The "Freethinking" Atheist

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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  

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Paisley. I think you are

Well said daedalus ....

Paisley. I think you are also over defining the average Atheist, as it is understood by most to simply mean rejecting the theism of God of Abe or similar god concepts. Philosophy of consciousness and materialism does vary. Atheism basically means no religion dogma nor superstition. Where consciousness fits into the "grand picture" is more of a science question.

Pantheism is sexed up Atheism , said cool Richard Dawkins. Sounds about right to me. How about, "Romantisizing consciousness" Atheists, are the Pantheists ! 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:Paisley

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
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.

I'm not sure about the "Lorentz" force. This is what he said... 

Quote:
There exists a background sea of quantum light filling the universe and that light generates a force that opposes acceleration when you push on any material object. That is why matter seems to be solid, stable stuff that we, and the world, are made of. So maybe matter resists acceleration not because it possesses some innate thing called mass as Newton proposed and we all believed, but because the zero-point field exerts a force whenever acceleration takes place.

pg. 82 "The God Theory" by Bernard Haisch

source: Wikipedia "Bernard Haisch"

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

Baiscally, he sees light (which he seems to use interchangeably with consciousness...hence the reason I characterized his views as pantheistic) as creating space, time and mass.  

Quote:
"The zero-point field inertia hypothesis proposes that the most fundamental property of matter, namely mass, is also created by light.

(source: pg. 119 "The God Theory" by Bernard Haisch)

Quote:
"It is not matter that creates an illusion of consciousness, but consciousness that creates an illusion of matter."

(source: pg. 137 "The God Theory" by Bernard Haisch

 

But you are correct. Apparently, physicist Bill Unruh did not reach the same result when performing the computations.

See Bernard Haish.

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Paisley wrote:Cpt_pineapple

Paisley wrote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
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.

I'm not sure about the "Lorentz" force.

 

http://www.calphysics.org/articles/PRA94.pdf

 

Quote:

But you are correct. Apparently, physicist Bill Unruh did not reach the same result when performing the computations.

 

So why are you using it if it's wrong?


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:Oh and

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
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.

Agreed.

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

Okay. I will.

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


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BMcD wrote:Paisley wrote:If

BMcD wrote:
Paisley wrote:
If the expression of profanity "is likely out of pain, not anger," then how does this support your counter-argument that "anger is not always directed at an agent?" I suggest you take a few minutes, think about it, and have another go at it later because right now you are failing miserably.

Nice try, but you've obviously let your reading comprehension skills decay.

A)the initial point that it 'is likely out of pain, not anger', is not in support of the directionality of anger, but directly rebutting your claim that such exclamations represent anger.

B)the counterargument that any anger that does result need not be directed at an agent is not harmed in any way by either the clarification that anger need not result, or the further clarification that were it to result, and were it to be directed, it would not be directed toward a deity, nor based on moral considerations.

When an atheist stubs his toe on the leg of a coffee table in the privacy of his home and becomes angry and expresses his anger with expletives, then what can one logically conclude? As far as I can see, there are only three possibilities.

1) He is angry at the coffee table because he is apparently asking God to damn it. However, this suggests that the atheist is acting irrationally because he believes the "coffee table" is an intelligent agent and is morally responsible for causing him pain.

2) He is angry at himself because he is asking God to damn himself. However, upon further reflection, this also reveals irrationality. First, why is he asking for punishment (to be cursed) for causing himself pain. He will only receive more pain. And then, he will have to curse himself again and ask for more punishment and therefore more pain and so forth. An infinite regress results. Also, if the atheist truly accepts the deterministic worldview of atheistic materialism, then he must accept that everything that happens could not have been otherwise. There should never be a reason for him to become angry with himself because he should realize that he could not have acted otherwise. If you argue that he does, then you are making an argument that he is acting irrationally.

3) He is angry at the "powers that be" that allowed this to happen. This is the most rational explanation. However, this just provides proof that the atheist doesn't really deny the existence of God but is simply angry with his presence.

BMcD wrote:
Your conflation of those is akin to saying 'if the brakes on your car failed not out of manual brake line disconnection, but mechanical defect, then how does this support your counter-argument that brake line disconnection isn't always the result of malice?' That brakes fail doesn't have a damn thing to do with whether mechanics screw up when working on a car. They are seperate points.

Reading comprehension for the win.

You may find fault with my reading skills but I hope you don't seriously expect anyone to comprehend what you have just written. It's complete gibberish.

"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:Read

nigelTheBold wrote:
Read carefully through the Wikipedia entry on the Copenhagen Interpretation. You will note that it never once refers to "uncaused" events. In fact, it's interesting to study the five principles of the Copenhagen Interpretation:

Quote:

  1. A system is completely described by a wave function ψ, which represents an observer's knowledge of the system. (Heisenberg)  
  2. The description of nature is essentially probabilistic. The probability of an event is related to the square of the amplitude of the wave function related to it. (Max Born)
  3. Heisenberg's uncertainty principle states the observed fact that it is not possible to know the values of all of the properties of the system at the same time; those properties that are not known with precision must be described by probabilities.
  4. (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.(Niels Bohr)
  5. Measuring devices are essentially classical devices, and measure classical properties such as position and momentum.
  6. The Correspondence Principle of Bohr and Heisenberg: the quantum mechanical description of large systems should closely approximate to the classical description.

Item number 2 states explicitly: "The description of nature is essentially probabilistic." This means that it is indeterministic. And Wikipedia has an article on "Quantum inderminacy". There should be no reason to specifically state in every circumstance that this means "without cause." This meaning is implicit in the definition of the term "indeterminism."

nigelTheBold wrote:
Information Philosopher wrote:
Quantum indeterminacy produces uncaused causes. There is still a causal chain, but it does not permit complete predictability. Events are now merely probable, no longer certain, though the probability can be arbitrarily close to certainty.

First it says there are "uncaused causes," but then equivocates by saying there is still a causal chain, which is the same as saying, "They are caused, but some of the causes are based on probability." Which we already knew and agreed upon, at least the part about probability. We are disagreeing on the source of the probability -- pure randomness (your case), or chaos (a very possible source).

There's no equivocation. The term "uncaused cause" is just a euphemism for free will or mental cause. And something that is probabilistically determined is not incompatible with indeterminism. It simply means the probabilities can be determined but the actual outcome of a truly probabilistic event cannot be known because it is unpredictable because it is uncaused.

Besides, all this is now moot. You have provided an essay by Jean Bricmont who says unequivocally and emphatically that purely random events are uncaused.

"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:So why

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
So why are you using it if it's wrong?

It has not been proven wrong. It is simply being disputed by one physicist. The article also goes on to defend the view. Besides, this is only a theory for mass. It may be true; it may not be true. We will have to wait for experimental results. Be that as it may, the point is that many prominent physicists actually view QM in pantheistic terms.

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


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Magus wrote:I wonder what he

Magus wrote:
I wonder what he thinks about people with tourette's syndrome.

Are you comparing atheism with "tourette's syndrome?"

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When's this stupid thread

When's this stupid thread going to finally die?


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nigelTheBold wrote:Re-read

nigelTheBold wrote:
Re-read your Paul Davies quote with that in mind, and you'll realize that interpretation of Paul Davies quote makes more sense than your, "Without cause" interpretation. Or not.

Paul Davies entitled his book (from which I obtained the quote) "The Mind of God" for a very good reason.

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Eloise wrote:No it doesn't.

Eloise wrote:
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.

Well, saying that it "cast serious doubt on our undertanding of causality" says it all. This has major implications.

Incidentally, according to Wikipedia's chart on quantum interpretations, RQM is classified as non-deterministic. Is this how you understand it?

Eloise wrote:
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.

So, let's hear the definition you believe to be more accurate.

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MattShizzle wrote:When's

MattShizzle wrote:

When's this stupid thread going to finally die?

Hopefully not until everyone while sending a smile says, I AM GOD ! We are ONE. NO MASTER. NO RELIGION. NO theisms ......   


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Paisley wrote:When an

Paisley wrote:

When an atheist stubs his toe on the leg of a coffee table in the privacy of his home and becomes angry and expresses his anger with expletives, then what can one logically conclude? As far as I can see, there are only three possibilities.

