In it, he basically explains my position (and understanding of the universe) much better than I myself could ever attempt. It's thirty pages, so it's a bit of a read, but I believe he has quite a bit to say on the subject of determinism; chaos theory; and quantum mechanics, mostly the Bohm hypothesis (which was mentioned a few posts above).

You certainly won't agree with him (he declares arguments against determinism are impotent), but as I said, it is an excellent summary of my position and understanding of these subjects. Perhaps it will give some insight into my understanding of the universe.

Anyway, no reply to this post or to the Jean Bricmont paper are needed or expected. It's all simply a hope for better mutual understanding.

I read the paper (27 pages to be exact).

To begin with, Jean Bricmont is not only a theoretical physicist but also a philosopher of science. I'm just pointing this out because you seem to have a low view of philosophers.

Secondly, what he says actually supports my view that quantum indeterminacy implies "without cause." Below is the quote which supports my claim. 

Quote:
Since most of our moral, legal and political philosophies assume some kind of free will, a lot appears to be at stake.[4] But the problem is the alternative to determinism within physics? As far as I can see, nothing has ever been proposed but pure randomness! Or, in other words, events with no cause.

source: pg. 5 of "Determinism, Chaos Theory, and Quantum Mechanics" by Jean Bricmont

http://www.fyma.ucl.ac.be/files/Turin.pdf

Thus he tacitly provides his motivation for writing the paper. To present an alternative view to quantum indeterminism. And that alternative view (as you have already stated above) is the Bohm interpretation.

However, I never denied the existence of other intepretations (deterministic ones included) of QM. I simply argued that the standard intepretation states that quantum events are indeterministic (which implies that they are without cause).

That being said, the deterministic interprations have their own set of problems (i.e. they're problematic for the worldview of atheistic materialism). The problems arises because Bell's inequalities basically demonstrates that there is no "local" deterministic theory that is compatible with QM. And Bohm's pilot wave interpretation demonstrates this.

see "Bohm interpretation"

Jean Bricmont provides a quote in his essay describing the manner in which the Bohm interpretation was received by prominent physicists. It was characterized as being "metaphysical."

Quote:
"When even Pauli, Rosenfield, and Heisenberg, could produce no more devastating criticism of Bohm's theory than to brand it as "metaphysical" and "ideological?" pg. 28 (source: pg. 2 "Speakable and Unspeakable in Quantum Mechanics" by John Bell)

source: pg. 28 "Determinism, Chaos Theory, and Quantum Mechanics" by Jean Bricmont

http://www.fyma.ucl.ac.be/files/Turin.pdf 

David Bohm wrote a book entitled "Wholeness and the Implicate Order" in which he summarized his interpretation of QM and its philosophical implications. It has a strong affinity with Buddhism and New Age shamanism. Apparently, the BI supports a pantheistic worldview.

see "Wholeness and the Implicate Order"

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


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If there is an ultimate pure

If there is an ultimate pure randomness as an attribute of the reality of the physics of the Universe, which is all QM points to, that is definitely evidence against a consciousness or mentality of any kind.

A 'God' that can be completely described by a mathematical wave-function hardly seems something worth worshipping. Its a God we could very closely simulate in a decent computer.

It also provides a clear source for the creative process, which ultimately works by a random process 'exploring' the space of the possible, which is ultimately the only way genuinely novel things arise, either in 'finding' relatively stable structures at the level of galaxies/stars/planetary systems. or in natural evolutionary processes or in our mental world (eg 'brain-storming' as a way of coming up with new ideas).

So QM supports Atheistic Naturalism, not Theism of any sort.

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

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

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If the phenomena we observe

If the phenomena we observe in the quantum scale behaved in such a way as to defeat all attempts to describe them even by a probability function. ie a finite mathematical equation, that would be a minimum requirement to point to the possibility of a consciousness behind them.

This is so far NOT what we see, so Theism is irrational, ie not consistent with observation.

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

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BobSpence1 wrote:If the

BobSpence1 wrote:

If the phenomena we observe in the quantum scale behaved in such a way as to defeat all attempts to describe them even by a probability function, that would be a minimum requirement to point to the possibility of a consciousness behind them.