1) He is angry at the coffee table because he is apparently asking God to damn it. However, this suggests that the atheist is acting irrationally because he believes the "coffee table" is an intelligent agent and is morally responsible for causing him pain.

2) He is angry at himself because he is asking God to damn himself. However, upon further reflection, this also reveals irrationality. First, why is he asking for punishment (to be cursed) for causing himself pain. He will only receive more pain. And then, he will have to curse himself again and ask for more punishment and therefore more pain and so forth. An infinite regress results. Also, if the atheist truly accepts the deterministic worldview of atheistic materialism, then he must accept that everything that happens could not have been otherwise. There should never be a reason for him to become angry with himself because he should realize that he could not have acted otherwise. If you argue that he does, then you are making an argument that he is acting irrationally.

3) He is angry at the "powers that be" that allowed this to happen. This is the most rational explanation. However, this just provides proof that the atheist doesn't really deny the existence of God but is simply angry with his presence.

A)Again, you fail to account for the concept that when a person, atheist or otherwise, stubs his toe and expresses his immediate feelings with expletive exclamations, he doesn't have to be angry to do so. He can be filtering a yelp of pain through his normal system of self-expression: language.

B)If I say 'goddammit', that doesn't mean I'm actually asking God to damn anything. I've been culturally exposed to the usage of 'goddammit' as an expression of negative emotion from a very young age, and I may well be simply expressing negative emotion. This negative emotion need not be anger, either. It may be something as simple as 'Mongo no like pain'.

So, I must at this time ask you: Do you believe that when someone says 'goddammit', they *must* be actually talking to God? And do you believe that if someone stubs their toe, they *must* become angry?

If you believe these things, then you are willfully and intentionally deceiving yourself in your assertions on this matter. If not, then you are willfully and intentionally attempting to deceive us with misinformation. In either case, you are a truly incredible fellow, by which I mean that I cannot hold you as credible.

Paisley wrote:
BMcD wrote:
Your conflation of those is akin to saying 'if the brakes on your car failed not out of manual brake line disconnection, but mechanical defect, then how does this support your counter-argument that brake line disconnection isn't always the result of malice?' That brakes fail doesn't have a damn thing to do with whether mechanics screw up when working on a car. They are seperate points.

Reading comprehension for the win.

You may find fault with my reading skills but I hope you don't seriously expect anyone to comprehend what you have just written. It's complete gibberish.

Hardly.

Let me put it into smaller words for you:

People can say things that are true. Thing 1 can be true. Thing 2 can be true. Thing 1 can even be true if Thing 1 doesn't have anything to do with Thing 2.

I like fish. I like ice cream. My liking fish doesn't affect me liking ice cream at all.

Paisley is human. The Sun rises in the east. Paisley being human doesn't make the sun rise in the east.

Get it yet, Mongo, or should I use pictures next?

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Ha ha Paisley .... When I

Ha ha Paisley .... When I stub my toe, I AM mad at me GOD and the innocent table ! God damn ME ! And you "fucking table" too. ((( Throws "fucking damn table" thru window!       

You is being silly teacher Paisley, unless there is a moral ending to this fun lesson of yours .... LOL .... either way, I have learned alot, and to trust my common sense, what little I have  ..... and that fancy philosophers can be a bit silly too.  

    To continue, circumstances, ultimately beyond our limited ( "freewill" ) control, caused all this and you want to call it god?, .... Well okay, yep the force is the why of everything ..... But the force is what I and you and the table etc are. ONE. Yes blame the force, the ONE as all is. Am I mad at me/table god force sometimes?  Fuck yeah .... 

    See how silly this is getting. Now we will go on to argue what comes first, E/M or Consciousness???,  or are they the same thing???  Okay, but this isn't about religion is it ??? 

Do you think E/M fits the description/definition of being inherently conscious ? I hope we can find an answer/cure for these questions that make for nightmares and so many people crazy and even dangerous !  

Thing is, the amazing truth won't change my motto , i am god as you ( as all is one ). Our awe will be unchanged and the vast unknown will remain unchanged ....        

 

 

 

     


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Paisley wrote:BobSpence1

Paisley wrote:

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?

The concept of virtual particles cannot ultimately generate matter, since they are constrained to be disappear within an extremely short time precisely to avoid violating the principle of the Conservation off Matter/Energy - Quantum Theory only allows for a very temporary apparent violation, within the scale of Heisenberg's Uncertainty. This is in the context of an actual Universe, after the singularity, which is the proposal I was addressing.

The idea of an actual Universe emerging from a quantum-level fluctuation is another thing - that would not be observed either within the context of the newly emergent Universe, or within a possible meta-universe where the 'fluctuation' occurred. The idea is that the new universe would expand within its own space, effectively 'budding-off' from the other universe - it would not be observable from the first universe. IOW, as far as the original universe is concerned, there is no anomaly. There is also a reasonable argument that the nett energy equivalent of the whole Universe is zero, when the gravitational energy energy is taken into account. This is one response to the issue of conservation of matter/energy.

I can understand that you would see this as contradicting my assertion about matter not being 'created', but this is not a show-stopper for cosmologists at the leading edge of this discipline, pushing further back to elucidate the physics of the  of the very first instants of the Big Bang, and hints of what preceded , or if 'preceded' quite makes sense at that point. I listen to these guys, and your endless demonstration of how thoroughly you mis-understand these things is actually pathetic, almost as pathetic as your stupid stubbornness on the 'cursing' side-track.

And here you go again with the 'uncaused' bit. It's been addressed, ad nauseum. You still refuse to grasp that causation is a more slippery concept that you think, and the proposition that a 'mental' cause is the only answer is not an answer at all - it just raises bigger mysteries.

 

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Paisley wrote:Eloise

Paisley wrote:

Eloise wrote:
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.

Well, saying that it "cast serious doubt on our undertanding of causality" says it all. This has major implications.

Incidentally, according to Wikipedia's chart on quantum interpretations, RQM is classified as non-deterministic. Is this how you understand it?

Quote:

4.4 Quantum mechanics

As indicated above, QM is widely thought to be a strongly non-deterministic theory. Popular belief (even among most physicists) holds that phenomena such as radioactive decay, photon emission and absorption, and many others are such that only a probabilistic description of them can be given. The theory does not say what happens in a given case, but only says what the probabilities of various results are. So, for example, according to QM the fullest description possible of a radium atom (or a chunk of radium, for that matter), does not suffice to determine when a given atom will decay, nor how many atoms in the chunk will have decayed at any given time. The theory gives only the probabilities for a decay (or a number of decays) to happen within a given span of time. Einstein and others perhaps thought that this was a defect of the theory that should eventually be removed, by a supplemental hidden variable theory[6] that restores determinism; but subsequent work showed that no such hidden variables account could exist. At the microscopic level the world is ultimately mysterious and chancy.

So goes the story; but like much popular wisdom, it is partly mistaken and/or misleading. Ironically, quantum mechanics is one of the best prospects for a genuinely deterministic theory in modern times! Even more than in the case of GTR and the hole argument, everything hinges on what interpretational and philosophical decisions one adopts. The fundamental law at the heart of non-relativistic QM is the Schrödinger equation. The evolution of a wavefunction describing a physical system under this equation is normally taken to be perfectly deterministic.[7] If one adopts an interpretation of QM according to which that's it — i.e., nothing ever interrupts Schrödinger evolution, and the wavefunctions governed by the equation tell the complete physical story — then quantum mechanics is a perfectly deterministic theory. There are several interpretations that physicists and philosophers have given of QM which go this way.

 

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/determinism-causal/#QuaMec

 

 

We can intrepret things many ways, but what we are left with is no argument against Determinism that stands out.

 

Paisley, I notice you have not show that Determinism is untrue.

 

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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Paisley wrote:Well, saying

Paisley wrote:
Well, saying that it "cast serious doubt on our undertanding of causality" says it all. This has major implications.

Yes it does, not least of all to your understanding of causality, Paisley, as I have repeatedly pointed out. Note it is not asserting that the events are "uncaused" in a simplistic sense. It is entirely consistent with my arguments here.

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daedalus wrote:We can

daedalus wrote:
We can intrepret things many ways, but what we are left with is no argument against Determinism that stands out.

Paisley, I notice you have not show that Determinism is untrue.