This is so far NOT what we see, so Theism is irrational, ie not consistent with observation.

 

I don't see how that follows. How, since we can put a probability function to them, there's no consciousness behind them.

 

 


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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

If the phenomena we observe in the quantum scale behaved in such a way as to defeat all attempts to describe them even by a probability function, that would be a minimum requirement to point to the possibility of a consciousness behind them.

This is so far NOT what we see, so Theism is irrational, ie not consistent with observation.

 

I don't see how that follows. How, since we can put a probability function to them, there's no consciousness behind them.

 

It would have to be the sort of consciousness which could be completely replicated by a computer, with no hint of the traditional idea of 'free will'. Which actually I am comfortable with, assuming it was a sufficiently complex equation or program.

Just in case you want argue the Universe may be analogous to a computer, we see no evidence for that, it appears to be a largely chaotic system, with information exchange between its parts limited to relatively small area, limited by the speed of light, so it would be at best a very slow, inefficient computer, grossly inadequate to simulating consciousness.

It is inconsistent with dualism, ie as 'consciousness' being some irreducible element in itself, rather than a property of sufficiently complex processes taking place in a material structure, such as a brain.

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


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It only computes on the

It only computes on the Quantum scale.

 

Considering the amount of particle interacations going on every microsecond, I would say it is rather efficient.

 


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BobSpence1 wrote:If there is

BobSpence1 wrote:
If there is an ultimate pure randomness as an attribute of the reality of the physics of the Universe, which is all QM points to, that is definitely evidence against a consciousness or mentality of any kind.

Several points:

To begin with, here's a quote from the same essay by Jean Bircmont (which Nigel provided me with to support his argument).

Quote:
"The simplistic idea of deterministc causality must, however, be abandoned and replaced by the idea of statistical causality. For some physicists...this has been a very strong argument for the existence of God and an indication of his presence in nature." Wolfgang Pauli ("Problems in Philosophy: the Limits of Enquiry" by C. McGinn)

source: pg. 21 "Determinism, Chaos Theory, and Quantum Mechanics" by Jean Bircmont

http://www.fyma.ucl.ac.be/files/Turin.pdf

Secondly, "physical events occurring without physical causes" is evidence against materialism.

 

Thirdly, what are the alternatives of materialism? Dualism, idealism, pansychism, or some kind or dual-aspect or neutral monism. All imply that conscious-awareness is fundamental.

Fourthly, prominent physicists have formulated quantum mind theories based on quantum indeterminacy.

BobSpence1 wrote:
A 'God' that can be completely described by a mathematical wave-function hardly seems something worth worshipping. Its a God we could very closely simulate in a decent computer.

Remember, in the deterministic world of atheistic materialism, human beings are considered to be basically "robots with consciousness."  

BobSpence1 wrote:
It also provides a clear source for the creative process, which ultimately works by a random process 'exploring' the space of the possible, which is ultimately the only way genuinely novel things arise, either in 'finding' relatively stable structures at the level of galaxies/stars/planetary systems. or in natural evolutionary processes or in our mental world (eg 'brain-storming' as a way of coming up with new ideas).

Agreed. Chance is required for true novelty. Process theology (panentheism) which is based on the process philosophy of A.N. Whitefield requires pure chance or free will. In other words, each quantum system could be a center of consciousness.

BobSpence1 wrote:
So QM supports Atheistic Naturalism, not Theism of any sort.
 

Correction. It supports pantheistic/panentheistic naturalism.

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Amazing consciousness,  indeed. But why call it "FREE" ? It is still bound in the ONE, eternal infinite !

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Paisley wrote:BobSpence1

Paisley wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
If there is an ultimate pure randomness as an attribute of the reality of the physics of the Universe, which is all QM points to, that is definitely evidence against a consciousness or mentality of any kind.

Several points:

To begin with, here's a quote from the same essay by Jean Bircmont (which Nigel provided me with to support his argument).