This is simply a vain attempt to redefine quantum indeterminacy as "probabilistically determined" and then somehow fooling yourself into believing that it is really deterministic after all. Something that is probabilistically determined only means that we can determine the probabilities of a given situation, not the actual outcome. Why? Because the actual outcome is without cause and thus indeterminate.

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Paisley wrote:daedalus

Paisley wrote:

daedalus wrote:
We can intrepret things many ways, but what we are left with is no argument against Determinism that stands out.

Paisley, I notice you have not show that Determinism is untrue.

This is simply a vain attempt to redefine quantum indetermancy as "probabilistically determined" and then somehow fooling yourself into believing that it is really deterministic after all. Something that is probabilistically determined only means that we can determine the probabilities of a given situation, not the actual outcome. Why? Because the actual outcome is without cause and thus indeterminate.

Oh, for the love of Bob Costas...

Paisley, haven't you gotten it yet? Indeterminacy doesn't mean 'uncaused', it means 'we can't determine the cause', because we can't measure things beyond a certain point without the very act of measuring screwing up the measurement. It means the cause is not determinable, not that the cause doesn't exist!

Wait, sorry, forgot, small words...

"Indeterminacy" (I'll trust you can read it, since you write it) does not mean 'no cause', it means 'we don't know the cause'. And we don't know the cause because when we look, we get in our own way.

Or should we start breaking out the finger paints and crayons for you, Mongo?

Jiminey freakin' Cricket!

 

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BMcD wrote:A)Again, you fail

BMcD wrote:
A)Again, you fail to account for the concept that when a person, atheist or otherwise, stubs his toe and expresses his immediate feelings with expletive exclamations, he doesn't have to be angry to do so. He can be filtering a yelp of pain through his normal system of self-expression: language.

No, I didn't. It is possible to experience pain without expressing anger. However, when an individual screams expletives such as "God F****** damn it!," then he is clearly exhibiting anger.

BMcD wrote:
B)If I say 'goddammit', that doesn't mean I'm actually asking God to damn anything. I've been culturally exposed to the usage of 'goddammit' as an expression of negative emotion from a very young age, and I may well be simply expressing negative emotion. This negative emotion need not be anger, either. It may be something as simple as 'Mongo no like pain'.

You just confirmed my previous point by saying it is an expression of a NEGATIVE emotion. We call this negative emotion ANGER!

Please don't insult my intelligence by attempting to argue that atheists NEVER become angry when stubbing their toe.

BMcD wrote:
So, I must at this time ask you: Do you believe that when someone says 'goddammit', they *must* be actually talking to God? And do you believe that if someone stubs their toe, they *must* become angry?

The issue is not "must" but "when." And WHEN an atheist becomes angry upon stubbing his toe (which anyone with a modicum of honesty will certainly acknowledge that it happens), then the question becomes: "At whom or at what is he directing that anger?"

Moreover, the atheist doesn't even have to invoke the term "God" (albeit this is what an atheist will usually do), they simply have to express anger for my argument to hold true. And you have not been able to refute it.

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BMcD wrote:Paisley, haven't

BMcD wrote:
Paisley, haven't you gotten it yet? Indeterminacy doesn't mean 'uncaused', it means 'we can't determine the cause', because we can't measure things beyond a certain point without the very act of measuring screwing up the measurement. It means the cause is not determinable, not that the cause doesn't exist!

Wrong! It has nothing to do with measurement error. By saying this, you demonstrate that you do not know the true nature of quantum indeterminacy.

Quote:
In quantum mechanics, however, indeterminacy is of a much more fundamental nature, having nothing to do with errors or disturbance.

source: Wikipedia "Quantum indeterminacy"

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Paisley wrote:The issue is

Paisley wrote:

The issue is not "must" but "when." And WHEN an atheist becomes angry upon stubbing his toe (which anyone with a modicum of honesty will certainly acknowledge that it happens), then the question becomes: "At whom or at what is he directing that anger?"

Moreover, the atheist doesn't even have to invoke the term "God" (albeit this is what an atheist will usually do), they simply have to express anger for my argument to hold true. And you have not been able to refute it.

Whom??? Let me guess, reality???  Ahhh, wait, the mean "God of Pain"!  

Refute what? Do Atheists express anger differently?. Do animals often get irritable (angry) when in pain? 

Paisley, have you been vocalizing with god ?

Here's a tough one, "What came first?"     Let me guess, you are looking for a word or more !  Maybe Consciousness , E/M  , Time  , 

Well the best I could find is  > g o d <     , but what's that?   

  We IS all so silly. Can we get over it?  The end of "THEISMS" please .... igod, U2

                ((( over my head... wait , under my head, wait , left, right  )))

                       *                Okay I admit it , me lost   

                                                                   *


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Mixing Linguistics and

Mixing Linguistics and Science; A messy blend.

   Calling the bang the "BIG Bang" is as goofy as the QM word, "UNCAUSED" .....

           Geezzz,  the poor confused kids and public. Go better communication

         What is big, tiny? "Big Bang"  ???? Damn name .... say typical transition 

                       AND,  "Uncaused" my ass !!!! .... say cause unknown

                                        ( fix the words said a Buddha)

                                

    

                      

                                 

                                      


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Paisley wrote:And you have

Paisley wrote:
And you have not been able to refute it.

Oh please, it's been refuted to shreds.

Also, I can't help but notice you've been cheerfully ignoring that science guy's replies since #334. Got nothing to say to him ? Then why are you still talking ?


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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  


 


ANY debate or discussion involving "free will" is heavily and entirley dependant on how one defines free will.
Wading through countless of these debates, formal and informal, I have found it literally impossible to make any sort of progress unless the terms are completely defined and agreed upon.

I believe in free will generally speaking, we have the ability to make choices and yatta yatta yatta...
But technically who you are determines what choices you make, and who you are was determined, if you think about it, by when, where, and to whom you were born.  So TECHNICALLY, with God and fate out of the picture, we still technically don't actually have free will, because of how or decision making was formed to begin with.  But talking about that is also technically useless and not what people mean when they are referring to "free will."

And none of that is what people are referring to when they are saying "freethinking."  That is something completely different.  That means you think and belief without chains to religion, other people, or organizations.  Wether or not free will exists has nothing to do with that.


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Paisley wrote:Eloise

Paisley wrote:

Eloise wrote:
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.

Well, saying that it "cast serious doubt on our undertanding of causality" says it all. This has major implications.

"Understanding" is the key word here. More compelling in many ways than the question of whether we can 'pin down' a cause of microscopic particle states is the question of whether if or when we do it will it be relevant in any way to our classical notion of causality.

For example take the MWI. It may be classifiable as a deterministic theory but inasmuch it also provides the unitary evolution of the Schroedinger wave as the determiner, this is nothing at all like the classical one to one mapped function notion of causality implied by philosophical determinism, it is, instead, the concept of all states evolving unitarily in superposition and interaction with each other (dead cats and live cats poking and prodding each other) and decohering to the degree that they become entangled with a descriptive (not prescriptive) environment. Decoherence, then, is observer-dependent (qualifying non-classical classes of observers) whereupon it generally follows that classical causality is applicable, rather, to the preferred basis of an entangled system of a class of observer, namely the one with which we are associating our identity. So in that sense, classical one to one correlation function determinism is effect not causality and to establish a multiverse deterministic reality is to establish, case in point, that cause is effect and effect, cause. This is where MWI drastically departs from the assumptions of CI which, to wit, are in many respects made in an effort to preserve the classical exponentiating cause-effect relation, albeit unsuccessfully.

Paisley wrote:

Incidentally, according to Wikipedia's chart on quantum interpretations, RQM is classified as non-deterministic. Is this how you understand it?

Yes. The reason RQM is classifiable as non-deterministic is one major assumption of MWI from which it distances itself. The notion of a privileged status of the superposed state. In RQM there is no 'absolute reality'. RQM departs from considering the ontological status of the wavefunction, not necessarily negating it, but giving it no special nature in the process. While MWI holds the multiverse as fundamental, RQM could be said to regard it as trivially possible and thus not important in the determination of any entangled state.

I actually depart, myself, from Everett on the, I believe naiive, notion of deterministic time evolution and am inclined to agree with Rovelli's time independent relational scheme, likewise with his idea above of a non-special multiverse. However, I retain in my schema an existing multiverse, as it doesn't require a fundamental nature in order to exist.

Essentially the two relational theories do not clash with each other, I find. Many worlds shifts with the progression of knowledge naturally towards RQM and RQM is not at all unaccommodating to the basic existence of parallel universes.

Paisley wrote:

Eloise wrote:
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.

So, let's hear the definition you believe to be more accurate.

As I mentioned above it generally follows from decoherence (and is rarely stated in any explicit manner) that the preferred basis problem is solvable as an aspect of entangled system of some class of observers. I visualise this as a literal geometric object of a polar type and see classical states evolving over some number of these poles. An observer class is a classical state evolved over such preferred basis 'bumps' in state space, that is, conscious will as we would ordinarily define it, is a result of some number of instances of clumping entanglement over shared bases. And thus I say that our historical notion of conscious will is nothing of the sort, it is unconscious identification of self with a probabilistic zeitgeist which we neither question nor consider on the conscious level. In short, we allow the preferred basis to make our decisions for us and walk the path of an unconscious will, not a conscious one.

So what is conscious will then? It is quite simply extrapolated from the above paragraph - it is the conscious identification of self with a 'probabilistic zeitgeist'; a likely reality. Which is kind of like faith.. well it kind of is faith... only defined better.

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Samuel wrote:Paisley

Samuel 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  


 


ANY debate or discussion involving "free will" is heavily and entirley dependant on how one defines free will.
Wading through countless of these debates, formal and informal, I have found it literally impossible to make any sort of progress unless the terms are completely defined and agreed upon.

I believe in free will generally speaking, we have the ability to make choices and yatta yatta yatta...
But technically who you are determines what choices you make, and who you are was determined, if you think about it, by when, where, and to whom you were born.  So TECHNICALLY, with God and fate out of the picture, we still technically don't actually have free will, because of how or decision making was formed to begin with.  But talking about that is also technically useless and not what people mean when they are referring to "free will."

And none of that is what people are referring to when they are saying "freethinking."  That is something completely different.  That means you think and belief without chains to religion, other people, or organizations.  Wether or not free will exists has nothing to do with that.

 

Paisley, I attach the above post and add to it.  Hows this?

 

Please tell me which # you disagree with.

 

1. Whatever I am, is because of the causal chain before me.

2. The causal chain exists whether it's source can be discovered or not.

3. All actions are based on this causal chain, AND other intervening causal chains that may cross my "path".

4. The causal chain that has led to "Me" could be one that has allowed me to a "Freethinker" in the sense that I don't accept what is a traditional way of thinking (after all, it is just a definition; just a word to distinguish between people who think differently - or rather, cmoe to a different conclusion).

5. "Freethinking" is still in relation to causal chains.  It is not really "free", it is just a different conclusion.

6. We ALL have our own causal chain, and will interact with other causal chains based on the decisions we make in reaction to events in our environment.

7.  We all make decisions based on a whole host of events that preceded us that we have no control over.

8.  When we react, and hope to change our "path", it is actually still our causal chain.  (Whether there are multiple realities or not - they are all "ours&quotEye-wink

9. Our reaction affects other people, just as their actions affect ours.

10. Nothing exists in a vacuum in the philosophical sense.

11. Determinism simply suggests that our causal chain is exactly what it is.  It is less a predictive view, but an explanatory view.  That is, theoretically we MAY be able to know exactly what will happen, and what we will think 20 years from now, but we don't and that gives us the appearance of having control over our "path".

12. A God would know the future only if Determinism is true. Otherwise, even a God could not know random events - if they are truly random.

13. If your god doesn't know the future, it is because of the random events affect the outcome of events - which means Determinism is true - since it is a causal chain that, even though has random events in it, is dependent on the event that precedes each event.

14. Unless you can show that a unique, willful (not random) event can be create ex nihilio, then you can't show that there is Free Will.

15. If Free Will doesn't exist, then the Xian God, and many others has been proven to not exist.

16. We can't prove a negative: We can't prove Free Will doesn't exist, but we can show that there is no evidence for it.

 

I will add that science has also shown that our reactions are more bodily, and THEN (a fraction of a second later) our brain kicks in a either says "no" or does exactly what our body was going to do anyhow.  That is, the brain doesn't say "yes", or thinks about things. It only has veto power.  That is, science is showing that we have much less control over our actions than we ever realized. Adding support to Determinism.

 

So, your OP: Freethinking is a term that describes a certain persons actions.  Like "he's a bicyclist".  It describes what a person is doing.  That is, a person is a Freethinker because of the casual chain that has led him to be one.  no, it doesn't mean they work in a vacuum, or create ideas ex nihilio, etc.

 

You are who you are just because, and I am the same. We had no choice over the matter, and have no choice over what will happen in the future.  You will turn out exactly as your "causal chain" will end up, and where it is going. 

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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Paisley wrote:BMcD

Paisley wrote:

BMcD wrote:
A)Again, you fail to account for the concept that when a person, atheist or otherwise, stubs his toe and expresses his immediate feelings with expletive exclamations, he doesn't have to be angry to do so. He can be filtering a yelp of pain through his normal system of self-expression: language.

No, I didn't. It is possible to experience pain without expressing anger. However, when an individual screams expletives such as "God F****** damn it!," then he is clearly exhibiting anger.

I know some people with tourette syndrome who you thing are very very angry all the time.

I bet you think gay people are just cheerful all the time too.

The idea that word cannot take on new meaning.

Are you really sure "God F*****" might not have something to do with deity sexual intercourse.

Paisley wrote:

BMcD wrote:
B)If I say 'goddammit', that doesn't mean I'm actually asking God to damn anything. I've been culturally exposed to the usage of 'goddammit' as an expression of negative emotion from a very young age, and I may well be simply expressing negative emotion. This negative emotion need not be anger, either. It may be something as simple as 'Mongo no like pain'.

You just confirmed my previous point by saying it is an expression of a NEGATIVE emotion. We call this negative emotion ANGER!

Please don't insult my intelligence by attempting to argue that atheists NEVER become angry when stubbing their toe.

BMcD wrote:
So, I must at this time ask you: Do you believe that when someone says 'goddammit', they *must* be actually talking to God? And do you believe that if someone stubs their toe, they *must* become angry?

The issue is not "must" but "when." And WHEN an atheist becomes angry upon stubbing his toe (which anyone with a modicum of honesty will certainly acknowledge that it happens), then the question becomes: "At whom or at what is he directing that anger?"

Why does it have to be directed in the first place?  Directed seems like a completely different act than the emotion itself.  Especially since emotions can be re-directed.


 

Sounds made up...
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With reference to posts by Bob Spence, Samuel, and daedalus

After reading some of your posts, and especially daedalus's #377, I'm wondering--did you read my posts

171369  and 172288  in this discussion? 

 

I was also wondering what your own responses would be to two quotes from those posts.

 

The first, paraphrased, was

"BobSpence1" does not exist. "BobSpence1" is just a label that  people apply, for their own convenience, to a bunch of subatomic particles that are simply going about their business. Just as they have for the last 12 billion years. Said bunch's "ideas" (perhaps one of them is that [it] is a Free Thinker) are nothing but configurations of the Universe's matter/energy that occur as those particles follow the Universe's impersonal laws. So are those of the bunch known as Kent Hovind.

 

In other words, if this is all the bunch of particles labeled "BobSpence1" is, then how is that bunch of particles a Free Thinker in any way that the bunch labeled "Kent Hovind" is not?

 

The second quote was,

 

 

Kent Hovind thinks it’s a good thing to massacre Muslim insurgents, then bury them in mass graves filled with pig guts. On the other hand, Materialists of my acquaintance maintain that we must not do this.


However, Materialists cannot avoid conceding that in a matter/energy-only 8m/E-only) Universe, Hovind’s opinion and their own must have exactly the same origin: in the workings of ultimately purposeless physical laws within ensembles of M/E. Here, those laws have produced ethical judgments that are diametrically opposed. And in a M/E-only Universe, it’s futile to ask which is “right”. That answer would have to come from some other ensemble of matter/energy, for whose ethical judgments the Materialists could claim no validity that Hovind could not claim for his own, and with equal justification.
 

 

In other words, of what significiance is it that the configurations of the particle bunches labeled "BobSpence1", "Samuel", and "daedalus" differ from that of the bunch labeled "Kent Hovind" regarding the bunches labeled "Muslim insurgents"?