Quote:
"The simplistic idea of deterministc causality must, however, be abandoned and replaced by the idea of statistical causality. For some physicists...this has been a very strong argument for the existence of God and an indication of his presence in nature." Wolfgang Pauli ("Problems in Philosophy: the Limits of Enquiry" by C. McGinn)

source: pg. 21 "Determinism, Chaos Theory, and Quantum Mechanics" by Jean Bircmont

http://www.fyma.ucl.ac.be/files/Turin.pdf

I agree that the "simplistic idea of deterministic materialism" must be abandoned, I have made this point repeatedly. But I just disagree that it in any way points to God, just to the obvious need for a more sophisticated world-view than "simplistic materialism".

Quote:
Secondly, "physical events occurring without physical causes" is evidence against materialism.

Simple question-begging non-sequiter there - only makes sense if you believe that 'non-physical' is a valid category, which is at the core of our disagreement.

Quote:
Thirdly, what are the alternatives of materialism? Dualism, idealism, pansychism, or some kind or dual-aspect or neutral monism. All imply that conscious-awareness is fundamental.
Scientific naturalism, which goes beyond "simplistic materiallism" which assumes that there is "nothing but" matter, which was was already out-dated once physics rigorously incorporated "energy" as a well-defined concept into its theories, and further rendered irrelevant as study of dynamic systems and complexity theory developed. Philosophy and meta-physics has not caught up with the subtleties of modern science, so concepts from those fields are way past their use-by date.

Quote:
Fourthly, prominent physicists have formulated quantum mind theories based on quantum indeterminacy.

Of course, never denied by me. Note the distinction between "indeterminacy" = unpredictability/uncertainty, and "indeterminism" = lack of cause.

Quote:
BobSpence1 wrote:
A 'God' that can be completely described by a mathematical wave-function hardly seems something worth worshipping. Its a God we could very closely simulate in a decent computer.

Remember, in the deterministic world of atheistic materialism, human beings are considered to be basically "robots with consciousness."

Again, of course.  Assuming a "robot" with complexity of structure and d matching that of ourselves, no problem. Your point is?

Quote:
BobSpence1 wrote:
It also provides a clear source for the creative process, which ultimately works by a random process 'exploring' the space of the possible, which is ultimately the only way genuinely novel things arise, either in 'finding' relatively stable structures at the level of galaxies/stars/planetary systems. or in natural evolutionary processes or in our mental world (eg 'brain-storming' as a way of coming up with new ideas).

Agreed. Chance is required for true novelty. Process theology (panentheism) which is based on the process philosophy of A.N. Whitefield requires pure chance or free will. In other words, each quantum system could be a center of consciousness.

BobSpence1 wrote:
So QM supports Atheistic Naturalism, not Theism of any sort.
 

Correction. It supports pantheistic/panentheistic naturalism.

No, randomness alone is only that - it requires the raw generation of novelty to be filtered through a non-random process of anaylsis to identify those ideas or structures or processes which have properties or attributes best meeting some critera of selection. This selection process may be non-sentient Darwinian Natural Selection, where the measure is simply survival into another generation. Or in "Artificial selection", this is done in the testing and analysis stage which must follow the "brain-storming" or hypothesis-generation stage. It is the essential analytic stage which is anything but random which is NOT observable in Quantum Mechanics, or any purely random process.

So unless you can point to non-random aspects of quantum indeterminacy, there is no evidence for mental processes being involved, rather the opposite, regardless of  apparent non-causality. Remember that there is no way to reliably distinguish "true" randomness from chaotic determinism by without knowledge of the actual deeper 'reality' behind the uncertainty observed and modelled by QT, which is currently in the realm of speculation.

Obviously, the randomness of QM does not rule out the possibility of a sentient universe, but it certainly does not support it. You will need to produce some evidence for an indeterminate process which can't be described by a simple wave-function, ie a wave-function of the same order of complexity as the system it describes. That means that if a system of a few particles or 'quanta' of energy should display continually varying statistical behaviour, that would be a minimum requirement to make your idea even marginally plausible. We don't currently see this, AFAIK. If I am wrong, please provide the reference.

It is utterly absurd to see evidence for sentience in "pure randomness". You are out of your tiny mind...

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Cpt_pineapple wrote:It only

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

It only computes on the Quantum scale.

 

Considering the amount of particle interacations going on every microsecond, I would say it is rather efficient.

 

Actually that would be a measure of inefficiency, unless it is the particle  interactions which are the 'output' of this computational process. Otherwise, if the particle interactions are part of the 'computation', the more of those there are for a given output, the less efficient it would be.

What exactly is this computer computing?? And where is the evidence of non-random interactions which would characterise actual computation, unless you are describing a giant random number generating algorithm....

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BobSpence1

BobSpence1 wrote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

It only computes on the Quantum scale.

 

Considering the amount of particle interacations going on every microsecond, I would say it is rather efficient.

 

Actually that would be a measure of inefficiency, unless it is the particle  interactions which are the 'output' of this computational process. Otherwise, if the particle interactions are part of the 'computation', the more of those there are for a given output, the less efficient it would be.

What exactly is this computer computing?? And where is the evidence of non-random interactions which would characterise actual computation, unless you are describing a giant random number generating algorithm....

 

When particles interact, other particles are exchanged (W-bosons, photons, depending on the force..) It's these particles that carry the information and hence do the computing.

 

What I was saying was that considering the amount of 'calculations' going on every second with particle interactions, it is an extremely efficent in the sense it can make many calculations per second.


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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

It only computes on the Quantum scale.

 

Considering the amount of particle interacations going on every microsecond, I would say it is rather efficient.

 

Actually that would be a measure of inefficiency, unless it is the particle  interactions which are the 'output' of this computational process. Otherwise, if the particle interactions are part of the 'computation', the more of those there are for a given output, the less efficient it would be.

What exactly is this computer computing?? And where is the evidence of non-random interactions which would characterise actual computation, unless you are describing a giant random number generating algorithm....

Sure, lots of raw information is being exchanged but to what ultimate effect, apart from ensuring that the resulting motions of the particles continue to follow trajectories consistent with the laws of physics??

 

When particles interact, other particles are exchanged (W-bosons, photons, depending on the force..) It's these particles that carry the information and hence do the computing.

 

What I was saying was that considering the amount of 'calculations' going on every second with particle interactions, it is an extremely efficent in the sense it can make many calculations per second.

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

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Quote:Sure, lots of raw

Quote:

Sure, lots of raw information is being exchanged but to what ultimate effect, apart from ensuring that the resulting motions of the particles continue to follow trajectories consistent with the laws of physics??

 

To create reality. To generate matter, to generate everything.

 


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The "Force" , "GAWED" ,

The "Force" , "GAWED" , "ONE"     Test it , Go science philosophy , kill religion ..... for gawed sakes ..... 


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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Quote:

Sure, lots of raw information is being exchanged but to what ultimate effect, apart from ensuring that the resulting motions of the particles continue to follow trajectories consistent with the laws of physics??

 

To create reality. To generate matter, to generate everything.

 

Generate matter??? Interacting particles are already 'matter', and matter most assuredly cannot create more matter, there a Law against that...

If you mean 'converting  energy into matter' well that happened in the earliest phases of the Big Bang, of course, you could describe it that way, but so what? Conceiving of this as a computer processing information may be  somewhat poetic way of thinking of it, doesn't add any real insight into what's going on, AFAICS.

 

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

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Paisley wrote:The term

Paisley wrote:

The term "freethinking" presupposes a belief in "free will." However, in the deterministic worldview of atheistic materialism, there is no free will. In other words, every thought or belief that an atheist has or entertains was completely predetermined and could not have been otherwise. This hardly constitutes the idea of freethinking.

The bottom line is that if there is no free will, then there is no freethinking. Moreover, the term "freethinking atheist" is actually an oxymoron. That being said, I will kindly ask the atheists on this forum to refrain from describing themselves as freethinkers. Intellectually honesty demands this.

Thank you. Smiling  

 

In my view, you are correct. There is no Free Will, Determinism rules, and you are a Theist because you have no choice, just as I am an atheist through no choice - only the illusion of choice.

 

Since you must realize that "Free Will" is also an oxymoron, I wonder if you will accept the inevitable conclusion that you have no choice in who you are.  you are just as the Universe made you, and will do exactly as you will no matter what you believe.  Just as we all will.