 

I won't comment on your reply--I'd just like to know what you think.


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More on the language thing:I

More on the language thing:

I know plenty of Christians like to use "goddamn." Do you really think when they stub their toe on a table and say it that they really are asking God to send the table to hell? Or if they are about to go out golfing or whatever and they say "goddamn it's raining" or "goddamn rain" that they want or expect god to send the rain to hell? Or even just using it as an exclamation - if someone screams "Goddamn motherfucking cocksucker!" do you think they are asking god to send a person that both performs fellation and has sex with his own mother to hell? WOuldn't they likely go there anyway according to Christianity?

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Paisley wrote:No, I didn't.

Paisley wrote:

No, I didn't. It is possible to experience pain without expressing anger. However, when an individual screams expletives such as "God F****** damn it!," then he is clearly exhibiting anger.

Patently untrue. If you think people never swear just because something hurts, then you need to stop living in The Andy Griffith Show.

Paisley wrote:

You just confirmed my previous point by saying it is an expression of a NEGATIVE emotion. We call this negative emotion ANGER!

Please don't insult my intelligence by attempting to argue that atheists NEVER become angry when stubbing their toe.

Actually, Mongo, the very statement 'need not be anger' accepts that it can be anger, but we've already addressed that anger need not be directed, and certainly need not have a moral componant. As for 'We call this negative emotion ANGER', there are a number of negative emotions. Sadness, fear, depression... in the context of the situation we've been discussing, surprise and alarm are both valid negative emotions. So no, once again, it need not be anger.

Paisley wrote:
BMcD wrote:
So, I must at this time ask you: Do you believe that when someone says 'goddammit', they *must* be actually talking to God? And do you believe that if someone stubs their toe, they *must* become angry?

The issue is not "must" but "when." And WHEN an atheist becomes angry upon stubbing his toe (which anyone with a modicum of honesty will certainly acknowledge that it happens), then the question becomes: "At whom or at what is he directing that anger?"

So then you acknowledge that they don't need to become angry? See, once again we're back to the "Uzi v AK" issue: You can't even acknowledge that any part of your earlier statements might have been wrong, or even poorly worded. Once more: you'll find people are less likely to think of you as a mouth-breathing jerk if you're willing to give a little in order to find common ground to proceed from. But you seem to be pathologically incapable of even that.

And once again: Anger need not be directed. Anger can just be.

Paisley wrote:
Moreover, the atheist doesn't even have to invoke the term "God" (albeit this is what an atheist will usually do), they simply have to express anger for my argument to hold true. And you have not been able to refute it.

Except with every single post. Obviously, I need to get out the crayons for you, Mongo.

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Eloise wrote:Paisley

Eloise wrote:
Paisley wrote:
Well, saying that it "cast serious doubt on our undertanding of causality" says it all. This has major implications.

"Understanding" is the key word here. More compelling in many ways than the question of whether we can 'pin down' a cause of microscopic particle states is the question of whether if or when we do it will it be relevant in any way to our classical notion of causality.

For example take the MWI. It may be classifiable as a deterministic theory but inasmuch it also provides the unitary evolution of the Schroedinger wave as the determiner, this is nothing at all like the classical one to one mapped function notion of causality implied by philosophical determinism, it is, instead, the concept of all states evolving unitarily in superposition and interaction with each other (dead cats and live cats poking and prodding each other) and decohering to the degree that they become entangled with a descriptive (not prescriptive) environment. Decoherence, then, is observer-dependent (qualifying non-classical classes of observers) whereupon it generally follows that classical causality is applicable, rather, to the preferred basis of an entangled system of a class of observer, namely the one with which we are associating our identity. So in that sense, classical one to one correlation function determinism is effect not causality and to establish a multiverse deterministic reality is to establish, case in point, that cause is effect and effect, cause. This is where MWI drastically departs from the assumptions of CI which, to wit, are in many respects made in an effort to preserve the classical exponentiating cause-effect relation, albeit unsuccessfully.

Define "observer?" IOW, does this mean a consciously-aware observer? 

Eloise wrote:
Paisley wrote:
Incidentally, according to Wikipedia's chart on quantum interpretations, RQM is classified as non-deterministic. Is this how you understand it?

Yes. The reason RQM is classifiable as non-deterministic is one major assumption of MWI from which it distances itself. The notion of a privileged status of the superposed state. In RQM there is no 'absolute reality'. RQM departs from considering the ontological status of the wavefunction, not necessarily negating it, but giving it no special nature in the process. While MWI holds the multiverse as fundamental, RQM could be said to regard it as trivially possible and thus not important in the determination of any entangled state.

I actually depart, myself, from Everett on the, I believe naiive, notion of deterministic time evolution and am inclined to agree with Rovelli's time independent relational scheme, likewise with his idea above of a non-special multiverse. However, I retain in my schema an existing multiverse, as it doesn't require a fundamental nature in order to exist.

Essentially the two relational theories do not clash with each other, I find. Many worlds shifts with the progression of knowledge naturally towards RQM and RQM is not at all unaccommodating to the basic existence of parallel universes.

When you say there is no "absolute reality," then does this preclude the existence of a "super-observer?"

Eloise wrote:
Paisley wrote:
Eloise wrote:
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.

So, let's hear the definition you believe to be more accurate.

As I mentioned above it generally follows from decoherence (and is rarely stated in any explicit manner) that the preferred basis problem is solvable as an aspect of entangled system of some class of observers. I visualise this as a literal geometric object of a polar type and see classical states evolving over some number of these poles. An observer class is a classical state evolved over such preferred basis 'bumps' in state space, that is, conscious will as we would ordinarily define it, is a result of some number of instances of clumping entanglement over shared bases. And thus I say that our historical notion of conscious will is nothing of the sort, it is unconscious identification of self with a probabilistic zeitgeist which we neither question nor consider on the conscious level. In short, we allow the preferred basis to make our decisions for us and walk the path of an unconscious will, not a conscious one.

So what is conscious will then? It is quite simply extrapolated from the above paragraph - it is the conscious identification of self with a 'probabilistic zeitgeist'; a likely reality. Which is kind of like faith.. well it kind of is faith... only defined better.

I would like some clarification.

1) Is the "probabilistic zeitgeist" the false self or the higher-self?

2) How does RQM relate to the "many-minds" interpretation?

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0) When [said] there is no

0) When [said] there is no "absolute reality," then does this preclude the existence of a "super-observer?"
 ------No evidence of one, how could we know, and what if we did????

1) Is the "probabilistic zeitgeist" the false self or the higher-self?
------ALL IS ONE, NO MASTER, all is EQUAL  

2) How does RQM relate to the "many-minds" interpretation?
-------6 billion minds add up to ????

    )))))  this is fun guessing ....
 


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Paisley wrote:Define

Paisley wrote:

Define "observer?"

umm.. a set of commuting observables (CSCO), basically. A quantum object in a unique state.

Paisley wrote:

IOW, does this mean a consciously-aware observer? 

Well yes, kind of, you can hypothesis some analogue of consciousness here.

 

Paisley wrote:

When you say there is no "absolute reality," then does this preclude the existence of a "super-observer?"

That's Rovelli's idea, I agree with it insofar as it precludes special status of super-observation. On the concept of an absolute reality though, I am slightly agnostic, in my view the argument for no absolute reality is close enough to being a point made that all reality is absolute reality and so the semantic distinction doesn't matter as long as the formalism is practicable.

 

Paisley wrote:

I would like some clarification.

1) Is the "probabilistic zeitgeist" the false self or the higher-self?

The zeitgeist is a selection basis and it would correspond to both the false self and the higher self. This is better understood if you see it as the geometric object which exerts a force on local operators - the ego is correlated to certain sets of these operators - ie the ego is an observer as defined in above paragraphs. The Theol. concept of higher self corresponds to another observer type internal to the human state.

Paisley wrote:

2) How does RQM relate to the "many-minds" interpretation?

I'm not sure why you asked me this, but in any case.. They are similar in ways however RQM doesn't deal in continuums like MWI amd MM, it provides two systems relative to each other - where the non-absoluteness comes from - Where in RQM you have Wigners Friend, and maybe Wigners friends friend and etc in discrete separable interactions, in many minds you have a continuum of metaobservers, in place of MWI's worlds, to which all measurements are relative. So Many minds is really MWI in, what would have to be, its most difficult to resolve form.