 

Remember, Determinism doesn't just act on those who believe in it, but also those who don't.   To sound a bit like a Fundi: we are all Determinists, though some just don't know it.  Gravity acts on every one - no one escapes it, likewise, Determinism.

 

As I like to say, I hate the idea of Determinism but have seen no good argument to get rid of it, and only stronger and stronger arguments to support it.  Besides, what am I to do, or you, since we are all "destined" to be the way we are.

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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BobSpence1 wrote:Generate

BobSpence1 wrote:

Generate matter??? Interacting particles are already 'matter', and matter most assuredly cannot create more matter, there a Law against that...

 

By 'generating matter', I meant the atomic level. Such as quarks forming protons, mass from the Higgs field etc...

 

 

 

Quote:

If you mean 'converting  energy into matter' well that happened in the earliest phases of the Big Bang, of course, you could describe it that way, but so what? Conceiving of this as a computer processing information may be  somewhat poetic way of thinking of it, doesn't add any real insight into what's going on, AFAICS.

 

So knowing the mechanism behind creation doesn't offer insight?


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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

Generate matter??? Interacting particles are already 'matter', and matter most assuredly cannot create more matter, there a Law against that...

 

By 'generating matter', I meant the atomic level. Such as quarks forming protons, mass from the Higgs field etc...

 

Ok heavier particles, and ultimately atoms, etc, progressively forming as the Big Bang plasma cools, You are just describing normal physics using different words - nothing really new, no problem.

Quote:

Quote:

If you mean 'converting  energy into matter' well that happened in the earliest phases of the Big Bang, of course, you could describe it that way, but so what? Conceiving of this as a computer processing information may be  somewhat poetic way of thinking of it, doesn't add any real insight into what's going on, AFAICS.

 

So knowing the mechanism behind creation doesn't offer insight?

You are just describing the currently understood processes in your own quirky way, not showing any new insights really.

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Cool daedalus, yep, and an

Cool daedalus, yep, and an ancient Buddha said that too ! Thanks .....  

 


 


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Why does everyone think I'm

Why does everyone think I'm 'quirky' or 'weird' or 'out to lunch'?

 


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I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:I AM a

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:

I AM a ROBOT , but I like it .... don't you ? 

   When's the celebration start? , Robot "ball room" dancing anyone ?  .... 

 

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.
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daedalus wrote:Paisley

daedalus wrote:
Paisley wrote:

The term "freethinking" presupposes a belief in "free will." However, in the deterministic worldview of atheistic materialism, there is no free will. In other words, every thought or belief that an atheist has or entertains was completely predetermined and could not have been otherwise. This hardly constitutes the idea of freethinking.

The bottom line is that if there is no free will, then there is no freethinking. Moreover, the term "freethinking atheist" is actually an oxymoron. That being said, I will kindly ask the atheists on this forum to refrain from describing themselves as freethinkers. Intellectually honesty demands this.

Thank you. Smiling 

In my view, you are correct. There is no Free Will, Determinism rules, and you are a Theist because you have no choice, just as I am an atheist through no choice - only the illusion of choice.

Since you must realize that "Free Will" is also an oxymoron, I wonder if you will accept the inevitable conclusion that you have no choice in who you are.  you are just as the Universe made you, and will do exactly as you will no matter what you believe.  Just as we all will.

Remember, Determinism doesn't just act on those who believe in it, but also those who don't.   To sound a bit like a Fundi: we are all Determinists, though some just don't know it.  Gravity acts on every one - no one escapes it, likewise, Determinism.

Well, I never said I subscribe to determinism. I simply said that the atheist must conclude the idea that a "freethinking" atheist is an oxymoron based on his commitment to determistic materialism.

daedalus wrote:
As I like to say, I hate the idea of Determinism but have seen no good argument to get rid of it, and only stronger and stronger arguments to support it.  Besides, what am I to do, or you, since we are all "destined" to be the way we are.

However, here's the rub. Determinism actually implies pantheism (the view that ultimate reality is conscious intelligence), not atheism. And here's why, if all intentional acts are synonymous with deterministic, physical acts (and they must be for determinism to hold true), then it logically follows that either the entire "natural process" is intelligent or there is no intelligence in the universe. Why? Because the entire natural process is determining everything that happens. In other words, the so-called "blind watchmaker" not only determined the evolution and development of eyeballs but also Swiss watches. 