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Eloise the genius !  SEE

Eloise the genius !  SEE her at her finest as skillful interviewer HisWillness asks the right questions.  Interpreting QM.

      Revelation of the "Oneness" as God of Abraham falls further into oblivion ! 

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/13630
Tunnel Vision  -  OP -  magilum

  Brain exorcise is good for us !  Go slow  ..... 

   

 


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Eloise wrote:Paisley

Eloise wrote:
Paisley wrote:
IOW, does this mean a consciously-aware observer?

Well yes, kind of, you can hypothesis some analogue of consciousness here.

In RQM, is there a hierarchy of observers and systems?

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Paisley wrote:Eloise

Paisley wrote:

Eloise wrote:
Paisley wrote:
IOW, does this mean a consciously-aware observer?

Well yes, kind of, you can hypothesis some analogue of consciousness here.

In RQM, is there a hierarchy of observers and systems?

Not in RQM, per se, No. What you have in RQM is an explanation of observer type interactions which are not taken to be organised on any qualitative scale, also it is not assumed in RQM that any theoretically possible observer type must necessarily exist (like the super-observer for example) and is essentially a treatment for known classical types of observation - humans and probes for example.

That said, a relative scale of observer types is possible to infer from the basics so the disregard for any possible 'god's eye view' type in RQM is a conscious and pragmatic one.

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BMcD wrote:Once more: you'll

BMcD wrote:
Once more: you'll find people are less likely to think of you as a mouth-breathing jerk if you're willing to give a little in order to find common ground to proceed from. But you seem to be pathologically incapable of even that.

This ad hominem attack reveals anger.

BMcD wrote:
And once again: Anger need not be directed. Anger can just be.

 

 

"All anger is nothing more than an attempt to make someone feel guilty." (source: ACIM)

"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:BMcD

Paisley wrote:

BMcD wrote:
Once more: you'll find people are less likely to think of you as a mouth-breathing jerk if you're willing to give a little in order to find common ground to proceed from. But you seem to be pathologically incapable of even that.

This ad hominem attack reveals anger.

BMcD wrote:
And once again: Anger need not be directed. Anger can just be.

 

 

"All anger is nothing more than an attempt to make someone feel guilty." (source: ACIM)

Paisley, that's not an ad hominem and I really doubt that BMcD is angry.  He's likely annoyed.  In fact, I believe you mean to have written that, 'This ad hominem (sic) attack reveals annoyance.'  Stop being dishonest.  Also, if anger is not directed at a person whom, exactly, is it supposed to make feel quilty?  I don't believe you are really as stupid as you continue to prove yourself, but you give us all very little else to go on and so my nagging suspicion that you're actually a dolt continues.  Maybe you'll actually succeed in actually making someone angry before this thread gets closed down.

(This thread must be getting close to being closed, Paisley is absolutely as stubborn and as ignorant and dishonest as mehpisobeth, if not as insane, and there really is nothing left to debate about the original post or about the other topics which have been scraped up.)

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"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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BMcD wrote: A)Again, you

BMcD wrote:

 

A)Again, you fail to account for the concept that when a person, atheist or otherwise, stubs his toe and expresses his immediate feelings with expletive exclamations, he doesn't have to be angry to do so. He can be filtering a yelp of pain through his normal system of self-expression: language.

B)If I say 'goddammit', that doesn't mean I'm actually asking God to damn anything. I've been culturally exposed to the usage of 'goddammit' as an expression of negative emotion from a very young age, and I may well be simply expressing negative emotion. This negative emotion need not be anger, either. It may be something as simple as 'Mongo no like pain'.

 

I too have been culturally exposed to say a great many things. Nearly all of it was at a young and highly impressionable age. Over the past few years I have literally retrained myself to respond in other ways.

As for the stubbing of my toe...well... do any of you remember the multi multi-award winning show from the 1980's called "Hill Street Blues" ?  If you do perhaps you will recall a character by the name of Lt. Howard Hunter played by the actor James B. Sikking. I confess here and now that I always use one of Hunter's famous phrases whenever my attempt at kicking over a coffee table falls short (and in various other situations as well). Howard , in moments of a snit fit would loudly proclaim, "Judas H. Priest, man."

Sorry, it's funny... to me. 

 

 


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On Dogmas and Quantum Theory (From Both Sides)

 

On Dogmas and Quantum Theory (From Both Sides)

 

If MattShizzle has no objections, I hope I might still get a response or two to my post 379. He, too, is welcome to respond to it; he can just substitute his name for those of the people to whom I addressed that post.

 

Since contributors on both sides of the present topic have frequently mentioned dogmas and quantum theory, I thought I’d quote some —hopefully— interesting observations on those topics.

 

Please note that where the authors I cite used italics in the original, I have substituted capital letters because I can’t seem to make italics appear reliably in my posts.

 

First, on unconscious dogmas:

 

Every age has its own outlook. It is especially good at seeing certain truths and especially liable to make certain mistakes. … Nothing strikes me more when I read the controversies of past ages than the fact that both sides were usually assuming a good deal that we would now absolutely deny. They thought they were as completely opposed as two sides could be, but in fact they were all the time secretly united —united WITH each other and AGAINST earlier and later ages— by a great mass of common assumptions.

 

We may be sure that the characteristic blindness of the twentieth century —the blindness about which posterity will ask, “But how COULD they have thought that?”— lies where we have never suspected it, and concerns something about which there is untroubled agreement between Hitler and President Roosevelt [this was written during WWII (1943) JS] or between Mr. H. G. Wells [an atheist] and Karl Barth [an influential theologian]. 

 

(From the C. S. Lewis essay “On the Reading of Old Books”, in God in the Dock, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Walter Hooper, ed., 1970. Emphases in original.)

 

These observations are much like A. E. Burtt’s on the metaphysics of those (like Newton) who claim to not resort to it. (A. E. Burtt, The Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Science, Doubleday Anchor Books, 1954, pp. 229-230)

 

 

 

This is the start of my stuff on quantum theory (QT):

 

I don’t know much about QT; the solid-state physics courses I’ve taken merely applied its results. However, I do know that contributors on both sides of the present discussion have spoken glibly, and with great confidence, on aspects of QT that experts find baffling.

 

More than one author has noted that there’s a reason why rational scientists propose —seriously— explanations like the many-worlds interpretation and the observer effect. They don’t do this as a harmless recreation; they do it because they’re profoundly uncomfortable with key features and implications of QT, and are at a loss for more “scientific” resolutions of their doubts.

 

As Jim Baggott observes in The Meaning of Quantum Theory (Oxford University Press, 1992, p. 209),

 

Three centuries of gloriously successful physics have brought us right back to the kind of speculation that it took three centuries of philosophy to reject as meaningless. It may be that the return to metaphysics [such as the many-worlds idea. JS] is really grasping at straws —an attempt to provide a more “acceptable” world view until such time as the further subtleties of nature can be revealed in laboratory experiments and this agonizing over interpretation thereby relieved. But we have no guarantee that these subtleties will be any less bizarre than quantum physics as it stands at present.

 

One of the chief sources of agony is the Copenhagen interpretation’s silence regarding what causes the wave function to collapse. The many-worlds interpretation says that it does NOT collapse. Instead, each possible outcome of a quantum transition actually does occur, but in a different universe. In contrast, the “conscious-observer” explanation —originated by Von Neumann, with important additions from Wigner— says that the wave function is collapses when it interacts with a conscious observer.

 

When the unresolved difficulties of QT compel such eminent scientists to suggest —and seriously— that a conscious mind collapses wave functions, perhaps the rest of us should be a little more cautious regarding the limits that QT might place on Free Thinking and Free Will.

 

As background to the rest of the stuff on QT, I’ll quote some material on scientific realism. It’s from Chapter 9 of the first edition of New Foundations for Classical Mechanics. the author (Hestenes) has made that chapter available online as http://modelingnts.la.asu.edu/pdf/Foundations.pdf.

 

Scientific realism has been so thoroughly assimilated into modern science that most scientists take it for granted without recognizing that a profound issue is involved. On the other hand, it is still debated endlessly in philosophical circles ….

 

Scientific realism must be distinguished from the naive realism of common sense. The presumption common to all forms of realism is that a “real world” of things exists independently of any person to observe them.

 

Scientific realism holds that a clear distinction between physical things and their [conceptual] models can be made and must be maintained against the contrary tendencies of natural language which is infected with naive realism.

 

[However, scientific realism] has been vigorously challenged recently by physicists and philosophers who hold that it is incompatible with quantum mechanics. They claim that quantum mechanics does not allow a sharp separation between the state of a real object and an observer’s knowledge of that state. We cannot get involved in that debate here. Suffice it to say that the issue has not been resolved to the satisfaction of all concerned physicists.

 

In these passages, a definition of scientific realism is sandwiched between two observations that are relevant to many posts made on Paisley’s topic. The first is that most of us —including many atheists who post here— do take scientific realism for granted –it’s one of our unconscious dogmas.

 

The second important observation concerns the assertion that scientific realism is incompatible with quantum mechanics. I don’t know the status of that controversy; the issue may have been resolved since Hestenes re-issued the above in 1998. Even if so, what lesson are we to learn from the fact that such an important issue was recognized only at such a late date, and then could not be resolved easily, if at all, by physicists?

 

If it suggests that at even some experts’ statements about quantum mechanics and reality have been unjustifiably confident, that overconfidence wouldn’t be unprecedented. A person doesn’t have to read the history of science very long to find examples in other areas of science. One consequence to the public of this overconfidence is a phenomenon described by John Kramer in the July/August-1999 issue of Analog Science Fiction & Fact Magazine:

 

[At the end of 1998, when I was on a panel about science and technology, I described] the big unsolved problems in physics and astrophysics. This … stimulated considerable interest and many questions during and after the panel.

 

An investment banker told me later that he was surprised to learn that science had so many unsolved problems. He had been under the impression that in science we understood almost everything, with only a few odds and ends to be cleaned up. This opinion, held by many otherwise well informed people, reflects the assertions recently proclaimed by an editor of a prominent science magazine. His book claimed that we were at the end of science, that we had solved all the big problems, and what remained was to work out a few details. The author of that book seemed unaware of most of the problems on my list.

 

In the case of quantum mechanics, it seems that teachers and authors of textbooks have been similarly unsuspecting. In The Meaning of Quantum Theory, Jim Baggott describes how he came to recognize his own unawareness of the fundamental issues involved, and then spends the rest of the book exploring them. It’s not terribly comforting reading for a scientific realist like me.

 

The remainder of this post consists of quotes from his book.

 

From pp. 79-80:

 

…[For] many scientists the stuff of their theories —atoms, electrons, photons, etc.— are quite “real”. Many assume these objects to have an existence independent of the instruments used to produce the effects their theories are supposed to explain. It would, perhaps, be very difficult for high-energy physicists to justify the financial investments needed to build larger and larger particle accelerators if they were not convinced of the reality of the objects on which they wish to make measurements. Most scientists attempt to uncover the independent physical reality lying underneath the phenomena: to explain why the world is the way it is, which goes beyond merely registering the fact that instrument A will give effect B under conditions C. This position, in which it is held that there exists a reality which is independent of the observer and the instruments used to make observations, we will refer to as realism.

 

… A realist may be convinced that there is an independent reality “out there” which is probed through observation and experiment. [A positivist notes that we] have no means of acquiring knowledge of the physical world except through observation and experiment, so the reality we probe is, of necessity, dependent on the observer for its existence. The positivist argues that, since we cannot verify the existence of an observer-independent reality, such a reality is metaphysical and therefore quite without meaning. The logical contradiction implied in the realist’s view is side-stepped only by an appeal to the emotions or to faith.

 

A modern scientist might typically adopt the [empirical and logical] methods of the positivist but the outlook of the realist. If this position seems a little confusing and ill thought out, it is perhaps because scientists rarely spend time working out where they stand on these philosophical issues. Indeed, a pragmatic scientist might have little time for what seems like a kind of philosophical nit-picking. However, it is very difficult to avoid these issues in quantum theory.

 

[For example,] a quantum particle exhibits properties we associate with waves and particles. Its behavior appears to be determined by the kind of instrument we use to probe its properties. … All we can know is the EMPIRICAL reality —here the quantum particle is a wave, here it is a particle. Is it therefore meaningful to speculate about what the quantum particle IS?

 

It bears repeating: the logical contradiction implied in the realist’s view is side-stepped only by an appeal to the emotions or to faith. I think I speak for all of us scientific realists when I say, “OUCH!”

 

Back to Baggott’s book, this time from his closing remarks, p. 210-211:

 

[At the end of a survey of opinions such as this book, it is usual for the author to be asked his opinion.] I have read a number of books written recently by physicists in which all the experimental evidence against the notion of local reality has been carefully weighed, but which then close with some kind of final plea for an independent reality. I hope I have done enough in this book to demonstrate that, no matter where we start, we always return to the central philosophical arguments of the positivist versus the realist. The conflict between these philosophical positions formed the basis of the Bohr-Einstein debate. No matter what the state of experimental science, the conflict between the positivists’ conception of an empirical reality and the realists’ conception of an independent reality can NEVER be resolved.

 

[The results of the Bell, Aspect, and other experiments] cannot shake the realists’ deeply felt belief in an independent reality, although they can certainly make it a more complicated reality than might first have been thought necessary.

 

Thus, any final plea for an independent reality is really an appeal to faith, in the sense that the realist must ultimately accept the logic of the positivists’ argument but will still not be persuaded.

 

… I am reasonably certain of one thing. The unquestioning acceptance of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum theory has, in the last 40 years or so, held back progress on the development of alternative theories. It has been very difficult for the voices raised against the orthodox interpretation to be heard. Remember that it was John Bell —an opponent of the dogmatic Copenhagen view— whose curiosity and determination led to Bell’s theorem and [to new experimental results that seem to support the Copenhagen view].

 

I have tried to argue that quantum theory is a difficult subject for the modern undergraduate student of physical science because its interpretation is so firmly rooted in philosophy. If, in arguing this case, I have only made the subject more confusing, then I apologize. However, my most important message is a relatively simple one: quantum theory is rife with conceptual problems and contradictions. If you find the theory difficult to understand, this is the theory’s fault —not yours.

 


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All "freethinking" means is

All "freethinking" means is not allowing somebody else to think for you... in other words, NOT the way 99.999999% of Theists do it. Seriously, how many more Kent Hovind and AnswersInGenesis clones must we suffer?


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Invitation to Jesus H. Parabola

Jesus H. Parabola is also welcome to respond to my post  379, as well as to the other posts of mine that it references. He or she can just substitute his or her name for those of the people to whom I addressed that post.


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Paisley wrote:BMcD

Paisley wrote:

BMcD wrote:
Once more: you'll find people are less likely to think of you as a mouth-breathing jerk if you're willing to give a little in order to find common ground to proceed from. But you seem to be pathologically incapable of even that.

This ad hominem attack reveals anger.

A)Actually, there was no anger. It was a reference to other thread, where you did actually manage to acknowledge you misidentified the gun in Hamby's avatar. A simple, careless, and meaningless mistake... and when it was pointed out, and pointed out how little the admission would cost you, you did indeed demonstrate enough honesty to acknowledge the error. The statement here was written out of a sense of rueful pity that you couldn't retain such an elementary lesson.

B)It's not an ad hominem attack. You'll note I did not say you *are* a mouth-breathing jerk, I said people might be less likely to perceive you as one if you acted more in accordance with the bounds of normal social convention, specifically admitting when small errors are pointed out.

If you're speaking of my impression that you are pathologically incapable of admitting even minor errors, that, too, is not an ad hominem attack. I am, in fact, somewhat excusing your behavior by opining that you may not be entirely to blame for your behavior. Moreover, I'm only saying that you give the appearance of this, not that you actually *are* pathologically incapable of such actions.

Language is a precise tool. It should be used with precision. I encourage you to make the effort to do so, rather than the blunt-force linguistic trauma you seem prone to.

After all, "Smurf is ultimately smurfy because it smurfs smurf to be ultimately smurfy."

C)I have to admit, I find it really funny that you respond to this with cries of 'ad hominem', but completely let the blatant aspersions on your intelligence in other posts go without comment, Mongo. And I'm sorry I didn't keep it to small words, but if it makes you feel better, I was mentally writing it in crayon for you.