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


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BobSpence1

BobSpence1 wrote:
Cpt_pineapple wrote:
To create reality. To generate matter, to generate everything.

Generate matter??? Interacting particles are already 'matter', and matter most assuredly cannot create more matter, there a Law against that...

What about virtual particles popping in and out of existence? Besides, haven't you already gone on record and argued that the universe emerging out of nothing uncaused (presumably as quantum fluctuation) is a perfectly rational position?

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


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:Why does

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Why does everyone think I'm 'quirky' or 'weird' or 'out to lunch'?

 

Not I, you are a fun smart cool poster Cpt... Hey, we are all "lost in space" and time!           


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Paisley wrote:daedalus

Paisley wrote:

daedalus wrote:
Paisley wrote:

The term "freethinking" presupposes a belief in "free will." However, in the deterministic worldview of atheistic materialism, there is no free will. In other words, every thought or belief that an atheist has or entertains was completely predetermined and could not have been otherwise. This hardly constitutes the idea of freethinking.

The bottom line is that if there is no free will, then there is no freethinking. Moreover, the term "freethinking atheist" is actually an oxymoron. That being said, I will kindly ask the atheists on this forum to refrain from describing themselves as freethinkers. Intellectually honesty demands this.

Thank you. Smiling 

In my view, you are correct. There is no Free Will, Determinism rules, and you are a Theist because you have no choice, just as I am an atheist through no choice - only the illusion of choice.

Since you must realize that "Free Will" is also an oxymoron, I wonder if you will accept the inevitable conclusion that you have no choice in who you are.  you are just as the Universe made you, and will do exactly as you will no matter what you believe.  Just as we all will.

Remember, Determinism doesn't just act on those who believe in it, but also those who don't.   To sound a bit like a Fundi: we are all Determinists, though some just don't know it.  Gravity acts on every one - no one escapes it, likewise, Determinism.

Well, I never said I subscribe to determinism. I simply said that the atheist must conclude the idea that a "freethinking" atheist is an oxymoron based on his commitment to determistic materialism.

daedalus wrote:
As I like to say, I hate the idea of Determinism but have seen no good argument to get rid of it, and only stronger and stronger arguments to support it.  Besides, what am I to do, or you, since we are all "destined" to be the way we are.

However, here's the rub. Determinism actually implies pantheism (the view that ultimate reality is conscious intelligence), not atheism. And here's why, if all intentional acts are synonymous with deterministic, physical acts (and they must be for determinism to hold true), then it logically follows that either the entire "natural process" is intelligent or there is no intelligence in the universe. Why? Because the entire natural process is determining everything that happens. In other words, the so-called "blind watchmaker" not only determined the evolution and development of eyeballs but also Swiss watches. 

 

1. OK so you can't refute Determinism. OK.

2. No, it is not a form of Pantheism, unless you mean in the loosest terms (remember, "God" means many things to many people, and some say "God = Existence" - well, I believe in existence, does that mean I believe in God?  I'm sure anyone could define "god" to mean something even a solipsist believes in.  Don't be so proud that you've reduced god to such a minimal and meaningless term.)

 

Pantheism is the idea that all of the universe has an intelligence, akin to human intelligence.  That we are the body of God.  OK, in a way, fine, but I'd say that the intelligence is no intelligence but a random fluctuation.  What do you tell someone that they don't believe the universe isn't god?  You certainly don't call them a Pantehist - so your suggestion is off the mark (is it so hard for you to accept that the god concept is an outdated mythological concept?)

 

So, Determinism.  There is nothing contradictory about being atheist and Determinist.  I know you want to inject "god" in any way you can, but that is just silly.  It's making a mockery of any definition of "god".  Either you know what God is or you don't: which is it?

 

To call God the "first cause" or some such thing is not helpful.  I'm a Noncognitivist as far as God is concerned: you have to show that the term "god" has any meaning at all.  Good luck.

 

Determinism is NOT about "intention", it is about a simple casual chain.  The fact that you think that it all means something, or that the casual chain must begin with some intention shows your bias.

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