Paisley wrote:
BMcD wrote:
And once again: Anger need not be directed. Anger can just be.

"All anger is nothing more than an attempt to make someone feel guilty." (source: ACIM)

Well, then I hate to tell you this, but if that's supposed to be an authoritative and exhaustive explanation of all anger, it's woefully inadequate. Anger is often, in fact, a fear reaction. It's the emotional label for the 'fight' segment of the Fight/Flight reaction. While it is often wielded to evoke guilt, that's a learned behavior we develop. The real purpose of anger is often to allow us to confront, rather than flee, that which makes us feel threatened.

"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons." - The Waco Kid


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Jim Smith wrote:Jesus H.

Jim Smith wrote:

Jesus H. Parabola is also welcome to respond to my post  379, as well as to the other posts of mine that it references. He or she can just substitute his or her name for those of the people to whom I addressed that post.

In response to #379:

Nothing. Nothing makes anyone inherintly more or less at the mercy of the fundamental nature of reality.

"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons." - The Waco Kid


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Jim Smith wrote:After

Jim Smith wrote:

After reading some of your posts, and especially daedalus's #377, I'm wondering--did you read my posts

171369  and 172288  in this discussion? 

 

I was also wondering what your own responses would be to two quotes from those posts.

 

The first, paraphrased, was

"BobSpence1" does not exist. "BobSpence1" is just a label that  people apply, for their own convenience, to a bunch of subatomic particles that are simply going about their business. Just as they have for the last 12 billion years. Said bunch's "ideas" (perhaps one of them is that [it] is a Free Thinker) are nothing but configurations of the Universe's matter/energy that occur as those particles follow the Universe's impersonal laws. So are those of the bunch known as Kent Hovind.

 

In other words, if this is all the bunch of particles labeled "BobSpence1" is, then how is that bunch of particles a Free Thinker in any way that the bunch labeled "Kent Hovind" is not?

 

The second quote was,

 

 

Kent Hovind thinks it’s a good thing to massacre Muslim insurgents, then bury them in mass graves filled with pig guts. On the other hand, Materialists of my acquaintance maintain that we must not do this.


However, Materialists cannot avoid conceding that in a matter/energy-only 8m/E-only) Universe, Hovind’s opinion and their own must have exactly the same origin: in the workings of ultimately purposeless physical laws within ensembles of M/E. Here, those laws have produced ethical judgments that are diametrically opposed. And in a M/E-only Universe, it’s futile to ask which is “right”. That answer would have to come from some other ensemble of matter/energy, for whose ethical judgments the Materialists could claim no validity that Hovind could not claim for his own, and with equal justification.
 

 

In other words, of what significiance is it that the configurations of the particle bunches labeled "BobSpence1", "Samuel", and "daedalus" differ from that of the bunch labeled "Kent Hovind" regarding the bunches labeled "Muslim insurgents"?

 

I won't comment on your reply--I'd just like to know what you think.

 

The difference is this:

 

While the basic quantum and atomic base of our universe operates on a certain level, so does Newtonian physics - and so does chemical and electronic reactions.

 

Daedalus and Jim Smith differ in that they are chemical and biological entities - made up of millions of bacteria, cells, etc, that respond not only to the internet environment but their own local environment 9I hope.... geeks that we are....).  Like Newtoinian physics does work at the Macro level, we also operate at a macro level of the cosmos.  Not by design, but by filtering.

 

The millions of bacteria have a certain consiousness and they, too, react to theiur environment.  If you shoot Heroin, or drinkk too much, they willl cause a certain reaction, if you starve, or are exposed to radiation, they will react, as will your cells.

 

There are localized experiences - its not as if every god-damned neutron is linked to every quark - it still takes time to transfer info - and the universe is - as I understand - huge.

 

But the localized environment explains the vast differences - even in people who grow up in the same house - its more about the genetics and chemical reaCTIONS TO THE ENVIRONMENT - THAT IS, dETERMINISM RULES AT A MORE BASIC LEVEL THAN WE HAVE CONTROL OVER as MAcro Beinsgs.

 

BTW, I've been drinking too much - my job sucks ass.

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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BMcD wrote:Language is a

BMcD wrote:

Language is a precise tool. It should be used with precision. I encourage you to make the effort to do so, rather than the blunt-force linguistic trauma you seem prone to.

It was an ad hominem attack. And all your ranting and rambling is not going to change this basic fact.

BMcD wrote:
Paisley wrote:
BMcD wrote:
And once again: Anger need not be directed. Anger can just be.

"All anger is nothing more than an attempt to make someone feel guilty." (source: ACIM)

Well, then I hate to tell you this, but if that's supposed to be an authoritative and exhaustive explanation of all anger, it's woefully inadequate. Anger is often, in fact, a fear reaction. It's the emotional label for the 'fight' segment of the Fight/Flight reaction. While it is often wielded to evoke guilt, that's a learned behavior we develop. The real purpose of anger is often to allow us to confront, rather than flee, that which makes us feel threatened.

I agree.

1)  You feel threatened by the coffee table and are attempting to fight it?

2) You feel threatened by yourself (because you are responsible for stubbing your toe) and are attempting to fight yourself?

3) You feel threatened by the "powers that be" which allowed this misfortune (stubbing your toe) come your way and now you are angry with God and attempting to confront him?

Incidentally, for someone who professes to have "no beliefs," you're very opinionated.

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


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Likewise "freethinker" ....

Likewise "freethinker" .... Yes,  wisdom , we are basically ALL idiots, lost in space and time !   

 .... ad hominem attacks , subtle or obvious , what's the real difference ???   

       I can cuss , or politely say the same thing ......    "Get behind me Satan",  said a wise lover   !!!!    

 


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BobSpence1 wrote:Paisley

BobSpence1 wrote:
Paisley wrote:
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?

The concept of virtual particles cannot ultimately generate matter, since they are constrained to be disappear within an extremely short time precisely to avoid violating the principle of the Conservation off Matter/Energy - Quantum Theory only allows for a very temporary apparent violation, within the scale of Heisenberg's Uncertainty. This is in the context of an actual Universe, after the singularity, which is the proposal I was addressing.

A temporary violation is a violation nevertheless.

BobSpence1 wrote:
The idea of an actual Universe emerging from a quantum-level fluctuation is another thing - that would not be observed either within the context of the newly emergent Universe, or within a possible meta-universe where the 'fluctuation' occurred. The idea is that the new universe would expand within its own space, effectively 'budding-off' from the other universe - it would not be observable from the first universe. IOW, as far as the original universe is concerned, there is no anomaly. There is also a reasonable argument that the net energy equivalent of the whole Universe is zero, when the gravitational energy energy is taken into account. This is one response to the issue of conservation of matter/energy.

What evidence do you you have for a "meta-universe?" I said evidence, not inference. If I am not mistaken, the philosophy of logical positivism precludes the atheist who bases his worldview on science from making metaphysical speculations (which is, after all, what a "META" universe is).

BobSpence1 wrote:
I can understand that you would see this as contradicting my assertion about matter not being 'created', but this is not a show-stopper for cosmologists at the leading edge of this discipline, pushing further back to elucidate the physics of the  of the very first instants of the Big Bang, and hints of what preceded , or if 'preceded' quite makes sense at that point. I listen to these guys, and your endless demonstration of how thoroughly you mis-understand these things is actually pathetic, almost as pathetic as your stupid stubbornness on the 'cursing' side-track.

What's pathetic is that an atheist materialist will ridicule the metaphysical belief in God as being irrational while he (the atheist materialist) allows himself the luxury of entertaining metaphysical beliefs in infinite universes (for which there is absolutely no evidence.) Talk about hypocrisy.

BobSpence1 wrote:
And here you go again with the 'uncaused' bit. It's been addressed, ad nauseum. You still refuse to grasp that causation is a more slippery concept that you think, and the proposition that a 'mental' cause is the only answer is not an answer at all - it just raises bigger mysteries.

C'mon...get real. The whole point of the "meta-universe" is to eliminate the "uncaused" bit!

What you fail to realize is that this "many-worlds" theory (i.e. metaphysical theory) of yours proposes an "infinite regress" of infinite universes. This is a logical fallacy.

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